Black Love Blues – “Exiled” a Thandi Ntuli film by Tseliso Monaheng

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Mental Health, Creativity and Stigma

Mental health is a real challenge to our society, especially in the Black communities globally. It is also more prevalent within the Creative Arts communities, yet support is lacking. While we all grew up knowing someone who we called mad or crazy, and we would often tease them harshly, until it was in our own family, wherein we would joke about it but rarely ever took it as seriously as we should – it has only emerged recently that society really stands up and acknowledge its culpability in making life worst for the mentally challenged.

A friend of our just recently died, he had been living on and off the streets for the past year or so. While the erratic and sometimes violently volatile episodes happened sporadically in the earlier times, we were able to help him in various ways. But he eventually returned to the rural home of his estranged father, this is when matters became worse.  Last year a fellow artist took a picture of him on the streets of Durban/eThekwini, looking rather haggard, and carrying items such as plastic bags and pieces of writings including business proposals. It was a hard moment and many strangers poured their hearts out in sympathy. But real actual help was hard to come by. Some of us went out to search for him for a few hours each day and even during some nights. When one of us found him in one of the parks bordering a community arts centre we had all worked at for more than a decade, he was quite difficult to contain and he even refused to be helped. We would later find him posting ‘nonsense verse’ on social media, especially on Facebook. He had always been a very deep and cryptic Poet, but these latest words were borderline ‘freaky’, and very pessimistic. I would then inbox him assuming he is at some internet cafe’, but he would often not respond. The only time he responded he just insulted me and my brother Khaya but later apologized and commended me for starting a family. He seemed to be holding some grudges, but then he would also sound very conciliatory.

The moral of the story is that much of the depression associated with mental illness is not always due to schizophrenia, bipolar disease and any psychosomatic disease, but it is largely due to the state of our broken society. The capitalist system that places profits before Nature ( people, water, plants, the atmosphere etc) is really debilitating on a personal as well as community levels.

The stigma must end but it will not change significantly until humanity configures its ways of co-existence. Many indigenous communities in the so called Third-World had various effective ways to deal with outliers and those who were different in many ways, but the world we live in now is changing too rapidly and materialism seems to erode our core values even further.

I am sharing this post from a Black website to highlight the fact that many celebrities, who are actually our sisters and brothers anyway despite their extra-ordinary talents, also suffer from the same social ills, in spite of money and access to help. What should be transformed is humanity’s way of being.

https://face2faceafrica.com/article/6-black-celebs-who-suffer-from-mental-illness-but-thrive-nonetheless/7

the idea of the idea

“If we are to understand the future of a people, we must appreciate its past. For the way of life of a people in any time and place is built out of past customs adapted to present circumstances and needs. This way of life is what anthropologists call ‘culture’. As anthropologists use the term, all peoples have culture, for culture is their customary way of doing things. It includes all aspects of life; the way they make things, the way in which they organise their society, the way they look at the world about them, even attitudes and sentiments and feelings they share.” – Dr Walter Goldschmidt

While thinking about the way ideas proliferate and become ways of life, I found myself perambulating towards philosophical theories. How do specific thinkers and societies become synonymous with phrases such as ‘I think therefore I am’, or Biblical phrases, ‘As a man thinketh so he is’, or the Nguni become known for Ubuntu, or ‘Umuntu ungumuntu ngabanye abantu’/ A person is a person through other people?

Essentially we are concerned about the issue of thinking, thinking freely may sound simple enough but we live in a world where many are persecuted for even attempted to assertively think and act freely. Since a person is only fully self realized through interactions with others, Afrikans are among those people whose becoming has been curtailed by various levels of unfreedom …

 

Reposted from Higher Self website. Works in the Key of the Green Ankh ethos

http://higherselfcoaching.org/trena-bolden-fields-on-the-influence-of-artistic-leadership/

“By interviewing people from different walks of life and approaches, I am trying to show that leadership is just as richly layered, diverse and multidimensional as humanity itself. A very often overlooked aspect of leadership is artistic leadership or any type of leadership that does not emanate from traditional quarters like politics or business. The fact of the matter is, we are all leaders and we show leadership best in ways that feel authentic to us and the contribution we are trying to make to the world. Trena Bolden-Fields, based in Minnesota in the United States, is one such leader. As an actor, writer, and coach who works with artists to help them unleash their artistic dreams and forms of expression, Ms. Bolden-Fields shows that we all have an immense contribution to make whether we’re sportspeople, actors, musicians, fine artists, writers, fashion designers and so on. Trena and I unpacked this topic via virtual means from the Villa Moji at the Fairlawns.

There’s a monolithic view of “leadership” it seems: often male, authoritarian, distant and not so inclusive. How would you define “artistic leadership” and what does it look like to you?

Yes, I agree. Also, with artists, once they become leaders or are recognized, they have to think about their platform and how that can multiply and amplify their views and what matters most to them. Through having a platform that is seen, your message will reach more people and I believe in promoting positive, supportive and helpful messages that help humanity and our world.”

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-

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?