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Pedagogy Of Ignorance Post Apartheid: Counter Revolution Of June 16 1976: A Radical View
The Ways of the Quislings and Turncoats: Sankara on The Tipping Edge
Revolutionaries And Master Teachers
I would like to open with the Revolutionary musings of Amilcar Cabral:
Revolution in Guinea: Some notes On Education And Being African:
Contemporary Ways Of Seeing And thinking
"We are fighting against Portuguese colonialism. We, the peoples of the Portuguese colonies, are African peoples, of this Africa ensured by Imperialism and colonialism for decades and even in some cases, for centuries. We are from the part of Africa which the imperialists call 'Black Africa'. Yes we are 'Black'. But we are men like all other men.
"Our countries are economically backward. Our peoples are at a specific historical stage characterized by this backward condition of our economy. We must be conscious of this.
We are "African Peoples", we have not invented many things, we do not possess today the special weapons which others possess; we have no big factories; we do not even have for our children the toys which other children have; but we do have our own hearts; our own heads; our own history.
It is this history which colonialists have taken from us. The colonialists usually say that it was they who brought us into history: today we show that this is not so.
They made us leave history, to follow them. Today, in taking up arms to liberate ourselves, in following the example of other peoples, who have taken up arms to liberate themselves, we want to return to our history, on our own feet, by our own means and through our own sacrifices.
We are not fighting simply in order to hoist a flag in our countries and to have a national anthem. We are fighting so that insults may no longer rule our countries, martyred and scorned for centuries, so that our peoples may never more be exploited by imperialists - not only by Europeans, not only by people with a white skin, because we do not confuse exploitation or exploiters with the color of men's skins; we do not want any exploitation or exploitation in our countries, not even by Black[African] People"....
This is What Jose Marti has had to say about the last sentence emphasized by Amilcar Cabral above:
"The best way to "defend our rights is to know them well"; in so doing one has faith and strength; every nation will be unhappy in proportion to how poorly educated are its inhabitants.
"A Nation Of Educated Men Will Always Be Nation Of Free Men.
"Education is the only means of being saved from slavery.
"A Nation Enslaved To Men Of Another Nation Is As repugnant As Being Enslaved To The Men Of One's Own".
We learn from Asa Hilliard that:
“Racism is really a mental disorder. Manifestation of racist behavior as a result of domination are the denial of reality, perceptual distortion, delusion of grandeur, phobias in the face of differences, and projecting blame (blaming the victim).
Europeans had to lie to themselves about what Africa was and had been, and to keep that information going, one adapts to unreality. So when you see reality it is necessary to deny it. So denial of reality would be, to look at the population of Kemet (ancient Egypt) and say it was a white population. That is flat out denial of what the facts say. It is not true that the White group is superior to anyone and to believe in that is a psychological distortion of reality.”
So that, in order for us to begin to comprehend our present reality here in Mzantsi in all the collectives of Africans in their respective enclaves, we learn the following from Asa:
Consider carefully that the following ten things account for our overall lack of a sense of unity and direction:
1. We let our names go. The first step towards disorientation is to surrender your name.
2. We have surrendered our way of life (culture). We have stopped speaking the language we knew and we have stopped behaving as African people behave. We have lost our way of doing things and we have adopted they ways of people unlike ourselves.
3. We have lost our appetite because we have lost our names and our culture. Even when those among us recreate our culture and present it to us, we no longer have an appetite for it. We have a greater appetite for the culture of people other than ourselves.
4. We have a general loss of memory. Few of us can tell the story of our people without beginning it with the MAAFA (slavery). It is as if the MAAFA was the only that happened to African people.
5. We have created false memories. Not only have we lost the true memory of African people, we now have a host of other memories which are totally removed from the truth. Not only are our memories of African people untruthful, but the memories we have of Europeans are also untruthful, and the memories we have about the rest of the world are untruthful as well.
6. We lost our land. It now seems as if we no longer have an appetite for land. We lost our land in African, and Africans in the Diaspora are losing what little land they once held. Anytime you lose your mooring on the land, you lose your capacity to protect your possessions.
7. We have lost our independent production capacity. We have become consumers rather than producers. It is a shame that we don’t even produce something as simple as a “natural comb”. We have to purchase combs that are made as far away as Korea. Almost anybody should be able to make something as simple as a little piece of plastic.
8. We have lost independent control of ourselves. We have little or no control of our educational process, our economic situation, our communications, or our politics.
9. We have lost sensitivity. We have lost the ability to perceive when people are doing things to us which are detrimental. We accept inaccurate perceptions without criticism.
10. As a cumulative result of all of these things, we have lost our solidarity…our unity. When we lost our unity, we lost our political advantage, economical advantage, and even our mental orientation. We lost a clear sense of wholeness, continuity, and purpose.
“Many of us do not know it, but African people have thousands of years of well-recorded deep thought and educational excellence. Teaching and the shaping of character is one of our great strengths. In our worldview, our children are seen as divine gifts of our creator. Our children, their families, and the social and physical environment must be nurtured together. They must be nurtured in a way that is appropriate for a spiritual people, whose aim is to “build for eternity.” What a pity that our communities have forgotten our “Jeles” and our “Jegnas,” our great master teachers. What a pity that we cannot readily recall the names of our greatest wise men and women. What a pity that we have come to be dependent on the conceptions and the leadership of others, some of whom not only do not have our interests at heart, they may even be our enemies. Some actually seek to control us for their own benefit through the process of mis-education.”
We also learn from Asa:
African communities have been identified by a shared belief in several key elements:
1. The belief that the cosmos is alive.
2. The belief that spirituality is at the center of our being.
3. The belief that human society is a living spiritual part of the cosmos, not alien to it.
4. The belief that our people have a divine purpose and destiny.
5. The belief that each child is a “Living Sun,” a Divine gift of the creator.
6. The belief that, properly socialized, our children will experience stages of transformation, moving toward perfection, that is to be more like the creator (“mi Re” or like Ra, in the KMT language, meaning to try to live like God).
Asa Answered this in the following manner:
Cutts: You keep referring to yourself as an African. Why?
Hilliard: I am an African. I am also American, but that’s my national identity. My ethnic identity is African.
Cutts: Do you ever describe yourself as Black?
Hilliard: I may have in the past, but that just refers to my phenotype and does not indicate, include my ethnic identity. I am phenotypically Black. I am perceived by others as Black. And that’s fine. But ethnically and culturally, I am African.
Contemporary reading and writing of African History is very important in not only how we write it, but what we read from and think about it, so's to try and make sense of our present conditions, globally. More especially that we are now connected on the Web akin to a global village(a la McLuhan)
The present social Media and its gizmos and media apparatuses is one way we can utilize as a people, not only to show our vain acquirement of ill-begotten public loot and our present-day slavery, but as a means of communicating our present social miasma and plight and decrepit conditions and efficient way of communicating these and taking whatever action is necessary to ameliorate our sad state of existence, globally, as an African people.
Our means and ways of communicating using the present-day so-called social media-a misnomer, as far as concerned- should be used to dispel, correct and shed light on the confusion, ignorance, and imposed lack of reading and action on what we know and read, among us as an African, to better ourselves, than to show-off and boast to each other, showing off our houses, cars, and all the accouterments of our modern-day enslavement, and doing all this to our unfortunate and poor brethren and sisters.
The present so-called 'social media' should be used as a conduit to create those situations and conditions that enable and advance our people's causes and development-to use this sort of media to show off our self-interests at the expense of the poor, is what should be scorned and looked at with disfavor, especially by the poor who do not have these paltry opportunities for themselves and their children.
We Are Much Better Than This..
The Low Intensity Warfare In Mzantsi Today... There's Completely And total Havoc And Chaos/Dysfunction In Our HOUSE... Our Pain..
At The Cusp Of Our 40th Anniversary Of Our June 1976 African Student's Revolution...
Things have gone awry today in Mzantsi. Things are bad, people-there is fighting for housing, all types of none existent jobs, expensive food, low currency, steep gas prices, abject poverty, Nyaope Drug killing us off, corrupt government and imploding and everything is rotten and topsy-turvy in contemporary Mzantsi.
There is definitely a Big Pain we are witnessing and experiencing in our midst within our daily lives. People have changed, very angry, filled with jealous and envy for and against one another, others success is cause for meanness and put down, or dragging down of each other.. We are behaving like Crabs in a Barrel.
Our neighborhoods have been assailed and occupied by foreigners who have no respect for us, and are fleecing our poor people. Our government build our people RDP houses only to sell them for a bribe to non-South African Africans.
Our health clinics and hospital are over-burdened by women who come from north of south Africa, and they get taken care off, much more better than our own poor and toiling masses who are the indigenous of Mzantsi.
We are very good at immolating ourselves: we burn upward of 27 schools for our children, which are sadly and badly equipped even if not burned down; we strike and burn building at our universities; there are all types of strikes and fires going up all over South Africa.
Stories about and on corruption in government and Private sectors; social services are appalling at best, and decrepit at worst. Our social and cultural cohesion lies a mess and waste, and it is hardly visible in its discarded state. We are still yet to be formed as a fully fledged and autonomous Nation, of which we are still divided along the Apartheid modal.
What has really happened to the Africans of Mzantsi is that for many opportunistic ones, a shortcut leeway has presented itself for them, and they are going helter-skelter for it. On their way towards acquiring ill-gotten riches from the public coffers((Public taxes), they do so with unbridled callousness and cold and calculating meanness.
Our politics are a joke. the Malema paradigm and the ANC incompetency and their recalcitrant arrogance and mien is causing our social core to crumble and implode. The preoccupation with malgovernance has created stagnancy and underdeveloped unparalleled in the history of African people of South Africa
As we now approach the 40th anniversary of the June 1976 Revolution, not what has so been tepidly called "Youth Day", in accommodation of the People who actually tun South Africa, that, we are going to have to begin to have a moment of some very serious reflection.
Our Youth has been totally drugged both sexes, and our elders are inebriated in alcohol and dire poverty, ignorance, ill-health, joblessness, loss of hope and broken families. Our churches, all of them and of all denominations, are run by scam artists who are whittling the bare income our people have for their endlessly deep pockets.
We have in our midst people of foreign ethnic grouping chomping away at the prospects of enriching and spreading their mark with our women, who are poor and easily exploited by the monied people, that, this fact, is treated as if it is xenophobic, and yet, I say, it is a matter of self preservation as a people who are the indigenous of the land of South Africa.
Our culture has been debased, scorned by all, and we, its owners, are dejected by it, and totally reject its precepts and precepts, that we are like a rootless tree. We extol the virtues of Western and Asiatic cultures, and cast a foreboding glance at our own culture, that in the end we look like poor and yesterday-looking like facsimiles of other peoples cultures and values.
Our Customary and traditional core has been shredded and made into a papier mache, that in the end, we look like scrambled eggs suffused with all the concocted spices of unknown kinds. What I am saying is that we do not recognize ourselves in the present-day South Africa, and in so doing, we have abandoned and sold ourselves and our people for a whiff and a song.
It is painful to see our state of decrepit existence we are all existing in today. We have no solutions as to how to solve this social miasma for we are all experts of everything and we master nothing. if one were to listen to ordinary people in the streets, taverns, buses, taxis, cook-outs and every outlet of our social enclaves, there is a sense of loss and doom. helplessness at our haplessness. We are not even able to get our act together to form some cohesive organizations that are really of and by the people, and working for the Good Of Our African Peoples of Mzantsi..
Our youth is caught is a no-man's land existence. there are no sporting activities like we had when I was growing. There was soccer, boxing, tennis, table-tennis, ball-room dancing, Karate clubs. informal Jazz clubs, and music lessons in places like DOCC and Dorkay House, Ellis Park Tennis. there was so much to do despite the fact that the Apartheid overlords tried their utmost best to deny and stop us from having or taking part in this events and using all the amenities at our disposal..
We had tennis tournaments in Pimville courts and finals at the Phefeni courts(not destroyed and no more exist. We had YMCA's for Youth to partake in all events and whatever was offered in those entities; we had festivals in the stadiums throughout Soweto, and our libraries were full of adults and children. It is a time and place which seems like a myth, and yet, despite the vicissitudes of Apartheid, we had a lot of things going for us.
We had hope and we knew we were going to overcome. But now, we know we are being overcome and the palpable loss of positive outcomes for our lives has long gone out when the Gravy train left us standing in a segregated platform. We implemented Apartheid amongst ourselves, and this was directed by the ANC and its lackeys.
We now have 'exiles' and 'inziles'. These seemingly paltry division lead to even much more bigger things like employment, favors, progress, education, housing, food life, and recognition and self importance that is the bane of our societies and people today.
We are now existing in this cleavage and crack-filled spaces, that when one is situated, depends on one's proximity to those who wield the laughable political we are witnessing everyday in a parliamentary(what a Joke!) system which are the leftovers of past Apartheid Nazi rule we are still experiencing today.
We hardly believe in nor trust the genius of ourselves, nor of our own people. We treat them with careless disregard and attach importance to those who are not of our people in all spheres of life, culture, custom, history, contemporary life-styles, language, and their accents.. We boast to our poor brothers and sisters as to our travels and acquired riches, our education from overseas, and the whole bit.
Our children think and know less about us, our history, cultures, traditions in more larger numbers and they end up treating, their parents and grandparents as strangers and weirdos in the land of our forefathers. who is to blame here? Ourselves, that is Who...
At this juncture, in the 40th anniversary of our 1976 Revolution, I declare and state boldly, we better start now taking responsibilities for our action and how we are helping do good for all our embattled and poor African people.
We had better start recognizing as I am onto this piece, that things have soured in our midst, our country and its people are angry and have changed, it is time to take that into serious consideration and begin to do something about it.
There is a spike in political killings, and this is a bad sign for the poor and unprotected masses of people in the townships and those living in shacks. There is a cataclysmic heave-ho that is ascendancy and it has risen the tensions within the poor to an alarming degree. there is a rise if Hypertension, sugar diabetes, Gaut, Kidney failures, Drug addiction and such-like debilitating diseases.
The turbulence in our midst is still not noted as much for the authorities are still fancying themselves as being in charge. I have a different take on that issue: The jury/verdict. is still our leadership being in charge or something like that. The elections are nigh, and there is a frantic effort to make as if all is honky-dory..
But the reality is setting in on the ruling clique and their cabals, their time is also about up.. How this will happen.. We will know as we see it happening-The masses in a murderous tamtrum and seizing of their power moment.
It does not mean to some of us, as we are seeing all these troubling turn of events in our midst, and not holler much, are not to ultimately write about such things and make as much noise as possible so as to wake our slumbering masses.
Our loss of self knowledge and understanding is costing our loss of our land and its everything to other people. Our not really having a full sense as to what the land of Mzantsi is all about with all of us in it, means that we are susceptible to being wiped out and have our women, children, land and its resources taken form us, and we are going to blame no one for all that, but Ourselves, as the Indigenous people of Mzantsi.
We are going to need to have a firm grasp on our lived reality. What is Mzantsi South Africa for us and to us? It is everything and then some. It is our land and its natural resources. It is our people, their culture, history, customs and so on.
Our land should be where we formulate our politics, control and run our economies, take care of the Game reserves and their animals, improve housing and education for the people. Create jobs that are for our people who are involved in for our own betterment.
Take care of the weak, sick, drug addicted with forthrightness and attitude of healing our people. Feed our people food and protect them from all else.
Our work has hardly begun. we should outgrow our child-like fascination with foreign cars, clothes, languages, cultures and everything. Yes, we can know about it, learn about it at our own pace, but we should not become those cultures, speak their languages, and drool for their cars and clothing and everything.
That is a recipe for destruction, genocide and defeat. We should write our own lives, our own realities, read each other's works, articles or video post; take control of the production, management of our music, dances, languages, art, history, customs, traditions, languages, traditional clothing, and communities. We should produce, design and contribute to the World of humanity our own and original everything-that to me, is a sure path to success and nation-building.
We should work on the basics of respects(Hlompho/Inhlonipho), love of ourselves and our people, helping those amongst us who have nothing, teach everyone all there is to learn and that which they can learn, in all fields and areas of academic and life's endeavors. We should begin to care, which is the norm of our being as an African people. Use that love and caring towards our own families, neighbors, communities and nation.. We can do this!!
We have within us as any people in the world to take care of our children, women, men, elderly people, our land, our animals, Rivers, mountains; encourage out children to be involved in our African arts, music, dances, performances, drama, reading and writing anything and everything about us as a people...
We should write about our hearts and minds, about the vicissitudes of our decrepit life being visited on us, today. we not only should write and read and know about all these chronic states of social miasma, we should be able to teach each other, learn from ourselves about ourselves, for ourselves in order to edify ourselves as a Nation of the People of Mzantsi.
We are The People Of Mzantsi, and we are going to ask no one for our right to proclaim and own that right and fact. We should stop cowering from ourselves, and if we do so, we will be replaced by people from other counties, which is rapidly taking place. Everyone is a foreigner except the African people of Mzantsi. that is going to remain a fact and truth about our Nation and it's country.
As we approach the 40th Anniversary of our June 1976 Revolution, these are the thoughts that we should share with each other, amongst ourselves and begin the work of assembling our imploding Rainbow farce/facade which has done nothing for African peoples of Mzantsi.
Be that as it may be, we, the Africans of Mzantsi, are responsible for the state and condition of our Nation, today, And we should hold each other responsible for chaos, dysfunction, and death that is our constant reality, day-in-and-day-out...
Do we really need outsiders to confirm us to ourselves? That we are top be given passing grades for being perceived as doing something right? Are we forever going to need other people's validation of ourselves as the authentic people of this land of our forefather for us to be recognized as being real and human beings?
Why cant' we accept and take from ourselves, and among ourselves the fact that we are like any other nation on this planet, and as human beings we are legit, without being propped up into that position by other people? How come we are failing to understand that the condition we are in has been imposed on us for many years to date..
Our African leaders are immature and do not understand how one does build a civilization.. Why is it important to show off amongst ourselves that we are better off than our brothers and sisters, by showing off foreignness about our acquired tastes and lifestyle.
We are much more better than this, and I will not accept anything less and being a poor carbon copy of other people, either than the fact that I am a person of Mzantsi...
Recognizing Overpoeering Power
The following Hub is a follow-up on the Hub written before it called, "African South Africans' June 16th 1976 Revolution", already published and one can read it. In this Hub, I begin to talk about the different issues related to the Education of African South Africans in contemporary ANC ruled South Africa.
