New Myths Needed

I just love the first song that they have chosen to begin with during the break of this Conversation, its title, “One Day Suffer Go Finish‘, says it all.

Part of Discussion: ‘The distance between how things are and how things should be in Zimbabwe” – ( Man from Chitungwiza

Having followed the Chimurenga and Chimurenga Chronic publication/movement, for as long as it has existed, part of my ambition as a writer has been to publish some stories or even essays and poems in this auspicious black radical publication. I was also glad when the Pan African Space Station was launched. It basically fused the literature and live Chimurenga music sessions to the whole revolutionary concepts. I could say more, but I am always keenly aware of the data-struggle among my people, not all of we have WiFi and affordable data. So it would be best to listen to this. I must add though, that since coming to live in Zimbabwe recently with my family, the urge to do work in and around Harare is huge. Part of it has to do with the realization of what Chimurenga entails, in its various aspects, but it is also about the texture of the land and the struggles and lives of the people of both Zimbabwe and South Africa. There is lots happening in terms of Art, Violence and Revolutionary possibilities in both these countries, in fact my upcoming book, The House of Plenty is an attempt at making sense of how beauty, strength, wealth and hope and suffering can coexist. We shall also investigate what really keeps Afrikan countries, particularly in the SADC region from developing at apace.

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Thoughts from 2009 – Knowledge of Self Determination

This is from my very first blogpost in 2009, I was still working as a Manager/Shop-Keeper in a business called Urban Zulu, which I co-owned with a friend of mine, Papy Kaluw from the Democratic Republic of Congo. We would do a lot of Cultural works there, from events, to workshops in addition to selling clothing, books and music and sometimes even food and ‘herbs’.

I wrote this one day after closing the shop one slow Thursday evening, it is dated (Thursday, October 8, 2009)

kumele sikhumbuzane-We should remind one another

Liberation cannot be achieved except by the perception of the identity of the individual spirit with the universal spirit –” Shankara*
Kuzofunda bani ??? ( WHO WILL LEARN/read)

Examining the meaning of instructive, religious, self improvement and even legislative texts in the context of the high illiteracy rates in my environment.

The efficacy of records: exploring the work of the writer, the utter and the recorder

Abantu abazofunda imibhalo yethu, yibo phela abafowethu, odadewethu kanye nabanye abasinga ukwazi izindlela zeqiniso. Obonayo ukuthi usadinga ulwazi olungamsusa lumubeke kwelinye izinga empilweni, nguye ongazinika ithuba elanele ukuthi afunde.

The word is anti-pollution, anti-corruption, even anti-words. It is pro-action, pro-life and pro-truth. Anti-words means anti-rhetorical. More precisely this means that the Word of truth stands directly against words of lies, nonsense and all other forms of deception.
These word that I am writing are deliberate action directed at eradicating the ghosts of superstition and ignorance, especially in and around my own people the Great Kushite /Afrikan or Black race.

Each language is endowed with syllables, symbols and signs. As we can see from the Ethiopic writing, date-setting and calculating systems, the knowledge of how to read the signs of the times is also vital to each and every civilization:

The Ethiopic Enochian Calendar had 364 days per year. The Book of Enoch, whose Ethiopic version in its entirety survived only in Ethiopia and was taken to Europe by James Bruce was publicized around 1790 A.D. The Book of Enoch has been part of the Ethiopian Bible and Enoch 28:11 mentions the completion of the year in 364 days. (ዓመቱም በሦስት መቶ ስልሳ ኣራት ቀን ይጨረሳል ነገሩ እውነትም ነው የተጻፈው ቍጥሩ የተጠነቀቀ ነው። መጽሓፈ ሄኖክ ምዕ. ፳፰ ቊ. ፲፩።- Amharic Bible.) (In view of the Ethiopian Orthodox, Enoch wrote his Ethiopic Bible as the first and oldest author in any human language.)
The earliest known date is 4236 B.C.E., the founding of the Egyptian calendar. The ancient Egyptian calendar was lunar. The solar Coptic (ግብጽ) calendar, oldest in history, originated three millennia before the birth of Christ. The exact date of its Egyptian origin is unknown.
It is believed that Imhotep, the supreme official of King Djoser C.2670 B.C. had a great impact on the construction of the calendar. Historically, ancient Egyptians initially used a civil calendar based on a solar year that consisted of 365 days only, without making any adjustment for the additional quarter of a day each year.

Each year had 12 months. The heliacal rising of Sirius coincides with the arrival of the highest point of river Nile flood at Memphis marking the first day of the year. The new year of the ancient Egyptians started on Meskerem 1 (መስከረም ፩). This date is an Ethiopian new year signaling the end of Noah’s flood. (The Hebrew new years also start in Meskerem.)
It is imperative for what is written to be succinct, clear, true and possibly be a light in the darkness, illuminating the essence and characteristics of the good. Many things rely on the balance of words, sounds and powers.

