In the music: people’s intuitive travels and the paths of rhythm

Inside the sleeve of Nduduzo Makhathini’s newest offering,after the prayer, these words are stated:

“Inner Dimensions – Seeks to go deep within the the inner realms of our souls and find those melodies that will bring about harmony, healing and hope for all people. It is a journey to our innermost being that connects us to God. We believe that when we reach this part of our inner selves, it is easier to reach everywhere else…”

I am listening to Inner Dimensions, an exceptionally beautiful album by Nduduzo Makhathini.

Last night as I arrived at the Jazzy Rainbow, a jazz venue in the Durban suburb of Morningside, I was pleasantly surprised to find Makhathini and his ace drummer, Ayanda Sikade standing outside.

After exchanging hugs, greetings and introductions, we immediately got into the subjects of Spirituality, the Gospels, Afrikan Cosmology and the historical development of jazz from the Negro-Spirituals to the Blues and the present day expressions of izingoma/songs. Our conversation was brief but spanned many more subjects, and by the time Salim Washington joined us at the parking lot, we ended up talking about Kamasi Washington, Shabaka Hutchins and Nduduzo and Salim also excitedly glowed when it came to the subject of Randy Weston, whom I have been reading about but have not yet listened to. But just from reading the August 2016 issue of Downbeat Magazine, which bears the image of a purple Afrikan suited elder holding a rod with an image of an Ankh and other Afrikan images,with the words ‘Randy Weston enters DB Hall of Fame’, I know I already love this troubadour.

The story goes that, “In one single work, Weston manages to pay tribute to the ancient tombs of Siki Bilal in Aswan, the Sufi tradition, the holy city of Touba in Senegal, China’s great Shang dynasty, African folk music, the timeless history of the blues, and the unity of humankind.” Weston dialogues with each participant in notes and tones, and emcees from the piano bench, revealing exhaustive knowledge of how the traditions intersect.

Just from reading about Weston, and hearing so much about him from the great musicians in my presence,  couldn’t wait to also read one of the books that influenced his album, The African Nubian Suite. The book by Wayne B. Chandler is interestingly titled “Ancient Future: The Teachings and Prophetic Wisdom of the Seven Hermetic Laws of Ancient Egypt“. From that title alone, I know that we are vibrating on the same higher frequency.

I had actually come to see Professor Salim Washington’s performance with his Sankofa ensemble. Even though I’d read that Salim would be playing with Nduduzo on the previous gig at the Centre for Jazz, I had not anticipated that Makhathini would be part of that night’ s line up. The Sankofa Ensemble turned out to be one of the best sonar experiences I have ever had. With Salim Washington leading the band through compositions such as Oshun, dedicated to the Water Bearing Orisha from the Yoruba Spiritual tradition followed by a melancholy and gut-wrenching tribute to the Souls who perished by fire during the recent Afrophobic attacks, the black on black violence that transpired not long ago in our city Durban.

The song was called Umlilo ( Fire) and featured some evocative singing, wailing and conversations from a very agile young vocal quartet which is part of the Sankofa Ensemble. With permission from my brothers and elders I wish to share the music here in the near future in addition to writing more extensively about it.

Alter-Native Society: Between Kingdoms, Political Structures and Anarchy

“The king was the personification of Ma’at, a word that we translate as ‘truth’, or ‘justice’, but has an extended meaning of the proper cosmic order at the time of its establishment by the Creator …There is in Akhenaten’s teaching a constant emphasis upon Maat …as is not found before or afterwards.” – Cyril Aldred, Akhenaten: King of Egypt

What can we learn from the past? Is there anything at all that we cannot learn from seeking the wisdom of the ancients, while we forge ahead with boldness towards the future we desire? In our quest to find effective leadership styles, ways to rule with equality and govern with equity, we found ourselves using many inadequate words. Even the very words, rule, govern, and equality are found wanting in the greater scheme of things.

Many of us use words such as democracy, socialism, social justice, nation/nationhood, nationality and the old troublesome one RACE as if these are natural terms that cannot be avoided or substituted for ‘better’ or more adequate words.

As Afrikans ( even this term is highly questionable in some circles) or as Black people ( this term is also contestable and may only be limited to socio-political description) and personal choice, we are undergoing a transformation. Every revolution brings forth new faculties of interpretation, ways of being and naming. Every revolution also necessitates the destruction, deconstruction and reconstitution of previous terms and conditions.

My comrades within the Black Radical tradition often use the phrase ” To End The World As We Know It”, or simply “End The World, by which they are referring to the exploitative and highly unequal system which is maintained and perpetuated by White Capitalist Monopoly  or White supremacy. This is a world we all agree must be destroyed in order to build a better world from its ashes.