The Hub below is mostly about the aftermath of the 1976 Revolution, the opening salvo will be about Language and Power today in South and dumbing-down education dispensed to our children.
Below I would like to post an article I wrote recently about the issue of foreign language rammed-down our children throats and brains that I think I will start of this article with the following piece:
From Afrikaans To Mandarin....We Are Not Self Confident As a People And Nation Here in Mzantsi
What's Happening? - "Di Ntshang?", "Zikhiphani"?
What we were fighting for in June 16th 1976, was the imposition of a foreign language on us as children, and against the jagged intolerable edges of Apartheidom. This was a very important thing to us, and it was important to the communities we lived in. It is not that we did not speak Afrikaans at all, but it was the fact that it was forced down our gullets with disregard to any protestations we made-was unconscionable...
This was in June 1976.
Anyone can read the article I have written about this matter, albeit brief, if one were to scroll down this timeline. Now, the Education honcho and oaf, Motshega is presenting us with another same problem. she has proudly decreed that our children are now learning Chinese Mandarin, and that they had said, some time ago, this is going to happen. Well it's happening now, Chinese culture and history.
All this is happening in the year and time when we are now celebrating our 40th commemoration of the 1976 fight against the imposition of a foreign language, and Motshega proudly pronounces her carreer achievement of beginning to teach our children, at the lower grades, and phasing this throughout the years and over to higher standards-The learning of Chinese Mandarin and Culture! Really!!!
This is serious, now... The apologists of and for this move inform us that this is being for better .relations with the emerging Super power, China, and so that in the future we can have our children handling our affairs better with their Chinese counterparts.
Now, earlier reports on this move are articulating the discomfort and toughness on our children are facing learning Chinese Calligraphy and the spoken Mandarin, which by the way, is not a common nor spoken, neither known form of language among us African people of Mzantsi.
Our children scarcely know nor understand our diverse African culture and philosophies/languages of their parents, here comes Motshega, with a very brilliant idea, to teach our children how to read and write Mandarin. I call that the Chinafication of our African children, and now, for real, we are "LOST"!
What is going on here, for real... Why is is not the case of the Chinese learning and speaking and talking our 10 different languages here in Mzantsi? Why is this not the point of contention and issue? What is happening to us that we end up have numb-skull pseudo-politicians destroying our African children's education, and we are watching this and doing nothing about it? On the 40th Anniversary of the June 16th Revolution of 1976?
What has happened to us? What is happening to us? Of all the dreaded things we are experiencing, we seem to be sitting idly by and allowing the likes of Motshega to take us 40 years ago and back to the Dark days of Apartheid rule.
Why is it important for our children to be thoroughly more confused by them being sent to Germany, Europe, China, Russia and everywhere else, through education, sports, badly managed and not controlled by us? Why is it important to impress the emerging Chinese superpowers by sacrificing our children at the linguistic, cultural and social mores of these cultures, and our children knowing nothing about our own languages, culture, history and the whole bit about us? Why?!
How come we are all taking a back seat as if this is a noble thing that has ever befallen us who are non-people here in Mzantsi? That is, to the extent that we go begging the Chinese to send their army of teachers to come and indoctrinate our children, right under our noses and in front of our eyes, in our houses, and we stay mum!
We were carrying on in many ways throughout our abodes/Townships, speechifying about the sacrifice of the students of 1976, and here we are today, more silent than our filling up graveyards when we are simply told that our children are going to be learning Mandarin. Our children speak a lot of English, and in rare cases speak our own languages, and here we are, on the commemoration of the rejection of Afrikaans, we are welcoming Mandarin and Calligraphy!
This is Insanity As A Model Of Sanity.. Big Time!!
Language And Power
When we get ready to create a revolution, we must redefine the world, and redefine words; there's no way around it. In Genesis, Adam was given the power to name things(if we are to speak about this matter from a Biblical point of view-I am neither a Christian for that matter-just a spiritual African).. He was also given dominion.
The connection between dominion and naming, between naming and bringing into reality, is the most important point being made by the article above. Nations use their mother tongues to rule and run their national business. Where do we get off and do the imposing, on our children, of this Mandarin language, and go and sleep soundly in our mansions?
When we permit another people to name and define, we permit another people to gain dominion and control over us.
"The languages that people learn and speak are most frequently directly related to the power relations between them. Many people will now learn Japanese(Chinese in our case today), as for a while they learned Russian(We have sent a whole load of children to Russia under the pretext its for IT learning purposes!!..
"And for a while people learned German, Latin, Spanish, Italian, etc. Why? Because the people who speak of spoke these languages were or are ascendance or in power at that or this time.
"There is no "good" English or "bad" English, nor "good" language or "bad" language; there is language that's connected to Power. People tend to learn first after their native tongue, whatever language is spoken by the people in power.
"There's a connection between the capacity to have other people speak your language and to call things by the names you give them, and Power. If we wish to assume Power, then we must assume the capacity to name and define things."
This precisely what we did in 1976.. We assumed the Power to name and decide our own future, at great risk, but we did not cower into our job positions and social statuses and unfocused timidity to make our point clear.. We did not want Afrikaans and its imposers and imposters, and we fought and many died because of that-I am still writing about it 40 years after June 16th 1976...
No To Mandarin and Chinese Philosophies!
We are further instructed by Wilson that:
"The psychology of a culture is to a great extent a symbolic precipitant of the kinds of experiences forced upon a group of people by their history."
This is what we are going to have to pay attention to as the last line intimates.
Wilson further teaches us that:
"We must recognize the intimate relationship between culture, history and personality. If we do not know our history, then we do not know our personality And if the only history we know is other people's history/language, then our personality has been created by that history/language.
We must recognize that in European/[and Chinese history]. It is not so much that we know [and will know Chinese History/language], (because 90 percent of us do not know European history and have not read it), but that we are left with some residue of it - that we have a sense of it - is all the hegemonic European[Chinese about to be], needs to begin to dominate and control Africans in Mzantsi.
In the absence of knowledge of African history, we will keep on hallucinating every night. These hallucinations are called dreams, and they occur at the point where we become detached from reality. We maintain our mental balance and sense of self by input into our senses.
It is necessary that for human beings to maintain sanity that they receive random input (and changing input) from the world. That is why we suffer so much when we are put into solitary confinement - where we can't see or hear anything - we may begin to have visions and hallucinations as a result thereof.
In some article to come, I will address the point above much more fully. Right now, our loss of ourselves in this decrepit Mzantsi, has to be addressed.
Wilson says we must keep this in mind:
I do not care what institutions we may talk about: whether we talk about the family institution, the criminal justice institution, the economic institution, the religious institution, the health establishment, the educational institutions; they all have one thing in common in a Eurocentric(Chinese are taking over) oppressive system(s) - to maintain the 'status quo' and to maintain African people in oppression.
The gendarme element that is our present-day government here in Mzantsi is quick to kow-tow to foreign master whims and wishes, and trample on our Human and Bill of Rights with impunity.
It is interesting to note that many people, during the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Revolution, seem to think and behave like it only took that one day.
What many do not know is the fact that the next day, on Thursday and the weeks and months/years that followed, everything got worse, and fighting grew and spread like wildfire throughout the country of South Africa in all the different communities oppressed by Apartheid.
So that, when Motshega proudly trumpets that Mandarin has now been introduced in our children's schools, those are the fighting words. It is time we began thinking like we ought to. We are going to have to act, in the coming months and years, fight like hell to stop this form of colonization.
We say this with a finality unsurpassed:
"No to Mandarin" Come what may and it should be stopped by any means necessary
Election Day May 7th 2014 in South Africa
Since we are now talking about the past, which is history in this case, I have also decided to include the piece on the Day of the Elections, and what I had to say about it. Below is my impressions of the day the voting took place. I have utilized Sankara's writing to prop-up my piece in order to give it depth and structure about what I am talking about.
I Have Seen This Movie Before - I am Living Such A Movie: Seeing Oneself In The Looking Mirror Looking At Oneself Looking...
My township was "Yellow" and people were hustling and bustling-going up and down, standing in many groups, talking, laughing, listening to the loud speakers that are clogging our ether and peace. It is a day before the elections, tomorrow on the May 7th; there's so much action, people are being bussed - in droves; And the people were given a treat today in Orlando Stadium they are going to see a football match for 'Free"; and there is a lot of chattering/babbling, talk and loud music, liquor flowing and somehow, a sad march and realization towards installing a government, which the people know will be worse than the past 20 years.
This whole charade has been going on for the past 20 years. The promises that have been made in the past elections are hammered into the peoples hearts and minds. Right now, as they knew it would be, they are going to vote and give ANC four-more-plus year to try and rule
The elections are finally here, and many people say, "Mmmm, you wait and see when people have to make their own decisions about who to vote for- I tell you, they are going to vote ANC, hands down.. You ask why? Well, what else is there in this cesspool - (said in blip-able Kasi slang).. "Squat!" ""Vokol!"(Nothing)
I have been posting articles to try and present an alternative input and point of view into the talking points about the elections in Mzantsi. In this issue, I will go cull from what Sankara reminds us about our own situation, today-which is very eerie and spot on about our own present situation of 20 years of neocolonial rule; Sankara was summing up the past neocolonial rule in his country"
"The task of constructing a new society cleansed of all ills that keep our country in a state of poverty and economic and cultural backwardness, will be long and Hard. ... The decision by French colonial imperialism to cut its losses was a victory for our people over the forces of foreign oppression and exploitation. From the masses' point of view, it was democratic reform, while from that of imperialism, it was a change in the forms of domination and exploitation of our people.
"This change nevertheless resulted in a realignment of classes and social layers and the formation of new classes. In alliance with the backward forces or traditional society, and in total contempt of the masses, whom they had used as a springboard to power, the "petty-bourgeoisie intelligentsia" of that time set about laying the political and economic foundations for new forms of imperialist domination and exploitation.
"Fearing that the struggle of the popular masses would become more radical and lead to a genuine revolutionary solution was the basis for the choice made by imperialism. Henceforth, it would maintain its stranglehold over our country and perpetuate the exploitation of our people through national intermediaries. The entire process of organizing neocolonial society would be nothing more than a simple operation of substituting one form for another.
In Essence, neocolonial society and colonial society differed not at all. The colonial administration was replaced by a neocolonial administration identical to it in every respect. The colonial army was replaced by a neo-colonial army with the same characteristics, the same functions, and the same role of safeguarding the interests of imperialism and its colonial allies.
"The colonial school system was replaced by neocolonial schools, which pursued the same goals of alienating our children from our country and reproducing a society that would primarily serve the interests of imperialism and secondarily, those of its local lackeys and allies.
With the Support and blessing of imperialism, Voltaic(Mzantsi) nationals set about organizing the systematic plunder of our country.
"With the crumbs of this pillage that fell to them, they were transformed, little by little, into a truly parasitic bourgeoisie that could no longer control its voracious appetite. Driven solely by personal interest, they no longer hesitated at even the most dishonest means, engaging in massive corruption, embezzlement of public funds and properties,influence-peddling and real estate speculation, and practicing favoritism and nepotism.
"This is what accounts for all the material and financial wealth they accumulated from the sweat of the toilers. Not content to live-off the fabulous incomes derived from the shameless exploitation of their ill-begotten wealth, they fought tooth and nail to capture their political posts that would allow them to use the state apparatus to further their exploitation and underhanded dealings
"Hardly a year passed without them treating themselves to extravagant vacations abroad. Their children deserted the country's schools for prestigious educations in other countries(Or special private prestigious schools in the country-as in our case in South Africa).. "All the resources of the state were mobilized to guarantee them, at the slightest illness, expensive care in luxury hospitals in foreign countries(and grand hospitals/expensive exclusive health care here in Mzantsi).
"All this has unfolded in full view of the honest,courageous, and hardworking Voltaic(Mzantsi) people, a people mired nonetheless in the most squalid misery. White Upper Volta(Big Cities of South Africa) are a paradise for the wealthy minority, it is a barely tolerable hell for the majority, the People.
"A part of this big majority, the wage earner, despite the fact that they are assured a regular income, suffer the constraints and pitfalls of capitalist consumer society. Their income is completely consumed before they have even touched it.
"This vicious cycle goes on and on, with no perspective of being broken."Through their respective trade unions, the wage earners engage in struggles to improve their living conditions(Marikana, for one). Sometimes the scope of those struggles forces concessions from the neocolonial authorities. But they simply give with one hand what they take back with the other.
"Thus a 10 percent wage increase is announced with great fanfare, only to be immediately taxed, wiping out the expected beneficial effects of the first measure. After five, six, or seven months, the workers finally understand the swindle and mobilize for new struggles. Seven months is more than enough for the reactionaries in power to catch their breadth and devise new schemes. Thus, in this endless fight, the worker always comes out the loser.
"The peasants, the 'wretched of the earth,' are also a component of this big majority. These peasants are expropriated, robbed, molested, imprisoned, ridiculed, and humiliated everyday, yet they are the ones whose labor creates wealth. The country's economy stays afloat despite its weakness, thanks to their productive labor. It is from this labor that the elite in the Gauteng's, Cape Townians are their Eldorado, and this sweetens their lives(just adjusted/added terms/names here)
"Yet, it is the peasants who suffer most from the lack of buildings, roads, health facilities, and services. these peasants, creators of national wealth, are the ones who suffer the most from lack of schools an educational material(Lost books of Limpopo), for their children.
"It is their children who will swell the ranks of the unemployed after a brief stint in classrooms poorly adapted to the realities of this country. It is among the peasants that the illiteracy rate is highest - 98 percent. Those who most need to learn, so that the output of their productive labor can increase, are the very ones who benefit the least from expenditures for health care, education, and technology.
"The peasant youth - who have the same attitudes as all youth, greater sensitivity to social injustice, and greater desire for progress - finally leave the country-side in revolt, thus depriving it of its most dynamic elements.
"Their initial impulse drives these youth to the large urban centers(Name All The Big cities In Mzantsi). There they hope to find better-paying jobs and to benefit from the advantages of progress.The lack of jobs pushes them to idleness, with all its characteristic vices. Finally, so as not to end up in prison, they seek salvation by going abroad(Local African cities).. where the most shameless humiliation and exploitation await them. But does Voltaic(Mzantsi) society leave them any choice?
"Stated succinctly, this is the situation in our country after twenty-three years of neocolonialism: a paradise for some and hell for the rest.."
By The Way, When Was This Written Or Spoken? It was Written And Spoken On October 2, 1983, presented by Sankara on behalf of the National Council of the Revolution in a national radio and television broadcast..
So It is Here in Mzantsi(South Africa). All What Sankara said above, is what we are - it is sort of like 'looking into the mirror and seeing oneself staring back at you". I could not have said it better than the great President, Sankara. Everything he just said, is all taking place in our country, and has been happening for the past 20 years. I think it is about time we learned from Sankara that we are not unique in Africa with our Shamocracy/Democrazy.. Many countries have gone through these shenanigans from their neocolonial rulers(in our case,today, with the ANC).
Reading Sankara, will help us realize as to what is happening and what is really wrong with the way we see and do things. What I am saying is, in preparation for the coming elections, four years from now, we need to learn and act in different ways. For me, closing this whole hullaballoo about voting, I have decided to post the thoughts and experiences of Sankara, to be my keynote speaker as we are headed to the conclusion of voting. It is looking beyond that that I utilize Sankara, so that, if anyone four years from now can read this article, and identify all the things Sankara said in 1983, in 2018 or so, it means then we will have had one extra year from what Sankara has been 23 years of neocolonization, we will have learned nothing, and we will be repeating the same mistakes and so on, without no end.
My take of the election has been well-captured by Sankara above, and I aim to begin to learn from what he is said about Volta in 1983, to what is happening to us now in May, 2014.. Let's all get to work, we have a lot of hard-work ahead...
Here's Looking At You...
"Leaders Who Plan For An African Future, But Consider Knowledge Of The Past Irrelevant, Can Only Be Presumed To Be Harboring The Colonialist View Of the African Past. It Was The Wisdom Of Our Fathers to Emphasize That Each Present Generation Owes Obligations And Responsibilities To Both the Ancestors And the Generations yet Unborn...
-By J.F.A. Ajayi
Frantz Fanon Counseled:
"Each Generation Must, Out Of Relative Obscurity, Discover Its Mission, Fulfil It Or Betray It." ...
Thomas Sankara, often referred to as “Africa’s Che Guevara” was the president of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987. He seized power in a 1983 popularly supported coup, with the goal of eliminating corruption and the dominance of the former French colonial power.
Sankara’s foreign policies were centered around anti-imperialism, with his government eschewing all foreign aid because, as he often said, “he who feeds you, controls you.” He pushed for debt reduction and nationalized all land and mineral wealth, averting the power and influence of the IMF and World Bank.
His domestic policies were focused on preventing famine with agrarian self-sufficiency and land reform, prioritizing education with a nation-wide literacy campaign, and promoting public health by vaccinating 2.5 million children. And his was the first African government to publicly recognize the AIDS epidemic as a major threat to Africa.
Thomas Sankara was an extraordinary man.
- He outlawed female genital mutilation, forced marriages, and polygamy and was the first African leader to appoint women to major cabinet positions and actively recruit them for the military. A motorcyclist himself, he formed an all-woman motorcycle personal guard.
- He encouraged women to work outside the home and stay in school even if pregnant.
- He launched a nation-wide public health ‘Vaccination Commando’ a state run program that in a period of only 15 days in early November 1984, completed the immunization of 2.5 million children against meningitis (a world record), yellow fever and measles. This operation was so successful in that children in neighbouring countries like the Ivory Coast and Mali were sent to Burkina Faso for free immunization that helped curtail high rates of infant and child mortality.
- He sold off the government fleet of Mercedes cars and made the Renault 5 (the cheapest car sold in Burkina Faso at that time) the official service car of the ministers. He lowered his salary, as President, to only $450 a month and limited his possessions to a car, four bikes, three guitars, and a refrigerator.
- He planted over ten million trees to halt the growing desertification of the Sahel and established an ambitious road and rail construction program to “tie the nation together.”
- He was known for jogging unaccompanied through the capital city in his track suit and posing in his tailored military fatigues with his mother-of-pearl pistol. And when asked why he didn’t want his portrait hung in public places, as was the norm for other African leaders, he said ”there are seven million Thomas Sankaras.”
