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38 YEARS AN EXILE: XIV

HOME AT LAST! Part 14
DIASPORA SCUMBAGS

©Simon Chilembo, 2014

©Simon Chilembo, 2014

The worst thing any Diasporants can carry with them in their luggage is the superiority complex attitude, as manifest through racial, religious, and cultural arrogance from their lands of origin. More so if it is, in the first place, racial, religious, and cultural persecutions they have ran away from. We put what we put in each our own different luggage when time to say goodbye has arrived. But not all will be useful when we get to our final, often chance, destinations with promises of a brighter future. Sometimes not even a single item in the luggage will be useful at all. Herein lies the difference between winner and loser Diasporants in time.

Winner Diasporants are the smart ones quick to sort out and rearrange things in their own luggage, going to the extent of even letting it all go upon realizing that what’s best is to empty it all. Get rid of it all, gather and learn new things, new ways of thinking, and relating to the world and life in general. They embrace the new world, the new world embraces them; and all live happily ever after, constantly synthesising new, and improving upon existing, knowledge. The Diaspora becoming ever more vibrant and colourful, inspiring and facilitating growth and development for all, society simply keeps moving forward into an ever highly anticipated exciting future. All the challenges in any sphere associated with this progress never any serious stumbling block because creativity and problem solving are an integral part of survival and being here. Nothing is left in the hands of God, or some racial/ cultural attribute here. People make direct and personal efforts to make change and improve things, and life. Overwhelmed by super success of collective effort by all, Diasporants and hosts, it’s okay to thank and praise God. The real value of God is in their being a conduit for joy, gratefulness, and humility for humanity. That’s all. People make good. People make bad. God is simply a passive observer.

It is, therefore, not the will of God that Diasporants shall want to impose their imported ideas of Gods and cultures in their new host lands of often more relative peace, stability, and prosperity. Losers are those Diasporants who, from their own luggage, bring out and chauvinistically insist upon infusing their own Gods, as espoused in their religions, in the existential fibre of their new homelands. Never works. Ends in death and destruction. Always. Winners love life. Winners love who they love. Winners make love, and out of love comes life. God is God of life to the extent that life is left to thrive and live itself out. God is for the living.

Losers are often the first to kill, forgetting, it seems, that those who live by the sword die by the sword. Or does it matter at all? I am convinced that death is the end of love. If God is love, it is, therefore, a tragic spiritual/ religious and moral contradiction to seek to, and actually, effect death in the name of God.

It is not the duty and responsibility of host lands in the Diaspora to integrate the guest Diasporant. The binding universal moral obligation upon the Diaspora host lands is to give protection, support, and guidance. The Diaspora host lands can only provide a safe platform for further growth and development of the Diasporant, giving access, limited or not, to all society has for the nurture of the individual to thrive to be a valuable and value adding member. As enshrined in the principles of Democracy, it is the right of the individual to choose whether or not to accept what the Diaspora host land has to offer.

Ultimately, it is the Diasporant’s duty to learn the ways of the new world if this is where they would rather be than their original troubled homelands. Learn the language. Language is both the key and the entry tool into workings of the mind of the Diaspora lands’ society. It will be immensely difficult to understand what makes the Diaspora host lands tick if one does not know how people think here. How do the Diaspora societies answer the Whats and Hows of existence on earth, and the universe, for example? Answers to these can mainly be found and understood through both direct and indirect interaction with host lands people through all forms of communication platforms, from direct verbal to visual media. It’s called Communication Skills.

Sadly, many a Diasporant, through fear of the unknown, perhaps; or worse, racial, religious, and cultural arrogance, as well as other petty superiority complex issues, will want not only to hang onto the non-functional luggage from their non-functional original homelands. They will even go to the extent of jumping into their own tattered suitcases, keeping to themselves and their own alone; having stopped time, living in the past, while the progressive world moves on. Such are home grown fundamentalists made. Walking time bombs of incomprehensible hate, anger, bitterness, and frustration. Losers on the loose. Smell of death everywhere. God has become blind. Initially there was a drop of blood in the one eye of theirs. Now they are trying to wash the face, clean the eyes, but they cannot see. Blood cannot wash blood away.