Socialist and variations of democratic dispensations are proposed and in some places even begun, but maintaining them in a sea of oppositional or counter-revolutionary forces becomes a rather daunting task. Not only do such alternative or supposedly progressive governments faced with internal social and economic dynamics, they are also under attack by external market and ideological forces.Many have capitulated and exist only as caricatures of their original principled selves, some,, such as the Republic of South Africa and few others insist that theirs is a dual or mixed economy. This is highly debatable but it is what it is.

This essay seeks to explore the future firstly or primarily through an ancient lens. I wish to take a deeper and analytical look at the efficacy of Kingship or rule by monarchical, theocratic, and monarchical-democratic or social and traditional leadership. Perhaps later we can even explore the proposals expounded by Anarchists and Chaotic theorists.


But before, we get into the discussion on Ancient rule, lets explore the pros and cons on Western style democracy. According to Samuel P.Huntington; “Liberal democracy, rooted in the concept of individual dignity, is a Western product, and some have argued that liberal democracy is impossible outside the West. In fact, however, at least one liberal democracy exists  in almost every other civilization. Liberal democracy, in short, is not inherently incompatible with major- non-Western cultures.

Yet the extent to which non-Western societies are receptive to wither liberal democracy or electoral democracy varies with the extent to which they have been influenced by the West.” ( After Twenty Years:The Future of The Third Wave, Samuel P. Huntington, 1997)

Matters of the Spiritual Heart

An appreciation:

Ever-since I was introduced to the ‘jazz’ artists called Kurt Elling, I have become irreversibly hooked.

A perfect stranger called Lesego had given us a ride home one evening after the Poetry Africa festival’s final concert.

We were all still buzzing from a great performance by Hip Hop Pantsula, Raheem Kemet and Tumi before the cigars … and some herbs were being passed around in a spirit of One Love.

All of a sudden I heard a familiar tune while we were in the car cruising along Durban’s North Beach area. “The Creator Has A Master Plan,Peace and Happiness for Everyman …”, and I knew that melody from the original Pharaoh Sanders and other subsequent versions…the most famous being one done by Leon Thomas.

We had been discussing the future of Black Consciousness and the concept of Righteousness consciousness and whether music has any real impact on the Hearts and Minds of people. We were a beautiful pan-Afrikan group consisting of a guy from Lesotho, whom I now call the Maestro, a thespian/poetess from Cameroon and two South Afrikans. I was just so excited and later begged the Maestro to repeat the song, but he was like ‘you haven’t heard anything yet …just listen I will mesmerize you…’ –

I complied, with all my senses wide opened,as he played tune after tune from a vocalist whom I thought I ‘d recognized but clearly had never listened to. Needless to say that my new friend never did tell me who the other singers of the songs he had played were. It turned out that the version of the Creator Has A Masterplan was a live version by Dwight Trible.

He then told me that the singer who did a song called Higher Vibe, Concord, and a rendition of John Coltrane’s Resolution was actually a white guy named Kurt Elling. I had not heard of him at all and felt embarrassed, because I had been going on and on about Dwight Trible.

I initially I refused to believe that the singer who did such as perfect rendition of Coltrane was a white-man. But such is the joy of jazz, the universality of music. I may have held strong views that certain feeling in music can only be invoked by Black people, whether they be vocalists, saxophonists or any instrument really. But when you listen with your heart wide opened, music will surprise you, and no music has more mysteries, surprizes, mathematical ingenuity and inventiveness than what they call ‘jazz’. That was then, but this is now. I am still essentially Afrocentric and Black Conscious but much less self-conscious and insular.

I have since become one of the greatest fans of Kurt Elling, I started with the album called Man In The Sky and my partner later gifted me with Passion World. I have only just discovered how extensive and exciting this man’s discography is. I am also anticipating to get the new album called Upward Spiral, with Branford Marselles.

Today while I was driving with my brother Khaya Maseko, listening to a song from Passion World, called Bonita Cuba, I suddenly had the notion that there is an uninterrupted somewhat Cosmic Connection inherent in certain types of Jazz. But more specifically, my mind made a connection between the concept of the Heart in Ancient Egyptian/Kemetic spirituality and the particular lyric in Kurt Ellings’s Bonita Cuba.

When he sings: ” If I could I’d build a boat out of my heart/ and sail on home to Bonita Cuba in the dark …“and for some reason the concept of the Celestial Boat that carries the heart of the deceased to the ‘Abode of the Blessed’ occurred to me.There is so much more in story within that song that can be interrelated to the Soul’s longing for home and Mr Elling knows just how to carry ‘Longing’ with every vocal expression.

