A Note on Zimbabwe Education

This note is partly lifted from a newspaper article written by Simon Bere ( The Financial Gazette – Zim – March 29 – April 4, 2018), titled ‘Transforming Zimbabwean Higher Education for better economic performance’.

“A closer analysis will reveal Zimbabwe’s current education system is the problem. The system is flawed both in content and structure as well as in the strategic, structural and operational dimensions. The current system is mass producing graduates for the sake of producing educated people. It is a tactical system operating on a protocol of recruiting as many students as one can accommodate …”

I shall revisit this article and in order to find some sustainable solutions for both Zimbabwe and the rest of the SADC region. The primary focus will be how to use the Indigenous Knowledge Systems at our disposal, including Afrikonomics, Afrikology and Ecological economic progress models to usher in a new and decolonized way of being for we the people.

How Afrika Can Develop Itself

Let’s Talk About Sex, soon

Far from being taboo in traditional Afrikan society, at least until the corrosive influence of Western/Eurocentric Christian norms; the subject of sex and sexuality has always permeated our songs, rites of passage and conversations. I am making this mental note just to say, as soon as I learn to write better than I currently do, and as soon as I collate my re-search – I shall write about the wondrous subject of Sex.

In the Flesh

Music, Magic and Social Transformation

music and revolution
musica and revolution

Can music really change the world? Yes, if we consider music to be more than just ideas translated into waves of sound and performances. There is something in music even for those who do not have the capacity to hear or listen. Technology is advancing towards ensuring that everyone can be able to at least FEEL or Perceive the art of music. It is important to understand that there are various levels of deafness. It can range anywhere from some hearing loss to complete deafness where the person cannot hear anything. It’s a complete spectrum and everyone is different*. 

Music is one of the most exciting and interesting sciences ever explored by humanity. While all of Nature can be said to sing or is musical, the amount of dedication and genius that humanity has invested in music is phenomenal. Many cultures are defined by their music and we have even incorporated every conceivable aspect of the Natural world into the music of our minds. Every sphere of life has its musicality.

“In 1978, Wadada Leo Smith wrote that this concept is predicated on creating and inventing musical ideas simultaneously, utilizing the fundamental laws of improvisation and composition. Within this system, all of the elements of the scored music are controlled through symbols designating duration, improvisation, and moving sounds of different velocities. These symbols are depicted on two types of staffs, sounds staffs divided into low, medium and high; and sound staffs of adjustable sound partials.” ( W.L. S. describing for his Spirit Catcher album)

The works of great musical artists appear to be receiving great reception in these days of information, data and communication overload. These days, anyone who happens to be online, be it on Facebook, Twitter or other websites, can get to know about Batsumi, John Coltrane, David Bowie, Nina Simone or Fela Kuti without leaving their place. While there is still much more space for the underground ‘digger’ of records and there has surely been a lot of music that has been produced that even the most capable collector and single search engine can contain, there remain many remarkable artists who do not get their fair share of recognition. This is partly due to the corporate sponsored, market driven media space. Most people who would benefit from or enjoy the sounds of Christian Scott, Saul Williams or even Mos Def ( Yasiin Bey) Sun Xa or Sibusile Xaba simply do not get to hear it on the mainstream media. The mass media is almost totally controlled by people who do not even care what is on the air, just as long as it is not subversive or too risque’ for their bottom-line. Music is a very powerful medium and it has always carried elements of revolutionary fervor within it. The sounds and lyrics of artists such as Bob Marley and the Wailers, Amiri Baraka, Stimela, Sakhile, Fela Kuti or Reflection Eternal have helped generations of people globally to stand up or their rights or given them strength to overcome various kinds of difficulties.

Neuronal messages will be sent to the auditory cortex, but not necessarily from the ears. In all, sound is made up of vibrations. When those vibrations are organized and given a pitch, they become music. The brain processes this sound in many different areas, but the main parts are: the sensory cortex, the nucleus accumbens, amygdala, and cerebellum, and the auditory cortex. Each of these parts plays a key role in how people experience music, deaf or hearing. These parts just adapt in the brain of a person who is deaf to interpret sound and music in a way other than through messages from the ears. Everyone can make the experience of music that much better for people who are deaf through support of interpreters like Amber Galloway Gallego.

The transformation of our consciousness towards more understanding and harmony can occur once we understand just how different we all are, we receive music and other messages in unique ways.

The Calling:Revolutionary Practice

This draft essay is part of my Notes for The House of Plenty*, a collection of interviews, articles, poems and other insights highlighting the confluences, interconnections and potential convergences of struggles and potentialities in the Southern African Developmental Community. While the primary focus is on the Creative and Cultural industries, as a matter of necessity we shall also deal with economics, politics and relationships.

