journeys within

The perfect Age has come, when Man will be his own priest, and Men will not array themselves in special garb to advertise their piety.

Mankind will go within to find Self’s wonderment.  – Mahatma

It is my humble opinion that each Artists is tasked with the mission of being a Revolutionary. To activate his or her potential and talents to positively transform society. In my brief lived experience as an Activist involved in Cultural and Arts sector in Southern Africa and through my world travels, I have met only a handful truly revolutionary Artists.

While I have also met and had conversations with luminaries such as Abdullah Ibrahim, Bheki Mseleku, Hugh Masekela, Ray Phiri and less well known Artists such as Gabi Ngcobo, Zamani Makhanya, Nhlanhla Chonco, Mfanafuthi Wake Mahlobo, Eugene Skeef, Nduduzo Makhathini, Eric Coolfire Hadebe, Zoe Masuku and Mphutlane Wa Bofelo to name just a few. it has been the Poets among them that have continued to inspire me holistically.

Many of the artists I have met have been Dreamers, people who see the world through a radically different kind of Light. They are ordinary yet extraordinary in their own right. In fact, some of them are reluctant to even label themselves or regard themselves as artists at all. In my book Rock ‘n Rule, a collection of writings gleaned from my notes and thoughts of the past 5 years, I attempted to speak about the significance of such people. But I am the first to admit that the book turned out to be something more political and more of a social commentary then what it was intended to me.

In these blog-posts, I aim to revisit some of those essays and even rewrite and complete some of the themes I had explored then. But it is a difficult exercise as I have hundreds of notes that are written in such a poetic way that I am not sure that readers would follow what I am saying, the feelings and thoughts I am attempting to express are often overwhelmingly transcendental. The primary point I am trying to raise though is that We Are All Potential Healers. We Are Artists and Dreamers and Doers. Even the ones who merely Think and Speak or Conceptualize ideas that never manifest at a given time, they matter and they must be regarded as contributes to the symphony of living. Our becoming.

Here is something I wrote on 02/04/2014, titled The Puzzle and The Living of Dreams:

“In writing out our dreams, fixing the points of conception, to cognition, sub-conscious and conscious causal action – I must be at one with the wild currents of trans-linear lights.

Many impressions and many versions of chaos seeking its perfect imperfection. We must do the seemingly impossible and be where we ought to be and know that whenever we are we are on time.

Activate our body, mind and energy towards the Telling.

If such dream-visions are to be told, We must be guided wisely in our Way of Telling. many of the same stories are being told. How each one tells the the same story is what separates the visionaries from the repetitive mimics.

If we say that the proverbial snake spoke and that there was a rope

or if we felt fearful, dread, lightness, transmigration or hope

let hope be wedded to the words and the imagery of the tale, the words’and let the Music play on

let the funk, the jazzy rhythmic blues

History is constructed from future past-times …

Every journey without was once a journey within

There Must be Substance once we Awake from the Dreaming

There must be Movement towards a Birthing of newness, harmonies and melodies

imbued with Love and Justice and Peace, the new birth must be harmonious with Nature … with the ancient future idea of Ma’at.*

Says the jazz man –

I’m the unencumbered bird of my imagination, rising only to fall back toward concrete

each note a black flower / opening, mercifully opening into the unforgiving new day.” – Ai, Man with the Saxophone

And as Paul Berliner put it in Thinking in Jazz : “The language metaphors adopted by jazz artists to describe their conceptions convey more than the notion that, within the bounds of their unique language system, ‘musical ideas’ should have substance. They also suggest that, for improvisers, the patterns are not ends in themselves, but have ongoing implications for thought.” 

The artists that have captured my imagination and inspired me to see and hear the world in a new way have come from Reggae music, jazz, electronic sounds such as Little Dragon, Radiohead, Hyatus Kayote and my brother Khaya’s experimentation with computer generated EDM and Jungle sounds. Mphutlane Wa Bofelo has also inspired me with his Radical Humanism, which in turn is inspired by his over-standing of Black Consciousness and the basic principles of Socialism. What makes an action artistic? What makes a thought original?