Sankara’s revolutionary policies for self-reliance and defiance against the neoliberal development strategies imposed by the West made him an icon to many supporters of African liberation. But his policies alienated and antagonized the vested interests of the small but powerful Burkinabe middle class, the tribal leaders who he stripped of the traditional right to forced labor and tribute payments, and the foreign financial interests in France and their ally Ivory Coast.
Compaore and Sankara
On October 15, 1987 Sankara was killed by an armed militia of twelve officials in a coup d’état organized by Compaore. Sankara’s body was dismembered and buried in an unmarked grave. Compaore immediately took power, overturning most of Sankara’s policies. Compaore reportedly ousted Sankara because he believed that his revolutionary policies were jeopardizing Burkina Faso’s relationship with France and Ivory Coast. Sankara and Compaore were not only colleagues, they were childhood friends.
-This is why ‘Bad Karma’ should be Blaise Compaore’s middle name. He is a ruthless man who orchestrated the brutal assassination of his best friend.
-Yet he is the man routinely designated by the international community to act as a ’mediator’ to help resolve African conflicts…
I thought I should give the readers a bit of a background on Sankara, and hope that his writing above becomes a clarion call for the Youth.The Youth in south Africa will have to understand that they cannot go through life using short-cuts-the do not work. They will have to earn, the hard way, a place in the history of South Africa as the young one who did change things, not make them worse.
Musings Beyond The 2014 Plus the 2016 Local Elections: An Elegy - But... This Is Not A Poem, But Our Lived Reality... People's Power..
I finally conclude this Triology of articles on the 2014 and 2016 Elections in South Africa with the following post below. The tone and pace of the election went into the night-the 2016 Local elections are nigh. It is important then if we are going to be liking about writing our history, this does not mean only ancient history, which we must know and write very well; but what I am talking about also, is the contemporary history, which in time ages and mellows as it ebbs and wanes with the times.
Imagining as to what our history is going to be about is one thing, but it is also another thing to write about it and capture to preserve the narratives of the day to at least help our children configure this whole dysfunction. What I did, was first write about the days leading to the elections, and that was followed up by the article above which used Sankara to make my point as to what the people were voting for on election day. The following article is one of a series of articles that i will write post-2014 South African elections.
In this, I will have recorded events and reminders of and about what we are/were really dealing with here. A brief look of election and will be in order here, and then some speculative notations about post-2014 elections, which are similar in many ways than one with the 2016 Local elections. Same modus operandi. Reading about the 2014 elections, one might as well be writing about the 2016 local elections.
Changing The Same Change In Order For It to Remain The Same: Whither Mzantsi?
In the neck of my hood/woods, the elections hunters have rallies taken on a circus race gathering and lawlessness of a people blowing steam. Constant TV haranguing, debates, bad vibes and many shenanigans on the ground, has us the residents in our area subjected to one helluva Bash called "Marikana", and today in 2016 this is happening during the 40th anniversary of the June 16th 1976 African Students' Revolution. This part has been covered a bit in relation to the teaching of Mandarin to our children today in Mzantsi.
This was on the heels of a very well attended rally thrown by Zuma and his side-kicks. FNB was filled to the brim even outside of the stadium and the show was on. One of the highlights was Zuma's 'slide step-dance' he performed to the howl of his followers. This had to be done to get the poor to say, with all the Nkandla thuggery, 'he is a man of the people." A man after the people's mind and hearts." Through his actions, he performs to win 'the hearts and minds' of his followers and those on the fence, etc. As far as our media goes, this was successful. Today on June 20th 2016, he is even less believable and shouts are loud that he should resign..
On the 16th of June 2015, Zuma attended the same rally, trying to gather votes for the fledgling ANC, and at the same time trying to use June 16th 1976 as a political talking poinst.. trying to act politically correct. This week, ion June 16th 2016, he went to Orlando Stadium and was talking to an inattentive mass-Kids were carrying on their conversations, whilst Zuma tried to sound-off presidential comportment.
Talk was cheap in these rallies, bizarre antics and action, shouting and roared more louder- and jumping on the stage, cut short a long and involved speeches. The government is using the 'show and tell' technique, by being 'live' in their 'organized' events exhorting the vote, and not doing a very good job at it, even last week, as observed above.
And Television and other social media and the rest, beam all to the expectant, troubled, but captured audiences. Some have seen a vision of a better ANC after these elections staged shows. A tinge closer to the Euphoria was when the ANC ascended into power. Now, as we speak, they are pulling out all stops, and tactics to make sure they secure their rule.(Recall the Sankara post above). Zuma was forlorn and weak looking.. Irrelevant to vast masses in Orlando Stadium on June 16th 2016
Now, if you come to the Townships, the story of the ANC is something else. It is not only the ANC on the prowl for votes, but many 'strange' people tarry on the fringes on these ANC strongholds, and are not really getting much traction. Many people around any corner, Taverns, households, streets, Malls, funerals, talks with a certain amount of disdain for the opposition parties-now of late, Zuma. When it comes to the ANC, they are more vicious. But come voting time like now, well.. "The Matter Of Fact Is That There Is some Changes We Can See..." Giving anyone a truncated and not so true sense of what's going to happen in the upcoming elections.
But, now that votes are going to be needed, they are singing a different tune(Both the ANC and its voters), I guess it is because of the finality of the oncoming elections. Helicopters droning incessantly in the skies over Soweto-are an irritation to the already hyped up voter core. Although food bags are being parceled out piecemeal, the monthly government dole-out increased an itsy-bit, people are now more wary about the ANC, and a critical mass is growing showing its disapproval
In one Instance, DA was reported by word of mouth, throughout the Kasi, that they are having a shindig in some part of the Hood. Some of the citizens, having imbibed some malt/hops, came to the gathering, and one of them, extremely inebriated, but said in the township colloquial:
"Who are you people? Why are you gathered in this Park? You don't even know anything about this park and yet ya'll congregating here.. This Park was built by the ANC for us here in Kasie. You then have the audacity to come here and tell us (expletive) about the ANC." Well, for 'ya'lls information, were it not for the ANC erecting this park, you would all be standing on a reedy marsh..."
Other views and different people in the Townships talk about various and interesting points. Like a group of ladies and guys who were hanging out and having this Township logic palaver:
"The ANC has made our lives better with this "Mdende"(Government Social Security dole-out). Yes we know there are no jobs, and we are aware that not all of us, can be educated, as we are now.. "Let me tell you something," (a much more elderly lady began to speak).. "During the Apartheid day's, when my grandmother used to get her 'pension'. They received not more than Twenty Rands every other month", and another chirped-in, "It was about Ten Rands, what are you talking about?"One of their friends quipped in: "6 times a year". "Now you look and can say, the difference is huge." As they all nodded and concurred.
Whenever I am in our midst, I eavesdrop a lot, more so as to listen and participate/observe 'us' in a social interactive mode and mindset - whilst taking-in at the views people espouse or utter in their state of frustration, elation, conviction, belief, self-assertion, and so on.
These are the true markers, for me, of the thoughts people verbalize, especially regarding the matters of the present-day government with all its political gyrations. I think, within the Township people, one gets the rawness of how these issues impact them-and capturing the spirit of their delivery, is what is important. Capturing them in different settings is very hard because some points get lost in translation and writing. But it's worth trying.
Being there left one wondering about the lawlessness that was a feature of the this Bash thrown by these youth in the area I call my home.
The Music was disturbing, its tone, lyrics and repetitiveness, aggressive and harsh/if not lewd and lascivious..Add to this coming from more than 30 cars letting blare their fine custom-made stereos and speakers. The Youth screaming, laughing, many groups going into a dance mode whilst wailing/screeching/barking and drunken-drugged singing-along pierced the night, and raising more and more and shouting at each step-and tick of the clock.. right through the night .. with no respite. The Police? Where Were they? I had a gnawing feeling they had their feet kicked out next to their heaters, or car heaters.
The Bash was so loud and rowdy/noise from the youth, it somehow lulled us to sleep in the wee hours of the morning, and it was still going strong- with fight breakouts here and there-intermintently. This was a carry-over from the FNB stadium Rally where our leaders were prancing and sliding on the stage. Zuma stopped short of recreating Michael Jackson's Moonwalk. Really?
The Day after the elections, when the votes are in, and the 'winners' are announced, What Then? Having being given the election narrative as a Dummy(Pacifier), like I have said somewhere, there's going to be a big downer, weaning ourselves from the present drug-like-intoxicating madness; and then, without any doubt or hesitation: Back Into The Vinegar Bottle, for All Of Us... Same old, Same old...
We are really facing some serious problems, and the future does not look that good. Perusing over some title headings in the press, the pundits lament: "Elections 2014: Everything And Nothing Remains The Same," "I am not Voting Against The ANC," "A Good Story To Tell, For Some," "Voting Is Not Enough: Beyond The 'Good Story/Bad Story' Debate,""A Personal Reflection On The election," KZN: Is The IFP Losing Ground?", "DA And ANC Youth Leaders Battle It Out," "Let The Youth Take Over The ANC," "How DA Rhetoric Propels Black Pathology Stereotypes," "Majority Still support The ANC,""Condemned To Obscurity: The State Of Our Population Register And The Right To Vote," "What Are '(post)Apartheid Conditions," "How The ANC's Gravity Defying Levitation Is Achieved," "On The Fall Of The ANC," which has been written by Siphokazi. Magadla, I will cite a piece from her wherein she writes:
“How did the ANC manage to dupe the people of South Africa?” ask Prince Mashele and Mzukisi Qobo, the authors of a new book, The Fall of the ANC: What next? The 20th anniversary of electoral democracy and the impending elections, all within weeks, force us to take seriously the place of time in the efforts to understand and diagnose the behavior of the ruling party and thereby ease or feed our anxieties about the future.
"When placed across time, current events are exposed as unremarkable, unspectacular and temporary because time allows us to appreciate continuities and ruptures with the past. At the heart of Mashele and Qobo’s thesis is the view that, looking back, the ANC was not ready to govern and that “a great deal of what the party thought it would achieve was informed by an inflated sense of self and by sheer naivety”. The case could not be much clearer today in June 2016-with the Local elections for 2016 in a few months.
"For the authors, the end of apartheid caught the ANC by surprise. They posit that until the party started secret talks with the apartheid state in the late 1980s, the Freedom Charter of 1955 had remained the main point of reference of how the party envisioned itself in government until its adoption of the “Ready to Govern” policy document in 1992. It follows then that South Africans should not have been surprised at the drastic move by the governing party from the modest social democratic aspects of the redistributive Reconstruction and Development Program to the far more distributively conservative Growth, Employment and Redistribution policy.
The ANC is accused of having been too preoccupied with painting itself as a “club of monks” whose outdated views of Marxism would carry the country into the ideal National Democratic Revolution. Time has thus exposed the party as both “naïve” about the requirements of governance and the bankrupt moral calibre of the party leadership, which has reduced it to the “Alleged National Criminal” (ANC) organization. We are now worse-off than during the Apartheid era.
"Furthermore, the authors argue that the ANC’s behavior is no different to those of other national liberation movements in the continent because “the first two decades of democracy has unfolded very much in sync with the wave character of post-colonial Africa”. In this regard the party is placed within the same basket as Kenya under Daniel Arap Moi, Ghana under Kwame Nkrumah, and Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe.
"South Africans are accused of allowing the ANC to highjack the ownership of liberation history and to use it to hold them hostage against voting the “rotting” party out of power. Thus by revealing the party as having been unprepared to occupy the seat of power, South Africans ought to feel no guilt with removing it(ANC) as their government.(This sounds so simplistic! Yet important)
"Besides cataloguing, in a highly colourful fashion, the failures of the ANC, this book does not offer the reader a substantive way forward. Part of the challenge of the book is that the South Africans who are the audience are spoken to, instead of being spoken with/to — the tone of the writing is similar to Mamphela Ramphele’s book, "Conversations with My Sons and Daughters." The book, which is based entirely on secondary data in its reading of the ANC in governance, places the focus almost exclusively on the maneuvers of the leadership of the party.
"Ordinary members of the party are thus presumed to be mere spectators in the theater of “Big Men” and not co-producers of such a political culture within the party.
The ordinary people who are being encouraged to take charge of their hard-worn constitutional rights are not placed at the centre of the analysis in a manner that would have given Mashele and Qobo fresh insights into how the ANC can be buried, as in indeed they suggest. Many of our so-called writers and intellectual are of the kilter..
"According to the authors, our best bet is the formation of a new party as the current opposition parties are rendered illegitimate. This insight is of course not new. Neither is the insight that the liberation generation is dying out and that future political leadership belongs to those with no liberation credentials.(Biko had long suggested the unification of all African Opposition to Apartheid, though he knew it will be impossible, he nonetheless suggested it).
"The distinguished Tanzanian scholar Issa Shivji has warned the current generation of African intellectuals to be vigilant about how we study our societies in the midst of the supposed changing position of Africa in the global order — where Africa is said to be “rising” while the lives of most Africans are declining. Shivji insists that in order to understand forces of change in the lives of African people emphasis must be placed on examining the sources of agency within African communities.
So ordinary South Africans may not be faulted in declaring impatiently to Mashele and Qobo — undixelela zonke izigigaba zika rhulumente ngoba ucinga ukuba bendilele yonke leminyaka? (You are telling me about all the failures of the government because you assume that I have been asleep all these years?). Even further I would venture to say, why don’t you ask me what I think should be done. Apparently this is nt found in the present-day ANC 'talking points.'
"In a recent article in the African Affairs journal on “Neo-patrimonial Politics in the ANC” (2014), Tom Lodge argues that “the degenerative changes that are observed within the ANC "… appear to reflect a global trend in which mass parties are being replaced by electoral machines that depend less and less upon militant activism” and more on transactional exchanges between the electorate and the political elite. Amid these electoral limitations, what becomes the source of agency for ordinary people to instruct change in governance?
"There is utility in showing the ruling party that the people are watching and taking account of the multiple ways in which the ANC is betraying its promises and thereby facilitating its own demise. But that project cannot be done sufficiently if the voices and actions of the people are not placed at the centre of the analysis that shows the party the ways in which the people are thinking about their futures beyond the ANC.
"The authors themselves state that intellectuals failed to predict the uprisings in North Africa and elsewhere precisely because little attention was given to the organizing and thinking of ordinary people, while scholars were fixated on the escapades of the leaders Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi.
"Using the lives and thinking of ordinary people as a lens through which we arrive at answering “what next” after the ANC, none of us including the ANC, will be caught by surprise when they are eventually willed/thrown out of power by the people. After all, it is just a matter of time."(Nah! I don't think so, and this does not jive with reality).. Yet today, i choose to Opine differently.. Time is nigh...
For me, the Xhosa citation is the whole article. What I have been saying above is that it is better that we begin to have an approach to our people and listen to them talk, for as I have said, their raw answers are a colorful way the express their misgivings and destabilized life, but they know how to answer the curious, and inform those seeking to know and understand their perspective-not according to some well-off person seating on a computer in the comfort of their Mansion or big house, and not having a face to face encounter with the real and living ordinary people.
I also pointed out above that we, the voters, are regarded as just a percentage(say 63% of the voters will insert ANC into Power again/down to 50-something in the present local election of 2016).. We are nothing but that. In matters of how our wealth and rights are dealt with in our land, we are never consulted, and we really know nothing about the mal-administration Thuli pointed, that some of us are saying, investigate and purge the whole government.
The problems for our inability to solve the present social ills in our "Nation" is that, for example, the articles I cited above are written by White authors for a White reading public. The White people are known to always talk among themselves, and this is not new. That schism, enables and empowers the present government to divide and conquer African people. There are many other examples of this divisive technique employed.
Their SABC saga, for some Media Communication/Technology/Internet nerds, The ANC is trying to control the Internet, TV and with the help of the American investors, Radio and newspapers. Bills have been proposed to this effect of Censorship. This topic can be an article on its own, but suffice for now I will make mention of it in passing. The already have Apartheid's Censorship Blueprint to work from/with.
With such a spirit of the times(some would crisply say "Zeitgeist"), we have to begin to wrap our heads around it all and begun to put it into focus and perspective. The elections that are upon us are nothing but a pacifier, to ensure the crooks get back into power, and can fleece, pillage and empty the public coffers for the next five years. The same goes for the presently upcoming 2016 Local elections
It is a fait accompli that our government is in the Deep pockets of Foreign and Local big Capital. It is also clear that our leaders are the small fries of the World leaders, and our(The Leader's) role is to gawk at them and obey. That is the diplomatic relations between Mzantsi and the much more powerful countries.
In many ways, our leaders are lackeys of the governments that helped them in Exile, and their 'new' American/Chinese friends (who used to label the ANC a terrorist organization, are now in cahoots with our handkerchief-heads leaders-and the Chinese who helped with arms and certain material needs for the exiled ANC).
These elections like the past four or so before them, are a fiasco, farce and a time to remind us how powerless we are. Things are purported to Change so that they can remain that way and the same. Whether the ANC is still learning on the job(if any learning on their part is evident?!), the way they have desecrated the Bill of Rights of their constituencies, who really do not know or aware of their rights and are 44% of the voters, is what will always hold us back.
I still believe people have some modicum of intelligence, although, collectively, we are still divided by the way Apartheid divided us, and are busy dividing ourselves into a myriad bits of pieces of no significance-that in a word: We are Being Disappeared as the Indigenous of Mzantsi.
So then, it is either they(Crooks in government) are removed or we are 'disappeared' as the indigenous of South Africa. It is the 'removing' part of the ANC from power that has not yet satisfied the voters as being a real reason, and how to go about it, that is the conundrum.
Our hope, I still believe, lies with our own people. If we can muster enough courage to Master that, We will be able to form a Nation and control Our Country, Culture, History, and all its resources. But the main resources, still untapped, but ready to go, is our own People of Mzantsi.. We should raise our awareness and know-how on how to harness the power of the people-the people's power... And, there are many ways for us to achieving and attaining this power through and with our people of Mzantsi..
We can learn a lot from Cabral's cited piece at the opening of this Hub above.
We Were The Ones To Liberate African People -- And We Did!
Previewing Our Bill Of Rights And African National Conscience And Consciousness
Education does not only mean going into a classroom. Education is also community and public education about the Constitution, Bill Of Rights and such like governmental matters at the local and national levels. For the time the ANC has ruled South Africa, they should have worked assiduously hard to engage and help teach their voting masses about the business of government.
One thing I remember, the ANC doled out free Constitutional booklets, and failed to provide consistent places and classes to carry out this form of education for the masses. They left the masses to their own meager and non-existent facilities and, infrastructure and teaching personnel.