The Essence of Revolution

Some of my best friends are revolutionaries. It is quite a daunting calling, some may say it is a necessity or even a res[responsibility. Revolutionary engagement is something that one enters into almost voluntarily and usually without expectation of any compensation, except of course for the realization of ones mission. When I was ‘rising’ as a young Rastafarian in the late nineties and early 2000’s, I would read a lot about Afrika’s various struggle or liberation heroes from the pre- and post-independence era. Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, Queen Ndzinga, Nana Yaa Ashantewaa/Muhumusa, Sol Plaatje, Marcus Garvey were among them. Yet I was fascinated by Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I … One of the key phrases that Haile Selassie I would frequently use in His speeches was “Collective Security”; I really wanted to understand fully what this term meant in practical ways. While studying towards my Marketing management diploma at the then Natal Technikon, now named Steve Biko campus at the Durban University of Technology, I would spend more time reading Ngugi Wa Thiong’o and other Afrikan writers in the library, but books on the Rasta God-King were very rare, even among the Rasta’s themselves. What was readily available was a journal called JAHUG …and this could be found among Rasta’s of various mansions and walks of life. Among the most scholarly and zealously revolutionary Rasta’s I came know in the township I was born in, was Ras Mxolisi, called Ras Judah or simply Judah; this was of course his proto-Israelite name as most Rasta’s were known by their ‘Tribe’ ( expand); his real name is Mxolisi Majola and he has since followed in his father’s calling and became initiated as a Healer or Inyanga. Judah had the books. I would spend countless hours at his home devouring all the esoteric and political material he had in his library. I was developing my own sense of being as a Spiritual being as well as a Socio-Political activist. Majola’s books made me feel as if I was waisting precious time at school. Yet unlike many other Rasta’s this man was a qualified Civil Engineer and instead of labellng the schooling system, Babylon brainwashing, he encouraged me to get my qualifications and contribute to the ‘Collective Struggle’ to free Afrika from its chains, among which ignorance was the main culprit. He insisted that we Need knowledge of self as much as we need the technological skills presented in those white owned institutions and we must know that as Haile Selassie I always said, we are the government of the future, we are the heads of state of tomorrow and Malcolm X taught us to prepare for that future today.

So Mxolisi Majola had everything from the Ethiopic Book of Henok/Enoch, the Egyptian Book of the Dead ( The Book of Coming Forth From Night Into Day); the coveted Power of the Psalms, the esoteric Keys of Solomon as well as numerous copies of the aforementioned JAHUG. Unlike many others, Judah was not stingy with his books or even the sharing of knowledge, for many nights we would share a steam chalice of Ganja herbs and delicious ital stews prepared by his wife and we would reason about Afrikan history, presence and future prospects, he would explain why he transitioned from being a political activist into a more spiritual existence without really losing sight of the revolutionary imperatives or pressing matters of the day. He taught me that while today is important, we must not be too attached to temporary solutions, but build the capacity of individuals who can one day contribute to a better society. We also spoke about Rastafari developments and lack thereof, about philosophy, magik and what is required to liberate Afrika or the whole Black world from colonial chains. The question of Revolution and Collective Security came up many times. What I got from the eloquent and patiently articulate rastafari elder was that , it was all a matter of contexts. What Rastafari or Haile Selassie I meant in the 1930’s, 40s and 50’s had a lot to do with securing a place for Ethiopia in the then League of Nations and ensuring that His nation was protected from the many aggressors or invaders. But what the term meant in the 60s and 70’s had a lot to do with a Pan-Afrikanist vision of a strong continental and global Afrikanist alliance or partnership to secure political, economic and cultural sovereignty for the newly or soon to be liberated countries. Suffice to say that Ras Mxolisi Judah Majola was/is a staunch Pan-Africanist and a member of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania. Since things have been far from ideal for the PAC since 1994, many members had gravitated towards AZAPO, BCP/M and even the ANC, some quit political activity all together and chose to stay vocal only on social media and even to censor themselves. Being conscious Afrikans, it is difficult to not be involved in any sort of political activity. The conditions for the Afrikan are enough motivation to become involved in some way or the other. the poverty, landlessness and lack of quality education – the whole system appears to be dysfunctional and the two words – the collective and the security seem rather dreamy and elusive at times. Black people in general exist in conditions of constant insecurity.

Even though there are several institutions that exist to deal with the visions of Afrika’s total liberation and self-realization, it is clear to many that the Afrikan-Union, Pan Afrikanist Parliarment and the scores of Nationalist, Leftists political parties and organisations are not achieving their missions sufficiently. They are not united in their purpose, premise and methods, yet many of their leaders purport to be students of the Revolution, they or we all claim to be dedicated to the freeing of the Black masses from the tyranny of white racism and self-loathing.