 

Simon Chilembo, 2014
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
January 21, 2015

JE SUIS CHARLIE

JSCharlieChilemboIn a million voices
He was heard
In all corners of the world
Je suis Charlie
L’image vivante
Immortal

Silently
I hum
I am Chilembo
The written word
Indelible

My body
Shall perish
That’s the plan
My story
Shall thrive

END
©Simon Chilembo, 2015
(French language advisor: Ozzy)

 

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
January 14, 2015

 

 

 

 

38 YEARS AN EXILE: XIII

HOME AT LAST! Part 13
BRAIN DRAIN

By its very nature, life is, and has to be hard. Life is by design brutal and short. The world is an ugly place to be. It is an inherent feature of the world that evil forces will prevail everywhere, relatively more in specific areas of the world than others, in different epochs.

Nelson Mandela, PresidentThe brain is by default and function, the antithesis of all that is heinous, appalling, and abhorrent by way of human behaviour, as well as state of the world and being. The brain will, by inclination, gravitate towards all that is good and beautiful. All things remaining equal, a normally functioning and cultured brain will, as a spontaneous process, seek to create and sustain beauty and well-being against all that is anti-life, all that is anti everything that is beautiful, uplifting, and life supporting. The brain will defy pain and death in pursuit of freedom in the name of beauty and happiness, including the right to enhance the development of these at both the experiential and creative levels through the arts, as well as all forms of human expression. Ultimately, the normally functioning and cultured brain strives to find, and/ or create peace. Beauty and happiness thrive in times and places of peace.

Peace presupposes harmony, coherence, and functionality as expected of all the actors and the parts that keep it together in times and places of peace in the world. The brain thrives here. Peace enables the brain to see all there is to see of the entire spectrum of human potential, from the point of view of creativity and survival, to asking, and finding answers to existential questions of being human on earth, as well as our place in the universe. Hardly surprising, therefore, that it is in places of relative peace and stability in the world where the highest qualitative and quantitative living standards are enjoyed, characterized by long-term and sustainable abundance at both the material sustenance needs, as well as at the human creative, expressive, and productive levels. Things work here. People, and society can plan ahead in efforts to derive as much as possible of the benefits of peace, as manifest through, and by beauty; measurable in terms of how people express happiness, hope, faith, love, and trust for one another. Very little is left to chance and natural ramifications.

Where and when used as per definition of functionings of a normally functioning and cultured brain, religion and Gods will be used only to help people find solace beyond normal human capacity. In this case, religion and Gods will in fact be proponents of peace, as, indeed, the design and architectural beauty of many a house of Gods worship will attest, from Dakar to Rome. These houses of Gods’ worship have their walls adorned with some of the most endearing works of art; they have through the ages inspired some of the greatest poetry, music and songs of the world. All in the name of peace, and all that goes with it, including the natural attraction of brains from other parts of the world.

Whether by intention, accident, or pure fate, finding oneself in lands of relative peace and stability in Western Europe, North America, and others elsewhere which espouse in varying degrees and manifestations, western democratic principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity, a normally functioning and cultured brain from the African Diaspora soon gets addicted to the way of living here. Evils of the world are no longer covered in mysterious dark clouds of superstition and fear, incapacitating positive action and creativity, as well as enjoyment of life to its fullest potential. On the contrary, here, the brain is inspired and motivated to finding ways and solutions to overcome the bad and the ugly in life, as well as the world. No evil, no challenge is too big to overcome in the brain’s endless pursuit of beauty, harmony, happiness, and peace. The brain is allowed to, and must think for itself individually, or in concert with like-minded others, in order to continually find ways to keep evil at bay, with the ultimate objective of its total annihilation, eventually. The normally functioning and cultured brain is taught to understand and internalize the fact that it is responsible for its own existence on earth. It’s not about God. It’s not about ancestral spirits. It’s not about parentage. It’s not about it’s our culture. It’s not about anything, or anybody else. The brain is responsible for its own destiny, as well as the outcomes of its own actions.