In the Papyrus of Ani, or the Book of Coming Forth … famously known as The Book Of The Dead, there are chapters named The Weighing of The Heart, which describe how the Heart of the deceased is weighed in the balance of the Goddess Ma’at ( the epitome of order, truth and justice etc). One of the passages, titled The Speech of Thoth/Tehuti/Djehuti or Hermes Trismegistus, we read:

Thoth, the judge of right and truth of the Great Company of the Gods who are in the presence of Osiris, saith: Hear ye this judgement. The heart of Osiris hath in very truth been weighed, and his Heart-soul hath borne testimony on his behalf; his heart hath been found right by the trial in the Great Balance.” ( Texts Relating To The Weighing Of The Heart Of Ani )

There are thousands of references in the ancient texts, referring to the Neteru/ntrw/Gods sailing between the heavens and Earth on celestial boats. The Ancient Afrikans/Kemetens being masterful craftsmen and mindful of the power of symbolism, would fashion real life boats and images pertaining to their stories, mythology and Spiritual sciences. Some of these boats are still extant:…/

May he string his words into song. May be roll through the heavens like music. And for as long as the sun is singing, may the strings of my soul hum like a lyre.” ( exerpts from the Egyptian Book of the Dead: )

To be continued …

Poetics: Global Afrikanness and The Legacy of Eskia Mphahlele

As I have mentioned on one of my earlier posts, I leave books everywhere. I do not only sell them, I also share many books among my friends and colleagues and sometimes perfect strangers. One of my Eritrean friends runs a restaurant called Habesha Cafe’ on 124 Helen Joseph Road, Durban. When I visited last-night I just couldn’t resist taking browsing through one of the many books and journals I have ‘donated’ there for the reading pleasure of his patrons.

The book, which I ended up taking home for further perusal, was ESKIA: Education, African Humanism and Culture, Social Consciousness, Literary Appreciation, published by Kwela Books, in association with Stainbank & Associates. It is part of the momentous Eskia Mphahlele Project, sponsored by Eskom. This particular copy was published in 2002, you can find the rest of them on:

As can be anticipated, the large tomes are collections of the many essays, articles, reviews and literary productions of the great South Afrikan scholar and cultural activist.The main current that runs accross most of the writings is Education, which was Eskia’s main passion. In one essay titled ‘Educating the Imagination – 1993, Eskia reflects :

“Nature led me along its own rugged and smooth paths according to its integrated curriculum – I have been recounting this in order to place the development of the imagination in a proper perspective, i.e. as a social process and as a prominent feature in the natural growth of the individual.”

Later he continues to reflect: ‘I only wish the West could begin to re-educate itself towards a conscious synthesis; and that “the other” could assimilate and synthecize on its own terms, not those of the master race… And in situations of political conflict and violence we can rescue the imagination, at least for an interim period, from the kind of programming that compels us to repeat ourselves.’

In the main body of Eskia’s reminiscence on his childhoodin the rural areas, he notes that: “Poverty, together with its companion malnutrition, stalked the rural ares. Landlessness became a permanent condition. Even when the land laws are repealed. Africans will not be able toafford to buy land, nor do they possess any farming skills. The drift to the towns seems irreversible for now. What has happened to the oral tradition in the poverty striken countryside? Until the 1930s, people grew the food they ate. Today they buy their food from the nearby store – in small, miserable, absurdly overpriced quantities.”

Interestingly, even though my friend Binium Misgun, who is the owner of Habesha Cafe’ had not read this book, which had sat on his shelf for months, our conversation was exactly about this topic of Landlessness, food production and the futility of aid controlled economy. Binium is a Sociologist and he is doing his PHD at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and I always emerge more knowledgeable about Afrikan and global politics and economics whenever I spend time with him. Such are the friendships I most value.

While our conversation ranged from the pros and cons of the Mugabe led Zimbabwean government and the Eritrean conditions and govenements relations with neighbouring Ethiopia and the West, our main focus was how South Africa can rescue itself from a puppet of the Western powers.

Eskia Mphahlele offers an insightful perspective on this,in one of his essays penned as far back as 1973. Titled African Literature: A Dialogue of Two Selves and the Voice of Prophecy -1973,by way of an evocative poem by African American poet of the early 20th century:

But the great western world holds me in fee,

And I may never hope for full release

While to its alien gods I bend my knee.

Something in me is lost, forever lost,

Some vital thing has gone out of my heart,

And I must walk the way of life, a ghost

Among the sons of earth, a thing apart.

For I was born, far from my native clime,

Under the white man’s menace, out of time.

Still writing about the psychological and social crisis of exile, he quotes from many African American and other writers who were forced from their homelands by the colonizing enterprise.

