HOW TO BECOME A NORWEGIAN, FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO BE
Everybody loves a Super Star. The statement discounts snobs, fundamentalists, the ignorant arrogant, the uncultured, the uneducated, the primitive, the anti-social, the eccentric, the naïve, the narrow minded, the bigoted, the untalented, the gutless, the envious, and the jealous.
This posting is my message to 1st-Xst generation immigrants to Norway struggling with identity, as well as insecure sense of belonging in and to the country. These will be a mix masala mix of people from all countries of the world whose music Westerners refer to as Ethnic Music, collectively called The Third World. They will have skin colour tones divergent from the conventional European one, called White. These immigrants will have decided to make Norway their new home. They will have adopted Norwegian citizenship, abiding by the laws of the land, and contributing to the growth and development of the country, each in their own ways in all areas of human endeavour. Singing Ja, Vi Elsker when and where appropriate will have become second nature to these people. Come 17. mai year after year, these people rise and shine in front of the King and the Royal family.
Those immigrants to Norway who are in the country temporarily in any capacity, here for 1- X years, need not bother to read this posting. However, reading it anyway, might help them with adjusting to the realities of their new national identity and its implications should they opt to stay in Norway, and become Ethnic Norwegians all the same, to live happily ever after. Addressing myself specifically to those who found refuge in Norway as they ran away from tyrannies in their own countries of origin, many in this category cherish the dream of someday returning to their non-functional, war torn beyond repair, and, in some cases, technically non-existent countries. These people are here but not here, leading miserable, eternally unfulfilled lives of bitterness and anger. Never satisfied with anything or anybody. Ever expecting, demanding more and more from Norway, giving little in return; only insults and insolence. Losers. Futureless. Living from day to day all days of their lives. No ambition. No drive. No success. Never could be Super Stars.
Ten years ago, in the middle of the night, I receive a phone call from an unknown person. It turned out to be a young man from another African country dismally failing its people. He had through various means found his way to Spain. However, his ambition was to come to Northern Europe, where he had heard that life and conditions for immigrants were much better. Could I help him come to Norway? No! “How can I be successful, and make a living in Europe, then?” he asks.
“Simple,” I say, “Just make yourself a Super Star!”
“But how, Sir? I have nothing, and I am nobody” he says.
I tell him, “Once you’ve settled down, make getting an education a top priority. Get yourself a skill, anything that can give you some documentation attesting to your training/ education, knowledge, competency, and experience. That way, it will be easier to get decent and well-paying jobs, or even start your own business, if you an entrepreneurial type like myself”
I went on to tell the young man that a good starting point would be to identify own inherent talents and skills, as well as interests and preferences, including strengths and vulnerabilities. Once that is done, it will then be easier to chart one’s own path to success and, by extension, superstardom. The secret is to be real good in whatever one finally settles on doing, aim to be the best in the field. Work and produce more and better than anyone else. Set standards, be a trendsetter. Be an example of, be a reference as the best there is in your field, or business. This is how Super Stars are made. And you get the rewards you deserve according to how you play your superstardom mind power games. Superstardom does not begin and end in itself. It is a lot of hard work. Maintaining and sustaining superstardom is much more work than getting there, actually. It takes a lot of pain and sacrifice to get there. When you are there, everyone wants a piece of you, for the good and for the bad. Everyone loves a Super Star. Superstardom is, also, intrinsically about values, ethics, and morals. Can you handle it?
At about the same time 10 years ago, an academic researcher comes to me to talk about the condition of being Xth generation immigrant sports Super Star child/ youth in Norway. She had come late for our scheduled meeting because, she told me apologetically, she had to sort out some unexpected ethical and professional questions with a colleague with whom she had another meeting prior to coming over to me. The colleague had expressed shock and scepticism at the thought and possibility of a Black African immigrant man having an office at Aker Brygge, the hub of Norway’s business elite, economic Super Stars.
The researcher asked: Are Norwegian sports Super Stars of mixed race parentage (particularly immigrant Afro – Norwegian) good at what they do because they are Norwegian? Or, are they Norwegian because they are good at what they do?
BOTH! was my answer. Norway has, by far, more and better resources, as well as conditions, making for successful grooming, growth and development of sporting talent and Super Stars across the board.
