by Alieu Darboe
Nature of Struggle: pro-democracy movement
…they say the elephant does not exist
In the song, the people—the protesters—led by Sekou Toure are the elephants and the oppressors and the colonialists can’t beat down their spirits. This form of resistance, chanting, is not uncommon in West Africa, a place rich in oral traditions. African oral traditions praise courage and independence. Sekou Toure, introducing his running mate Sayfoulaye Diallo, told the people of Guinea about a particular chief who abandoned his chieftaincy and the power that comes with that, to stand up for freedom. In that regard, he asked Guineans to “choose between servitude and a free sky, your chain and the horizon…”. Such powerful oratory and traditional cultural invocations appealed to and connected the movement with the grassroots.