Decolonial Papers

Theme: The Knowledge, Spiritual and Struggle Heritage for Re-imagining Innovative Africa

Paper Category: Africa Knowledge Heritage

Suggested Topics:

  • Including Knowledge Heritage in the education Curriculum,
  • Pan-African Education systems;
  • The knowledge Heritage for governance systems and institution building.

Abstract:

The attention that Afrika centred education has been receiving from certain sectors of society is well deserved, but is it reaching the audience that so desperately requires it?

This is one of the major questions this paper will attempt to investigate. By looking at the development trajectory of Indigenous Knowledge Systems analysis and the pros and cons of the African Renaissance projects the paper will offer conceivable solutions towards effective implementation of a pan-Afrikan education curriculum.

Most avid readers are familiar with Afrika’s civilizational achievements, but it is very difficult to find the works of scholars who may have the required formula for restoring that kind of heritage. While we cannot relive the past, it is clear that the principle of Sankofa is gradually making its comeback via Afrikan youths zealous determination to decolonize the curriculum.

Today there is ample evidence that the various challenges that Afrika faces have reached another crises point. The first series of crises points were obviously the advent of the slave trade, then the Scramble for Afrika and its resources and the whole colonial enterprise. This paper will focus on the brutal and systemic erasure of Indigenous knowledge systems.

Using a mixture of methodologies mostly grounded on the organic intellectual works by the likes of Walter Rodney, Amilcar Cabral, Nokuzola Mdende*, Wangai Mathai*, Ra Un Nefer Amen and Baba Buntu, I will illustrate that Afrikans have never totally lost that original Divine spark.  By highlighting the works of the personalities mentioned above, the paper will realign the ancient divine laws of the Medu Neter, in particular the principles known as Ma’at, Heru Khuti and Amen Ra to the development of the modern-day Black Radical Tradition. We shall conclude with an overview of one of the extant institutions that is carrying out the arduous work of Afrikan restoration, the Afrikology Institute now based in Kwa-Zulu. The Afrikan world is getting ready to fully accept and grasp the varied lessons encapsulated by the Institute of Afrikology.

Keywords: civilizational achievements; Black Radical Tradition; Afrikology; Divine Laws, Sankofa, Education

Introduction:

Ubukhulu basebantwini

Lizobakhona ilanga elihle

Elifanele thina thina esizalwa emzini omkhulu

Thina esiyakuthi silibabaza

Sibe sizungezwe ngabayakulamukela

Bona sebayakulenza elabo nabo

Baze bajabule nathi baze bajabulise bonke abantu.”

Translation:

Humanity, the relay baton of greatness

 For that day of immense beauty shall descend on us

You and me, offspring of the great house

We will break out in praises of wonder

With a response from circles of worshippers

As they lift the great relay baton of humanity

We will join them in joy, the people shouting in excitement.”

 

In The Beginning There Are Was Afar-Rica*

(The Latin meaning of the word Afar-Rica is The Riches of Afar, depicting the natural, mineral and cultural wealth of the Afar and other peoples of Ethiopia)

It should be reiterated that slavery as a mode of production was not present in any African society, although some slaves were to be found where the decomposition of communal equality had gone furthest. This is an outstanding feature illustrating the autonomy of the African path within the broader framework of universal advance. One of the paradoxes in studying this early period of African history is that it cannot be fully comprehended without first deepening our knowledge of the world at large, and yet the true picture of the complexities of the development of man and society can only be drawn after intense study of the long neglected African continent.” – (Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.)

 

There is nothing as powerful as the ability to Self-Define, to have a voice affirming ones individual or community’s agency, purpose and shared vision. A people whose destiny and existence is defined from without suffers the various social ills that come with a paralyzing sense of double-consciousness as eloquently described by Afrikan American theorist W.E.B. Du Bois in his great work The Souls of Black Folks. I first read this book while I was studying towards a Marketing Management diploma, at the Durban University of Technology, which was then called Natal Technikon. The book which I found in the library tormented me mentally and it even led me to question the purpose of what I was studying and the career I was likely to pursue once I had qualified. Whose message and whose agenda would I be fulfilling if I pursue a career in Marketing and most of all what kind of service would I be rendering to Afrika, my Mother/Fatherland?