Norwegian sports Super Stars of mixed race parentage are, and will be perceived to be, Norwegians to the extent that they reflect conventional Norwegian values, both in and off the competition sphere. It’s never enough to be just the very best in the execution of one’s chosen sport, or vocation; one must be able to hold high the Norwegian flag with pride, dignity, and honour among nations. One must speak the Norwegian language. Broken to a thousand pieces, it doesn’t matter, just speak, it gets better all the time. And, above all, the Norwegian media must love our Norwegian sports Super Stars of mixed race parentage for them to remain relevant as Norwegians, both in real terms, as well as in the mainstream of thought and perception regarding who and who is not a true Norwegian in Norway by Norwegians.
The following are some of the cardinal rules by which any Super Star becomes, and remains a Norwegian in Norway (random order):
- Fair play
- Work, work, work, …
- Total commitment to, total focus on winning
- Killer instinct cultivation and sustenance
- Do it right all the time
- Never give up
- Be methodical
- Set priorities, and get them right
- Manage scandals well
- Marry, or at least have a long-term romantic liaison with a Norwegian Norwegian, or recognized Ethnic Norwegian. Make those sweet, chocolate babies fast
- Kultur: Books, literature, kino, festivals, OBOS, Frognerparken, Sognsvann, dugnad, går tur, hund og/ eller kat, theatre, kunst, cappuccino, pils, rød vin, cognac, mat, ski, båt, fjell, hytte, jakt, Se & Hør, Vi Menn, Dagbladet, Cupido, Color Line ferry, Syden, osv.
- In case of a fall, rise with dignity. You are only human like all Norwegians
- Generousity: Social responsibility, philanthropy
- Take a stand on pertinent local and global issues: Faith, religion, right of association, Human Rights, wars, politics, the environment, etc.
- Join some mainstream special interest/ Civil Society organization/ -s
- Be principled
- Be tolerant
- Be transparent without selling your soul to anybody. Be yourself
- Never forget where you come from
- Use social media: See and be seen
- Skavlan is cherry topping. Skal Vi Danse? never hurt anybody either. Neither has a Reality show appearance or two on Norwegian TV
You want to thrive anywhere you’ve decided it’s your new home? Just be a good, decent human being sensitive to, and respectful of, the ways of your hosts, even if some of the ways may conflict with the fundamental principles of your own life and belief systems. For goodness’ sake don’t ever want to impose your own ways in your new homeland. That’s imperialism. If you cannot change, cannot adapt; if you and the things you do are not easily adaptable to, you cannot be a Super Star here. Better for all if you move on. The world outside Norway is big enough for all kinds of ordinary people. Some do the weirdest of things, including the belief that murder and suicide are express tickets to global superstardom, if not in a place called paradise somewhere in the realm of the dead. They say it’s in heaven above, and yet when we die, they bury us down below, as if to feed us to the belly of the earth. Genuine Super Stars are for the living, add value to life, inspire the living, give hope, and rekindle lost faith in the good of humanity. For the open-minded, liberated souls, Super Star opportunities in Norway abound. Feel at home, the sky above the country has no limits. I am a Super Star. I am Ethnic Norwegian. I know.
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
September 10, 2014
GLAD IT’S OVER
Midmorning of August 08, I’m driving up to Gauteng with The Queen Mother. At some point between Welkom and Kroonstad, we meet one of the most intimidating road blocks I have ever seen anywhere in post-1994 South Africa. The Army, Road Traffic Police, and South African Police Service (heavily-armed, Marikana-style) made a very, very strong presence. All women. Only a fool would want to fuck around here.
First check point is by four Army officers on us. They give us some road safety info materials, wishing us a safe and enjoyable journey further ahead. Very warm, polite, and happy. I’m thoroughly charmed. Now I am in my element, I thought quietly. One of the ladies even congratulates my mother on a great catch. All laugh heartily as Queen Mother replies, “No, no, no! This one is for you. Ke letsibolo la ka/ He is my first born, and he is single. Come on ladies, Twitter, Facebook!!!” This, of course, draws a lot of attention towards us, the police looking a bit uncomfortable a few metres ahead, though.
Next check point is Road Traffic Police. The seriousness, and hard faces of the lady officers here failed to warn me of the impending nightmare I was stopping into as we are waved to park our car on the road side. Document check.
