Consciousness of being: Re-imagining Biko 40 years on

A lecture delivered at the University of California Los Angeles and Freedom Park, 7 July 2017.

Steve Biko_Awakened_Minds.jpg

Forty years after Steve Biko’s murder in detention, the world we live in has not changed fundamentally for Black people. Regardless of where you reside in the world, how educated you are, religious, progressive or nice you may think you are, if you are Black you are guaranteed the scorn, humiliation, violence and death that Biko and others had to confront.

Introductory observations

Let me start by thanking the hosts of this important occasion for considering me worthy of being part of this important reflection. Allow me to also commend you for the courage to choose Bantu Biko as your subject of focus. I regard your decision as courageous because the dominant trend is to choose subjects that make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for Black people to have an honest, penetrating and meaningful discourse about the issues that face them. Some refer to this trend as feel-goodism.

I make this point because, speaking at a similar occasion as this one, at the Durban University of Technology, I remarked: “ Steve Biko is a difficult and complex ontological subject, whose essence compels us to think the unthinkable, say the unsayable and do the undoable”.

Biko is an iconoclastic and disruptive subject and, therefore, to have a meaningful conversation on the importance of this subject today requires not just intellectual fearlessness but also an unshakeable commitment to truth and, above all, an uncompromising commitment to justice for Black people.

This kind of approach is critical because, in my view, it is consistent with the kind of person Biko was, and I hope that in my presentation here today I will not subtract from the essence of who Biko was. The timing and location of this event coincides with a number of other important moments in the contemporary history of Black people.

We gather here today a few kilometres away from what is now called Khosi Mampuru Correctional Centre. This is, as you might know, the dungeon where Biko’s lifeless body arrived, after a long, cold and lonely journey from Port Elizabeth. For the duration of this journey, Biko was naked and chained to the floor of a Land Rover. Before he was brought to Kgosi Mampuru, he was held captive in Port Elizabeth, at Walmer police station and Sanlam Building.

At Walmer, he was kept naked and chained for 20 days. His torturers at Sanlam had been told that Biko had been treated with some degree of respect at Walmer and they  were also aware that he was going to fight back if they tried to be rough with him, so they resolved to show him who is baas.

True to their savage nature, as soon as he arrived, they were on to him like a cackle of hyenas. From 6 September onwards, they intensified the torture on his body. This resulted in him sustaining a massive brain haemorrhage and at least three brain lacerations.

Even though they knew he had suffered injury to the brain and was speaking with a slur, they still kept him in a standing position and chained his hands and feet to the metal grille of the cell door. Not only was Biko brutally tortured, but also, his tormentors wickedly delighted in the fact that they had in their captivity the leader of a movement that teaches Black people to stand tall, so they used every opportunity available to humiliate Biko as much as they could.

In almost similar circumstances as those as Biko, on this day, 40 years ago, a brilliant young Black leader, Phakamile Mabija, was flung from the seventh floor of the notorious Transvaal road police station in the land of Kgosi Galeshewe, Kimberley. He was falsely accused of being involved in a local bus boycott.

This month marks the 27th anniversary of the mysterious death of one of Biko’s comrades, Muntu Myeza, on 3 July 1990. Myeza was part of a group of Black Consciousness leaders who were charged under the notorious Terrorism Act for organising the 1974 Viva Frelimo rallies. These rallies celebrated the victory of Black people over the Portuguese in Mozambique.

Biko was called to testify in defence of the accused. He instead used the opportunity to deliver a breath-taking lecture on the meaning, depth and scope of Black Consciousness. This led to some news reporters saying that it was actually the philosophy of Black Consciousness that was on trial.

This month marks the 70th anniversary of the mysterious death of one of the pioneers of 20th century Black radical thought in the South Africa, Muziwakhe Lembede. Lemdede died on 30 July 1947.

This month marks the birth of one of Afrika’s finest sons, Patrice Emery Lumumba, who, as you know, was assassinated through a conspiracy of the security apparatus of the Belgian, French and AmeriKKKan governments. In 2002, the Belgian government issued an apology for their part in Lumumba’s assassination and in 2013, the US State Department admitted to their involvement, through the Eisenhower administration. Had he been alive today, Lumumba would be 92 this month.

This month marks the 92nd anniversary of the birth of one of the most influential Black theoreticians of our time, the psychiatrist, philosopher and revolutionary, Frantz Omar Fanon.

This month marks the 19th anniversary of the transitioning of one of the grand teachers of our race, a warrior scholar and unwavering Pan-Afrikanist, Dr. John Henrik Clarke, on 12 July 1998.

This month marks the second anniversary of the murder in detention of Sandra Bland, on 13 July 2015. As you know, Bland was a 28-year-old unapologetic anti-white supremacist activist in AmeriKKKa, who died under almost similar circumstances as Biko’s, after being stopped for an alleged traffic offence.

This month also marks the 1st anniversary of the brutal killing of Alton Sterling on July 5 last year. Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was shot several times at close range while held down on the ground by two police officers.

Regardless of the period within which they existed or the parts of the world they lived in, the individuals I have mentioned are connected to Biko by virtue of the fact that, like him, their Black skins magnetically and automatically attracted anti-Black violence and death. Others are connected to him because, like him, in their own time and space, they have made an invaluable contribution to Black people’s fight against white supremacy.

In trying to dissect the subject I have been given, I propose to look at the following:

  • Biko’s conception of consciousness of being;
  • The consequences of the absence of Bikos’ consciousness of being on the part of the leadership of the Black world in South Africa today;
  • The consequences of the absence of Biko’s consciousness of the part of the today’s Afrikan leaders;  and
  • Some critical issues that characterise the nature of Black existence in the world today.

2. Biko’s conception of consciousness of being

Consciousness of being is not just critical for human beings to develop a sense of self; it is also critical for their survival and continued existence. Consciousness of being empowers human beings to answer the fundamental questions of existence. Some of which are: who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I? Where am I going or where should I be going? What is my relationship to others, and perhaps most fundamentally, why do I exist?

Those human beings or groups who do not possess a consciousness of being are more likely to be dominated by those human beings or groups who possess a consciousness of being. In some contexts, such domination may result in the marginalisation, exploitation, oppression and extermination of the dominated individuals or groups.

This means that, whatever level of importance an individual or particularly group of people attach to the function of understanding the essence of their being could determine not just their relationship with other groups of human beings but also whether such a relationship will preserve or threaten their very existence.  This is an existential dialectic that we as Black people have yet to learn.

If there is one group in the world for whom the question of consciousness of being is a matter of extreme importance and urgency, it is definitely Black people. This is so because the place that Black people occupy in human history is not identical to that of any other group. And it is for this reason that I think the decision to have Biko, as a reference point for this topic, was an intellectually sound one.

In his essay, The Definition of Black Consciousness, Biko explains Black Consciousness as follows:

“We have defined blacks as those who are by law or tradition politically, economically and socially discriminated against as a group in the South African society and identifying themselves as a unit in the struggle towards the realization of their aspirations….Black Consciousness is in essence the realization by the black man of the need to rally together with his brothers around the cause of their oppression – the blackness of their skin – and to operate as a group in order to rid themselves of the shackles that bind them to perpetual servitude. It seeks to demonstrate the lie that black is an aberration from the “normal” which is white…One must immediately dispel the thought that Black Consciousness is merely a methodology or a means towards an end. What Black Consciousness seeks to do is to produce at the output end of the process very black people who do not regard themselves as the appendages to white society.

This truth cannot be reserved….It seeks to infuse the black community with a new-found pride in themselves, their efforts, their value systems, their culture, their religion and their outlook to life. The interrelationship between the consciousness of the self and the emancipatory programme is of a paramount importance. Blacks no longer seek to reform the system because so doing implies acceptance of the major points around which the system revolves. Blacks are out to completely transform the system and to make of it what they wish. Such a major undertaking can only be realized in an atmosphere where people are convinced of the truth inherent in their stand. Liberation therefore is of paramount importance in the concept of Black Consciousness, for we cannot be conscious of ourselves and yet remain in bondage. We want to attain the envisioned self which is a free self…..”

There are a couple of useful deductions we can make from Biko’s definition of Black Consciousness and they are:

  1. It deliberately and specifically addresses itself to Black people in the South African context and their condition of oppression;
  2. It is predicated on knowledge of self, group solidarity and action;
  3. It is not a neutral or amorphous state of consciousness but an existential consciousness with a political agenda;
  4. It is an act of self-definition; and
  5. It also seeks to inspire an emancipatory programme whose ultimate outcome should be the liberation of the Black people.

3. Consequences of the absence of Biko’s consciousness of being on the part of the leaders of the Black world in South Africa today

What obligations does Biko’s understanding of consciousness of being impose on the leadership of the Black world in South Africa today? It compels them to confront the bloody contradiction wherein a state that is managed by people who look like them, periodically unleashes state-sanctioned brutality on the bodies of their own kin such as Andries Tatane, Nqobile Nzuza, Jan Rivombo, Mike Tshele, Osiah Rahube, Lerato Seema, and Mgcineni Noki.

It compels them to confront the contradiction wherein, white supremacist groups like Afri-Forum are allowed to exist and operate legally, but each time an individual Black person (not a group), stands up to legitimately defend the dignity of Black people, such a Black person is threatened with legal action for what is strangely referred to as ‘hate speech’.

It compels them to confront the realty that the brutal murder of 16-year-old Mathlomola Mosweu, in April this year, is a direct result of their failure to boldly and unapologetically address the persistence of Black landlessness in South Africa.

Biko’s understanding of consciousness of being compels the leadership of the Black world in South Africa to confront the sin of their complicity in the oppression of their own people. The leadership of the Black world in South Africa are voluntarily gripped by a conspiracy of silence against Black people, which manifests itself in, amongst others, a culture of self-censorship. Biko helps us to understand this self-imposed censorship when he says:

“There is in South Africa an over-riding idea to move towards “comfortable” politics, between leaders. And they hold discussions among themselves about this. Comfortable politics in the sense that we must move at a pace that doesn’t rock the boat. In other words, people are shaped by the system even in their consideration of approaches against the system. Not shaped in the sense of working out meaningful strategies, but shaped in the sense of working out an approach that won’t lead them into any confrontation with the system. So they tend to accommodate the system, to censure themselves, in a much stronger way than the system would probably censure them.”

4. Consequences of the absence of Biko’s consciousness of being on the part of today’s Afrikan leaders

In context of the Afrikan continent, Biko’s consciousness of being compels today’s Afrikan leaders to bow their heads in shame for allowing a situation where, even  after declaring independence, countries such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, are forced by France, through an imperialist policy called Francafrique to store their national reserves in the French central bank. These Afrikan countries are essentially paying France for colonising them.

It compels Afrikan leaders to bow their heads in shame for being co-conspirators in the looting of the natural wealth of the continent, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Sudan, as well as facilitating the systematic genocide and displacing of Afrikans all over the continent.

It compels today’s Afrikan leaders to explain why they are aiding the new scramble for Afrika by the Chinese or why they are allowing the Arabs to continue to attack,  capture, enslave, and kill Afrikans in places such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, the Arab world and Israel.

Most disturbingly, Biko’s consciousness of being compels today’s Afrikan leaders to explain why Uganda’s Kasese massacre, or the continued drowning of Afrikans in the Mediterranean, does not receive the same global attention as the attacks on the white citizens of France.

5.Some critical issues that characterise the nature of Black existence in the world today

The contradictions inherent in the conditions of Black people in South Africa and Afrika, are pieces of a bigger puzzle that constitute the global Black condition. And they are in large measure a result of the adoption of what Biko refers to as ‘comfortable politics’, on the part of the leadership of the Black world.

The consequences of these ‘comfortable politics’ has produced conformist-type Black leaders, who would regularly go to multilateral platforms such as the United Nations to deliberate or vote on the plight of the Palestinians and the Syrians, but would fail to draw the world’s attention to the genocide over 6 million of their kin in Sudan or over 500 000 in Papua New Guinea.

The consequences of these ‘comfortable politics’ are responsible for the paradox where the prominent leaders of the Black world would join the western chorus that is critical of Afrikan leaders, but they would not say a word against the leaders of countries like the United States of AmeriKKKa, whose governments continue the lynching of Black people.

You do not hear the prominent leaders of the Black world calling for justice for Black people such as Amadou Diallo, Tamir Rice, Henry Green, John Crawford, Sandra Bland, Sam Dubose, Tanisha Andersen, Mike Brown, Laquan McDonald, Freddie Gray, Bettie Jones, Alton Sterling and recently, Philando Castille. Why are Black leaders able to call for justice on behalf of the Palestinians and Syrians, but fail to do the same for their own kind?

Concluding observations

Forty years after Biko’s murder in detention, the world we live in has not changed fundamentally for Black people. Regardless of where you reside in the world, how educated you are, religious, progressive or nice you may think you are- if you are Black- you are guaranteed they type of scorn, humiliation, violence and death that Biko and others had to confront.

Forty years after Biko’s death, Black people continue to find themselves in the existential conundrum wherein they have to constantly explain themselves to others. The perpetual under-16s Biko refers to. Even at their own occasions, Black people voluntarily torture themselves by adopting the language and idiom of others. To add to their torture, then they make an extraordinary effort of ensuring that they speak the languages of their slave masters with the required ‘sophistication’.

In the overwhelmingly violent and anti-Black context Black people live in today, Biko’s understanding of consciousness of being helps Black people to see the world for what it is and not for what they want it to be. It empowers them to see the self and the world through their own cultural, spiritual and intellectual lens.

It empowers Black people to be in a position to develop a framework and a language of resistance for all the contexts they confront. It assures Black people of the validity of the view that the slavish position they continue to occupy in the world arises mainly from the fact of the colour of their skin and not so much from their personality idiosyncrasies, class position, poverty, economic growth or failure to attract foreign investment.

Most fundamentally, Biko’s consciousness of being helps Blacks to realise the flaw in their psychological make-up that makes them believe they are born to be servants of other groups or supporters of what others do. Blacks are the only people in the world who continue to think that everything they think or do must first be endorsed by others, in order for it to have any validity.

All the other non-Black groups in the world are organising themselves exclusively and their ability to do this enables them to maintain their dominance over Black people in all areas of human endeavour. This is even true in those countries where Black people are the majority.

Unless Black people, everywhere in the world understand that, the only way they can guarantee their continued survival and existence is by organising themselves exclusively; if they continue to fail to understand this fundamental law of nature, the other groups will continue to prey on them. This is for me the most fundamental lesson that Black people must learn from Biko’s understanding of consciousness of being.

Selected references

  1. Biko, S. (1972). Interview with Gail M. Gerhart, Durban.
  2. Biko, S.  (2004). I Write What I Like, (Picador Africa–Johannesburg).
  3. Gordon. L.R. (2015). What Fanon Said, (New York, Fordham.)  (2012).
  4. How Steve Biko Died. Retrieved from  http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/How-Steve-Biko-died-20120919. Accessed 5/07/2017
  5. Jeffries, M. P. (2014), Ferguson Must Force Us To Face Anti-Blackness. Accessed 4/07/2017.Retreived from http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/11/28/ferguson-must-force-face-anti-blackness/pKVMpGxwUYpMDyHRWPln2M/story.html. 15.
  6. Wilderson. F.B. (2014). We’re Trying To Destroy The World: Anti-Blackness & Police Violence After Ferguson. An Interview with Frank B. Wilderson, III. Accessed 4/07/2017. Retrieved from
  7. http://imixwhatilike.org/2014/10/01/frankwildersonandantiblackness-2/

This article was first published on: https://www.pambazuka.org/pan-africanism/consciousness-being-re-imagining-biko-40-years

 

Posted in #PanAfricanHeroes, Apartheid, Black Power, BlackEducation, Freedom, human rights, Land, Patrice Lumumba, Politics, Racism, Steve Biko, Unity, WhiteSupremacy

Why Do We Want The Land Back?

By The Good Elephant

izwe

Image source: http://www.saha.org.za/nonracialism/dynamic_irresistible_force.htm

“We take our stand on the principle that Afrika is one and desires to be one and nobody, I repeat, nobody has the right to balkanize our land” – Robert Sobukwe (1959)

Post-apartheid South Africa turned 23 years this year and amidst all the festivities that surrounded the countries Freedom day celebrations, one can’t help but notice the various number of social media posts of people doing many things other than celebrating this day that was supposed to be so important to the nation. Interesting enough, what was much more amplified on the day, were the calls for the return of the Land. Seeing that South Africa has positioned itself to the world as a united multi-racial nation without the many tensions that America experiences, such calls which have been growing over the years, come as a shock, not only to those outside of the artificial borders that this country has but to many of the countries citizens.

The idea of a rainbow nation as propagated by the 1994 class is falling away bit by bit as young people in the country resound the calls their parents made in their youth, that of the return of Land. Now as a South African, you know that the calls come from the majority black population of the nation as they decry the fact that 80% of the countries Land is still owned and controlled by a minority settler population who has exploited it for over 350 years. As this matter gets divulged in many mediums, a lot of people, especially young people still don’t quite understand the significance of land possession and land ownership. To them, they have seen a lot of black people among their circles succeeding without any land, they have seen their parents move up in life without Land. Heck, they have fallen to the trap that has gripped the continents youth; of believing that Land has no significance in life, and that urban life filled with bling and entertainment is the way to success.

Even in the rest of the continent, there’s also a huge lack of knowledge among the youth about the significance of Land, which is worrisome for a continent that has 60% of the worlds Arable Land. The African Union itself is troubled with the huge neglect or lack of interest shown by our continents youth, when it comes to the topic of Land. In many cases when shouts for land return are made, the media, white fraternity and, sadly, the uninformed black populace are quick to point us to Zimbabwe as a bad case scenario of what happens when Land is returned to the people. This makes me wonder, when they say this, if they cognizant of the racist undermining subliminal tones that say “black people cannot take care of Land, look at what happened to Zimbabwe when white people left?”

If you dive deep into Africa’s recent history, for most of the liberation movements, as they were advancing their struggles for independence, the rallying point for many of them was Land and for the indigenous people of that land to have sovereignty over the Land. If you understand how the system of capitalism operates and how it is very much resource dependent, you will gauge the economic significance of Land. If you can research many of the deaths of our African heroes, you will get to see that their death was due to their widely publicized preaching’s on Land; check Thomas Sankara, Amilcar Cabral, Walter Rodney, Malcolm X, and Capitalism’s most important assassination, Patrice Lumumba.

Without offering a long lesson on history, a friend of mine recently approached me asking about why almost all of my posts speak about land and advocate for its return. My (edited) response to him is outlined below.