One other thing that was left out, diicarded and totally forgotten was the "Freedom Charter." The Public, although they knew it existed, The Freedom Charter, it was never given nor taught to them for it was gotten rid-off during the 'Talk About The Talks", (Codesa) In the end, we end up with the present Constitution which the people it has been written for do not know, nor understand what it means and how it works.
So that, when I talk about the Bill Of Rights, below, and attempt to highlight the issue, one could have a peep on the Hub, titled "Pedagogy Of Ignorance Post Apartheid" which delves deeper into Freedom Charter. This has been done with the aim of carrying out the education I have just alluded to above needs to be executed and carried out, either than the classroom education only, which is just no less but very important too.
There are undocumented abuses of the people's ignorance of their Bill of rights by State and local, business officials in South. Some use their position of power to try and abuse women, children and poor families. Even though I am talking above and below about knowing our Bill of Rights and Upgrading our African Consciousness, I can only do that if I begin to write about, or give a precis of the Bill of Rights below. Towards the end of the article I will articulate my Radical view of what I think and want people to know.
With the South African Constitution and its Bill of rights that has been legislated and brought to life, we have already partly corrected the past, and they are our best bet into putting in place a corrected and real future
The Freedoms Never Implemented Nor Respected
Giving The constitution's Bill Of Rights A Second Look
People's Right To Know It Is A Duty And Right For All South Africans To Clearly Know Their Bill Of Rights
I recently read a newspaper reportage in the Press that about 43% of African South African do not know anything about their Bill of Rights in their country. I have gone around and asked people at random what do they know about Their Bill Of Rights enshrined into their Constitution. Nearly all of the respondents to my unscientific (sic) probing, did not have a clue what I am talking about.
This empowers the present-day ANC government in many ways. This government, we all know is coming back into power, is more afraid of its collective being enlightened about these rights, than they are about the howling and charges allayed against them from their opposition. This securely assures them the opportunity and 'false' confidence that they can run roughshod over these rules knowing that their polity is unaware what are their Rights.
I think, therefore, it is about time we begin pasting these Constitutional beachheads like the Bill Of Rights of the people of South Africa. Maybe if we paste it on our sites and break it down/deconstruct this part of the Constitution, we might begin to contribute to the new struggles, new thinking and move away from the old modes of resistance and furbish and furnish the effort with new theoretical ideas and ideology.
As it is often mentioned, we all have to work in tandem with the masses in ways that address both the masses, and we can cull lessons from the masses, that, in that dialectic, we can embed what works for us, permanently and relevant to our cause. We cannot go about just sprouting and splurging mouthfuls about "Our Constitution" whereas many of us have not honestly and really taken time to read it and break it down.
The failures of the implementation of these rights goes hand in glove with the neglect of the education of the masses. There's a lot that the honchos in the Department of Education are not doing the educating of the people, that, this is now on the shoulders of the country's intelligentsia to rework the belief and reality that the masses need to be enlightened and helped with their educational preparedness and Rights.
If one is going to have fight the ANC, one is going to have to do things differently. We should work on implementing masses-friendly knowledge, beginning with us, the Edumacated, simplifying the whole government matrix.
When one looks more closely at the Constitution and its various parts, it will be important not only to know its design and contents, but to relate it to the day to day lives of the poor and unaware African voting polity: i.e., explaining the Bill of Rights, and making examples or pointing out to the day-to-day applications or non-applications of this social contract/protocol.
Awareness developed in this manner, will make possible that the poor people begin to see and work with these rights as written and as applied or not applied and acting as a check and balance on the state whenever they contravene these, as they are doing so now, arrogantly, with impunity, and a laisez faire and carte blanche attitude and iron fist.
Breaking down the Bill rights is key to beginning to entrench new ways of approaching our struggle, because, if in the next four years we are still using the old old protestation maneuvers, this is playing into the hand of the ANC(crew) rule and their Local deep fiscal pockets and Imperial potentates, who are just having a field day in manipulating, exploiting and oppressing us.
We cannot ignore the ANC but we can begin to look closely at what is it that is in our Bill of Rights that we need to know and were not aware of.
A Bill of Rights for a New South Africa
Preliminary Revised Text, February 1993
In the light of a vast number of comments received in many forms on the Draft Bill of Rights prepared by the Constitutional Committee of the ANC, this new text has been prepared. The objective is to work out a preliminary revised text for presentation to the Policy Conference. This draft will therefore be finalised after comments have been received from the ANC membership.
NOTE: The words in bold are new, while words in brackets are to be deleted. The notes are intended to draw attention to controversial areas - they do not form part of the text.
Article 1 EQUALITY
(1) All South Africans are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
(2) No individual or group shall receive privileges or be subjected to discrimination, domination or abuse on the grounds of race, colour, language, gender, or creed, political or other opinion, birth or other status.
(3) All men and women shall have equal protection under the law.
Article 2 PERSONAL RIGHTS
The Right to Life
(1) Every person has the right to life.
(2) No-one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life.
(3) Capital punishment is abolished and no further executions shall take place.
NOTE: The question has been raised as to whether the use of the phrase `right to life' indicates an anti-abortion position in the Constitution. In our view, the issue is left open in this clause. We feel the matter should be left open for legislative action after democratic discussion in future.
The issue needs sensitive and informed debate with extensive participation by all interested parties and a respect for differing views. Uninformed debate could be extremely divisive and distract attention from the basic question of equal political rights. The Constitution should not in any way preempt proper debate. We regard the issue as of great importance and would recommend that it receive high priority as soon as democratic institutions are in place.
The Right to Dignity
(4) No-one shall be subjected to slavery, servitude or forced labor, provided that forced laboor shall not include work normally required of someone carrying out a sentence of a court, nor military service or national service by a conscientious objector, nor services required in the case of calamity or serious emergency, nor any work which forms part of normal civil obligations.
(5) The dignity of all persons shall be respected.
(6) No-one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
(7) Everyone shall have the right to appropriate protection by law against violence, harassment or abuse, or the impairment of his or her dignity.
The Right to a Fair Trial
(8) No-one shall be deprived of his or her liberty except after due process of law, and the courts shall have the right to order the release of any person held without due legal authority.
(9) There shall be no detention without trial, banishment or house-arrest. Legislation may provide for legitimate restriction of movement in relation to illegal immigrants and persons of unsound mind.
(10) No persons shall be arrested or detained for any purpose other than that of bringing them to trial on a criminal charge.
(11) Arrest shall take place according to procedures laid down by law, and persons taken into custody shall immediately be informed of the charges against them, shall have access to a legal representative of their choice, and shall be brought before court within 48 hours or, where that would be a Sunday or a public holiday, on the first working day thereafter.
(12) Bail shall be granted to awaiting-trial persons unless a court rules that in the interests of justice they should be kept in custody.
(13) No-one shall be deprived of liberty or subjected to other punishment except after a fair trial by an independent court.
(14) Trials shall take place within a reasonable time.
(15) Everyone shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty.
(16) No conduct shall be punished if it was not a criminal offence at the time of its occurrence, and no penalty shall be increased retrospectively.
(17) No-one shall be tried or punished twice for the same offence.
(18) Accused persons shall be informed in writing of the nature of the allegations against them, and shall be given adequate time to prepare and conduct their defence.
(19) Everything that is reasonable shall be done to ensure that accused persons understand the nature and the import of the charges against them and of the proceedings, that they are not prejudiced through illiteracy or lack of understanding, and that they receive a fair trial.
(20) Accused persons shall have the right to challenge all evidence presented against them, to be defended by a legal practitioner of their choice, and if in custody, to have access to a legal practitioner at all reasonable times.
(21) If a person is unable to pay for legal representation, and the interests of justice so require, the State shall provide or pay for a competent defence.
(22) No persons shall be required to give evidence against themselves, nor, except in cases of domestic violence or abuse, shall persons be required to give evidence against their spouses, whether married by civil law or custom, their parents or their children.
(23) No evidence obtained through torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment shall be admissible in any proceedings.
(24) Juveniles shall be separated from adult offenders.
(25) Punishment imposed by any Court shall be humane and any term of imprisonment shall be reviewed periodically.
A casual perusal of Article 1: Equality, one begin to see what is put down on paper that is Our Rights. From the assertion that All south African are born with equal Rights and Dignity to the protection of the privileges, protected from abuse based on all the listed prejudices(especially , one begins to see the good or bad of our rulers. It means, many people have a lot to say about that, not really against anybody, but for themselves, and their communities.
This is the list of the abuses, the violation of the Constitutionally enshrined , today in our midst, we already have a sense of how and what to think about these issues as they pertain to us. I can go on this topics and break them, but I only what to highlight that reading the first three points, one already has contradiction and other issues that come to light.
I regard to the Article 2: Personal Rights-The Right to Life, The government says it is going to leave this to legislative bodies and Democratic discussion. so that, 'the Constitution should not 'pre-empt debate', according to the government, why has it not yet reached the masses and we see conscious and active participation it this aforesaid process?
Either the legislative bodies stall and put it in the back-burner, and the masses do not know that they are entitled to discuss these matter before they are past into Law or the constititution, seems like there is a deliberate abortion by the government of the implementation and manifestation of these Individual Rights; or, the people need to read them below with a keen eye and try to understand what they mean or how they relate to them as individuals and as a community/society/Nation-realistically and constitutionally
Article 2 PERSONAL RIGHTS
The Right to Life
(1) Every person has the right to life.
(2) No-one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life.
(3) Capital punishment is abolished and no further executions shall take place.
NOTE: The question has been raised as to whether the use of the phrase `right to life' indicates an anti-abortion position in the Constitution. In our view, the issue is left open in this clause. We feel the matter should be left open for legislative action after democratic discussion in future.
The issue needs sensitive and informed debate with extensive participation by all interested parties and a respect for differing views. Uninformed debate could be extremely divisive and distract attention from the basic question of equal political rights.
The Constitution should not in any way pre-empt proper debate. We regard the issue as of great importance and would recommend that it receive high priority as soon as democratic institutions are in place.
The Right to Dignity
(4) No-one shall be subjected to slavery, servitude or forced labour, provided that forced labour shall not include work normally required of someone carrying out a sentence of a court, nor military service or national service by a conscientious objector, nor services required in the case of calamity or serious emergency, nor any work which forms part of normal civil obligations.
(5) The dignity of all persons shall be respected.
(6) No-one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
(7) Everyone shall have the right to appropriate protection by law against violence, harassment or abuse, or the impairment of his or her dignity..
In our culture, Respect(Hlompho/Inhlonipho) undergirds our cultural core. We know that in our cultures of Mzantsi, Ubuntu has been broken down to personal rights(not in the Western sense of the meaning of the word) explaining it to the people, one must be cognizant of our culture(as a whole-not as broken up-becasuse it has the same tenets in all the 9(n) groups/nations of the Africans of Mzantsi.
This will enable us to be able to teach the people about their Bill of Rights
I am a pedestrian in Constitutional matters. but I belong to the army of the poor that need to interpret and make meaningful these Rights. The most interesting thing is that they make me come face to face with our culture, customs, traditions, and other such matters that we live by.
No 4 is quite ambiguous, and it will do good to break down the whole sentence in another article. But for now, it is coughed in military jargon that it obfuscate/deflecting its covert-like operational tactics in the private sector in our country today. Like I said, the last sentence is not grounded in any meaningful sense, and needs further discussion.
Line 5 is very disingenuous-What it says, is not what is being affected on the ruled. There are many examples of which contradict this line, and there are egregious violations here, disregard for human rights, dignity and respect. Were it applied to the letter, there wouldn't be the hue and cry from the poor of the violation of these in their lives and communities.
As for Clause 6., well, need I say more-assassinations, intimations, political killings, ideological enforcement, cabals, cronyism, retributions on communities that do not tow the line, instilling fear and pretending to be the real Overlord(literally) and anointed leadership to carry out these dastardly deeds: "it's cold outside the ANC and such-like retorts.
That, the clause, as brief as it is, it is full of contradictions, and serious dissatisfaction and disaffection feelings of the voting polity. I do not know what knowing it would change, but it is better than not even read, seen or being aware of it.
Reading line number seven, one is left saying, "Really"?. Some of these assertions really seem preposterous because everyone invokes the Constitution as this document that is protecting us against all the vicissitudes and wrangling of life, and reading it, it all seems so mundane and a Big Lie. It is not relevant to the decrepit reality experienced and loved by the poor.
Reading it to different people in the Kasie, it makes one sound like a fool and irrelevant, because they they ask, if this is so, why is it not so for me or us? And usually, the poor and supposedly 'untutored' people will continue from there and list all their grievance and points of view/affect on them by the contravened clause above. Good Question!.
But helping them read it, and making them know and understand that working in tandem as a critical mass aware of this, is better than facing it as an individual--has a remedying effect on the mindset of the poor. There are no quick solutions to this method, but the journey one takes begins with the first step.
The next installment will be The right To A Fair Trial; The Right to Judicial review(which will be summed up because this is a very quirky and dicey area, and if one get to hear about the British coming to open jails in our country, we all know, seeing the evidence from YouTube and on the Web, we are in for a rough ride,. and our judicial rights, Fair Trial rights and Right to Judicial Review, has long been seriously compromised and are flawed to the hilt. Our rights have been set aside and ignored. These will be discussed in the upcoming posts.
We may all wax political and revolutionary, that is our democratic right. We can also put in the hard work that is need to recreate and fashion the struggle that it become a serious threat to any government that violates and does not respect Human rights, dignity, housing, families,societies, communities and by bringing the constitution to the people-by giving ourselves a chance to read and understand this document and simplify it.
If we fail to this, we hare just blowing hot air, huffing and puffing to a government that knows that these acts/opposition is futile and we are not a threat to it. I do not prescribe to violent opposition as the only and final solution. I think. certain ways of thinking and seeing should be part and parcel of our thrusting towards ousting the caliber of leaders we have at present.
I think it is a big pull and dig to workout our situation because there are so many cooks on the stove. Well, there are too many ideas about "What Should Be Done" (a la Lenin?). Well, there are many who talk about weaning ourselves from dependency and be authentically free and Independent. Well those are the choices that we have available at present.
Anybody can disagree with my approach, but I think we need to clearly know what our struggle is about, requires and what other alternatives are there in executing it Post Y2K Apartheid and now present-day ANC(crew) rule.. I think we have laws and a Constitution, it is the people/crew that is running the country that should be check mated with bringing around and making the poor conscious/knowledgeable about the Constitution and how it works; how they, as being protected by their Bill Of right, could take these laws/rule, own them, apply them as they see fit, and see the results.
I know there have been demonstrations and strikes you name it.. Well I think it is about time all the elderly, the youth and the children begin to be tutored extensively and more forthrightly about things like, The Bill Of Rights enshrined in Their Constitution. It Is their "Right" to Know....
Soweto's Revolution In First Movement
"Claim No [False] And Easy Victories"- Cabral
I have been all over the media and Facebook over the past few days. I have been reading all sorts of assertions, declarations and claims of cheap victory and its history that I had to respond to some. My thing is that we need to make our history real and relevant to us and for us. It is not "Youth Day", dubbed so to dampen the revolutionary reality and history.
Many people on Facebook belief the hype and spin about this time period. Well, for those of us who were involved have something to say about all that. to rename this day as Youth Day was disingenuous of the ANC, who were not involved nor directed or conducted the June 16th Revolution. They came after the fact/the explosion, and led from behind, or was it following from behind the students of 1976?. That is why they tried to appease their handlers and bosses by renaming this day, "Youth Day"..
There are also people who believe and are creating and planting invented leaders(based on what they googled about that person) that they were the ones influencing the Revolution of the Soweto Student Revolution. Everybody wants their bit and share/say about the 1976 Revolution like they were authorities. Many have only read about it, and do not know what's up. We were the revolters and up-and-coming Revolutions.
what many people do, is focus on the 1976 Revolution and forget about what was happening before the event, and after the 196 evolution. There were Contemporary Struggles from the 1980s which were spawned by this Revolution of 1985. I will be writing a Hug on these Revolutions, of which few really know much about, forgot or cannot articulate very well.
Well, below, in the spirit of updating the article and the history/story of the 1976 Revolution of the soweto Students, I will post my responses to what has been posted on Facebook on issue about this June 16th 1976 day.
There was an article posted dubbed "2010 June Unshackled, which give a correct analysis of the events of 1976 which are similar to what I had posted in the Hub above(but this Hub is much longer and has much added information) to which I responded to in this way:
"nteresting points that Qekema is making here and have read his post above. Many points are factually true, but there's more to this than the organizations mentioned above. There were independent operators and those who were in the struggle not because they belonged to BCM, SASM or anything, but were consciously involved and affecting many parts of this revolution as 'shock troops' who were not dictated to by any one, but the events as they churned, very fast and under a lot of pressure-in different settings.
There were wars, I say, that have not been recorded that took place in the streets of Orlando and elsewhere. We knew and saw some of the young "leaders" spoken about here, but then, in our street-fighting and dodging and being hit by bullets, many stories transpired, and this was not a movement really led by anyone but the Youth of the day in various forms and different approaches and so forth.
I somewhat concur with Qekema, whose expose/brief I find to have some kernel of truth, that, all these people who claim to have affected and influenced the 1976 Revolution, are not totally honest/but disingenuous and use today's talking points to edify leaders who really were not known nor cared about. The '76 struggle was not about Leaders, ANC, or whatever, it was a free for all battle that involved many martyrs(many unknown and unsung) who did some of the bravest things I never thought I would see on that day.
Those, to me, are the struggles that really frustrated and made the police/army very vicious and use many dirty covert actions, even in the Cape and so forth, and I have a lot of evidence to back this up, too. Up to this day, I do not belong to nor believe in any organization and leadership for I cut my teeth in the dirt streets of Orlando East and throughout Soweto without having to have an organization or leader( of which, both, were really non-existant and I think Qekema touches on this a little bit more on pg. 9) to instruct or direct us-we were operating, many of us, independnently. And that is true.
This story as written by Qekema, is the basic structure of what was taking place in Soweto; I can only add that we were what one could call 'free agents' and budding home groomed/grown 'guerillas'. The only time we began to see guns, some of us(except those liberated from the police), was when some of our friends, some time after 1976 beyond, began to show up with machine guns like the "She"(I am not sure now whether it was Czech in origin or what, some real grenades and attack/defensive grenades/and instructed us on how to use them, pins and all.