So, in this climate of total independence within the set boundaries of prevailing laws of the land, the normally functioning and cultured brain from the African Diaspora will make non-coerced choices about which ways to go in its natural pursuit of attaining beauty and peace, sustained by love. Here, the brain can, and will be anything, translated in success, as may be observable through attained social status, including material acquisitions. Life is good. Life is beautiful. Share the bounty of the beautiful life in the Western World Diaspora with the people back home in Africa. Teach them, motivate them, inspire them to aspire to attuning their brains to function at the corresponding wavelengths as are characteristic of those normally functioning and cultured brains in the lands of freedom and abundance, where beauty, harmony, and peace reign supreme. If you could do it, they can do it. Job in the Diaspora done, and with advancing age nostalgia too much to bear, the African Diaspora brain decides to come back home. Point made in both worlds, but a little weary now, though still full of fire, ever driven by A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

High gates, wallsImmediate observation upon arrival at home is that beauty here seems to be an exclusive domain of a chosen few behind closed doors, in peace behind high brick walls, where even taller, thick and dark foliage forests are grown.

When dogs bark from inside these walls, people who know on the streets say the animals are so huge and ferocious you would think they in reality are lions pretending to be dogs. Top DogIn an open space just a stone’s throw away from the fortresses, domestic rubbish is strewn everywhere, including dead dogs and cats; an ugly, repugnant sight. Oppressive stench pollutes the atmosphere. Joggers and cyclists pass here every so often on any day. Nobody seems to care.
Along the streets it is lined up now perforated low quality black domestic rubbish disposal bags. Trash roadsideSome of the unsightly and stinking contents have fallen into the streets, forcing vehicles to do the slalåm as they drive by. People on the streets will tell you that, according to the local municipality schedule, the rubbish currently messing up the streets in this exclusive suburbia neighbourhood was supposed to have been collected three days ago. When it actually will be collected nobody knows, nobody cares, it seems.

Sewage canal burstIn the same area, a major sewage canal has once again been burst open. The foul odour emanating from the exposed, slow moving raw human excretion material could drop an elephant, I reckon. People on the streets tell that some herdsmen, who are not supposed to graze their cattle in this area in the first place, do from time to time destroy the sewage canal with impunity, so their animals can have water to drink. Environmental care is a foreign concept in Africa it seems. Depressing. Not conducive to normal functioning of a cultured brain honed in the Western World’s leading Diaspora lands of beauty, harmony, peace, and happiness meant not only for the few elite in the various branches of social engineering and organization, but for all, in principle.

In a confused, fuzzy state, the returned African Diaspora brain makes attempts to reclaim its space back home. Sorry, Sir, your space got cannibalized many, many years ago. New rules prevail now. The returned African Diaspora brain, long accustomed to self-sufficiency and independence of thought and action, goes knocking on many a door. Entry denied. It turns out that a major hassle is that the returned African Diaspora brain speaks a very different, incomprehensible language for the new general dispensation: New thinking, critical thinking, vision, innovation, passion, right to choose, planning, control, moderation, limits, budgets, boundaries, accountability, discipline, individuality, me first, personal responsibility, ethics, morals, personal development, health, wellness, coaching, psychology, sharing, giving, imagination, public service, philanthropy, social responsibility, environmental awareness, peak performance, caution, equality, love who you love, gay rights, tolerance, patience, celibacy, sex appeal, natural urges management, generousity, exemplary behaviour, fair remuneration, high value education, earned respect, public servant, service delivery, corporate governance, patriotism, national romantic, open world view, unity of purpose, blind faith, right to privacy, aesthetics, selflessness, play by the rules, fair play, fairness, justness, faithfulness, loyalty, principles, values, illusions of family, illusions of personal relations, illusions of religion, illusions of culture and traditions, fallacies of tribalism, fallacies of racism, future orientation, courage, wisdom, strength, killer instinct, transparency, anti-corruption, obligation to duty, life-long fitness, personal immortality, philosophy, respect, power relations, clean leadership, realism, long term view, self-denial of things, self-deprivation, saving, self-confidence, communication skills, self-knowledge, self-renewal, self-reinvention, and much more.