  1. Land is politics, Land is Economics, Land is Spirituality, Land is Health, Land is Wellbeing, Land is History, Land is the Future, Land is life itself
  2. When we say we want the Land back, we talk of all that is associated with the concept “Land”. That is, rivers, mountains, and all resources above and beneath the land; the Oceans, the sky and even the air we breathe. Land has different measurements used to quantify it. There are hectares, which measure the length of the Land above the ground. There’s the depth which measures distance beneath the ground. In many other countries across the continent, when land is sold to you, they measure both length and depth. Length and Depth are measures also used to mark out the portion of the ocean that belongs to a nation. The final measure is the height which marks the zone in which, when airplanes fly over, they need permission to do so, the so called No Fly Zone.
  3. Land has many uses, it constitutes property (the building of houses and estates), farming and grazing (Food, livestock, trees), mining (coal, gold & all other resources), recreational (table mountain, Gods Window), Lineage and roots or cultural significance (where people originate and where their ancestors are buried), commercial exploration (beach areas, commercial properties, Shopping Malls), Nature Preservation and Education (National Parks, Botanical Gardens) and many other various uses.
  4. In my Moms birthplace in KZN, land gets bought from the local King at very cheap rates. Why? Land belongs to the people and should be given as such, he just acts as an administrator. This allows people the benefits of being able to build their own houses, at the size and pace they can afford, without the need of indebting themselves in home loans which according to today’s capitalistic world, is success.
  5. Much of SA’s Economy is based on exploitation of the Land and the Landless. Unfortunately the Land as it is owned by a minority, it does not benefit the indigenous people of this Land. It only benefits a few and they get to charge a high premium on it and all that which is produced from it. Think the costs of places like game reserves, etc., think the expensive rent paid by store owners at shopping malls or business complexes, think the food we eat, etc.
  6. In economics, there are factors of production, which are the bases of our economy, and are classified as 1. Land, 2. Human capital (us), 3. Capital (monetary) & 4. Entrepreneurship. You can have Capital, you can have labor and Human Capital but without Land, your dreams are futile, no matter how digital your company can be.
  7. Two rights/capabilities that Pan Africanism advocates for are Self Reliance and Self Determination. With everything I have said above, you can come up with goals and visions for yourself in an aim to determine your future but since you do not have the means to self-rely, you are hindered. The limited successes of the present capitalistic, white supremacist system that we live and operate in that say “Through hard work and determination you can make it”, are a fallacy, for the cracks are too wide and much of our people fail to attain life through that route. The system itself thrives and grows on the fact that many of our people cannot make it through this route since it needs them to supply it with cheap labor.

The route we are fighting for is one whereby we have Land (in its entirety) in our hands, having the ability to economically determine what we want to do with it (as a collective) in order to ensure that we rely on ourselves and solely determine our own future.

In conclusion, Frantz Fanon put it perfectly when he said:

“For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.”

As the formerly colonized, our landlessness is a barrier to not only the bread we need to survive, but our dignity as human’s beings. Our transition from being Black and fully embracing our place in the world as Africans, our transition from being only African and fully embracing our humanity and being treated like full human beings, the basis of all of this, the most essential beginning of this route, is the Land. For, Africa is for Africans and Her Land should benefit Her People.

#IzweLethu

This Article was first published by Vuka Darkie: http://www.vukadarkie.com/want-land-bank/


About the Contributor

The Good Elephant is one with the African people. From Cape to Cairo & beyond the seas, He helps shape and bring change to the African, through every word uttered & every act taken. With Pan Africanism being his backbone, his trumpet only sounds the call for African liberation.


 

Posted in BlackEducation, community, empowerment, Freedom, human rights, Land, Politics, Uncategorized, Unity, WhiteSupremacy

Sao Tome & Principe celebrates its 42nd Independence day.

Today we celebrate Sao Tome & Principe’s 42nd Independence day. With a population of just below 200000 citizens, the country faces challenges in terms of lack of human capital, over-diversification of the economy and poverty. Much of the country’s income comes from citizens working outside of Sao Tome, placing an obligation to surrounding governments to open up their borders.

#Happy42thIndependenceDaySaoTome&Principe 

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Posted in BlackEducation, community, independence day, Politics, Self Determination, Unity

Cape Verde also celebrates its Independence Day today!

To a country with a great story to tell in terms of stable democracy, good governance, political stability and civil liberties, we say Happy Independence Day to Cape Verde. May the progress made in terms of standards of living and economic growth be sustained and the goal of creating a middle income nation for the 505000 citizens, be attained.

#Happy42thIndependenceDayCapeVerde

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Posted in empowerment, independence day, Unity

Happy Independence Day Algeria

To the Nation of Algeria, we say Happy Independence Day. With 2017 being the 57th year of Independence that Algeria celebrates, we make a plea that through a combined effort, may you push to diversify your economy so the threats posed by falling commodity prices not plunge the lives of many Algerians into poverty. furthermore may the fight against extremists be intensified to ensure peace within the region.

#Happy57thIndependenceDayAlgeria 

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Posted in empowerment, Self Determination, Unity

Rwanda Celebrates 55 years of Independence.

Today we also celebrate the 55th Independence Day of Rwanda. A nation that has a great story to tell when it comes to championing womens rights and equality of opportunities as seen by having the largest female parliarmentary representation in the world. We appluad Rwanda and plead that may they fight to make this Independence benefit all Rwandans.

#Happy55thIndependenceDayRwanda

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Posted in BlackEducation, community, Family, Freedom, independence day, Unity

Happy Independence Day Burundi

Today we also celebrate Burundis 55th Independence day. Due to the many conflicts the country has faced, pressing issues such as the country’s development, education, deforestation, have largely been neglected. May this day serve as a reminder to all burundians to fight for their unity, beyond tribalism so as to work together in regaining their Land & bettering their livelihoods.

#Happy55thIndependenceDayBurundi

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Posted in BlackEducation, community, Family, Freedom, independence day, Unity

Celebrating 57 years of independence with Somalia.

To a country that sits at the Horn of Africa, we say Happy 57th Independence Day to the Republic of Somalia. The independence from Colonial rule is yet to be fully experienced by Africas Eastern most nation as it sits without a formal government, a lot of conflicts, political instability, poverty, illiteracy etc. As we help Somalia celebrate its independence, may we not forget the role we are asked to play for one of our own. #Happy57thIndependenceDaySomalia

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Posted in community, empowerment, Family, Freedom, independence day, Politics, Uncategorized

Happy Independence Day DRC!

To a nation who’s resources empowers mankind’s technological advancements, a nation that has suffered many wars and conflicts, both internally, from its neighbours and the international community, due to its vast resource depths, we say Happy 57th Independence day to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. May the fight for DRC’s true independence intensify so the richness of the country’s land can benefit all the people.

#Happy57thIndependencedayDRC

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Posted in BlackEducation, human rights, Politics

Celebrating 41 years of independence with Seychelles.

To one of Africa’s bustling Islands, boasting of a population of less than 100 000, we say Happy 41st Independence day to Seychelles. Africa’s Unity is much critical to nations such as the Seychelles who’s geographic location can be a barrier to trade. May you enjoy your festivities without losing focus of the great work that needs to be done in improving the standard of living of all Seychellois.

#Happy41stIndependenceDaySeychelles

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Posted in BlackEducation, empowerment, Politics

Djibouti, Celebrates 40 years of Independence.

To one of the countries situated at the Horn of Africa, We say Happy 40th Independence day to Djibouti. As a growing nation of less than a million citizens, a lot still needs to be done to bring the development of the country to fruition, especially to those in rural areas. Africa’s prosperity includes those who are least fortunate amongst us.

#Happy40thIndependenceDayDjibouti

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Posted in empowerment, Politics, Unity

Madagascar, Happy Independence Day!

Today we celebrate Madagascars 57th Independence day. To our fellow Malagasy brothers and sisters, we make a plea that amidst the festivities of such a great milestone, may the work dedicated to the goals of poverty eradication, higher literacy levels and development not cease. May the much celebrated freedom be a reality to all Malagasy people.

#Happy57thIndependenceDayMadagascar

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Posted in Uncategorized

Happy Independence Day Mozambique!

Today Mozambique celebrates its 42nd day of independence from Portugal.
Freedom is an elusive concept, it has no destination as it lends itself to being a continuous journey. By the words of Samora ‘the struggle continues against tribalism, ignorance, illiteracy, exploitation…so that we can be all be equal.’ In celebrating the countries independence, may this day commemorate the fight to make Freedom a reality to all Mozambicans.
#Happy42ndIndependenceDayMozambique

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Posted in BlackEducation, empowerment, Unity

Happy Africa Day!!!

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Posted in BlackEducation, Uncategorized

Happy Independence Day, Eritrea

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Posted in BlackEducation, Politics

Letter from occupied Azania to Africa

In all our conversations with our continental friends, my understanding is that there is a general failure to grasp the complexity and uniqueness of South Africa’s history. The “obsession” between black and white as they tend to call it, is not easily understood.

After all, our situation can only be closely akin to the American situation where by In America you have slave descendants fighting for a right to be part of the society their former masters built (on the backs of their ancestors) and in South Africa having descendants of colonialists refusing to give back the natives what their forefathers took violently.

The issue of race and racism as packaged in apartheid, was centered around benefits. The constant push from our continental friends to “move on” is rooted in their somewhat, limited understanding of Freedom. To them, apartheid ended, and the architects of apartheid are no longer, so we have freedom from oppression, and therefore can no longer validly blame apartheid for our current ills and surely the current crop of white folk are vindicated. They tend to support their arguments with the fact that they too were born poor (or not rich) but do not blame it on their former colonialists but the present “corrupt governments” whom rule over their nations.

If you as a Black South African, encounter such rhetoric from any of your friends, do explain to them that as much as you attained freedom from oppression, you did not attain freedom to self-determine and self-rely. That you can be anything you want to be, as long as you can afford it. Do let them know that there are critical actions that were not done when apartheid was said to have ended. Such things as returning of the land. The payment of reparations. The jailing of people who committed apartheid crimes (especially economically). The release of political prisoners. Throwing out of all capitalistic institutions and replacing them with socialistic ones. Such things as free education, free health care, & decolonizing our schooling systems, both basic and higher education.

Do let them know that South Africa as it was under apartheid, is still largely the same today. Tell them that Azania is still occupied, maybe not politically so but economically and otherwise. Tell them that, as much as moving on seems a good thing to do, there is nothing to move on too for all that we had, all that stands in the way of what we are supposed to be, as prophesied by our ancestors, is still in the hands of those who violently took it, and there shall be no moving on without that which belongs to us, without that which our life depends on in order to “Make Africa Great Again”. Remind them that for many years wars were fought, some won and some lost to resist the imperial project as brought to our shores by the European and that a “moving on” betrays all of the blood spilt over 350 years.

Tell them that if we do “move” on, then the recolonization of Africa, by those whom are called Africans due to South Africa’s compromise in 1994, as it has already begun, shall accelerate. Tell them that for South Africa to be called “The Gateway to Africa” by other Nations outside the continent, is because of the uncorrected mistakes that the natives in South Africa conducted in 1994 when they opted for a negotiated settlement with their 400 yearlong oppressors instead of leading Africa’s last born nation to perpetual freedom. Tell them that they shouldn’t look at South Africa’s great buildings and the flood of American, European and Chinese Multi nationals as a sign for inclusive growth.

Tell them that the black person in South Africa still largely serves the same role he/she has been serving ever since the advent of 3 ships making a stop at Cape Town in 1652, which is the role of offering cheap labour. Tell them that when they read of great architectural projects that happen in South Africa, before they stand in awe and get mesmerized by the developments being built this side, such as your Steyn City, your Waterfall Estate, your Nkandla presidential Complexes, they should know that these are not built for the masses of this land but rather portray to the world the mighty great exploits that the capital agents are expanding their territory on our land.

SA Protests - Awakened Minds

Tell them of how in 22 years of democracy, the young black male child of South Africa who was meant to have been a pioneer of innovation in industries by now, has been structurally denied all manners of social mobility and has been relegated to  being high on drugs, engaging in crime and the likes. Tell them that the future mother of this nation, that young black and beautiful African daughter, instead of leading industries, pushing boundaries in placing her family and the black women on the map, has also been structurally denied all forms of social mobility and has been led to find other means to survive which range from prostitution, giving herself up to sex driven patriarchal old males for bursaries, or just spending the rest of her full of potential life as a teller, cashier or cleaner at a white firm.

Moving on, is to concede defeat. Moving on is to hammer in the last nail in Mother  Africa’s body as she lays there, crucified for over  500 years and counting. Tell them that we are Africa’s last resistance movement, that our struggle has not yet ended, that we fully bear the words of Samora Machel – “Aluta Continua” on our hearts, that although our enemy has increased his defense by using our own people as a barrier, we take heed of Amilcar Cabrals words, of never “claiming easy victories”, and soldiering on to realise Robert Sobukwes dream, which is to call “our Souls our own”.

Do tell our African brothers and sisters, that this fight is not ours alone, that it belongs to all of us. That when it intensifies and the global capital forces move in to fully unleash their wrath on occupied Azania just as they economically did to Zimbabwe and militarily did to Libya, the space between our extinction and our victory, will be Africa’s solidarity, and if left vacant as we have seen our current (& past recent) leaders do with Zimbabwe, Libya and the Congo, then Africa shall never be free. Make sure you let them see that if all moves to unite Africa have failed before, then the fight to liberate Azania, is a great opportunity for Africa to rise up together, and present to the world, a united, continental front for the freedom of one of their own from the global capitalistic, white supremacist parasites. This can only be done through their help and replacing the words “move on” with, “how can we aid your struggle?” will go a long way

Africans Unite - Awakened Minds

They might ask you, “why must we stand in solidarity with you guys when you are the ones who kill us when we seek refuge in your country?” do reply and let them know that maybe a similar question was asked before Libya was bombed, that surely the same question was asked when Zimbabwe was sanctioned. A call for solidarity is never an easy one, putting aside certain differences, grudges, past mistakes, is a very difficult journey but a very important precursor to a united front. This might greatly sound disingenuous coming from us but tell them that a free Azania shall stand in front of Africa and be held accountable for its atrocities, since no one should be allowed to kick and kill their own siblings and nothing is done about it.

Let them know that they shouldn’t look to us for leadership, we are Africa’s last born and as our elderly siblings, we only hope for their solidarity.

Lastly, let them know that the increasing number of people, especially amongst the youth, who reject Mandela, have valid reasons to do so and they should interrogate this point further if they wish to walk down the journey of understanding why Africa’s so called, most developed economy, at the centre of cries for the return of Land, sits Mandela.

In closing, Please let our African brothers and sisters know that what they see as South Africa today, is not #TheAfricaWeWant and definitely not the Africa our forefathers wanted to bequeath to us, especially when the Land, the most important of all, hasn’t been returned to the people. Remind them that our call, our cry and our plea is that they should never forget that, Africa is for Africans and her Land should benefit her people.

“Thousands of years ago, civilizations flourished in Africa which suffer not at all by comparison with those of other continents. In those centuries, Africans were politically free and economically independent. Their social patterns were their own and their cultures truly indigenous.”

– Haile Selassie

Africa is Azania & Azania is Africa.


About the Contributor

The Good Elephant is one with the African people. From Cape to Cairo & beyond the seas, He helps shape and bring change to the African, through every word uttered & every act taken. With Pan Africanism being his backbone, his trumpet only sounds the call for African liberation.


 

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Posted in BlackEducation, community, empowerment, Family, Politics, Racism, Self Determination, self reliance, Unity, WhiteSupremacy

“You Have A Right To……Only If You Can Afford It”

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Image source: https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/imagesq=tbn:ANd9GcRtrB114n3PQZX5v0gN2krtPMINYeM5Z6cPP9F_ubDWCzt9noJm

By The Good Elephant

Prior to our president exercising his constitutional right to fire and appoint ministers, South Afrca celebrated Human Rights day on the 21st of Mrach. It is because of that day that I can’t help but ask myself these questions; what are rights? Do we as Africans, being the vast majority of this land, have rights? What does one need in order to qualify for these rights? Are rights meant for everybody? Who is a Human? These are but the few questions that always come to mind whenever this day comes. As always, routinely, the government celebrates this day by choosing a place where central festivities are going to be held, they proclaim these rights upon all South Africans, joyfully enjoy themselves and go home to live another day. Interesting events occurred though in this years celebrations but I shall tackle this towards the end of the article.

When one deeply interrogates the Bill of Rights, which is Chapter 2 of South Africas constitution, knowing full well, the premise on which this country was built, you tend to experience a deep unsettling feeling within yourself. The question that mostly stems up with this feeling is that of “can there ever be a true application of Human rights without a correction of pasts imbalances?” “Can Rights ever be attainable to every human being without prior justice?” You might wonder why I choose the words “attainable & application” to a construct such as Human rights, something supposed to be accessible to everyone born into this earth. Well that’s because human rights as a construct are human developed, human protected and human given. Hence they are called human rights, that’s because humans preside over them. In a system designed by human beings, with institutions thought of, built and ruled by human beings, they determine who does and who does not have a right with regards to that system. Before I elaborate on this point using examples, lets here George Carlins take on Human rights.

“There are no Rights, there are only Temporary privileges” is the statement that pushes me to use such words as attainable, application & accessible when talking about Human rights, simply because they are priviledges. What does this mean then for an African being living in a country whos past still affects social interactions even today? What does this mean for a landless, destitute, dispossessed African supposed to find being in a capitalistic society that only serves the ruling elite and their true masters, the architects of this country? It can only mean one thing, “You have a right too……Only if you can afford it.” This is why you have a constitution that says “You have a right to education….” But the system in which this constitution is meant to exist says “going to school is a Priviledge”.  Water is life and the constitution says that SA citizens have a right to life, how then does a country sell bottled water but fail to provide many of its citizens with clean drinking water if lack of access to water is an impediment on ones right to life?

By embracing the fact that Human rights as a construct are in actual fact privileges, we all know from our experiences with White privilege that some things are therefore only available for some races or classes in society. For instances, in a system like ours which is European centred in both its architect and mannerisms, many privileges are only available to white people, whom make up the bulk of our upper class. Private schools, private hospitals, Eurocentric curriculums, European cultured way of doing business, land, economic means etc etc. compare this to landless Africans who have to contend with structural racism on a daily and the fact that many Human rights proclaimed over every South African passport carrying individual are not available to them. Isn’t it baffling that some people within the same society have the Priviledge of having butt cleansing toilets whilst many others have been denied the right to clean water? This is when you realise that something is wrong with this society. Makes you wonder if those whom rights/privileges are denied, are considered as Human or not, a phenomena we were dealing with recently as Africans.