This was when some of us began to learn how to fill the bullets into the cartridges, practice target-shooting, learn how to set up and prepare plastic charges, operate this["She"] machine gun and the AK47-that is, learning how to disassemble, it, clean it,, put it back together, put on semi or full automatic, and practiced shooting at night in some remote corners of the Soweto Ghetto.
I and many of my cohorts refused to go into exile, and in fact, in my house I housed as many 20 dudes on the run from BOSS and other Death squads teams that were on their prowl and on their trail. My house became a transitional point for many, which was their last stop before going to exile, hid. What I am saying is that, no present organization really owned or controlled the 1976 Revolution, and we did a lot of damage around the city of Jozi and the hinterland of Mzantsi.
Up to this day, I do not 'join' anything, and I maintain my right to think of myself as an African of Mzantsi.. The rest is just fluff and lies, and to be honest, in rewriting our history, we as chroniclers of certain events, must know there is always something one may not know, so an open mind is the prerequisite to this, I would imagine. Nobody owned nor controlled the events of the June 16th Revolution.
It was a complete people's struggle, with a bit of direction here or there by different interests, but it was a genuine people struggle that had many moving many parts to it that are still to be talked and written about.. We can only 'contaminate The Liberation Struggle Memory"(Qekema) if we do not accept that there were a lot of things that were going on in different parts of Soweto, and there were unannounced/unknown 'shock troops' that operated outside the purview of all the other so-called organizations, and that remained so, and these events, as time goes, will also be brought to life/light.
It was the People's(Youth) power move, and we paid with many lives, but those of us who survived, will have to work hard to put all the other disparate parts of this revolution into their proper Africa/People Centered struggles and perspective and historical Accuracy and truth-as much as possible.. I thought I could contribute my farthing above.. Well, there's more to this story than most people even imagine, from pre-June 16th, and going now all the way into exile, and back here at home(the rule of the present-day ANC) that needs to discussed forthrightly and without fear.
Interesting piece you wrote, Qekema...We drew our inspiration, by the way, from people like Carlos Marighella, and his urban guerrilla-warfare-Foco-style" or his "Mini manual of the Urban Guerilla,". Very instructive; Che's "Guerilla Warfare", Mao's "On Guerilla Warfare", and we had a copy(with some missing pages), of Sun Tzu's "The Art Of War", and we also had some copies and many other counter-revolionary proponents(Used by the Boers) and so forth, during these times.. Just sayin'.
Before I responded to this particular article I mentioned just now, I had to respond to this post which went like this:
ZEPHANIA MOTHOPENG: "Then,
ofcourse what led to the student
outbreak was the problem of
Afrikaans, and those schools which
were concerned were next door to
me. I know the principal of the
school where it was mainly
concerned was my student at
Orlando High and the students
there I knew some of them we
also had great influence amongst
In June 16th, 1976(On a Wednesday), I was a student at Orlando High School, and Our Principal was Khambule, and no one influenced us, and we, the seniors, were in-charge of everything.. I think we better start keeping things real and historically clear and true, here.. I know, because I was one of the councilors and student leaders of the students and coordinated events and everything, specifically in Orlando East/Orlando High...
The person who posted this piece by Mothopeng replied:
"It's only Mothopeng who can explain how he influenced the students, unfortunately he is no more."
I posted this reply:
"Sadly true.. But those of us who were in the mix, know too what happened on this day. And it did not only happened on June 16th. This started earlier on.. And the students of Belle, average age of13 years and under, in fact, really started the action part of this whole history. It is not far, this school, from Hector Pietersen Museum..
If we are going to have to know the truth about the Revolution, it is more proper that those who were "there" and 'active' reveal what it was that was happening. I was unfortunately in the front-lines, and(and am living to talk about it) what everybody sees as the Peter Magubane's photographic evidence, whom, we incidentally were working with in some covert capacity for many of the 'behind the scenes' hard nosed organizing, that I can confidently tell you a lot.
I have written articles on this subject/event(Revisit, if you may, the Top Half of the Article about June 1976).. And the Parents, if they ever did have any collaboration with us, students, it was in the Parents capacity-and them seeing us killed and battling, that is why the of late were with us. What I can tell you is that, I am not supposing anything nor read about June 16th.. I was 'in it' and can talk about it without any embellishment/exaggeration or distortion. I lost too many good and brave friends on this day, and I have not read about it. Anyway, experience is truly the Best Teacher...
Then I received this answer for the poster of Mothopeng's quote:
"I'm not sure if this quote bypassed you: ZEPHANIA MOTHOPENG: "When I came out from prison in 1967 I was sent to exile to Qwaqwa, by the end of 1967 I was sent home. In the early 70s students who have been expelled came to me to discuss their plight, and we planned how to counter that.
Later on in the 70s a meeting was held in Orlando and it was decided that an organisation which was a representative of Black Consciousness must formed. I was then closely associated with the students, I remember the first president of that organisation used to frequent at my home even before he went on to occupy that position he was always at my home.
I addressed many meetings including the one that took place in Durban, which resulted in big arrest of the students (BCM members). I was arrested after the actual Soweto Uprising, we organised over a very wide area in Azania--- areas like Kagiso I was in Pretoria where I was tortured." That was an interview with ZBC."
Upon reading her response, the poster, I dropped the following response:
" Nice.. Well, the way I see it is that, the story and history of the 1976 evolution is what is still being written, and all will depend on what we, today, as the chroniclers of our history, will say and let history judge our narrative. And the narrative is that, as some of us were witnesses and participants, will forever put an Asterix on the event(June '76) as student inspired and executed, the rest is fluff and neither here nor there.
What the future generation will learn is that children, for that matter, in June 1976, took the Apartheid regime by its horn, with no one telling them what and how to do it, but did it, and today we can all debate/deliberate that it was whatever, still does not change that fact: Children were key, and adults were running scared-that's why we did it the way we did.
The removal of the real title for the event lost its meaning and historical impact/reality once it was called "Youth" Day"; which is a misnomer and was never made into a history textbooks for our present-day children, so that, I think Qekema's article is in collusion with what I am saying, and you should give it a good read. He makes the good points, coupla of them point out what we are both talking about here.
Over the past 38 years, I have heard all types of claims from many people as to what they did on June '76. But, as a writer and historian/participant of this Mzantsi Revolution, i will make sure, whatever I write, I will credit the Youth of 1976 with executing the most fantastic and dangerous but compelling struggle ever seen in the annals of South African history.
If we are going to know abut the adults who have. One can take something from Hlaku Rachidi, president of BPC stated: "...The authorities, the parents and the teachers are going to be faced with a new child. The kids learned a whole political lesson during last week .. They are rejecting the imposition of the whole White establishment and system plus the norms and values of Whites ..
The BPC interprets this as Black(African) Consciousness in the Kids. It is gut reaction, not loft philosophy, and it reflects and articulates the feelings of the [children[ and people."](Natal Mercury, 18 June, quoted in Black Review,1975-'76. SASM, and other various elements of Black Consciousness movement may have been said to provide any semblance of leadership.
Historical fact and reality and pundits and all who wrote about this issue, from the interviews of Winnie to Students leaders, No one has been able to claim, including SASM, SSR, Black Parents Associations led by the likes of Dr. Motlana, Bishop Buthelezi, etc., a semblance of leadership before and during, and organizations started laying claim and created structures to try and help us the students who were faced with this humongous task of fighting with Apartheid.
We know, for a fact, no one, BCM, SASM(which were finally run out to exile), the ANC, the purported leaders who were to later claim that they were involved with what the students were doing, is pure distortion and claiming easy victories. These organization were following what the students were doing, without their help or influence, and so it shall remain as we settle these historical facts down, some of us, as we write our history.
All were 'johnny-come-latelies', including all the adults who later claimed to have had a hand in the whole shindig. The fact is, they did so, if they did, after the "Fact", and I know because I did not have to read anyone's quotes, we were among the many who were doing the revolution, not the claiming or talking that we see today-any clown can do the claiming-and have later generation believe the lies because they were not thee. Well, we were the ones there.
It was action from the African 'Children/Students, on our own accord who launched and executed The 1976 Students Rebellion, like I said before to you, the rest is Fluff and lies and claiming cheap and easy victories and leadership.
I could go on, but suffice to say that the Revolution of 1976 was what we used to call in those day "A spontaneous Reaction and Revolution" by us, the children of Soweto-Not Adults(who Came later-Read about The BPA and other the ANC, BCM, SASM SSRC,) who were not known by many of our cohorts, and we did not give a rats-ass as to their organizations and claimed leadership, which came as an after thought to them. But, nobody led, designed nor encouraged/influenced this Revolution.
We did it out of our own frustration with Apartheid Education (Bantu Education-and unless you went through its grist mill, the rest is irrelevant), and by then, we were spoiling for a fight with Apartheid, and we took the opportunity when it presented itself.
Theories abound nowadays, people are being ascribed roles which to us never existed-and we neither knew them(these supposed leaders and advisors), and, as I said in this response, history will judge us as its writers as to whether what I say is true or not. I am writing it as a participant, not a student who read books and quotes about it, for there were none for us, but direct action and reaction and revenge against Apartheid.
The other stuff(Quotes and lame/tired claims).. just a waste of time waxing political and distorting history and pretending to know what one is talking about. "We Were There-And We Did It!", Thembelani, and we did it without anyone telling or advising us how and what to do.
Afterwards, after the first initial days, we see emerging old people claiming leadership, when they were all cowering away from the Boers, and were trying to dissuade us from the actions and daring which was the zeitgeist we survived in.
We didn't care, were fearless, and we did everything on that Wednesday of 1976 from our own initiatives and the conditions and state of mind and spirit(as I noted above) of the times. I do not talk about this event from quotes/books of other late coming leaders influencing us, I speak as a student who was involved in many phases of this struggle, and that, is not from a textbook, but from hardcore experience and actions of the day...
And by the way, we knew Uncle Zeph.. And all you are trying to say about him is much-ado about nothing-just a mirage, nothing else.. You should come here in Orlando and ask us the residents, we have 'another think' coming for your inquiries about Zeph.. Not what we read, but how and what we know about him..
I will say less now about that.. But our struggle in 1976 was a 'just' struggle and was executed by us children with no guidance/advice from some geezers, that you should get straight.... Hola!.."
I posted the response above because I did not want to diminish or go headlong into arguing about what she posted as Mothopeng saying. what I was doing was to keep up on track about the fact that this 1976 June 16th Revolution was leaderless and those who were claiming false victories were charlatans, and liars, and I went on ahead and posted the reply above.
The writer of the Article of 21010 June 16 Unshackled: a Black Perspective writes:
:Inspired by BC, this was the revolutionary spirit that prevailed in 1976. Unlike today’s pussyfooting by some sections of the liberation movement, there was no need for a committee to compose revolutionary songs because they “came by themselves, and of themselves”. In the same way they were not the property of certain leaders; no court of law could tell us what songs to sing and how to sing them!
Those who resent the fact that it was not them but the BCM that provided mass mobilisation and political leadership of the June 16 uprising have continuously claimed that there was a “political vacuum” during that era of struggle. Historians rubbish claims like these. There is no such thing as a vacuum in history. Acceptable parlance would be that of phases.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines “vacuum” as a “space entirely devoid of matter”: and its figurative application implies the “absence of normal or previous content of a place, environment, etc.” What our detractors seek to suggest by this vacuum is that with the banning of the ANC (and the PAC) the struggle was somehow interrupted and punctuated waiting for the unbanning of the ANC.
What this means is that all the heroic struggles of our people waged under a “wrong” political influence and guidance was not “recognised by the sole authentic representatives of the people”. When it became clear that they could not wipe June 16 out of the retentive minds of our people, the plot was changed to June 16 being their brainchild. Not to be left behind, the PAC has also tried some dangerous stunts claiming that through their late Zephania Mothopeng they were the main architects of June 16.
Searching in vain for evidence to keep their white lie afloat, they desperately point to the 1978 Bethal Trial where Mothopeng was charged alongside BC cadres like the AZAPO late Political Commissar, Molatlhegi Tlhale. As a non-sectarian movement, the BCM did provide political home to some people that had affinity to the older sections of the liberation movement.
To be sure, a guerilla-starved PAC did have some individuals around Kagiso who (like the ANC) saw an opportunity to try and recruit cadres for the PAC. But that did not turn June 16 into a PAC initiated movement. They just did
In 1985 Oliver Tambo, the ANC president in exile, laid this ghost to rest:
"This uprising of 1976-77 was, of course, the historic watershed... Within a short period of time it propelled into the forefront of our struggle millions of young people... It brought to midst comrades many of whom had very little contact with the ANC, if any... Organizationally, in political and military terms, we were too weak to take advantage of the situation that crystallized from the first events of 16 June 1976.
We had very few active units inside the country. We had no military presence to speak of. The communication links between ourselves outside the country and the masses of our people were still too slow and weak to meet such (a challenge) as was posed by the Soweto uprising".
"So that by the time 1976 came – because up until then the ANC and the PAC only existed in name. They had nobody in their Umkhonto we Sizwe or APLA, or whatever it was. It is only after 1976, which had been organised by the Black Consciousness Movement, through the South African Students Movement, and when a large number of young people go into exile, that the ANC and the PAC suddenly become strong enough,
Many academics seem to have had their palms greased to lend credence to the lies that June 16 “belongs” to the ANC. Thus this writer has had to rebut ludicrous claims by Raymond Suttner (2008) in his The ANC Underground in South Africa. I critiqued his work as follows:
What gives his work an ugly countenance is not that it is political propaganda, but that it pretends to be a scholarly project whose authority should be taken for granted! He tries very hard to depict the ANC/BCM.
Although these are the prevailing talking points today about 1976, there's some truth in what is being talked about above. In reality, the struggle of the students of 1976 was not inspired by these so-called leaders today, but the overall population of the African Students of Soweto, and nothing more than that.
The Youth And Marikana Today - Whither Our Struggle..
The Youth And An Imagined Revolution-2014 Style
Then, there was this piece written by one FB-er that went this way:
You can't blame the youth
"June has been dubbed "Youth Month" a time to commemorate the achievements of the youths and acknowledge the role played by the the youths in the fight against oppression in its many different manifestations.
Today, June 16, is the Day of the African Child or, as in South Africa, Youth Day. To some, this is just another public holiday, a time to party one's life way, then again, for some it is about reflection and self introspection.
As we commemorate this day many questions arise about the state and quality of the youth. Many adults, in analyzing, evaluating or critiquing the youth, however which way you want to view it, generally have negative things to say about the youth.
There is a tendency, on the part of elders, to create the impression that when they were youths they were perfect and the current generation of youths is now messed up. Whether that is true or not is debatable depending on who is looking at it and how they are looking at it. In very general terms, the youths and the adults do not agree on what the correct position is or supposed to be.
In as much as the day is about young people, this write up is directed mainly at the elders who have seen it fit or are seeing it fit to blame the youths for what the adults deem as wrong with the youths or their behavior."
This was my response below on the post above:
"You see, Dude, I was there when the sh*t hit the fan on the Wednesday of June 16th 1976. Much has been written and speculated, exaggerated or spun about this day. If you were there, I think you would have written a very different blurb to the one above. The adults, during the Revolution of 1976, were running scared, were critical of the youth, and tried to dissuade us from 'angering the Boers' who will come and harass if not kill/arrest them and us-the Boers did-we did not stop.
We never listened, were not afraid, and we made it a point that we defied them(Parents) and did what we found to be dangerous, deadly and adventurous. The same adults today(The ANC) changed the name to "Youth day" from the June 16th 1976 Revolution-and they were not there nor responsible for the revolution.
The day lost its real meaning and revolutionary impacts, and in the rallies throughout South Africa, you see White youth taking the podium making speeches about this day. I am aghast! And it is true today that the present-day youth are not ready to take leadership(just look at the fiasco of Malema and his crew and those who supported his opportunism: a coterie of young people who are apolitical and ahistorical about whatever they want to do.
Yes, we must truthfully critique the present generation(who call themselves, some of them, the Born-Frees!? What a joke.. Their parents and societies are not free, how can they be? A seriously rhetorical question. We, of the '76 generation, knew and were up to date about the struggles of Zimbabwe, Algeria, Maputo and Africa and the US and we kept close tabs.
We knew what the Boers were not up to or up to; we understood our role and position in South Africa under Bantu Education; the adults were opposed to our stance, resolve and actions because they were scared of the Apartheidizers, and we the youth were spoiling for a fight. Encouraged and cognizant of the Freedom struggles throughout Africa, we knew that our parents were lame, and not willing to partake in the revolution, until we started dying in droves,
Then they started forming Parents associations(BPA), and we saw the emergence of fledgling organizations, SASM, SSR, BCM, take your pick timeline-wise historically. But we, as student were fearless and we knew what we wanted and relished the thought of taking on the mighty Apartheid regime-our parents folded, criticized us and wanted no part in it; yet, in the end they rushed pellmell(see it on their adherents on FB) and claimed ownership and leadership of this struggle. All of which is fluff and lies.
I should know.. I was there... The current generation, for all intents and purposes, are lost. You can try and put them in any good light, but they ain't cutting it. Sabelo, and we need to be real here.. You do not dream about nationalizing mines, taking the land and the economy just because you can Google it and rant on FB/and other Social media. Any struggle requires dedication, participation, guts, vision, preparedness, involvement, knowledge of the facts and political and economic terrain/reality and functioning-fully and clearly(today).
Most of today's generation are enamored by Technological gadgets and the emerging social media. They are not even immersed or involved with their communities whom they disrespect and are not listening to. Today's generation is not reading, but cutting and pasting and plagiarizing and living in a world of make-believe. These are facts, Sabelo.
Go to Vilakazi Street(Orlando West) and see the youth inebriated and guzzling/drowning in booze and acting up in lewd ways and being lascivious in their comportment. Go there on a weekend when the tourists are headed for the Mandela House in Orlando West. See the Youth there, I think you might have been there, and tell me what you saw. The youth today do not even know our mother tongue, culture, and look up on Whiteism to be their main goal/English as being sophisticated.
Many think they are Americans(calling each other "My Nigguh" and trying their utmost to be American/European, and care less about their own. Frantz Fanon in 'White Skin' talks about the Algerians(From Martinique) in France, ordering in African accented French, dragging and drawling French, and sounding arcane and ridiculous-same here in Mzantsi. The youth think talking American slang(of which they know little of, except what they get from TV and other sources) as being authentic and advanced.
