South African Race-Culture Sports: Dismantling Of Culture Arts Sports Cultural Transmission Of Africans In Mzantsi
id="mod_26665899">The Destruction Of Cultural Transmission Ways And Means Of Africans In South Africa(Mzantsi)
As an African people, all round the globe, for more than 2000 years, we have faced oppression, depression and repression, and these today have intensified immensely.
So that, at this point, we begin to note that there has been broken, into many pieces, in many places, how we transmit our cultures from one generation to the next…
So, that, we should then take note that the mission and quality of an African controlled socialization process is more than a basic response to oppression. It is in fact, if one can imagine it and get to know about it, fundamentally a path to promoting a healthy individual and overall collective development, prosperity and well being-meanwhile it will aid in preventing cultural genocide.
This the reader will come across in the part that deals with culture, music and dance below in this Hub.
It is now well-known and solidly established fact that Africa is the mother of all human civilization. Africa is also a land where the actual and very foundations in 'socialization practices' were founded and laid; and through this grounded format, it influenced all the cultures the world over.
The whole world, every nation and all its peoples, if one were to consult the relevant historical data, travelled to Africa and they found African fully functioning cultures, who were in charge and control of their own destinies and Nations.
But it is the mission of the outsiders that was bent and intent on stealing the natural resources and/or people, took control of their hosts lands and went on to control and dominate its people: thus we witnesses the advent of slavery and colonization in a scale not know in human memory and history.
Even today, as of writing of this piece, it is still the mission of the descendants of these 'foreigners' whose intentions is to continue these relations of dominance and subservience we are now aware of. We should make note that Africa had things other people and nations need, and all of them were not prepared to pay for that.
It is also the mission and aim of these past and present colonizers to falsely justify these inhumane behavior foisted upon Africans, and they did this by launching a serious and very constant and slanderous propaganda campaigns. It is though such propaganda campaigns that they painted a picture of All Africans as 'culture-less,' 'ignorant, backward' and 'evil people'.
Through diverse International codes, these detractors of African people, utilized messages and signals/memes and zines, to produce the intended and same result they were propagating, from the past to the present. This move by the colonizers/imperialists, was to ensure the full and complete degradation total enslavement of Africans globally.
So that, when we look much closely at these shenanigans of the oppressors of Africans, their goal was and is still to encourage all Africans, to resist everything and anything Africa, and effort was made to dissuade Africans never to speak out about Imperialism of Europe, Europe and other parts Oppressive world, against Africans globally.
Discourse and active organization strategies intended to lead African people to command their own socialization process, must build and improved upon distinct African indigenous traditions. There's a lot of documentation and oral histories that outline the vast traditions which were and still a way of life of our African ancestors/ourselves and these they had passed down throughout various generations.
It is these traditions that African chroniclers have to critique, and if a need arises, work had on improving them so that they square up neatly with contemporary challenges that are facing African people globally, and south Africa in particular. Understanding our own indigenous socialization practices will enable and help us to have a clarity of purpose and a better vision to move forward into the future as a united African Family.
African people continue to consistently to face the wars against their cultures, and they ought not to surrender or ignore/neglect their vision of who they are as a people. This will help point out to and lead the African people onto to those markers and marked points and maps of the steps that lead to a reclamation of their African power and authenticity/autonomy and freedom as a people.
It is a well-known and documented fact that Africans were tortured,killed for practicing their traditional religion, speaking their traditional mother-tongues, using African names, playing their own original music, doing their long time traditional dances, and much,much more.
The colonizers worked hard on separating Africans from their traditional spiritual values, family, culture and land; the detractors of Africans made sure that there is a disconnect for African people with a healthy African cultural and historical foundations.
By the time Africans gained some paltry form of freedom and were poised to reclaim their traditional practices and culture/history, the anti Africa propaganda went into full swing and was enforced with alarming brutality; this propaganda machines of the colonial imperialists had by then succeeded in enforcing a mental disengagement between Africans and anything Africa.
The long term and lingering effects has created, today, what we see as mental and social confusion which has so far prevented Africans from being themselves. These after effects were designed and put in place making it impossible for African people to unite and achieve authentic and autonomous freedom.
The Aim of this Hub is to re-orientate that schism and falsity.
African Queen..Nkosinathi Khanyile’s “African Queen 1”, which combines the aesthetics of classical Greek sculpture with that of the ‘amasumpa’, the raised relief patterns used traditionally on Zulu pots and woodcarvings that carry social significance.
Mzantsi: Let's Talk Sharp with One Another...
Why Have We Come To Hate Ourselves? Well, Let's talk
I usually post a lot of music, which I suppose are positive vibes, and at times write or post articles originally written of taken from some writers to upgrade our knowledge and consciousness. As a media enthusiast/Historical and Media writer and analyst, I have been viewing several Wall on FB that portend to carry out the struggle.
What these are, critically looking them, are just bellicose knee-jerk reactions and rants on our part, pretending to be caring and talking about our problems and plights.
Well, in so far as the diatribes are concerned, it seems like a conscious people are engaged in a positive palaver, but that would be far from the truth. Our cream of the crop is rushing pell-mell into being accepted and seen as being European, and not African… This is a fact, and I can argue with anyone's contrary point of view on this matter...
Wilson in the video below addresses why this is the case with us, in Mzantsi and in the US and Other parts of the African Diaspora…
In all earnestness, we have lost our bearings, moorings and geographical campus in life. We are under great and grand delusions of grandeur, that if one were to accumulate more money, and sacrifice ones soul and human beingness(Culture, Customs, etc), that does not matter, but money does.
We have dug ourselves, we Africans of South Africa, into a hole that we cannot climb out of. We glorify, cherish, and work very hard to be a poor copies of other cultures and are strung-up on material wealth and technological gadgets and nothing more.
We have become adept at scoffing and dismissing our cultural, linguistic, musical and other heritages that make us Africans of South Africa, and have become lackeys of other peoples around the world. We are a confused, scared and dumbed-down peoples.
We of Mzantsi, have no sense nor direction of what is happening. We are all filled with uncertainties, distrust, and have to live with an irresponsible petty bourgeoisie which is very opportunistic.
They have a tendency to enquire as to ones status in our meetings in any situation, what kind of car one drives, where does one live, or was edumacated, wear western contemporary fashion, smudge ourselves with foreign perfumes, jewelry(which we now put on our teeth, too), live in shameless opulence, and strive hard to maintain that type of status quo and wealth acquirement to our dissatisfaction-and desire to be accepted as Europeans, not African.
Today, because we have become very good at rejecting our culture, we have become an illiterate nation, with a miseducated youth and totally blank adult population. The matric results are one indicator of this charge. We are becoming sick nowadays, most of us suffering from flues, pneumonia, dysentery, diarrhea, in the middle and heat of the summer.
We do not control our water (by we, I mean the army of the poor consumers of this drinking water). We are inept in all what we do. We depend on nepotism, cronyism, which has been shepherded by a cabal of a motley crew of thugs posing as our government and leaders.
The people that are supposedly being put in position of national social responsibilities are ignorant, inept, dysfunctional, unknowing, arrogant, and pilfering upon the public coffers; corruption is rampant; rape and murder are chronic in our communities; Alcoholism is a pandemic disease; drug abuse and proliferation has becoming the new normal in our midst.
Churches are fleecing their parishioners; the much touted and oft abused concept of Ubuntu is no more existent in our divided and shattered African collectives; our children do not even know our part of African history, customs, cultures, traditions languages and other sacred rites and their practices; and we, the present elderly, are not even helping them, nor we ourselves are functionally capable of capturing our culture, customs, traditions and the whole bit.
People are scared of critiquing the ANC; the ANC has arrogantly abrogated to itself all powers and is distorting and making its own polity ignorant and uneducated so's to rule over us effectively. They, the present government, wants us to accept that all these social malaise are because we are now experiencing a new democracy, newly found freedoms, in the face of all that they, our present leaders are doing all that is wrong.
No one wants to be told that we are a failure and are being wiped out of the face of our land in all aspects of our decrepit existential reality.
"The Black race will be exterminated if it does not build a Black(African) Superpower in Africa by the end of this Century."
Reading up on Wilson is an eye opener for us, if we will ever have the gall and guts to face our weakened state of being. Wilson writes:
"… The way we think, the way we behave, helps to create the kinds of victimization from which we suffer. The oppressive configuration the White man has assumed in relationship to the African man is in good part the result of the fact that we have permitted ourselves to remain in complementary subordinate configuration conducive to his oppressive designs. "The White man Cannot Be What He Is unless We Are What We Are As A People".
"And one way of transforming the White man is through 'self-transformation'. "He cannot be what he is if we are not what we are".
"Therefore, we must take responsibility for that part of our personality, that part of our community, and that part of ourselves over which we have control, and change that part. And if we change those parts of ourselves and our community, we shall change this man. Who gives a damn about changing him anyway? It does not matter!
"One of our major problems is that African leadership has been involved in converting Whites. That misleads us time and time again. Give it up! One of the major steps in the rehabilitation of the African man/Woman/Child, etc, is to give up the White man and forget about him!"
This is one helluva tough thing for the African elite in Mzantsi to wrap their heads and thin skins around. Why should they give up their stolen and ill-beggoten loot? Why should they give up their income, life-styles, power, importance, and standard of living for the sake of the good for all Africans. Why should they?
This is the conundrum that that stops any one of these 'latter-day' South african millionaires are faced with. Why should they not hobnob with the celebrities and people of power? Give up golfing? Have no 'helpers' in their house? Are they not providing job creation, they wonder? Why should they not imbibe the accoutrements of the world of wealth and modernity?
Why should they be bothered with paying obeisance and respect to an ancient and decrepit useless African culture, customs, etc, when the world is modern and moving along in the 21 century. Yes, these people who ask these questions and many more are part of us, they are us.
We have to learn how to critique ourselves and accept our shortcomings and over-inflated sense grandeur. We should get rid of our confusion as to who we are as African People. We neither American nor European, nor will we ever be. We shall never be accepted as those people, instead, they would respect us more if we were our selves, without trying to ape others/them.
Our culture should guide our thinking. Our custom condition our behavior; our tradition enable us to determine ourselves as a people and nation. We cannot afford to be hoodwinked by television, and other western cultural imperial artifacts and gadgets. We should know these, but use them to suit ourselves. We cannot think like we are of European origin in our psyche and other distorted cultural unrealities we so apt to adopt and pine for, at the expense of our own indigenous cultures, traditions, customs and so forth
'Madness(Mental Illness) And Rage'
The African community must examine itself and see to what degree it has contributed to his own madness, demise, oppression and powerlessness.
When one looks around our own communities, there's an exaggerated reality of madness and mental health. We learn from Wilson that"
"A part of the problem of mental illness in not what people do to each other, and not what mama, daddy, or somebody else does to a child. A part of it is also how what mama does is reacted to on the part of the child. It is not so much that the European were are inferior, and that we this and that, and that the European maligns our character, et cetera: It is the reaction of anger, as Cobbs and Price point out, 'The reaction of rage.'
"Yes, we are going to find rage in teenagers, and rage in people that destroy and prey on the community; and it is the this reaction that distorts reality, distorts the individual's creativity, distorts the necessary unity and distorts the very mechanism that can get the individual out of his/her behavior," writes Wilson.
"I was talking to one drug addict who was outlining the regular thing about mama; mama not loving her and mama mistreating her. And so she saw herself as having only two choices; either would become what mama said she would become, or she would become better than what mama said she would become-both being reactions to mama, both still tied to her mama, both making her a creation of mama.
"The African(Black) bourgeoisie is as much a creation as is the African(Black) criminal; they are both reactionary styles, and both a means by which people try to deal with their dilemma of White oppression. And quite often people think, (and she thought) that there are only two choices: Either I react to it that way or I react to it the other way; I react to it in terms of rage or I overachieve.
"But if reactions of rage, hatred, and vengeance are not permitted to capture the personality, to consume and concentrate consciousness and attention, perhaps then, another alternative, another approach will be discovered.
"This is the thing that we must recognize in ourselves as a people. Reactions in terms of depression, rage and anger, reactions in terms of compensatory mechanism, are reactions that help to deny the criminality on a certain segment of our people, and that obscures the behavior of many of our teenagers in our current situations — which help to maintain the situation in and of itself.
"Why can't our leadership deal with that issue? Why is it we say that African people are losing out in the so-called "alms" race. As they call it? Alms Race! Why aren't we questioning our leadership when since the 1950s (and 1960s), the situation of our people worsened?
We have leadership, today, that refuses to confront forthrightly the issues and the circumstance in which we find ourselves.
"For not capturing economic and social control of our communities, and for not building up An African Orientated philosophy, and for not building our brains, and studying, and reading, and writing, and organizing, and developing, we must hold ourselves responsible, in part, for the madness. I therefore suggest that the issue then is not so much one of diagnosis for the patient, but a diagnosis of ourselves, a diagnosis os the system, and more so than that — getting on with the work of revolution. (Wilson)
I began by titling this piece as "Let's Talk Sharp With One Another". We can all wax revolutionary and political until we turn some other color either than our melanin, that will not alter the fact that we are in serious trouble here in Mzantsi. Our leadership is made up of quislings, sell-outs and turncoats. This is an undeniable fact. Some of us here in Mzantsi are averse to such talks for it threatens their present status and reality in our(the poor's) shredded present decrepit existential unreality. Well, talk, some of us will
Well, it's about time we started talking to each other and not at each.We have to talk and listen to one another and stop dictating our half-cooked dim-witted-mind-sets to those we deem to be lower than us, and yet we are in the same prison, the same devastated reality that we face as the Africans of Mzantsi. I am not going to be talking so much about White people in my posts, but will directly address ourselves(Africans) as to what is happening to us today.
We should not kid ourselves that this is a problem that is faced by Africans in South Africa or is unique to us, only. African Americans, those who are dumb enough and come here to South Africa and behave with some haughtiness and arrogance — displaying how "inga'nt" they are, are in the same boat with us. I need not say this because I might be dismissed as an African in Africa, but Wilson bears out my assertions, and this is what Africans, all over the world, are having to deal with, equally and in the same way, no matter what.