I do want to make one thing clear, rights/privileges are a very much needed charter for human beings, for they should be the foundation of every human interaction, at all levels. It is why we celebrate such acts as the “Declaration of the Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World” drafted by a 25000 strong African men and women delegation in 1920, as led by Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association. All humans being equal in front of the law, having the same exact opportunities and means to explore those opportunities, rights/privileges can only help the situation. However when rights/privileges are not readily nor easily attainable by the lowest of us, then that is a sham and needs to be corrected.

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Image source: http://blog.leebobblack.com/2010/12/south-african-bill-of-rights-durban_28.html

Let us take some time to explore the Bill of Rights just so as to put the above narration into context. Without writing a very lengthy article that interrogates each right that the Bill proclaims, I see it fit to interrogate the core and crux of what the Bill says it provides, i.e. the democratic values of Human dignity + Equality + Freedom = Life.

Human Dignity

All humans have the right to dignity but what dignity can a landless, dispossessed and destitute African majority hope to possess in such a society? Human dignity stems from a human beings state of being. Being landless means no place to call home, no place to build, no place to lay the dead in a dignified manner, no place to plant and feed ones family. What dignity do we think people who always get evicted from pieces of land have when they were just trying to get a roof over their heads? What dignity do we think young girls have when they have to miss school due to periods? What dignity do we think the people of Marikana have when after uprooting their lives from their birth places, came to the platinum belt to search for a better life but ended up being gunned down just for protesting for a wage increase?

What dignity do we think young people in this country have when they get beaten up, teargassed, shot at, jailed for simply asking for a free education and for that education to be African centred? What dignity do we think scours of patients have when they go to public hosptitals and are met with the most shaming and denegrading experiences, with some resulting in death? What dignity do we think the countless number of young people in this country have when they have to go to schools under trees & classes with no roofs etc? What dignity does the majority of African people in this country have when the system forces them to occupy the lowest jobs in the economy just so they can feed their families?

Are we not then surprised when dignity seems to be a commodity only allotted to the rich or the so called “superior” races in this country? How then are South Africas rights, human rights for all if the system fails at its onset?

Equality

Economically so, South Africa is one of the most unequal society’s on earth with the gap widening with each and every passing day. You might argue that all are equal in front of the law but we all know that the race card turns to affect decisions and of course the obvious one, money and so called “great lawyers”. Equality as an abstract is badly applied in the South African context. We cannot proclaim that all are equal under the sun when our history has not been corrected. We cannot believe that our constitution promises equality to an African child born in a shack in Khayelitsha the same way to a white child born in Campsbay. The playing field is already not level, the opportunities allotted to both children already differ, even the challenges to be faced themselves are not the same.

It seems that each attribute we discuss leads us back to George Carlin above and his explanation of rights as privileges. Many rights proclaimed by the constitution shall only be available to the child born in Khayelitsha only if they can afford them. Right to an education, right to water, right to shelter, growing up in a ghetto/skwattacamp, places designed by the oppressor and promoted by the new one for the annihilation of black bodies, the child’s right to life is already threatened upon them being born unless of course they can afford to move out and stay in camps bay. Such is not equality. H.I.M Haile Selassie said it best when he said:

HIM

Freedom

The biggest question of them all when it comes to any discussion about freedom in South Africa is that; “are the African people who are a Majority in South Africa, Free?” a very important question which renders many different answers. One individual who narrates the South African story well for me, is Dr Lwazi Lushaba of UCT. He argues that, the reason why White academics term what occurred in 1994 as a Democratic transition is because, that’s what truly happened. He states that what happened in South Africa in 1994 was not liberation but rather a transfer of power from one elite group to another with pretty much not changing the constructs that the country was built on. This for him is demonstrated by how the name of the country did not change upon this handover. It is also supported by how both the Finance minister and Reserve Bank Governer remained unchanged post the 1994 elections. With 80% of the land still owned and controlled by those who previously forcefully took it from the African people, with strategic sectors of the economy still owned and controlled by those whom previously oppressed the African majority, I’m forced to ask, what freedoms did we really really get in 1994? When the constitution of South Africa says every man and women has a right to freedom, what does it mean?

Freedoms can be separated into two types. Freedom from and freedom to. In South Africa, the African majority gained freedom from deliberate and outright oppression but did not however get the freedom to self-rely nor self-determine. How can one freely determine their future when they have not yet received justice? How is one supposed to self -rely when the means to do so are denied and yet to be returned? Miniature freedoms such as freedom to vote, freedom to smoke, drink, practice ones religion become meaningless when the freedom to self-rely and self-determine is structurally denied. A field slave allowed to sing and dance, procreate and smoke in the lil barnyard Massa allows him to sleep in, is still not free. African South Africans are not “Free to…” do as they please, they are only allowed to do certain things. As soon as a group of young African men walks in a surburb, the likelihood of them being stopped and questioned about their reasons for being In that white neighbourhood is high not because they pose a danger or a threat to white life but simply because they are not allowed to be there.

This analysis of the above tenets that South Africas Human Rights claims has many ways in which they can be looked at, however my request to you is for you to interrogate the said human dignity, equality & freedom that we are told we got. Although some may argue that these tenets are promises, the question of when they shall be given is for you to answer. Some might also say, these are but goals that the country aims to achieve, I ask you once more to interrogate all of our states actions in order to determine if consistency has been observed in trying to attain these said goals, from Marikana to esidimeni deaths.

One cannot give a critique of the Bill of Rights without speaking of Section 25 of the bill which addresses the issue of Land (Property). The general argument held by the descendants of settler colonisers about Land in South Africa tends to be tiered. The first line of defence is “what are you gonna do with the Land?” from there it moves on to say “most of the land has been cultivated and nourished by the colonizer over years, therefore it cant be given back freely, there must be some form of compensation” a view greatly held by Section 25 of the bill of rights. When that argument fails, they ascend into saying “most of the land was purchased legally from chiefs and kings, therefore it is legally owned.” When that argument is debunked by reminding them of their Land act which took 90% of land and shared it amongst the settlers, their defence moves to “either way, when the land was taken, you natives had no title deeds and had no forms of ownership or ascerting it, therefore we took what was free country, land that was owned by no one, just savages roaming around”. Lastly, when that too is debunked through a pan African thought that says all of Africa belongs to Africans, be it explored or unexplored, they then stoop low and showcase their divisive spirit by saying, the Land in South Africa belongs to the Khoi & San people, not the Bantu who according to them migrated here, at the same time as they landed in the Cape.

Land is politics, Land is Economics, Land is Spirituality, Land is Health, Land is Wellbeing, Land is History, Land is the Future, Land is life itself and a denial of Land, is the highest form of treason a government can ever do to its indigenous people. With Section 25 of the bill of rights stating that expropriation must be compensated, stating that only Land taken after 1913’s Land act qualifies for this measure, the most Basic of Human rights has been denied to the African people of South Africa and therefore such a bill deserves no celebration, deserves no public holiday, deserves no events, praise, dance or songs for it is the biggest lie ever been told in this land. This whole section shouts out loudly, the title of this article:

“YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO LAND……ONLY IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT”

Debunking the 2017 ANC Human Rights Celebrations

Sobukwe

“Sons and Daughters of the Soil, Remember Africa! Very soon, now, we shall be launching our campaign. The step we are taking is historical, pregnant with untold possibilities. We must, therefore, appreciate our role. We must appreciate our responsibility. The African people have entrusted their whole future to us. And we have sworn that we are leading them, not to death, but to life abundant.” R.M. Sobukwe

These are the opening words of a communique issued out by Robert Sobukwe and the leadership of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, to the various regions & branches of the PAC before the 21st of March 1960 Anti Pass campaign that has been greatly shunned and erased from history by the current ruling elite. It was on this historic day that 69 people, men, women and children, were gunned down in Sharpeville and other towns in the country for protesting against the pass laws. Many arrests were conducted on this day, including that of R.M Sobukwe and the various leaders of the PAC. From this date, many other similar protests sprung up nationwide, including an event where the then leader of the ANC, Chief Albert Luthuli, burnt his pass in public, an act which as an organization, they were initially against. This act of selflessness where the masses of our people, under the leadership of the PAC, willingly gave themselves up to be arrested in defiance of a system that was instituted to limit their movement on the continent of their forefather, eventually led to the banning of the pass.

How the ANC government, under Mandela in 1994, fresh from leaving the land of our people in the control of the oppressors, decided to mark this day as Human Rights day instead of deliberately acknowledging the strides of Robert Sobukwe and the PAC, is a bit confusing. This confusion has continued throughout the years and was recently demonstrated by Pres Zuma going, in Mandelas name to Steve Bikos grave, an individual whom over the years, they called a CIA agent. This sign of confusion of the ANC commemorating Steve Biko on the 21st of March, a day that should belong to Robert Sobukwe and the 69 people who lost their lives on that day, continues the erasure of Sobukwe and the PAC by the ruling elite in our history books. Biko must be turning in his grave not only by seeing himself being honoured by those who branded him a CIA agent but also by erasing the man he considered to be the “God of Black People”.

The ANC’s search for relevance should take a better route rather than pitting Biko and Sobukwe against each other. Erasure of Black history be it negative or positive is the erasure of us and the things that shape us. The mandate to Awaken Minds rests on us all to tell our true history as it is, not with any agenda to usurp one theory over another but in order to bring the contention of ideas and philosophies to the fore front of every discussion that aims to come up with solutions that will liberate the whole of Africa and grant us #TheAfricaWeWant.


About the Contributor

The Good Elephant is one with the African people. From Cape to Cairo & beyond the seas, He helps shape and bring change to the African, through every word uttered & every act taken. With Pan Africanism being his backbone, his trumpet only sounds the call for African liberation.


 

 

 

 

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Posted in community, empowerment, human rights, Politics, Racism, Uncategorized, WhiteSupremacy

2017 the year of Pan Afrikanism

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By The Good Elephant 

An awakening is currently under way within the black populace. We have reached a point whereby through the Virtual connectivity allotted to us by the power of the internet, especially social media, the black mass is uniting around black issues affecting us on a whole. Black issues in one corner of the earth now find resonance in another different corner of the earth. Don’t get me wrong, the black nation has not yet united as our forefathers called us to do so. We haven’t even reached the kind of unity Marcus Garvey achieved with the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), but we have grown more connected to each other. Many of our folk still depend on the ‘Tell your Vision to be programmed’ (Television Programme) and print media to get informed, but through the power of the internet, we are increasingly sharing positive and true stories about ourselves and our history.

Through the internet we have found power to decolonise history and tell the real Afrikan story. A typical social media timeline should be littered with stories showcasing or explaining white supremacy, stating that Jesus was Black or dismissing the whole Jesus story, posts about putting the Greek Mythologists in their true place in history, in the dustbin of great thieves, pictures of black dolls, instructions on head wraps, tips about how to take care of natural hair, shared memes littered with quotes about Afrikan greats such as Sankara, Nkrumah, Cabral, Woodson Carter, Du Bois, Garvey, Biko, Sobukwe etc. This however is not seen everywhere, but a person whose friends/followers list is connected to the greater black community, does show such traces.

This wave of Afrikan gnosis has created an important virtual community whereby many of our people feel at home. Many virtual movements are being established in the form of Facebook groups, blogs etc. it is in these congregated spaces where likeminded individuals meet to share knowledge, argue it, learn and grow each other. Although this is not the case in many of these movements, with too much politicking, tribalism or disrespect to one another, the fact that such spaces exist, is what’s important for the black nation, for our people are finally connecting with one another. However we do need to set things straight and define what our trajectory should be for too much time is spent discussing history and timelines in our movements. Please and I repeat, Please do not misquote me and say I am looking down on the black man’s history, no, after all, it is part of my essence as a human being.

The key is that, one does not spend his whole lifetime critiquing history. That serves no purpose to the movement, unless insights and learnings are reaped from that history and then adopted & implemented for the betterment of our people, today. The adoption and implementation of learnings is a bit far-fetched since the movement gains a whole lot of masses every day, who in their initial shock to the former lies told about us, still need to go through a cognitive dissonance phase, which leads to us babysitting people, breastfeeding them bit by bit the power that is our true history until they get to such a stage that they can be significant members of the movement. This is a necessary part of ensuring that the movement grows since without proper nurturing, our people become at risk of being swallowed back up by the lies told in the white supremacist history, narrated in a million different ways, with the outcome being the same “WE FREED YOU!!!”

It is on this point where by our people stand at the greatest risk of being swayed back into the same dark whole they crawled out of. As much as the internet is aiding us in our endeavours to Unite on issues, it is also a weapon situated at the fingertips of the enemy, and the power he had of spreading lies and negativity about us to the masses, has been amplified. Too many ideologies and -isms exist out there, with our people gobbling them up, at alarming rates. Truly speaking, wherever our people are, no matter what language they speak, the only –ism that they should find resonance with is that of Pan Afrikanism. Now within the Pan Afrikan movement, we have so many different interpretations of the ideology and that has given the enemy the opportunity to infiltrate and attach other –isms or ideologies to the movement. You read online discussions and hear people state that “we are Pan Afrikans who are socialists” other saying “No, Pan Afrikanists are communists”, some others stating that “Pan Afrikanism is about all Afrikans in Africa, black and white”. This confusion although stemming from different interpretations which are valid in their own rights, can’t be good for the movement. A divided house cannot achieve any progress.

In this regard, what then do we do? What solutions do we have? I would like to state that, you cannot try to change a bad situation by doing the very same thing that got you there or by doing something that has been proven to fail before. Hence the statement that, you engage with history, reap learnings, adopt and implement. When we speak of Pan Afrikanism as a concept, it has many fathers, but the true father of the Pan Afrikanist global movement has to be Henry Sylvester Williams. It was in 1897 when he founded the ‘Afrikan Association’ (later called the Pan Afrikan Association) which in three years was able to host the first ever Pan Afrikan Congress, in London. Before this time, many great Afrikan leaders, had championed the concept, notably, leaders like Booker T Washington, Walker David, Cuffe Paul, etc. now with each leader, giving their version of Pan Afrikanism, the greatest form of Pan Afrikanism, ever to have been witnessed, is that of Marcus Garvey, termed ‘Garveyism’. Why the greatest? You will have to research Him on your own, don’t be lazy, just google Marcus Garvey….

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The greatest gift given to us by Garveyism is not only a true testimony that the Unity of all the people of Afrikan Descent is possible, but the 8 tenets of Pan Afrikanism which he himself and his movement did not found but implemented in such a great manner. These tenets can be used to educate the masses, spot the diluted/infiltrated movements and implement in our new found conscious freedom, as we define our future. After all, it is a premise of Pan Afrikanism that all the people of Afrikan descent do not only share a common History, but a common Destiny. The eight tenets of Pan Afrikanism as defined by Garveyism are outlined below as they were taught to a Philadelphia meeting by Dr Umar Abdullah Johnson. (NB: I have paraphrased most of what he said so as to make it relevant to our context):

  1. Race Pride – absolute pride in being an Afrikan. Not arrogance, not supremacy. This is not black supremacy as opposed to white supremacy. This is what the whole pan-3concept of Black consciousness is about, building a sense of Pride in being Afrikan, acknowledging your place in society as a full human being capable of great and mighty exploits. Such Pride is an antidote to the constant negative messages that society perpetuates about the Afrikan race. An antidote not for society but for the Afrikan race itself for if we do not take pride in our race, who will? This is key, because for us to grasp the concept of being part of humanity, we need to understand our own uniqueness’s and showcase them to the world, in a positive manner. Just as Robert Sobukwe said “Africa for Afrikans, Afrikans for Humanity, Humanity for God”

Recommended Reading: I Write What I Like – By Steve Biko

  1. pan-4(Racial) Afrikan Identity – which is very important since, just because you are biologically an Afrikan, is of no good to the movement unless you are consciously one. Just because you have the genes, means nothing unless you can think in the context of a group. Not being a South Afrikan, a Nigerian, a Kenyan, an Egyptian, Afrikan American or an English Afrikan, Nooo!!! This is not about identifying what flag your country looks like, or who colonised you. Aren’t we today masquerading arrogantly in public with our national identities? Saying things like “We West Afrikans”…”We South Afrikans” or “We Afrikan Americans”, thinking we are better by virtue of who colonised us, when all of these are just small pieces of a greater continent, divided through violence and conquest. Pan Afrikanism is about thinking in a context of a group i.e The Afrikan Race (on the continent & in the diaspora) rather than having a nationalistic tribalism.

Recommended Reading: Indaba, My Children – By Credo Mutwa

  1. Self-Reliance – The dependency complex that has been bred into the Afrikan mentality has crippled our ability to do for self. This is why there can’t be aliens (non – Afrikan members) in our movements because their presence will lead a lot of us who are still climbing the woke ladder to look to them for guidance, something that comes naturally unless one has been in touch with the ideology of BC. Those who invest in you are by virtue of you accepting their “help”, given rights to redirect your vision or plainly put, tell you what to do. This can be seen from the various anti Afrikan policy changes that Afrikan nations have to do as part of their IMF, World Bank & Western loans obligations or “Aid” as they call it these days. Achieving this as individuals of one nation allows us to fully determine our future and build towards our common destiny i.e. The Africa We Want. This means building our own schools, selling products we produce, funding for Postgraduate research topics that we seek to do.

Recommended video: The Theory of Self Reliance: Booker T Washington & Marcus Garvey – By Dr John Henrik Clarke

  1. Black Image of God – subverting the psychological effects that are linked to worshiping, God’s that don’t look like you and since the Gods worshiped do not have an alien appearance to the ones we have on earth, their worship naturally leads our race to attach god ship to whichever race that the god we worship looks like. The subconscious works by association and it groups everything. So we have to guard the mind, this is important. If you believe in a God, have never seen one and believe that his image is unknown, then that’s all good but if you have an inclination to put an image to your God, it has to be black. This is not a philosophical decision but a psychological one and if your God made you in his image, then you got to look like him/her, that psychologically makes sense.

Recommended Reading: Concept of Deity – By Dr John Henrik Clarke

http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/afprl/clarke/concept-of-deity201d-by-dr.-john-henrik-clarke

  1. Black economic power – which is what funnels into the need to be self-reliant. No nation can do what it wills if it has no economic power. You might be surprised but in nominal terms, as the Afrikan nation we do have economic power in that, we have the power to make economic decisions. Remember we are talking group economics here, not as individuals but as a group. The vast amount of currency that we as the Afrikan nation possess globally, is immense and the possibilities of what we can achieve if we were to pummel all of our money into Afrikan economies, in a day, many economies globally would stumble. And by Afrikan economies I mean businesses that are run by us not extensions of European businesses on the continent. Unfortunately, in Real terms, we do not have economic power since most of the currency we possess; is gained through hard word & sweat at other nations businesses.