I was born by a hard, tough, and strong woman. During my formative years I was raised by a High Priestess whose followers came from all corners of South Africa and beyond. My maternal grandmother was both a spiritual healer and medium. Despite a turbulent childhood till well into her teenage years, my younger sister has grown up to be one Super Woman in her own right. The vast majority of the women I know, or have heard of, on both sides of my family, in South Africa and Zambia, are very strong personalities whose presence is/ was noticed everywhere they are/ were. My male relatives, my closest friends and Brothers, the whole lot of them seem to fall for and marry the strongest of women. It’s no wonder, then, that strong women ever so fascinate me. I admire strong women. I respect strong women. I love strong women. I adore them.
I find power(-ful) women outside family ever so intriguing and sexy I’m not into War-of-The-Sexes, and the ensuing power struggle between men and women with respect to who shall rule over whom in society. My power women don’t have to strive to do anything to prove to me that they are strong women. They don’t ever need to squeeze and crush my balls to prove anything. I don’t need that. Totally unnecessary. I am a man. I am that I am. A man. I have nothing to prove myself. Punktum.
When I am in a bravado modus, bragging about my power, my strength, my physical and mental prowess, my energy, my Karate, my intelligence, my chic, my wealth, my countries, my people, my Rolex, my Mercedes, my women, etc., etc., it’ll often be when I am in a party mood, drunk or sober same difference, but certainly groovy happy, together with people with whom I share mutual love, trust, and respect. I will from time to time do this to get to the occasional bigoted, uncultured fool(-s), though. Deep down inside of me, I do not have any pressing need to want to prove anything about me, and the things I do, to anybody. So sure and confident of myself I am. I want my deeds, my work to speak for me, for themselves. I want to be judged by the outcomes and consequences of the things I do. If I’m good at something, I’m good at it. That’s it. If I’m bad at it, I don’t do it. Simple. If it’s important but I don’t know it, I learn. I get it, I get it. I don’t get it, I don’t get it. Pass! Chilembo means scripture. Therefore, my life is like graffiti, written on an open wall. Read it, interpret it as you will. I am a man. Any doubts? Try me! That’s how I roll.
So, deciding to make a fuss about my valid Norwegian Driver’s Licence, the Road Traffic Police Boss Lady chose to pounce on me. Feeling good and relaxed, given that I knew for sure that all of my necessary documents were good to go – the said driver’s, valid International Driver’s Licence, valid Norwegian passport, and a valid South African Permanent Resident ID – I got totally disoriented when the Traffic Police Boss Lady yells at me military-style, “So you think you are smart, ntate/ Sir? Well, tomorrow is Women’s Day, I am going to show you that us women can be tougher than men!” Felt like I just got a kick below the belt.
It is one thing to question the legitimacy, or integrity of an unfamiliar driver’s licence written in a strange language, even though the English translation is clearly printed. But to stubbornly and rudely dismiss my explanation of rest of the text, resolutely telling me what she and her colleague deduced from symbols and corresponding texts to be the only thing that matters for them to declare my driver’s licence not valid in South Africa, baffled me beyond words. As this confusion dragged on, with me getting more and more frustrated, beginning to wonder if I indeed were not speaking Norwegian or Latin to this hard-nosed Boss Lady and her junior colleague, their levels of ignorance bordering on stupidity, sense of insecurity, envy and jealousy, narrow view of the world, lack of history and cultural sophistication, and cheap arrogance of power began to emerge. It is at this point I thought it prudent to tell the officers that the old lady patiently sitting and waiting in the car was actually my mother. As such, I had no intentions or desire of getting on the wrong side of the law when I am travelling with her. They let us go only after confirming with the Queen Mother that I was indeed her son. Upon arrival in Gauteng, I discovered my passport was missing. It turned out later that the Boss Lady had for unknown reasons withheld it, without letting me know about that. Very strange.
In my travels across Europe, as well as partly USA, I have encountered extremely rude and power abusive women in uniform. But the Road Traffic Police Boss Lady here takes the cake. I have never been made to feel so small in a communication break down situation with a woman in/ with power in any setting. As I sat in the car to drive off, I squeezed my legs together. I didn’t feel my balls in place. I felt like a eunuch. I wanted to cry, but I heard my voice very thin and flat in my head. I didn’t want to alarm the Queen Mother; I am a big man now. Strong. Female chauvinists can fly to the moon.