You are not better because you are an African American in America, nor am I better because I am an African in the Motherland… We are all in the same ship, prison and enclosed oppression, depression suppression and you name it, the same shit. It is at this juncture in this part of my first installments of the articles I will be doling out for this year that we listen and watch/learn what Wilson has to teach and make us aware of, which, by the way, we, Africans in Africa, and all those in the Diaspora, desperately need for own sanity and survival as a people...
Wilson says we cannot be slaves and be Africans at the same time, because if one is to become what we see ourselves as today, slaves, we have to discard of our those characteristics that make one African… This is profound, and it is important to listen very carefully to Wilson, all of his interview below with Gary Byrd on WLIB, in New York...
Self-Hate vs White-Supremacy: Dr Amos Wilson
A Short History Of African Art Under Apartheid
The Reflection of African Identity In The Art of African South African's Art..
As a theme in art ‘identity' is a vital concern in a postmodern society such as ours. The interplay between the individual and society has become increasingly complex, leaving room for new theories, research and speculation about the future of humankind. Who am I? Who are we? Art, as a seismograph of change, can both reflect and be a harbinger of transformation in our personal and communal lives.
The artist, as a third presence, mediates between society and the individual through the art that he/she creates. How can we understand these three elements and the dynamic of their interplay?
The best way to do this is to consider the global and local context, to look at the work and words of a few selected artists who illustrate this interplay, and to refer to the critics who comment on their work.
South African art holds a unique position when addressing ‘identity,' as a result of its racially divided past, and international developments reflect on the way in which they affect our local situation.
Art is a mirror and at times forecaster. It tells us about our progress in terms of the South African ‘identity,' and where it could lead to.
Ii is important to project what is different about South African art. Diverse societies are a global phenomenon, and so is the unrest that comes with them. Such societies have pockets of ethnic groups that resist integration and pockets within the original population who oppose the inclusion of strangers.
South Africa is different, because the separation was dictated and is deeply ingrained in the unconscious. It is a fragmented society where integration feels ‘unnatural' and the option to leave the familiar social context is rather new and takes place predominantly in the city.
However, instead of positively experimenting with a new South African identity, the city environment has unfortunately also become the main playground of crime, which enhances our fear of ‘the other', and shoves us back into the safe and familiar.(Aparheidized reality, existence and mind-set)
This dynamic is reproduced in much of South African art and is reflected in exhibitions, where the majority of the art can still be divided along apartheid lines, almost as if looking at cultural diversity through a magnifying glass.
Artists who are exposed to and familiar with a more global context seem to have overcome these restrictions and can deal with these issues in a less literal and more playful manner.
The master of turbulent imagery was undoubtedly Dumile Feni, who was known as the Goya of the townships. His apocalyptic vision talks directly of personal experience, indicating the extent to which the political and the personal had become inextricably intertwined.
The violent imagery of Dumile was complemented in the 1960s and 1970s by a different kind of aesthetic: mart that celebrated the beautiful and the mystical. It was an art inspired by music, literature, poetry, and an affirmative view of the political struggle: as a site of hope rather than despair.
Fikile Magadlela, Thamsanqwa Mnyele, Dikobe Martins, Peter Clarke and others reacted against the prevailing township imagery of hopelessness. They were a generation of artists who showed the way out of the aesthetic of distortion, producing images of great beauty and mystery, evolving a symbolism that offered some relief from the degradation and squalor.
A more complex and subtle response to political repression began to manifest in the work of Ezrom Legae. Working with delicate and tense line, Legae used images of birds and eggs as a metaphor for a new awakening of consciousness. Inspired by the story of Steve Biko, he produced a series of graphics using the chicken and egg imagery.
Yet in spite of its explicitly political inspiration, he avoided any directly political reference either in the content or in the title of this series (which was chosen to represent South Africa at Chile's Valparaiso Exhibition of 1979).
Some of the art of this period was inspired by surrealist imagery. In an interview with Fikile he alluded to the surrealist influence as well as his desire to make an art that celebrated beauty.
But there's one thing I believe in; if you draw the black man, he must beautiful, handsome; the woman must be heavenly. Drape them with the most beautiful clothes — to wash away this whole shit of self-pity.
Fikile also alludes to the important political debates that were confronting artists at that time. How to address the role of the artist in terms of his or her social responsibility; questions of accountability; and the constant problem of how to overcome the alienation of the black artist from his or her own community.
Art And Resistance Under Apartheid
The Sharpeville Massacre was one of the most important turning points in the history of South Africa. It triggered a chain of events, from the banning of liberation organizations, the launch of the armed struggle, the internationalization of the South Africa's Apartheid policies and the growing division between black and white South Africans.
The Liberation Struggle in South Africa from the 1960s till the 1990s gave rise to a number of schools of thought on the role of culture (art & literature) under a racially oppressive and authoritarian society. The debates ranged from the use of the arts as a weapon of the struggle to artists working towards the creation of a new people-centered non-racial culture.
On the other hand the dominant discourse amongst Whites was mainly dependent on their support or opposition to the Nationalist party led government. Whites seemed to either accept the status quo, i.e., buying into the racial theories about people developing their own separated cultural practices, or they seemed to reject this crude racial discourse and oppose the state policies arguing that art should have an independent existence, with its own intrinsic values, that went beyond political party policies and addressed universal truths and the human condition.
There were also those who argued that artists could not deny the realities of living in a repressive society and their art should reflect on the injustices of that society as artists should be obliged to expose state repression.
This group furthered their views in the 1980s and developed a radical critique of society, arguing that artists had an obligation to plan for the creation of a new "people or revolutionary culture"
Dumile FeniDumile Feni's 'African Guernica'
Protest Or Resistant Art?
Much of the art produced during Apartheid that in some way was critical of the states racial, cultural and or political polices was labeled as either ‘Protest' or 'Resistance Art'.
This term has been argued over by many commentators, historians and critics, but there is very little agreement on the definition of the term.
What is Resistance art? Were there artists who supported the status quo and produced work that reflected the government's apartheid policy? There was a school of thought that argued that their work had no reference to any social message but followed the dictum art for arts sake.
The rewriting of our history and of art history in this case requires a critical understanding of the evolution and development of artistic movements. It also requires us to look at the subjective factors that serve as the key to the production of a particular or body of work and to understand in what circumstances the work was exhibited and circulated if at all.
One also needs to examine the State, its education and cultural policies, the relationship between the visual arts and other disciplines and last but not least trends and debates among artists within the liberation organizations and other groups opposed to the status quo.
By taking this approach we will notice, firstly that there was a range of ways in which artist responded to unfolding social and political events. Secondly that even at the height of repression there was intense debate amongst artists opposed to apartheid on ways of representing their reactions and oppositions to the system.
We will explore how some artists who were active in or supported ‘the struggle' choose not to produce work that served an overtly party political cause, but who nevertheless produced work that had a significant impact on their audience, work that clearly reflected their concerns about the impact of the norms and values of a society subjected to unjust and oppressive laws.
There were also artists who did not belong to any ‘struggle' organization but they produced works that made powerful statements about the injustices of white minority rule.
Thami Mynele's art workArt By Thami Mnyele"Nize Nisikhonzelephela Bandla"(Please Pass On The Greetings For Us) By Bambo Sibiya
Artists and Mobilization of the African Populaton
On the other hand there were artists who openly sided with the opposition and produced works that were used to mobilize people.
Some of these artists produced work that required a sophisticated understanding of the artists' use of references to other works of art like Dumile Feni's ‘African Guernica' (Figure 1).
Other works were overtly political but were never exhibited because it would have led to prosecution. Then there was work produced by artists such as Thami Mynele (Figure 2), Omar Badsha and others whose art advocated that art should serve a social and political purpose yet they produced work that went beyond the overtly political.
In this feature we examine work by artists that cover the different schools of thought. By examining their contributions and writing their biographies we will try to prove that while the term resistance and protest art has relevance in describing a particular genre, the term implies a much more complex phenomenon.
Our list of artists' biographies and resources is not complete and will grow as this project and the discourse around it grows. Please feel free suggest material by clicking the contribution tab.
Written by SAHO researchers Omar Badsha and Joni Light
The Sculpture Of Dumile FeniDumile Feni’s sculptures spotlight the difference between white and black in South Africa.
Portraits displaying clear characteristics of native Africans remain untitled, and therefore given that name: Untitled. They are depicted as the archetype of t
"African Cultural, Education and Historical Retention And Transmission"
"African Cultural, Education and Historical Retention And Transmission"...
The state of the African South African nation is in dire straights. This is because of what we know and do not know as an African collective. We know that being in modernity and becoming technophiles is in keeping up with the times-its gizmos and metadata streams.
In all endeavors of man's existence here on earth, the aim has been more or less to better one's lot.
In our case here in South Africa, we do note(mistakingly so) that our culture is non-existence in its real form. We do talk a lot of politics, but we really do not put into perspective the nature and role of our African cultures here in Mzantsi. We know, in a remote sense, what our culture "Really" is about-but not really concretely.
We sometimes do not see the need to, but I am going to make an attempt at resuscitating our culture in this piece and what that means or it will mean for us as African people of South Africa.
Wilson says that, "It is very important to keep in mind that a culture is to a significant extent a 'historical' product. A culture is socially manufactured, the handiwork of both deliberate and coincidental human social collusions and interactions. A culture also manufactures social products. Some of the most important social products it generates include its own cultural identity, and the social and personal identities of its own constituent group and individual members. I will add below what Wilson has to say about culture, further.
So, how have African people become such a fragmented and disorganized group of people today? "Why can't we be like the Indians and the Japanese but in our own mode?", the question one of my 17-year-old nephews asked me some years ago. The answer is quite simple. We cannot be like them because we do not have the same historical, social and cultural experiences. We do ourselves a great disservice when we compare ourselves to other people since we can only compare that which is similar, not dissimilar. We are different because Africa was attacked by Arabs and Europeans, and our people were forcefully taken to another land and enslaved. Neither the Indians nor the Japanese have had that experience and therefore it is absolutely pointless to compare ourselves to them.
When slavery and later colonization took place the vision that our ancestors had of educating and raising African children(The African-centered way) was taken out of their control and a new way was imposed on African people-This destroyed our culture in deep and disastrous ways. Worse, this new system of education ran counter to the interests and needs of Africans. As a result, today, African people have never had so many talented and educated economists, educators, sociologists, doctors, lawyers, artists, etc, yet we suffer the worst health, housing, and education on the planet because our education was never designed to promote our interests but rather the goals and the interests of our oppressors.
The self destructive behavior and derogative lyrics of the Rap South African-styled Kwaito generation is a striking example of our children, today, who have not been taught to promote their positive cultural, historical, customary, traditional, and so forth, interests of their people and communities. The dysfunctional and 'out-of-wack children' we see in our midst, is partly due to us parents being ignorant and ignoring/or not knowing our culture, and being scornful of it-and being unable to transmit it from one generation to the next.
A Brief Look at corruption:
Corruption in Africa therefore is not the cause of poverty, only, but also a consequence of it. People in Africa are corrupt because they do not earn enough money to live decently and therefore must resort to illegal methods to make ends meet. In fact, where ever you see crime take a good look, you will usually find high unemployment and intolerable living conditions because it is a consequence and not the cause. Improve the living conditions and corruption and crime will quickly disappear. It's a very simple equation but of course no one is interested in this option because the capitalist system, which is really the old Roman slave system under a different name, cannot survive without access to a large number of poorly paid or unpaid army of workers or people who are barely paid.
Under globalization, its modern name, 80% of the world is still exploited by the 20% who still continue to own all the wealth. Changing the name periodically (feudalism, industrialization, capitalism, socialism, communism and now globalization) is simply a strategy that the West uses to make us, the ignorant masses, believe that there is genuine change taking place in society. Now you understand why every country you visit and in every area of activity the owners and those who make money are always White or are close to White, while those who work, serve and are exploited are always black or close to it. This is what African parents must begin to understand so that they can explain to their children why African people are consistently at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. And tell these children why they should imbibe the cultural retentions and transmission of their own indigenous culture, customs, traditions, etc.
A Peek At African Education
This is relevant to the present state of Education in South Africa. I think many of the points that Asa makes are and will be lessons and affording South Africans some answers as to how to set up, reform and control the Education/Culture of Africans as advised by Asa below:
"Are you going to say "no" to calculus as a standard for the high school level? I think calculus is a reasonable standard. All children are brilliant enough to learn calculus, if you want to offer it to them. But if you want to teach calculus, you have to know calculus.
And most teachers don't. So why blame the child for their inability to achieve when the deficiency is in the other place? Obviously, if you want the child to achieve in calculus and teachers don't know calculus, then now you've got to prepare the teachers. Now you're talking about staff development.
See how it's all connected?
"If someone really wants to raise the achievement of children, you've got to recognize the reality in the classroom. Once you do so, you'll know that we'll have to do what we did in the 1960s, and soon. When the US thought that the Russians were ahead in the space race, when they put up Sputnik, the next thing that happened was that the US massively mobilized for science education. It was science, science everywhere. [Why cannot we do that for our children and ourselves today? This is still not answered and solved by us here in Mzantsi].
"We had a National Defense Education Act. Look at the language: education became a matter of national defense. When the rubber met the road, they knew they had to do something and they funded the process of doing it.
What's happening now? The budget is bankrupt on social welfare issues and nobody wants to do anything about it.
So you manipulate the standards to make it look as if you're doing something. But you cannot fix the problems that are wrong in the public sector without providing resource.[precisely the conundrum we are faced with here in South Africa]
"We have got to learn to ask new questions and not simply give a Black version of the white question. So intelligence testing should go out the window, as far as I'm concerned. Now if you want to know how we know it's irrational, get the book edited by Helga Rowe, "Intelligence: Reconceptualization and Measurement", which are papers from a summit meeting of psychologists in mental measurement in Melbourne, Australia, in 1988.
"They were trying to figure out what was the state of the art in measurement, especially intelligence measurement, and they came away with three conclusions. Actually, there were probably more conclusions, but these are the three that interested me:
1. They couldn't agree on what intelligence was. That's what you might call a construct validity problem. It's a little hard to measure precisely when you don't have agreement on the construct.
2. There's no predictive validity to IQ tests unless you use low-level thinking as your achievement criteria. If you use high-level, complex, conceptually oriented problem solving, then there's no correlation between IQ scores and achievement outcomes. This is serious, because that's where the IQ test is supposed to be making its contribution, in predictive validity.
But it's not there unless you measure something that somebody has already had time to process.