Those in positions of power already understand these basic principles, But whether they adhere to them or not is another matter.
To be able to read and even to be educated does not necessarily lead to illumination, right-knowledge or even wisdom, it simply means that one has learned to acquire the skills to carry out the orders of this materialistic plane, yet it also does not guarantee perfection.

Obani abazofunda imibhalo yethu, uma sebeyifundile bazokwenzenjani, ingabe kukhona yini okumele bekwenzile ?.
Lento ekuthiwa umhlaba jikelele, okanye i-Universe, ingabe iyini na?

This collection of stories, sayings and poetical words, what is it, what do all these words, questions, answers and notes amount to in the final analysis?

Kuyiqiniso ukuthi abantu abahlukene babhala noma bafundela izizathu eziningi nezahlukahlukene. Pho kunani uma okunye kubhalelwa ukuthi kungafundwa?
mangaki amagama agcwele emigqomeni, emakhomputheni, nakuma trash-bins emhlabeni wonke?
Ukuze siphendule lemibuzo enqla, ake sibhekisise loku okulotshwe lapha, sigcine nesikhathi sokulotshwa kwayo, ekuqaleni kwalelikhulu-minyaka.
Kwabanye lamagama ahambisana nenkolo noma nosikompilo ethizeni, kepha uma uzovula amehlo nengqondo ngokucacileyo, kuyacaca ukuthi abhalelwe wonke omuntu ophilayo emhlabeni. Ake siwahlaziye:

“The strong Divinity cries out with a lion like roar, and seven thunders utter their voices. Concerning the utterances of the seven thunders Johannes is very reticent. However, as the Greek language has but one word ( phone) for both voice and vowel, the meaning obviously is that the great voice of the Logos, who is the seven vowels in one, is echoed by the seven vowels, the sound by which the higher forces are evoked; and these the seer is forbidden to write down.”
– The Apocalypse Unsealed

Ake siphinde futhi sihlaziye nalawa magama atomulwe kwi-internet journal ebizwa ngokuthi i-Pambazuka.* Akhuluma ngemisebenzi nezinhlelo zomholi owayengumongameli wezwe lase Burkina Faso uThomas Sankara.

Sankara believed it was futile to speak on behalf of the people if they could not be mobilized to become an integral part of the struggle and develop an identity forged in the fire of action.

For Sankara: ‘I think the most important thing is to bring the people to a point where they have self-confidence, and understand that they can, at last…be the authors of their own well-being… And at the same time, have a sense of the price to be paid for that well-being.’ To a great extent, the Burkinabé Revolution was an original experiment in profound social, economic, political and ideological transformation. It was a bold attempt at endogenous development through popular mobilization.

Lapha siyabona ukuthi uma kukhona umholi ophilayo none-Vision (Umbono), ku-Possible, ukuthi singakhona ukubonisana nokusebenzisana njengesizwe (ISintu) emsebenzini onzima wokuguqula imiqondo yeningi (social-psychological transformation), nokuthi ushintsho olubonakalayo noma i-Revolution, iyenzeka uma sibambisene, sibona ngasolinye.

Kuyiqiniso ukuthi njengabantu asisoze sahambisana ngakho konke, siqhamuka emindenini eminengi neyehlukahlukene, kepha lokhu akuchazi ukuthi singebonisane sivele namasu okuqaqa amaketango asibophile.

Lokhu okubizwa ngokuthi iRevolution, kuyinto eyenzakalayo, ebonakalayo neqhutshwa imizwa noma inhloso yabantu abanini. Kubalulekile kodwa ukubambisana ukuze zibonakale izithelo zayo. Ziyini pho, izithelo zeRevolution? Ake sibone izibonakaliso kwezokuphathwa kwezwe:

In the TIME magazine dated June1, 2009, let us consider this piece of information from the seventh page, reporting on events Sri Lanka :

After 26 years of war, now what? The bloody civil war that has claimed more than 70,000 lives appeared to end on May 17 when Sri Lankan government forces overran the rebel Tamil Tigers’ redoubt, killing the groups leader, Valupillai Prabhakaran.
As jubilant members of the ethnic Sinhalese majority celebrated in the streets, President Mahinda Rajapaksa took a first step toward reconciling the fractured nation by delivering a speech to Parliament in Tamil – the language of the insurgents and an estimated 265,000 civilians displaced by the recent offensive.”

I deliberately make a note of this report as a reminder to the reader that it is highly important to speak in a manner that people can relate to, understand and ultimately find honest. So what does it mean that the leader of one group has chosen to speak in the language of the minority?

It is a simple and deliberate act to reconcile the feuding peoples, a show of solidarity and even tolerance and compromise. As we have seen from the works/words of Thomas Sankara and other exemplary leaders all over the so called developing world, what you say and do among the people can either create or destroy.