Each party, each country, each region and each business entity appears to be pulling away from collectivist or communal responsibility. We are all claiming to serve Afrika, but many of us are either students of French, Russian or European revolutions. We pay lip-service to the Haitian revolution and the Cuban revolutionary pros and cons. It seems as if once a person tows the socialist or Marxist ideological line, she or he must defend anything that is done in those countries, without properly listening to the ground or considering facts as they are. It has become a matter of ‘the enemy of my friend is my enemy’, even if the friend has long ago abandoned the cause of friendship or the basic principles of whatever revolutionary line were.

We hear talk of Sankarisms, some love Nyerere and Nkrumah or Garvey and Lembede, but really and truly worship Lenin and Marx and Mao. The worst part is that the former liberation movements have since independence from colonial rule, plunged into complex and utter states of corruption and depravity. While revolutionary writers have written many brilliant works warning against the traps and trappings of neo-colonialism, the majority of the political class, made up of many men and women who used to be activists while they were younger, have now become gatekeepers in the new colonial masters house. The noise we hear and see on social media has hardly ever been turned into serious civil disobedience, insurrection – let alone revolution.

My Reflections On End of The World Theories circa 2012

This was originally posted on one of my older blogs; http://litmusic-zwakala.blogspot.com/2012/; while I was a member of the Black Radical Revolutionary movement called September National Imbizo; I was also a priest in the Rastafarian movement called Nyahbinghi Theocratic Order of Melchizedeck, based in Durban Kwa-Zulu Natal and General Secretary of the Nowadays Poets and Slam Poetry Operations Team.

Subtitles and Subtexts!

Empelandaba: Part 1

The End Of This World Is Just The Beginning Of Another

According to various theorist, both conspiratorial as well as religious fundamentalists and mystics, we are approaching the much vaunted and long overdue Dooms Day, prophesied by many astrologers, pseudo-scientists and New Age enthusiast paraphrasing the Mayan Calendar. The fact that this very calendar is composed of obscure and archaic symbolic hieroglyphs and interpreted by mostly English speaking modern conspiracy theorists did not deter the publishers of numerous “2012” books, documentaries and even big budget Hollywood blockbusters from profiting from this dubious “discovery”.
The reality is that for millennia and within many traditions and cultures, humankind has generated similar End of the World stories, in fact every contemporary book based religion has one. They all sound distinctive and are made to seem like the exclusive revelations of the various Gods, prophets or seers. But there appears to be many similarities and parallels running through all of these tales of human or earthly annihilation. From the ancient Egyptian/Kemetan Pyramid and papyrus scrolls and rituals of the Secret Orders to the Abrahamic religious traditions and the aforementioned South American Mayan civilization, the consensus is that what begins must surely end. But the difference is that while some say “No one knows the day or the hour of the Day of the Lord (Judgement Day)…”; the others declare that “It is written and encoded in the stars that when such and such occurs, the End Time is near…”. Yet even in the former tradition, we can hear of Jesus the Christ telling his devotees that certain events must take place on earth that will be mere signs that the End is at hand.
The problem with all this religious speculation is that it comes with a lot of collateral damage. So many people, believers and even those who are not even part of such conspiracies end up on the receiving end of the conspiracies, which increases levels of unwarranted fears and the more people exist in fear, the more susceptible they are to all kinds of manipulation and propaganda.
But there is another more positive side to the concept of the End of The World and that is the one posited by radical revolutionary movements such as the September National Imbizo;www.septembernationalimbizo.org – Even though this is a burgeoning young political movement largely made up of online contributors, supporters and followers, the few members who are spearheading it do meet regularly and many campaigns have been staged to varying degrees of success. In the bleak economic climate of the world and within the Black world in particular, SNI propagates an End of the World theory that is influenced by Black Consciousness and to a specific degree, Afro-Pessimism. What this means is that they view the existence of Black people within a predominantly White Supremacist society as an aberration to the natural order of the universe. A failed experiment. In other words, in order for the Black person and the Black woman in particular to realise full human status, the neo-liberal and global White Capitalist governed world must come to an end and there is no way around it, no reformist solutions or truth commissions can remedy this situation. This means that the world as we know it and as we have experienced in throughout the past cruel 3 or 4 centuries of Black subjugation, has to end in order for people of Afrikan descent to live decent lives. The Black radical revolutionary believes that it is impossible for people of colour to enjoy the benefits of an immoral Eurocentric society while the rest of the Black world languishes in abject poverty and acute types of inferiority complexes.
This is not a doomsday prophecy, it is not even a pessimistic of cynical view, but one based on careful analysis of the bleak and desperate Black condition…One has to simply think of the so called Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan, the so called New South Africa, Mali, Haiti, Jamaica and any other African state to see that things are really out of order. But what is order? Is it Western styled modernisation or laissez faire macro-economic policies as instituted by the International Monetary Fund, governed by the World Trade Organisation and enshrined in the policies of the United Nations? Surely, there is more to the world than this; this state of desperate human suffering would exist if all these institutions were truly created to right the wrongs, or could it be that they were enacted to sustain them?
As already mentioned, the idea that the world would or should come to an end is enshrined in many religious texts and while others offer promise of a New Earth, others promise Heavenly abodes for the chosen few, it all “depends” on certain preordained factors, you have to meet the standards of perfection espoused by the specific gods, priests or prophets. Everything is related though and one has to relate all this end of the world talk to something, perhaps in the human psyche or in our various cultural ideals. Since religions and organisations do not emerge out of a vacuum but usually as part of coping mechanisms, we have to investigate further why obsoletes are ‘encoded’ into our stories and ways of seeing. Let us leave that for another telling. For now let me share what one of my online friends sent today, interestingly, I wrote part of this article yesterday before receiving this email, so I guess the spirit of the End is really upon us; so read with an open mind:
The winter solstice, according to ancient spiritual cultures, is the time when the energies of the earth enable the greatest enhancement to the ability to enter the state of altered consciousness, thus enhancing man’s ability to communicate with her/his spirit and the Divine World Spirit. It is also the time when the Divine World Spirit dispenses the seeds that will govern the coming year. The 2012 Winter Solstice also marks the ending of the current era of 5126 years (Kali Yuga—age of darkness), and the beginning of a new era that will manifest greater spiritual awareness in the world—Age of Aquarius, Satya Yuga, etc. Only those people that are in harmony with divine law, and especially those that have made a special preparation for the occasion through initiations will receive the spiritual dispensation that will descend during the solstice. Yes, there will be a catastrophe; being left out of the direct reception of the dispensation.”
Please follow this link and listen!: End of What World?  – Ras Heru-Khuti*

