Kemi Seba, born Stellio Giles Robert Capochichi, is a French activist, writer, and Pan-Africanist political leader of Benin origin. He is a founding member of Tribu Ka – a Parisian political movement promotin black identity.
Nominated 2017 “personality of the year”, Kemi Seba is widely known for protesting the CFA – a colonial-era currency that is still used in 14 African countries (eight in West Africa, six in Central Africa). He’s a leading voice in the growing movement calling for the CFA to be discarded.
On Aug. 19, 2017, in protest over “Francafrique” policy — France’s sustained political and economic influence over its former African colonies, the anti-CFA activist set fire to a movement by burning a 5000 CFA note in Senegal. It resulted in his arrest and was charged with destroying property belonging to the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), and followed by the decision of the Senegalese interior ministry to expel him for “posing serious threat to public order.”
Though the anti-CFA protest started off in Senegal, it apparently has roots in France and Benin. Even so, Seba’s call to action on August 19 widened the protest with activists “demanding the end of colonial-era currency”. It reignited the debate over common colonial currency (pegged to the euro and governed by treaties with France) and France’s colonial hold over francophone Africa beyond Dakar and moved the conversation to the center.
Seba’s position vis-à-vis the disposal of the relic of French colonialism is explicit: “Africa must break free from the yoke of French colonial hold”.