Words are flammable. As the Hip Hop generation known as the Native tongues has repeatedly said in their songs ‘Word is bond, Word is Life’ and even ‘Word is God’.
There is no separation between the transcendent power of Deity and the elements that make up the material life, the separation is caused by our apparent lack of what Rastafarians call Over-Standing, that ability to know more than what your current environment allows or is able to see.

Lowo ozofunda lamazwi unenhlanhla, kepha uma enza inhliziyo yakhe ibe lukhuni uyazifanela nje nenja ehamba hamba ibone indwayimane bese iyayichamela, ingayithathi iyitshengise umnini wayo.

Finally here is wisdom, the kind that is available to everyone yet very few seem to perceive its true purpose and so like the dog, continue to abuse it at their own peril:
Here is the mind that has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come; when he comes, he must continue a short time.” – Revelation 17:9,10.

Sheba Amlak’s book Revelation The Last Prophecy Revealing the Second Coming of Jesus(Yahshua) Christ as King of Kings has this to say:

Wisdom is knowledge with understanding. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. The false mother church of Roman Christianity was built on the seven hills of Rome. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen. The ancient rulers of the world who ruled with paganism were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. Their dominant rule had ceased by the time John received the prophecy. One is, and the other has not yet come. John lived at the time when paganism of Rome dominated the earth, but he did not see the New Rome which has survived till this time. A new ecclesiastical form of worship was devised in Rome and descended from ancient Babylon…which leads to eternal destruction. It is the True and Living God of Israel who has allowed Rome to rule the nations, as a punishment to His people who rejected His Word.” – page 103-104.

The restoration of Ethiopia/Africa/Kushitic people should not only be a spiritual one, as we do not aim to re-establish churches and synagogues of serpents again, we seek to deliver our people to the Loving–Kindness of an Ethiopian God Who shares their souls longing for a better day, Who has noted our sighs and our tears.
For this reason, we aim to relate all that has transpired in history to what is taking place now, so that our redemption should be both practical and sure.
Yes there will be those among us who still crave the ways of the serpents and will do their best to sell out our race through scheming and greedy actions, but the meek shall inherit the earth while the wicked and weak-heart licks the dust. Scheming politicians and greedy corporations that ravish the Earth for Her finite resources, be warned.

In 1897 Martin R. Delaney challenged racist propagandists advocating the inferiority of the Black race by publishing Principia of Ethnology: The Origin of Races and Color. Delaney’s work was among the works that gave inspiration to Dunjee-Houston to further delve into published literature supporting the African Origin of Civilization.
It brings to prominence African-Americans who were writing and publishing literature to counteract the negative portrayal of African peoples. Restoring a record of that publishing history is under-valued and must be encouraged.

Having grown up witnessing Black independent towns, Reconstruction Common Schools founded by Blacks, the oncoming of the Garvey movement, the Harlem Literary Renaissance, the New Negro Movement and the birth-winds of Pan-Africanism, Dunjee-Houston critically assessed their place among the affairs of African-Americans. She knew that until African-Americans truly knew their role as progenitors of civilization and culture they would never fulfill their destiny

This is a time of Revolution, both spiritual and material; One should choose their words carefully as each carries death or Life.
Africans must unite now and forge an independent way of thinking , creating and doing things, there is no better time than now as the pillars of a neo-liberal, capitalist civilization gradually but surely crumble.
There is no place in the world where there is no person of African descent, this very fact should strengthen our resolve to launch ourselves boldly into the reconstructive project of Ethiopia/Africa’s renewal.

This renewal can never truly happen while we hold on to the rotting and double tongued notions of democracy perpetrated by all those who are colonized spiritually and mentally.
The role of the Black woman in this revolution is also one that should never be ignored or merely given lip service.

While W.E. B Dubois, James Weldon Johnson, and Alain Locke fostered political and literary arts during the Harlem Renaissance, Dunjee-Houston was delving into the foundations of civilization by the Cushites. Wonderful Ethiopians, Book II: Origin of Civilization from the Cushites was to create a sensibility and receptivity to Africa with a historical underpinning having utilized the latest findings of her day.
It was a lesson she sought to teach generations of Blacks starting as early as the primary grades through pioneering curricula on the global contributions of the Cushites.
While active in the Black women’s Racial Uplift Movement Bertram concludes that Dunjee-Houston researched and documented the vital cultural significance of the ancient African Matriarchy as a direct link to the historical importance of Black female leaders predating the women’s movement.”
It was Steve Bantubonke Biko who warned us with the words “Black man you are on your own…But without our women we are surely lost. So let us find ways to reconnect, to balance ourselves.
KuyaZwakala!!!– Ras Nabiy Tafari (Menzi Maseko)

ulwazi lusemqoka/knowledge is vital

Khephera

The Egyptian word for becoming is a curiously symbolic one, not only does is signify a dung-beetle with its propensity to roll large balls of dung which gather the earth as it travels to its destination, it is a also a word that like the Hebraic Bereshith, or the Zulu:Ukuqhamuka or Ukuvela, has vast etymological, numerical and theological variants.
Can we just imagine for a moment, what it would be like to possess a photographic memory. To simply see something as it appears and always be able to recall it in ones memory.
Surely this would be a very useful human attribute and a great talent.Perhaps this is not such a far-fetched idea, nowadays there are various ways that people can train themselves, either at remembering or at forgetting. In a world or age where knowledge has not merely increased and become available to whomever desires or can afford it, acquiring skills which were once thought to be the preserve of the either the genius or the gods has become possible.