Well, we both know all that is a behavior of a colonized-incarcerated mind. These youth, educated in Boer Schools(Model), think that the mannerism, lifestyles of White people, language and other quaint behaviors of Whites are the better ones. This is our dilemma. That is why I try and post positive music(opposed to Rap/Kwaito), articles on Consciousness and our History, contemporary and past.
They hardly read it nor care.. So, why should we cuddle these misfits and allow them to run carte blanche in our lives? We should critique them, too, not because we had a tough time with our elders, because, as I have pointed out, they seem like a lost cause. That, too, is the truth and facts about today's generation. Debatable.. I hardly think so.
I am of a generation that dared all odds and we pulled it off, despite the losses we incurred and are still suffering from those effects, 38 years later. I am open to discussing this issue further than I have done thus far.. Sabelo.. Tha's my two cents... Hola!...
Our Consciousness Is Still African-And You Occupy A Large Space Of Our Conscience-Bantu
The State Of African Consciousness: A Renaissance Of The African Conscience and Consciousness
These responses above inspired me to write the following piece on Bantu Biko:
I would be amiss if I did not talk or say or cite something from Biko in relation to our situation, and this was pre-1976. A lot of people have many opinions about Biko, but very few seriously dig into his work, use his writing to make a point today.
I revisit Biko because he was present up to right at the beginning of the Revolution and he was working hard on mobilization when he was captured, tortured and killed., by the Port Elizabeth Apartheid goons and spooks. He is also relevant to the 16th June Revolt because his words today, are important for us to re-read and know intimately for he spoke to us during his life, and in death his words still ring true and are very much relevant.
I write about him and use his words for those who would want to read something that is edifying to the Youth on June 16th 2014, for them to see, read and know about the importance of that Revolutionary day, and it should or could be a day used Educate' about our history and the politics of the day as espoused and seen by Biko. It is important also to teach our present-day youth about the importance and role culture plays or should play in our cultural system today.
Well, since we are left with coupla days to commemorate the 1976 Student Revolution, I will defer to Biko and pick up some pointers that he left us with to mull over. When we talk about writing our history, it is also important to be able to cite heavily on our martyrs, for in their works, lies the immortal truths and exposition of our struggle.
What Africans Ought to Know and Remember: Bantu's Soliloquy
The Way Of Culture
Understanding how history shaped our present and influences as it affects and effect and still infects us in formulating the future is important. Understanding how things got to be the way they are is of prime importance in deconstructing the imposed amnesia regarding African history, culture, customs, traditions, languages and practices. The way the new elite is not paying attention to this fact in South Africa, merely shows us a people who are under "orders" to allow/are in collusion with the imposition of cultural imperialism on the languages, customs, traditions and cultures of the Africans in South Africa.
The cultural mosaic that is indigenous is rapidly being decimated by the imperialist pandering to African rulers who collude at the expense of both their people and all their lived Experience, for a new way of communicating, which is, the Americanization./Chinafication and Europeanization of a whole people: transforming the past to the present, literally in 20 years, in order to have a more uniform people speaking one language(EnglishMandarin) and imbibing foreign cultural values, mores, morals and norms at the expense of the indigenous histories, cultures, custom, traditions, languages and practices, music, traditional dress and foods-is what is afoot here.
Bantu Biko addresses the touched and discussed above in the in an eerily predictive manner akin to the situation faced by Africans in a new and democratic South Africa today:
"There is no doubt that the color question in South African politics was originally introduced for economic reasons. It is not surprising, therefore, that in South Africa, after generations of exploitation, White people on the whole have come to believe in the inferiority of the Africans [in South Africa- my addition], so much so that while the race problem started as an offshoot of the economic greed exhibited by White people, it has now become a serious problem on its own.
"White people now despise Africans [of South Africa], not because they need to reinforce their attitude to justify their position of privilege, but simply because they actually believe that "Black" is/are inferior and bad. This is the basis upon which Whites are working in South Africa, and it is what makes South Africa a racist society. The racism we meet does not only exist on an individual basis; it is also institutionalized to male it look like the South African way of life.
"Although of late there has been a feeble attempt to gloss over the overt racist elements in the system, it is still true that the system derives its nourishment from the existence of anti-black attitudes in society. To make the lie live longer, blacks have been denied any chance of accidentally proving their equality with White men. For this reason there is job reservation, lack of training in skilled work and a tight orbit around professional possibilities for Blacks. Stupidly enough, the system turns back to say that blacks are inferior because they have no economists, no engineers, etc., although it is made impossible for blacks to acquire these skills[and then turn around and say they are badly educated and have no sills nor education-my addition]. "
Bantu Adds: "It is not enough for Whites to be on the offensive. So immersed are they in prejudice that they do not believe that Blacks/Africans can formulate their thoughts without White guidance and trusteeship. Thus, even those Whites who see much wrong with the system make it their business to control the response of Blacks to the provocation. No one is suggesting that it is not the business of liberal Whites to oppose what is wrong.
"However, it appears to us too much of a coincidence that liberals - few as they are - should not only be determining the modus operandi of those Blacks who oppose the system, but also that their role spells out the totality of the White power structure - the fact that though Whites are our problem, it is still other Whites who want to tell us how to deal with that problem. They do so by dragging all sorts of red herrings across our paths. They tell us that the situation is a class struggle rather than a racial one. We believe we know what the problem is, and we till stick by our findings." (Bantu)
'We further learn from Bantu that: "It is important for Blacks to see this difference than it is for Whites. We must learn to accept that no group, however benevolent, can ever hand power to the vanquished on a plate(a la Dr. Clarke-my add). We must accept that the limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. As long as we go to Whitey begging cap in hand for our own emancipation[jobs and education-my addition], we are giving him further sanction to continue with his racist and oppressive system.
"We must realize that our situation is not a mistake on the part of Whites, but a deliberate act, and that no amount of moral lecturing will persuade the White man to "correct" the situation. The system concedes nothing without a demand (Bantu here echoing Frederick Douglass- addition mine), for it formulates its very method of operation on the basis that the ignorant will learn to know, the child will grow into an adult and therefore demands will begin to be made. It gears itself to resist demands in whatever way it sees fit.
"When you refuse to make these demands and choose to come to a round table to beg for your deliverance, you are asking for the contempt of those who have power over you. This is why we must reject the beggar tactics that are being forced on us by those who wish to appease our cruel masters.That is is why this was SASO's cry: "Black man, you are on your own!" has become now more relevant," as it snow in the present day of an African-led government." If Africans want to go farther, this is one of the issues that they need to pay close and intense attention to.
Take for example of the problem that is faced by African families with their school-going children who are today attending private school, some called Model C and institutions of higher learning, are having attitude and adjustment problems living within their own African society. "The same situation was found as long ago as the arrival of the missionaries. Children were taught, under the pretext of hygiene, good manners and other such vague concepts, to despise their mode of upbringing at home and to question the values and custom of their society[Things Fall Apart would be appropriate to consult here).
"The result was the expected one - children and parents saw life differently an the former lost respect for the latter. Now, in African society it is a cardinal sin for a child to lose respect for his/her parent. Yet how can one prevent the loss of respect between child and parent when the child is taught by his know-all White tutors to disregard his family teachings? Who can resist losing respect for his tradition when in school his whole cultural background is summed up in one word - Barbarism?" (Bantu)
Who can resist the awe one feels when Reading and ultimately be shocked back into reality from what Bantu teaches us and was saying to us when what he said then in the 1970s is more even more desperately relevant today, more than ever? It is important, then, to continually and constantly revisit Biko.
Bantu further writes that: "Thus we can immediately see the logic of placing missionaries in the forefront of the colonization process. A man who succeeds in making a group of people accept a foreign concept in which he is expert makes them perpetual students whose progress in the particular field can only be evaluated by him; the student must constantly turn to him for guidance and promotion. In being forced to accept the Anglo-Boer culture, the Blacks(Africans) have allowed themselves to be at the mercy of the White man and to have him as the their eternal supervisor.
"Only he can tell us how good our performance is, and instinctively each of us is at pains to please this powerful, all-knowing master. ...As one Black(African) writer says, "colonialism is never satisfied with having the 'native' in its grip but, by some strange logic, it must turn to his past and disfigure and distort it."
Hence the history of the Black man(Africans) in this country is most disappointing to read. It is presented merely as a long succession of defeats. The Xhosas were 'thieves' who went to war for stolen property-their own property! The Boers never provoked the Xhosas but merely went on "punitive expeditions" to teach the thieves a lesson. Heroes like Makana, (Early nineteenth-century Xhosa prophet), were sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island and drowned while escaping in a boat.
"Refusal by Blacks to accept the truth of his death led to the mythical hope of his eventual return), and people who were essentially revolutionaries are painted as superstitious trouble-makers who lied to the people about bullets turning into water. Great nation-builders, like Shaka, are cruel tyrants who frequently attacked smaller "tribes" for no reason, but for some sadistic purposes. Not only is there no objectivity in the history taught us, but there is frequently an appalling misrepresentation of facts that sicken even the uninformed student."(Bantu)
Five centuries if European expansion into Africa have made Africa a ravaged satellite of Europe. As a consequence, African culture has lost its autonomous centers, lost its independent bearings and become eccentric.
Distortions, lies, debasement and put down of Africans have been part of the Apartheid mantra whenever it came to histories and other issues affecting and effecting and relating to Africans of South Africa. Biko succinctly captures this reality above, in the following piece.
Bantu informs us about history in the following manner:
"Thus a lot of attention has to be paid to our history, [as already stated above- addition mine], if we as Blacks want to aid each other in our coming into consciousness. We have to rewrite our history and produce in it heroes that formed the core of our resistance to the White invaders. More has to be revealed, and stress has to be laid on the successful nation-building attempts of men such as Shaka(I blogged on Shaka), Moshoeshoe, HIntsa, Manthatisi, Mzilikazi, Sekhukhuni and so forth.
These areas call for intense research to provide some sorely-needed missing links. We would be too naive to expect our conquerors to write unbiased histories, [and African historiography- my addition], about us, but we have to destroy the myth that our history starts in 1652, the year Van Riebeeck landed at the Cape."
The confusion and chaos that we are now witnessing in South Africa, has been contributed to by the events as stipulated by Bantu and articulated by those inhumane actions that are mentioned at length in blogging, and also mentioned above.
Modern African Man And Culture
By rewriting African South African History, Customs, Traditions, Culture, Languages and Practices, from antiquity to the present(See my Hub already published here on that topic), from an African centered perspective, puts the story of African people into a viral stream akin to media virus in the Web or Net/Internet, to use the contemporary technical parlance and jargon. African South Africans need to seriously study and enhance their culture "by any means necessary" as averred by Malcolm X.
Bantu talks to and addresses with authority these issues in the following manner:
"Our culture must be defined in concrete terms. We must relate the past to the present and demonstrate a historical evolution of modern Black man. There is a tendency to think our culture as a static culture that was arrested in 1652 and has never developed since. The "return to the bush" concept suggests that we have nothing to boast of except lions, sex and drink.
"We accept that when colonization sets in it devours their indigenous culture and leaves behind a bastard culture that may thrive at the pace allowed it by the dominant culture. But we have to realize that the basic tenets of our culture have largely succeeded in withstanding the process of bastardization and that even at this moment we can still demonstrate that we appreciate a man for himself. Ours is a true man-centered society whose sacred tradition is that of sharing[Ubuntu/Botho-my addition]." (Bantu)
Even today as of the writing of this article, there is still a semblance of sharing and dealing with each other as human beings first and sharing whatever we can scrap-up with our family, society and strangers! The term, "Ubuntu" is now hawked, peddled and drained, emptied of its content, context, cultural meaning, and its content/context is being bandied on the Web for whatever purpose that has nothing to do with the Africans in South Africa.
Poverty is wreaking havoc in the Township with total devastating effect. People still share food, housing, clothes and moral and spiritual support for each other in these uncertain and debilitating and decrepit social existence. At the same time, there are the false effects and affects of South Africa having become Democratic, and the onslaught of foreigners has bludgeoned the social fibre, culture, customs and traditions our people, although, as Bantu has already stated, one can still see the traces of a cultural, customary, traditional heartbeat ever so slightly pumping, beating and stutter-starting/behaving in an entropic mode.
Bantu adds: "We must reject, as we have been doing, the individualistic approach to life that is the cornerstone of the Anglo-Boer culture. We must seek to restore the Black man the great importance we used to give to human relations, the high regard for people and their property and for life in general; to reduce the triumph of technology over man and the materialistic elements that is slowly creeping into our society." What Bantu predicted and foresaw is what is taking place in contemporary South Africa today.
Reading Bantu is like being in the present, and and its like he was still live, today, warning the Africans as to what they have become, as the privileged few Africans are intensely engorging themselves with crumbs and inadequate and paltry economic power and also being economically impotent-also in service of White supremacy and foreign imperial cultures-we experience and witness dysfunction as described above. The African people of South Africa in fact say it loosely and characterize it as "Dog Eats Dog Time", a social malaise cloaked in "One-Upping" the next for 'personal aggrandizement' and being callous whilst going about their dastardly act of greedily accumulating wealth, at the expense of ones' fellowmen and brothers/sisters and African Nation.
These are essential features of African culture to which we must cling. Black(African) culture above all implies freedom on our part to innovate without recourse to white values. This innovation is part of the natural development of any culture. A culture is essentially the society's composite answer to the varied problems of life. We are experiencing new problems everyday and whatever we do, adds to the richness of our cultural heritage as long as it has a man as its centre. The adoption of Black theatre and drama is one such important innovation which we need to encourage to develop. We know that our love of music and rhythm/arts and so forth, and some issues as these have relevance even in this day.
Reading up further on Bantu, one learns more from him when he says: "Being part of an exploitative society in which we are often the direct objects of exploitation, we need to evolve a strategy toward our economic situation. We are aware that Blacks are still colonized even within the borders of South Africa. Their cheap labor has helped make South Africa what it is today. Our money from the Townships takes a one-way journey to White shops and White banks, and all we do in our lives is pay the White man either with our labor or in coin. Capitalistic exploitative tendencies, coupled with the overt arrogance of White racism, have conspired against Africans.
"Thus in South Africa now it is very expensive to be poor. It is the poor people who stay further from town and therefore have to spend more money on transport to come to work for the White people; it is the poor people who use uneconomic and inconvenient fuel like Paraffin and coal because of the refusal of the White man to install electricity in Black areas(Today they still use paraffin because it is now sold cheaply, and those who cannot afford it use the fuel/coal/wood to cook and warm themselves up).
"It is the poor people who are governed by many ill-defined restrictive laws and therefore have to spend money on fines for "technical" offenses; it is the poor people who have no hospitals and are therefore exposed to exorbitant charges by private doctors; it is the poor people whose un-tarred roads, have to walk long distances, and therefore experience the greatest wear and tear on commodities like shoes, clothes and even their habitats; it is the poor people who have to pay for their children's books while whites get them [for] free."(Bantu)
We are oppressed because we are Black(African, to be more precise- my addition). It does not need to be said that it is the Black(African) people who are poor. Black (African) people are not oppressed as Zulus, Xhosas, Pedis, Tswanas, Coloreds or Indians(as apartheid would have liked the world to believe that Africans are all different as they comprise Ten(11) peoples). Africans must use that very concept to unite themselves and to respond as a cohesive group. Africans must cling to each other with a tenacity that will shock and rock any the perpetrators of evil. We are a diverse, to differentiated one African Nation.
Bantu advises poor Africans this way: "Our preparedness to take upon ourselves the cudgels of the struggle will see us through. We must remove from our vocabulary completely the concept of fear. Truth must ultimately triumph over evil, and the White man has always nourished his greed on this basic fear that shows itself on and undermines unity within the Black(African) community.
"In a true bid for change we have to take off our coats, be prepared to lose our comfort and security, our jobs and positions of prestige, and our families, for just as it is true that "leadership and security are basically incompatible", a struggle without casualties is no struggle. We must realize that prophetic cry of Black students: "Black Man, you are on your own!" Africans parrot this today, but still do not understand it deeper meaning and implications as it related to them then and now."(Bantu)
What Africans ought to do is not slide into ignominious ignoramuses and into a state of petty jealousies and pettiness, but read what Bantu is talking about and advising us about to the extend of our plights, and as to what is actually happening to African people in South Africa, who have to align, beg for and collaborate with their former oppressors to perpetuate the past oppressions of with an 'in-your-face Apartheid'; to the one that today(Economical and Class Apartheid), and this has morphed into DA and other secret forces of alien movements, but still the same outfit, with a Black face to go with it-in the case of the ruling ANC-led government-as its front men.
Bantu was spot-on when he pointed to the absurdness and bogusness by Africans, of hoping that the oppressors will accept their slaves as equals even if they were to achieve economical parity-which we have not yet done so even today as we keep on electing so-called African leaders. Today the new Middle-class which was a spinoff of the gravy train/and the remnants of the class created during "Petty Apartheid" fiasco by Vorster, has even surpassed some rich Whites, has still not received nor reached parity with their former oppressors (even if they live next door to them!). All of this is grandiose farce are dwarfed by African people's helpless/hapless grandiloquent unrealistically unreal dreams and expectations of a massive petty -grandeur phantasmagoria are what is destroying, confusing and under developing the lives and existences of the poor in Mzantsi.
What needs to be reiterated here is how Bantu explains what was done to implement this process of de-Africanizing blacks and by explaining what a people without a positive history are: "One should not waste time here dealing with manifestations of material want of the Black people. A vast literature has been written on this problem Possibly a little should be said about spritiual poverty. What makes the Black man tick? This is the work that should be done by the present generations in consultation with the Older one.
Bantu Biko on African Culture... Modern African Culture..
"Thus, in taking a looking at cultural aspects of the African people, one inevitably finds himself/[herself] having to compare. This is primarily because of the contempt that the "superior" culture shows towards the indigenous culture. To justify its exploitative basis the Anglo-Boer culture has at all times been directed at bestowing an inferior status to all cultural aspects of the indigenous African people of South Africa.
"I am against the belief that African culture is time bound, the notion that with the conquest of Africans, all their culture was obliterated. ... Obviously, the culture of Africans has had to sustain severe blows and may have been battered nearly out of shape by the belligerent culture it collided with, yet, in essence, even today, one can easily find the fundamental aspects of pure African culture in the present-day African. Hence, in taking a look at African culture, I am going to refer as well to what I have termed "Modern African Culture".