3. If they can ever agree on what intelligence is, and if they can ever measure it, they will have to take context into account. That's what the Black psychologists have been arguing for before I was born: that the context is what gives meaning to a response.
You can't universalize a dialogue, linguistically or culturally. It's scientific idiocy to do so.
So you have to understand whose IQ is being tested -- those who make the irrational IQ tests. IQ testing doesn't do any good for anybody other than people who need work. It's a professional welfare program.
African cultural transmissions and retentions should be the modus operandi of how we begin to restore and practice our original and indigenous cultures, customs, traditions and so on. If we have lost the ways and means of how we are supposed to transmit inter-generationally, this culture, education and so on, we can read up on/or learn from other people how they did their own, and from there fashion our own out of those people's experience, but specifically designed for and culled from our own existing culture today
We Can Also Learn Something(From Others) About How And Why We should design our education the ways in which he suggests below
Jose Marti On Education:
"On Education" - Popular Education:
1. Instruction is not the same as education: the former refers to thought, the latter principally to feelings. Nevertheless, thee is no good education without instruction. Moral qualities rise in price when they are enhanced by qualities of intellect.
2. Popular Education does not mean education of the poorer classes exclusively, but rather that all classes in the nation, tantamount to saying the people-be well educated. Just as there is no reason why the rich are educated and not the poor, what reason is there for the poor to be educated and not the rich.
They are all the same.
3.He who knows more is worth more. To know is to possess. Coins are minted, knowledge is not. Bonds or paper money are worth more, or less, or nothing; knowledge always has the same value, and it is always high. A rich man need money with which to live, but he can lose it and then he no longer has the means of living.
An instructed man lives from his knowledge, and since he carries it with him, he never loses it and his existence is easy and secure.
4. The happiest nation is the one whose sons/daughters have the best education, both in instruction of thought and the direction of feelings. An instructed people loves work and knows how to derive profit from it. A virtuous people will live a happier and richer life than another that is filled with vices, and will better defend itself from all attacks.
5. Every man when he arrives upon this earth has a right to be educated, and then , in payment, the duty to contribute to the education of others.
6. An ignorant people can be deceived by superstition and become servile. An instructed people will always be strong and free. An ignorant man is on his way to becoming a beast, and a man instructed in knowledge and conscience is on his way to being a god. One must not hesitate to choose between a nation of gods and a nation of beasts.
The best way to "defend our rights is to know them well"; in so doing one has faith and strength; every nation will be unhappy in proportion to how poorly educated are its inhabitants.
"A Nation Of Educated Men Will Always Be N Nation Of Free Men". Education is the only means of being saved from slavery. "A Nation Enslaved To Men Of Another Nation Is As repugnant As Being Enslaved To The Men Of One's Own".
Jose Marti, Guatemala (Mexico) 1878
José Julián Martí Pérez is the Cuban national hero and an important figure in Latin American literature.
Education and culture are one and the same thing. We should tailor and design our education around our culture. What the meaning of culture is shall be dealt with below to some extend by Wilson below. We must not only 'say' we have a culture, but we must be able to talk about it, describe and live by its principles.
We can also learn from those who have dealt with the same problems, as we are faced with in our educational system, in the same blueprint or vein as that suggested by Jose Marti above and then some.
We also have forgotten that our culture has been written about in books like "Mekgwa Le Maele A Sesotho". "Inqolobane Ye Sizwe," "Inhlalo Kwa Xhosa," and many other such books. Some of us ignore these masterpieces of our cultural literature because they are written in our own African languages, and by us, and are not considered to be worth anything.
That is where were are making a critically and deadly mistake that will eventually lead to our genocide. How else are we going to learn and learn more about ourselves and culture? These are the other strategies we can use to re-route and re-set our cultural direction, growth, transmission and propagation
We have to learn how to critique ourselves and accept our shortcomings and over-inflated sense grandeur. We should get rid of our confusion as to who we are as African People. We are neither American nor European, or Asiatic, nor will we ever be. We shall never be accepted as those people, so long as we don'[t recognize and respect ourselves-so long as many of us are not comfortable in their own skins and cultures, instead, they would respect us more if we were our selves, without trying to ape others.
Our cultures should guide our thinking. Our customs condition our behavior; our tradition determine ourselves as a people and nation. We cannot afford to be hoodwinked by television, and other western cultural imperial artifacts and their emerging and merging technological gadgets. We should know these, but use them to suit ourselves-and develop our nation, culture and history.
We cannot think like we are of European origin in our psyche/spiritually and other distorted cultural unrealities we so apt to adopt, at the expense of our own indigenous cultures, traditions, customs and so forth. Our culture, that of the all the African people of South Africa(9 of them), should be our specialized field and know-how; and in that way, the world will listen to us when we tell or talk about Our Culture and live it.
On The Cusp Of An African Cultural Renaissance
When Fu-Liau visited Bahia Brazil, he was shocked to discover Congo descendants who still maintain their traditional ancestral cultural customs; far more authentic than what is practiced in the Congo today. He was startled after being invited to observe secret education systems which proved to be virtually identical to his own initiation in the Congo years ago; initiations long since destroyed by the colonials.
Traditionally, varied rituals address every occasion in African traditional life. The rituals provide individuals with an opportunity to stand before the community for naming ceremonies, enstoolment ceremonies, initiation rites, harvest festivals and other times to link and collectively give thanks to god, the ancestors, and nature. These rituals, customs and traditions, and the purposes for them, are common in Africa and the Diaspora. They provide an opportunity to promote community unity, to outline purpose and expectations, to reinforce the positive aspects of the culture, and to acknowledge the power of the Creator-as envisioned and conceived by the African people.
Most of these ceremonies give validation to the elders, the children, the leadership, and to any links that contribute to community health, development and transmission. Ceremonial practices help communities to affirm community ties and values, mores, traditions and so on.
Our culture is not useless and did not die-off. It is still alive, in whatever form, today. In rebuilding and recasting our cultures, we should also be cognizant of certain negative effects and affects of other 'foreign' cultures have on our culture.
Our communities can benefit greatly if we could collectively resist the meaningless holidays and ceremonies which are promoted in contemporary capitalistic societies. These holidays, and their aggressive promotion, are meant to encourage spending to enrich certain businesses and corporations.
These holidays have no positive transformative value for individuals and communities participating in them.
Regardless of years of separation from Africa and constant pressure to ignore all things African, Africans in the United States and Africa as a whole, have managed to maintain "African Cultural Retentions". One example of this is the strong community commitment was participation in child-care and socialization in rural areas and in strong urban communities that persisted for years. Even when there was little money, these African communities, like ours here in Mzantsi, were consciously and subconsciously committed to quality child development, cultural propagation and transmission.
A few of these practices include the use of folktales as a means of teaching about community mores, encouraging youth participation in all community activities, childbirth techniques, post childbirth rituals, natural healing practices, and more. These diverse retentions could be found in may rural communities, such as Bay City, Texas, but they could also be found in pockets of urban communities those within Harlem, New York." (Wilson)
For us here in Mzantsi they can be found in the rural areas, and urban centers. We still have material and people practicing our diverse, but not necessarily different cultures. As the Boers have tried to make us believe that we are tribes' and were never united.but fighting with each other, and our cultures were different, since, according to them we migrated from the north of Africa, and came into south Africa when they 'discovered the Cape-a lot of hogwash, balderdash, falsification and obfuscation of our history, culture and so on)
African socialization practices served to assist communities in da-to-day operations, collective survival, interpersonal relations, and basic quality of life issues. The content of an African education and socialization process contains many components which are modified according to the specific goals and aims of a community at a particular historical timeline and reality.
We, as Africans of South Africa are facing a gigantic task of trying to cope, exist and survive this decrepit social existed and genocidal social malaise. To do this, I am willing to be persecuted in whatever manner anyone deems possible, but that will not stop me from posting on other sites, till maybe some take me seriously about Cultural War issue facing South Africa, and ultimately Africa/Diapsora...
What does all this mean for and to Africans of South Africa today? It means everything-Where Everything Is Everything . We can describe these cultural practices from our cultures in Mzantsi. Use of folktales-I grew up listening to all sorts of folk tales and ghost stories, and from them I carry within me the mores and morals of our communities; As a member of my family, extended and otherwise, I have been involved in and taking part in the sacred rites and practices of our family members; In the community I live in, I have been at, involved in and participated int eh cultural and ceremonial events where the whole community participated.
I have worked, as a youth, in and with the community. I made it my business to talk and teach youth sports and help them understand their schooling; I have and am still talking to young girls about their social worth, and in the midst of the boom of Mbeki's children" as they are referred to in our community, there is a constant struggle to demystify and deconstruct the current notions about birth-giving and bearing many babies to be compensated by the government; rebutting false notion, on behalf of and amongst the Youth, about how they should really be growing up as African teenagers today in our dysfunctional communities and society.
We have incorporated into our teaching for the youth the precepts, ideas, and African concepts, precepts and principles of how an African society should function, work and relate to each other. We teach them about the role played by children and youth in the community. Teach them about the customs of the community in regard to treating women with respect, respecting their elders, teaching the younger children the values , morals and mores of the society.
This is an uphill battle, but we are in it, on it and at it. We have books that deal and describe our culture written as early as the 1800, from which we can cull whatever we need for the 21 century, and make them suit the aims and goals of our communities[I have cited a few above].
We are writing original articles such as this one to slowly bring to the forefront the importance and greatness of African cultures in South Africa.
We cannot afford the individualism that has been foisted upon us by the Apartheidizers and their allies. We have in our own cultures as our culture, wherein we can learn and know/understand about the Planting seasons, how to carry out a wedding, rules governing relations between to two merging families; laws for the bride and groom; how boys are initiated, along with girls; how deal with ailments and sicknesses; the ways of behaving and living with the elderly; kinds of diseases and solving of problems for those who do not bear children; aphorisms and other sayings-how to be a close and self-loving and self-sufficient and interdependent communities and people communities.
There are laws and rules, in our cultures for kings; there is a whole segment on the wealth of the community; drama, poetry, plays, games , dances, music, art, and games for children The bringing up of youth and the rules that are observed and practiced by the communities.
We have a slew of activities that if we were to look at them as one culture unified in diversity, we can and will clearly discern our variegated but same unified culture much better.
What Am I saying? Well, we have a culture that is still there and alive, if we put our minds to it, respect and recognize it-it will serve our needs and interests. Identifying and making concrete assertions and presenting what we are talking about in our culture in clear terms is the goal.
Yes, Math and science, geography are important as education. Culture is no less important and it is something that ought to be studied and practiced by Africans here in South Africa.
"Culture is a word that has so many meanings already that one more can do it no harm. ...For Anthropologists culture has long stood for the way of life of a people, for the sum of their learned behavior patterns, attitudes and material things. ...Others, looking for a point of stability in the flux of society, often become preoccupied with identifying a common particle or element which can be found in every aspect of culture.
Wilson's discussion of culture is more precise:
The cultural identity of an individual or group is the social product of a socialization process in which new responses, values, perspectives ad orientations are acquired and existing behavioral repertoires of the individual or group are modified to some extent, as the result of his or its subjection to direct or indirect social conditioning experiences. Cultural identity also result from the patterning of its modal thoughts, feeling, or actions after other cultures or groups who serve as models."
We should link these definitions to the actual African culture that we have in 9(Nine) diverse cultural ways that is our culture, but not different from one another. There are no 'tribes' in the true sense of the intended meaning of that word. There are diverse, variegated, but one same diverse cultures of one nation of Nguni/Bakone(Africans Of Mzantsi)the Africans of South Africa.
This point needs to be paid attention to. We see a culture that is diverse and colorful, not a tribalized backward peoples. We have the same cultural or whatever practices, same language(Some of these were worked on some of my blogs now), the music, dances, traditional dresses and music is the same, even if it were to be categorized into several genres.
It is one music, of one culture, and One nation of Africans of South Africa.
Yes, when we speak realpolitik, there will be some people who will be rubbed wrongly by my comments and observations. So too, there should be a second look at what I am talking about in regard to writing and projecting our culture to the world through the viral stream.
We have to begin to talk about the various aspects of our cultures amongst ourselves, and compare notes and observations and commonalities of these 9(nine) cultures of Mzantsi. We will be more respected and acknowledged if we are able to present one cohesive and holistic culture of the Africans of South Africa.
We should discuss it here on the FB and other outlets. Also, we should write specific original pieces on the various topics that make up our one but diversified cultures.
Politics is important, but without culture it is barren, fake and a fiction. We have seen, as we grew up what role culture has played in some of our lives. Although we are aghast with the present behaviors of our children, and the way our communities are under siege from many sides, we can also, and should, by the way, be able to talk, at least, about our culture, extol its virtues and vices, and at the same time design it to suit the present Africa-centered-way of they way we live, in a myriad places and in various ways.
It is one culture made up of 9(nine) peoples of South Africa, and we should make that count for what it is worth.
As I have stated above that I will pick up on Wilson this further down to engage the discourse as to what culture is. Wilson writes:
"From their life experiences, a group develops a set of rules and procedures for meeting their needs. Or, it is the "historically created designs for living, explicit and implicit, rational and non-irrational which may exist at any given time as potential guides for the behavior of man.
"Thus, culture, though a product of the actual lived experience of a people — the primal source of much of their daily personal and social activities, their forms of labor and its products, their celebratory and ceremonial traditions, modes of dress, art and music, language and articulatory style, appetites and desires — [it] is essentially ideological in nature based as it is on shared beliefs, customs, expectations, and values.
"Hence, culture does not exist outside and independent of its human subjects. Culture is represented symbolically and operationally in the minds and characteristically mental/behavioral orientations or styles of its members, and is incarnated in the customary ways they move and use their bodies.
Therefore, culture is represented "in" the minds and bodies of its members, and expresses itself through the systematic ways they attend, experience, categorize, classify, order, judge, evaluate, explain and interact with their world.
"Mentally, culture involves the socially shared and customary ways of thinking, a way of encoding, perceiving, experiencing, ordering, processing, communicating and of behaviorally expressing information which distinguishes one cultural group from another.
"All these activities are dedicated to the end of adapting culture to the consistent and changing demands of its physical and social environment and reciprocally adapting the environment to the demands of culture.