One of Azania’s (South Africa) most revered poets once named a collection of his poetical stories, ‘Memory Is the weapon’, while yet another elder from this region wrote a novel and titled it ‘ The Memory of Stones’; both are exceptional explorations of times, spaces and experience, dealing with especially, the transitions and experiences of the struggling masses.

We shall not explore the literary aspects of these works, suffice to note that memory, remembrance and the often nostalgic tendency to record the passage of experiences and the messages that go with them. There are lessons to be learned each time one picks up the books.
But writing is not the only , nor the most poignant way of articulating such thoughts.
Orality and the other expressions rooted in the African experience – such as song and dance, ritual and custom – are just as useful. Yet few art forms get as intimate as the act of writing and storytelling. Poets have become the modern philosophers, breaking many boundaries. The concept of Kephera is rooted in Kemeten Hieroglyphics yet means a lot in this technologically advancing age. We will explore why later. Note these ancient Kemeten sayings found in the temple of Luxor*.

* You will free yourself when you learn to be neutral and follow the instructions of your heart without letting things perturb you. This is the way of Maat.*

Judge by cause, not by effect.*
Growth in consciousness doesn’t depend on the will of the intellect or its possibilities but on the intensity of the inner urge.*
Every man must act in the rhythm of his time … such is wisdom.*
Men need images. Lacking them they invent idols. Better then to found the images on realities that lead the true seeker to the source.*
Maat, who links universal to terrestrial, the divine with the human is incomprehensible to the cerebral intelligence.*
Have the wisdom to abandon the values of a time that has passed and pick out the constituents of the future. An environment must be suited to the age and men to their environment.*
Everyone finds himself in the world where he belongs. The essential thing is to have a fixed point from which to check its reality now and then.*
Always watch and follow nature.*
A phenomenon always arises from the interaction of complementaries. If you want something look for the complement that will elicit it. Set causes Horus. Horus redeems Set.*
All seed answer light, but the color is different.*
The plant reveals what is in the seed.…the tree emerges from the broken seed…

These are merely my thoughts and notes as I contemplate the Way we Kushites or Blacks can emerge from being lost in the west. have we become too comfortable in our dying?
Or can we emerge again, like the dung beetle who emerges from the dark whole and rolls performs their duty on the earth with uncahnging precision?
Nabiy-

kuyahlangana okwahlukaniswa emandulo

Kuyathokozisa ukuthi lolulwazi ngiphende ngiluthole sengihlala eZimbabwe, eHarare. Lomsebenzi weAfrikology / Izifundo ZoBuntu bethu, ubaluleke kakhulu. Ngiyathokoza ukuthola ukuthi kukhona izakhamuzi zalelizwe ezenza lomsebenzi ngokuzimisela onkungaka. Empeleni Isintu nabafundisi baso bathe chithisaka kwizwekazi elibizwa nge Afrika/ Kham/ Ta – Neter.

Ideas Worth Sharing

Here I am sharing something I gleaned from the net. These are the words of Kate Raworth from her website Exploring Doughnut Economics. I am keenly interested in people who propagate new ways of viewing and doing economics and guiding social change. Although I am more Afrocentric and tend to promote ideas by people of my own ‘race’, I also believe that a holistic civilization can only flourish through the collaborative efforts of all human beings who seek the greater good. Kate Raworth wrote:
“For 21st century progress, pick your paradigm…

 

I spent a day at the OECD in Paris earlier this week, and had fascinating discussions there. They had asked me to be provocative so I proposed they rewrite Article 1a of the OECD’s founding constitution – and I later tweeted it like this:

That tweet caught the attention of Branko Milanovic, who is one of the world’s leading economists in analysing global income inequality trends, and whose work I hugely admire (and cite in Doughnut Economics, of course).

Branko had a visceral reaction against my suggestion, prompting him to write a fiery blog on why economic growth is an inevitable necessity in all countries, no matter how rich they already are.

What fascinated me in reading Branko’s blog was the deep difference in the fundamentals underlying the worldviews that he and I hold – differences that implicitly underpin many public debates today.

So I have done my best to summarise the crux of Branko’s position in just five bullet points – and then to write down, in equally stark terms, a five-point summary of my own, very different, worldview (spelt out more fully here).

I absolutely understand why Branko might find my assumptions and beliefs untenable – just as I hope he would understand why I think his are equally so.

Here I’m not interested in twitter spats or bloggers’ boxing matches – they are ten-a-penny online and there are far more fruitful ways to engage.