"One of the most fundamental aspects of our culture is the importance we attach to Man. Ours has always been a Man'Centered society. Westerners have in many occasions been surprised at the capacity we have for taking with and to each other - not for the sake of arriving at a particular conclusion, but merely to enjoy communication for its won sake. Intimacy is a term not exclusive for particular friends, but applying to a whole group of people who find themselves together either through work or through residential requirements.
"In fact, in the traditional African culture, there is no such thing as two friends. Conversation groups were more or less naturally determined by age and division of labor. Thus, one would find all boys whose job was to look after cattle, periodically meeting at popular spots to engage in conversation about their cattle, girlfriends, parents, heroes, etc. All commonly shared their secrets, joys and woes. The curiosity manifested was welcome. It came out of a desire to share. This pattern one could find in all age groups. House visiting was always a feature of the elderly folks way of life. No reason was needed as a basis for visits. It was all part of our deep concern for each other(Botho/Ubuntu)" (Bantu)
I will stop at this point because this whole story of Biko and his role in the 1976 revolution is vast, and it extends to today. Today we have 'sharing', 'friending', and are trying our darkest to hook-up with each other, but we have somewhat forgotten how we have been doing it as Africans,and we think and believe that these social media ways of communicating and forming groups and so forth are a new phenomena that was brought about by the Internet and Facebook, Twitter, etc. Not so. We still have the effects and affects of face-to-face and oral communication going on amongst African people, today..
What we do not realize is that if we know what our culture is all about, and clearly understand how it works and functions, this will make it easier to deal with each other, much more better and efficiently here on the social Networks. But, some of us are selfish, opportunistic, and are individuals in the Westerns sense of the meaning of the word, and we think that trying to be White/European, American, is better than being an indigenous African of Mzantsi.
So long as we have people who think they know better than the rest, are more educated than the rest, they own the latest gadget or gizmo, an imported car and imported clothes and perfume, speak English with an accent approximating those one is trying to ape, from TV, to the Internet, to all the new ways of communication, this does not bode well for the rest of the poor Africans and those trying to raise our culture to global importance.
In talking about and citing from Biko, we are beginning to see that what he wrote in 1972, is still more relevant today in 2014. We need to begin to study Biko more deeply than simply taking a line from his writing and thinking that we can inform our people about him. We need to Read, very seriously, what he and others like him wrote, and what we, the new generation of writers have to say about them, Biko and so forth, in a much concerted.concentrated way. When he was organizing, Biko new that what he also wrote, would come to pass. He foresaw the need for us to overcome the intoxicating and arresting power of technology, long before it was even established, and implemented.
So that, as we are now facing the 40th commemoration of June !6th 1976 African Students Revolution, we should be reading such articles like this one to our friends and the Youth. Many of us do not have access to book written by these giants, well, if we do have, we shall have to cull from their works in order to deliver it to those who are hungering for such exposes and historical narratives. Biko concludes for us by stating:
"In rejecting Western values, therefore, we are rejecting those things that are not only foreign to us, but that seek to destroy the most cherished of our beliefs - that the corner-stone of society is man himself(People can view the Videos of Wilson on "African Culture" posted in these FB Walls) ... not just his welfare, not his material well being only, but just the African man himself, with all his ramifications.."(Bantu)
We are going to have to begin to pay attention to each other, our martyrs, and not some flimsy and strange intellectuals who are telling us about ourselves, and yet we are more than capable of teaching anyone about us. Well, we shall have to "respect" and fully embrace each other as the Sons and the Daughters of the South Africa (Mzantsi) soil..Very soon, and very quickly.. Biko would concur with that.... We Should And Shall Never forget Our Own Revolution that has made the South Africa we see today...
Biko finally says: "We believe that in the long run the Special contribution to the World by Africa(South Africa) will be in this field of human relationship. The 'great powers' of the World may have done wonder in giving the world and industrial and military look, but the great gift still has to come from Africa(specifically South Africa) - Giving The World A More Human Face". (Bantu Biko)
Power! Amandla~ Aluta Kontinua.. Forward Ever; Backwards, Never.. Onwards To A Modern African Culture....
1 - Steve Biko speaks on The Black Consciousness Movement
Steve Bantu Biko speaks on The Black Consciousness Movement..
... Plus An Alternate Take On African Consciousness
Bantu continues to educate us as follows: "As one African writer says, colonialism is never satisfied with having the native in its grip but, by some strange logic, it must turn to his past and disfigure and distort it. Hence the history of the African man in this country is most disappointing to read. It is presented merely as a long succession of defeats.
"The Xhosas were thieves who went to war for stolen property; the Boers never provoked the Xhosas but merely went on "punitive expeditions" to teach the thieves a lesson. Heroes like Makana(early nineteenth-century prophet, sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island and drowned while escaping in a boat-Moshweshwe, Kreli, Sikhukhuni and so forth should be taught even much more seriously and clearly.
"Refusal by Africans to accept the truth of his death led to the mythical hope of his eventual return). Those who were essentially revolutionaries are painted as superstitious trouble-makers who lied to the people about bullets turning into water. Great nation-builders like Shaka are cruel tyrants who frequently attacked smaller 'tribes' for no reason but for some sadistic purpose.
"Not only is there no objectivity in the history taught us, but there is frequently an appalling misrepresentation of facts that sicken even the uninformed student. Thus, a lot of attention has to be paid to our history is we as Africans want to aid each other in our coming into consciousness.
"We have to rewrite our history and produce in it the heroes that formed the core of our resistance to the White invaders. More has to be revealed, and stress has to be laid on the the successful nation-building attempts of men such as Shaka, Moshoeshoe and Hintsa.
"These areas call for intense research to provide sorely-needed missing links. We would be to naive to expect our conquerors to write unbiased histories about us, but we have to destroy the myth that our history starts in 1652, the year Van Riebeeck landed at the Cape. (Bantu)
I want to add that we also need to know when to begin dealing with our present-day realities, woes and dissatisfaction, and not be passively ignorant about what we are faced with today as we we live our decrepit lives in South Africa. Many people on Facebook, I have tended to observe, specifically South Africans, do not really Understand the Medium at their exposed. They being tired and dead attitudes to a medium that is about participation and engagement.
Many people today in south Africa are experts at everything and nothing. The people do not really read, and that is the achilles heel of our present-day struggles. We do not read and write about our realities, stories, histories, cultures and contemporary history. Many still believe in cutting and pasting articles, rather than writing our own stories, narratives, histories and cultures..
We still need the approval of our past master to be made legit or have our work respected. I have touched upon this issue above in the Hub, and at this juncture, we are merely regurgitating all our oppression, copy-cat-like, as we continue to flounder and go hither-tither, as if we are headless chickens. We compete on 'anything' and 'everything' that we are in fact dragging each other down, without let up.
When Biko speaks of African consciousness, he is really informing us about reliable independence, autonomy and how to be a 'free' people. We should then be able to take from his wise aphorisms what we can relate to and improve about ourselves today in the time of ANC rule. Biko was relevant under Apartheid, and he is more real in today's South Africa, that is drugged, drunk, sick, ignorant, divided and down in the bottom within the barrel that is South Africa.
Julian Jaynes writes:
"When asked the question, what is consciousness? We become conscious of consciousness. And most of us take this consciousness of consciousness to be what consciousness is. This is not true
"In being conscious of consciousness, we feel it is the most self-evident thing imaginable. [We fee it si the defining attribute of all our waking states, our moods and affections, our memories, our thoughts, attentions, and volitions. We feel comfortably certain that consciousness is the basis of concepts, of learning and reasoning, of thought and judgement, and that it is so because it records and stores our experiences as they happen, allowing us to introspect on them and learn from them at will. We are also quite conscious that all this wonderful set of operations and contents that we call 'consciousness' is located somewhere in the head.]
"On critical examination, all of these statements are false. They are the costume that consciousness has been masquerading in for centuries. They are the misconceptions that have prevented a solution to the problem of the origin of consciousness."
I would have to write several Hub exploring what Jaynes has to say about this subject matter.
My approach here is to point out that the information, news, music, comments, interview assign on the TV, heard on Radio, Internet and particularly in the Social Media, are not necessarily consciousness raising. I would certainly state that is is the ground matters and ordinary peoples lived lives and experiences that make up for developing and strengthening one's consciousness.
I cited Biko above because he had done the work for us. We need to highlight, talk about and recognize our plights and woes, today, know how to talk about within a critical mass of African people, and make ing it our talking points; i.e., our life experiences, to date. If we take it from the standpoint that we really do not understand ourselves, we are not in-charge of our own narratives and talking points and reality, others are going to be our informers, even though they are not part of our people.
For us to claim being conscious, we should be adept about issues and matters pertaining to our people and us as individuals among those African masses. Meaning, being affect collectively, and none sparred. In this way, once it reaches a critical man's understanding and awareness, consciousness tends to gain a foothold in such situations. How we approach and use consciousness today, has a blueprint laid by Biko, we just need to develop and match it to our present-day reality in order to act positively on and for it, anywhere, anytime.
2 - Steve Biko speak on The Black Consciousness Movement
Black Consciousness Is African Culture Of Mzantsi
Bantu informs us thus: "Our culture must be defined in concrete terms. We must relate the past to the present and demonstrate a historical evolution of the modern African man. There is a tendency to think of our culture as a static culture that was arrested in 1652, and has never developed since.
The 'return to the bush' concept suggests that we have nothing to boast of except lions, sex and drink. We accept that when colonization sets in it devours the indigenous culture and leaves behind a bastard culture that may thrive at the pace allowed it by the dominant culture. But we also have to realize that the basic tenets of our culture have largely succeeded to withstand the process of bastardization and that even at this moment we still demonstrate that we appreciate a man for himself. Ours is a true 'man-centered' society whose sacred tradition is that of sharing.
When Biko wrote this piece, the effects of technology were beginning to assert themselves, and since then life's realities and technical advancement has completely enveloped and gripped and taken over society facilitated by new and emerging modern technology, and that they[Africans] are disappearing or becoming instinct as a culture and people since they are agains gypped and left behind due to poverty and imposed ignorance on them by both Apartheid and the ANC-led government). Biko foresaw and foretold of this reality long before it was fashionable to talk about these issues, and they were then unknown nor thought of. He was light years way and we still have not fully caught up to him
Bantu continues further: "These are essential features of our African culture to which we must cling. African culture above all implies freedom on our part to innovate without recourse to White values. This innovation is part of the natural development of any culture. A culture is essentially the society's composite answer to the varied problems of life. We are experiencing new problems everyday and whatever we do adds to the richness of our cultural heritage as long as it has 'man as its centre'. The adoption of African theatre and drama is one such important innovation which we need to encourage and to develop.
We know that our love of music and rhythm has relevance even in this day. Being part of an exploitative society in which we are often the direct objects of exploitation, we need to evolve a strategy towards our economic situation. We are aware that the Africans are still colonized even within the border of South Africa [this time the Africans have been colonized for the past 18 and more years under the ruse and guise that the are free and are living in a democratic country - LIE!- my insertion]. Their cheap labor has helped to make South Africa what it is today-and their oppression gives respite to the detractors and abusers to loot the wealth of the country in plain sight...
One other way I view Agriculture as African Consciousness, is by way of going back to our ancient African culture, and view it holistically, and I have seen from myself, one can eke out some very deep and serious African consciousness. One need not follow it to the letter, for some of its forms have long charred away with time, but there still remains something, Biko spoke on it above, some semblance of our culture which we can utilize to build on what I have already termed Modern African Culture an I might Add "Consciousness", to build on our assets on this level, and to make it easier for all and sundry, of Mzantsi, to understand, relate to and practice, effortlessly.
The readers ca check out several of my Hub written about the culture of Africans in South Africa already published here on Hub Pages. In this Hub, my street is on radicalizing consciousness of African people about their history, cultures, traditions, customs, music, dance, traditional garb,languages and the whole bit.
If talks the ideas of Biko and say that this are our Culture: Black(African) Consciousness Is African Culture".. well, we should take it to literally mean that.. Our African Culture is our our African Consciousness.. We not only freeze what Biko said to us some many decades ago, but we are saying how we use his dictums and philosophies should be congruent to our understand that it means African Consciousness in our practice of Biko' s Black(African) Consciousness.
Bantu Biko's Aphorism...
African Consciousness Continues..
History is real; it brings real, tangible results. when we wish to negate it and not integrate it, when we wish to negate it and not affirm it, then it negates us in the end. The negation wins out. The African person who lives in social amnesia brought on by the projection of mythological Eurocentric history, lives a life that is unintegrated and misunderstood. Why is our behavior so puzzling to us? We sometimes ask ourselves, "why did I do that? I don't know what makes me do this?" Here's behavior flowing out from our own mind and personality and we don't know its sources.
It means that we become a puzzlement to ourselves, the ones we think we should understand best. Often,other people can understand us better than we can understand ourselves. Frequently they have a greater knowledge of the history that made us into who we are than we do.
If we don't know our history, or if we've made our history unconscious and therefore placed it out of awareness, that unconscious history becomes a source of unconscious motivation, then why we behave the way we do becomes a puzzle. We're confused by our own behavior. If we want to know why we behave the way we do, then we must know our history: the unconscious must be made conscious.
When we get into social amnesia - into forgetting our history - we also forget or misinterpret the history and motives of others as well as our own motives. The way to know other people is to know one's self. The way to learn our own creation, how we came to be what we are, is getting to know ourselves.
It is through getting to know the self intimately that we get to know the forces that shaped us as a self. Therefore, knowing the self becomes a knowledge of the world. A deep study in African History is the most profound way to learn about the psychology of Europeans and to understand the psychology that flows from their history.
If we do not know ourselves, not only are we a puzzle to ourselves: other people are also a puzzle to us as well. We assume the wrong identity and identify ourselves with our enemies. If we don't know who we are, then we are whomever somebody else tells us we are. In this way, Africans in South Arica are close to extinction/being de-Africanized and or disappeared for who they are is being determined by those who just met them nor seen them really up close, or only read about...
3 - Steve Biko speaks on The Black Consciousness Movement
Bikos's Ubuntu/Botho(Being Human)
The Aesthetics Of The Cultures Of Africans In South Africa "Culture As A Review-Mirror Into Our Past, Present And Future"...
"Ways Of Looking And Learning From Our Own Cultures"..
This whole section showcasing the culture of the Africans in South Africa reveals somethings about itself. It is a very powerful and colorful culture. Many things are the same if one were to look at it from the traditional clothing and the colors used. It is a culture which is full of play, laughter, singing, action, human-centeredness and having humanity(what people have come to know s 'Ubuntu'Botho).
It is a people-centered culture in that it involves large numbers of peoples in its ceremonials and Africans and brings together Africans living and doing their culture. For us to learn and know more about culture and its diverse but sameness, we have to see it laid-out in the format I have just presented here. A photographic essay on the 10 different peoples of African descent in South Africa, teaches us to see ourselves as a nation with variegated but diverse cultural manifestations, but it is more bits and pieces of a wholesome one-unified culture.(See my published Hubs on South African African Culture
We have to see ourselves not as our former enslaver meant us to be like. Seeing each other as 'tribes', different and with nothing in common. That is, until one begins to view the whole cultural landscape of Mzantsi in its various forms and manifestations, one will not be able to see the uniformity and continuity of a unified culture that we need to transmit to our children and their future.
If we want our culture to live and be powerful, we are going to have to make it so. I have laid out a rough-sketch of "Ways Of Looking And Learning From Our Own cultures" on this Wall. The intention was to give form and structure to what up to now has been dubbed a divided and different[backward] culture. I have attempted to show that it is one culture, if one were to look at its material culture very closely, and dances, colors, singing, and so forth, that all theses are the one heartbeat of our large and diverse unified African culture.
Even in photographs, our culture lives and breathes joy and happiness. The music vibes which I will post of the various people's whose pictures I have shown in some of my published Hubs on African South African Culture, will give the viewer reader a much more better sense as to what this culture is about, outside the photos into live video. Meaning, seeing it live is awesome, for real. The videos only give a glimpse of this fact.
We should know and understand our culture. We should pick it apart and align all the similar things about it on one side, and line up the differences and base them on degree; in so doing, like a puzzle work, we will be able to discern and put together our culture as one culture with diverse but original same parts to it throughout the different various 11 peoples of South Africa.
The styles of the women dresses are as diverse and different and yet the same. One dress links to two or different other types of cultural dresses in the group of the 10 peoples of Mzantsi. but they Do not lose their uniqueness and originality, whilst conforming cry closely and tightly to the traditional cultural original as much as possible. It's just like our languages and music. One is different as according to the region, but have many similarities in worlds, meanings, syntax, context, memes, zines, donation, accentuation, voicing(here too it is by region, not necessarily different to any other language, tones, accents and so forth of other languages of the 11 peoples of South Africa".
Just by looking at the picture, they jump out one with their color and all types of gyration and smiles-exuding energy. Technology only enhances it and blows it out on our screens. We see us in many different ways, acts, poises, positions, and all the time singing and smiling, and enjoying it all. How then can such a culture be a backward culture? How so, indeed.
The arts and sculptures ring African in form and structure; design and message transmission. The music is one of its kind with many genres to pool from; the traditional dress in impeccable, to say the least, and it blends with nature and the joy people are engulfed into in the pictures below-in its birth colors. This is a culture that is suited for technology for it brings vibrancy color, sounds, and various and the same languages, cultural dress bright colors, different styles, and of course, I like the fact that it has shown the knack to adjust to modern times and change in look, form and aesthetics-to all its people here in Mzantsi.
We should choose and display all the positive parts of our culture without being negative. Positive images of our culture enhance our being human in the global nations. We attain an identity that adds to the potpourri of cultures dotting the planet earth. We have in our cultures than that I have displayed more than I would have like to show.
One of the thing about our culture is what is considered nudity in the Western world is what I know as our way of life, bare-breasted women are not seen as object of sex, in the true cultural sense of the meaning and use/reality that women working/walking and dancing/performing bare-breasted, is seen as natural in South Africa, but then, here on the Web, it takes its own life.
So I have carefully chosen those images that are positive, not to try and create some sensationalism, but to put forth a positive and good image of ourselves as the Africans of South Africa.
This is our culture as it is lain before our eyes by the present technology. It tells us and talks to us about ourselves. It teaches us about ourselves through ourselves. There is no way we are going to learn anything from anyone if we do not learn everything about ourselves within our culture. This is that way of feeling, being and edifying oneself by confirming our human beingness as real and respectable as all other human beings.
The changing and various forms and patterns that are imbedded in our culture are the very variants and other such related differences/likeness that are like pistons of a car, but the are have one engine: Our Unified African Diversified Culture here in Mzantsi...