Needless to say I struck I deeper nail in the coffin of my business centred studies by following up my readings with Ayi Kwei Armah’s works, 2000 Seasons, The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born, The Healers and most crucially, Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s Decolonization of the Mind. When I became a Rastafarian, I was given a photocopy of a tome called Black Out Through White Wash by one of the well-read elders in Movement, now that really did it.

Most of this paper deals with a subject that encapsulates this year’s theme of Africa’s Knowledge Heritage as part of one continuity. The subject of my paper is principally, Afrikology.  Here is a rather simplistic definition of Afrikology:

Afrikology is the study of Afrika in its totality (people, resources, crisis, economics, cultures, history and solutions) which is based on multi-disciplinary and integrated methodology.

And its Mission is to provide an Afrikan centred education system that incorporates practical approaches to Indigenous Knowledge Systems. While investing a lot of time and resourcefulness to the teaching of Afrikan and Afrikan Diasporic history, there is also a focus on Health, Africentric farming and the unpacking of the philosophy of UbuNtu.

The institutes main target audience are all people of Afrikan descent, but a special focus is placed on Youth, Women, educators, emerging farmers and researchers. The objective is to encourage studies, research and fact finding missions so as to ensure that Afrika centred research yields results that can produce practical solutions to contemporary problems faced by Afrikans.  Education in Afrika should be a communal experience, yet since our intrinsically

 

collectively secure environment was disrupted fundamentally by invaders, Afrikology strives to recreate environments and an atmosphere of Circular Learning at every lecture and seminar. There is also a keen focus on Leadership training among Afrikology’s programs and activities. This is why this paper places Afrikology at the pinnacle of the decoloniality and Afrikan-* Renaissance project.

Let us begin with this brief background of some of the seminal texts that became the foundation to my psychological revolution in order to place the following points into perspective and proper context.

The one figure that looms larger than life in all pan-Afrikan and Afrika centred pursuits must be the honourable Marcus Mosiah Garvey. So the first book to mention must be The Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey, edited by Bob Blaisdell, published in 2004 by Dover Thrift Editions. Garvey can be quoted infinitely as he remains one of the greatest orators whose passion for the liberation and wellbeing of Black people remains unparalleled. An example of his dedication can be seen from a title of one of his speeches, delivered August 4, 1922 : “The Negro Will Stop at Nothing Short of Redemption of the Motherland and Establishment of an African Empire.”

In this speech, Garvey states that “We have reached the time when every minute, every second must count for something done, something achieved in the cause of Africa. We need the freedom of Africa now; therefore, we desire the kind of leadership that will give it to us as quickly as possible.”  ( The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey, or Africa for Africans, Volume 1).

The fact that this was said so long ago illustrates that Africa’s independence was achieved by men and women who were standing on the shoulders of Giants. But we cannot commend the works of Garvey without mentioning the greatest force in his life, and that is the women in his life. Amy Jacque Garvey is the woman that we owe all these great works to, without her and her guild of dedicated women, we would not have intact, the speeches and other deeds of the great man.

This clearly shows us that the struggle to liberate ourselves can never be the sole objective of men. The leadership that Garvey envisioned for the liberation of Afrika necessarily includes the likes of Coretta Scott-King, Betty Shabaz, Angela Davis, Toni Morrison, Nnedi Okorafor; Audre Lorde, Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, Dr Nkosazana Zuma, Yaa Ashantewaa-Archer Ngidi and countless women who have contributed immensely to in the leadership of global Afrikan people.

In Marcus Garvey’s words:

Religiously, we are still slaves to the doctrine on an alien race. It is true that a large number of us here tonight from America, the West Indies, Canada, South and Central America are Christians, whilst others are Mohammedans, but for the Christians, have we ever stopped to question the source of our religion … To free ourselves we must first free ourselves mentally, spiritually and politically.” (Marcus Garvey, The Negro World, August 5, 1922, The Annual International Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World)

There is no way that we can transform our lives as Afrikans unless we can ask ourselves really tough questions regarding the roots of our current state. Race leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Dr John Henrick Clarke and many trailblazers in our rich history, grew up as average Christians yet experience and deep introspection led them to conclude that the tools of our oppressors were not adequate to liberate us from mental chains.