Perhaps these are the questions that one can better deal with through deep reflection and meditation, by journeying within …

 

 

Arts For A Change

It was a very moving experience reading Michelle Constants column in the April 2017 issue Creative Feel.

I was first enchanted by the Stompie Selibe artwork featured as the cover, I had not really gotten to the story yet, but the issues that Constant, who is the CEO of Business Arts SA, raised. She essentially wrote about the same kind of social challenges that Nduduzo Makhathini and I were speaking about lastnight.

Makhathini had called me late last-night as he could not contain himself after reading my spontaneous reviews of his latest musical offering, Reflections.

We basically spoke about the Healing and social responsibility of Artists such as himself. He mentioned the designer of Thandi Ntuli and Salim Washington’s albums. I mentioned the primary functions of literary works such as Paolo Coelo’s The Alchemist, Ayi Kwei Armah’s The Healers, KMT and also Baba Mazisi Kunene’s work.

I raised the point that The Alchemist reminds us of the importance of Intention. While there are many books, New Age and otherwise, that speak on this subject, it is the simplicity and rather traditional storytelling style of Coelo that captures the essence of this phenomenon.

So what is our collective intention? In broad terms, we intend to change our society for the better. We believe strongly in the intrinsic goodness and natural progressiveness of our people, the Afrikan people in particular. We know that our political and economic systems and conditions are inherited from an era of ignorance and desperation.

We were desperate for freedom and independence but many leaders and communities had not spend enough time meditating about what the quality of our desired society would be. For an example, how did we imagine crime-free communities where the scourge of violence against women and children is no more? How did we imagine  a society free of vulgar patriarchy, sexism and intolerance?

Michelle Constant writes about the Goethe Institute and the newly established Henrike Grohs Prize for African Artists. Grohs died last year in March in vicious terrorist attack in the Ivory Coast. She mentions Mluleki Sam and Ncedile Daki among some other Artists who recently died under conditions of extreme violence too.

Constant also insists that despite the violence and cruelty in our society, we should never allow ourselves to neglect of forget the Artists, their role as connectors and healers in our society.

TBC

So What About Nature?

So What do we Not Write About?

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ARTS and Nature ( Isigaba Sokuqala )

Firstly there is Nature, and the way all the elements of Nature are felt and are treated by we the human race.

Water, Food, Shelter and all the resources that we use to continue our explorative and exploitative lives; these are all almost wholly given freely by what some may call providence, but for some it is hard work and the wilful exploitation of Nature. How does Nature, Arts and Humanity interlink to find a harmonious and symbiotic relationship?

We may write about politics and the intrigues therein, we may have sincere opinions about what policies are correct and deal with matters of justice and injustices that we commit, we may try to correct others behaviour through many dialogues and theorize and set up various social and innovative business programs and projects, but if We do not write about our varied yet essentially dependent relationship to Nature/ Our Environment we are neglecting a really essential element in all our lives.

The spaces we inhabit in our various occupations, lifestyles, our psychological, political/social and private and even dream-lives are all secondary.  They are all the stuff of our minds, our passions and ambitions as sophisticated animals. While our preoccupations or works may tend to divine who we are eventually, our initial or primary Well-being is all centred on our relationship with Nature, what it provides and what we make of it and how.

So then, when we write; it may be works of Art, Criticism, Opinion Pieces, Essays, Poems, Music, Stories of different kinds, we are telling just a fragment of the story. While each fragment or each facet of our human stories is relevant to a particular context, it is the collective reception, or the impact each story has on the individual that matters most.

Today I wish to write about the Collective Cohabitation of Arts – Spaces, places and the Ground beneath our feet, The Air we breathe and the quality of the lives we lead –  My opinion is that every conceivable space is a platform for the expression of Artistry. Akukho sikhala noma shashalazi lapho ubungcweti nobuciko beSintu bungevezwe khona.Kepha umbuzo uthi siyihlonipha kangakanani imvelo, leyondawo esisebenzela kuyo siyazisa kangakanani, futhi siyayinakekela ngokufanele na?