We cannot rely on our miseducated selves and keep on regurgitating what we have imbibed in the marble halls of higher learning. We have to begin to use that knowledge solidly in finding new ways that jive with the technology and puts a positive spin on our culture and people. Other people have their cultures to take care of.
We Africans of Mzantsi do not need to make excuses to anyone about how we want to present ourselves in the spiraling viral stream we are all hooked-up to. We must stop consulting others about ourselves and our culture just because we will say we are employed or 'moving' on up'. To where, when in no time most of us are thrown out like snuff mucous when there's no more use for us in the private sector and government.
Our culture is the way towards our building a united African nation. Some people extol and expound on us having a revolution. I am more inclined to look at it from our cultural revolution, which in of itself is very difficult, but once gotten control of by the masses, it is one of the most potent weapons we can ask for in any confrontation or success. We should not only issue palliatives, complains and carry-on like we cannot think. We have so much to do with in and with our cultures here in South Africa
Our own culture beckons to us without making too much noise. Acting it and living it our will help us right our present sinking ship. We can and should shore it to adapt to present without losing its cultural core. That is possible as seen here on the post. The thinking about it is believing that it is doable and can come true in the minds and lives of the Africans of South Africa.
That, in reality, these other cultures can be appreciated, but not at the expenses of our own culture, which has represented itself well on the Web-and over time whilst we were oppressed and incarcerated in the Township Concentration Camps. I know because I post in very many Walls, and the reviews are very encouraging.
Culture as pedagogical material/entity is great because you do not have to buy books, but just participating is good enough for one to be cultured by their own culture. We have enough material culture to take us into the much more deeper and longer future. Our way of life is just as good as any, and will not sound culturally chauvinistic about the issue, but we are a viable and live culture that is just as powerful as any, and full of many things as anyone on the planet earth, and that really should tweak something in many of us.
Dr John Henrik Clarke on the G B E WLIB "A Proper Education"
Education For Slavery...
Miseducation of Africans About Their History On Steroids
In order to put this article into its proper perspective, Chinweizu informs us thus:
"It was miseducation which sought to with from me the memory of our true African past and to substitute instead an ignorant shame for whatever travesties Europe chose to represent as African Past. It was miseducation which sought to quarantine me from all influences, ancient as well as contemporary, which did not emanate from, or meet with the imperial approval of, western "civilization."
It was a miseducation which, by encouraging me to glorify all things European and by teaching me a low esteem for and negative attitudes towards things African, sought to cultivate in me that kind of inferiority complex which drives a perfectly fine right foot to strive to mutilate itself into a left foot.
It was a miseducation full of gaps and misleading pictures: it sought to structure my eyes to see the world in the imperialist way of seeing the world; it sought to internalize in my consciousness the values of the colonizers; it sought to train me to automatically uphold and habitually employ the colonizers' viewpoint in all matters, in the strange belief that their racist, imperialist, anti-African interest is the universal, humanist interest, and in a strange belief that the view defined by their ruthless greed is the rational, civilized view.
And by such terms of supposed praise as "advanced," "detribalized," and getting to be quite civilized," it sought to co-opt my sympathies and make contemptuous of examining what it should have been my duty to change and alleviate. For it was a distracting miseducation which tried in every way to avoid questions that were important to me and to the collective African condition.
It tried to maneuver me away from asking them; it tried to keep me from probing them most thoroughly; it tried instead to preoccupy me with other matters. But the had realities of the Black(African) Condition kept insisting that I ask: Where did our poverty, our material backwardness, our cultural inferiority complexes begin and why? And why do they persist in spite of political independence?"
If the reader has read the whole quote up to here, Chinweizu is more than relevant here. He covers all the issues we have raised and tells us what to do in reconstructing African history, all the issues raised herein, affected everything about him and the world and real-reality he lives in day in and day out. What Chinweizu is discussing above, is what has been the Achilles heel of African progress and development in various ways.
Unlearning the Narcotized Colonial Miseducation
Chinweizu, true to form, delves even much deeper into his soliloquy in the following manner:
"When I turned to the official explainers and interpreters, and to the expert and benevolent meliorists of our condition, and asked for a flash of light, they wrapped my head instead with a should of double-talk and evasions; they thrust my head into a garbage dump of facts, facts and more bits and pieces of facts which merely confused me the more by their (deliberately?) disorganized abundance; they punctured the membranes of my ears with slogans, distinctions without preferences, smart phrases which brightly and engagingly misled; they offered me tools, supposedly analytic, which mauled what they claimed to explain, and left me constipated with jargon and dazed with confusion.
"The experience was thoroughly disillusioning. In my pain I began to suspect that my mind had been, over the years, held prisoner in a den where intellectual opiates were served me by official schools, by approved lists of books, by the blatant as well as subliminal propaganda of films, and by an overwhelming assortment of media controlled by interests inimical to, and justifiably scared of a true and thorough-going African Nationalism.
Suspecting that the glittering phalanx of experts spoke to my colonizers and their imperial interests, I felt that, even thoughI was not an "expert" in these fields, I should nevertheless conduct my own investigation into the origins and circumstances of the deplorable African stasis, learning the necessary skills "on the job" as it were."
The article above has been pointing out to the 'self-appointed' experts that have given themselves the task of explaining to the world, and on the internet what they 'think' they know about Africans in South Africa. In this article I contended that these so-called pros know nothing about the Africans of South Africa, and proceeded to breakdown these custom and cultures to make the point that African South African History, culture, customs, tradition and so on are not static nor non-existence.
But, as according to the definition I utilized from Hall and Wilson, to gave us a definition of Culture, which it turns out is right down the pike it was with the culture of the Nguni/Bakone I have written about in this article. This was in an effort to aid Africans to begin to unlearn colonial history and learn their history anew and in a much more informed way and manner.
After Chinweizu realized and learned that he can teach himself to morph into his own written account, educating himself about himself and his people anew, made him realized that by thinking so, and was ready to unlearn what he called the "narcotic colonized education" he had to overcome the challenges of deconstructing the Master's history and rewriting and recreating his own history in his own image and people. This is how Chinweizu addresses this part of the discourse I am talking above in the paragraph below:
"My official education was over. The overthrow of the allegiances programmed into me by it was in swift progress; but there were vital things I still had to learn-things they did not and would not teach me in school; things they would, if they could, keep me from coming into contact with even outside school; things in order to appreciate which I had to painfully unlearn much of what they had instilled in me at school.
"And so I began a journey of the mind; a journey by a mind thoroughly alienated from its imperialized miseducation. And the purpose of this journey was first to seek out the roots of the Black Condition within which my mind suffered. By the way, if any should think inappropriate my discussing colonial education through imagery of opium narcotics, let them consider that the British, from 1839 to 1842, waged war on China in order to force the Chinese to buy opium with her Britannic Christian Majesty's imperial agents grew in India.
Victory in the Opium War earned the British the "right" to addict so many Chinese to opium that much of the population, nodding and half asleep all the time, was supinely amenable to Western cultural aggression and imperialist manipulation. Now, if they could go that far, why should their use of intellectual opium to subdue, for the same ends, some other unlucky victims seem incredible and outlandish?"
We catch-up with Chinweizu after much articulation as to his transformation out of being 'narcotically miseducated by the colonizers', to being influenced bythe Frantz Fanon, Amilcar Cabral. Pablo Neruda of Chile, Malcolm X, Julius Nyerere, Mbonu Ojike, Aime Cesaire, Hamidou Kane, and so forth, to better understand the origins of the African stasis and, and to the task of understanding the workings of the system which maintained the deplorable Black Condition saying that "these have been and remain my teachers and my guides as I continue my efforts to cleanse myself of the pollutions from a colonial miseducation." We further learn from Chinweizu who clearly states that:
"Having listened to them, I would heed no more, and would more emphatically reject,the pious, self-serving propaganda given out as official and objective truth by the imperialist party. ... For I no longer believe the official voices of the West. They do not speak for the interests of the imperialized.
"I now realize that these "official husbanders of my consciousness" would take incredible pains to hide from me even elementary things, the better to conceal all clues that might lead me to correct answers to questions provoked by the Black condition. I have decided to listen closely to voices from the imperialized world, to share experiences and insights with them. What the voices from the imperialized world say, and some are anti-imperialist voices within the West say, continue to make sense tome as I try to understand our specific conditions."
Citing Chinweizu at such length is very important for the political/social historical theory for the presently dysfunctional people of South Africa. Learning and reading up on such works such as these presented by Chinweizu and those who are at the front of the African struggle and liberation, they who spin history to be user-friendly for the oppressed, in the process imparting knowledge and ways and means and new ways of learning and thinking about the what he calls the "Black Condition", are important links for Africans to use to manipulate and meander through all the obstacles that are thrown their way whenever they try to unlearn what Chinweizu calls 'narcotized colonized miseducation".
At this juncture, we take some lesson from Chinweizu when he sutures, tightly, his argument and reasons as to why and how we should unlearn this devious form of miseducation of Africans by the West: Chiweizu finally points out that:
"If my experience of it is at all representative, colonial miseducation is something its victim need to cure themselves of. And this is not easy to do. We are all, I believe, rather a little like colonized boy who, we are told, had learned from his colonized milieu to be ashamed of his local Africans weather.
In our efforts to wash from our consciousness the harmful pollutants deposited there by our colonial miseducation, we are apt to act like the child who rubs his/her belly endlessly with soap and water, doesn't touch any other part of his body, and when he tires of it all, runs to his/her mother to announce that he/she has taken a bath.
Clearly we need something like a communal metal bath, one which we shall scrub the crud off one another's backs, and especially from those corners which our hands cannot thoroughly scour. ... I believe that even a layman ought to share his results with others, so we can move more rapidly to a deeper, more thorough, and more useful appreciation of our collective condition."
Chinweizu trudges on: "If we wait for our official experts, who knows when, if ever, they will dare feel free, or find it profitable, to talk candidly and intelligently to us? For there are three sorts of experts-those for our liberation; those against our liberation; and those who contrive to appear to be on our side while they are indeed subtly working against our liberation. Advice from an expert who is not on your side, or from one who is against you, can be far worse than no expert advice at all.
The layman, I believe, ought therefore to be very discriminating in choosing what expert to heed. It is, in every situation, very much like choosing a lawyer. For there are some experts, some Africans included, who deeply cherish the privileges that go with defending or furthering the interests of the imperialists.
Under the guise of professionalism, of offering objective advice, some will subtly legislate against, or turn the unwary client away, from things that are in the client's interest; some will gloss over differences that matter; some will conceal facts or omit considerations that are vital.
Because of these kinds of experts genuinely on the client's side are as capable of honest error as anyone, the client ought always to exercise vigilance and common sense in taking advice from experts. For eternal vigilance, in all matters, especially over the minutest details, is still the price of liberty.
"Given the psychic and ideological foundation of our subjugation, of both the colonial subjugation from which we thought we had escaped a and the neocolonial form that has manacled us, any spirited drive for genuine freedom must begin with a thorough critique of the bourgeoise culture that has made us captives; of the process and content of the modernization that has lured us into captivity; and of the relation, if any, between technological modernization and the Christian bourgeois culture. "
It is precisely the existence of such a milieu that is retarding African progress today, because these petty-bourgeois elite who kowtow and pander to the West and are flinging themselves pell-mell into its orb, disregarding any protestations nor opposition that stems from its African voting polity, as in the case of Africans in South Africa.
According to Chinweizu, we should be circumspect of experts , all of those pretenders and false analysts who make out as if they have African people's interests at heart, meanwhile, behind the scenes(mentally or otherwise) scurrilously fleece you to the marrow of your soul by denouncing every little thing about one, in order to dominate and confuse you. This is how Chinweizu concludes this matter:
"In exercising our rights as citizens, and in meeting our obligations to examine, discuss and pronounce upon all matters that affect our general welfare, we are bound to come up against the resistance of that kind of expert who rises up in arms whenever a layman "trespasses" on his "jargon-fenced bailiwick".
Such experts, while misinterpreting facts and gerrymandering arguments, are prone to mount some high pedestal of laurels and reputation, and from there demand the "intruder's" credentials, in hopes or overawing him into irresponsible silence,or intimidating him/her into acquiescing in arrant nonsense."
ChinweizU concludes thusly:
In such situations, it is perhaps prudent to remind oneself that the loftiest credentials have never been a barrier to uttering nonsense; nor is a total lack of credentials a barrier to talking sense. A decolonized and re-educated African ought always to demand that matters be explained from an Afro-centric viewpoint, with scientific tools, and that the results be translated into intelligible common sense.
By so insisting, we enable ourselves to spot and avoid ideologies, open as well as hidden, by which we are liable to be confused and misled, and attractive myths by which we are liable to be tricked and lynched en masse."
We need to raise our level of vigilance, read and know our history, find ways and means to get it from FB to the man in the street who has no such knowledge or awareness and expounded upon by Chinweizu; be able to break down these advices to be in tandem with the understand, needs and relevance to the the poor Africans of South Africa.
This is the job of all those who are reading this posted piece now to take it from here and make it reach the people , or print it to give it to the ordinary and poor people in community who do not have access to computers. We need to begin to use FB to inform and form positive dialogues with our poor masses who are denied such knowledge; we should not only boast about the fact that we are the only one who know this type of information, we should make it possible for the children, youth and elderly to have access to this information, whatever it takes. We, as Africans of South Africa, are much more better than what we are now experiencing and facing as a people.
Dysfunctional Schools and Useless Underdeveloping And Dumbing Down Education
Poor Pedagogy Causing Social Dysfunction For Poor Africans Of Mzantsi
The 2016 Local elections have just concluded, and in their coming and going, have exposed the ANC as a Failing Party. They have won , but their victory was short from their over-blown expectations. This part of this Hub is one other highlight of the failures of the ANC to attend to its polity, and it nearly cost them the elections. I say that in the sense that that the percentage was at an all-time low, and a cause for concern.
But as its often said, 'Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely'.. Remain true and relevant to this discourse. After its ascendancy into power, with a whopping and overwhelming majority votes from the African voters, ANC easily cruised into victory and onto power-with Mandela at the helm. This bears mentioning here, for the past twenty-plus years, the ANC has seen a declining in its popularity and trustworthiness. The Voter's roll has dipped significantly since the recent 2016 Local election.
Consider the following election results:
- African National Congress:
Votes - 16,103,206
Seats Won - 5,163
Councils - 176
Support - 53.91%
- Democratic Alliance (DA)
Votes - 8,033,502
Seats Won - 1,776
Councils - 24
Support - 26.89%
- Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF)
Votes - 2,448,493
Seats Won - 761
Councils - 0
Support - 8.2%
- Overall Votes Counted - 100%
- Hung Councils - 27
- Councils Drawn - 0
- Councils not yet Calculated - 0
- Total Controlled Councils - 186
In sum, about 18 million people did not even bother to vote, which was ANC's 40 percent of the voting polity. This is what I want to direct my comments upon:
The Miseducation of the Voting Polity of the ANC
Compounding this fact is the actual fact and realism that the ANC never bothered to educate its people about the electoral process, properly, neither carried out a meaningful and extensive political and economic education. As I have pointed out above,program for the children and adults of African people in south Africa.The inexperience of the ANC begun show itself immediately following the elections. The movement, for all intensive purpose, was poorly organized, and lacked depth of what was required to run and rule a country… Many of their cadre had been in exile, and their top echelon the National Executive Committee, was made up of men who had left South Africa in the sixties and came back in the 1990s, to begin to learn how to rule South Africa, after a negotiated Settlement.
The baby steps ANC was trying to make, were worsened by the wealth at their finger-tips in abundance throughout South Africa, and the possibilities of power, wealth and greatness that came with such assignment of ruling South Africa. In sharing ruling responsibilities, ANC sunk into nepotism, cronyism, favoritism, cabals, lackeys/hangers-on, and total disregard of the protocol and discipline needed to govern a nation of diverse people like South Africa. They came at the heels of what was supposed the death-knells of Apartheid, but their had no power, meg meaning ANC, and ideas of their own of what they wanted to make the 'Modern South African' be and look like.
These malfunctioning actions and dysfunction led to malfeasance in government, and poor service delivery, and job loss and diseases to go with it. People went from being completely disappointed to utterly disgusted with the ruling clique and their crews, and this has evolved over the 20+ years ANC rule. The masses have been demonstrating, Gas(Petrol) prices rising, food more than expensive and becoming of low quality, hordes of sick people, and a broken social milieu\armies of the poor, who see nothing but arrogance, mien, meanness and callous disregard of their poor and dastardly, decrepit existence and reality.
Many of these elected officials became mired in greed and robbing the public coffers of the country blind. As they have been engaging in these ways and means of ruling South Africans, their voting polity has become disgruntled, and, as I have pointed out above, 18 million people did not vote in the local elections, that in some local areas, the ANC is trying to build a coalition with its nemesis, EFF, Cope, PAC and out such outliers, that in the end, the Bosses of the ANC are beginning to see their power wane and waver, badly. Meanwhile, the ruling ANC government has neglected all facet of the Education of their own polity, from political education, to tertiary, and Higher education. Our people are simple ignorant due to lack of proper education in al the spheres of their lives.
This is a last warning to the ANC, the fact that people do not have any reason to vote for a people who do not care for them, and do not even put them last in all things considered in the country of their birth, but do not even consider them during their interim rule until the next elections, local or national. What the local elections are showing us is that the ANC and its supporting is eroding, very fast, and soon, they key economic cities will be locally governed by DA and its coalitions, and the ANC will end up being a shell of its former self. This also can fully be gleaned from the stats I have provided above.
African people in South Africa, upon learning of such Hubs, might eke out some semblance of normalcy from the points I am making above. So long as we do not determine what kind of education we want for our children and people, and are not investing in it, we will always have a dumbed-down people and students. So long as the self-aggrandizing leaders keep up with the farce of robing the public coffer bankrupt, we are going to either see some upheaval, or less and less people voting for the ANC, and those left will be courting DA and other parties, and this will eventually be the undoing of the ANC. This can be clearly seen by the outcome of the results of the Local elections just ended at the beginning of August 2016. The ANC hobbled to a shaky and rickety, and limping win.
If no lessons are learned for real this time by the ruling ANC clique, their days are numbered, and even if they did a lot of good, their less care and arrogance and deaf-ears they have towards their own electorate, that will evaporate, and people will eventually use that as a weapon to cripple the party of the ANC as the years go bye.