The fact that Garvey delivered the above speech as long as 7 decades ago and it still remains relevant today speaks to the depth of the crisis.

Afrikan people remain slaves to more than just one form of alien invasion, we have become a consumerist society that competes among ourselves about who possesses more Western goods/bads and trinkets.

We are clearly fighting over the crumbs that Western un-civilization throws our way. Some of these crumbs include religions, corporate institutional knowledge, systems of governance and energy solutions.

It would be wise to reengage with what practical Afrocentric leaders such as Marcus Garvey, Amilcar Cabral and Thomas Sankara have dedicated their short but hugely influential lives to. The revaluing of Afrika Centred paradigms. For it is true what Marcus Garvey said “We must emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, for none but ourselves can free our minds.”

The decolonization program cannot take place in a policy vacuum. Without the adequate input from Black Business, Black governments and the entire population buying into these ideas, there will be no freedom from foreign domination.

There is no decolonisation without a decolonised curriculum:

When South Africa (RSA) finally earned its independence from the Apartheid re

The Fees Must Fall and Rhodes Must Fall movement led by South African youth who are mostly struggling with access to any form of tertiary education has set the tone for another decolonialization project. Decoloniality takes on many forms, but there is no greater platform for this engagement than the Education sector.

At the heart of the student’s call is the Decolonisation of the South African educational system.  Although the media focusses on the surface of the phenomenon, as the protest action spread at most tertiary institutions since around 2014/15, it is evident that it is merely an intensification of the 1976 student movement.

The reality is that the work to decolonise South Africa’s education system was already evident during the times of Steve Biko, Onkgopotse Tiro and their colleagues at the South African Students Organisation in the late 60s and early 70s. Every learning institution in the Afrikan continent is either in dire financial, administrative/bureaucratic or curricula straits.

The crisis in Afrikan education is neither an accident nor due solely to maladministration by Afrikans themselves, although one cannot deny culpability of some reactionary and greedy leaders. The educational crisis is directly linked to the question of power and the colonial enterprise. As African Nationalist J.E. Casely-Hayford as quoted in Walter Rodney’s seminal work How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, wrote, “Before even the British came into relations with our people, we were a developed people, having our own institutions, having our own ideas of government.”

These words sum-up the whole thesis of Guyanese activist (leader of the Working People’s Alliance) and scholar Walter Rodney who was not only an organic intellectual before the term was ever popular he was an intellectual in the truly Afrocentric sense. This year is the 40th anniversary of the publication of this very important book, and what reviewers of the 1982 revised edition said remains important to us today.

“How Europe Underdeveloped Africa is an excellent introduction study for the student who wishes to better understand the dynamics of Africa’s contemporary relations with the West. The book heightens readers’ awareness of internal dimensions of colonialism which more standard treatments omit.”

In this great work Rodney explains how the decisiveness of the short period of colonialism and its negative consequences spring from the fact that Africa lost much of its power. We are shown how power is the ultimate determinant in human society. Power implies the ability to defends one’s interests and if necessary to impose ones will.

Power also determines the extent to which a people are able to survive as a physical and cultural entity. “When one society finds itself forced to relinquish power entirely to another society, that in itself is a form of underdevelopment.” (Rodney, 1982)

If Afrika Centred education is not made a priority in all Afrikan countries development plans, we risk the tragic fate of losing much more power than we have already lost through the debilitating stages of colonisation. Afrikology utilizes every tool in the extensive pan-Afrikanist and Black Consciousness arsenal to study, reflect and find solutions to problems facing our people globally.

