From Heroism to the great betrayals: Southern Africa is still a colony

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?

 

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For Balance, Here is Neil Degrasse Tyson in his ‘own’ words.

Between Scientists and Conspiracy Theorists, who will inherit the new Earth?
While this is not about the Flat Earth issue, which I have promised to explore further – examining its merits and demerits, I found the conversation compelling. There is just something about DeGrasse’s sharp intelligence that is juxtaposed so sharply with his egocentricity, but perhaps that is an expected consequence of his fame.

Interrogating This Notion of Nation

I have often refuted this notion of nations, especially when it comes to the peoples of Afrika. What is a nation and can we find better definitions and peaceful resolutions to our own being, our constitutions as well as ensuring that we are not further exploited by foreign interests as Afrikans/AbaNtu? But beyond just my own pan-Afrikan interests, I believe that nationalism anywhere is a powerful inhibitor of progress and humane relations. It may sound like a contradiction coming from a pan Afrikanist as much of pan-Afrikanism has been fueled or driven by the protection and even projection of national sovereignty for formerly colonized peoples. But we may have inherited a lot of regressive ideas from our colonisers, and nationalism which may have been useful at some point of the struggle for independence,  it has now become a thorn and a hindrance to Afrikan and global progress.

One of my favourite writer, Mario Vargas Llosa has been a vehement critic of the notion of nationalism. here is a piece from an interview:

“The basic idea of nationalism is wrong,” declares Vargas Llosa when we meet at his publisher’s offices in London. “The idea that to be born in a given place is a value in itself is ridiculous. Totally ridiculous! Now the Scots want to be independent. That would be very sad. I don’t think Scotland is going to be privileged by independence. On the contrary, this is not the march of time – the march of time is for the dissolution of frontiers, integration, common denominators. Nationalism appeals to the tribe, the basic primitive tribe. No, no, no, we must fight this – Scotland must fight this. But we must fight colonialism too,” he says, adding that he is in favour of European union despite the current crisis. “We have had almost 60 years of peace in Europe for the first time in history, which is a great achievement. Never forget, nationalism has produced the most brutal and cruel wars in history.”

The elder is very clear and articulate here, but I would like to share something that is constantly on my mind, regarding questions of security and progress in the continent of Africa. The Congolese and Ethiopian situations are always a tough subject, as they both have a long history of ethnic and class conflicts, many leaders there have tried various ways to force some kind of national unity among their people, history has proven that this tenuous arrangement has only served to make matters worse. This article looks at the Ethiopian situation in a similar manner.

Please read and respond. I will add my full thoughts later as I have written about this on other platforms.

http://ayyaantuu.org/walelign-mekonnen-the-question-of-nationalities-and-ethiopias-persistent-crisis/

The Cannabis Effect

Will this leave us high and dry, or will our visions and dreams truly fly?
I found myself wondering after the effects of South Africa’s Constitutional Court decision to partially legalize the use of cannabis wore off. I have a nagging feeling that it is not Afrikan people in general who will benefit from this landmark case. But there is still more work to be done. The tree must be wholly freed.
Many newspapers lapped up the news and the Business Day of 19 September 2018, even made it their cover story. But it was Mary Nel on the Sunday Times of 23rd September which carried a more succinct or balanced narrative. Headlined “Constitutional Court Ruling on dagga leaves brains somewhat muddled.”
She began, “The Constitutional Court has passed down a judgement that makes it legal for adults to cultivate and smoke dagga in their homes. The court ruled that the right to privacy was violated by prohibiting the possession, purchase or cultivation of dagga for personal consumption by an adult in a private dwelling. The case was pursued by various parties, including a Cape Town lawyer, Gareth Prince, who is practicing Rastafarian. It was opposed by , among others the ministers of Justice and Constitutional development, police and health; the national director of public prosecutions and the NGO Doctors for Life International.” Now this opposition is what we must investigate further. We need to understand exactly on what grounds do these ministries and a civil society formation find it correct to oppose the constitution of the land as well as the will of the people.
nel continues instructively: “The Constitutional Court’s judgement is to be applauded for doing away with the moralistic and paternalistic assumption that dagga use by adults in private is always wrong and unhealthy. SA joins a number of countries that have taken a similar step, among them Canada and Portugal.”
The complexity of the COnCourts decision centres around matter of persecution and legislation regarding trading in dagga/ganja/cannabis.
Essentially, the user can grow their own herbs yet they need to obtain the seeds elsewhere. So while the private citizen has rights, the so called dealer does not have the right to sell. This speaks to the difficulty that courts will have to determine what constitutes a public and a private space. For an example, is my body not my personal space wherever I may take it. Is my motor vehicle also not a private space, what about my Bed and Breakfast or Hotel room or even the home of my relatives or friends?

“The COnstitutional Court envisages instead that, provided dagga is used “in private and not in public”, it is protected by the right to privacy even if the adult in question is not at home or in a private dwelling.” Now if that does not sound rather confusing then I do not know what else is?

The Business Day ran a more business centric story. With headlines such as, “Hemp houses could spur job creation”; “Dagga chef rolls out the boom butter”, and “Ploy to trade legally in weed just the ticket”, which included this interesting quote from a user, “Transactions are always going to happen. We are going to trade and transact and purchase and swap in private.” The journalist, Katherine Child added. “He has thought of ways to circumvent the ban on the purchase of dagga – all based on not paying directly for it.”
Needless to say, it is obvious that this is only the beginning of a very interesting journey for this versatile plant.
But the most thought provoking headline is one that said ‘Cannabis trials are up in the air”, which deals with the lives of thousands of people facing prosecution for possession as well as dealing in Marijuana/dagga/ganja. I have been there too and I know how difficult it is to get off the roll without cash. There will be bribes and there will be mass confusion, but if the law is respected and the legal system does its job properly, we should be seeing a lot of presumed guilty people walking free and contributing bountifully to society.
My only advise to fellow Rastafari is “SAVE THE SEEDS and SECURE LAND”.