"To the degree that the shared beliefs and behavioral orientations of the members of a culture are consensually consistent, reasonably rational and realistic, are effectively and consistently socialized and reinforced, the culture is characterized by coherence, somewhat low levels of internal conflicts and contradictions, relatively smooth, automatic, coordinated operation, and thereby effectively functions in the interests of its members.
"Socially, culture patterns the ways its members perceive each other, relate to and interact with each other. It facilitates the ways they create, develop, organize, institutionalize and behaviorally apply their human potential in order to adapt to the conditions under which they live so as to satisfy they psychological, social and survival needs."(Wilson)
Knowing, living and understanding our cultures is one of the many ways we can begin to rehabilitate our people and communities. It is important that we do this as soon as we can because at present, we seem to be at a breaking point, and who knows what will happen beyond that. We need to begin to talk about our cultures, customs, traditions, history, languages, music, dances, sacred rites and practices, traditional dress, social mores, moral, respect and Ubuntu/Botho-Eruditely. We can all of us, Africans of South Africa do this, because we are better than this.
Master Painter/Artist - Dumile FeniUntitled, i.e.
circa 1985Dumile feni's Art: "Under Arrest""Head"
Dumile Feni - "An Artist Misunderstood"...
The following Article was written by D. Amitabh Mitra:
I had taken my friend Tembeka to see the collection exhibited at the Ann Bryant Art Gallery, East London, South Africa. It was a warm sunny afternoon; East London is blessed with such lovely days. The gallery boasts one of the best collections in Arts in South Africa.
This has been possible due to the avid interest in collecting the best of arts from early eighteenth century to the modern times by its late owner Ann Bryant.
Tembeka went around looking at each exhibit giving her comments. She came upon an oil on canvas depicting a Xhosa Woman in traditional dress.
'This is a beautiful painting, come and see this work' she remarked. Instead I asked her to come and see a charcoal drawing which is displayed at the entrance of the gallery. T
Tembeka came and saw it and immediately her hand flew over her face. 'I can't see this work, my son Alungile would cry if he has to see this picture'. Dumile Feni has been once again successful in creating such passions in the ordinary person that can burst out at such unguarded moments.
This was Dumile Feni's work titled 'Going' done by charcoal on paper. This work by Feni remains the most prestigious item that this small gallery and its curators are proud off. It is a piece of South African history.
The common man in present day South Africa is largely unaware of Dumile Feni's work and the Contemporary South African Art movement touts him as a 'Goya of Townships'.
Dumile Feni represented much more than that.
Catastrophes, accidents and awful events litter the works of the painter, draughtsman and sculptor Dumile Feni. One of his best-known drawings is from the year 1966 and entitled 'Railway Accident'. Folk are screaming and fleeing, bodies crushed, and limbs disjointed and tossed all over the place.
Life has been torn asunder. Among this debris, the steely perpetrator ' the derailed locomotive ' lies diagonally across the design, itself burst. Pure horror leaps out at the observer through a dark veil of hopelessness.
Dumile Feni was born in Worcester in Western Cape in South Africa at a time not known exactly.
It is thought to have been between 1939 and 1944. South Africa was still marked by apartheid imposed by a white-minority government and maintained in the face of opposition by force and violence.
Dissidents were suppressed and jailed, and black townships on the fringe of cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg were often run-down and riddled with crime. These were the conditions which Dumile's works referred to. Since they recall Francisco Goya's etchings of war and violence in the late 18th and early 19 century, Dumile was dubbed the 'Goya of the Townships' ' an honor which he hardly enjoyed earning.
Dumile was first trained in the ceramics works in Jeppe in Johannesburg.
While recovering from severe tuberculosis, he began drawing and finally decorated whole walls of the hospital. From 1965 on, he worked with the politically active Gallery 101 in Johannesburg and in 1967 exhibited at the celebrated S'o Paulo-Biennale. A year later he moved to Britain.
Stylistically Dumile inclined towards figurative realism, and his nervous but exact lines recall those of Egon Schiele.
His artistic materials were often very simple, the drawings often done with a ballpoint pen, as much for economic as artistic reasons. He died in New York in 1991. The recognition which he deserved came to him posthumously, though he had exhibited during his lifetime in many galleries in South Africa and Britain.
On the initiative of several members of the African National Congress, especially Dumile's friend Isaac Witkin and the conservator and bronze-caster John Phillips, funds were set up with which to bring Dumile's works back from the USA to South Africa, to be shown in the National Gallery in Cape Town. A grand retrospective of his works is planned for 2003 by the Johannesburg Art Gallery.
This itself is a poem in prose by Dumile Feni -
One day I was in the Township with this driver and we went past a line of men who were all handcuffed. I don't know what for, maybe for having no pass or something. Anyway the driver said, 'Why don't you ever draw things like that?'
I didn't know what to say. Then just when I was still thinking, a funeral for a child came past. A funeral on a Monday morning. You know, all the people in black on a lorry. And as the funeral went past those men in handcuffs, those men watched it go past, and those with hats took off their hats.
I said to the guy I was with, 'That's what I want to draw!'
In his township phase, Feni's versions of expressionist township suffering and poverty went beyond depicting urchins and beggars; in the drawing The Stricken Household (1965) he does not stop short of littering the ground around the shack that he takes as his motive, with what look very much like corpses; when he does do a beggar, it is rendered as The Ogre (1965) all displaced limbs and frozen mask of accusation, more a product of anger than it is of suffering.
In short, Feni's art at this time tends to be more in your face, more driven in its expressionism than that of most of his contemporaries.
His township work contains, though he never claimed this for himself, one of the more credible struggle oeuvres to come out of this country in the 1960s and 1970s, if only because of the white-hot intensity of his expressionism and the unmediated honesty of its conception.
It is probably significant in this regard that, uncommonly for prominent black artists of the time, Feni, though he often used the facilities provided by these, never really took instruction at the white run art institutions. Instead his first, and probably crucial, training was as part of an informal group around the artist Ephraim Ngatane, later honed during a period in a sanatorium where he was suffering from tuberculosis.
Another significant observation here to come from Ainslie is one to the effect that, while Feni shared his studio for a time, and lived with the Ainslies, he was never part of the student body at the Johannesburg Art Foundation. So too, he at times used the facilities and interacted with students at the Polly Street Art Centre, but was never fully identified with that either.
The African National Congress Government made Dumile a hero, branded him the only township artist who exposed apartheid but Dumile was far beyond than being a township hero, his erotically charged work escaped a closer inspection, the mind of the greatest thinker who brought Africa on an international canvas.
The Master Sculpture And Artist - Dumile FeniFeni Expressing The Burden that Africans Feel and being carried along with; He Carved this Stature artistically and spiritually expressing the sobering said reality that Africans themselves Are a best of Burn-Articstically/Sculpturally
We have To Understand Better What Intergenerational Cultural Transmission Is All About
This is the early and first month of the 2014 A.D.
and we in Mzantsi are nowhere near our Objective and autonomous Freedom, Nationhood and liberation that we have so coveted and fought for over the centuries. The most perplexing thing about our decrepit state of existence is that, we have now been made ignorant,destitute, mentally disturbed and forlorn.
We fight the same shit and are the most dejected, despondent, disconsolate, wretched, downcast, dispirited, downhearted, crestfallen, depressed, melancholy, gloomy, glum, mournful, despairing, doleful, oppressed, repressed and denied of basic human rights. our humanity, peoplehood and Are all in Africa and the Disapora- Same Hell.
This is an indisputable Fact, and remains so in the dawn of 2014 A.D.
I used all the synonyms above because they clearly describe our miserable, decrepit and wretched condition, given that our country of Mzantsi is the richest in Africa, in so many ways, and we are at the bottom of any end and every development and progress that is taking place in our country, and we stand by the sidelines and watch other people, who are not of our land, become better, rich, educated, and successful.
I am not going to apologize to no one when it comes to talking about our country South Africa, which must first of all take care of South Africans "first", and anybody else last. This is what I am talking about when I say I do not apologize to no one when saying what I have said above.
Having said so, I will begin the New Year with an observation we need to learn from Asa Hilliard below, and take from it what we need to get on our feet/bootstraps and pull together as an African nation(with those who wish to sit under the African tree/shade, welcome, as Sobukwe noted.
The major problem facing us as poor and African people, locally, regional, continentally and in the Diaspora is the concerted effort that is being foisted upon us to keep us Dumbed Down, illiterate and totally ignorant about everything. They(The rulers) make the decision, we comply, obey and carry them out-no matter how unreal they are.
If we are going to talk about education, culture, history, tradition, dance, music , traditional dress and sacred rites and practices of the Nguni/Bakone, then we better know what we are talking about. If we are going to be talking and waxing political about the African-centeredness of our culture, custom, traditions, music, dances and the whole bit, we better know concretely write, very well what all the 11 people of South Africa are about and represent of and by themselves.
First of all, we need to put some issues into their proper perspective to even begin taking about the different types of music that are composed and made by Africans of South Africa. And there is nothing wrong in me selecting them as I do because our culture in Mzantsi is completely dominated by the Culture of the indigenous culture in all aspects and respects.
Right now, most of us are not really helping to educate and lead from the people's perspective - the oppressed of Mzantsi. I think Asa Hilliard's excerpt below will help us clarify and edify this reality into the core of our consciousness.
"Our traditions have made a profound impact on world civilization. They still do. But today, we must reclaim these traditions, and where appropriate, utilize them to help us to address the many issues that plague our communities today.
"We continue to live in dangerous and treacherous times. The same propaganda and calculated manipulation of information about Africans that has existed since the start of Maafa is prevalent today. Mass media send messages to us and about us that are beyond our control.
Schools have little or nothing to engage our students in African Cultural Traditions or in support of African communities. Our communities rarely acknowledges our traditions and they fail to create adequate structures to guarantee "Intergenerational Cultural Transmission".
" We are culturally lazy and our ancestors are not pleased. History will not be kind to those of us who forget. Shame, disintegration and dependency on others or worse, will be the outcome.
"While I am addressing a general audience, it is my highest hope that serious researchers will make a careful review of the references and selected bibliography. Special attention should be paid to those that point to documentation and descriptions informing us about our traditions.
I am hopeful that these references will tease, enlighten, and heighten the interest of researchers so that they may be motivated to do the hard work of digging up greater details to illuminate traditional African aims, methods, contents, and outcomes.
"Time is of the essence as many of our living human sources are dying. Much of the information that we need is in "fugitive sources," like literature, film, tape recording,photographs. artifacts, architectural,structures, carvings, paintings, music, games, symbols and more. In other words, in order for us to develop and maintain a robust understanding of our cultural wealth, we have a great deal of "Study" to do. There is a virtual treasure trove to be uncovered. There is No Time to waste in tapping our African Power.
"Studying And Learning Is Our Key To Nationhood and Autonomous Freedom/Self Rule"
Asa then adds the following Advice and observations:
"There is no way around serious and disciplined study. We must study, and study more. Study, will reintroduce us to our tradition. Nothing in the general culture requires us to do this and so we must set our own standards. We must do this work for ourselves, on our own intitative.
There is no chance, whatsoever, that we can launch an appropriate socialization effort without study, without structure, and without habit, tied to our own heritage.
"Nothing is more pitiful than to be led by those who have not done their homework. Around the world, some African and non-African lead panel discussions, public meetings, and more, are held to address the African agenda. While often well intentioned, the meetings feature disorganized sound bites, confusion, and a lack of synthesis and mission.
"Further, some of the valuable information revealed in these forums are sometimes repeating what Africans have said 20, 30, 50, 100, and 200 years ago. Because there was no study, Africans behave as though they re presenting new information.
"Had they studied and not been taught to avoid or resist their own history, they would not be reinventing the wheel. When you have not studied, you represent the accurate image of a disorganized, unfocused and controlled group. Unfortunately, too many individuals stand ready to enter the limelight with no clear vision.
"We must conduct study groups in every community for leaders and followers. This is our basic preparation for economic and political action. More important, this is our basic preparation for healing, renewal and for developing our vision of destiny.
"No public schools, anywhere in the African world, deal with the matters reflected in the references I recommended above. Sadly, very few of the organizations that are under the control of African people transmit our profound cultural heritage. This is the sorry condition.
"There is no way that we can survive as a people without study. There is no way that study can serve us unless we "CT" on what we Learn. Knowing is not enough. We must construct the world that we want. Nothing comes to those who wait.
"We have all that we need to do what is necessary. We can come to know what we need to know. We, however, must choose to do what is necessary and make the sacrifices that we need to make. today, we have more resources, books, computers, etc. Still, we waste time and far more resources than we need to take care of the socialization requireents. Now is the time to save us. The Struggle Continues," ["Aluta Kontinua" - my addition].
It is Important That We Construct Our World As we See Fit
What does Asa Hilliard and his sage comments above have to do with education? Everything. What Asa is saying above strike at the core and center of our present-day social miasma. When we ignored, dismissed, rejected and scorned our history, culture, traditions, languages, music, dances, sacred rites and practices and our recognizing that we are an African people we need to go back at the beginning,, back to cultural basics.
We stopped learning and studying, concretely knowing, practicing, developing and living cultural selves as the totality of all these things, we essentially have become European, here in Mzantsi. We think being European-likely sets us apart from our communities, African continent and the Diaspora.
We think that makes us unique and different. We boast to one another about western cultural artifacts and wealth accumulation thinking that imbibing this makes us better than our poor and down-trodden lot in the townships and ramshackle dwellings that is their domiciles-and the rest of Africa.
We have no groundings in nor are neither embedded within our cultures, histories, traditions and whole bit, at all. We think that's how our masters have taught us to 'know' is enough, and we dare not construct our world outside the miseducated boxes we so comfortably dwell and think.
We have no time to transmit in an Intergenerational consistent and structured way and manner of our whole cultural spiel.
We are presently engaged and engrossed in imbibing, aping and executing in both speech and action all that is European or American, that we really do not have time to look into our history, culture, traditions and so forth to begin to talk about nation-building, once we understood what we need to know, study and live from our own and selves and culture.
It is either we do as we have been made up to be thus far-that we need to begin to recognize, study and concretely know our cultures, traditions, customs, music, dances, traditional dresses and so forth before we can even countenance the unknown and unclear freedom and autonomy that so many tout, and yet that is still has not been realized nor achieved by the majority of Africans in Mzantsi-to date.