 I always have to say this when it comes to the topic of Black economic power, and that is, it is not only achieved through entrepreneurship. We can’t all be entrepreneurs but those of upan-5s who have dreams and aspirations for the corporate life, nothing stops us from using the same organs which we are entrusted to lead as executives or managers, to empower, equip and drive change within Afrikan economies (businesses & communities) in such a sustainable manner that those Afrikan communities & businesses can be self-reliant. Also, since we can’t all be entrepreneurs, as some chase that CEO/CFO gig, ensure that you invest your own money in Afrikan businesses through becoming a partner, shareholder, non-exec director etc. Why? Your time, money and knowledge can accelerate the realisation of Black economic power.

Recommended Reading: Black Economics: Solutions for Economic and Community Empowerment – By Dr Jawanza Kunjufu

  1. Unity (Umoja) – unity amongst us even as we have different languages, different shades of colour, different income classes, different political affiliations, different religious backgrounds, and different origins, on the continent or in the diaspora. Again, Pan Afrikanism is about thinking in the context of a group. Though we may fight, argue and disagree with each other on many things but as one family, our actions or lack thereof are linked and our destiny is but one. When the Arab nation first landed on the continent and began the slave trade, those in the southern parts of the continent would’ve been foolish to stand over and laugh at the ones in the north for a few years later, the European arrived and conquered the whole continent, without any remorse. So our connected and shared past inextricably potrays our common future and only in Unity can we achieve this.

When Marcus Garvey and the UNIA released the “Declaration of the Rights of the Negro pan-6Peoples of the World”, it was a cry for the whole Afrikan nation in bondage all over the world, a sign of great Unity, yet to be achieved in this age. A great opportunity for us Afrikans to unite, is within our grasp, especially with how the internet has made us realise how our experiences of oppression, racism etc. are so similar and connected. Only in UNITY can we achieve The Africa We Want. No Afrikan person can suffer racism or oppression anywhere in the world if we as the Afrikan nation can stand together, united and in solidarity for the repercussions will be large. This can only be achieved by having a desire to link up with the whole and subvert ones individual agenda, for the betterment of the group.

Recommended Reading: Centered: Building Afrikan Realities – By Mwalimu K. Bomani Baruti

  1. Nationhood – embracing the fact that whichever current nationality you possess (within Africa or abroad) holds no water for, there only exist one nation and that is the Afrikan nation. This goes hand in hand with possessing an Afrikan identity and breaking the very destructive nationalistic tribalism that we possess. Xenophobia could never be a norm if as Afrikans we push for nationhood. Why nationhood? It is the only self-protection you have and can get.pan-7 The world will always and forever treat you as an Afrikan and therefore only Afrikan nationhood can serve you. If you don’t grow the food you eat, who does? If you don’t teach your child, who does? Things such as uncovering container-ships from China with fake condoms at a Kenyan port will cease to exist when we embrace an Afrikan Nationhood. Things of the American government deliberately injecting Afrikans in America with syphilis and calling it an experiment, will cease to exist when we embrace an Afrikan Nationhood. This is very critical for us as a nation to survive and thrive.

Recommended Reading: Philosophies & Opinions of Marcus Garvey – Edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey.

  1. Black Political Power – “A government of Afrikan people, by Afrikan people, for the Afrikan people” Robert Sobukwe. Not a black face whose policies and moves are anti Afrikan. We need this in order to ensure that we govern ourselves, determine our own policies & draft our own constitutions that speak to our values and norms as Afrikans. A new and greater Africa can only be built by us. For Racism to truly fall, for the propagation of White supremacy to be relinquished on the African continent, we need Black Political Power. This is very important for as we not only share a common history but also a common destiny, only Black political power can give us the space to reach this shared destiny.pan-8

Recommended Reading: Selected Speeches of Robert Sobukwe and a mini-biography – Compiled by Sinethemba Sembene Mandyoli

This concludes the 8 tenets of Pan Afrikanism as presented by the movement of Garveyism. It is important I state that, this version of Pan Afrikanism is not absolute nor discredits other versions, No. this is just myself acknowledging the greatest ever Pan Afrikan to walk this earth in terms of impact upon the Afrikan people of the world. If these tenets where important to him and his movement which still is the largest ever Afrikan movement to ever be assembled on earth, then that should convince us to follow suit. Throughout this year, we will dedicate a few articles to some of the tenets of Pan Afrikanism listed above, so be sure to be on the lookout for those. Do engage the recommended readings & video in order to understand the individual tenets more and awaken your mind.

As the Awakened Minds, we declare 2017 as the year of Pan Afrikanism where all of us work tirelessly for the unity, betterment, liberation and wellbeing of all Afrikan people, wherever they are in the world. May we take up the 8 tenets of Pan Afrikanism, embrace them and make them our daily bread. May we live and thrive by them at all times.

#TheAfricaWeWant


About the Contributor

The Good Elephant is one with the African people. From Cape to Cairo & beyond the seas, He helps shape and bring change to the African, through every word uttered & every act taken. With Pan Africanism being his backbone, his trumpet only sounds the call for African liberation.


Tagged with: ,
Posted in BlackEducation, community, empowerment, Family, Politics, Self Determination, self reliance, Unity

Azania Burning

By Mfungelwa Sithole

The spirit of liberation within Azania was burning and South Africa got burnt by the flames of rebellion. The writer Lunga Tlou introduces us to the two state analysis in he’s article, “Pimp My Ghetto”. The two opposing forces (states) are of an oppressed people (Azania) and the ones doing the oppressing (South Africa). The people of Azania are fighting for the freedom to self-determine their own destinies and their land. In the words of Mangaliso Sobukwe: “We must fight for freedom – for the right to call our souls our own.”

The people are fighting for their souls to call them their own in their own land. The trustee of blackness who is the oppressor does not want to give up trusteeship on the lives of the native – the black man. At each corner where the black man has tried to rid himself of the chains of whiteness it has been met with resistance. The oppressor loves order as it allows him to continue with the exploitation. The call for a free decolonised education is a call for unity of thought amongst the African masses to free their minds from the control of oppressor.

Closing off such a turbulent year with so many great experiences within the black movement, we owe it to the masses to close off 2016 with an Article focusing on the biggest issue of the year, which is the noble and just cause by students in their cry for a Free Decolonised Education.

The following issues/topics are a few that have been talked about in the movement to attain a free decolonised education:

  1. Educating the Africa Child

 To an oppressed people, education teaches them about themselves, their oppression, their oppressor, common reason for their oppression, their alliances and how to liberate themselves. Meaning any kind of education that moves from their culture, language and identity as Africans is nothing but, miseducation. You have seen by now what education means to us: the identification of ourselves with the masses. Education to us means service to Africa (Mangaliso Sobukwe, 1949). Education to us means knowledge that can be applied to solve our societal issues, ideas of how we can liberate ourselves. The only knowledge that will achieve this is one that makes us look into ourselves not away from ourselves.

 2.Decolonising Our Minds

 We need to understand that the colonisation of the mind is about us hating ourselves. The knowledge fed to us is so violent that we hate our own language, culture and knowledge. The dominant culture instills itself so much that we accept it as being normal. That we relegate ourselves to a position of inferiority and the dominant culture of whiteness as superior, because the only knowledge we have been taught is about them and nothing about ourselves. The process is about misinforming us about our own culture in order to maintain our oppression. It’s so we can internalise oppression and start to justify it since all we know is them.

Our ideology emanates from our culture hence you find Africans justifying being oppressed because the ideologies they are using are from the oppressor’s culture – the dominant culture of whiteness. When the oppression has been done thoroughly the oppressed will be found speaking in the defense of the oppressor as they lack their own ideology – their own culture.

The need for decolonization is a call for self-determination. When we start to learn about ourselves and our oppression, we are re-humanizing ourselves. It’s about organising society from the viewpoint of our culture and highlighting our own contributions to humanity in order to build pride within black people. It is then we can claim our land so, we can build the Africa we want. The organising of Africa will be done through an African eye with philosophes that are African orientated. It’s a complete move from capitalism to Pan-Africanism as the only movement to unite us. Steve Bantu Biko: “the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” We can never use the ideologies that were used to oppress us to free ourselves.

 Decolonisation is freeing ourselves from all forms of oppression from the mental to the physical.

 3. Institutional Autonomy

 Universities have been viewed as ivory towers and independent of the societies they serve. But we must remember the role of the university is to  nurture people’s aspirations. The university is the ground where solutions  to societal issues are developed and the preservation of a people’s knowledge, culture, identity and history occurs.

 The concept of institutional autonomy is nothing but, modern day fascism. The issue with privatisation of institutions is to ensure that people do not have a say about the institutional culture and the knowledge it disseminates. The current setup of  universities oppress the African child as it excludes any knowledge that comes from black lives as it is not viewed  as relevant knowledge in modern day rational thinking. Universities are grounds for suppressing black bodies in order to have them internalise western culture as the only form of living life. This type of thinking is setup to destroy African culture, its knowledge systems and everything that is African.

 The insane resistance to change by the white power structure is because, if the knowledge and the culture at these institutions can change to be more Afrocentric the power they have over black people ceases to exist. The miseducation of the black minds is to maintain oppression and justify the oppression through a westernised or eurocentric curriculum that would have black people believe they do not exist outside of whiteness.

 dut-bonginkosi-khanyile

http://radiodut.co.za/dut-eff-to-march-for-arrested-student/
  1. The State sleeps with Capital

We need to understand the relationship between the state and capital. Capitalists have the economic power to buy people; simply put capital has captured the state. So there is no such thing as the state being independent from capital. That is why we have a government that is too quick to deploy police to defend institutions/private property but, not the people. You start to learn about the collusion between the government and the private sector – monopoly capital.

 To give modern day examples under this so called “democracy”, the black government sent police to shoot down black striking mine workers for demanding a living wage from a white owned private mine. This was a labour relations issue between employer and employees so, what was the police doing in a labour issue? The police were protecting profits of the white monopoly capital.

 A most recent case is the government’s de facto state of emergency on university campuses. The state and capital would rather kill students than give them #FreeDecolonisedEducation. As we have seen with the long detainment of DUT FeesMustFall Student, Bonginkosi Khanyile who still lies behind bars, almost 3months.

 5. Transformation My Right Foot!

 The modern rationalist thinking world would like to mislead us into believing that our problems with institutions, originates from the lack of blackness in management. So in their view, to address this issue there needs to be more black faces in management for it to be transformed.

This theory has a plantation mentality to it as it assumes that the slaves feel oppressed because the person holding the whip is not of their skin colour. Even if the person holding the whip is black it’s still slavery and the plantation is still a place of their oppression.

 The transformation project is about assimilating black faces into management positions, creating a few house slaves that will be used as a shield by the plantation master. The slave’s outcry will be “we are being exploited and want to share in the wealth we are creating” and the master will say if you work hard enough you can become one of us referring to the house slaves.

 This renders transformation flawed as it does not address the oppression maintained by the master (dominant culture). It does not change the foundation that the institution was built on, which is anti-blackness.  Transformation does nothing for the black man as he’s situation remains the same. After all, the term transformation was coined and mostly gets used by the oppressor. This is why the Movement speaks of Decolonisation.

 6. “Not all blacks are homogenous”

The differentiation of blacks is the enemy’s strategy to divide and conquer as it reduces the power of mass struggle. Blacks do not stand to gain anything by being divided, which is why such self-defeating conduct is discouraged…

 The enemy will make us believe that the suffering of our people has nothing to do with so, we do not build a critical mass. The divisions in our struggle will be on skin colour, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, class, church denomination and the biggest one, party politics. For instance the oppressor will have us fight over skin colour where its light skinned Africans versus dark skinned Africans which will reduce the ability to identity as one people who have a common oppressor.

 We refuse to be divided – all struggles of black people are intersectional and they are all a rejection of the system.

blackmiddleclass http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/africa/black-middle-class-drives-south-africa-s-economic-growth-as-new-tensions-arise-1.1644954

 7. TBB – The Black Bourgeois

 The “black elite” is a danger to the revolution as they want to maintain the system as is, since they benefit from it. They have assimilated into whiteness and have now become watch dogs for the oppressor. They are only black in skin colour but, they behave in an anti-black fashion.

 They themselves, like their white masters suffer from the superiority complex. They will be found making utterances such as “if everyone is educated, who will do hard labour?”. They want to keep the vast majority in servitude, oppressed and underdeveloped, so they can maintain their exploitation.

 These individuals have internalised whiteness and see black suffering as a norm not a man-made situation. They will further  say “their laziness is the reason why they are poor”, forgetting that black people do hard labour and get paid peanuts (poverty wages)  which is why you find them protesting for a living wage like in Marikana. So there is no correlation between poverty and laziness but, it’s a structure dictate that keeps them poor.

 The “black elite” with their fancy degrees look down on Blackpeople as these behaviour modification institutions have managed to turn them into coconuts, black people on the outside and white on the inside. They believe in classism and individualism. They feel unconnected to their people’s struggle to free themselves as they have been white washed. They do not lift a finger to assist their people in fighting the enemy to end their suffering. They are what Amiri Baraka refers to as a “Catch 27”; the problem is that they don’t know the real problem.

 8. Militarization Our Struggle – The Makunyiwe Macala Principle

Kwame Ture once said; Organisation is everything. In every struggle a people must organise their revolution for a conscious struggle. People cannot continue to struggle unconsciously. We need to organise for power.

We have had spontaneous struggles from #RhodesMustFall, #FessMustFall, #OutsourcingMustFall and currently #FreeDecolonisedEducation. All these movements are important in our struggle for self-determination but, the drawback has been that they are not coordinated struggles. This leads to small wins against the system rather than collapsing the whole system all together at once. It means we need a couple of revolutions to free ourselves when we could have done it in one push.

In these struggles we have been brutalized by the state and capital with their arms of force mainly the police and private security. The only thing we have been able to do is run from teargas, rubber bullets and black boots. The aftermath is black lifeless bodies and injured scores of our people, we never responded to this brutality at the hands of the police and private security. In the words of Malcom X: “They attack the victim and then the criminal who attacked the victim accuses their victim of attacking him.” We allowed the state and capital (The System) to shed our blood whilst they walk away untouched and unscarred.

It’s high time we meet them on the frontlines equally prepared and equipped as they are when they come to attack us. We have to build our own police and private security response unit that will protect our masses. It must be a registered private security entity of our own to ensure that our people can have a peaceful demonstration. These crazy institutions have police and private security “protecting” them and no one is protecting us. We cannot rely on their moral conscious as they do not have it and have no interest in protecting us.  It is time to adopt the Makunyiwe Macala Principle in its truest sense by invoking the Spirit of the Black Panther Party in us and our struggle.

 9. Criminalizing Our Struggle

The labelling of our struggles as being criminal is to justify the killings and the brutalization of black people. It is to dehumanize the people that are out in protest; their orders are to reduce our struggles from a noble genuine human course to being a nuisance dished out by a bunch of savages. Their actions are about making it easy to beat and kill black people as they have been lessened from the level of a human being.

Once they have managed to categorize them as “criminals” they seem to be given permission to do as they please with black bodies by this anti-black society. The criminalization of our struggle is to instil fear in the minds and hearts of the black masses. When we are struggling against the entire system we are aware that all of its arms are unjust to us and in one or the other they are instruments of our oppression.

In the words of Kwame Ture, “all oppressors are concerned with is order so that they can continue with their exploitation. What we must be concerned with is justice, and the only way we can have that is by disrupting the order so that the continued exploitation ceases.” we can never struggle on their terms it means we are not doing anything to shake the system. Hence they try to scare us with prison but, they must know “it’s an honour to face jail for a just course” (Martin Luther King Jr).

At the same time we need to create a fund of our own to cover legal fees for comrades that have been detained. It’s high time our “black professionals” used their education to the service of Africa; these so called black organisations must play a more meaningful role in our struggle. Organisations like BLA (Black Lawyers Association) are key players in this anti-black legal system.

In closing a lot of crime against the black man has been legal hence it continues freely, for instance Apartheid was law of the land to oppress us. With that being said it being legal it does not mean it is just so, the dominant culture creates laws that allow them to oppress the masses.

  1. Violent Protests

 We must set the record straight there is no such thing as a “violent protest”, the very nature of protests is peaceful. The source of violence is never from the protestors but, from the state/capital whether it be police or private security forces. Their “crowd control” measures are a source of violence they only include teargas, rubber bullets and black boots to disperse the peacefully protesting crowd.

The response of the power structure, being a heavy handed tactic of brutality on protestors, is the real violence in all protests. Protests are a sign of discontent by the people against their oppression and serve as a legitimate call for the power structure to come to the table to have a discourse with the people about their suffering in order to put an end to it.

The only way the white power structure will respond is the only way it has historically responded to black oppression by suppressing it through violence. The response by the power structure leaves people with no other alternative but to turn & fear them rather than confront the violence/oppression they dish out. . The masochists believe in silencing voices of oppression, hence these protests are continuously met with violence.

  1. #FreeDecolonisedEducation

Capital wants to the make us believe that we as the public are unable to produce quality in order for them to sell us lies. They say “free things” do not have quality so, the assumption is that something can only have value and be of quality if it has a cost… This argument by privatisationalists  holds no water, as there isn’t any direct relationship between quality and cost.

It was only after the 17th May 1954, when Brown won the case against the board of education that separated public schools for blacks and whites as the courts declared this practice to be unconstitutional. This is when the racists took their children to private schools, claiming that public schooling is inferior. This view of the commodification of education is from the bourgeoisie that believes in maintaining the status quo as is, since they benefit from it. They believe the value of knowledge is how much the education costs to acquire it, not what the knower can do with the knowledge.

decoloniseeducationSource: http://www.defsa.org.za/articles/universities-can%E2%80%99t-decolonise

These Uncle Toms have the audacity to ask the students “where will the money to fund the free quality education come from?” Here is a clue, from the same place that funds your children to go receive private education and study abroad. The same place that gives your wives allowances as if they are the taxpayer’s responsibility. We can also recover the money that was misused by your fellow comrades through illegal tenders with inflated prices.

The unaccounted for spending within the state and its entities and the insane bonuses issued by parastatal’s to executives even when they are making losses and must be bailed out. What about retrieving the money the private sector stole with the former regime from the state. The illicit financial flows by multinational companies alone if recovered would cover the fees of the students.

It’s not that the money is not available there is neither political will nor leadership to recover it. Money is not the problem; the lack of creativity is the problem as the politicians are unable to apply their minds to this issue. We must not be surprised by this as the politicians themselves lack accountability to the people that being said we can never expect them to make anyone accountable for anything.