‘The one world holds me when I want to go away‘, said Langston Hughes, another African American. Quoting the Ghanaian poet, Francis Parkes, he states that the coming of the white man was a holocaust, but as a disaster that we must willfully raise ourselves from, a situation we must escape, by any means necessary, the poet cries out:

Let us build new homesteads

New dreams to decorate these ruins

Let us weave fresh rafters from rescued stalks

Let us start all over again

The past is a pitiless dream

A dread nightmare, you may remember …


Sympathy for the Devils? or Humane Relationships vs Personality Cults

“The ANC is not a socialist party. It has never pretended to be one, it has never said it was, and it is not trying to be. It will not become one by decree for the purpose of pleasing its ‘left’ critics.” – Thabo Mbeki, 1984 ( Saul, ‘Cry for the Beloved Country’, in Jacobs and Calland, Thabo Mbeki’s World, pp.27-51)

So tomorrow is South Afrika’s Local Government Elections day. The people of this beautiful and nuanced country are going to be queuing up at all municipalities within every regional district to choose their officials and counselors,  those who would be their public servants for the next five years.The fundamental question being whether the democratic processes or institutions in this country are working for or against the people they are built to serve.

I want to talk more about that process and its merits and demerits within the Southern Afrikan context. I would like to compare what Local Government Elections are in theory and what they actually are in reality.

But for now I am struggling to deal with the insidious presence of the former head of state Mr Thabo Mbeki, his legacy in brief and also why he happens to be so important to the ruling party and also the rising opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters. But I want to deal more decisively with his leaderships impact on the lives of ordinary South Afrikans. While many people view him as an intellectual heavyweight who is unparalleled in his party, some view his tenure as one of the most controversial, costly and deleterious of all. In fact Mbeki is both a devil and a demigod to many Southern Afrikans.

Since our aim is to briefly get to the core of why it is dangerous to elevate people to such inglorious status, we shall deal swiftly with the social-political-economic impact of Mbekism. The main point of this essay is to illustrate that the likes of Thabo Mbeki are not as great as we make them out to be. In the words of Nigerias Dr Chinweizu :”In the New South Africa white supremacy and imperialism live on, wearing a mask of black majority government. Just as in the rest of Black Africa, it is @White power behind a black mask.”

The black colonialists of Southern Afrika are not so unintelligent as to not know that dancing with the devils of the West ultimately turns them into ‘sell-outs’, they know exactly what they are doing. Mbeki’s project has always been to please his heroes in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. But let us start at home.

When the African National Congress requested Mbeki’s support during the 2009 Local Government Elections, he unsurprisingly declined, and now 6 years later he has once again turned down the invitation. This is what he wrote to the current President Zuma on October 31, 2009:

“You sent comrades Kgalema Montlante and Gwede Mantashe to inform me that the ANC NEC and our movement in general had lost confidence in me – I therefore could not understand how the same ANC which was so disenchanted with me could, within a forthnight, consider me such a dependable cadre as could be relied upon to promote the political fortunes of the very same movement, the ANC, which I had betrayed in so grave and grievous a manner as to require that I should be removed from the presidency of the republic a mere six to seven months before the end of our term, as mandated by the masses of our people.”

This year Mbeki has declined his party’s cordial ‘invitations’ again, sighting the same reasons as before in addition with the rate of corruption that has apparently increased since he was forced out of office in 2008.

My biggest gripe with Mbeki is that he has cost South Afrika dearly with his forked tongue. He is credited with being one of the foremost modern day Pan-Afrikanists, yet despite his many speeches extolling the greatness of Afrika and the dubious success or impact of his African Renaissance project(s), I cannot see what he has practically done for Black people lately.

In 2005, William Mervin Gumede published what I think is the best biographical testament on the former state president. There are so many insightful paragraphs and observations made by Gumede in this book, that it would take a lot of copying and pasting to simply prove that Mbeki has been more disastrous than both Mandela and Zuma during his two terms in office. While I do not think that Gumede set out to smear the former president with negativity, an unbiased reading clearly shows that even though Mbeki was an economists, his decisions were more counter-revolutionary than progressive, despite the high sounding rhetoric.

Here are some examples: “Mbeki sold GEAR () to business and international financial organizations as a radical shift in the governments economic strategy compelled by a thorough reassessment of its earlier policies. Towards the end of 1996 he told business leaders:’The policies and objectives embedded in GEAR are a pragmatic balance struck between our domestic economic demands and the realities of the international context. These policies and objectives emerged after a thorough analysis of global trends an the specific conditions in our economy…

At the public launch of GEAR, Mbeki goaded the left with his comment:’just call me a Thatcherite.‘  As an analysis, Gumede makes this important point: “In the end, GEAR was remarkably similar to the National Party’s Normative Economic Model, released in 1993. ‘The immediate aim of the GEAR strategy’ wrote Gelb, one of Mbeki’s favorite local economists, ‘ was to signal to potential investors the government’s commitment to the prevailing orthodoxy.’