I sincerely believe we – humanity – are at a critical juncture in determining our chances of having a flourishing planet on which we all can thrive this century. And the economic worldview that we use will significantly shape that. So there is much to be gained by engaging respectfully with those who disagree with us.

Hence I’m taking this opportunity to step back and acknowledge that both of our visions of the future include strong beliefs about human nature versus human nurture, big uncertainties about how economic variables may respond, deep assumptions about how much change is possible, and lots of hope about how the future might be different from the past.

Neither route is easy. Neither is proven. And a lot depends upon the choices we make.

Listening respectfully to those who disagree with us is a fascinating (and still too rare) thing to do.

So thanks for the opportunity, Branko.”

I ( Menzi Maseko) have decided to add one of the comments that followed, this post.

 

A comment by Herb Wiseman
14 July 2017 at 19:02

The scientists who study Nature vs. Nurture generally note that they interact with each other. I had a brother-in-law who was a scientist of some renown and he told me that nature is vitally important. But more and more studies are being published showing how genetic structures and supposedly innate physiological processes can be altered by environmental factors. Manufacturing Consent and the entire PR industry coupled to the work of Lakoff and others points to how we need to reframe our minds to understand society and its purpose. People may also want to take note of a Canadian initiative called the LEAP Manifesto. It is best described in a book by Naomi Klein called No Is Not Enough.”

While I am Searching for ways to do business unusually and to work within a transformative economic paradigm. I am currently in Zimbabwe, but I want to take and apply these ideas in Southern Africa and anywhere I may move to next.

Here is the link to Kate Raworth’s website: https://www.kateraworth.com/2017/07/14/for-21st-century-progress-pick-your-paradigm/

Knowledge Reigns Supreme

I have never seen this interview until now, but I overstand why it did not trend. The society we live in today is allergic of the truth. The real human truth, the GOD truth which is beyond our coloured struggles and racial biases and delusions and illusions of supremacy. What KRS says here is too true, uncomfortably true even for me, but I cannot shake the fact that it is the truth.
KRS ONE Rock, Rock On!!!

Black Science and Black Science Fiction

he warped time and space to deliver a message to eternity.” – Early Samuel R. Delaney

Delaney won the Nebula prize his science fiction novella Babel 17 in 1966, and won the Nebula and the Hugo Award for his 1968 novella titled, Time Considered as a Helix of Semi Precious Stones, and his monumental novel Nova was one of the best SF novels of the sixties.He was described by critic Algis Budrys as ‘the best science fiction writer in the world’, all this for a writer who happened to be Black, or Afrikan American, writing in a genre that was not yet considered the forte of Black people, whether writers or readers.But we have always told fantastical stories and some have written them too, but how many of us read them? Perhaps it was the titles of science fiction novels that tickled my poetic fancy, as I have always been into more political reading, but then again, there are vast landscapes and expansively intricate sub-political plots in many science fiction novels. I still look forward to finding Delaney’s short-story titled,”We, in Some Strange Power’s Employ, Move on a Rigorous Line,”

Good Music possesses a similar power to great fiction, fictions that alter reality, inspiring us to achieve hitherto unimagined feats.
One of my favourite artists today is, Janelle Monae’, she is into Science Fiction, it is evident in the design and cinematography of her videos, but more apparent in her debut album The ArchAndroid, as well her latest visionary offering Dirty Computer. Monae’ is among those creators that others call Afro-Futurists. It is a term that some embrace and some refuse to be subsumed under,just as the likes of Ben Okri and Amos Toutoula and Octavia E. Butler refused to be labeled as Magic Realists, or Fantasy writers. Although the latter is better known as a pioneering Science Fiction writer, she too is much more than any label. It is my wish that one day soon, such creators become more popular and read widely especially among Black communities, their stories could be the missing connection that we need to not only make sense of the dread conditions of Black existence, but they also offer impressive ideas and solutions towards what we can become if we were free to self-determine.

One day soon, I shall write about what I think about the potential impact of Black writers on society, if only reading was as popular in Southern Africa as it is in other parts of the world. There are just so many ifs and buts.Like, if only more young Black folks would listen to jazz, alternative electronic music as well as more Afrikan traditional sounds.There are so many writers, but who reads? SO many visual artists, but who is viewing and purchasing their work, so many producers of great art, inventions and progressive ideas, but so many impediments, mostly due to the sheer amount of historically based social ignorance.
Sometimes I write a few short stories which can be slotted into the genre called Science Fiction or Fantasy. I have not published any of these except for submitting some to some competitions where I have made the top 5 or top 3 of the selections, nevertheless, I can state unequivocally that I am a lazy writer. I should be writing everyday or at least producing a single short-story a week, considering the amount of ideas that flow through my head on a daily basis, even my dreams are the stuff of sheer mad-genius. Even though I am interested in writing fiction, I am more passionate about sociological writing, if I had the vocabulary I would write more about music. There is no excuse these days for not having a vocabulary or at least some knowledge about any subject – I mean, we have the internet. There is very little that cannot be known, at least at the novice level, as long as you have wifi or data.