But on the issue of politicians we seem to have a monopoly on corrupt leadership. The scum of our race dominates us, these pigs seek individual luxury in the mists of mass suffering of the masses (Kwame rephrased).

  1. Media

To quote from Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe; “They will probably try to cut us off from one another, censor the press, use their propaganda machinery to malign the leaders, mislead the people and spread falsehood about the campaign.” In our struggle we can never rely on the media as a source of information or a moral indicator of the movement as it is an anti-movement since the white power structure owns the media.

There is no “independent media” because the ruling class owns it & can never disseminate any information that they do not approve of. It is not in any way or form, an independent entity for social change but, it is an instrument by the oppressor to maintain disunity against the masses to discourage mass struggle.

It has made itself a trustee of the “voiceless” meaning struggling people but, it lies as it’s only a machinery to protect the elite that oppress the African masses. The media is not a neutral party they are part of the oppressor’s camp (industrial complex) and their role is to justify the oppression of the people by the dominant culture (White monopoly capital) and void black suffering/silence us hence we are said to be “voiceless”.

What they are concerned with is profits not justice nor are they concerned with telling the truth about our suffering and our quest to liberate ourselves. The people we are struggling against are the ones that own the media that is why the revolution is never “televised”. Let us not forget that the media has the ability to turn the truth into a lie and the lie into the truth.

Conclusion

Allow me to close by firstly quoting Mangaliso Sobukwe, “I wish to make it clear again that we are anti-nobody. We are pro-Africa. We breathe, We dream, We live Africa, because Africa and humanity are inseparable.” We seek to build knowledge systems, institutions, people, societies and nations that seek to humanize everyone.

The method were following is African Nationalism or rather Pan-Africanism as Kwame Ture defined it as “the total liberation and unification of Africa under scientific socialism”.

Recent examples of African unification is the decision by the East African trade bloc to use Swahili as a common language of trade within the bloc, it’s the creation of a common African identity.

Mangaliso Sobukwe indicates the role of academia in the oppression of the mass, “It is interesting to note that the theory of “Apartheid” which is today the dominating ideology of the state was worked out at Stellenbosch by Eiselen and his colleagues.” You now need to realize the same setup that created Apartheid is the same setup that exits to this day. The anti-black knowledge that these institutions disseminate is the same knowledge that created Apartheid and the fuel behind racism. This dehumanizing education system must be collapsed altogether to liberate ourselves.


Reference

  1. Sinethemba Sembene Mandyoli, Selected speeches of Robert Sobukwe and a mini-biography: https://ilizwe.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/speeches-of-r-m-sobukhwe.pdf [Accessed: 23 November 2016].
  2. Kwame Ture, Pan Afrikanism and the New World Order – Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qlPecr3zZk [Accessed: 23 November 2016].
  3. Amiri Baraka, Amiri Baraka Speaks to the Importance of Africans in American History; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f02_7kBL9Z8 [Accessed: 23 November 2016].


About the Contributor

Mfungelwa “Funkie” Sithole is a Co-founder of Awakened Minds, an entrepreneur & a poet. He is a Pan Africanist who writes in his own capacity.


Posted in BlackEducation

Hear us. See us. I am an African Woman

By: Nomkhuma

Woman’s Month notable national commemorations towards woman subsided with the month of August. Sadly so have the loud cries of women that seem to fall on deaf ears. Maybe 16 Days of activism is a start in bringing awareness to the tears that are seldom noted. Women are still crying. Woman are seen and not being heard in system that still favours the pillars of patriarchy even, though institutions such as the Woman in Presidency are supposed to be for woman. For the African woman her struggle stems beyond the cries of social norms to social injustice from colonialism, racial oppression and feminism.

Patriarchy loosely defined is ‘rule by the father’ thus in the context of patriarchal system is the rule of men. There would not be much of an issue if woman were noted in value and prestige in this system but with issues of rape, dominance and abuse amongst other prevalent issues subjugating women to be inferior, a revolt will arise, hence movements such as feminism. Feminism as a revolt against patriarchy, does hold virtue in trying to bring balance in highlighting that woman should be considered to be equal to men. Equality in the context of social rights and treatment, being respected and economic opportunities. As with every movement extremities do exist and not everyone will identify with the cause. In the different waves of feminism from radical, social and cultural let us acknowledge the difference it has made. Woman now can vote, be employed in professions which used to be noted as for men and still get to enjoy maternity leaves. Shooting to the 21st century woman, now hold places in government and become presidents of nations.

Is the struggle over for women? NO. Patriarchy still exists and feminism did not fix all the problems that woman are faced with in society. The sentence handed to ‘Olympian Oscar’ was a mere joke, for the murder of girlfriend of Reeva Steenkamp. Will we ever know the full truth about the day maybe not, but 5 years for homicide does not justify the murder of a woman let alone a human. Now Tumi Malekane’s line in the song Powa – ‘not one man should have that power’ makes a good point when it comes to our infamous JZ. #Kwezi has been the loudest of all silent protest against the president, although acquitted of the charges amongst the pool he swims in. This one could not be showered away with past discrepancies that arise in every corner. With the second ruling of #Paybackthemoney the nation doubts that a cent will ever be seen with more scandals merging from JZ. How can one man have so much power to ignore plights of the Public Protector who was heralded for being a woman who stood her ground and thus casting doubt in her abilities when a re-investigation into the case was ordered. Shifting gaze from the culturally proud JZ, in his practice of polygamy and rumoured infidelities can the light be shone in the ill practice of ‘ukuthwala’. Can it be seen for what it is: abduction hiding behind the veil of our culture?

Ukuthwala is the custom of abducting a girl to force the girl’s family in her hand in marriage. This act is accustomed to African woman, in particular that of isiXhosa heritage. Traditionally the custom was held without any harm coming to the victim. Whereby lovers would consent to the act of being taken by the lover’s family and a letter be written to the woman’s family informing of the situation. This was primarily done if the man did not have enough money for lobola negotiations, the girl came from a very strict household that does not condone the relationship. In current terms the name ‘ukuthwala’ renounces the negative attributes that have become of the custom. It is now, nothing short of abduction and human trafficking of underage girls and women whom are unwillingly forced into marriage with an unknown individual. Often forced into marriage, raped and abused to submission of her newfound circumstance. Such circumstances highlight the vast array of difficulties in the face of African Woman. In the worst of scenarios such as ukuthuwala she is subjected to an object. No less than the treatment of Sarah Baartman under the colonial and slave era of South Africa, being ‘coerced‘ into a contracted that saw her being paraded around Europe for show in the fascination of her African body.

sarah-baartman

Pic: Sarah Baartman sourced: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35240987

The fascination with ‘Saartjies’ body was due to the rage in large buttocks and clothing being produced to give woman curves, which she naturally had. In our eyes this must have been a humiliating experience to be objectified by people who thought less of you. Whether or not her body was celebrated and clothes produced in a likeness that celebrated the African woman form it is a shame that now her (African Woman) is not celebrated or is subject to conform to current western standard of being slim, fair (rise of the yellow bone and historical abuse of skin bleaching) and straight hair. One could argue where is the African woman’s body not celebrated when the Kardashians have popularised the trend of an extended rear or the rise in enlargement or rear end plastic surgery? The argument should not be the rise to fame of vain impudence on the African woman or girls who are just discovering themselves and the society they live in. It is the little things that media perpetuates what the African Woman should be, a downgraded European version of herself. If I am wrong excluding local magazines, how often have a curvy or plus size woman with their hair in natural curly state have grace international issues that have graced our shores?

styled-african-hair

Pic: Styled African Hair Source: http://foxyj26.tumblr.com/post/148380865527/lizlegunsen-love-this-updo-with-twists-very

Let me not single out the media alone. A few months back, the buzz of high school girls from Petoria High have made history and highlighted how African girls are conditions from school to comply with the code of conduct enforcing rules about hair that would denounce attribute of natural African hair. I admit African hair needs special attention but it is not unruly and to see beauty in the form of European standards dehumanises the value an African girl should see in herself. In reading and following the news about the #PGHH debate there is an important fact that is being side-lined, it is not about the hair. It is about the ability for a young girl to practice her freedom of speech and for her to be empowered to see that it is more than about her hair. We truly live in interesting times when woman can take a stand and demand to be heard about hair or the injustice of varsity fees resulting in the #feesmustfall campaign in the previous year. Should we be thankful that media has become instrumental in girls demanding to be heard or that as woman we have discovered our worth and that we can no longer be silenced?

the-message
Pic: The Message Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/49/e0/d7/49e0d7eced5a97eab9312d28cef661e1.jpg

Media is a tool that is as effective as the user behind the medium. What about the women who still have trouble in speaking? Those who fear that their voices will fall on deaf ears? How can we help them when what they have to say has not been addressed in the few if not various public occurrences? Here is a concern of a woman who just resorted to ascribing on an old medium…old or not what she writes still needs to be heard:

‘Dear diary
It’s been years since I communicated through you and I’ve been through good and bad times, very trying times since our last encounter. I don’t know where I stand, I just know that I’m exhausted in every way possible and I have been strong, especially this year but in the strength that has been bestowed upon me I realized one thing and that thing is: my life will never be the same again, no matter how happy, inspirational and all the good things combined it doesn’t feel like I’ll be normal anytime soon.
I know you thinking I’ve been through worse and I’ve survived it but reality is this time around the pain is just too much to bare, it is not the deed itself that hurts but the reasoning behind it all. I have been told that I’m free but I know nothing about this freedom they are on about, I am bound by fear. I fear to be my own person, I fear to love and trust a man and I fear to be comfortable in my own skin because when I’m in skimpy clothes I am labelled as a whore, who wants a dick. What is this freedom when I cannot be a young woman who dresses as she feels comfortable? Who cannot have a flat tummy and ass because men are watching and I’m tempting them to unzip their pants and force themselves on me because “I’m sexy and I’m doing it for them.” 
Society is messed up and it hurts to know that you can never embrace your beauty as a woman or be able to say no to a man when asks you out because you’ll be deemed a proud girl ‘odinga ukukhishwa lento anayo’ by being sexually harassed. I have been quiet for too long and we need to remove the duct tape on the mouth of women being harassed daily.
That’s it for today’
Written by Zinhle Zulu a young gender activist.

I agree. A duct tape against the violence of women need to be removed and replace with more justice and emergent attention to the matter. It cannot be that women and children should suffer in silence of the sexually abuse from the hands of a brother, uncle or father let alone the community she resides in. When it is reported it is labelled a family matter or the the blame is shifted to the actions or behaviour of the victim. We celebrate women  during the month of August and November reminds us of the sad reality women live in.  Including the issues that plague the African Woman in her community as written above by Zinhle Zulu. The launching of 16 Days of activism against abuse has highlighted the plight of woman. Listening to the African language radio stations such as uKhozi Fm during this campaign and the likes, it becomes apparent the African Woman although liberated by law, she is still confined to the dire circumstances of the community she finds herself in. The silence needs to be broken and much action needs to be taken. It has to start with each one of us.

In closing, we are woman, we are seen it is just that our presences and significance is always measured in the in the frame of the observers mind. This can be very limiting to the growth of woman in general and to the essence of the African Woman. Although, feminist construct have made it possible to stretch the boundaries that patriarchy has held over centuries on woman. The extremities of the construct does not and has not solved all the issues woman face in a very patriarchal system and society. African woman has to endure more difficulties that are reminiscent of colonial rule. The psychological scars have treacled down generations and are still enforced in code of conducted to school girls. As if the code of conduct does not do enough to herald the conditioning the state of African girls to notions of beauty that are unfamiliar with who they are, media does not seem to be propelling the concept of beauty is diverse as the races of the world. So has media given woman a voice to be heard, seen and acknowledged of their womanhood? To a certain extent yes, but much still needs to change. Campaigns such as 16 Days of activism against abuse and Woman’s month celebration is just not enough as they run periodically instead of all year round. It is not only the duty of the media to educate and bring awareness to people it is our responsibilities as mothers, sisters and daughters and for our fathers, brothers and uncles to help us honour ourselves and elevate the African Woman to the throne she deserves.


NomKhuma
NomKhuma is a student of life, mesmerised by the mundane things that make a day and the experiences that shape people. A design and communication graduate with a desire to teach and be taught in all things that are African,  as she often states ‘ngiyazi qhenya ngesintu sami.’
Posted in BlackEducation, empowerment, women

Rape on the Platinum Belt

“The problem is men who want to control women and the socio economic issues like high unemployment and lack of housing” Thumeka Ngqawana

Closing down to 29 October 2016, the public discourse on Woman of Marikana needs to be fully engaged by all. It is not just to discuss the aftermath of the massacre but to dig deep to issues that surround the woman who are equally part of the mining town. In this article: http://www.wwmp.org.za/index.php/publications/elitsha/253-1-in-4-women-in-the-platinum-belt-have-been-raped

Mzi Velaphi opens up with a startling fact that ‘1 in 4 woman have been raped in Rustenburg’ and that 95% have not informed a nursing practitioner or maybe even reported the rape. This is an approximate of 11 000 thousand woman/girls who have been violated, maybe living with HIV and have not felt the need to speak up or seek help. As perplexing this may be it does not compare to the silence of the unions and mine bosses that turn a blind eye to the ‘contractual sex’ in order to meet the quota.

Who is to blame or should fingers be pointed at all? The Mining charter is in favour of woman being included into the mining sector. Yet nothing has been said about how woman should be deployed in this hostile environment. The rape and murder of female mine worker Binky Mosiane illustrates much needs to be done to protect and ensure safety for woman regardless of the environment.

The opening quote highlights issues that need to be resolved in the mining belt and our respective societies at large. Join us we explore these topics on 29 October 2016 at the Bannister Hotel on De Beer Street in Braamfontein. Tickets are free so please RSVP to book your seat on the following link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-of-marikana-a-public-discourse-tickets-28377371482

 

Posted in community, Marikana, women

Identities in Mining

In this article, Asanda Benya looks at the identities in the mining field. The manner in which personalities are dropped and adopted just to get through a days work. http://roape.net/2016/08/09/gendered-navigations-women-mining/

Does the environment determine the bias to a gender and can such bias be broken?

Join us in the discussion of Woman of Marikana 29 October 2016 at the Banister Hotel in Braamfontein beacause only in partnership can we help rebuild communities.

The Africa We Want, starts here.

Follow below link to RSVP:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-of-marikana-a-public-discourse-tickets-28377371482

 

Posted in community, Marikana, women

Still protesting after 4years?

It is said that things change with time, yet 4 years later we still have people protesting in Marikana. The reasons for the protest might be slightly different but reactions seem familiar as seen with the article below:

http://mg.co.za/article/2016-08-02-activists-in-marikana-say-women-protestors-were-assaulted-and-arrested-by-police

Can things change in Marikana or have we forgotten 16 August 2012?

Join us in the discussion of Woman of Marikana 29 October 2016 at the Banister Hotel in Braamfontein beacause only in partnership can we help rebuild communities.

The Africa We Want, starts here.

Follow below link to RSVP:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-of-marikana-a-public-discourse-tickets-28377371482

 

 

Posted in community, Marikana, PoliceBrutality, Uncategorized, women

Women Of Marikana: A Public Discourse

women-of-marikana-remembermarikana_

#REMEMBERMARIKANA

On the 16th of August 2012, the community of Marikana was brought to the spotlight of national & international attention, when protesting miners were shot down by police. The nation grieved with the community and followed the events of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry with fervour. Although the report brought about mixed feelings, Asanda Benya, who is a Research Associate at the Society, Work and Development Institute (SWOP) of the University of the Witwatersrand, did denote an important notion about the events. She stated that ‘to fully understand Marikana the event, one has to understand Marikana the location and hence the realities and conditions on the ground’.

In the plight of the women of Marikana, Awakened Minds saw a just cause to host a fundraising event that will aid the woman to develop and sustain themselves. So this year as set out to have an annual #RememberMarikana commemoration, Awakened Minds embarks on the task to raise awareness of the plights from women in Marikana. The weekend of the 29th October 2016 please make way to the Bannister Hotel on De Beer Street in Braamfontein and hear how you can aid the Woman of Marikana. Whilst you are there take a moment to listen to the personal stories from the Sikhala Sonke women and engage with the notable speakers from SERI & Uhuru Production.

Only in partnership can we help rebuild communities. The Africa We Want, starts here.

Follow below link to RSVP:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-of-marikana-a-public-discourse-tickets-28377371482

Posted in BlackEducation, charity, community, empowerment, Uncategorized, women

“Pimp my Ghetto”

By Lunga Tlou

pimp-my-ghetto-1
Image source: https://goo.gl/31Lyld

 

I-Kasi, the Hood, the Projects, the Favelas or globally known as The Ghetto. I am reminded of Atomza of the Muffinz when he sung the chorus of their song, The Ghetto, saying

“I’m from the Ghetto, there’s no way that my kids will grow up in the Ghetto, there’s no way that my Mom will die in the Ghetto, there’s no way, no way, no way…………Cause we’re all just nothing in the Ghetto, but there’s no way, there’s no way that I will die in the Ghetto, there’s no way that my brother will die in the Ghetto, there’s no way, no way, no way”

A place purposefully manufactured not only for the self-demise of the poor black masses but also manufactured with a script that when followed to the T, leads to a happy ending. The rhetoric displayed by the chorus above, that “YOU CAN MAKE IT OUT!!!” is what many township dwellers grow up being fed at home, school, & at church. As if being told that you are in a game, and if you do A, B & C, “YOU WILL MAKE IT OUT!!!” it also reminds me of the movie, “Death Race” where the racers, along with their navigators, compete in a 3-part race over 3 days on a closed track. The track is littered with pressure plates that activate either, the cars’ offensive weapons, defensive equipment or deadly traps. Any racer winning 5 races will be granted freedom. Don’t we grow up in such an environment? Where there are traps everywhere, creeping up on us, trying to make us fail the game and not accumulate the ‘5 wins’ necessary to gain our freedom. Don’t be confused, this said freedom that we attain, is also half baked, but that’s a story for another day.

I need to draw light to the issue of the ghetto and I have to use the European to draw your attention to something oblivious, too many. Note that in a global context I will use the word European and I, a South African context, I will use the words white people. As we search the history books and try to make sense of the atrocities that the Europeans has subdued the world too. The sole purpose has always been for the establishment, maintenance, expansion, and refinement of their world domination. We look at the rise of the Europeans from their dark age, where they were poor, under resourced, plagued by diseases and we see their rise to the top at the expense of others, a position they still occupy today, through the continued exploitation, theft and subjugation of others.

