King Philippe and Queen Mathilde: What kind of heart do they have inside them?
“It takes a million people to build up a good reputation, but it takes one stupid fool to destroy everything they have done,” sings the late Lucky Dube, South Africa’s reggae legend. This is the exact situation of the Royal Family of Belgium, because one of the ancestors, King Leopold II, was a greedy mad ruler and a murderer.
Some women have given birth to monsters to rule this world. Apart from Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Josef Stalin, Saddam Hussein etc, another evil man whose crimes against humanity shocked the world is King Leopold II. Born on 17 December 1865 in Brussels, the horrible crimes Leopold committed were swept under the carpet, but the hump in the carpet has exposed his heinous crimes to be seen by the whole world.
In 1880’s, when Europe was scrambling over the continent of Africa like ants stumbling upon sugar, Congo became the personal property of King Leopold II of Belgium. The 905,000 square miles (76 times larger than Belgium) of African rainforest held vast natural mineral resources, including in rubber, a commodity in high demand in late 19th century industrial Europe.
A victim of Leopold’s brutality: A mother who has lost his right arm breastfeeds her child while another child stands by her in shock.
King Leopold II of Belgium was responsible for the deaths and mutilation of 10 million Congolese Africans during the late 1800’s. On his throne in Brussels, Leopold gave orders to his commanding officer to: Cut off the heads of the men and hang them on the village palisades, also their sexual members, and to hang the women and the children on the palisade in the form of a cross.”
Leopold’s reign of terror wasn’t only the cutting off the heads and hands of the innocent helpless Congolese but flogging them to death, starving them into forced labour, holding children ransom and burning villages, as a punishment for those who failed to meet the rubber quotas set by the Belgian officers.
The disturbing part of this story is after the death of Leopold II, his successors (The Belgian Royal Family) never took his crimes into account. Instead, he was hailed as a hero, naming of streets after him and building of his statue. That’s where the Royal Family went wrong because the dead can’t be mocked. There are many restless souls haunting people in their homes. There are houses people can’t stay inside, all because of the horrible circumstances those people were murdered.
The lunatic Leopold II hailed a hero after his horrible crimes in Africa.
This terrible mistake has cast a gloomy shadow on Belgium’s Royal Family, portraying them as evil people in the society today, despite their national duties, charitable service and their selfless help for the poor and the sick. Yes, sometimes you can do good things in the society, but when the evil seed you’ve sown grows, it covers up all the good work you’ve done. The Royal Family may think they are the most adorable family in the world, yet they have millions, not thousands of enemies across the world for supporting crime.
Slavery was abolished in America in 1865, the Berlin wall came tumbling down in 1989, while Apartheid bowed to democracy in 1994, yet the Leopold’s statue which is not only degrading Africans but also the Belgium’s Royal Family is still standing on its feet. There is time for everything. A time of sadness, a time of happiness, a time to sow, a time to reap, a time of birth, a time to die. It’s now time for Leopold’s statue to come down if the Royal Family really respect themselves.