Re-Afrikanization or Another Dead End?

My heart yearns for the glory of an Africa that is gone. But I shall labour for the birth of a new Africa, free and great among the nations of the world.”
– Anton Lembede

Many African nationalists do believe that Western imperialism was an exercise in divide and rule. The argument sometimes sounds like the following, ‘We were all Africans until colonialism split us into Ugandans, Kenyans. Ghanaians, and Ivorians.’ The logical jump is the assertion that Africans must ‘therefore’ have previously been just ‘Africans’. It is not a simple case of the very word African being itself non-African in origin, however true that may be. Rather it is a case of the inhabitants of the continent having known other, often narrower, group identities than ‘Ugandans’, and ‘Ivorians’ before colonial rule.” – Ali Mazrui, The Africans: A Triple Heritage

Did the experience of colonialism and the Trans-Atlantic slave-trade unite us as Afrikans only to divide us as Blacks? Can we not be simultaneously proud to be Black and retain our loyal identity as Afrikans, or is it a case of not being able to functionally coexists with both?
Today I am hearing more and more of my comrades advocating for a return to African Nationalism. They are evoking the likes of Anton Muziwakhe Lembede, Marcus Garvey and various other Afrikanist leaders from the bygone era. They state that the term Black no longer suffices as a definition of who we are, as people of this rich continent we should simply be known as Afrikans qha. I find it alarming and quite regressive, because I assumed we were all on the same page regarding the histories related to our being defined from without as well as from within.What alarms me even more is that these are comrades with whom we have spent almost a decade promoting Black Consciousness according to how we have read and understood it from the great activist Bantu Steve Biko. But today it appears as though we have not really understood Biko at all, or at least not the same way. This is not surprising, as Black Consciousness is neither a dogmatic doctrine nor a set of rules set in stone.
We can and have developed it and adapted it to many other progressive ideas of the 20th and 21st century, such as Black Existentialism, Afrikology, Intertextuality/Intersectionality, Black Feminism as well as Afro-Pessimism as developed by the likes of Frank B. Wilderson.
These and more are all part of the Black Radical tradition and form part of the a people’s movements towards liberation. But beyond scholarship, there have been global musical ideas and innovative artistic expressions based on the foundation of functional Black Consciousness.So what makes it different from Pan Afrikanism or even Afrikan Nationalism as advocated by our honourable predecessors from Garvey to Nkrumah to Nyerere,Cabral, Sankara, Toure’ and others?

Let’s begin by hypothetically accepting this geographically based definition,by agreeing that an Afrikan person no matter where she may be born or resides is still an Afrikan first, This means that all people of colour from the continent known as Africa, to the Brazilians, the Carribeans ( also known as West Indians), the Dominicans, some from South America as well as other parts of the Diaspora are to be identified as Afrikans first.
This definition is in spite of whether they personally identify as Afrikans of with the country of the birth, by virtue of being brown skinned or tan or as dark as ebony, they are African first.

But then there is a conundrum here, there are various peoples from all over the globe who appear dark skinned and yet they have not been in Afrika for several centuries. We can begin with the obvious Australian Aboriginals, New Zealanders, some peoples from the various Asian Islands, various so called Indians from that sub-continent as well as peoples from Mesopotamia and the Middle East who do not identify as Arabs, and some of those who do due to their religion. Are we saying that our Afrikan NAtionalism should exclude all these people even though they have suffered and continue to suffer the tribulations of anti-Black and racially based capitalist brutality?
Are we saying that only Afrikans in the continent are worth fighting and sacrificing for? Where does Afrikanness begin and end. I also need to know whether the knowledge based and technocratic economies of today …or rather can Afrikan Nationalism benefit the younger generation and assist them to become the best that they can be today? Is it a question of identity or is it really about loyalty and patriotism? If that is the case, does patriotism and loyalty to a continent progressively lead to social wellbeing or is it a question of being part of the nationalist ego?

God Did This To You …

The creativity and pathology of the human mind are, after all, two sides of the same medal coined in the evolutionary mint …something has gone wrong …man is predisposed towards self-destruction. The search for the causes of that deficiency starts with the Book of Genesis and has continued ever since.” – Arthur Koestler, The Ghost In the Machine, 1976

There is Life and there is Death. There are those among us who have sworn allegiance to either one or the other. There are also the in-between folk, those who are merely slaves to the rhythm or the circumstances of their environment and socialization. There are spreaders of good news and there are also merchants of disorder and fear. Some do both without realizing the contradictions in their double messaging. Conspiracy theorists in my view, represent the latter.