In layman’s term, the Europeans objective was to ensure that they get a better life,  that they will then try to maintain forever whilst also setting them up as a standard to the rest of the world. What does this therefore mean? It means that whatever the Europeans are not a part of, whatever is deemed normal to others that they do not partake in, is termed inferior. Since the European have set themselves as a standard in the world, all others have tirelessly worked their butts off to assimilate to this position that the Europeans occupy. Whatever setting/sphere of society it may be, the idea is that if the Europeans are not lining up to get that thing, then it is not of value.

Now to get to my point, we grow up in ghettos (ema kasi), a place in which we do not belong. My colleague recently stated in his “The State of the Kaffir” article that the ghetto is not our home, that our issue is not only the ghetto but, how we got there and why we are still there. Many of us can write books about the problems we have experienced or seen in the ghetto, especially those of us who were fortunate enough to navigate ourselves out of the death race. If you call the ghetto a concentration camp, the current government will feel offended as they have many programs currently in progress, aimed at improving the ghetto. This is to say that government sees value in the concept of the ghetto and hence he has put so much money behind the “pimp my ghetto” project. I say pimp my ghetto because all service delivery protests are by ordinary citizens, screaming to government to come and pimp their ghettos. Going back to the Europeans and their purpose to make life better for themselves, and therefore continue being a standard to the rest of the world, I would like to say that there are vast differences between the places where you find white people and where you find the ordinary black man.

This is visible in the train commute between cities. Whether it be by Metrorail or uber Gautrain. My heart gets boxed with emotions the most, is when I am in Sandton. Surrounded by all this magnificent architecture, the playground of Capital, you get onto a Gautrain heading to Hatfield, which takes you underground and then after about three minutes or so, the train emerges out of the tunnel, by looking to my right out of the window, I am met by the sight of the Alexandra community, littered with geysers on top of roofs, squashed RDP houses with small roads and no yard space to even have a children’s birthday party. As the train departs from the Malboro station, that sight is immediately replaced by plush & top range roof tile designs, big houses, standing tall and wide, with visible big driveways big enough for 6 cars, fenced communities with two entry/exit points guarded by security. You see all of this while on the train. I don’t even want to get to talk about the constant dilapidated state of housing that you see when you ride the Metrorail train from Joburg to Pretoria, the sight is appalling. Makes you think you are in two different countries.

My question, especially to the Pimp My Ghetto crew in government would be, “if the ghetto has value, if the living spaces and plans drawn up under apartheid, if the living standards & conditions imported from the Europeans by an oppressive government, engineered and implemented for the demise of the black masses, at most, through their own hands, if all of this is good for any human beings, why aren’t we seeing a huge influx of white people into the ghetto? Even in the so called bond houses? Where are they?” I would further ask, “why are we instead seeing an out flux of black people from the townships going to white suburbs?” while they ponder these questions I will then continue to add that since they believe that their policies have been yielding results, especially in townships, I would make it clear that since all township schools offer tuition through the English language, they are therefore all assumed to be multi-racial schools, so the question would then be “why haven’t we seen an influx of white people into township schools? Why have we seen the opposite instead, black families in the townships sending their children to schools that use a 30cm ruler to measure their hair?

The Europeans want the best for themselves, at most, at the expense of others, that is well documented in history, therefore they do not associate themselves with anything considers inferior and engineered for the “less”. That is an undeniable fact, although not a wrong thing since it should be every human beings desire to seek the best for themselves. It’s only at the expense of others that this act by the European is unjustified. So therefore since we are not seeing an influx of white people in the townships, we have to then draw insights into the fact that, the ghetto isn’t good, not that it isn’t good for white people alone, No, it just isn’t good. The question now comes, when do we actually see white people in the ghetto? And the answer is that we see them only when commerce is involved.

Traditionally the ghetto provided labour to white people in the suburbs and factories situated outside of the ghetto. Nowadays, black people are allowed freedom of movement which is still limited to the previously constructed labour lines, as seen by the same routes the Putco bus, Metrorail train & taxis still service today. But since now they have a minimum wage, a union that argues for their benefits, they has a somewhat “reliable” transport system, all of this has led to them having a disposable income that needs to be spent. The freedom of movement now allows black people to consume the products they help produce in the spaces in which they are produced. With this said, the whites have then seen an opportunity to actually make things convenient for black people by bringing the said products straight to the blacks doorstep in the form of shopping malls & complexes, obviously at the expense of black business, which in white peoples defence, has failed to transform (topic for another article). In essence, whites will not stay in the ghetto, they will not send their children to get an education in the ghetto but they will however extend their businesses in order to exploit the black rand.

This is why the “Pimp my Ghetto” Project by the government is flawed. If you watch every Pimp my Ride episode, Xzibit and his crew never give a car new body paint, nice rims and flat tires only, No. The interior (inside the car) is as important as what’s under the cars bonnet (engine). You cannot pimp up the ghetto and not be cognisant of the fact that the inner workings of that car need to be changed completely, with many cases where a new car is needed altogether. Here’s another truth, the ghetto was not a random unmotivated result of black people wanting to stay together, No. it was a deliberate act of realising the results of a lab based rat project. See image below.

pimp-my-ghetto-2

Image source: https://goo.gl/2hY8wD

Although un-referenced, you can find further similar traits in the 1970 rat park experiments conducted by Bruce K Alexander. His hypotheses was that it is actually not the drug itself that makes people addictive to it but rather the living conditions of the person consuming the drug. He found this to be true with the rats which he experimented with. You can research his work for yourself. The whole picture painted by this was that the sole reason why you do not see an influx of white people into the ghetto is because when it was created, it was created to be a hell on earth. A place not built for the betterment of the so called lesser races or their further development into being better human beings, No. it was for their destruction, and I repeat, through their own hands. What I love about the rat park experiment is that it shines the light on the error made by society in terms of the trends that are only prevalent in the ghetto. Trends such as drug abuse, alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy, High HIV infection rates, violence towards women & children, rapes, murders, crime, xenophobia etc. It just shows that these are not traits prevalent in blacks or traits that blacks possess in their genes, No.

Now with this notion, the question becomes, is the “Pimp my Ghetto” Project justifiable? Are the continued efforts of the government to solve housing issues through the creation of more ghettos and trying to give the current ones a face lift, warranted? If the ghetto is a cell, is it advisable for the government to pimp the cell instead of releasing the prisoners altogether? What should be the objective here? We all know that the issue of the ghetto is a land issue and land is a political issue. So by speaking of the ghetto, we are speaking politics.  It is funny that when the black mass cries for land, the calls seem to fall on deaf ears but when other groups cry for the same, there are movements, as seen below.

pimp-my-ghetto-3

Source: cropped from authors Facebook home feed

What should the solution be then? What are the spatial & architectural solutions that can reform the ghetto from a concentration camp to a modern town dwelling whose environment is conducive to the road towards a better standard of living, better movement of people and resources, well suited to the growth of black businesses?

This matter is one that needs urgent solutions however this is something I am not suited to answer. Instead challenge my friends and family, who are in the space of Town planning, civil engineering, psychology, economics, development studies to propose short term solutions, since we cannot wait for a messiah whilst black people are dying by the hundreds in the ghetto. As the short term solutions are presented, a long term strategy needs to be developed so that we can know what it is we need to do when we “occupy” government and redistribute Land whilst establishing our own economy as Azania. I say this because we live in a two state nation where we have South Africa and Azania running in parallel to each other. The key lies in solving the dilemma of the ghetto. The rat experiment has to end because black people are not Rats.

To end off, I quote lyrics from the songs “The Ghetto” & “Soldierz” by The Muffinz

“Said I’m from a place where being desolate is the same as being rich, where government resources are far from our reach, corruption is plentiful and fat cats roam the streets, while at home we suffer with these rats at our feet. Where being a good girl is the same as being a bitch, cause preachers prey on young girls and hide it when the preach, where what you have is synonymous with who you are, well that’s not good coz we’re all just nothing in the ghetto…”

This in turn transforms us to Soldiers,

“…Said we are soldiers on a march and we’re marching and we know what we’re marching for, war is on our minds, a prospect of the future is what we’re seeking. So as we go and march on, with no worries on our minds, searching for better days, a better life, for our children. So we will march on, march on, march on, march on, till we get what we’re fighting for.”

Our Land, Izwe Lethu

So we can build

The Africa We Want 


About the Contributor

Lunga Tlou is an Honours Graduate who is driven by the great potential that Africa and her people have. He is a firm believer in a “Woke” generation of African pupils. A Co founder & of Awakened Minds, who is a Pan African in thought and a Revolutionary in deed.


 

Posted in Politics, Racism, WhiteSupremacy

The State of the Kaffir

By Mfungelwa “Funkie” Sithole

The above is meant to get you angry while you are still in that state, let’s talk about our suffering. It seems when you are outraged it’s the only time you discuss issues on this occasion of angry, we will channel it for the positive building of our image. This article is not trying to be politically correct it is meant to outrage you in order to create dialogue.

  1. The Black Gate Keeper
  • The so called “freedom” is nothing but, a change of who administrates black genocide. We have merely changed the pigmentation of the administrator, not necessarily the oppression of the black man.
  • In the process we lost our anger as a people which happens to be our voice to speak up about our suffering, since the administrator advancing the anti-black agenda are black themselves.
  • The black man is made to settle for the “blackface”.

 

  1. Blackface
  • The concept of “blackface” is when a non-black performer makes use of makeup to present themselves as being black. The non-blacks paint their faces black and apply red lipstick.
  • The blackface is above the ordinary black man, because of the proximity to white privilege but, can never be higher than the master. I believe G Woodson explains it well with the elements of control that “the one that feeds you controls you”. The blackface will always act in favour of the master.

 

  1. You House Kaffir
  • The enemy invites a blackface to the head table and they treat them “well” and has the privilege of breaking bread with the master.
  • They are treated “well” as its relatively better than how the master treats the cotton field Kaffir
  • The master teaches the blackface how to a second class citizen. I know you are wondering what I mean? Let me attempt to explain the white supremacist views himself as the ultimate race hence the blackface is never taught to be independent of the master.
  • The “makeup” is the black person that becomes the face of the white supremacist’s establishment in order to attract more black people.

 

  1. Powerless Kaffir
  • The black man finds himself having to fight his brother for his freedom but majority sit powerless, as they are unable to up-rise against one of their own.
  • They only consolation being that its better than when it was the master, not knowing that the blackface is an agent of the master and only acts in his interest.
  • They are made to believe they are free as one of them is in “power”.
  • The truth of the matter is that they are more powerless than they have ever been before. As they have lost their voice as the people, returning power back to the oppressor.
  • If this may seem a little far fetched let this dinner scene from the movie Trick Baby sink in, before we can continue to discuss our suffering: 

 

  1. The lies they tell
  • They tell black man lies, that his biggest problem is that he is jobless hence he is poor. Meaning you being free of dependence on the plantation owner makes you poor. You cannot be a “free man” since it meant you will be a “poor man”.
  • The black man is not poor he has been robbed of his inheritance –wealth. The acts as a hard worker while under paying black man for hard labour.
  • They keep the black man poor in order to control him. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs starts with basic needs (health, food, shelter…), meaning people will first fulfill their basics needs before attempting to attain many higher level of needs i.e. freedom.
  • So who controls the food controls the people. A sample example is at party the person in charge of the food and beverage is the king of the mountain as everyone wants to be friends with them because of the “food and drinks”.

 

  1. Kaffir’s Land
  • The Blackman owns no land in his own “home”, this concentration camp that the bantu has settled for as being home.
  • The Kaffir is landless, the system has allocated the black man enough land to eat and breathe but, not sufficient for productiveness. The only forms of business they can start is renting of backyard rooms, taverns, salons, and “tuck shops”. All of these are retailing businesses that resell products made in other communities.
  • The homeless black is the backyard dweller that is not poor enough to get an “RDP” or well off enough to buy property. This is the so called “black middle class”.
  • Land ownership is central in the regaining power and becoming great Africans.

 

  1. No Economy
  • The Kaffir has no economy the so called “black economy” i.e. township economy. Is nothing but, a re-seller of white monopoly capital products.
  • This economy benefits non-black let me start with the transportation of the black man it is a journey commonly made by taxi (mini bus taxi). These taxis are owned by white monopoly capital – banks regardless of them being dominantly used to transport the black men.
  • The malls that dump “cheap” products in the ghetto are not owned by the people of the area, black people. The products that are sold at these malls are not produced in that ghetto.
  • The ghetto is food insecure as it has to rely on other areas to supply it with food. The large population is unable to secure its own food source as they do not have factors of production mainly land.

 

  1. The ghetto is not the problem
  • I refuse to leave the ghetto; the ghetto has to be shut down completely before I leave. Meaning black people will no longer live there as we would have returned home, as the ghetto is not our home.
  • Our issue is not the ghetto but, how we got there and why are we still there? The system that stole the black’s land from him and forced him to the ghetto still keeps them there.
  • Our oppression has just merely changed its complexion but, the suffering has not changed.
  • The Head Kaffir In Charge (HNIC – Dr. Umar Johnson) maintains the system that keeps the black man continuously oppressed.
  • Free housing “RDP” for black people, black people do not want free housing what they want is their land back then they will build their own housing.

 

  1. The Black Rand
  • The black man needs to recognise that his Rands are revolutionary Rands as they must be used to liberate us from white monopoly capital. That can only be achieved by buying black and investing in black business.
  • The only chance the black man has of economic reform is when he recognises the value of his rand.
  • Let’s do a bit of maths f what our mighty people can do. We start a stokvel “Black Bank” and assuming we only need a one million as starting capital. The stokvel has one thousand people and each person contributions one thousand rands. (1000 members X 1000 contribution = 1 000 000 working capital). If this stokvel has for an entire year there will be 12 000 000 Rands of capital.
  • Imagine if all black people banked there.

 

  1. Kaffair Affairs
  • As black people to need to have a sit down to evaluate and come up with a common decision. Which is more or less Black Nationalism in order for us to progress our economy and politics.
  • Being pro-black is not being anti-anything we should not explain ourselves to other people. We are making a conscious decision to work only as black people for the benefit of black people.
  • A very important organisation to form is an independent black council that certifies black owner and control in companies not empowerment.
  • We have never been in a best position than own to reclaim our stature as great Africans

 

Your Fellow Kaffir

 


About the Contributor

Mfungelwa “Funkie” Sithole is a Co-founder of Awakened Minds, an entrepreneur & a poet. He is a Pan Africanist who writes in his own capacity.


 

Posted in BlackEducation, WhiteSupremacy

The Miseducation of the Black child

Written By Lunga Tlou 

Pretoria Girls High

Image source: http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/gauteng/racism-fury-at-pretoria-girls-high-mec-steps-in-2062361

The African nation has once again been awakened to the ills that come with taking children to schools built for European kids. The reality of white owned, white run, white school governed & white cultured schools has once again shown its hand in terms of the level of back bending required of the African child in order to receive this western education. This, all because of 13 year old Zulaikha Patel and her peers at the Pretoria High School for girls. It all started when a young fearless 8th grade student stood up in class to deliver a speech about employment in South Africa. She gave a comparison of the politics of employment pre & post-apartheid and the role of trade unions. Her speech was interrupted and she was taken to the principal’s office and threatened with suspension. When the parents fought the suspension they used the schools hair regulations against her. An illustration of silence tactics that the system has always had in abundance. Like my friend always says to me, “its settler arrogance mchana”.

Although the issue has drawn differing views from the black community, the unfortunate part is that a pro and anti, battle was ensued between the advocates for Natural hair only instead of weaves. The sad thing about all of this is that patriarchy seized the opportunity to police women, not seeing the bigger picture and the victory the collective female body gains from this fight. This is why I think it’s important I aid the situation and speak to every-body, be it pro natural or anti anything else, that THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE HAIR!!!!!!!! I say this because, the hair policy although demeaning and disgustingly asking Africans to tone down their Africanness in Africa, it is just but a small fragment of the system designed to oppress us. This article speaks to the greater issue perpetuated by us as black people, in that, 22 years into democracy, we still send our kids to white schools and even celebrate it as achievements when our kids are accepted into these institutions. Not to say that the education dished out in these institutions is below par, no, it is of a high caliber but it just does not aid the development of the African child who must live in Africa with the weight on his/her shoulders to change her situation and that of her people. It is why we call it the Miseducation of the African child. He/she does get educated, yes, but he is mis-educated.

He does not learn his language, instead he is encouraged to take up other languages foreign to the African indigenous. Learning of a language goes hand in hand with learning of the history of the people who speak that language. Although a marvelous sight that an African child can alternate between English, Afrikaans, French & German, of what value is Rhodes, the Queen, Napoleon or Jan van Riebeck to this African child? Of what value is this type of knowledge to his kids or his grandkids? Ponder that one for a bit. Knowledge is universal, that’s why the Greeks could plagiarize all of the knowledge our Ancestors had in Kemet and call it their own. But the setting of where the knowledge is disseminated and the context thereof is key because it directly influences the behaviors of whoever consumes that knowledge in that space. Without speaking psychology, a field I am not academically familiar with, I would love to narrate a paper written by the late Dr Bobby E. Wright from “The Psychopathic Racial Personality and Other Essays” material. He clearly articulates the need for a Black Social theory in terms of the education of our children. He explains that Education is a political matter and whoever controls the education of your child, controls their destiny. I’m reminded of a guy who stood at the gate of Pretoria High School with a placard written “only a fool would let his oppressor educate his children”. Without wasting your time, please indulge in some incepts from Dr Wrights work.

He begins by stating that; one of the most tragic beliefs widely shared by Blacks throughout the world is that White-controlled educational institutions regardless of whether they are elementary schools or universities will educate our children. 22 years into democracy we see that faith continues to prevail in spite of overwhelming evidence which disputes this belief. Blacks continue to ignore the irrefutable truth that, in a racist social system like ours, all institutions will reflect, protect, and sustain values that are consistent with racism. This should not be considered surprising or profound since all institutions serve to perpetuate the social theory of the group which created them. Therefore, in any social system established by Whites, the institutions will reflect racism, blatantly & subtly. So whether it’s a black run country like ours or white run country like the US, White-established institutions will continue to protect the welfare of Whites, period.

This notion is consistent with the theory Neely Fuller as he explained in The Isis Papers by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing (1991). Fuller states that racism is not merely a pattern of individual and /or institutional practice but is indeed a universally operating system of White supremacy rule and domination in which the effective majority of the worlds white people participate. Something we formally echoed in our “Ace of Racism” articles. Fuller also states that various economic systems such as capitalism, communism, and socialism have been devised, used, and refined in the effort to achieve the primal goal of White domination. In other words, the goal of the system of white supremacy is not for anything other than the establishment, maintenance, expansion, and refinement of world domination by members of the group which classifies itself as the White Race.