The cultural and historical knowledge and tradition and music has been forgotten thus far, is what in the whole musical mosaic that one can find in Mzantsi, and even the music above, has but totally disappeared from the musical delivery media systems and concerts here in the country.
I can see from postings on Youtube and reading the comments of those who have listened to these songs from South Africa, the amazement and enthusiasm these artists and their songs generate and engender, and yet, inside the country, this same music has been taken of the programming diet playlists along with TV, and we are left with either Kwaito or music from overseas, dominating the Air and,TV and Concerts waves and performances-and the music was given a name of the once famous gangsters in Orland East called amaKwaito.
There's a whole story and history to what I have just mentioned..
Our educational system is in chaos and bankrupt. It does not serve our interests and our people. Our children are lost like the times when we were colonized and missionary schools took over our children, brainwashed them, and made them reject their cultures, disrespect their elders and reject their customs, histories and traditions.
The same is true now during the rule of our own and supposedly democratically elected ANC government. Many White South Africans are working assiduously hard to colonize information about Africans and their own history and information. Well, now is the time we take over, not colonize, our information and we fashion it to our needs as we see fit.If our education will be relegated to the Web's viral stream, so be it.
We have to at least learn something from Asa above, which is "Studying" our Music, and other aspects of culture for our own benefit and betterment. In the Hub above, I have attempted to capture the essence of the culture that can still be made better, and also can learn what we have been through and how we still have to go-also, come to grips and concrete stories of our history in sports arts and culture.
The other issue not touched up fully in this Hub are the affects and effects that the recording and publishing industry has had on the music and artists in South Africa. I have not really elaborated as I would like about the state of education/reading and studying that is not taking place as it used to be in our communities, today.
I will write and talk about the publishing and recording industries and companies in South Africa and what role they are playing in sowing ignorance, confusion, and not really interested in palavers like the one I published above. There are many facets of our being under attack and these will be dealt within other forthcoming Hubs.
In this Hub, above, theArts, sports and Cultural Traditions are explored and their history given by the athletes, artists and our one culture, through its photographic images, cultural traditional musical video
This will be forthcoming in due time. For now, studying music in the away I that's relevant to us and our compositions-this includes education, reading and studying, which will enable us to move the this decrepit and downtrodden reality, so that we can construct our African world as we see fit; we must choose what to do if we want to go viral and how we are going to own that and affect everything about the product(music, culture, dances, art and sports history) in this case), that we want the world to know us by and begin to understand us as African people of South Africa as presented and projected by us-from an African-centered perspective, much better, truthfully and realistically-Again: From our own African-Centered perspective.
We therefore must Recognize that the Struggle going forward, is the highest form of education/studying we can do for ourselves. Dr. John Hendrik Clarke deals with this aspect of Us Studying and making sure that our education works/functions and serves or purposes and we shall see the reasons why if we work hard at improving our studying habits and reading/writing and uplifting our people through Revolutionary Education-an education that we have trained and studied for our own benefit and success-We can change and shift the present paradigmatic zeitgeist-to what we want it to be..
We have to begin thinking seriously about what Asa and Clarke are teaching us above and (in the article) and below,(in the Video)
Dr John Henrik Clarke, Dr Yosef Ben Jochannan - What will We Tell Our Children
South African African Indigenous Socialization: Race Matters
We really have a problem in having a clear pan of action and long term vision as to how to empower and make our people consciously know that they are a nation-and we are still unable to help our people to unite.
Our culture here in south Africa helped us to efficiently manage our traditional spiritual values, family, culture and land. Our enslavers forced a serious disconnect on our cultural/historical/traditional foundation.
This has disabled our ability to unite, and work towards the achievement of our full freedom. Our inability to unite is a direct a result of our rejection of the Indigenous African Principles which promote a strong sense of community. This brings us to the fact and point that we need to need to ask and know who are people are.(Amilcar Cabral addresses this part of "Who Our People Are".
So that we need to be clear as to who chooses to be in The ""African Family", and those who prefer to be "individuals", or just happens to have melanins like the rest of, some are not necessarily interest nor for what I am proposing above. That is not the issue I am concerned with in this Hub.
Once we understand and become clear about this distinction, it will help clarify the kinds of expectations or changes which might be posed by certain people. It will also help us by affording us the much needed knowledge as to who will be an advocate of and for the liberation of Africa, against those who are only opportunistic instead of helping our people.
According to Asa Hilliard:
"Restricting one's identity to physical characteristics is equal to acquiescing to the European domination strategy of ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide. People often confuse "race" with ethnic and cultural idetnity. When we see people who look like us, we assume that they all regard themselves as embers of the African Ethnic family; in addition to being Black.
Many Africans believe that our only real struggle is to join the mythical "mainstream" as individuals. While, We as Africans, may have individual distinctions connected to religion, class nationality, etc., we must be careful not to allow these distinction to divide us in the name of service to oppressors.
Africans Of south Africa And themselves
Biko in one of his chapters he titled, "We Blacks":
"Black people under Smuts government were oppressed, but they were still men. They failed to change the system for many reasons which e shall not consider here. But he type of Black man we have today has lost his manhood. Reduced to an obliging shell, he looks with awe at the White power structure and accepts what he regards as the "inevitable position".
Deep inside his anger mouths at the accumulating insult, but he vents in the wrong direction - on his fellow man in the Township, on the property of Black people.
"No longer does he trust leadership, for the 1963 mass arrests were blamable on bungling by the leadership, nor is there any to trust [Same as today under the leadership of the ANC-led government] In the privacy of is toilet, his face twists in silent condemnation of White society but brightens up in sheepish obedience as he comes out hurrying in response to his master's patient call.
"It is still said even today , although in a much more sophisticated language-[that one finds the use of racist language that is still prevalent inside South Africa and the evil and degrading comments made by White people in the Internet, as if some of us will not see this and even if we do, we will keep quite] To a large extent, the evil-doers have succeeded in producing at the output end of their machine, a kind of Black man who is man only in form.
this is the extent to which the process of dehumanization has advanced."
I should point out that this is not working, and it is exacerbating the reality we see today that is lived by the Africans under the ANC, and of course, the murders of White Farmers, which I think should be stopped and a unification of South Africa should by now on its way towards becoming a reality. But at the moment, before we can deal or talk about other people or ethnic groups, we need to put our case and house tightly together.
"In the home-bound bus or train he joins the chorus that roundly condemns the White man, but is first to praise the government in the presence of the police his employers. His heart yearns for the comfort of White society and make him blame himself for not having been "educated" enough to warrant such luxury.
Celebrated achievements by Whites in the field of science - which he understands only hazily - serve to make him rather convinced of the futility of resistance and to those away any hopes that change may ever come. All in all, the Black man has become a shell, a shadow of man, completely defeated, drowning in his own misery, a slave, an ox bearing the yolk of oppression with sheepish timidity."Biko)
Cultural And Educational Decapitation Of Africans In South Africa
What is really different now on what Bantu is talking about, about us, is that we have become a poor copy of what we aspire to be: White. The youth sees this as a way out of Black(African) poverty and powerlessness. They think if they speak English very well, with our quaint accents, and use new technologies, and be miseducated in our pedagogy; and yet, with this belief and misperception,they find out that they are not accepted as White people, and yet see their African people-they, the youth, recognize their own people as being backward, unsophisticated, as they have learnt from their education in the Model C School, and other such institutions of Higher Learning.
"This is the first truth, bitter it may seem, that we have to acknowledge before we can start on any program we designed to change the status quo. It becomes more necessary to see the truth as it is if you realize that the only vehicle for change are these people who have lost their personality.
The first step therefore, is to make the Black man come to himself; to pump back life into his empty shell; to infuse him with pride and dignity; to remind him of his complicity in the crime of allowing himself to be misused and therefore, letting evil reign supreme in the country of his birth.
This is the definition of "Black ("African") Consciousness".
"One writer makes the point that in an effort to destroy completely the structure that had been built up in the African society and to impose their imperialism with an unnerving totality to colonialists were to satisfied merely with holding a people in their grip and emptying the "Native's" brain of all form and content,they turned to the past of the oppressed peopled and distorted, disfigured and destroyed it.
No longer was reference made to African culture, it became barbarism. Africa was the "dark continent".. Religious practices and customs were referred to as superstition. The history of African society was reduced to 'tribal' battles and internecine wars.
"There was no conscious migration by the people from one place of abode to another. No, it was always flight from one tyrant who wanted to defeat the "tribe", not for any positive reason, but merely to wipe them out of the face of the earth.
"No wonder the African child learns to hate his heritage in his days at school(Model C Schools, and Township Schools). So negative is the image presented to him that he tends to find solace only in close identification with White society."
Reading Biko's musings above is very important for South Africans(Africans) and other ethnic groups to begin to understand what is going on here. Before I cited Bantu, I talked about our youth who are not even reading books such as the one written by Biko, they are caught up in the technological world and its gizmos-and are arrogantly ignorant.
No doubt, therefore, part of the approach envisaged in bringing about "Black Consciousness" has to be directed to the past, to seek to rewrite the history of the Black(African) man and produce in it the heroes who come form the core of the African [Historical/cultural] background.
Biko Takes A Swipe At Technology
"Then, too, one can extract from our indigenous cultures a lot of positive attributes which should teach Westerners a lesson or two. The oneness of community for instance, is at the heart of our culture(Read my Hub on the Mpondo(Xhosa) people of the eastern Cape-already published here on HubPages).
the easiness with which Africans communicate with each other is not forced by authority but is inherent in the make-up of African people.
"Thus, whereas the White family can stay in an area without knowing its neighbors, Africans develop a sense of belonging to the community within a short time of coming together. Many-a-hospital official has been confounded by the practice of Indians who bring gifts and presents to patients whose names they can hardly recall. Again, this is a manifestation of the interrelationship between man and man in the Black(African) world, as opposed to the highly impersonal world in which Whitey lives.
"These are characteristics we much not allow ourselves to lose. Their value can only be appreciated by those of us who have not as yet been made slaves to technology and the machine."
It is at this juncture that one pauses and reflects on what Biko wrote in 1972, and how this is relevant to us today. We waste time trying to outshine each other about ideologies and schools of thought and lame organizations, we have forgotten that we need to read Biko. Inasmuch as Biko is sounding terse in his criticism of us, he resuscitates our culture by pointing out to some of its pillars and highlights our culture's ability to hold its own in the word; also, Biko offers an ominous and real warning that he and his generation were not enslaved by technology and machines. ... Black Consciousness therefore seeks to give positivity in the outlook of the Black people to their problems-and elevates, and more so, raise our people, through our culture and history to a much more respectable commentary, this history of Africans, onto world human history and historiography.
Biko: "It works on the knowledge that "White hatred" is negative, though understandable, and leads to precipitate and shot-gun methods which may be disastrous for Black and White alike. ItBlack(African) Consciousness) seeks to channel the pent-up forces of the angry BlackAfrican) masses to meaningful and directional opposition basing its entire struggle on realities of the situation. It was to ensure a "singularity of purpose in the minds of Black(African) people, and to make possible total involvement of the masses in a struggle essentially theirs"."
Some have taken the 'struggle' away from the masses and into a myriad organization which are ineffective and bickering a lot. Inaction with the poor masses is one reason why this is so. Everyone who is so inclined becomes a 'fly-by-night' political talking head based on what they see and learn from Facebook, Twitter and the like(You can check out my Hub I wrote on the Twitter, published here on HubPages). Yet, when we read Bantu's writings, we begin to see for ourselves, without depending on some imagined leader or informer as to what Black Consciousness is about, straight from the mind and words of Bantu Biko above.
We are today , 41 years later, listing and seeing what Biko was saying. I have pointed out to the affects and effects of technological gizmos and the streaming ability that has handcuffed out youth in South Africa. They do not understand that these new ways of communication, were spoken by their seers: Biko, one of the many we have here in Mzantsi.
I reiterate, many of us just regurgitate palliatives and somnolent jabberwocky from the two sides of their mouths(presented as contemporary 'real-politik'), that they really hardly read Biko and what he has to say about Black Consciousness And What That Means or should Mean for Us African People. We claim leadership by shouting at the top of the Internet media roofs, and yet, very few hardly read what Biko meant and clearly elaborated the Black Consciousness philosophy, also, what it was intended to achieve and affect/effect the large collectives of African people. Few of us, although we will not admit it, do not have time to read him, at all.
It is also instructive for us to look at the same affects of colonization in the United States, as narrated by Akbar:
"It is important, however, for African Americans to know that many of our attitudes toward work are as a result of our slavery experiences These negative experiences associated with work continue to function as unconscious influences on us that make us respond in ways which may be contrary to our conscious intention. Awareness of these influences and their source begins to free us from their effects.
Our slang, our songs, our jokes, our attitudes, transmitted from one generation to the next, preserve these retains as if they were acquired yesterday.
"The slave was permitted to own nothing or very little. Certainly, property and the finer material objects such as clothes, jewelry, etc., were reserved for the slave master. Douglas(1970) again observes:
"The yearly allowance of clothing for the slaves on this plantation consisted of two tow-linen shirts - such linen as the coarsest crash towels are made of; one pair of trousers and a jacket of woolen, most sleazily put together, for winter; one pair of yarn stockings, and one pair of shoes of the coarsest description. The slave's entire apparel could not have cost more than eight dollars per year.
The allowance of food and clothing for the little children, was committed to their mothers, or to the older slave woman having care of them. Children who were unable to work in the field had neither shoes, stockings, jackets nor trousers given them,. Their clothing consisted of two coarse tow-linen shirts - - per year' and when these failed them, as they often did, they went naked until the next allowance day."
The slave master's fine house, beautiful landscaping, exquisite clothes and objects were associated with his power and status. In the same way that the slave looked upon his master with hatred and resentment, he also resented and envied the master's possessions because those possessions were associated with freedom and the power to direct one's life, family, and community.
"African Americans have the slavery influence of mixed attitudes toward material objects and property. On one hand, those objects are still associated with the master and his powers. Therefore, there is a tendency to resent property and to take a secret (unconscious) delight in attacking it.