There is more wisdom among us than all Western Universities put together:

“If Diop and his followers – a group we might call the ‘Egyptianists’ – are right, then ancient Egypt deserves a more central place than it currently has in the study of ancient thought: and if they are right then it should be studied intensely in Africa and Europe and America and Australia, wherever there is an interest in the ancient world. If European or American and Australian intellectuals are too blinkered or too deeply chauvinistic to accept this, then maybe these matters will only be studied in Africa. But that would be a matter for regret.” – (In My Father’s House: Africa in The Philosophy of Culture, Kwame Anthony Appiah)

Kwasi Wiredu’s rejection of ethnophilosophy reflects his opposition to the claim that for philosophy to be acceptably African, its subject matter or its claims or its methods. Or all three, must differ from those of philosophy in the cultures that colonized Africa —Others have often assumed, where they have not asserted, that the distinctive features of philosophy in Africa will be African – and not Kikuyu or, say, Yoruba – reflecting a continental (or racial ) metaphysical community.”  (Appiah, 1992)

As a believer in the universality of reason, Wiredu holds the relevance of his being Afrikan to his philosophy to be both, in one sense, more global and, in another, more local; more local in that, as his title implies, he speaks as a Ghanaian for an Afrikan culture, more global in that he asks what it is that the particularity of his Ghanaian experience can offer to the philosophical community outside Afrika.

This very question upsets the essentialist and romantically Africentric stance that has been adopted by so many scholars. But then it also helps Afrika to define itself clearer without rejecting whatever similarities we may share with the rest of the world.

To acknowledge our commonalities does not contribute to us becoming lost the dangerous waters of globalisation and multiculturalism where distinctive identities and nationalities are brought into a melting pot that may or may not serve everyone’s needs. In-fact multiculturalism lends a formerly colonized or conquered people to the hegemonic and monopolistic clutches of predatory or parasitic systems such as market capitalism or white supremacy.

But for Wiredu there are no African truths, only truths, some of them about Africa. For Wiredu, African philosophy has one central project and that is to measure ‘the degree to which rational methods have penetrated through habits.’  He adds that, “the quest for development …should be viewed as a continuing world-historical process in which all peoples, Western and non-Western alike, are engaged.”

Somehow I find myself rejecting Wiredu’s last point, on the basis that it was not Afrikans who sought to conquer the world and subdue other races* and distort their cultures, histories and exploit their lands for economic and other reasons. Therefore, it is not Europeans who have sought to make the world a better place to live in.

They have used their science, industrialization and even religious zeal to suppress and destroy both the livelihood and well-being of all nations. I am specifically talking about white male domination vs natural progression of other nations.  So somehow, while Wiredu makes a strong point that truth is universal, there is such a thing as the Black truth.

Like Bob Marley sings in his Exodus song “We the generation who trod through great tribulations / We know where we’re going and we know where we’re from …” ,

Afrika is the only place where a quest for a true humanity can truly be re-established, and even though we have been exploited for everything from our bodies, lands, productions and the ongoing brain-drain caused by socio-political instability, our collective Spirit assures us that we shall be restored to our former balance ( Ma’at).

We need a new economics based on Ubuntu/Ma’at principles and the Mdw Ntr:

When dealing with Afrikan regeneration, we must act from multidimensional points of view, and Afrikan wisdom has provided various models by which this can be achieved. The Sankofa principle is apt.  In order to restore our Spiritual, Cultural and Institutional identity as Ama-Afrika, we must use the Sankofa principle which looks back, presently and futuristically at Afrikan challenges and seeks distinctively Afrikacentric solutions.

The ancient Kemetic writing system called Medu Neter also contains coded wisdom that we still can use as historical and cosmic guidelines to navigate through difficult socio-political terrain. Here is what Afrocentric author and Chairperson of the Institute of Afrikology says:

The process of economic re-awakening and economic recovery has to be one of a historical deconstruction, consciousness raising and restatement not in the way the post-modernists and post-structuralist’s have argued, but by Africans tracing the origins and achievements of their civilizations with a view to developing new economic epistemologies of knowledge production based on African lived experiences in their global implications. The process must delve into African economic, historical and cultural experiences throughout African history.” –

(https://jbhengu.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/deimperialisation-of-the-colonial-economy)

The anthill and the kagya plant need not thank each other.” (page 168, The Proverb in the Context of Akan Rhetoric; A Theory of Proverb Praxis, by Kwesi Yankah, 1989): As it is in the Akan proverb forms explored in Kwesi Yanka’s work, all Afrikan proverbs are used in abbreviated form, a sort of code that is usually elaborated as a rhetorical ploy.