It is high time we asked the question, what really makes a great leader, and what sets revolutionary leaders apart from the ones who either toe the party-line and never dare to change the world? Whether Mbeki and his version of the ANC is useful in the Afrika’s greater scheme of things, in producing thought leadership and policy that ultimately liberates both the minds and the Land of Africans, time will tell, but as the record stands, we see a leadership that has consciously betrayed its own people.

Gumede adds that, “The document, released in June 1996, was a dramatic departure from the foundations of the RDP. Mbeki and ANC centrists had to get the policy adopted quickly by the ANC, and the left had to be prevented at all costs from trying to dilute the policy. Even while defending GEAR as non-negotiable, Mandela admitted that he’d had no hand in its formulation…Joel Netshitenzhe, who had studied economics at the London University ‘s School of African and Oriental Studies, explained: ‘GEAR was a structural adjustment policy, self-imposed, to stabilise the macroeconomic situation {to deal with } the realities of an unimaginable budget deficit, high interest rates and weak local and foreign investor confidence.” – Mere excuses I say. What is the role of a leader, if he or she does not display resilience and character where it matters the most? If he/she does not use everything he or she is empowered with to send a clear message to the exploiters of the world that we are willing and able to determine our own destiny then of what use is his intelligence. Intelligence at the service of ones enemy is worse than foolishness.

With accuracy and perceptiveness, William Gumede writes, “The ANC has firmly established itself as the party of black business, the black middle class and professionals. It will instinctively place the needs of these groups before those of the slum dwellers, unemployed, rural constituents and the youth, but if the government continues to deliver at a snail’s pace, and the opposition continues to offer no credible alternative, South Africa’s politics will plunge into a morass of radical social movements as the disadvantaged seek salvation outside the formal political structures.”

This is true, but the irony is that just three days ago the leadership of one of these so called radical social movements, the one political party that is campaigning by using the Left-wing rhetoric has visiting Thabo Mbeki for who knows what. The leader of this new party called the Economic Freedom Fighters is former ANC Youth League leader, the rumbustious Julius Malema, who was also instrumental in the removal of Mbeki from highest office a mere 5 years ago.

The spokesperson of the EFF stated that they visited Mbeki in order to canvas his vote ahead of the Local Government Elections and to introduce themselves as leaders of a party which is a ‘significant player in the political space in South Africa.’ He added that the former president walked them out nicely and even gave them hugs. How cute! If such are the types of radical social movements that Gumede had in mind then we are all in deeper trouble than ever. But there is evidence in that in such movements as the Black First Land First headed by Andile Mngxitama, such an alternative is possible.

The latter movement has been very vocal and effective in shining the brilliant light of Black Consciousness for a South Afrikan population that is gullible to  such populist parties as the EFF, which is neither Pan-Afrikanist nor Black Socialist. They may have some policies that sound like they were cut and pasted from the pan-Afrikanist books but anyone who knows anything about Malema is clear that he has never been a pan-Afrikanist, he may speak about Black power, but it does not mean that neither he nor his party have a full grasp of what it takes to achieve this.

If the EFF knew anything about Black power and self determination of Afrikans, they would not go anywhere near Mbeki, but since they are all under the tutelage of London and possibly the payrole of those who seek to continue plundering the resources of this well endowed country, it is no surprise that they are sipping tea with the likes of Mbeki.

In closing it is worth noting the words of Dr Chinweizu as he paraphrases SteveBantu Biko, in his Black Colonialist journal released in 2011 by Andile Mngxitama and co: “Africa South of the Sahara is on its own …African leadership, the coming African leadership, will have to bear that in mind. You are on your own…”

Mostly importantly he adds, “An implication of Julius Nyerere’s advice is for us Black Africans to withdraw from such Afro-Arab outfits as the AU and the US of Africa. and organize our own Blacks only collective outfit to solve our peculiar problems.” ( New Frank Talk: Critical Essays On The Black Condition: Black Colonialists: the root of the trouble in Africa, by Dr Chinweizu, )

It is also vital that you get hold of Volume 2 of New Frank Talk, titled From Mbeki to Zuma: What is the Difference? by Andile Mngxitama.

Such publications are so rare in a country that requires even more radical and progressive thinking. But in the absence of such publications and other thinkers who are brave enough to call things as they are, we will really descend into a Banana republic and the Black person may take a longer time to recover from the re-colonization which our presidents have allowed and facilitated.