“Awe, mwe, Ba-Majula, yes, Ba-Chilembo” laments a distant relative from Zambia, “you have really been overseas so very, very long? It’s a shame really, that we lose so many of our brightest, and the very best of our young people to Europe and America, where they already have everything for everybody, while we suffer here back home. I hear you want to go back, is it true? You are needed here! Kwathi, mwe, this brain drain of yours, you people, …”
Ba-Chilembo replies, “Yes, I have decided to go back, Bamai. After more than one year I have failed to win many key people’s confidence with regard to my professional skills, knowledge, and potential, as well as my dreams. This is despite available documentation as to my education and experience overseas. A confidant has revealed to me that people here neither feel comfortable in front of, nor do they trust people like me. He says that people here are simply afraid of people like me. But all this confuses me because I think I am just a guy, nothing more …”

Golden faceThe confidant, a surviving childhood friend with a most fascinating dyslexic brain, had earlier on enlightened me, “You see, Sy, my brother, when local men of power look at you, they see your face as if it’s covered with gold. A face like that evokes great fear and sense of insecurity in anyone with little, or no self-confidence. This is not necessarily personal always. It’s just that people like you, who have travelled and seen the world, are perceived to be too knowledgeable, full of strange ideas, and, thus, too dangerous.

“You will recall from our Basotho oral traditions, and beliefs, that the north is a place of great mystical powers. People who came from the north were the strongest, and the most vicious warriors. Those of our ancestors who somehow ended up in the north by way of adventure, or conquest, never came back home, we lost them forever. But you went to the north, stayed there that many, many years, and have come back in one piece, with a golden face. Actually, in your case, continuing with the rationale of our oral traditions, you went to a north far more northerly than our ancestors could ever envisage. This is the north whence came the White man, who proved to be the most brutal, most destructive, and most effective of them all. He came to stay. Took not only our land, but broke us down so hard emotionally, spiritually, and mentally that millions of our people all over the world still don’t know who they really are, where they are coming from, and/ or where they are going. But you, you managed to curve yourself a little world in the north of the White man. That you are somebody out there in the still unfathomable north to many of our people, is, it will be believed, indicative of the fact that you have doubly heavy blood*. Meaning that in you flows not only the blood of the oldest people on the face of the earth, but also that of the most powerful people in the world today. Therefore, in the eyes of many of our people, you are potentially just too powerful. You are not to be trusted, even if you may go about seemingly humble and cool. True, there is a lot of ugly and bad going on here. You don’t want to complain. Get involved to change and improve things. But do be careful, the toes of evil are very long here, you risk stepping on many of them in your do-good crusades. You are alone, they are too many, and you can only fight so much, so long. If you don’t join them, then you can’t live, thrive, and prosper here”

There we go, Coconut, your brain doesn’t belong here, where beauty is only skin-deep. Brain pain rules here. Move on before darkness of the nights is forever, before cold of the winter brittles your skull. Move on before you find yourself making food like you live in the Stone Age, when brains were small. There is no electricity here. There is no crisis here. There is no urgency here.

In the beautiful, bright, and clean drains of Western Diaspora and elsewhere in the progressive world, your brain gains purity, and grows all the time. Such that when winter comes, you do see and embrace its beauty in the mountains, where you go out skiing and hiking to find peace and alignment with nature. There is electricity there, it as a basic human right and entitlement essential for all-round societal growth and development. Only big, normally functioning and cultured brains can defeat evil. The good and the beautiful is the natural destination, and home for normally functioning and cultured brains, which are themselves a sure guarantee for the perpetuation of the human race on earth.


*
Sesotho, direct translation: Madi a boima. Often used to refer to personal possession of/ endowment with supernatural powers, or protective charms, as would be facilitated by our African traditional medicine, magic, or witchcraft.