This is evident in Yoruba proverbs that are meant as meta-proverbs which acknowledge and even acknowledges lexical elision, here is an example from the Yoruba: “It is half a word that we speak to a well-bred person; when it gets inside, it becomes whole.” This kind of technique is used to ensure that there is adequate audience participation and collaboration in the promotion of wisdom.

This is just further evidence of the dynamic and cyclic nature of Afrikan knowledge development. We are a people that does not relegate knowledge production to specified locations and institutions. Yet this does not imply that there are no constructive systems and naturally progressive hierarchies. Elders frequently intersperse their speech with proverbs in order to stimulate the curiosity of the young and put them to the test. This is another example of pan-Afrikan life-long learning.

Afrikology as The Basis of All Future African Scholarship and Governance:

I represent the Institute of Afrikology and we are guided by the following words by one of the founding scholars of Afrikology, Dr Dani Nabudere; “African scholars must pursue knowledge production that can renovate African culture, defend the African people’s dignity and civilizational achievements and contribute afresh to a new global agenda that can push us out of the crisis of modernity as promoted by the European Enlightenment.”

In keeping with these words of wisdom, the Institute of Afrikology continues on its mission to: “Provide an Afrikan Centred system of education, incorporating a practical approach to Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Afrikan Renaissance, Health, Organic Farming processes and inculcating the philosophy of Ubuntu.”

The knowledge Heritage for governance systems and institution building.

The concept of governance and that of institution building has largely been imagined from a Eurocentric point of view. Even some elite Afrikans who have been trained in European and Eurocentric schools have not invested too much of their time in articulating what a uniquely pan-Afrikanist university institution or a government would be conceptualised and implemented.

In post-Independence Afrika, we have had very few scholars who have invested enough energy in designing appropriate alternatives to what may be called Afrocentric government systems. The few that have done so have leaned rather too heavily on the Communist or Socialist ideological framework. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is because governance has a lot to do with management and oversight of dynamic socio-economic forces that have a lot to do with transitioning from colonialism to various approaches to democracy.

One of the words that looms large among scholars of post-Independence Afrika is communalism. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines it as: “social organization on a communal basis and as loyalty to a socio-political grouping based on religious or ethnic affiliation.” Before we find innovative ways of re-imaging Afrikan leadership from an Afrikological perspective, let us take a quick look at what Walter Rodney said about communalism and then analyse whether such a term has any merit and historical basis on ‘traditional’ Afrika.

Under communalism, each household met its own needs by making its own clothes, pots, mats, and such. That was true of every continent. However, economic expansion from there on was associated with specialization and localization of industry – people’s needs being met by exchange. This trend was displayed in the principal African manufactures, and notably in the cloth industry.”

The concept of communalism was also used by Julius Nyerere the late president of Tanzania as part of his famous Ujamma project.  Nyerere’s brand of communalism was founded on his reimagining of the revolutionary Scientific Socialism enterprise wherein Indigenous forms of governance would be structured around a nationalist and communist model.

“While the board is accountable for oversight of the governance process, management is responsible for implementing the policies and procedures through which governance occurs within the organization. The board is responsible for understanding—and for advising management on—the processes through which governance occurs within the organization, and is accountable for the results of those processes.

Management is responsible for the governance processes and their workings, and for their results. A governance operating model may assist the board and management in fulfilling their governance roles. Such a model is likely to enable the board and the executive

The website www.freedictionary.com offers the following detailed definition of communalism:

  1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a system or theory of government in which the state is seen as a loose federation of self-governing communities
  2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) an electoral system in which ethnic groups vote separately for their own representatives
  3. (Sociology) loyalty to the interests of one’s own ethnic group rather than to society as a whole
  4. (Sociology) the practice or advocacy of communal living or ownership

The insistence by political leaders of newly independent Afrika on a distinctively Afrikan model of Socialism was based on observations that Afrika had a unique social structure and that it was not wise to cut and paste Eurocentric ideologies and hope to use them in Afrika. It was in this tradition that Nkrumah was to write in Consciencism that ‘the presuppositions and purposes of capitalism are contrary to those of African society. Capitalism would be a betrayal of the personality and conscience of Africa.’

Our former leaders had a shared a vision of diverse communalist societies united only by the ideology that aspired towards an egalitarian society.  The unanimous decision was that capitalism would be opposed in most Afrikan countries mainly due to its supposedly corrosive effects on any society. It was believed that capitalism led to the stratification of society and to degradation and fratricidal struggles.