The Law of Ma’at

There are few things on earth as insidious as religion. It does not matter how the religious adherents spin it, the religions of the world have been some of the main causes of conflict, social and family divisions and strife.

The challenge is not always the doctrines themselves or their often contradicting  interpretations, it is simply the way the believers fail or refuse to see the world from diverse perspective. It is often a case of ‘our way is the right way, the only way’. Some may call this religious fundamentalism, but I see it as a failure of many faiths to teach their people how to best use their emotional intelligence. Your faith may preach about compassion and charity, but it does not mean that it equips you with methods for navigating the often difficult terrain of emotional layers.

In a world in which fear and abandonment have become the most prominent emotions, used by manipulative governments and corporations to sell their ideas and  products, it is important to remember that there has always been a Spiritual science that takes all our emotions into account without prejudice.

According to Ra Un Nefer Amen the law of Ma’at states:

“God needs you in order to come into the world. Fulfilling God’s need is the highest act of love and only though your love for God can you fulfill your love for others. Become the Love of God in the world for the protection of the world.”


There you have it, the natural spiritual law of Ma’at ( Righteousness, Justice, Peace) reduces or elevates us to Love, we either vibrating this kind of e-motion or we are exuding fear and hate, we have a choice.


Kemetic Science: Ma’at and Your Emotions

According to one Master Teacher Ra Un Nefer Amen of Kemetic Spiritual Science ( Ausar Auset Society), there is nothing mysterious or mystical about metaphysics. It is all purely a matter of energy-in motion, also known as e-motions.WingedIsis

“The truly metaphysical forces that operate directly on physical matter and events are none other than our emotions. ‘energy is defined as the capacity to do work, or to alter the state or position of a thing or event. Essential, then to the definition of energy, is motion.

Alteration can only take place through movement; and that is what e-motions do. What we have to understand here, is that our emotions are not limited to moving us to speak and take physical actions, but they can act directly in the world independently of our physical vehicle. This is due to – that they are physical energies; this is why we can feel them as our feelings. Yes! What we call our emotions are expressions of the same energies that operate in the entire universe…” – p66

He later adds:

“Emotions play such a major part in people’s lives – more negative then positive, that you would think that the powers that be in the world would institute educational programs to teach the populace to properly understand and handle them.

The ancient Egyptians/Kamau/Kemetens answered to this question over five thousand years ago or more. SInce man’s evolutionary goal is to become a God man/woman on earth, who is a liberated being, then man must make an ALL OUT EMOTIONAL COMMITMENT to the realization of this goal.

It is a 100% emotional commitment to becoming a being that is free of emotional compulsions, a being that is able to be at peace in the face of the greatest imaginable challenges.

In KMT it is portrayed as Auset’s devotion to resurrecting Ausar. The divine Self in man that was murdered by Set.”




Ancient Wisdom: On death and impermanence

For as long as I can remember I have kept a book of Buddhist teachings called The Mirror of Mindfulness. It has been about two years since I last saw it among my books, but then again, as much as I love collecting, reading and keeping books, I also have the tendency to give them away, especially to people whom I feel deserve them. I have even tried selling books. In fact, since the year 2002, I have sold and given away so many books and magazines that I had kept a journal of all of them, but it got lost somewhere along my paths.

While there are many good reasons to keep a large library, as I value knowledge as much as anyone else, I also think that many things are not permanent therefore there is no need to be too attached to them. To my loved ones, this may seem irresponsible or careless, but my experiences have taught me well to not ever be overly attached to anything. This does not mean that I cannot commit to anything or anyone; to the contrary, I can be one of the most dependable people, but I can also easily let things slide as they say. Needless to say, I feel the same way about knowledge. Perhaps I am an adapter rather than a fundamentalist. I believe that all things come to pass …

Here is now the Buddhist teachers put it in the book, The Mirror of Mindfulness ( taken from notes that I had copied):

“In general, one should constantly keep in mind the impermanence of all compounded things; in particular that the time of one’s death is uncertain, and especially that at the time of dying, nothing whatsoever can help one, except the oral instructions from ones master.

If one does not remember this and practice, one will surely arrive at death regretful, still trying to comprehend various categories of teachings or struggling in the pursuit of pleasure, food, and clothing.

The Chedu Jope Tsom states:

All people feel attachment to their possessions – to children, cattle, and wealth; “That I have done, now I do this. When this has been done, I will then do that.”

While people are thus being fooled by distractions, they depart, snapped away by the Lord of Death.”