 

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
December 20, 2014

38 YEARS AN EXILE: XII

HOME AT LAST! Part 12 CITIZEN OF THE WORLD? MY FOOT!

SPECIAL NOTE: Link takes us to an article written by a frustrated young lady in Oslo, Norway, who feels she has no place to call home anywhere. Although my writing below may sound harsh, it is not personal. I am writing on the subject in general terms at her inspiration, from my, of course, highly subjective point of view. Believe me, I feel her pain, anger, and sorrow. Nelson Mandela, PresidentI am a citizen of the world is another one of those idealistic statements of which poetry and literature are inspired. I am a citizen of the world as an emotional statement reeks of arrogance, ignorance, naiveté, self-centredness, patronization, and imperialistic tendencies. You don’t go calling yourself citizen of the world simply because you don’t feel at home in your country of birth, and/ or your host country if you are an exile in the Diaspora. It’s not up to you to declare yourself a world citizen, as if the world owes you any favours, to begin with. We belong to the world, and not the world to us. You were born to the world. When you die, the world will still be here. Should the world perish, you’ll have no space in the universe, at least not in the way you know yourself today. What you want to do is, when you die, whichever way that happens, you leave this world a better place than you found it at birth. Therefore, it is the world’s prerogative only to declare you its citizen, and that not just because you are not happy with the conditions of your existence anywhere; but because you have done, you do, some kind of deed/ -s beneficial to humanity. There is no free ride to world citizenship. It is not a human right to be I am a citizen of the world just because, from your privileged position somewhere in the 1st World, you can bad-punk-style spit down upon your own, pack your rucksack, and travel the world abusing your economic, or pussy power among the less fortunate of the world because “life is so cheap out there. And, it’s ever so giving to be among poor people. They have nothing, never know where their next meal will come from. And yet they are ever so happy, hospitable, generous, and kind” Jeeezzuz, you don’t do service to humanity through enjoying living high in poverty-ridden slums and villages in the 3rd World like you were some cheap royalty member. Do something to permanently alleviate, or eliminate poverty, then, you might just qualify for the I am a citizen of the world stamp of approval. In the Diaspora, owing to the common phenomenon of paranoia towards strangers, life can be full of scepticism, lack of trust, isolation, exclusion, and, at worst, hate, as well as discrimination with all that entails. That’s just the way it is. It is not the duty and responsibility of the world to show and prove to the Diaspora that you are a normal, decent human being on the look out for things everyone else wants and needs. It is your own duty and responsibility to work to show that you deserve the love, respect, recognition, appreciation, admiration, support, and protection you so much crave for. Naturally. If you cannot get these in your home base, it cannot be easy for the world to give you, all for nothing. The world may want to make you its citizen if you take it on with the life-supporting and uplifting values and deeds you will have nurtured in/ from your home base, first and foremost. When you are a citizen of the world, you don’t go out in the world looking for love and recognition; you go out in the world to give and promote these qualities, demanding, claiming nothing in return. Just do it. You are greater than you realize. In spontaneous appreciation, then, the world will declare you its genuine citizen. But that does not mean that you necessarily have free access to all corners of the world; that does not mean that the entire world will see you in the same light. You will never be able to come banging on, and slamming any first door in the world and say, “Hello, I’m home!” It doesn’t quite work that way. Be smart, therefore. Define your world according to what values you stand for, and live accordingly. It all begins and ends with you. The moment you turn your back on your own land of birth, fleeing from injustices and oppression, as well as other gross Human Rights abuses, the bonds between your own people and yourself will never be the same again. You may be fighting a common course, but you go away, and they stay behind. You will mutually miss one another painfully. Growing up further apart with time, everyone inevitably changes. Things that held the fragile bonds together fall apart. The only thing that remains constant is common heritage. As time goes, years apart turning into decades, everyone grows up each in their unique directions. History takes different meanings to everyone. No one is ever the same again. So, after so many decades, you come back home, the land of your birth. Everybody knows, has heard of, your name, but nobody knows you anymore. Actually, nobody cares. You are