The news broke out yersterday. Sindika Dokolo died in Dubai while scuba diving in the ocean of one of their many private beaches. The art collector, born to a Congolese -ex-Zaire- millionaire father and a White Danish mother, was married to notorious Russian thief, Isabel Dos Santos, daughter of disgraced former Sao-Tomean/Angolan president Eduardo Dos Santos, who reigned over Angola for almost four decades. Since the beginning of 2020, Isabel Dos Santos and her husband have been investigated for money laundering, theft and larceny, accused by the new Angolan government to have stolen money away from the Angolan people. (It is my duty to remind you that 1/3 of Angolans today live under the poverty line, when the Nation is extremely wealthy in terms of natural resources). Isabel has since denied the accusations falsely claiming that she had simply worked harder than anybody else to make it. According to her, the construction of supermarkets and other financial investments made her the woman she is. While Angolans suffer with chronic poverty, she managed to build a 2 billion dollar fortune.
In reality, Isabel Dos Santos and her husband Sindika Dokolo were the product of colonial history, privilege and constant anti-Blackness. The quest for elitism in itself is an anti-Black act. Indeed, as a Black or mixed person evolving in these spheres, those in charge of power do not encourage you to do the best you can but to deny a side you consider lower than others. Elitism is the desire to crush others, to spoil someone’s dreams for you to make it. Elitism is the transmission of assertion of one’s illegal achievements gained through abuse of power.
Isabel and Sindika have similar backgrounds. Dokolo has a white Danish mother while Isabel’s Russian. Their two black fathers were already affected by the effects of colonialism, elitism and never had the desire to give back to their communities. If wealthy white men know how to preserve their heritage by marrying their own women, corrupt African presidents would rather submit and share their experiences with Europeans they deem superior. These marriages/unions were mostly never celebrated out of love but out of a desire for self-validation to the eyes of the dominant. In other words, these Black men wanted to be validated through White people’s approval.
If many black media try to manipulate the audience in elevating Isabel Dos Santos as an example for black progress in the Western world, most of them remain silent when it comes to the origins of this fortune, the lack of balance in Angola and the tactics used by the Dos Santos system to dominate others. Isabel should not be celebrated in any way. She is the enemy from within, born out of colonial perpetuation, raised in Europe and formed to join the whitest part of elitism.
Sindika and Isabel are not African when it comes to the cultural level. If Sindika was born in the Congo, Isabel saw the light in Russia. Later on, they were sent to be raised in the best schools and institutions in Europe and were shaped to become even whiter than white people themselves. They were the products of Portuguese and Belgian colonialism. At the time, the mixed-race children were both despised and used as weapons to turn against the Black populations. Due to centuries of slavery, the Portuguese have left a large trauma regarding racial elevation in the spirits of the native Africans they colonised. The lighter, the more privileged as closer to whiteness. Both Isabel and Sindika knew that. They were never formed from the interior of Africa, for Africans, but rather sent away to become “others”, assert their domination, keep the power and replace the heads in the country their fathers came from. Though mixed-race, the two of them were truly anti-Black in essence.
Actually, the couple loved to play both sides. They knew how their double identities would give them a pass. Sindika could hide behind false campaigns aimed at manipulating the people, asking for African pieces to be sent back to the motherland or campaigning for the departure of former president Joseph Kabila. Even if they were never raised in Africa, they knew how colorism was deeply imprinted in the brains of the Natives. Their mixed heritage would thus give them the natural ability to dominate them. Colonialism not only enslaved the Black individual mentally, it made him passive. Instead of looking inside of their structures to find the solution, they were encouraged to turn to the outside, prepared to welcome their saviors. Isabel Dos Santos knew she never had any proximity to Africa nor African culture, and she never cared. She and her husband had to be the messiahs, aware of their powerful factors -light skin, educated and wealthy. All these elements reunited influence the thoughts of many Congolese and Angolans who do not want to believe the criminal charges against them. How could one such beautiful couple -understand mixed couple- steal so much money from us? Beauty can therefore not equal crime. Colonialism 2.0.
The Dokolo-Dos Santos’ assumed the position of White masters in Africa, and sought to be regarded as privileged educated Blacks among the Europeans of their elite. Yet, they were not bright enough. As the accusations began to surface, the White elite they loved so much turned against them. A wealthy White elitist man fears authenticity, not a poor replica of themselves. A wealthy elitist individual appreciates the company of an authentic Black man who preserves his culture and heritage. The White elite knew about the schemes, and how the couple tried to fit in, acting more Europeans than the Europeans themselves. They knew about the corruption, being corrupted themselves. The racist White establishment would never have any respect for those who imitate them, especially people of color. Their fortune was never acquired out of hard work but out of abuse, colonialism, despotism, lies and political manipulation.
