Angazi nokuthi ngiqalephi … the rage one feels regarding the Zulu King’s recent statements and his decision to join hands with a right leaning racist white political formation called AfriForum is palpable. Yet, if one understand the history of Southern Africa and how apartheid was established and how colonialism installed its own loyal people to oversee the land and its people, it is easy to rationally conclude that the king is still being used, whether he knows it or not. South Africa is a strange place of multifarious paradoxes.
I don’t even know where to begin …the sheer betrayal of trust that Afrikan leaders, including kings have exhibited towards us is beyond my ability to contemplate. While I am aware of how white supremacy uses folks against each other,employing all kinds of devices to turn governments against their own people, states against traditional leaders as well as customary leaders against their “subjects”; the things that are happening in South Afrika right now are just too much to bear.
Let us briefly examine a few key players in the land, farming and socio-political climate of the entity called South Africa. We shall begin with the roles of traditional leaders, then and now. We shall then analyse just what purpose they serve in the so called developmental state, as the Republic of South Africa purports to be one.
South African History 101
An overview of South African history is necessary in order to gain some understanding of the current socio-economic situation.
The African National Congress
The Pan Africanist Congress
The EFF and Other Insurgent movements
Key Elements of Divide and Rule
Who is King Goodwill Zwelithini?
What Should be Done With Kings and Lands Under Their Stewardship?
“Love and Light Interested me so
That I dared to knock at the door of the cosmos” – SUN RA Arkestra
There is music and there are artists that dare to throw caution to the wind, yet like a masterly boomerang wielder, ensure that whatever they throw windward returns exactly where they are. These artists are neither interested in trends, fashions, nor commercial interests, what they create is monumental beyond monuments, it is significant beyond their particular genre and draws humanity and the universe closer to the heart and to the meanings of Life. Sun Ra and Lupe Fiasco are just two of the ones we would like to shine a light on for now.
Of course there are many such phenoms, we can count at least 12 from the top of the head, but this is not a list of luminaries, it is about the serendipitous connections that visionary creators seem to have. In some cases there is a conscious effort to emulate each other but in some instances, it is just dividual morphism or happy coincidence and consequence.
Let us begin with a spontaneous poem I wrote while deeply engrossed in the music of the Hip Hop artist Lupe Fiasco and then we shall take a look at how both Fiasco and Ra come together in the cosmic balance of all things Black genius.
“The Buddha is sage, impepho yabaNgoni
The sage Buddha devours everything
Walking barefoot emisebeni
Yamalanga onke …
Bearing the terrible Black beauty of Kali
Black and Blue with the temperament of Krishna
Peaceable as Ausar the foremost of the West
The greensome 12 digital Lord is a maiden voyager
Lonely as a cloud of unknowing
Now contemplative under trees
Now a dervishly whirling wind under the sea
The Buddha is a sage
The Buddha is a black sage
Whose appetite is beyond eclectic
Grips nothing too firmly
And so it all, it all falls down
Mindless while mindful
Horsepower with no harness
No pressure, nor stress
No desire, no aversion
All risk so no risk
No test, nor failure …” – Menzi Maseko
Wikipedia has a serviceable description of who Sun Ra was if one is seeking a basic overview, but what we aim to illustrate here is how this artist has influenced generations of innovators far beyond his milieu, that is if anything was truly beyond the man from Saturn.
Here is an overview:
“Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, legal name Le Sony’r Ra; May 22, 1914 – May 30, 1993) was an American jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, and poet known for his experimental music, “cosmic” philosophy, prolific output, and theatrical performances. For much of his career, Ra led “The Arkestra”, an ensemble with an ever-changing name and flexible line-up.
Born and raised in Alabama, Blount became involved in the Chicago jazz scene during the late 1940s. He soon abandoned his birth name, taking the name Le Sony’r Ra, shortened to Sun Ra (after Ra, the Egyptian God of the Sun). He developed a complex persona and an idiosyncratic, myth-based credo that would make him a pioneer of Afrofuturism. He claimed to be an alien from Saturn on a mission to preach peace, and throughout his life he publicly denied ties to his prior identity.
His widely eclectic and avant-garde music echoed the entire history of jazz, from ragtime and early New Orleans hot jazz, to swing music, bebop, free jazz and fusion. His compositions ranged from keyboard solos to works for big bands of over 30 musicians, along with electronic excursions, songs, chants, percussion pieces, and anthems. From the mid-1950s until his death, Ra led the musical collective The Arkestra (which featured artists such as Marshall Allen, John Gilmore and June Tyson throughout its various iterations). Its performances often included dancers and musicians dressed in elaborate, futuristic costumes inspired by ancient Egyptian attire and the Space Age. (Following Ra’s illness-forced retirement in 1992, the band remained active as The Sun Ra Arkestra, and, as of 2018, continues performing under the leadership of veteran Ra sideman Marshall Allen.)