I must add that, the Mirror of Mindfulness was one of the most difficult books I have ever read. I think I bought it in Cape Town during one of my travels there on either political or activist work. Whenever I visit any place, the first thing I look for is a bookstore …

I find bookstores quite fascinating and also a little bit narcissistic. They are like these great archives of various scattered histories, stories, instructions and multifaceted works, yet while they are open for all to walk into and find whatever one may look for, they tend to possess an air of feigned permanence. It is as if whatever has been captures in those books and in those stores has now made its mark on history, however significant or insignificant …The Mirror of Mindfulness helped me to realise that there is no great difference between the obscure unsung writer, inventor or creator and any famous or celebrated personality such as Dickens, Shakespeare, Achebe or Mda… ( I will elaborate further, the babies are crying …)



The Intuitive Intelligence of Rastafari

Half the story has never been told. When will it be told? In fact has it been told while the audience is half distracted or simply oblivious to the tale? Only time will tell.

In a paper that I wrote for the Rastafari United Front’s 1st Research Colloquium on Rastafari (Date 19-20 December 2015), held at Freedom Heritage Park, at the Sanctuary in Pretoria, South Africa; I began with the following quotations, I will explain later why I did so.

The social and economic future of the Bantu is naturally bound up with the question of their future relationship with the ruling race, and so if the the future relationship of the British with the Bantu can be confidently foretold, the economic future of the latter will be solved, for this will vary directly as the nature of the relationship.” – S.M. Molema, 1950.

But to balance the Socio-Economic aspect of my presentation with the radical Psycho-Spiritual nature of the Rastafari movement which I now represent, I also added this quote from the book called the Supreme Yoga ( Raja Yoga):

My delusion is gone. Wisdom has been gained by your grace. I remain free from all doubts. I know what there is to be known. The ocean of illusion has been crossed. I am at peace, without the notion of “I”, but as pure knowledge.”

The Rastafari movement is going through a natural transition. As a movement that emerged out of the Black Diaspora’s varied responses to colonialism, imperialism and spiritual conditioning, the Dread concept has had many influences incorporated into it, but what still looms large is the Judaeo-Christian foundations of its ideology.

While much can be said about some of the original founders idealistic Ethiopian paradise land and the theory of Black Supremacy ( as clarified in the Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy by Percival Howell) and the Robert Athyli Rogers’s Holy Piby –

(The Holy Piby was written by Robert Athlyi Rogers, who founded an Afrocentric religion in the US and West Indies in the 1920s. Rogers’ religious movement, the Afro Athlican Constructive Church, saw Ethiopians (in the Biblical sense of Black Africans) as the chosen people of God, and proclaimed Marcus Garvey, the prominent Black Nationalist, an apostle. The church preached self-reliance and self-determination for Africans.
The original is very rare.

There are no copies listed in either the Library of Congress or the University of California catalogs, which is highly unusual. The Holy Piby was banned in Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands in the middle and late 1920s.
Today the Holy Piby is acclaimed by many Rastafarians as a primary source. ), the general concensus from many Rastafarians is that Rasta’s are the ‘True Christians’, worshiping the ‘True Christ’ in the form of Ethiopia’s Haile Selassie I.


This may be a subjective telling of story of what I see as one of the most influential Cultural movement of the 20th and 21st century, but the aim is to elucidate on some few crucial points. The first point is that Rastafari is not accepted as part of the Christian or Judaic doctrinal tradition. In fact the early Rasta’s were radically opposed to the colonial establishment and its various churches. Later on we hear Bob Marley and the Wailers singing “I feel like bombing a church, now that I know that the preacher is lying.”

Peter Tosh later sings a rendition of their hit song Get Up Stand Up, “Most people think/ Great God will come from the skies/ Take away everything/ And make everybody feel high/ But if you know what life is worth/ you will look for yours on Earth/ And now you see the light/ you stand up for your right …”

Basically, it is clear that this is either a movement with a healthy propensity for self-criticism or it is simply a cult that is perpetually at war with itself. The Hebrew/Eurocentric scriptures are questions, scrutinized and reinterpreted, but mostly never rejected. The few Rasta’s who dare to turn away from the Scriptures are either ostracized,  rejected,deemed delusional or they simply move away from the main mansions of the movement.

Herein lies the crucial contradiction of this otherwise great movement. It is a quasi-religious entity that has won the hearts of adherents from all nationalities globally. As much as it still boasts its share of so called Black Supremacists, there are now as many Caucasian, Chinese, Mexican, Scandinavian, German, Japanese Rasta’s as there are Black ones. All of them revere the former Ethiopian emperor as the Divine Personality.