Books Worth Knowing About

Khaya Maseko’s Mashu Omusha (A Speculative/Afrikan Science Fiction Novella)

Mashu oMusha is a science fiction novella, based in the township of Kwa-Mashu in Kwa-Zulu. It is a special book since there is very little, if any Sci-Fi from the townships of South Africa.

This story explores various scientific, spiritual and political concepts.

Themes range from techno-mysticism, anthropomorphism, land rights and gender orientation are evoked through a sprawling imaginative tale. Mashu oMusha explores the township in a dystopian dimension that resembles South Africa through the eyes of an incarnate god named Mer and her terrestrial guide Sapien. Mashu oMusha is a self-published work of literature nuanced with music and the axiomatic undertones of Afrocentric lore.

Writer Biography

Khaya Maseko hails from Kwa-Mashu, a township in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. He was an executive member of Nowadays Poetry Organisation for 15 years. Khaya has shared stages with the likes of Lesego Rampolokeng, Kobus Moolman and Don Materra.

He has also been a consistent and erudite educational activist, actively teaching writing skills in townships nationwide for +4 years. He is the Head of the Anarcho-Journalism blog Chaotic Front (chaoticfront.blogspot.com), which has been spreading news and information on African and International issues about quality of life, politics, tech and esoterica.  He has written an eBook of verse and short stories called Eyeless: You Can’t See Cape Town without Helen Zille’s Eyes.

An accompanying poetry collection entitled Verses From Three Rock was released with the 2nd edition of Mashu oMusha Mashu oMusha as his first print publication.

Online links to Mashu oMusha

1. AfroSciFiGirl Blog Interview – http://afroscifigirl.tumblr.com/post/157324997833/mashu-omusha-and-black-african-science-fiction

2 . Youtubeee Video – https://youtu.be/UAHyHPzMp00

3. Book review – https://chaoticfront.blogspot.com/2017/04/luke-molvers-review-of-mashu-omusha.html

4. The Machester Review – http://www.themanchesterreview.co.uk/?p=8006

Quotations from Rock ‘n Rule: The Essays, Stories and Poetry of Menzi Maseko

“The most delightful thing about the Law is that it cannot be manipulated or bent to favour the rich and torment the poor. It is a priceless seed implanted within the hearts of all creatures. It is well preserved like an expertly cut diamond alive with the infinite sparkle of Divine Lustre.” – Abiding By The Law ( The Sacred Gospel of Hunhu/Ubuntu) by Simbarashe Simbarashe

Every so often, there comes a time in people’s life that they have to stop and question the direction of their collective efforts. The various endeavors that are undertaken within that nation, from the ordinary folks daily tasks at home, places of work and worship, educational and other institutions all the way up to the governmental levels. We need to reevaluate the meaning of the Law as well as constitutional democracy models ….