Many are keen to expose the ‘secrets’ that have been deliberately hidden by various interests, while others earnestly seek the truth, but then there are those who are gullible enough to swallow everything that they are given without proper analysis. There are extremes to everything, and in the age of information technology, it is of utmost importance to triple check ones facts before taking anything as it is given. Race is one of the theories that has long been debunked as having no scientific foundation, it has been found that we all emanate from the same Ancestors. Yet due to socio-economic systems and traditions and log held prejudices, race and ethnicity remain the most divisive and polarizing issue in the 21st century. Even though W.E.B. Du Bois wrote more than a hundred years ago that the problem of the 20th century will be the problem of the ‘colour-line’. Today, many debates from business, commerce to religion and even technological progress find a way to digress into racial territory somehow, mainly because much of the inequality still prevailing in the world is based on racism.  Race is a conspiracy theory, one that is thousands of years  old, but has been perfected or perverted in the past three or four centuries. Nevertheless, I am compelled to ask, is the Homo Sapien/Human Race the only race or sentient in the universe?

I am not a fan of conspiracy theories, so I have stayed away from most conversations regarding secret societies as well as speculative theories about extra-terrestrial life. However I have done my reading and I have been intrigued by the subject of Sumerian and Ancient ciKemetic/Egyptian history, especially the creation stories found in these interesting cultures as well as what they teach us about our propensity to Create and to destroy. While I have studied ancient Afrikan history as a Pan Afrikanist, I have primarily concentrated on connections with inner Afrika and its Diaspora but have not thoroughly explored the connections with the Mediterranean and Mesopotamian history, aside from Israel/Palestine. The purpose of life is to Know Oneself, the purpose of the Soul and the possibilities of the mind and body as well as to Love and nurture Nature and others. At least this is my purpose. All my learning is channeled towards this goal.

Accepted knowledge is not always wisdom, many things considered true yesterday have been revealed as false or simply debunked as either fables or myths. Some are even considered delusions. But as I have written elsewhere, myths and legends are also useful to know and even to create during the evolution of the story of our existence as humans or whatever we are in the universe. But what is the danger of taking ourselves too seriously and what are the dangers of not taking ourselves and our potential or capabilities seriously?

It has been written that mankind or humanity is inherently flawed. Religions use terms such as the Fall ( referring to the ejection of Adam and Eve from the Edenic garden), the Death of Instinct and the fault in our stars to terms such as ‘Sinful Nature’ or “Born of sin” as espoused by the Christians who offer a Messiah as the solution towards salvation. Basically, all religions have their messiah’s and even Science has its great inventors, discoverers and pioneers. Much of what we learn we eventually unlearn in later times, there is a succession of clarifications and exposure to more knowledge as we advance towards an improbable future. Life is both bitter and sweet and everything else in between, it is the contradictions and unanswered questions that often give us the best taste of who and what we are and what we are becoming.

We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” E.M. Forester

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? – Not much.” – Jim Rohn

After studying and reading a whole lot of books and videos, lectures and listening to audio as well as peoples theories of creation and the purpose of humanity on Earth, I have come to several conclusions which I shall expand on later. Here are just Four:

  • There is No One God but Many Gods/Divine Beings
  • Creation Is Perpetual and So is Entropy
  • Music and The Language of Sound, Rhythm and Vibration are the Most Profound ‘Inventions”
  • Living and Dying Are Choices We Make Prior to Entering the Body as Well as During Our Incarnation

Even though the title of this essay says ‘God Did This To You …”, I have concluded that not only is there no single entity which is the Creative Force or God of all of this, there are multiple Origins, yet they work in both harmony as well as contestant. This is not to say that there is no design, it simply means the designers are multifarious as well as coordinated from various elemental processes.

But allow me to go back to Koestler’s statement about the search for the cause beginning with Genesis. Of course I refute that notion because it is subjective and only deals with one perspective of the numerous creation stories and how as different peoples we interpret the existence of evil and good. As there are many gods/Gods, there are many forefathers or progenitors of the Human race. But staying with the usual Biblical story, lets hear what Graham Hitchcock has written concerning the genesis of the earth and the place of humanity in it. In Chapter 21, titled A Computer for Calculating the End of the World, he quotes, the Hebrew bible as well as the Mayan Popol Vuh, to compare them and elucidates further on the similarities as well as the geographical, anthropological, mathematical intricacies of ancient calendar making. Here is the famous passage from the Book of Genesis:

The Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become as one of us, to know good and evil. Now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever, [Let Us] send him forth from the Garden of Eden.”

The Mayan’s attributed their wisdom and origins to the First Men, God-like beings of Quetzalcoatl, also known as Mahucutah (The Distinguished Name); Mayan Popol Vuh states: ” these forefathers were endowed with intelligence, they saw and instantly they could see far; they succeeded in seeing; they succeeded in knowing all that there is in the world. The things hidden in the distance they saw without first having to move…Great was their wisdom; their sight reached to the forests, the rocks, the lakes, the seas, the mountains, and the valleys. In truth they were admirable men …They were able to know all, and they examined the four corners, the four points of the arch of the sky, and the round face of the earth.”