Amaciko maningi, nobuningi bawo buluphawu lokugcizelela lokhu esengikushilo, ukuthi, Imvelo nendlela esiyiphatha ngayo nendlela esemukela ngayo konke esikuthola kuyo – ibaluleke kakhulu. Maciko kusamele sijule ngokwemvelo, sibuyele emhlabathini, othulini, ezihlahleni nasemithini eyehlukahlukene.

Iyini na imvelo, kanti futhi ihlangana kanjani nezobuciko?

Ngiyakholwa ukuthi konke esikwaziyo nokubambekayo sikuthola emhlabeni, umhlaba ophilayo nonothe ngendlela exakayo. Kukhona abanye bethu abamba igolide namanye amatshe nezinye izinto eziligugu emhlabeni osewakhiwa ngokuhwebelana. Kukhona abaziphilisa ngokuvuna izithelo zonke ezitholakala emithini, bephinde behwebe ngayo imithi uqobo lwayo. Eminye imithi isitshenziselwa ukwakha izindlu, nezakhiwo ezahlukahlukene, eminye kukhandwa ngayo amaphepha, amathuluzi nezinye izinsiza-kwakha, kuphinde futhi kwakhiwe nezinsimbi okanye izinto zokudlala umculo, ezemidlayo nokunye okuningi.

Esikhathini samanje esesivamise ukuthi izinto ebezakhiywa ngezandla zabantu sezakhiwa yimishini ngemishini, kuningi okusilahlekelayo. Izinto zibonakala sengathi ziba lula uma sisebenzisa ama-rubber nama-plastics kanye namathuluzi akhiwe ngezinhlobo-nhlobo zezinsimbi, kepha ngokweso elijulile kuyabonakala ukuthi siloke siqhela njalo kancane kancane kwiMvelo ekuyiyo imvelaphi yethu.

Lokuziqhelisa kancane kancane emvelweni, kungabonakala kuyimpucuko noma  ukwenziwa lula kwezinto, kepha ukukhaxhumani noma ukungabi nabudlelwano noma ubunye nemvelo kuyasibulala singabantu, ikakhulukazi abantu bendabuko.

Ngifisa ukuloba ngomdanso, imisebenzi namakhono amaciko. Ngifisa ukubhala ngomculo, abaculi, abadwebi, abalaleli kanye nezingqinamba ezibhekene nokulalelwa komculo nokwamukeleka kwemisebenzi yamaciko emiphakathini yethu, kepha ngiloke nginomuzwa wokubhala ngeMvelo – nami anginayo incazelo eqonqile ukuthi lokhu kungani. Okungicacelayo ukuthi, vele imvelo iyikho konke. Siyayilondoloza noma siyayazisa na, ikakhulukazi thina esisemkhakheni wezobuciko? Sinendaba yini ukuthi ama-instruments ethu avelaphi? Siyazihlupha yini ngobunjalo bamathuluzi esiwasebenzisayo. Lombuzo unokuba nopupolitiki, kanti futhi singawubheka ngeso lezomnotho. Kepha ukuze singachezuki kakhulu ephuzwini noma emongweni wendaba, asike sizibuze imibuzo embalwa ngemvelo nobuciko.

  • Kuyiqiniso kangakanani ukuthi kukhuna abantu abazelwe bengamaciko?
  • Ukuzalwa Uliciko kuxhumekeke ngangakanani ofuzweni
  • Luyini lona ufuzo?
  • Izikole ezifundisa noma ezicija amakhono zibaluleke kangakanani?
  • Ukufundiswa kwamakhono kuphelele yini uma kungafundiswa ngomlando okanye imvelaphi yamagama nezinsimbi ezisethseziswayo?
  • Ulimi esifunda ngalo ubuciko lubaluleke kangakanani ekwakheni isizwe?
  • Amaciko angaluthola kanjani usizo oluqhubekayo noma olunzulu olungenza imisebenzi yawo ivele ebantwini ukuze kube khona ubudlelwano phakhathi komphakathi namaciko/nobuciko?
  • Imvundo Ekhululayo nemahhala ingasisiza kanjani ukuthi silonde imvelo/umhlaba/namagugu esizwe?
  • Imvelo Ne-Tekhinoloji = Kuyosetshenziswana Kanjani Ukuze Okunye Kungachithi Okunye, kodwa kube khona ukubambisana?