Though his mainstream success was limited, Sun Ra was a prolific recording artist and frequent live performer, and remained both influential and controversial throughout his life for his music and persona. He is now widely considered an innovator; among his distinctions are his pioneering work in free improvisation and modal jazz and his early use of electronic keyboards and synthesizers. Over the course of his career, he recorded dozens of singles and over one hundred full-length albums, comprising well over 1000 songs, making him one of the most prolific recording artists of the 20th century.”
Enter the prolific super MC/Rapper/Composer, Lupe Fiasco.
It would require a few more pages to describe the proficiency and scope of the prodigy called Lupe Fiasco, suffice to say that not since De La Soul or Digable Planets and Shabbaz Palaces, has there been a Rapper possessing such a heightened sense of cosmic balance. His music is simply larger than his genre, his lyrics are unparalleled and with the advent of his latest album Drogas Wave, he has simply gone beyond the level of musical world building and created an epic of gargantuan proportions. Drogas Light and Drogas Wave are an Afrocentric Science Fiction odyssey unheard of, except maybe since Deltron 3030 or Del The Funky Homosapien and Dan The Automators collaboration …( more on that later).
Here is a review ( I shall add mines in another post):
“Economically, there must be a deliberate policy, as a matter of top priority, to awaken the people, especially government and party functionaries to the objective of serving the masses through the rapid development of the material and technical basis for socialist construction.Finally, it is obvious that a socialist development strategy, being scientifically conceived, requires strict discipline its its implementation.” – A.M. Babu, Development Strategy, REvolutionary Style
In the beginning of my essay writing ‘career’, I titled my article “The People Need A Leader”.In hindsight, what it should have suggested is that The People Are The Leaders. While taking into account the role of institutions such as governments and other bureaucratic entities, including traditional leadership, the essential ingredient for prosperity and peace, should be Self Reliant, Educated and Active Citizenship. Many have lamented the lack of leadership, but I have suggested before that this is a misdiagnosis. We do not lack good leaders, what is missing is DISCIPLINE as well as properly constituted Social relations – a Unity of Purpose as Black Power activist Kwame Toure has called it. Yet, how can a people discover its collective purpose when they are busy trying to assimilate into a social and economic system that was built to exclude them and use them as mere slaves?
It is now more than 15 years since my first essay written for some local newspaper and it is saddening to admit that not much has changed. South Afrika has seen 3 state presidents, and they have done what they can to help or curb development. While I do not believe that leadership of society should only be expected from the political class only, it is incumbent upon them as public servants to simply do that – serve. The unfortunate reality in Afrika is that leaders merely serve rhetorically, much of their time is spent either travelling, making speeches and cutting ribbons. For just doing their official jobs and mostly shabbily so, our leaders expect not just rewards, but the most loyal praise. It has been more than 60 years since the first Afrikan country was gained independence,mountains of papers and fervent speeches have been made and we have a large pantheon of national heroes, patriots and martyres yet it does not take much to see that Afrikans are largely unfree, our education system is languishing in colonial limbo despite of the many gains.When we formed the Economic Freedom Fighters as Black Consciousness/Pan Afrikanist activists, we asked WHAT IS TO BE DONE, but instead on concentrating more efforts into our policies and grassroots development we saw leaders from within and from other parties jostling for power, intellectual supremacy as well as loyalty.
Corruption at an alarming scale still grips and cripples most Afrikan countries, while it’s common face may be Black, it is clear that there are enablers and instigators that are also White, foreign and just as hostile as our own Big Men.That hostility eats away at most democratic as well as cultural institutions, making them unable to function according to agreed upon social contracts, such as constitutions and legislations. The cancer of corruption is just one of the plethora of troubles that plague Afrikan countries, the other one is what we have already alluded to – LEADERSHIP deficit. This is not a question of a lack of individuals who are committed and willing, it is also not a romantic call for heroic saviors, we have seen many of those murdered and others have been co-opted into the corrosive system that promotes graft and other social ills.
These days even as investigations into illicit capital outflows, where Afrikan resources are being looted by every other country in the name of cooperative development, property ownership and loans, the call for a wiser ‘class’ of leaders has grown even louder. Who Will Lead this lost and languishing people?
I am sharing this article as it deals with some of the issues while also offering ways forward.
There is a very clear as well as symbolic presence of serpents in various world cultures. Have we totally forgotten the Meaning or Significance of these in our Information age and what is the consequence of our amnesia? The symbol of the serpent is everywhere and it is not always what we have been indoctrinated to believe.
I will just leave this here, we shall revisit and analyse it thoroughly later, from esoteric as well as Afrocentric perspective. I am currently reading a book called The Cosmic Serpent, this is a great documentary on the subject matter and covers most of the world, but not very much of the Afrikan connection.
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)
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”
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.
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.”
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.*
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?
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.