Hancock states that the achievements of these First Men angered some of the gods/Gods who stated that “It is not well that our creatures should know all …must they become equals to ourselves, their Makers, who can see far, who know all and see all? Must they also be gods?”

Many ancient traditions speak of God, gods, deities, Neteru and demi-gods. They speak of various forms and levels of worship, but what connects all these religions is either adherence to particular orthodoxies and even slavish devotion to the Names of their particular deities. There is power in the Name of YAH, or Yehoshua etc the Judeo-Christian ones say, and there is no salvation outside the chanting of the name of Lord  KRSHA, the Vedic school of Krishna Consciousness teaches, even among the Yoruba and the Santeria adherents there Orisha are conjured and they are invoked through their Names and through rhythmic music. Well I say that everything that has a name can be claimed and can be tamed. Humanity may have been created as slaves and flawed in many ways but both our resilience as well as our imaginations and audacity to seek to KNOW MORE and KNOW BETTER as well as our often Unpredictable behavior  are elements that endow us with the ability to reach further than our Creators have planned for us. We must not be arrogant though, our ancestors have also revealed to us that we are far more than Flesh and Blood and that we are capable of ascending to heights they too have not been to. As low, depraved and pathetic as we can sink, similarly we can become far more than even we can imagine, it is more than just an intellectual or scientific existence, our Spirit as well as our DNA is equipped to allow us to keep reaching further and further into the past so as to be able of reaching as far into the future and into space as possible.

Liberating voices from our past

One of the most influential books in my intellectual and activist life has been W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches, published in 1903. This book not only opened my eyes wider to the challenge of racial justice but also endowed me with the tools I needed in order to discern between race hustlers and authentic justice activists. Du Bois is among the most revered founding fathers of Pan Afrikanism. He was there at the beginning structures of the men and women who organised themselves not only for diaspora emancipation projects, but worked tirelessly for the liberation of Afrika’s various countries, and his last days were spend in Ghana wherein he lies buried. Like many Pan Afrikanists of his day, and even many of us today, he was mostly concerned with the building of properly equipped and ideologically sound institutions for the development of Black people. I hereby would like to quote him where he wrote about the establishment of Afrikan American colleges.

The function of the Negro college, then, is clear. it must maintain the standards of popular education, it must seek the social regeneration of the Negro, and it must help in the solution of problems of race contact and co-operation. And finally, beyond all this, it must develop men. Above our modern socialism, and out of the worship of the mass, must persist and evolve that higher individualism which the centers of culture protect; there must come a loftier respect for the sovereign human soul that seeks to know itself and the world about it, that seeks a freedom for expansion and self development; that will love and hate and labor in its own way; untrammeled alike by old and new. 

Herein the longing of black men must have respect: the rich and bitter depth of their experience, the unknown treasures of their inner life, the strange rendings of nature they have seen, may give the world new points of view and make their loving, living and doing precious to all human hearts.” – page 73 ( The Souls of Black Folk )

When I read such words, written so long ago by men who strove for real justice and whose primary focus was on freeing their own kind yet whose scope was truly about freeing the whole human race, I shudder in shame. Somehow with all our technology and knowing, we have not really achieved the great feats that these men and women fought and worked so hard for. Yes of course there are many shining examples of Black excellence, there are now many schools and institutions that do great work in our communities globally, but the missing link is still unity of purpose. Many are either divided by religious dogma while others have perished through the corrosive egotistical character of their founders or inheritors. All in all, we are moving forward, but rather slowly or too gradually. This is why it appears as if the posturing and shock tactics of radical Black political activists are our main hope. Groups such as the Economic Freedom Fighter, the Black First Land First movement and others appear as the clearest choices for people who have long given up putting their hopes in standard political processes. But herein lies the difference between the likes of Marcus Garvey, Du Bois and other Pan Afrikan leaders of the past, while they were engaged in political processes, they were also engaged in community uplift projects that were entrepreneurial in nature, but above all that, they were also educators and institution builders, the foundations of which are strong because even after a century we still look to them for guidance.

imibhalo yezinyanga

ngalamazwi uzobusa

ngalemisho uyobusiswa

shono phela mlobi wezimfihlo

kwashona bani wavusa wena

nethestamente elisha sha?

gazi leminikelo mithi yemi-

hla ngeminhla, zintelezi nemi-

hlambezo

mikhuleko nenhlambuluko

migidi namahubo

migcabo nemishanguzo

mihla  namalanga

mibhalo yezinyanga

empeleni kawusiyo Mbongi

bheka zandile nezinyosi zitinyela kwasani

noNgangezwe ukwesobukhosi

zifakazile nezanusi

thina balobi singofakazi bokuhle nokubi

izehlo ngezehlo, izinsizi namabika, iminjunju nemikhosi

lobani ke, nizishaya izihlakaniphi

amaqiniso ebe efihlwe emqubeni

emqulwini nokuqoshwe emigedeni