Certainly, some of pour tendencies toward vandalism and abuse of property have their origin in these experiences with property. Property is still viewed as belonging to the 'master' and not the 'slave'"
The second part of Akbar is another important observation he makes about why and how we are as we are: more specifically-why is it that we do not trust our natural leaders" We learn from Akbar that:
"Probably one of the most destructive influences which has grown out of slavery is the disrespect of African American leadership. The allegory is seen throughout nature that the most certain way to destroy life is to cut off the head.(a la Biko)
"One of the things that was systematically done during slavery was the elimination of control of any emerging "head" or leader. Slave narratives and historical accounts are full of descriptions of atrocities brought against anyone who exemplified real leadership capability.
The slave holders realized that their power and control over the slaves was dependent upon the absence of any indigenous leadership among the slaves(We, also in Mzantsi can relate to what Akbar is taking about: Bantu Biko, for instance).
"The slaves were taught to view with suspicion natural leaders who emerged from among themselves. Such heads were identified as "uppity" or "arrogant" and were branded as the kind of trouble-makers who sere destined to bring trouble to the entire slave community(Biko talks about such attitudes in NUSAS, and the "overseer' role adopted by the Liberals).
"Any slave who began to emerge as a natural head, that is, one orientated toward survival of the whole body, was identified early and was either eliminated, isolated, killed, or ridiculed. In his or her place was put a leader who hd been carefully picked, trained, and tested to stand only for the master's welfare. In other words, unnatural leaders/heads were attached to the slave communities. They furthered the cause of the master and frustrated the cause of the slaves." (See the male house- slave [Played by Samuel Jackson], in the movie "Django Unchained".
We have the same situation here in South Africa. The real leaders were taken care off long before we came to this fictitious self-rule. We have quislings and turn-coats running the government lining-up their pockets with stolen loot. There is no excuse and or anything that they can justify what is happening in the country right now.
The, the ANC-are perfect servants for imperial and local interest of their former detractors, and new bosses. These and Aparheid colonization and rule cannot be separated nor not talked about. Both are detrimental to the well-being and development of the Africans of south Africa, and for South Africa as a whole.
Django Unchained - The MovieSamuel Jackson played a very convincing role of a house Negro in the Movie Django Unchained
As can be seen in the presentation about African South African Art above, the same goes for sports. During Apartheid Africans were involved in their own sports and participated actively, and gave of their talents, freely, and to the entertainment of the oppressed masses.
Unlike today, mass participation in ports is limited to certain sorting codes and plus one need to take into consideration the corruption that iis presently taking place in our country. Sports is dead amongst Africans as it used to exist. Boxing, Cricket, Tennis, , Chess clubs, well jaz clubs have evolved today; children were involved in all facets of sports; adults were taking care to promote junior leagues, in soccer, tennis tournaments; there were famous boxing stables; YMCA's full of youth and activities; and so on, and soon. A bit below in the Hub I will be dealing with soccer and soccer players during Apartheid.
If then many things are gone from our mist, then As Asa Hilliard advices:
African socialization practices served to assist communities in day-to-day operations,collective survival, interpersonal relations, and basic quality of life issues. The content of an African education and socialization process contains many components which are modified according to the specific goals and aims of a community.
It includes the following parts:
1. Study of the whole heritage of the community
2. Study of the spiritual significance of everything
3. Study of the whole life of the community
4. Study of the whole environment and ecology
5. Study of how to maintain health
6. Building and understanding of MAAT(Balance) and a commitment to do MAAT(Balance)
7. Building Strong Community values
8. Building fundamental and advanced skills
9. Building strong social bonds
10. Building a strong ethnic family identity
11. Study of geopolitical and economic forces
12. Building repeat for elders
12. Building and maintaining effective maintaing systems for children
Asa adds: "Our methodology for socialization follows from the above. Bonded relationships among teachers and students are the foundation for method. Collective efforts of students, teachers, families and communities are essential. Rituals, rhythms and performances are essential. Meditation and reflection is essential. Conducting socialization in specially prepared 'sacred spaces' is essential. With all of this, critical reflection is a must.. True, Apartheid destabilized us. Also true, the ANC has bungled its opportunities for over 20 years, but we to, as an African people, should be held liable for letting ourselves be accomplices in the oppression of ourselves and our people(a la Biko)
"There is also arrogance from those patronizing Europeans who covet and embrace the ideas of European cultural nationalists, and weak African intellectuals and leaders. Well, this Hub is designed to negate and push-back on these stereotypes and set up leaders.
Art Imitating Life; Life Imitating Art- Gerard SekotoSong Of The Pick: An exhibition of Gerard Sekoto’s work, entitled Song for Sekoto 1913 – 2013, his life and times will be presented in celebration of the centenary of the artist’s birth.
Gerard Sekoto is considered by many to be the ‘Father of South
Song Of The Pick: An exhibition of Gerard Sekoto's work, entitled Song for Sekoto 1913 - 2013, his life and times will be presented in celebration of the centenary of the artist's birth.
Gerard Sekoto is considered by many to be the ‘Father of South African Art'. His work has fetched extremely high values on the international art market yet in his birthplace of South Africa, he is still relatively ‘unknown' amongst the general public. In recent years Sekoto's local profile has been raised by the extensive efforts of author Barbara Lindop - both through the research and publication of her books on the topic, and her work in establishing and running the Gerard Sekoto Foundation. It is under these auspices that this exhibition was initiated, in order to facilitate further discovery of the excellence and depths of Sekoto's important multi-disciplinary works.
Supplemented by a personal history, documents and photographs, this showcase will allow Sekoto's work to be considered for the first time within the tangible context of his life and the extraordinary circumstances in which he lived. Wits Arts Museum
Source/Artist: Gerard Sekoto
Artist: Dumile FeniThe geometrical lines,
Cultural Dependency, Educational And Cultural Terrorism: A Case For Intergenerational Cultural Transmission
The cultural dependency of African people and many other ethnic groups is due to years of miseducation and the gradual loss of control of intergenerational cultural transmision. Most Africans are in deep debt.
Culturally dependent people will believe, internalize and utilize anything that they are socialized to believe is correct. For this reason, Africans around the globe copy European standards of beauty. In certainAfrican countries, (Korea and some Asiatic countries), there is a crises in the number of people who bleach their skin in an effort to lighten it and look more European.
"Instead of growing food or practicing natural medical practices, that were passed on to us eons ago, we are totally dependent on others. It is ironic that those who make money on the medicine and other medical remedies today, studied and copied the practices of indigenous people around the world; the very people that they called backward. Now, instead of benefiting from the legacy of their ancestors, the descendants are dependent for medicine, food, and other things needed to survive.
"Africans have begun to internalize the views that exploiters have of us and our traditions. Many of us have become eager seekers to be educated in alien traditions, without criticism of them. For the past few centuries, the mass education that we receive in Africa and the Diaspora is rooted largely in Western European education orientation and practice.
"This condition has led to financial and political dependence. We no longer create the things that we need to survive; not food, clothing, or shelter. Even those things that we do create such as our music are under the control of others who have turned these very creativities against us. Destructive images are carried back into African communities, where the messages of uplift should be found."
In short then, dependency and lack of national autonomy has made Africans slaves to other foreign people who hold autonomy and their own brand of independence(Imperialism,etc.) over Africans. It is attempting to unshackle and free themselves fro such servitude that African writers and activists are needed to right the wrongs being perpetrated upon the billions of Africans globally.
Asa Hilliard informs us thusly:
"I was invited to present a paper at the Interdenominational Theological Seminary in Atlanta on the topic, "The Spiritual State of Black American." I identified "12 Challenges for African People" in my response to this theme. The big picture for Africans is the same everywhere in the world, because hegemonic structures are global.
Even now, enormous power is being consolidated everywhere, with no priority on African development, e.g., The European Community (EC), North Atlantic Free Trade Association (NAFTA) and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) (GATT). Equally important is globalization in the business arena.
1. We are unconscious, with no global view of African people and no global view of successful ethnic groups. We experience ourselves as local people in a global world. Some of us experience ourselves only as individuals without any connection even to a local African community.
2. We have acute amnesia, with no valid memories or awareness of ourselves as a historical people evolving through time and spreading throughout the world. We are episodic in our experience of ourselves.
3. We are disintegrating as a people and disorganized. We have lost our solidarity. Many of us feel no bond of identity with our people.
4. We are not raising our own children. We have no systematic socialization structures for the masses of our children. They are raising themselves or they are being raised by others. We have forfeited one of the most vital functions of a people, the responsibility for intergenerational cultural transmission.
5. We have a growing loss of independent faith communities, becoming more subordinate in institutions that we do not control.
6. We have no long-range strategic goals, plans and mobilization. Without these things nothing positive will happen for us.
7. We do not have an adequate comprehension of wealth production and accumulation. Many of us make money. Few of us make wealth. Our consumption appetites make us prime sources for exploitation by others.
8. We do not have an adequate comprehension of how to nurture health and prevent illness. We do not have healthy diets. We do not monitor and control our environment. We do not have a critical orientation about these things.
9. We have no major independent, self-funded think tanks to help us to define and to resolve our problems. We do not see how successful group fund and rely upon ideas based upon research and reflection (Edwards, 1998).
10. We do not have an adequate African Centered Higher Education. Definitions, assumptions, priorities and above all our worldviews must reflect us.
11. We do not have sufficient cultural centers, movements, monuments, and celebrations to highlight important experiences and to shape directions. These things offer us the opportunity to be reflective and to develop a more firm vision of the future.
12. We have no regular independent communication capabilities, such as serious national and international periodicals to address our serious and continuing problems. This is shameful. It is not really a matter of resources. It is a matter of consciousness. Appropriate socialization will produce an appetite among the masses of our people for appropriate information.
I cannot amplify these points in the time available here. However, it should be clear that if we begin with these challenges while reflecting on our geo-political status as a people, they call for very special approaches to education/socialization, approaches that can only come from us. It should also be evident that something far beyond the common school experience is required for our children, even though most of our children will continue to attend common schools. Moreover, we must insure that this common school experience taps the genius of our children and stops disabling them through structured miseducation. Many of us rely totally on the common school experience. That will not meet our complete needs. The socialization of the masses of our children can only be done through structures that we develop and control.
Most of the 12 Challenges mentioned above are tied directly to our task of education and socialization, affecting directly the aim, methods and content of education/socialization. However, out of all of these high priority challenges, the first, becoming conscious, and the fourth, the matter of control over the education/socialization of our children are critical. Hegemonic structures were created to mis-educate enslaved and colonized people, and people who were victims of white supremacy influenced structures of domination. Indigenous and independent systems were destroyed.
Colonial and slave structures as well as apartheid and general white supremacy structures, were created, including boarding schools, to separate children from parents and communities and cultures, and especially mission schools to destroy the worldviews and to stigmatize colonized and enslaved people as savages, primitives, and pagans. The recent "culture wars" over the school curriculum is a continuation in a newer form of ideological structures of hegemony that follow the old path of separating children and communities from their traditions." (Schlesinger, 1998) (Bloom, 1987) (Ravitch, 1996) (Hirsch, 1987).
Science and Space Technology Knowledge
I am very much deeply involved in research about space technology and the Universe as a whole. Some of us think that this is a frivolous exercise for African people blah-blah/rah-rah.. Yes, this is our forte were we to learn more about its research, inform ourselves about it and add it to our educational curriculum in conscientizing Africans about the existence here on earth and in Space/universal, and so forth.
Below, this perspective, is being put forth by Wilson, which helps us wake up to this knowledge, and debunk the narrow minded amongst our midst who are not interested in such information. Well, I am, and I recognize that that I live on top of the crust of the earth which is floating with other entities in the universe, and that I am affected by the universal laws and principles.
I cannot pretend as if I am not affected and effected by space, time and the ever expanding universe. I have blogged a great deal about this topic and perspective, and have injected into my writing an African centered perspective.
I think Amos Wilson give us a better sense of what our education and ourselves are to be and are all about... We shall have to begin to see ourselves in this present reality and make use of this time to project and launch ourselves into the 21st century and beyond...
Dr Amos Wilson - Afrikan Education in the 21st Century
Artist: Dumisani SibisiTrumpet Player...
King Kong - "The Musical" the "Song Sad Times, Bad" Times was Composed by Todd Matshikiza)
The history of South Africa's musical theater was inaugurated when the musical, An African Jazz Opera - King Kong, based on the tragic life of Black African boxer Ezekiel "King Kong" Dlamani, was premiered at the Great Hall of Witwatersrand University on February 2, 1959.
Featuring the music of Todd Matshikiza and the lyrics of Pat Williams, the musical was a phenomenal success. With the members of the Manhattan Brothers and Miriam Makeba starring in the lead roles, the show toured for two-and-a-half years, including a nine-month run in London. King Kong was subsequently revived in 1979 and 1999.
Much of the musical's success was due to the power of Matshikiza's compositions. The score reflected a personal statement. As a former journalist for the black magazine Drum and news editor for The Golden City Post, Matshikiza had covered Dlamani's trial for treason in the mid-'50s.
His music incorporated his experiences during the trial and his views of apartheid. According to The Daily Mail & Guardian, "Matshikiza understood his central character, and, more importantly, understood the whole world that surrounded 'King Kong'. He understood the whole black world of the townships that fed Johannesburg and the histories of the people who filled those townships."
Todd Matshikiza - "Sad Time, Bad Times"
King Kong - "The Musical" the "Song Sad Times, Bad" Times
Sculpture Of Dumile FeniThe African South African-ness Of Dumile Feni's Sculpture Untitiled
African Cultural Motivation...
This takes us back to the question Amos asked above, "What is Culture?"
"What Is Culture?" ..Horton and Hunt Provide a workable answer to this question. .."From their life experiences, a group develops a set of rules and procedures for meeting their needs, and these set of rules and procedures, together with a supporting set of ideas and values, is called culture." Clyde Kluckhon has defined culture as all the "historically created designs for living, explicit and implicit, rational, irrational and non-rational which may exist at any given time as potential guides for the behavior of man."
"Dominant groups, in seeking to achieve or maintain their power over subordinate groups, are for this reason compelled in some ways to constrain, restrict, reduce, destabilize, misdirect, or destroy the family systems, and with those, the communal and cultural systems of the group they subordinate[I have touched on this issue above]. The oppression, distortion and destabilization of the African Family by the Domineering Whites which goes along with the enslavement of Africans and continues to this day.
"The cultural identity of an individual or group is the social product of a socialization process, a process in which new responses, values, perspectives and orientations are acquired and existing behavioral 'repertoires' of the individual or group are modified to some extent, as the result of his or its subjection to direct or indirect social conditioning experiences.