What does the above discussion have to do with educating the black child? EVERYTHING. Education is a political dynamic and for a people who have no social theory, reading, writing, and arithmetic should be much less important than what is written and read. Therefore, in order to liberate the minds of Black children, a Black social theory must be developed. There is an African proverb which warns the traveler of life that if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. Blacks throughout the world don’t know where they are going, and have resolved to just take any road, what does it matter? As seen in our childhood response to the question; “iyaphi Indlela?”…..”Indlela iyaphambili, ngoba emuva kugcwele” meaning “the road leads me forward for its full at the back”, even when not knowing where the way forward, leads. A social theory determines the destiny of a people by establishing guidelines of life. It defines values and rituals, methods of education, how enemies are to be dealt with, etc. the ultimate achievement of a Black culture.

The eminent Black scientist, Dr Cheikh Anta Diop (1976), succinctly placed culture in its proper perspective by stating the following:

“I consider culture as a rampart which protects a people, a collectivity. Culture must, above all, play a protective role: it must ensure the cohesion of the group. Following this line of thinking, the vital functions of a body of African human science is to develop this science of collective belonging through a reinforcement of culture. This can be done by developing the linguistic factors, by re-establishing the historical, the consciousness of African and black people so as to arrive at a common feeling of belonging to the same culture and historical past. Once this is attained, it will become difficult to divide and rule and to oppose African communities one against the other.”

It is important to note that, Black children, can only be educated after Blacks develop a philosophy of education, which must be contained in a Black social theory. There is no alternative to this dictum and without it, whatever Black independent schools we establish, they will sure fail to reach their full potential. It should be clear that this shouldn’t discourage the establishment of Black independent schools for they can exist by themselves. The shortfall is that they will be limited in what they can accomplish, as long as there is an absence of other Black institutions, e.g.  economic, military, religious, etc. Furthermore, neither can exist in a vacuum because their values and purposes must be consistent with the ideals that are contained in a social theory. So the Black social theory expands beyond the education of the black child but will save that discussion for later.

One of the most valid methods of evaluating the condition or status of a people is to examine the process of their child-rearing practices. The Black child today, whether in Africa or the diaspora, stands as a tragic example of a powerless, directionless people. Throughout the animal kingdom, there is generally an inviolate law which dictates that the young are to be protected at all costs. Yet, in Black communities, not only are children not protected, but in too many cases are offered as sacrificial lambs to a devouring enemy. Therefore, one continues to witness the sorry spectacle of black parents delivering their children to an overt and covert hostile White institution, with the pathological demand that it educate them. Foolish? You be the judge of that. Psychology explains this type of behavior as mentacide, the moment when your brain attacks itself. Known to us as the feeling of “going crazy” where you know that what you’re doing is crazy and goes against your beliefs but you still do it any way.

Pretoria Girls High 2

Image source: http://www.enca.com/south-africa/702-radio-host-takes-the-heat-after-comments-on-pretoria-girls-high-racism-allegations

Dr Wright states that another dangerous mentacidal assumption shown by the black community is that; many believe that there is value in an integrated educational environment, thereby accepting the fatal implication that education is objective and neutral. The assumption is that one classroom, one teacher, one textbook equals to the same type of education, nope. How many times have we seen kid’s books depicting brown or darker characters as the bad/ugly guys? When a discussion speaks of the conquering Jan Van Riebeck who “discovered South Africa”, do you think a black child interprets that story the same way a white one does? VUKA DARKIE!!! What’s funny is that our Black leaders and parents are so obsessed with the concept of “the closer we get to Whites, the whiter we will get” syndrome that they are willing to pay any price, including the destruction of our children’s minds. Normally when Blacks speak of integrating schools, they do not show any concern over who teaches their children and what influences they bring into the classroom. In fact, Blacks take the general position of, ‘we don’t care what color the teachers are as long as they are qualified’. Just like what the economists who infiltrated black movements and influenced policy changes stated, “What does economics have to do with race?” If you agree with them, then I think you must read the late Julius Nyerere’s papers or just follow the story of Thomas Sankara.

What’s worse though, is the behavioral attitude of most Black educators within these white institutions. Even as they observe the destruction of the minds of their children, they still exhort the virtues of white education.

Dr. Chancellor Williams (1974), in his incomparable book, The destruction of the Black Civilization, thoroughly analyzes the Black educator by saying: Those Negroes who are so frantically fighting to escape from the African race by way of integration and amalgamation will continue to meet everlasting and universal opposition from the Whites. Surely then White people must truly feel a sense of pride in seeing the many black parents so clearly validating their own beliefs in White superiority. Aren’t they proclaiming to the entire world that, regardless of general desegregation, in any all-Black or predominantly Black population, the Blacks themselves are utterly incapable of achieving or maintaining high standards of excellence in education or, indeed anything else? Here we have, within the race, the intolerable situation of a pro-Black group proclaiming the races inherent inferiority through their anti-Black actions.

We must be about the business of liberating the minds of Black children. In order for that to occur, the minds of all Blacks who interact with them must also be liberated. There is no other way. It is relatively easy to educate Black children, even about their Africanity. But, it is extremely difficult to reinforce the education. Therefore, even sitting in the same classroom, White children will be educated and Black children will be mis-educated. The miseducation leads to teaching black children what to think rather than how to think about themselves. This then makes them dependent rather than assisting in developing skills which could be used for independent activity. Such is then enforced through rewarding behavior that’s operated against their group’s interest whilst promoting the individual, rather than group achievement and instilling negative self-concepts and low self-esteem. Did you listen to the confessions of the Pretoria High girls about the constant degrading treatment dished out by their educators? If you think it only happens at Pretoria High, then you are part of the problem.

Black independent schools are important not only for how they will teach but for what they will teach. Their purpose of instilling within Black children an African Worldview will be the most important activity those children will ever experience. Some of the most dangerous Blacks in the world are many of those brothers and sisters who finished graduate school with honors and yet operate against the interest of Blacks because of their Eurocentric orientation. Dr Wright does not mean to imply that Blacks should not attempt to achieve high levels of training in White institutions, but that they should be aware that it is not an African education they are receiving. Furthermore, there is no attempt here to glamourize the street mentality that is so prevalent in the Black community & in Kasi public schools today, which is creating widespread destruction, no. So many things need to change in the public schooling system and as long as kids are still taught under trees, we still have a long way to go.

Since it is adamant that we do not have Black institutions, black parents whose children are in white schools should at a minimum expose them to a supplemental Black educational program. This can be done through activities that the child is exposed too, that reinforce their Africanness. I once participated in a Facebook discussion where the post asked “what things do you do to or with your child that increases their pride to be African?” The answers were so vast and beautiful. From teaching kids African history, teachings about their culture, wearing traditional clothes, eating traditional food, less TV and more books, playing African music, ensuring kids learn at least two or more SA native languages plus other African language lessons (mostly Swahili), plentiful visits to granny’s house etc.

This shows you that a child’s being can be reinforced at home although they go to white institutions, case in point, Zulaikha Patel. The solution to our problem is the development of a Black social theory which will lead to the salvation of our children’s minds. We need to lead ourselves out of the Whiteness of Eurocentric madness and into the Blackness of African salvation.

 Bobby E. Wright (paraphrased)

I would like to end of this piece by quoting the great Carter Godwin Woodson in his book, The Miseducation of the Negro, where he said:

“The leading facts of the history of the world should be studied by all, but of what advantage is it to the Negro student of history to devote all of his time to courses bearing on such despots as Alexander the Great, Caesar, & Napoleon, or to the record of those nations whose outstanding achievement has been the rapine, plunder, and murder for world power? Why not study the African background from the point of view of anthropology and history, and then take up sociology as it concerns the Negro peasant or proletarian who is suffering from sufficient ills to supply laboratory work for the most advanced students of the social order? Why not take up economics as reflected by the Negroes of today and work out some remedy for their lack of capital, the absence of cooperative enterprise, and the short life of their establishments. Institutions like Havard, Yale and Columbia are not going to do these things, and educators influenced by them to the extent that they become blind to the Negro will never serve the race efficiently.”

———————-

Our Land

So we can build

The Africa We Want

Aluta Continua


About the Contributor

Lunga Tlou is an Honours Graduate who is driven by the great potential that Africa and her people have. He is a firm believer in a “Woke” generation of African pupils. A Co founder of Awakened Minds, who is a Pan African in thought and a Revolutionary in deed.


 

 

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Posted in BlackEducation, Racism

A letter to the other (wo)Man

By: NomKhuma

It is woman’s month and yipppeee I get to celebrate that I am a woman! A couple of days into the month I question whether I really should be celebrating being a woman or be bitter about it, or do I even need to be celebrating the notion of Woman’s Day? Honestly, as I write this I still have no exact answer that I can utter in conviction. So going forth there is something that I think I need to say because as I grow older statements such as ‘you still single’, ’stop with this Nonsense and just get married’ are just not to be said or taken lightly. Case in point, with the latter statement the younger me would have been furious, for reasons as long as our anger towards the black mans hatred of colonialism. One needs to understand that our relationships as woman are reflective of the relationships we have with the men in our lives. My anger toward such a statement was marred by all the negative encounters that have been engraved by the male species; this is my bittersweet moment of being a woman. Before I delve into that, as a woman it is so easy to commemorate the role other woman have played in my becoming a woman. I can give praise without ending in this regard but what about the men who influenced my journey?

For the first time I actually received this statement: “Stop this non-sense and just get married,” as a compliment. The lad who said it to me was just saying that, in context to what I had uttered in our then conversation, “I really do not think there is much difference between men and woman when you take away our reproductive organs”. Yes this is subject to much debate. It is welcomed but before you do please acknowledge this view: As a woman I was constructed from the rib of a man, if I disregard my reproductive organ and look at the spiritual and emotional being of who we are as men and women, Are we any different? That is for you to decide. For me, No.

Now I have no business in talking spiritual issues, well for now, although I do acknowledge that regardless of our gender we kneel in sorrow, doubt and jubilee to pray. Through this very action of praying, we build a relationship with God and ourselves. It is from Him where we get the gift of family and the African family can never be complete without our male counterparts. It is service to God to give thanks, and although we primarily tend to praise the African woman, a “Queen” in her own right for the massive role she plays in our lives as mother, sister, friend, neighbour etc., isn’t it disservice to the Almighty to deny the “King” the praise he so deserves?
Aren’t we, after all products of his rib cage?

Raised by a single parent, my mother I am proud to have grown into the being I am today. I do however need to acknowledge the other wo(men). The other wo(men) are the men who reminded me and taught me that not all men are cut from the same cloth. That the is still hope for the African family structure in spite of all the bad connotations of the African man, be it rape, murders, robberies, abandonment, abuse, corruption & importantly, patriarchy. These men somehow managed to rebuild an understanding and appreciation for the man that made me woman, as strange as that sounds it will clear itself out as you read on. This is a letter to the other women who are in my shoes and to the men we value, whom build, guide, respect and praise African women in spite of the constant negative media we consume about ourselves. Not for their selfish agendas but for knowing that there is no King without a Queen.

LionsHeadtoHead
Imagesource: http://urbanpeek.com/2013/07/07/mesmerizing-black-white-african-wildlife-photography-by-nick-brandt/

To: XG
You were my first best fiend of the opposite sex. I would not exchange the blow-ups and the honesty we had. Thank you for being open enough to let me see you and that not all men love meat (a real shock for a Zulu girl). Oh you would be proud that I love broccoli now, I did not understand it then but now I do, someone made me notice that I eat more veggies than anyone they know. As for the riddle you said your goodbye with ‘You need to learn how to be jealous’…it took me +/- 12 years to solve. I believe that it took me longer because as a women, I grew up being told of the many sacrifices made by our fore mothers for their nations and the experiences we see and live with in a society where the environment was built by men for men. Only through being jealous about what I want, my needs and desires can my true value shine forth and my contributions as an African women be meaningful.

To: Buck
I can never apologise enough to you. For the things I did not do nor say or openly acknowledge. I wrote a lot, and you the only one I let read because I knew that my communication skills mounted to that of a toddler especially when I wanted to bare it all. I thought you forgot is truly about you…I knew I had to unlearn what I thought about men so as to accept a soul like yours, You were the best gift I was not ready to receive. You shred the image of the men I grew up with, that he is strong, masculine, goes by the mantra of “indoda ayikhali”, therefore having a thick skin that can take all. Your eloquence and grace showed that to be heard one does not need to shout and that leading by example reaps admiration and respect than a forceful hand. More profound, you taught me that emotions and validation are not qualities that only woman feel and need, but men also require the same.

To: Zeus
Oh dear, we came from opposite worlds, yet we understood each other well. Thank you for teaching me that respect is not a social status. It comes from a great character. So noble was your character in my eyes that it gave me the courage to be bold and not succumb to one that did not fair to yours. This gave me a sense of what society has constantly denied the African women, equality, which goes with the power to be firm & strong, especially when dealing with the chauvinistic African male. Your character enabled me to watch an old man with a crocodile smile and a slippery tongue, take off his pants as he requested me to do the same. Where I got the nerve to say NO, retain my stance and still walk away with my dignity, I do not know. What I do remember clearly is that I did not want him to touch me, I would rather have rather been you…On the other hand no matter how much space between me and you disappeared you honoured my words and wish: “till I get married’. I know it was hard for you, thank you for sending me packing, always. I have no doubt, that under your guidance, your daughter will learn her value as an African Queen she lives her life with valour and vigour.

To: Sugar
You are your namesake ‘iNkosi inkhona’ and in your presence I have seen men and woman re-examine their status as African Kings and Queens, maybe this is the reason you got your nickname ‘Sugar’. One never truly understands that teaching is a calling, your passion to all things concerned with being African, our ancestry, who we are and the African culture, made our discourse interesting and very eye opening. In the time you took to teach me, I learnt to listen and understand that the best books do not necessarily have the best cover designs. That family is not always blood but those who show up and deliver. Thank you for being the big brother that I always wanted. For having an opinion, questioning my company, asking why, teaching me a broad topics of self, understanding my silent thoughts. Knowing my dreams and enabling me to pursue them. uKhwezi might be your star but your presence was the light in mine.

To: Lu
I met you by chance but an unforgettable encounter. The magnetic force that was spurred for a moment, or two, ok I lost count. You taught me that it does not take a lifetime for someone to know when things feel right or wrong. Your feminine energy in that masculine cast was the right kind of balance that I respond too. I wish I was ready to receive all that had to offer, I just had not reached my graduation… And I am thankful for the ‘invite’ maybe missing your graduation was a sign. One I missed and the one you should have sat me down to see. I do hope that you are happy with the bundle of joy you always wanted…yes your happiness matters to me.

To: BG
If I never got to believe that God is great with you, then I will never know. I do not think you knew or understood what I meant when I said thank you, to you. Although for a large portion of the time I spent with you I had stopped praying, God knew what He was doing when you used that pick up line on me. As ashamed as I am to say it, you hooked me and you were right. BG you are my Superman. I may never know why you stuck around for someone whom you never knew, yet I am grateful for the six months you held my hand through the worst days I can remember. My body had failed me. The only thing I trusted in the world had failed me.

I remember the night that I left everything upside down and went to bed. For the first time I was too exhausted to even fake my own strength. When my younger sister whispered ‘she can’t even hold a jug of water’, the jokes disappeared, home became a ground of broken eggshells. It was understandable, everyone was in shock…How?
I need you to know that I am forever indebted to you. You stuck around from before day zero. I do not know if it was bravery or just madness, calling every two days. The conversations were awkward at first where I could not talk for longer than 10 seconds without sounding like an old car engine. They eventually grew to an hour over a period of 6 months. I know it frustrated you that I would not let you come through to see me, or that I would crack jokes every time. Truth is, if I saw you it would have broken me. The jokes were all I had. The need to smile since everything was bleak and sombre was far beyond the words I can write. I looked forward to those conversations although it was hard at first. I am grateful you did not give up on me. You rang till I got to the phone, no longer how long it took me to get there. Damn, I am drowning in my tears as I scribe this, they failed to fall then but they do whenever I dwell on it.

It is true. God carries you when you need him most. I cannot recall doing my nightly prayers that period, He was there. He was there through you.

To: Bro
Where art thou? I have so many things to tell you. We shared so much and we still have so many things to share. I know you needed the space, I think it is time to shine your light again. Heck, I even forgot what a good practical joke feels like or have someone laugh hysterically at all the dumb shit I do. Maybe your space could be filled by someone else, I do not want that…If I had a twin brother I swear it is you. How can I replace a twin?
I know people did not understand why we stuck together, it is because we got each other. You weathered my storms and there have been couple, now I need you to see my sunny days. Before I trail off, you owe me a promise to be there when my lobola negotiations go down…ok maybe to be my best man, we both knew maid of honour was never an option.

To: Abuti Dee
The Lord needs to keep you for me, so I can thank you the way I wish too. You may not have children of your own but you were my father figure. Yes, you may not be regarded as someone who can viewed as an ideal father figure, but what does one call sending my sister to crèche when she had no transport? What does one call the act of knocking on my door to tell me my transport is here? Or informing the driver to wait for me, I will be out soon? Or making sure that no one entered the yard to disturb me when I was home alone?
I do not know how you knew that I was protective of my space or alone time, for that thank you. Including the small conversations we have in passing from time to time. My wish is for you to dress up in your weekend finest and for me to take you out as a sign of my gratitude. It is the least I could do.

graduation-landinghttp://www.canterbury.ac.uk/graduation/graduation.aspx

To: Bab’ Sibiya
Thank you for taking me as part of your transport load. I do not know how the communication with Abut’ Dee went about, but you both seemed to understand the 19 year old me. I did not need to put anything in verbatim but somehow there was a communication line that always existed. In the few short months of using your transportation service I only spoke when spoken too and the only thing I would voluntarily utter is ‘Sanibonani’ and ‘Bye.’

My memory fails me as I cannot recall what was going on at that time. All I remember was the need for space and silence and somehow you came to see that too. Thank you for not accepting that but respecting it. In a Siyaya filed with girls, I do not know why you attention to the quiet one. I only realised after a while that you had been watching and that I could talk via the review mirror. Thank you for listening or realising that I actually responded to the music and that you figured out that food was a way to get girls out of their comfort zone or the deep dark world they hid in. Your children are lucky to have you as a father.

In other news, I am proud to say I did get my degree and I do confess to being an addict and I do not see myself stopping anytime soon. Now I am gunning for my third belt.