If we aspire to create a new Afrika that enjoys all of the gifts that Creation has blessed this continent with, we will have to start everything again, renewing our conviction and faith in our own systems.

Conclusion

I have mentioned above that my revolutionary consciousness was hugely inspired by my reading of W.E.B Du Bois’s The Souls Of Black Folks. Before reading this book I was as a South African very aware of the racial stratification and the oppression going on in this country, but I had no vocabulary to articulate it.

Furthermore, the only examples I knew of Black life elsewhere were from American television programs and series such as Good Times, The Cosby Show etc. Although I had seen the Roots series, it appeared like some sort of exaggerated projection of the period of slavery. Du Bois work introduced me to the psychological effects of racism and how Afrikan people are globally supressed and subjected to this form of tyranny.

I conclude this paper with these remarks due to my increased awareness that without developing what Jean Paul Satre called Anti-Racist Racism, that is racial solidarity focussed on decisively ending the long nightmare of White Supremacy we will continue to be subjected to the limitations that come from a skewed racial hierarchy.

To get a clear picture of what we mean by race, it would be meet to revisit what these old scholars meant by the term Race.

Alexander Crummell and Du Bois believed that “a Race, i.e. a compact, homogenous population of one blood ancestry and lineage.” They added that “races have their individuality. That individuality is subject at all times to all the laws of race-life. That race-life, all over the globe, shows an invariable proclivity, and in every instance, to integration of blood and permanence of essence.”

W.E.B. Du Bois may have had endless and unresolved ideological battles with Marcus Garvey, but they both worked tirelessly for the redemption of Afrikans. When dealing with spiritual matters it is strange that both leaders initially spoke from a Judeo-Christian point of view, yet they disagreed on the approach. While Du Bois said “If this be true, the history of the world is the history, not of individuals, but of groups, not of nations, but of races.”

Yet Garvey also exposes some inconsistencies in the work of Du Bois, which clearly shows us that the crises and lack of solidarity among Black leaders is something long-established. In 1923 Garvey wrote the following words from The Tombs Prison, New York City:

Du Bois represents a group that hates the Negro blood in its veins, and has been working subtly to build up a caste aristocracy…

He begins by stating the sole purpose of his hugely popular UNIA movement: “The policy of the Universal Negro Improvement Association is so clean-cut, and my personal views are so well known, that no one, for even one moment, could reasonably accuse us of having any other desire than that of working for a united Negro race. The program of the UNIA is that of drawing together, into one universal whole, all the Negro peoples of the world, with prejudice towards none.”

Without delving into what the enmity between these two great leaders was based on, it is clear that there would have been more achieved if they had found ways to work in solidarity. But the world that white monopoly capital has created thrives on the concept of divide and rule. The very same system that caused Malcolm X to operate differently from Martin Luther King is the same system that caused the legacies of Nelson Mandela to work parallel to the works of Pan-Afrikanists such as Robert Sobukwe and Black Consciousness activists such as Steve Biko. The ideological divisions naturally trickle down to the followers of these leaders.

Today we can see that South Africa is a country not only divided along racial lines, despite the constitutional drives for Social Cohesion; but we are also divided as Black people along class and border-lines. The work of the Afrikologist is to endow Afrikans from all ideological backgrounds with enough knowledge of themselves that the differences take a backseat.

This kind of work requires new and innovative forms of leadership, and Afrikology does not shy away from sourcing knowledge from diverse schools of thought, as it is a multidisciplinary effort towards total liberation of all Afrikans.

In a book titled Multipliers – How The Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown offer some great advice on what kind of organisational leadership is necessary for we as a people to succeed in the midst of such challenging odds. The point is that just like whole countries, organisations require ongoing learning, there is no finality or such a thing as a stupid question in the realm of true and liberating education. The authors talk of Multipliers and Diminishers:

“Diminisher give answers. Good leaders ask questions. Multipliers ask the really hard questions. They ask the questions that challenge people not only to think but rethink. They ask questions so immense that people cannot answer them based on their current knowledge or where they currently stand. To answer these questions, the organisation must LEARN.