Cultural identity also results from patterning of its modal thoughts, feelings, actions after other cultures or group who serve as models.
"... Thus, culture, though a product of the actual lived experience of a people - the primal source of much of their daily personal and social activities, their forms of labor and its products, their celebratory and ceremonial traditions, modes of dress, art and music, language and articulatory style, appetites and desires - is essentially ideological in nature based as it is on shared beliefs, customs, expectations, and values, cultural constructs, definitions, meanings and purposes. These cultural constructs are used to proactively and reactively mold the mind, body, spirit and behavior of the constituent members of the a particular culture.[This can be observed in the cultural videos above and below].
"Hence culture is does not exist outside and independent of its human subjects. Culture is represented symbolically and operationally in the mind and characteristically mental/behavioral orientations or styles of its members, and its incarnate in the customary ways they move and use their bodies[This part of the definition of culture dovetails well with the presentation of the short histories and traditional and customary practices posted in this Hub] .
The culture is represented "in" the minds and bodies of tis members, and expresses itself through the systematic ways they attend, experience, categorize, classify, order, judge, evaluate, explain and interact with their world.
"Mentally, culture involves the socially shared and customary ways of thinking, a way of encoding, perceiving, experiencing, ordering, processing, communicating and behaviorally expressing information which distinguishes one cultural group from another. All these activities are dedicated to the end of adapting the culture to the consistent and changing demands of its physical and social environment and changing demands of its physical and social environment and reciprocally adapting the environment to the demands of the culture.
"Socially, culture patterns the ways its members perceive each other, relate to and interact with each other. It facilitates the ways they create, develop, organize, institutionalize and behaviorally apply their human potential in order to adapt to the conditions under which they live so as to satisfy their psychological, social and survival needs.
To the degree that the shared beliefs and behavioral orientations of the members of a culture are consensually consistent, reasonable rational and realistic, are effectively and consistently socialized and reinforced, the culture is characterized by coherence, somewhat low levels of internal conflicts and contradictions, relatively smooth, automatic, coordinated operation, and thereby effectively functions in the interest of its members." If one were to watch, and read the histories of the eleven(11) people, this will give the reader/viewer a sense of how the culture of South African Africans works and manifests itself.
"It is very important to keep in mind that a culture is to a significant extent a historical product, a social product. A culture is socially manufactured, the handiwork of both deliberate and coincidental human social collusions and interactions. A culture also manufactures social products.
Some of the most important social products it generates include its own cultural identity, and the social and personal identities of its constituent group and individual members."(wilson)
Culture is a way of life that has been created by Man throughout history, and it is ways created people to be able to deal with the natural and real lived world with each other. South Africans like to communicate with one another, not only in language conveying ideas, thoughts and plans, but talking to each other for the sake of talking to each other, and enjoying that about their communications(Part of Ubuntu). This can be clearly seen in the videos throughout this Hub. The videos and the short histories give the reader/viewer how the Africans in South Africa project and put on display their culture for all to see.
Many people around the world, and if one were to read the comments on the YouTube Videos posted, are very much in-love with African traditional culture, and this can be discerned from their comments on these YouTube videos. It is a culture that has its own identity, style, energy and uniqueness, and is distinctly African South African. It really presents a human face to dance and music.
I will be showcasing African cultural dress and traditions below. But for now, I would like up to touch up on African soccer in South Africa, I will jot deal too much with the state of soccer today, but will provide a historical soccer timeline below.
Showcasing the Artwork Of Fikile Magadlela And Dumile FeniThe Artwork Of Fikile Magadlela
James 'Sofasonke' MpanzaThe Father Of Soweto..
James “Sofasonke” Sofasonke Mpanza, a community leader and advocate for better housing for African people living in Johannesburg’.n March 1944 Mpanza had become disillusioned with peaceful appeals for more houses and called for a more daring approach to force the JMC to heed the subtenants’ demand for houses.
Perched on a horse Mpanza led hundreds of subtenant families across t
The Father Of Soweto and The Stalwart Of Orlando Pirates
This is a very difficult topic to write on about sports, culture, and race in South Africa.
It is difficult because there is some serious scarcity and lack of data and information. But I think this is another topic that needs to be dealt with thoroughly, and I will try my utmost best to present my case about what I have seen transpire/or my impressions about African sport in South Africa today.
When I say today, this means that to be where we are, we need to look back, and I will do so, with the hope that many African South Africans can read about the history and story of their sports, and why it is in shambles today.
The Natives Urban Areas Act of 1923 declared that blacks were temporary sojourners in urban areas and would only be permitted to reside there when employed. At the end of their working life they were to return to their homelands. The Act, intended to cover urban centres across South Africa, was rigorously applied by the Johannesburg Municipal Council JMC)[ ]elektrofahrer.ch traditions, music, languages, cultural dresses, sacred rites and practices, philosophies, and the whole bit on the Web... The only thing required is a determined and honest will to carry out our roles and duties to our people. I simply write such articles, post art, aphorism, short pieces on various subjects, information I know that will open the hearts and minds of our African people in Mzantsi, Africa and the Diaspora.
Our culture has many important messages, information and solutions to our present plight, but we ignore it. We have had influences from the US, primarily, and the West, generally, that we need to see these as such. The important thing for us to do now, is to get to know ourselves, and appreciate and respect ourselves-put ourselves first, in anything we do. This is important, for no one needs to forego this initial of nation building baby steps.
At this juncture, I would like to post a historical piece by Copland regarding the influences of Americans in the tortoise and forties and how we got off track in regard to our cultures, histories, customs and so on. I will take the musical tack, and through it try and relay the message I have bee addressing above. I wish I could really go fully into this mindset we see today, but due to space, I will cull from the following piece by Coplan who informs us that:
"... Recordings became a widespread source of entertainment and status for urban African families. Imports were scarce during the early 1940s due to the war and an American musicians' strike. Local performers were encouraged to fill the gap with their own versions of american hits in the hope of recapturing a greater share of the record market.
"American and British magazines and Wilfred Sentso's local publication 'African Sunrise' kept African Jazz enthusiasts informed about overseas trends and personalities. They could see and hear African American performers like Lena Horne, Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway, Ethel Waters, Johnny Hodges and Duke Ellington. They could some of these musicians in films such as "Stormy Weather, 'Cabin In The Sky' and 'Black Velvet'.
"These productions electrified the cultural atmosphere of Africans in Johannesburg and other outlying regions within South Africa. This had an effect of permanently influencing local speech, dress, and stage shows. Impressed by these films, Zuluboy Cele hired Emily Koenane as the first female vocalist to front a major African orchestra, The Jazz Maniacs.
"The 'Pitch Black Follies,' and 'Merry Blackbirds' followed suit with Snowy Radebe and Marjorie Pretorius. By the end o f the 1940s, Sophiatown's Dolly Rather and Bulawayo's Dorothy Masuku were most popular than most Male vocal quartets and specialized in African cover versions of American Jazz favorites. African men readily adopted 'foot suits' and American African American Slang, and English-speaking Sophiatown[With a tinge of Afrikaans and local palaver to go with], whose residents referred to their community as "Little Harlem".
A contributor to 'Inkundla ya Bantu'([African]Bantu[African] Forum criticized the adoption of European culture as a movement away from an "Africa that is ours, into an 'Africa' that is of the Whitman's making."
He further argued that: 'we deny our music the opportunity to speak to the Outside World in its own language(Our Mother tongues)
Cultural Politics was not the only reason why urban Africans performed American music and dance. Jazz had become part of their musical diet of Africans in south Africa because it reproduces many performance principles of African Traditional Music.
South African music ... tends towards rhythmic complexity of singing voices over regular beat-African Accentuated. This is remarkably like Jazz, especially in the 1930s and 1940s music of Count Basie and others, who riffed and slowed against a rock solid four-four beat.
This remarkable similarity has roused some interesting debates over time. While not too many of the slaves originated in Southern Africa(except for the fact that there are many from Angola in Brazil, and Caribbean and US), there is a consistency in the structural principles of indigenous African music Throughout sub-Saharan Africa. And we can recognize continuities between traditional South African and African American derived music of the New World[USA, in particular].
Jazz And Gospel and other secular forms, have affected Africans in South Africa as has been briefly discussed above and understandable as to why these American genres have found wide scale acceptance, and discussed above, and then some. One should remember that both African Americans and Africans in south Africa have undergone lengthy, mostly British Missionization. Both were subordinated to developing industrial economies created and controlled by Euro-Americans and Northwestern Europeans in Europe.
My point is, that, what we see happening today in South Africa, has been repeating itself over the years, from the Jazz appreciators old timers, to those of Mzantsi in the sixties to seventies, which had added upon, Funk, Disco, and contemporary musical genres the world over. These too came with their type of copycatting of American musical influences of the day, and dress-Bell bottoms, Polo Caps, all types of sneakers, and so on. Today we see the Kwaito lads and young girls carrying on like African American Hip-Hopper/Rap Groups and similar sounding music and behavior in full display in Mzantsi and the Caribbean and South and Latin America also in Europe and Asia.
This point was made absolutely clearer by Coplan in talking about African American Gospel/Spiritual Music wherein he wrote:
"They speak to the world in a language evolved from and by Africa in a foreign environment ... They made the world understanding things they stood for. [i.e.], They did not want to be Europeanized Africans, but civilized [and be 'human-civilizing' Africans]."
It is for us to take away from this piece that we are still able, as an African people, globally, to regard ourselves as civilized and civilizing the world to our own ways and means. This is what I meant by talking about adding to the contemporary social milieu, this time, giving the human race a civilized and civilizing face and realities. We are going to have to work hard to play our music to the world in our Mother tongue for the world to listen to and appreciate.
The present zeitgeist in our country and the World did not start when Facebook was initiated. These have been there and come in different forms every cycle for centuries. Many of us either do not know about this particular history of the effects and affects of music on the people of Mzantsi. Many do not really know why we dig Jazz as we do here in South Africa. We are also not cognizant of our history as it relates to how and why we were influenced by Jazz and African music.
Many of us do not even understand the stated fact above that there is African South African Sounds, and these are in the same riffs as those of African Americans. When I say we are the same, I really mean that. If Africans think that we are inferior to our African Brothers elsewhere, and those Overseas think that they are different from Africans in Africa, this is what needs to be talked about and clearly sorted out-By Africans in South Africa, Africa and the Diaspora.
The Blood that ties us to each other is much thicker and more stronger than the chasm of the Oceans breadth and depth along with the Continental distances that separates us.
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5 years ago
MartieCoetser: I think, in all fairness, you ought to read the whole Hub, closely, first, and then go back to your comments and my comments.
In so doing, you will come out with a much better perspective. At this juncture, given what has been written in so many ways and styles in this Hub above, my primary concern was African people of Mzantsi, and I am qualified to write anything I find to be positive about the,African people here in south Africa, and I also use my right, as one of the Africans people to chastise and call out those of us in our midst who are still drawing us backward-Meaning African People.
I take my work and researches seriously, and work on them very hard to reach a proper and better form.
I do not write articles simply for the joy of putting together sentences and photos/music, just so that I have a feel-good feeling that I have written something. I write with many references that I cite and my own experience as an African of south Africa.
My African people educated me, my grandma was my primary informant and life teacher(Schooling, too).
When I write our history as an African person, I utilize history and many disciplines to cohere and present a serious read on African history of Africans in South Africa. I am not blaming anyone here, I am stating historical facts and truths. These are aids in assisting the African readers to make the necessary connection in order to adjust their present reality for a better and informed future.
It is precisely forgetting and not tabulating the correct and true history that we are going to repeat the same mistakes, not when we teach our people about it(the Colonial Past).
I will not delete your comments, and you note well that you did not read this whole article.
If you want to criticize Any African King, you are welcome, that is the truth and historical lesson is important to me and our people. You can write such Hubs if you want, but on this one, I am specifically talking to and addressing/calling upon the Consciousness of our African people to begin to work on ourselves first.
That is right and moral.
I do not really think that much of Credo, and I have all his books, and I would be interested what you say after reading 'Indaba My Children' authored by him. To me, Credo is the eccentric he is, and really, some stuff he says and does, if you knew us a a people of African descent, as one nation, he is wrong and very opportunistic.
We know him long ago when he lived in his mountain house, in a hillock in Deep soweto, and one four-roomed house in the Township of Diepkloof, where he was run-out by the June 16th students for having said a lot of bad and disturbing things to the students.
I am not a Credo person.. I let him be... I will one day take up on his works and critique them, for I have nearly caught up to our History of Oral Culture and Tradition/Custom.
I have learned a lot about my falsified history during Apartheid, and the Afrikaner people's history was my prime focus, even in this time I am living in, and I have collected a lot of material on Apartheid.
I have also made it my business to know European history, Asiatic history(more focused on the Afro-Asiatic Ancestry; I have learned a lot of African Caribbean, South American Africans, Africans in Latin America and also in the USA(I am busy working on this Culture of Africans in the Diaspora Hub as I write a reply to you.
I did not forget about the Africans in the Middle East and Europe, I have made it my task to learn about that, and I did(And still always learning more about African people in those places). I take myself and my work very seriously..
We are sensitive about our languages as you are.
We correct not only you because you are A White person, we correct each other as Africans if say things wrong. I have learned Afrikaans in School, along with English, and am now learning Spanish and Japanese, out of interest and it is time I have to do such things.
So that, when I write about any history, media, or the topics I have dealt with as you can see from my published works, I do not just write, as I said above, for the sake of writing.
I am writing what I think I should write, and not for the Internet, that is, shorten it for anyone. I write as much as I can on particular topics, and they all are tight and are all works in progress, just like this one above.
The article above, as I have said to you, is my exhorting and motivating our African people to Wake Up and start dealing with matters such as we see being foisted upon us by the ruling ANC elite.
I do not care for Apartheid just as I abhor and dislike the present government, and I dare criticize them in the Hubs I have already published here on HubPages.
If you want to say anything about the Hub above, I think it will be best to read all of it and then maybe you might come out with more informed response.
As it is now, I do not think you have read the Hub, and it would be better if you do... Thanks, again...
5 years ago from South Africa
It was not at all my intention to rant, rave, pick a fight, or to upset you in any way.
I really don’t want you to see my comments in a negative light. Yes, I can take a stand, I can fiercely take part in a controversial debate, but never with the intention to ‘fight’. I am sorry you read me wrong and found yourself all of a sudden in the shoes of an executor of opposition.