We will be writing soon about how so many multinational companies as well as pharmaceuticals have already planned just how to exploit the opportunities presented by the steady but sure international acceptance of the plant that Rasta’s love to call ‘The Healing of the Nations”.

Afrika At The Crossroads revisted

“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.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/pan-africanism-and-the-global-economic-crisis-african-union-faces-turbulent-headwinds/5569029

Beyond Land, Rights and Diplomacy

My wife and I are in Zimbabwe on a diplomatic mission. No. Well, kind of. Not really, but well, I have to curb my compulsion to comment politically in my usually open freedom loving manner. Yes, I may say all I can about South Afrika or any other country that interests me, but we are living in Zimbabwe, and well – lets just say – in the words of Bob Marley, “Don’t jump in the water, if you can’t swim.” Who knows what kinds of sharks, snakes and crocodile may lurk in these electronic waterways?

Despite the fact that most crocodiles are now kept in various national amusement parks and mummified in museums, the proverbial deadly bite still lurks out there somewhere. I must still live and we must respect our jobs, for the children, for a better life for all.

It is hard though for me not to speak about the people I am among. To reflect through my poetry or my voice and writing, their struggles, their concerns and their pain. I listen, I observe and I hear too much. The fact is, the people of this Great country are in travail, yet somehow someway they bear it with a dignity that I have not seen in the country I come from. There is so much industriousness, I am inspired. Necessity. What is it that is said about the Mother of Invention?

Paradoxically, part of me also sees Zimbabwe as not being so different from the Republic of South Africa or any other former-colony for that matter. Structurally as well as psychologically, these are spaces and peoples who have been captured purely for the extraction of the minerals and human resources that power the various machines of neo-colonialism – locally as well as globally. Europe and America still under-develops Afrika albeit in much more subtler ways. We now also have the Asian dragons, as well as the parasitic Black bourgeoisie but that is another subject.

Zimbabwe is a large scale farm and mine. South Africa is a mine and a farm too, a golf course, a dirt road, a freeway and a highway for the movement of wealth from the native land to the rest of the world. They are also gardens, playgrounds and sources of almost unlimited social experiments for the sociologists, anthropologists as well as philandeering philanthropists of the world. We have symbolic messiahs as well as perennial bogey-men and persona non-gratas. The Black communities are all places of unspeakable deprivation, depravity and conspicuous debaucheries, where sex, violence and dance moves and sounds are exported globally for the amusement of all and sundry. We are Ousmane Sembene’s God’s Bits Of Wood, placed here to keep the world warm while our own flesh and bones burns to simmering cinders, ashes, to ashes, dust to dust. But I digress.

Let me come back to the land. I am not a good politician. I cannot even call myself an activist anymore, hiding as I do, behind, books, screens and occasional forays into science fiction and mytho-poetic workshops where I am overpaid for recycling the Sacred treasures of my people, my ancestors and the bit of knowledge I have gleaned through books and experience. Other than that, I drift again.

The Land, the Land, the Land. Whose Land is it anyway? from Cape to Cairo, from Mombasa to Cape Coast, from Ghana to Las Palmas, Madagasca to eThekwini from the Congo to the Limpopo, the Nile/Hapi Valley, from the Cameroonian rivers and hills to the River banks where the Dinka and the Shilluk ply their trade in ancient lore and the Dogon glare at near and distant stars – who does this all belong to? If it was once stolen and its people cruelly decimated, can it be restored and all people compensated? Compensated? Who shall be compensated and why and how.

Today at a cafe, where I usually sip my Ethiopian, Kenyan and Zimbabwean coffee. I overheard a white man complaining to his mates that he is the only one in his area whose land has not been indigenized. He added that the promise of compensation and restoration is a pipe dream. No one is being compensated. It is better to sell. But this is another story. This man was talking about not just farms but also shop space in the peri-urban areas which were formerly white-owned.

In a book  I reluctantly bought recently, titled Voices of Zimbabwe – The Pain, The Courage, the Hope, edited by Glyn Hunter, Larry Farren and Althea Farren; ( I was reluctant because I saw no Zimbabwean indigenous names on the cover, nor in the contents page, but the shop keeper told me that some stories are actually those of Black people, just edited by the publishers. I bought it anyway, it was cheap and I liked the cover images); anyways, here is a quotation from a chapter titled: A Further Blow to Wildlife and Tourism, subtitled, The Wisdom of the Wild:

“The land has been hurt. Misuse is not to be

excused, and its effects will be long felt

But nature will not be eliminated, even here.

Rain, moss, and time apply their healing bandage

and the injured land at last recovers.

Nature is evergreen, after all.”  – Robert Michael Pyle

Oh and lastly, somewhere in the beginning, they even quote Nelson R. Mandela

The time to build has arrived

the time to build together, and to build each other.

This is from a chapter entitled This Land is Our Land

 

For the sake of Diplomacy, let me just leave that there and go pray for a peaceful 22/08/2018 and beyond. Mwari may still hear our cries for Equal Rights and Justice.