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
September 03, 2014
SOULS LOST IN SPACE
In my mature age years, the one other ugly scar on my body bothers me only so very rarely. I see it every day, but I almost never notice it these days. My love in my 30s used to be fascinated by this scar, and loved caressing it with affection every so often. She would get confused when I expressed irritation at this, because it feels so very unpleasant when another person touches this scar.
Over the years, my enquiry as to how I got this scar has been answered dodgily by those for whom it would be natural to know how it happened. What I have gathered, though, is that, when I was barely 2 years old, while my parents were away on holiday, a man who had a xenophobia inspired hatred for my father struck me with a sharp object in an attempt to kill me. My resemblance to my father is very striking. I’m told that this man hated my father so much he meant that by killing me first would, naturally, make my father so angry that he, my father, would want to fight this xenophobic man. This way, the latter would then have a valid reason to kill my father also, claiming self-defence.
I do have some hazy visions of events prior to this point, but I like to set my initial world awareness juncture from my first conscious memory on my first school day when I was four and half years old. From then to about age ten, recollections of my life come to me in chunks of specific events in different times and situations. I will recall other things in occasional discussions with family and childhood friends also.
One of the things I recall very vividly from this stage of my life is the xenophobic man of hate mentioned above, making what I then considered to be a serious threat to kill me. It seems he didn’t have the guts to see things through because he attempted to kill himself first. He survived the cowardish suicide attempt because he went round the village announcing to everyone of his impending self-induced demise that particular evening. From this time till age fourteen, recollections of my life come in even larger chunks, and have more lively contents. If my memory serves me right, it must be about this time, soon after the death threat, I began to consciously wonder about things in a serious way.
I took my first sacrament at church about the same time too. The latter event may have played a decisive role as well, because I recall that, together with other children at the Catholic school I then attended in Lesotho, there was some preparatory work we were had to undergo. Whereas in the school classroom we were led by/ with “What?”, “Who?”, and “Where”, I remember coming across “Why?” and “How?” in the pre-sacrament preparatory lessons with the parish priest, as well as our very, very kind and warm school teachers, who were nuns.
From the teenage years to well into adulthood years, recollections of my life I can lump into years, seasons, months and weeks. These days, I can account for each and every day of my life. Such that should I die now, I will no doubt have, hopefully, satisfactory answers, if only for myself, to the (in any order) “How?”, “What?”, “Where?”, “Who?”, and “Why?” of my death. My soul will then rest in peace.
Had the xenophobic man who hated my father so intensely gotten to actually kill me when I was hardly 2 years old, a small child totally oblivious to the world and its ways, I imagine my soul would still be wondering erratically out in space, defiant to the earthly force of gravity. I imagine my soul would want to rather continue wondering and wondering in outer space till the end of time, not that time matters when dead, though. Who would want to return to a world that is so callous it kills cruelly, mercilessly, its children with the kind of gross impunity we see in our time? Spare me reincarnation stories, please. Tell it to holy cows somewhere.
Children don’t choose their parents; they don’t choose, when, where and how they will be born. The worth of humanity is not in how many children they breed, but how many they protect as they guide and help them to grow up to be responsible and value adding members of the global community; this, as a non-revertible human decency and moral obligation imperative.
I can’t help wondering as to how many millions of lost souls of our heartlessly murdered children are roaming the universe at this very moment. Do they even know they are dead, in the first place? Would pictures of disembowelled, charred, beheaded, limbless children’s corpses make any sense to them? How can anybody win freedom, or practice the right to self-defence and/ or self-determination at the expense of truly innocent children genuinely unknowing of the world and its ways? What do religions, what does politics of the world say of the inherent nature innocence of children? Forgive them, Father, for they don’t know what they do can never apply here, surely. There has to be other ways of solving all the major territorial and/ religious conflicts in the world today than through wars. Even if there may be places to hide when the missiles come, children just cannot run.
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
July 30, 2014
WHICH KIND OF WARRIOR ARE YOU?
Many a warrior nation takes pride in their apparently major preoccupation of endless churning out of Kamikaze-like Warriors solely focused on dying for their own causes, sacrificing others of their own people in the process. Indeed, justifiable causes, in many cases.