Enabled by these questions, a vacuum is created. It is a vacuum between what people know and what they need to know to answer the question. It is also a vacuum between what they currently do. This vacuum creates a deep tension in the organisation and raises a need to reduce that tension.”

Finally, as Afrikan people faced with an increasingly complex world where our cultural autonomy and economic wellbeing is always compromised from within and from without, the onus is on ourselves, our leaders at every level of society to place Learning at the frontlines of all our efforts. We may be down but we are definitely not out. As a people who have civilized the world by giving it all the necessary institutions including those that sustain humanities Spiritual development, we have come too far. It bodes us to re-ignite those ancient flames of humane achievement and ingenuity.

We do not have to look far for innovative ideas, the works of scholars such as Cheick Anta Diop; Hortence Spillers; Octavia E. Butler, Credo Mutwa; Amilcar Cabral; Thomas Sankara; Wangui Maathai and countless others confirms that we do not lack in imagination, we simply have to make a collective effort to unite for specific goals or purposes.

This paper would not be completed without the Thought Leadership of the Women who inspired us. Special mention must be made of the Director of the Institute of Afrikology, Yaa Ashantewaa-Archer Ngidi whose focused and dedicated pursuit of rebuilding the Institution of Afrikology cannot be expressed in words but with all expressions of gratitude.

Siyabonga!

Menzi Maseko ©

 

Hip Hop Ethics, Epics and Politics

ATLiens Turns 20: OutKast’s Past-Future Visions of the Hip Hop South

My Book: Rock ‘n Rule –

Rock ‘n Rule – The Essays, Stories and Poetry of Menzi Maseko will be out soon ( Last Quarter of 2016), comprising of articles, reflections and poems written between 2009 – 2015.

Menzi book cover

I have been writing essays touching on every subject from jazz, Reggae, Hip Hop, Electronica and Afrikan music; Socio-Economic issues and Spiritual matters that touch Afrikan people for a long time. The collection is basically some of my selected works, observations and rants, some of which have appeared as articles on some publications and in my blogs.

I will be engaging on a Crowdfunding drive this month of September and through-out October in order to ensure that I can print as many copies as possible in order to make the book available and affordable to my people, the Black people to whom it is dedicated and whose lives it portrays.

The book must be available At no more than R150.00

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The Land We Love, Want and Need

The South African land restoration question is the most explosive and pivotal of all issues facing the country. The dispossession of natives from their homeland/motherland is at the center of the newly intensified struggle for Economic freedoms. While we all agree that there can be no social, commercial or spiritual cohesion unless the victims of Land dispossession are adequately compensated and restored to the soil that makes them whole, the How is the crucial and complicated part. The current government and other agents are apparently working at it, but seemingly not sufficiently.

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s Green Paper on Land Reform of 2011, in what was clearly an acknowledgement of policy failure since 1994, captures the urgency of resolving the land issue:and

“Forcible land removals are not a product of just any political choice and decision, or any administrative practice, process, procedure or institution. If there could be anything positive which came from apartheid, it is (a) the political courage and will to make hard choices and decisions; and (b) the bureaucratic commitment, passion and aggression in pursuit of those political choices and decisions. WE are in the mess we are in today because of these two sets of qualities – political courage and will to make hard choices and decisions, and bureaucratic commitment, passion and aggression in pursuit of those political choices and decisions. We need them now to pull the country out of the mess.”

In this debate hosted by the Institute of Afrikology with the Afrikology Student Society, we shall attempt to hear and learn from the Youth and Students of Kwa-Zulu Natal, exactly what is to be done, in their own words.

 

land debate1

South Afrika’sland reform programme has three components: land restitution to those dispossessed since 1913; redistribution of land to address highly skewed ownership patterns resulting from the Land Acts and also to encourage inclusive participation in the economy in general, and in agriculture in particular; and tenure reform to provide security of tenure to those disadvantaged in the past by discriminatory laws and practices. As already mentioned it is a complex matter and requires all our faculties, including the emotional intelligence to make hard decisions.

Essentially we want to know exactly how Landlessness affects the Youth who live in the shacks, ghettoes and urban sprawls that define South Afrika as one of the most unequal societies in the modern age.