To: My First Love.
No one ever tells the story of the first love some never get to experience the fond memories of their own because often it is a bittersweet relationship. Mine I knew when I was young, we still talk today, the earliest memories was about four or five years of age. Where you used to pick me up and say so many things, if only I could remember, that made me smile. Whilst on the other hand I knew my Mom’s facial expressions were never a sign of anything good to follow. To be fair it is in our culture it is always said ‘Ingane iyaziwa uMa wayo’(a child is truly known by the mother) and often those expressions was just another form of being reprimanded.

dad & me

http://lacirileta.blogspot.co.za/2013/03/dia-del-padre.html

From the rosy, non-existing memories some stand out more clearly, like the difference in your presence or lack thereof. My age then was about 8, things had changed, I never doubted your love for me and I still do not question it. I could write the ink out of this pen, about us but I am all cried out. All I need you know is that:
With all the things I would ask for, I did not need them as much as to get your attention. I did not know any other way than to ask for, when all I needed was your time for you to see me and see us.

I admit you were never a bad father, you just became selfish and forgot about us. To a certain extent I do believe it is true for some people when they reach the end of the relationship and children are involved. They only do what they want to be remembered for as a parent and have no understanding that children would like to remember you for different reasons. Truth is I really did not need all the things you got me, than really wanting to have a solid relationship with you. At one point this was verbalised to you and evidently it did not sink in. Strange how I do not blame you for that too, maybe it is seeing how your trying to fix the relationships of your childhood or that my love for you still has hope.

If you ever got to read this, as a father you should know that you are more than what you can financially provide. There are so many more facets to you that could have been fruitful to us as your daughters, how would you have known this if the notion of fatherhood and being a man is ascribed by social and cultural values. I will not delve into that now but I am glad that culture does change and new ones can be built. What I do know is that you are human and we have so much in common including genetic attributes I can only trace back to you. As a child you were my hero not because you were not flawed but for the mere reason that you were and how you strived to become a better person. This very element would become one of the many lessons I required from you as a child. It is a shame I got to understand you from Mom. She was always open about you and I thank her for that. There is something I would like to thank you for, we were going on my first road trip I was in grade 2. You were so excited and there was a fuss and buzz about you, it was your graduation. In hindsight, I think this day marked that one can do better than the circumstances that they are faced with in life.

black familyhttps://za.pinterest.com/pin/513128951269871946/

Bringing to why I had to write this letter to the other (wo)Man. An ode to all the men who have been in my life. The men who made a positive contribution to me as a woman. This could have easily been to the influential women but it needed to be about men whom are seldom acknowledged for their good deeds. I am a rib from your rib cage and as a young woman I have just displayed that the relationships we have with you can really cage us and free us. It is true that ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. My assumption was always that it was from the direction of every woman I met. In writing this ode I realise that my father is not the only male model I had. Every man taught me something. They rooted in me what it means to be a woman. Not just any woman, but an African woman. From shredding the chauvinist man to learning that character maketh man and to understanding that the African man is rich and diverse as the land he is born into. There is still much that he has to overcome besides the chains of colonial thought, he himself needs to rise above to what is subjected to him and realise that although a village can raise a child the king rules the village. Under his guidance does the woman lead and the children learn and how our community can flourish.


NomKhuma

NomKhuma is student of life, mesmerised by the mundane things that make a day and the experiences that shape people. A design and communication graduate with a desire to teach and be taught in all things that are African,  as she often states ‘ngiyazi qhenya ngesintu sami.’

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The Ace of R-aci-sm Part 2

Written by: Lunga Tlou

1976

http://www.sahistory.org.za/topic/june-16-soweto-youth-uprising         http://www.amren.com/features/2016/04/the-war-on-afrikaans/

We return to our Part 2 of the “Ace of R-aci-sm” feature and as promised, this one is dedicated towards the dismantling of this Ace card. Just to recap, we used the analogy of cards to draw our explanation of why whiteness is the ace card of racism and that because the rules of the game (= the System) allow the Ace card to have so much power; it is here that we identified the concept of structural racism.

Allow me to be clear and unapologetically black by saying that, this article is not for the European “African” National but rather for the black child who is in need of a much needed strategy to help him and his fellow kin in reclaiming His/her glory.

Now putting the card analogy aside for a while, a quick analysis of many black movements that have risen up due to an immediate need to confront the system of recent, have all responded in a manner that the system has learnt how to respond too over the past years. This method is simply that of organize, Protest better yet have a walk and go back home. It’s not that this method of confronting the system is futile, NO, see the powerful thing about the system we are trying to dismantle is that it is a learning system. Like my mother used to say when I was a kid that: “You can’t always use the same type of insect killer on cockroaches because over time, it becomes a sweet fragrance to them”.  Observing the two images above, would you be able to tell that it is the same struggle but 40 years apart?

A big dialogue is happening in the USA amongst African Americans in terms of how they should confront the escalating white cop killings of our African brothers. Some are saying let there be multiple marches, whilst some are tired of loud yet somewhat fruitless marches and they are now calling for a boycott that “hits them” in the pocket. Who is this “them”? You may ask, well it is the white people. Now you ask yourself, aren’t they just being stupid? I mean, yes most of the cop killings are done by white police officers but what does the whole white community of the USA, especially those who are just entrepreneurs, got to do with all of this? Why must they be punished for something they haven’t done?

Remember we previously had said: “not all white people are privileged but all white people stand to benefit from white privilege”. Simply put, when one black man kills a person of any race, we are successively all going to be treated like killers. Where else, if one white boy shoots up a church filled with black people, successively so, not all white boys will be treated like they are killers.

NasImagesource:https://www.facebook.com/photo.phpfbid=427507130755655&set=t.1250063116&type=3&theater

Therefore, the act of boycotting all white owned stores and products is what we call “economic lobbying.” Whereby you hit whomever the system is made to protect, hard in their pockets so that they can stand up and lobby the very same system that protects them, to change its behavior towards the African American. In the short term it is very effective, yet in the long run this strategy fades. Simply because the black man benefits from the same system. So as much as a boycott closes down shopping malls, affects the day to day running of white owned businesses, at the end of the day, black people eat off of these stores as employees. Thus such a boycott in the long term means no salary to provide for the same black families. Isn’t this genius? The fact that by trying to fight the system, you are also indirectly killing yourself. I see this as genius but do note, that such a boycott is useless if there aren’t any black businesses to fill the void.

Back to South Africa where we have a black government with a black population in the majority. As it stands, the Black child is in the land of his forefathers but without the necessary economic tools to determine his fate. He is basically a foreigner, forced to hustle. On average, he has a path already determined for him. He gets born, goes to school to learn English, and applies this English to engage in western material at university, gains knowledge and a qualification. He then proceeds to apply this knowledge in a white owned, white run and western cultured organization so he can earn a salary that he then puts in a white owned insurance company in order to be able to have a decent funeral through his death cover policy.

In the office recently, a colleague was saying she just wrote a burning email to her child’s school principal about a demeaning comment made by the sports coach. The daughter had missed a shot during netball practice and the sports coach said in response “my 3 months old daughter can shoot better than you” of which the child responded in tears, but hey, where have we ever seen black tears count for anything? I wasn’t surprised, just the normal “Yhuu Abelungu” thought. My response was “if only you had a “credible” black school to take your child too” because our Pan African forefathers did mention that it’s high-time we “build & support our own institutions”.  A white school with a white principal, many white teachers, a marginally white School governing body and a white sports coach was not built for the African child.

We sit here today with much of the strategic structures of the economy in white hands. Count Banks, Universities, Insurance Companies, Mineral resource extraction firms, much of the corporate firms that are tasked with absorbing the many graduates SA produces, not forgetting the Land and all of its farming and property capabilities. In lay terms, a boycott of all these is to boycott the SA economy itself. Truly speaking, we shouldn’t boycott the white man for we have nothing to lobby him for; we lost that chance at CODESA. What we should rather do is outlined below, and if done well, we will cease to see such tags as #FeesMustFall, #BringBackOurLand, #AfrikaansMustFall, #WhitevsBlackSalaries, #Marikana etc.

Malcom X

 Can we dismantle this system of structural racism?

 I sayyes’, through a two pronged process.

The first one is to Occupy and the second one is to Establish. Occupy what? Occupy your government and make it work for the marginalized black man. In what sense? Influence policy on all levels, nationally, provincially and importantly so, locally. Occupy in order to make sound policy that takes history into cognisance. Occupy in order to stamp out corruption. Occupy in order to ensure informed and strategic resource allocation. Occupy in order to improve service delivery. Occupy in order to ensure that Government parastatals become efficient and therefore refocus towards helping the black man. Occupy so that Prisons can be revamped and reengineered to produce better citizens rather than second offenders. Occupy public schools and change the manner in which black kids are taught. Occupy clinics and hospitals and ensure that the black man receives the same service a president would. Occupy in order to influence the school curriculum. Occupy in order to revamp the economic sector wherever the black man is. Occupy in order to improve the environment the black child lives and grows up in. Occupy so that you can push for decolonized public libraries. There is a reason why I always say: “Our degrees/diplomas belong to Africa.” It’s because their use should be for the benefit of Africa and her people. So this then also leads me to say: “Your Occupation must therefore extend to the privatized yet public sector of Higher education. Fill up masters and PHD spots so you can produce research material that will benefit Africa. Fill up lecture halls and faculties in order to pan down materials (textbooks) that will be relevant to the African child.”

As you Occupy, it is also important to also establish. Establish a multitude of black businesses that will lead to many industries. Establish black banks to finance these black businesses. Establish a string of insurance companies that teaches the black man about the benefits of Life insurance policies (generational wealth) than that of Death insurance policies (extravagant funerals). Establish publishing houses that will publish many black writers, whose material will never see a book store unless such a move occurs. Establish book stores that will house Pan African material, new and old. Establish film and production houses that will enable the black man to tell his story accurately through movies and performance arts. Establish marketing agencies that will change the face of advertising in the country and put an end to racist adverts such as this one:

Establish Radio stations geared towards the black man and his need for his own music and content. Establish a black Newspaper that spreads stories of black excellence, unlike the white owned Daily Sun. Establish centres that discuss and disseminate knowledge on wealth, be it Forex trading, how to save, trading stocks, stokvels etc. Heck, establish a black owned stock exchange. Establish NGO’s that deal with the black man and woman in their struggle to create a sustainable family structure. Establish schools of black thought where generations of Woke individuals can constantly be nurtured. Why all of this? Because, in the words of Dr Umar Johnson, Black people who do such things are a specialty and true change can only come when this becomes normalized within black circles. All progress is Group work, and all Black people must get ON this bus. 

Steve BikoImage source: http://quotesgram.com/img/value-systems-quotes/7lBGcaYbLL/

All in all, we have numbers and our numbers constitute only one thing, the Black Rand. Used properly, over time, it can yield massive benefits. It seems like all that which I suggest is geared towards the black man (African) and you don’t feel comfortable with this notion. You might be what we call an Integrationist and such a Pan African Agenda doesn’t sit well with you. Honestly speaking, our slogan is not “The Africa We Want” by mistake. All other races got time and sometimes support in order to develop and establish themselves politically and economically for integration to happen easily. The world needs an African Africa rather than just an Africa with no identity, no culture, no African language and no history. The white South African has never really much been in a capacity to implement such a Pan African agenda for it shall forever be foreign to him, irrespective of how long his kind has lived in this place. Don’t believe this? Just think Jan van Riebeeck settling here in 1652 and 364 years later, we are still fighting being taught in Afrikaans. On the topic of integration, check out the video below and we will hopefully dissect it in another article.

In conclusion, you may ask, how does all of this dismantle structural racism, or in reference to our former analogy, strip the Ace Card of its rights? Simple, by going through such a process of change, we automatically change the rules of the game. With such an approach, in the long run, it will be an eventuality that the system readjusts itself to now accommodate all, be it native, expat, tourist or new age settler. It will be a Pan African kind of integration. That is the ultimate aim. Neither racist nor discriminatory. It’s just rewriting history with a “black” pen.

“You need to build your own businesses and hire your own children. It’s absolutely criminal to keep having babies and then sending them into somebody else’s neighborhood to beg for a job.”

Dr Claud Anderson

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The Ace of R-aci-sm (Part 1)

By Lunga Tlou


The topic makes you wonder what is this Ace that R-aci-sm supposedly has? Allow me to break it down for you, here goes: ”Amongst the many card games we played growing up “5 cards” was probably the simplest it is not like the well-known “five card draw” poker game. . As it has simple rules, each player will be dealt 5 cards and for the duration of the game, each player will strive to have 3 cards of the same number + 2 cards of the same number. Practically, this can translate to 3 cards of the number 2 and then maybe 2 cards of the number 10. See below example:

ACE 1

Image source: http://c7.alamy.com/comp/BKC6PJ/a-full-house-poker-hand-treys-and-tens-a-good-poker-hand-in-five-card-BKC6PJ.jpg

It is in such a case that a player is considered to have won. So the last player to match their cards in this fashion loses the round and is eliminated. Now the game has many other rules but there’s one in particular that is specific to our discussion. If you ask many township kids what the Ace card is, as if a choir in sync, they will all shout “Ace is any card”. In terms of the game, this means that a player, instead of having 3 cards of the number 2 and then two cards of the number 10, they only need 2 cards of each with an Ace card to win. Why? Because the Ace card is “any card” therefore, it can act as the number 2 or the number 10.

Now how does this analogy connect with our topic? You are in for a ride. To begin, allow me to give you a truth you haven’t really thought about. “not all Muslims are terrorists but almost all terrorists are Muslims”? Well here’s one that holds true, “Not every white person is privileged but all white people stand to benefit from White Privilege”. This is the Ace card of R-aci-sm. It is here that Whiteness becomes “any card” that allows the non-white races to be left behind. It’s important you realize that Racism is not a person. Racism is not the hate speech that people utter about black in their outbursts. Racism is a structural system. Racism is a deliberate means to advance only one race due to the colour of their skin in all circumstances. Racism is when a white cop shoots a black bystander and the Media applies its vast resources to discredit the victim. Racism is when a white boy shoots up a school, killing many pupils and gets labeled as mentally challenged, instead of being a terrorist. Racism is when a student in a South African university gets to answer a test question paper with both Afrikaans and English. Racism is when a news correspondent gets an insert they make, cut just because she appears in one of the scenes wearing a Doek, on Africa day noghal. Racism is when Black professionals have to assimilate in corporate in order to climb the ladder. Racism is when cops raid a bar in SA and the white people go scot free. Racism is when black miners protesting against a big White mining company, get killed whist on their way home. Racism is when a white athlete gets 6 years for murdering another human being. Racism is when…….you can feel in the blanks for I can take the whole year.

Structural Racism under the presence of white privilege, manifests itself through: Inequality, lack of transformation, education, access to resources, the media, movies, through the stock exchange, the ownership of the economy, through housing distributions, corporate culture, incarceration trends etc. That is why even if you have a black government like in South Africa, without a deliberate effort to dismantle structural racism, it continues to thrive.

In “Words I never said”, Lupe Fiasco mentions that “Walk with me into the ghetto, this where all the Kush went”. Liquor joints in the Suburbs close earlier than those in the ghetto. It’s quite odd that the most unlikely places for white people to be born in, is where all new age drugs find prominence. Think Nyaope, think whoonga. None of these are manufactured in the “ghetto” but are consumed and retailed there, there are no chemists in the “ghetto” hence they are not made there. For us not to take the whole day, I believe you get the point.

https://media2.popsugar-assets.com/files/2016/03/20/270/n/1922398/b643b8dfc21949ee_12376188_1760540480841564_192205730408626202_n.xxxlarge.jpg

 

Was this article written for the purposes of giving you, a manual on how to spot racism? Not really. The aim of me writing this article is because I need you to be awakened. I need for you to be aware of your surroundings. This article exists to help you know which fights to invest your energies on. Many white people, in South Africa, have made many racial outbursts before, many still do today, and sadly, many will do so even in the future to come without much really being down except for the hoohaa black twitter is known for.  These unfortunately are not where our fight is. Racism is structural and institutionalized. This is why even if we can sentence someone who utters a racial outburst to life imprisonment, as soon as the court adjourns; black people will still  be faced with the full wrath of structural racism.

So what then shall we do? Are we to wait for government or are we to realize that “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”? Are we to wait for White South Africa to Atone or are we as woke individuals to realize that the power is in our hands? The latter sounds more logical. This realization is important because it will allow us to deliberately dismantle the institutions of structural racism. This will allow us to change the rules and ensure the “Ace card” becomes just that, an Ace card and not to act as any card.  Think of white privilege as the feathers that are inside a pillow, with structural racism being the fabric that holds the feathers intact. An inseparable unit, only usefulness if one has the other.

Let’s engage in part 2 and dissect the necessary solutions that will allow us in our capacity as general citizens to dismantle Racism with its Ace card “white privilege”. For now see this ad below by SABC1 that was banned, if you understand the whole above discussion, you will understand why it was banned.


 

About the Contributor 

Lunga Tlou is an Honours Graduate who is driven by the great potential that Africa and her people have. He is a firm believer in a “Woke” generation of African pupils. A Co founder of Awakened Minds, who is a Pan African in thought and a Revolutionary in deed. 


 

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The Pan African thought leader series

“To control a people you must first control what they think about themselves and how they regard their history and culture. And when your conqueror makes you ashamed of your culture and your history, he needs no prison walls and no chains to hold you.” 

John Henrik Clarke 

This series marks the beginning in identifying thought leaders in the school of Pan African studies as well as their contributions to the field. The aim of this series is to just profile the leaders and for the readers to take it upon themselves to inquire and read more about each individual. In the self explorations of each thought leader then will the perception of our culture and in history be changed by the actions we take to build #TheAfricaWeWant 

Introducing John Henrik Clarke:

AWN Day Heros John Henry Clark

 

Posted in #PanAfricanHeroes, BlackEducation, community, empowerment

The Comoros celebrate 42 years of Independence.

On this 6th of July, we also celebrate the Independence day of the Comoros. The Comoros consist of a group of islands that form one nation. The biggest problems that have faced this nation has been the many political coups and finding that one uniting cord that will unite the whole of the Comoros. May our brothers & Sisters of the Comoros fight for unity and political stability so as to make the much important freedom a reality to many,

#Happy42thIndependenceDayComoros

AWN Independance Days Comoros

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Happy Independence Day Malawi.

Today we celebrate 53 years of Independence with Malawi. Within this period of sovereignty, a lot remains the same for the lives of all Malawians. May this day remind & inspire Malawians to push for more poverty alleviation projects, an increase in the number of educators the nation needs and to intensify the fight against the scourge of child marriages.

#Happy53rdIndependenceDayMalawi

AWN Independance Days Malawi

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