Other nations will on the one hand do the same also, while on the other, they devote some of their time, energy, and resources to doing and making other things that contribute to the progress of, not only their own nations in isolation, but humanity as a whole. By investing in R&D projects seeking to find answers to the ever-challenging questions of how to improve the quality of life in all aspects of living for all on earth, these countries add to the knowledge bank of humanity with respect to understanding how the natural world functions, in order that life on earth can be sustained and propagated in more effective ways. These knowledge based Warrior nations also allow for growth, perpetuation, and sustenance of culture of thought around the non-material existential questions of humanity as well. Knowledge based Warrior nations add value to global society, therefore.
Even a cursory look at contemporary history will show that in times of, often unequal, international conflicts culminating in serious and sustained wars, global society, in a lot of cases led by leading and dominant knowledge based Warrior nations, will tend to be lenient towards fellow value adding nations. Doing only perfunctory humanitarian and diplomatic acts to fulfill institutionalized international diplomacy protocols, as well as treaties and obligations in relation to the weaker, non-value-adding Kamikaze-like Warrior only nations. The latter nations, nobody really cares about. More so if they also are not endowed with any natural resource/ -s the former value and need to feed their knowledge, technology, industrial, and economic needs.
Those Kamikaze-like Warrior nations neither attractive nor exciting to global capital are doomed to losing any, in the eyes of, knowledge Warrior nations, war against the latter. It’s not about fairness; it’s not about justice for either side. It’s simply about survival of the fittest all the way. Understanding skewed stalemates in some ongoing major wars in certain parts of the world today may be understood in this light, therefore.
So, which kind of Warrior are you? Which kind of Warrior nation is yours? Last time I heard that knowledge was power.
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
July 27, 2014
The Side I Take
In a perfect world, and according to Gospel Chilembo, all intelligent, thinking, reasoning, rational, and knowledgeable human beings ought to know that WAR IS WAR.
The sole purpose, role, function, and intention of war are to kill. Annihilate the enemy. As true as death is the ultimate outcome of living, the first most likely to go in all wars are the most vulnerable, the least protected, and yet some of the most innocent of beings: Children, mothers that are, mothers to be, the sick, the weak, the poor, animals. These days, even world travellers, sitting enclosed in aeroplanes, and, in that environment, seemingly as innocent and unknowing of the ways of the world as children in mothers’ wombs, get shot down like birds of game in the sky. That is the nature of war. Sick.
Round negotiation and bargaining tables, nobody dies. There are no children here, there are no weak and vulnerable here; there are no poor mothers that are, mothers to be. Those who die, if at all, round negotiation tables, are simply those who are unfit and unhealthy from before.
Round negotiation tables, it is the firepower of brains that reigns. Rules are set, and are acknowledged and respected by all parties concerned: The aggrieved, the mediators, the moderators, as well as the facilitators. Sides shall give, and sides shall take to mutual satisfaction. Stalemates shall necessitate time-outs, reassessments, revaluations, including modifications of strategies and demands. Concessions shall be made till mutually satisfactory agreements and settlements are made. Reconciliation terms discussed, and agreed upon; sign mutually binding treaties. Shake hands, kiss and hug. Peace. Simple as that, surely. Easier said than done? Doable! Repeat process as long as necessary, sharpen all’s negotiation skills, respect and acknowledge one another’s reasons for demands, as well as raison d’être (history, resources, identity, faith religion), no matter how outlandish all this may seem to either aggrieved party.
Hear, acknowledge, and respect the voice of the global community. Worked in South Africa. Global institutions have been established to help unify mankind towards common goals of peace, development, and progress for all beings on earth. These institutions were established out of the humble realization that no single nation, no single human interest group on earth can tackle alone in an effective way the overwhelmingly huge challenges of survival, as well as propagation of the species on earth.
I conclude: Warmongers in/ of the world have no love for women and children. Women are women, and children are children anywhere in the world. In wars, both the aggressor and the oppressor use the same bullets, the same bombs, and the very same chemicals of mass destruction to kill innocent children and women. So, fuck wars! That’s the side I take. What say ye, God Almighty?
Recommended reading on alienation of war, breaking down the toughest of the tough, cream of the crop – Sayed Kashua: Why I have to leave Israel.
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
July 20, 2014