Thoughts On the Recent Royal Visit To Africa and Pakistan

by Alatenumo

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Dear Prince Williams, Duchess Kate, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan,

Let me begin by congratulating all of you on your recent successful Royal Tour of South Africa, Malawi, Angola, Botswana and Pakistan. You are real role models, and everyone should aspire to be like you. I appreciate your kindness and concern for the most vulnerable people on earth. By way of introduction, my name is Alatenumo X and though I would not describe myself as a royalist, I must confess that I am a big fan of the British Royal family especially since Duchess Meghan and Duchess Kate married into the world’s most illustrious family. I even slept in front of Windsor and Buckingham Palaces, ten days before your wedding so I could get a five-second glimpse of you as you passed by in your majestic carriages.

Unfortunately, since English is not my first language, I find it difficult to express myself in writing and speaking the Queens English, hence why I have asked my colleague Ahmed Sule to write this letter to you on my behalf. Let me apologise in advance for anything he might have lost in translation or misinterpreted.

The British Empire has been on a downward spiral ever since India’s independence of 1949 and the Suez Canal crisis of 1956. It is hard to imagine that we once ruled the waves and our empire was so vast that the sun never set on it. We have now become a vassal state of the United States and with Brexit looming, our position as a global powerhouse is under threat. If care is not taken, we could soon become a second-tier developing nation especially with the emergence of fast-growing economies like China and Singapore.

But thankfully, our leaders are not sleeping. Empire 1.0 might be dead and buried, however, Empire 2.0 is alive and well. Once Brexit has been sorted, we can recreate the British Empire again. Unlike Empire 1.0 which was characterised by slavery, famine, apartheid, colonialism, murder, theft and rape, Empire 2.0 will have a human touch. This is where all of you can play a crucial role. As the old makes way for the new, it is time to pass the remnants of Empire to a new generation of Windsor’s.

I am glad that you are working in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), who planned these visits. Though the people of the world see you as royalty, your role as pseudo trade diplomats is lost on them. The four of you have a lot in common — you are eloquent, smart, good looking, gentle and likeable. We should use these chic factors to our advantage. Back in the days, our forbearers went to the colonies with the bible, football and education and by the time the natives had opened their eyes, they had the bible, football and education while we had the land, gold and slaves. You should do likewise by giving them your charity and charm in return for signed trade treaties.

It must give you great joy driving through the colonies of Pakistan and South Africa and seeing the piccaninnies line the streets waving at you with their ‘watermelon smiles’ and letterbox clothes. The colonial natives were entranced by the dresses of the two Duchesses. I guess they have never seen such level of sophistication. Duchess Kate, you looked absolutely stunning in your turquoise dress and trousers combination and when you stepped out on day two of the Royal Tour of Pakistan wearing a pair of suede nude heels from the high street retailer, New Look, my wife told me that I should get the shoes for her birthday. Duchess Meghan, you looked effortlessly chic in that Nonie trench dress and red tassel earrings. Prince Williams and Harry also looked cool in their smart business casual. Your tour was more of a fashion parade than a trade mission. Glamour and People magazine analysed every single outfit the Duchesses wore during the tour. I even bought shares in all of the manufacturers of your outfits because I know that millions of people around the world will empty their life savings to buy the clothes, so they can look like you.

I have been impressed with the selection criteria used to handpick those you interacted with during the royal visit. The staff of the FCO are doing a great job in helping you avoid controversy. We can’t afford to have your trip derailed by a rogue member of the audience asking embarrassing questions. As you do more travelling you have to polish your screening process. We need to make sure you continue to meet pliant individuals who are in awe of you.

Imagine the thought of engaging with a populist like South Africa’s Julius Malema and being asked why the Commonwealth of Nations does not translate to the commonwealth for all the colonies and why the Head of the Commonwealth is British, the Designate Head of the Commonwealth is British, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth is British, the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador is British, the Commonwealth Secretariat is headquartered in Britain, the Commonwealth Youth office Network is headquartered in Britain, the Commonwealth Games Federation is headquartered in Britain and the Commonwealth Foundation is headquartered in Britain. Spare some thought to having a young Indian anti-colonialist asking you when Britain will return the 105-carat Koh-I-Noor stone stolen from India that now constitutes part of the Queen’s British crown jewels. May I suggest you continue to engage with people like me who wouldn’t mind cutting their hands off and framing it in their living rooms after they have shaken your hands.

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You should also sprinkle in the audience young elites who are reluctant to question the relevance of the Commonwealth. Throw them a few crumbs like Commonwealth scholarships, Commonwealth awards and Commonwealth funding for projects in the colonies even though you and I know that the resources of the colonies have been used over the centuries to make the mother country a global superpower.

Another piece of advice is to always stay on script. Even though the long term aim of the trip is to strike deals that will benefit the British economy, we must frame it in such a way that you are seen as the four saviours coming all the way from Britain to help the natives out of their misery. We should focus on philanthropic colonialism and benevolent imperialism where we show compassion for the marginalised impacted by Western imperial economic policies by hugging them and wiping away their tears while turning a blind eye to the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary. Also, in pontificating about how the subjects should respond to climate change, don’t forget to tell Africans and Asians to cull their population growth rate for the sake of biodiversity. We should also award knighthoods to the anti-poachers doing a sterling job in torturing and sometimes killing the uncivilised native poachers harming our beloved animals.

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In terms of imagery, one thing that was missing from your recent tour was images of you being hoisted by the natives like what happened when you went to Solomon Islands a couple of years ago. We need more images to demonstrate that we are in charge. What’s wrong in creating a re-enactment of the colonial footages of the natives lifting your ancestors when they came to visit their subject?

Unfortunately, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex trip to Africa were marred by the legal action against the Daily Mail. I don’t blame you as I would have reacted the same way if something like that happened to me. Ever since the Duchess joined the House of Windsor last year, the Daily Mail has been on a crusade against her. A day hardly goes by without something negative being said about her attitude, hairstyle, father, handwriting or the way she blinks her eyes. Contrast that with the favourable treatment that Princess Kate gets from the media. I think it is time for Duchess Kate to deliver a live broadcast to the British public and call out Meghan’s treatment for what it is — RACISM.

However, in your anger against the racist media, you need to reflect on the fact that Britain is the Ground Zero of racism. The British media does not operate in isolation — it is a product of its environment. What part of British society isn’t racist? The British media? The British Police? The British Army? The British justice system? The British workplace? The British political establishment? The British school system? Racism for the want of a better word is Britain’s original sin. Although UKkk did not invent racism, it refined it and exported it to the four corners of the world and we can still see its toxic manifestations in countries like Australia, South Africa and AmeriKKKa.

I recently had to refrain from hitting a good friend of mine when he suggested that Meghan’s treatment was a case of the chickens coming home to roost. He claims that a high ranking member of the royal family has said certain things which are reminiscent of the very spirit of British imperialism at its height, such as when the family member told a group of British students visiting China that if they stayed there much longer they’d all be “slitty-eyed” and when he asked an Aboriginal Australian if he was “Still throwing spears.”

Do not let the racist rain on your parade. This trip was a resounding success and demonstrates that the Empire or what remains of it is in safe hands. Let’s make a few changes here and there and we will be able to rule the waves and make Britain great again.

I end this letter with the words of James Thompson:

“When Britain first, at Heaven’s command

Arose from out the azure main;

This was the charter of the land,

And guardian angels sang this strain:

“Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:

“Britons never will be slaves.

Selah.

Your loyal subject

For and on behalf of Alatenumo X,

Ahmed Sule

@Alatenumo

October 2019

Written by

Writer and social critic

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