Trojan News :: Real Time News


Asante King’s Artefact Intentions: Addressing Historical Injustices

IN response to the right-wing British newspaper The Telegraph’s recent critique of the Asante King’s decision to retain looted artefacts returned to the kingdom, Akyaaba Addai-Sebo offers a compelling rebuttal, shedding light on historical injustices and the imperative for restitution.

Addai-Sebo, founder of UK’s Black History Month,  begins by characterizing The Telegraph’s stance as emblematic of white supremacy, emphasising their underlying fear of African agency and retribution. He underscores the chronicle of broken treaties and betrayals endured by Africans, illustrating the palpable anxiety of white supremacists towards reparations.

The op-ed delves into the enduring problem of racism in the 21st century, highlighting the significance of initiatives like Black History Month in combating prejudice and fostering unity. Addai-Sebo advocates for celebrating diversity and eradicating racism, in alignment with the principles of equality and race relations legislation.


Drawing on personal encounters and historical anecdotes, Addai-Sebo refutes the notion of inherent African violence towards whites, contrasting it with instances of colonial brutality and discrimination. He challenges narratives of racial superiority and highlights the importance of acknowledging historical atrocities.

The op-ed further examines instances of British reluctance to confront colonial legacies, citing examples from Rhodesia and Zimbabwe. Addai-Sebo scrutinises British reactions to African liberation movements and land reforms, exposing underlying biases and double standards.

In the context of Asante history, Addai-Sebo elucidates the significance of restitution for looted artefacts, paralleling it with demands for land restitution in Zimbabwe and elsewhere. He calls for recognition of past injustices and emphasises the moral imperative of restitution as a step towards healing and reconciliation.

Addai-Sebo admonishes The Telegraph for its provocative stance, invoking the words of Malcolm X to underscore the inevitability of historical consequences. He advocates for restitution as a means of rectifying past wrongs and advancing justice for marginalised communities, echoing the sentiments of the African Jubilee Year declaration.

The op-ed, published below, serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of confronting colonial legacies and honouring the demands for restitution, particularly in the context of cultural heritage and land rights. Addai-Sebo’s impassioned plea for justice resonates as a call to action in the ongoing struggle for equality and recognition of historical truths.

A golden ceremonial cap worn by courtiers at coronations are among the artefacts on display in Kumasi Credit: EDDIE MULHOLLAND

DON’T MIND THE BRUTISH… ‘uneasy lies the head that wears the crown’ ?

 Here is a characteristic white supremacy provocation and baiting that rather expose their abiding fear of Africans giving them a treat of their own medicine. Our encounter with Europeans is a chronicle of broken treaties, promises and outright betrayals without  compunction. White supremacists’ fear of BLACK RETRIBUTION is their living nightmare and this fear is demonstrated by their response to REPARATIONS.

Racism or the ‘colour line’ remains the problem of the 21st Century. The institution of Black History Month is to ensure that every child growing up in the United Kingdom has an understanding of and respect for the value of the contribution of Africa, Africans and all people of African descent to world civilisations and especially to the growth and development of the United Kingdom and Europe from antiquity to the present.

Black History Month therefore calls on British society to join hands and minds to pay tribute to our common humanity by celebrating diversity to root out racism, in keeping with the tenets of the Race Relations and Equality Acts.

I remember in early 1980 I interviewed Senator Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa for my radio show in Washington, D.C. about Senate and Congress resistance to majority rule in Rhodesia. Senator Hayakawa revealed to me that their fear was that because of the way white settlers had treated and abused the Africans, the Africans would visit pogrom on white settlers when the freedom fighters won power. 

I had the presence of mind to remind the Senator that Africans in Algeria, Kenya, Congo, Guinea and Ghana did not kill off whites as it is not in the nature of Africans to do so. However the world would have been a different place if Africans or blacks exhibited a fraction of white supremacy predatory instincts.

Then I recalled how in 1965 the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson reacted to Nkrumah’s appeal to Her Majesty’s Government to send troops to quell the Ian Smith rebellion. Wilson retorted: ‘You want me to send troops to kill my kith and kin?’

And there I was inside the US Capitol Building interviewing a high ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and stirring at this  Japanese-American face who witnessed how, after the World War II Pearl Harbor incident, tens of thousands of his own kith and kin were herded into concentration camps across the US, brutalised and humiliated, for no other reason than they were part Japanese.

To Senator Hayakawa white lives and interests mattered more in Rhodesia than those of Africans.

When the African freedom fighters won elections in Rhodesia bringing the brutal racial war to an end did the victorious ZANU-PF soldiers go after the white supremacists? In the new Zimbabwe parliament of 1980 the racists were well represented. And 20 years after in 2000 how did the British and Americans react to land reforms in Zimbabwe? To protect the perceived ‘carried interests’ of their kith and kins did the Brutish and Yankees not visit economic pogrom on the Africans of Zimbabwe, the devastating consequences that still remain?

Let us not forget that the Brutish ransacked and burnt Kumasi, the Asante capital, on three occasions  between 1824 and 1900 during a series of five conflicts. And during this period the Brutish broke several treaties and also imposed indemnity payments in gold on Asantes as the French did with Haitians and their ‘colonies’ in Africa.

Are the Brutish now afraid of their own shadow casting on their conscience…if they ever had one? To the mouthpiece of the Brutish establishment, The Telegraph, let’s quote Malcolm X: ‘Chickens have come home to roost’.

Let’s not forget that in July 1987 Mrs. Sally Mugabe launched African Jubilee Year at the Westminster Central Hall in a Declaration which gave birth to Black History Month. The African Jubilee Year declaration enjoined the local authorities to strengthen their ‘…Support for the demands of Africans, both at home and abroad, for just restitution and recognise that some of the root causes of racial discrimination, inequality of opportunity and poor relations between persons of different racial groups within their boroughs are imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism. The years of incalculable damage done to the African continent based on the myth of white supremacy bears witness to this fact…’

 Returning looted Asante ‘heirlooms’ is an act of ‘just restitution’ as ‘returning’ into African hands lands appropriated by Cecil Rhodes and his descendants in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia. And in our ‘Reparations’ demands we must never forget the fate of our kith and kin in Haiti.

About The Author