In enters the Bantu Rasta. The heliocentric, indigenous knowledge toting and essentially Black conscious radicals. Rejecting the Bible, the rites related to Christian Orthodoxy and all references to Zion etcetera, the Bantu Rasta is a disturbing, if not destabilizing phenomenon in the whole seemingly harmonious atmosphere of the Roots and Culture movement. The Bantu Rasta by questioning the validity and historicity of the Israelite/Ethiopic tales thrusts a white elephant in the smoke filled room and forces all to look.

What do we see? Borrowed knowledge assimilated and ingrained so deep into the psyche of potentially radicalized people to the extent that it frustrates their natural development. The Bible quoting Rasta may not behave or look like the conservative or general Christian or Jew, but his and her claim to the promises of Jehova’s kingdom seem valid, infact the Rasta’s view themselves as the sole chosen people of the old Mesopotamian god Elohim/Jehovah/YHWH/El Shaddai etc

No matter how much evidence that the average serious Rastafarian gets to contradict the validity of their religious claims, it seems that the Judaeo-Christian spell is stronger than the Truth. In fact, the Rasta’s have become synonymous with all the negative aspects of the Judaic ethos’s. You cannot be more patriarchal than the Rasta. You cannot be more dogmatic than a Rasta priest, and you cannot spew the ‘holy’ or hola name of the Hebrew god more fervently than the average Rasta. Everything is punctuated with JAHHHHHHH Rastafari!

Let us now turn to the matter of Intelligence. The type of intellectual ability and practice that is not taught in schools. I posit that despite all these structural or historical contradictions, the Rastafari is one of the most dynamic, intuitive and environmentally sustainable Spiritual movements to ever appear on Earth. This is partially due to its mixed heritage from Afrika, the Middle East and the Far East.

I know that if channeled properly and rescued from obscurity and mysticism, the Rastafari have the ability to make this world a happier and a more beautiful place. Their vegetarianism or ital nutrition is just one aspect that can be explored for all its merits. The use of the holy herb Marijuana is another aspects that can be exploited for the benefit of all nature. But these are subject matters that require longer analysis and I shall revisit them on this platform in due course.

I mentioned the matter of intuitive intelligence. Having dealt with it in many other platforms, suffice to say that I would rather present it in the form that I presented it at the Rastafari United Front’s colloquium last year. This is what I wrote as a brief abstract.

“Indigenous knowledge and wisdom, notoriously known as Indigenous Knowledge systems have been getting a lot of merited attention lately. While this is phenomenal news for practitioners and scholars globally, there is an unsettling impression that the intellectual work is not reaching or connecting with the hearts and minds of ordinary folk. This is the same stigma that has been attached to the spiritual and intellectual tradition of Rastafari. Part of the challenge has to do with Language practice, language use and documentation methods. But there are also the insidious internal conflicts that exist among people, African people in this particular instance who are engaged in a cultural process that is both intuitive and doctrinal. The Rastafari is not an evangelical way of life, but leans too heavenly on the pro-Israelite or Biblical tradition and too loosesly or vaguelly on the Afrikan Traditional Spirirual experience and sciences.”

This pro-biblical overdetermination may be attributed to the colonial experience and its missionary work among enslaved Africans. The teligion of the master becomes the faith of our forefathers no matter how transformed or reintepreted. If it still dependa on the bible as promary source or authority, that faith is still in chains.

But the Ethiopian Orthodox persuation on the Rastafari divine objective is also another ironic problem. No matter how advocates of the Bantu Rasta or Kemetic connection attempt to wrestle the movement from dogmatic biblical tendencies, the Father of the movement was a prophesed Chrisrian. So how can your God have a God?

The simpliest answers have always revolved around the theory of reincarnation  incarnation and the old Throne of David and Solomon and Sheba myth…But a deeper analysis of Ethiopian, Kushite, Kemetic and many other Afrikan kingdoms and queendoms reveals clearly that Afrikan believe that their rulers are Gods representatives on Earth.

So Rastafari is not far off the mark when they say Ras Tafari is God. But what about all the other kings and queens of Ethiopia and all thr other Afrikan countries. When the rulers act unjustly how do the worshippers bring him or her to book? What are the laws governing social justice and abuse of power?

The Egyptians always had Ma’at.

The Bantu have Ubulungiswa and Ubuntu. So how far are we from returning to these noble ideals? Cn they be achieved within a capitalist and antiblack world, and can they flourish alongside half blinded faith?

To be continued …


Empress Tallowah

A Rastafarian Empress from Soweto shares her insights

La Nkosi Writes

Mine is to filter out the rhetoric and propaganda, so that we children of the soil can form opinions based on logic and reason. Not through those summarized and scripted tales presented to us.

Nkosy Light

Member of Light Family

My Mind Diary

Where my mind finds a place to rest

AMNTE NOFRE (Amentet Neferet)

Ancient Egyptian Religion