And so we write a lot about everything else, but we hardly ever seriously write about Nature. We are caught up in our human affairs, much of it is really petty and insignificant and spurious and we neglect to write and talk and do works that help us to draw closer to Knowledge Of Nature.

As I have already stated, Nature is everything, Land is everything, Good unpolluted and undiluted Water is everything. The Air we breathe is everything. All else is trivial and honestly, a waste of precious time. But the so called intelligent animal, the human being, is pre-occupied with entertainment, and not attainment of a mutually beneficial relationship with the Natural world. We forget so easily that we are Water beings, Spiritual beings, Earthen vessels whether we acknowledge it or not.

tree

For Bheki Hyacinth Mseleku

i have heard of that tree

hyacinth

ngiyawazi lowo muthi

ngiyayazi nembali yawo

kepha ngisalibele …

ubuhlungu bempilo nobuhlwempu bomphefumulu

kungenze ngafiphala

Sengaba kude nalowo owangitshala …

Rooted

I met an old man in the garden

And he told me

“Asparagacea”!

It is a flower from old glorious Babylon

Well they call her Iraq

these frail and fragile days

yes, beautiful Hyacinth

“Hyacinths are forever if you know what you’r doing …”

Deathless hue

these howlong blues

we are coloured by

history into names

nations, known unknowns

we are galactic beings

caught in the cruel current of the waves of time

and yet

our hearts melodies

our Souls harmonies

are timeless –

boundless energies bursting from the Source

IThongo!!!

Urging us closer

Closer to the Source.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are We AbeNguni or AbaNgoni?

potsA really brief history of who we really are and what our traditions and culture entailed before we were scattered …Because in out attempts to become Free to be who We truly are, we must first know what and who we were before colonial conquest. This is an unfinished story, but reveals a lot about aspects of Afrikan Being which has been suppressed by both foreign religions and capitalism:

ngoni

Izibongo Zabathathu

Inkondlo Yamakhosi Amathathu AkwaMaseko

Mvulandlela:
Esikhathini sesomiso
lapho kuvame ukwesaba nentukuthelo
isizukulwane sivukela umbuso
sikhala ngezimfanelo
nombuso usobozela abazukulwane
Ufike wena uhogela ngamakhala amasha
Umoya wezishingishane zasemandulo nakusasa
Wathi lisazonetha
uhlaza luzovama
Uthe isizwe sisazonotha
Kusho wena Vulandlela

Mvelo:
UMdali eluthando
USomandla evumile
Sibone ngawe nkosi encane eyembethe igubo yokukhanya
Ubuhle bakho busikhange ngenkazimulo yesethembiso
Ucwebezela okwamazolo
Ufumbethe izimpawu zenhlanhla ngazombili
Kwavela wena kwadeda ubumnyama lacweba nezulu
Wena omehlo’mbulunga ngokufuza ekhabo Nyoko
Siyashweleza nkosenhle kuvuka kwamaNgcamane

Mvikeli:
UMama wakho wakwetha kuqala
Ungakaveli sakubona ngemisebenzi emihle
Kusengathi uyawazi amandl’akho
Sengathi uzizwela yena izigi zenginyama
Ubukhosi obusha obuyobusa ngothando nangosiba
Ezinye zigabe ngegazi
Wena nguwe oyovikela amasango asemakhosini
Iso lakho liyodedisa izitha ZikaNomkhubulwane
Isandla sakho siyokwelulelwa kwabampofu …

poetic reflection: thaka

IMG-20170508-WA0036ngiyabuvuma ubuthakathaka bami

Kanti futhi nobubi bami ngibubonile

Ngibuthaka ngimubi ngijalo nje

Angiyigqizi qakala inkulumo yabangibandlululayo

ngiyishaya indiva imicibilisho yabangizondayo

eminye sengenze ngayo imbuthuma yomlilo esithangamini lapho sesiyoxoxa khona sidingide umsuka nesisombululo sengxabano yethu …