This is a follow-up to David Hind’s tribute to the late Kwame Apata (Sunday Stabroek, Dec 25). The nation owes a debt of gratitude to Kwame Apata for his role in the liberation movement.
I recall Kwame Apata as more than an educator and cultural activist. He was an opponent of Burnhamism (at great risk to his own life), and he provided support to youngsters like me who were just starting out as activists against political and economic repression.
As a student leader of the protest movement (January through February 1977) that organized against political victimization and repression on the Corentyne, I faintly remember him coming and offering moral support. Walter Rodney, Eusi Kwayana, Fr Malcolm Rodrigues, Moses Bhagwan, etc, were also there at various times.
Apata was an African nationalist proud of his ethnicity and cultural traditions, so much so that he changed his name from Eardley Arundel Seaforth.
Apata gave a lot to the nation to the neglect of his family just as several of us did, without looking for self-benefit or reward. He joined the Movement Against Oppression and became a follower of Rodney. Like several of us, he was victimized and violently brutalized. He fought the PNC dictatorship the way few others did. He was jailed for his political activism for simply engaging in his rights of freedom. Like other freedom fighters, he was targeted and hounded down by the police and House of Israel thugs.
Apata, like other revolutionaries, was a hero. He was most deserving of a national honour. But unfortunately, the PPP did not see it fit to honour the unsung heroes of the freedom struggle, and the PNC will never honour those who fought Burnhamism, for self-explanatory reasons.
I thank Apata for his contributions to the nation. His family should be proud of his activism and all he did for his race and the nation at large.