Afua Hirsch, the British writer, film producer and broadcaster, has expressed concern at the media narrative surrounding the death of Queen Elizabeth II in the UK, particularly that of the BBC, which highlights how African nations gained independence under her rule.
Speaking on The Big Bulletin last Wednesday, she said, “And you know one of the things that bothered me about the conversation about the passing of the Queen in the UK is the media narrative in Britain, especially pioneered by the BBC which talks about how under Queen Elizabeth’s rule African nations were given independence.”
“No one was given independence,” she said. “People had to fight for it. Ghanaians had to die for it and in some cases went to prison for it. And it was fought for and won.”
Hirsch, who has extensive knowledge of the relationship between Africa and Britain said the current Commonwealth of Nations was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, which modernised the community and established member states as free and equal.
“And Britain at the time, Ghana being the leading light on the African continent pushing for independence, Britain took a very strategic view that it was better to transition to something that sounded more equal that allowed it to preserve it control and influence,” she said.
Following the death of the longest reigning monarch in British history, Hirsch claimed that the Commonwealth of Nations had unfairly favoured Britain over its former colonies.
“To be honest with you, it’s not a club of equals,” she said. “The British Commonwealth, the British Monarch sit at the head of it. Why is it not the Ghanaian Commonwealth or the Indian Commonwealth. The reality is Britain has ultimate power in the Commonwealth because it is the direct descendant of the British Empire.”