My focus is on the future.
I want to be part of the solution, not the problem. According to my perspective on ‘constructive building’, haggling over history and stoning culprits are primitive acts and a waste of precious time. Our country needs people with foresight and brilliant solutions, people eager and able to build a better future, instead of throwing stones at culprits as far as they go, bickering about the past like scavengers over a carcass.
Recently I read the same kind of ‘blaming imperialism and colonialism article’ written by Ricardo Ignacio, a native American - [ I am sure you will be able to read his post when you follow the link. It starts with “..... Exactly 11 months ago, a month AFTER creating this page, I published a blog....”
The same kind of bickering over previous oppressors and their horrible deeds.
You are talking about Van Riebeeck, Da Gama and Diaz, primitive Europeans living in huts, the Moors, the Vandals, Barbarians.... YES, I know all about them. Or let me rather say I know quite a lot about them - landlords who had executed their so-called right to end the virginity of their female workers the night before their (the virgin’s) wedding, leaving her future husband bereft of his human rights, so-called witches burnt alive on stakes, so-called criminals boiled alive, kings and queens beheaded and/or jailed for life in dark, wet cellars, so-called criminals crucified, or buried alive..... YES, I am very well aware of the horrendous deeds that were committed by people with white skins. They were indeed barbarians, and many of them are still barbarians, raping and/or killing their own children, eating human flesh, etc. But I have also learned about the gruesome doings of Tjaka, Mzilikazi, Dinghane and other African kings and rulers, not to talk about the ancient and even recent rulers of the East and Far East.
However, I don’t even have to look that far back to hang my head in shame and to realize that we are living in a decrepit world. Only remembering the doings of my own grandfathers and uncles – their racists and hypocrite pattern of thoughts – is enough to send me flying to another planet where no injustice exist.
Fact is, Colonialism and Imperialism, just like Marxism, Communism, Apartheid, etc.etc. had proven itself as irremediable catastrophes.
Sadly, throughout the history of mankind nations nurtured an arrogant urge to oppress, abuse and exploit each other regardless of race and culture. Our (Dutch, French and German) ancestors who came to SA since 1652 intended to escape oppression and the most gruesome injustice that were committed in Europe in the name of religion. Then they, the oppressed, became the oppressors until the British arrived and turned the wheel into their favour. Our language, Afrikaans – a spontaneous conjugation of native and foreign languages - was only accepted as one of SA official languages in 1925 - 273 years after the fist Dutchman set foot ashore. In 1932 the government, still under British rule, was finally able to address the Poor White Problem (among the mixture of Dutch, French, German (Afrikaner Boere) caused by British Colonialism – and less than 20 years later those very poor Boere were the new oppressors. Kind of like a hen-pecking order....
However, Ixwa, can we change the past? How can we blame ourselves, or allow others to blame us, for horrors that were committed by our ancestors? I can but only live my life the best I can in my specific circumstances, knowing that the seed I sow today will be reaped by my children and their children.
I prefer to believe that a ‘fatherland’ is NOT necessarily the country we were born in, or the country that was “bought” or “conquered” by our ancestors, but the country we see as our home since the day we are born, the country we learn to love, the country we want to live in for the rest of our lives. If all of us have to return to the country of our original ancestors, where will we end up? Even before the Khoi and the San, SA was inhabited by Paranthropus robustus who were most probably “conquered” and “oppressed” by Australopithecus africanus, and eventually by Homo erectus. Were will we end up when we start to determine what piece of this planet “belongs” to us?
Anyway, I will return again to read the rest of your hub. I have always found your hubs interesting and insightful. Unfortunately too lengthy (for me) to read in one session. At a certain point I just have to stop and digest, and share my thoughts. I believe it is important for us South Africans to know how we interpret our past and present. Surely, only then we will be able to destroy all misconceptions and move forward as one nation, not repeating mistakes that were made in the past.
You are welcome to delete my comments, Ixwa, as they are most certainly only applicable to the first part of your hub and perhaps completely out of context with the rest.
Oh, wait, I have to say something about your sentence: “...... you cannot accept that an African can write the type of Hub above....” To the contrary – I KNOW Africans are not inferior to any other race on this planet. I know all people are people, regardless of race and culture. The success and achievements of all humans depend only but only on the opportunities presented to them and their own determination to seize those opportunities. Personally I have missed many opportunities in my life, and I can waste all my precious time blaming my parents, my ancestors and I can even blame King Sekhukhune and Queen Tandila – as they have brutally murdered some of my relatives.
I would love to read hubs about the Voortrekkers written by you. I am well aware of the fact that I know only one side of the story and I am honestly interested in the accounts of the Africans. Credo Mutwa’s book, “My People”, is in fact my only available reference – apart from the journals that were written by my own ancestors and the censored history that were fed to us by the Apartheids Department of Education.
Now let me rather not try to greet you again in your language, and not even in my own, as you are obviously not open for this kind of... what shall we call it..... embarrassing efforts to bury primitive hatchets?
5 years ago
MartieCoetser: Wrong Spelling of Tsamaia(It's Tsamaya) on that "Tsamaya" word you have used incorrectly-we, Africans, whom you seem to really not know, say "Sala sentle(Tswana) hantle( Sotho). Whenever I write history, I do not rant, and this Hub, it is more specifically directed at Africans, and your knee-jerk faction above will not alter "Historical" facts and 'truth'. You are from the school of Apartheid propaganda that has vilified us for centuries. And you are simply regurgitating the same things I abhor and attack in many of my articles above. This Hub above, is more directed to Africans, and there's somewhere where I wrote that we should not be discussing what 'you' Whites have done to us, but direct my wholesome knowledge to my African people. You should never just hurl yourself into my Hubs and rant, rave and use vitriolic jabberwocky when addressing the Hub above. You talk history from the Apartheid talking-point of view. This Hub is still a work in progress, and it is the type of gut wrenching talk which is ignorant talk, like yours, that I detest, to be honest. I am an African and I know my history/story very well. You do not really know Africans even though you are here in Mzantsi. One other thing, you cannot accept that an African can write the type of Hub above. I have. The Hub above is examining Art and using Artists words and perspectives as to why they made the art they did. The soccer history and stories from the soccer players, is what happened to our soccer, which you never knew, both the Art and Soccer side of Africans here in Mzantsi. The last part, which is the exhibiting of African cultural dress, different groups, and their music-is my part as an historian to motivate and rebuild the remnants of the culture that I know still exists, and can be developed to what we think and see it fit to do. Fancy, you write a long hatred-tinged and biased response and still tell me that you are going to respond to it 'after reading it all'.. Don't you think that's disingenuous of you ... not read the whole Hub and have a knee-jack bordering o prejudiced response, and to add insult to injury, you do not really know my language. Look, if you want to pick a fight, do not do it here, you are wrong, and this Hub is seriously researched and being made much more perfect-for African people of Mzantsi, as I have been doing up to now. Your ancestors were colonizers and this is not your country. That is plain and simple truth. The very accusation you are overflowing with against us Africans, is the reason I wrote the last part of the Hub using Photos and music, and will soon add the history- as a counter. What's your problem here. I will not go into Bartholomew Diaz and the murders he inflicted on the Khoi and San people after being inebriated from their beer, and they used cannons to kill them. I will not even mention the history of Vasco da Gama, a thug, who went on to destroy the eastern cities of Kilwa, Sofala, etc. You need to read the writings of Mungo Park; van Riebeeck got to know about South Africa and beyond by reading the Captain of the ships logs and maps; da Gama, when he reached the cities of in these years of 1488-89; they watched a flourishing maritime trade in gold, and iron, and ivory, and tortoise shell, beads, and copper, cotton,cloth, porcelain. da Gama acknowledges that hey have stumbled upon a world of commerce, much more better and wealthier than anything Europe knew. Now, Your mighty and 'advanced' Europeans were so backward that they lived in huts without windows and a small chimney to let out smoke; washing ones body was taboo; there was European slavey with nearly emptied the whole European population; The moors came and 'civilized Europe, who were ruled by Vandals and the Visigoths(barbarians to whit!) I have written a Hub on How African Moors civilized Europe by way of Spain, Portugal, Britain, France and Germany etc-go read it for yourself. In some of my Hubs I have cited a Dutch Ship that ran aground of the East coast of Africa in the 11th century. Why don't you go and read for yourself the Captain's logs and what they found of the Xhosa/Zulu people. I don not want to dig too much about the The Van Riebeeck rule who called us 'dogs', and was only held back from terminating us by the Company investors; and you think that I do not know that your ancestors could not even tread the Bible they touted to us, and were helped to survive(starting with the sailors) to eat the right food after suffering from scurvy; the Trekkers were worse, and if I wanted, I could write couple Hubs on the history of the Voortrekkers, from their own accounts and that of the Africans. I have access to a lot of material that I have not even touched up on about your colonizing and belligerent culture. Do not come here and lecture me by spewing venom ya'll talk amongst yourselves. No nation is the paragon of virtue/perfection as you hypocritically trumpet. You did nothing but enslave Africans in all you did. The Boers never regarded as human, so, why am I not surprised at your invectives above. I wrote the Hub above dispel such vindictive assertions and chest-thumping you have had 624 years to spin your false yarn about Africans here in Mzantsi. I only have 20 years of, yes, decrepit ANC rule, which by the way Whites under Apartheid are living more lavishly than they ever dreamed. In the 20 years, I have had a decade and some added years to put together a history of a people who have always been told they are nothing, we were killing off one another and this persists to this day, these terrible accusation of which you are a good propagator for. Well, No more, we are the one who are going to tell you who we are as Africans of Mzantsi. You are colonizers,and today you still want to colonize information about us Africans, and like babies and "Boys"/"girls" you refer to us as, and other ugly terms, and no respect of the fact that amongst us, there are people like me who will tell you where to get off. And you want an even more protracted and hard hitting historical critique, I am ready to render you one. For now, I repeat, do not come onto this Hub and howl like an uncultured and uncouth human being; your trying to hold Africans down, is holding yourself down, too. You better grow up, intellectually and realize that some of us know our "Story"-History, and stop using our language a because the next thing we know you will be 'swearing' at us not knowing what you said. Historically you are no better than Africans, and you only had the "gun" to take our land, destroy our culture and enslave our people. I am not even going to go into the van Riebeeck policies in the Cape, or the Broederbond, for that matter, or the fact that when ANC was taking over, your Apartheid leaders destroyed all information, burned it in furnaces, pulled, shredded so much information, that your mind, up to this far, can't even begin to wrap itself around what I might tell you about your people as colonizers, enslavers, Apartheidizers, the whole bit. Lastly, the Hub above is for African people of SouthAfrica, and I have the birthright and human right to tell them about their culture/history, and why it is in 'Shambles', society, institutions and history, and this is but one step towards engaging and telling them what has been destroyed, is still there, alive, beautiful, powerful, vibrant, and whether you like it or not, , This is not Boer people or their culture, but African people and their culture. You have no business coming and telling us what we should say or not say. These are not the days of Apartheid, and you better get on with the reality. That ANC is messed up, I have written a lot of Hubs to that fact. As to the fact that the Boers destroyed African societies, land and everything that was ours, is a historical fact and truth. If you persist, then I will take this whole discourse to another level. You better read before you come here and make yourself look not so coherent-which you are above.. Too much rant without evidence, but racist, jaundiced and vitriolic Apartheid Rant.. I am here to respond and am not surprised you jumped the gun.. Check Yourself
5 years ago from South Africa
Honestly, Ixwa, blaming colonizers/imperialists for all that went wrong in Africa is overlooking the fact that Africans were first of all – before the intruding of Europeans - oppressed and neglected by their own leaders. Autocratic and greedy kings and chiefs sold the land of their people for an “appel en ei”, and they allowed foreign entrepreneurs to explore, develop and exploit natural resources in exchange for whatever they – the leaders – wanted in the first place to improve their own lives. As you know, this kind of negotiations – in fact all kinds of trading – provide only short term satisfactory. (The more we get, the more we want. The more we have, the more we need. Therefor the valuable asset, but not a necessity we trade today will become a necessity as we grow and multiply. Sooner or later we regret the trading of it, and we forget that we got what we wanted at the time of the trading.)
Right from the start African leaders did nothing to improve the lives of their own people. The king, chiefs and their clique were sitting on the hills, watching their land, watching their women work on the land, watching their healthy men hunting animals, watching their young boys preparing themselves for yet another war that will enrich only the king and his clique, enhancing only the power and prestige of the king and his clique. (As it is still the case in SA and the rest of Africa and in many other countries.)
Thanks to those very entrepreneurs (colonizers/imperialists) Africans obtained the knowledge and wisdom they have today that will hopefully eventually enable them to run Africa on a high level of economic and social prosperity. Or what will prevent them from becoming the world leaders they were supposed to be since the beginning? Perhaps their current leaders who still nurture a primitive, greedy urge to live like gods while their people suffer poverty, sickness and ignorance – the very instigators of revolution either in the form of “fall, flee, fight”.
Ignorance, the lack of knowledge, the lack of inspiration, the lack of vision, all of this inflicted on Africans by their own despotic leaders prevented Africans to develop their own abilities and resources in such a way that they could have been stronger and more advanced than the colonizers/imperialists of previous regimes.
We see this very phenomenon today of people becoming easily enslaved, becoming addicts of whatever ensure a better life. Our South African young adults, whites as well as blacks, going oversea to earn what they need to survive because the leaders in their own country are not able to provide opportunities for them to stay happy and contented and NOT enslaved in their own country. So who are we going to blame one day? What was known as “colonizers/imperialists” is today merely the system of a foreign country offering a better life. When the mountain doesn’t come to Mohammed, Mohammed goes to the mountain! The same thing - only a natural human tendency.
This is but only my perspective on this business of “blaming colonizers/imperialists and even capitalists” for a natural phenomenon in the social structure of Homo sapiens.
This is but only my thoughts on the first few paragraphs of this very interesting hub. I will return to read and comment more....
Have a good weekend, Ixwa :)
5 years ago
DDE: Thank you for checking out the Hub above, and commenting kindly and in an encouraging way.. I really appreciate it very much, and you're very much welcome...][ ]Devika Primić
5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia
Informative useful and an educational hub for all to know more about a beautiful country.