The anti-Blackness of the couple began within their indifference towards Africa. Both Dokolo and Dos Santos saw the continent through the prism of capitalism. They are colored Europeans in the mind who envision Africa as a machine which needs to be exploited to their benefits and to their White European allies. They would not promote Africa through the culture -or use the culture to assert their White codes, see Dokolo’s art collection-, through music, fair politics or others. Their plan is not to turn their foreign knowledge into the continent, but to use it so as to export the wealth of the continent outside. In this concept, both of them had been used by White corporations who would later let them down.
Yet, the anti-Blackness goes beyond the borders of Africa. In reality, it affects the diaspora as well. As we mentioned it earlier in a previous post, it is claimed that Isabel was responsible for the traumatic eviction of Cape Verdean residents in the Lisbon district of Bairro Santo Filomena. She simply bought the space, the land and many African immigrants had no other choice but to see their houses be demolished before their eyes. As I wrote in this article about the gentrification of Lisbon, the African immigrants are the first victims of these social changes.
Their common disdain for Africa was openly showcased on the Instagram. The money stolen from the people in both Congo and Angola was never spent on activities specific to the life of the continent. They would rather give more attention to jewelry companies in Switzerland, bought a yacht and would invest in British, French, Portuguese and the Emirati societies. Their goal was to exploit Africa to be a part of the European elite and assert the new codes among them. Angola had many sectors which needed to be invested in just like the Congo. Actually, in the double game they played, Dokolo and his wife also pretended to be pro-Black and Africa as Dokolo never hid his true desire to build a new political union between the Congo and Angola in order to rival with the South African superpower. That too was inner neocolonialism. If created, that network would have allowed the Angolan political parties to exploit the resources of the Congo. Worst, both governments could have mutually exploited one another, furthering poverty and social disparity. In one way or another, Dokolo was never for the people but an agent of the elite which formed him.
Their aspirations in investing in foreign lands reinforced the disdain both their Black parents transmitted into them when it comes to the little consideration they have for Africa. Eduardo Dos Santos, just like any other African dictator, hates his people and Black people. Born to parents from Sao Tome, he taught his children the art of dissimulation and deceit. He passed for Angolan and used tyranny to attack his opponents violently. On the contrary, other non-Black African despots such as Muammar Kadhafi or Saddam Hussein used brutality and rage but were known to heavily invest in their country and populations. In both Iraq and Libya, chaos did not reign until after the two Nations were invaded by American forces which destabilized the area. Why? Because the Arab/North African leaders had one element Sub-saharan Africans are deprived of: self-love, cultural preservation and honor of their kind. (kind of)
If the white companies allowed them to join the circus, the couple forgot how they just needed a face to dissimulate behind in case of disclosure of the illegal activities. The establishment was the colonial agent hiding behind the mixed race entity, the face of proximity to attack the Black natives. In a day and age where multiculturalism has never been so good, Dos Santos/Dokolo were perceived as icons.
Yet, the establishment will forever be the establishment. And it doesn’t like ugly. It creates and manipulates agents but those are not their friends. The CIA helped Mobutu Sese Seko replace Patrice Lumumba right away, and the old man reigned for over 32 years before being ousted like a stranger. As popular anger went higher, Mobutu was looking for a place to stay, wishing to avoid a lynching. Yet, none of his friends in the establishment showed up to help him. Nobody, not even the Bush family dared to step up for him. He was disgraced and was treated like a dog by the same people who placed him three decades earlier. The establishment has no respect for people of color who mimick them. An individual with no self-respect deserves to be despised.
The wealth and the beauty got into the Dos Santos-Dokolo’s heads. They even forgot they were colored. As the accusations became more and more problematic, the Portuguese institutions were the first to freeze their assets. The British and others did the same. Just like Mobutu, nobody wanted to grant her citizenship or even a place to stay. Isabel had no choice but to espace in Dubai where she lives.
They were raised “elite” and in their disgrace they became black. Again. Even in death, Sindika reminds us that the real victims are still dying in the streets of Kinshasa, where millions of helpless orphan kids roam the lands. How many ten year old little girls prostitute themselves to eat in the morning? How many young Angolan lives were crushed by the constant exploitation of these two and their machine? When does Black Lives Matter for those who really need support and help?
All Rights Reserved