Talking about the domesticated elite

By Gemencho:  To Albert Memmi (1965) , the history of colonialism is the history of the colonizer and the colonized. It is their profile. In this history, the colonizer comes out not just as an intruder, but as a different kind of intruder-a cultural supremacist and a racist. The colonizer does not only conquer and occupy. He sees his conquest and occupation as a historical and moral right. So, what characterizes him is the metaphysical myth of his eternal domination, his exaggerated sense of himself.

At the same time, the colonizer cannot act out his myth without the consent of the colonized. The colonized have to go along with it. They have to buy into the image that he projects. They have to see his and their world through his vernacular. They have to accept their colonization

This is the colonial racial project that serves as a vehicle for the production of the domesticated elite.

So, the domesticated elite is the product of the colonizer. He is someone who accepts the colonizer’s myth and believes in his inferiority. And, the basis of his existence is to mimic the colonizer, to behave and act like him, to convey his values as eternal. The domesticated elite has no world, no culture, no history he holds on to, outside that of the colonizer. His knowledge is borrowed. He lives to regurgitate what the colonizer feeds him

He is an Anglophone, a Francophone, an Arabphone, or any phone, but African. He is ethnic, tribal, religious, but national. He is what Tuma describes as an Afrophobe, a colonial marauder. This is what informs the many wars he conducts and manages-Rwanda, Ethiopia, Congo, South Sudan…to mention just the few

The domesticated elite belongs in the colonizer’s world to which he pledges his allegiance. He is not just anti-democratic. He is an existential threat.

May Africa find her strength to eject him from power and from her soil, so her children can live freely.


Memmi, A. (1965). The Colonizer and the Colonized. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.