not one of them, stranger in your own land. YOU have changed so much: You look different, you walk different, you talk different talk, you smell different, you eat different, you dress different, you think different, you don’t belong here, stranger. Who are you, really? What are you doing here? What do you want? Nobody wants to touch you, nobody wants to be near you; you are so very special these days. Nobody can, nobody wants to, relate to you. You thought paranoia and uncalled for hostilities were bad out there in the Diaspora, but when you experience them in the land of your birth, the land whose freedom you fought for, you know you are thoroughly crushed. Who am I, really? You ask. Where do I belong, really? You ask. Okay, I don’t feel wanted in the Diaspora, I don’t feel welcome back in the land of my birth. But what the heck, they can all go to hell, I am a citizen of the world; my home is the world now! You reason. Alas, it’s not that simple. The real world is hard by default. It’s beautiful at the core, though. You just have to know how to get there. Acknowledged, and aspirant, citizens of the world the world over don’t spend and waste time whining about how unfair life is towards them. Citizens of the world proper take the world by the horns and deal with it in science laboratories, as well as libraries of the world in an endless strive to find answers to ever challenging questions of how to make this a better world to live for all, at all levels of human endeavour. I am a citizen of the world isn’t simply a state of mind, a question of attitude. It’s about how huge personal sacrifices you make for causes meant to promote human and life integrity through struggles for, for example, freedom, which (may) have global implications and impact. Many a freedom fighter of the world has had prisons, torture chambers, and, at worst, death, as their laboratories and libraries in seeking to give meanings to the value of human dignity in freedom, justice, and abundance for all in the world. When their work is done, or still continuing, and the global significance of that is established, the world has a way of showing acknowledgement, respect, and encouragement to keep doing what you do. The latter is done through various awards of variable significances and magnitudes across the world, both at the institutional and private levels. You become I am a citizen of the world by first and foremost winning the hearts of citizens of your home base. Be a source of inspiration and hope locally first. Promote, and be a living proof of love, freedom, peace, faith, and creativity. Everyone, the world, loves a good story, anytime. If your story, the story of the good things you do for humanity, transcends your borders, and precedes you, then you are not too far from living the I am a citizen of the world reality, much to the extent that the entire free world becomes curious of, and is ever so keen to meet you in person, or even merely symbols of your good deeds, because you may not be physically enough for the world. Thus, you may become a globetrotter, a Super Star in whom, in whose works, the world can find meaningful answers to some of the most pertinent questions in/ of life. I am a citizen of the world is a function of action in relation to how, and what, you contribute to the betterment of the human condition, given your talents, knowledge and skills, tastes and preferences, wherever you are in the world, in service to humanity. I am a citizen of the world is also about “Ask not what the world can do for you, but what you can do for the world”. Humility. So, President Chilembo, what are you in this regard, then? Ahh, who? ME? Ohh, ja, ahh…, I am an Ethnic Norwegian citizen of the world with Zambian roots from South Africa! ;-)   Simon Chilembo Riebeeckstad Welkom South Africa Tel.: +27 717 454 115 December 15, 2014

38 YEARS AN EXILE: XI

HOME AT LAST! Part 11
POWER TO THE PEOPLE

Nelson Mandela, PresidentAma-a-andla nga wethu! We’ve got it all so wrong in Mzansi fo sho. Power To The People! Is not all about the right to toyi-toyi for the next 350 years over even the most banal of people’s dissatisfactions against, or demands from, the government; it is not about the false-premised belief in the right to the indiscriminate orgy of vandalism, theft, abuse, and misuse of public infrastructure with impunity due to poverty, daily evident in the most unequal society in the world today. Power To The People! is not a statement of delusional entitlements to excesses of privilege and power to members of the ruling, as well as other elite classes, and their beneficiaries.

Power To The People! means exactly what it says: People’s right to appropriate material, as well as subjective conditions for setting, and effecting their energy in motion, as expressed through their creativity, as well as actual and potential optimal productivity. Without power, people’s creative and productive potential is curtailed. The latter condition is, and can never be conducive for development and progress in society. And, by extension, development and progress will translate to abundance, which, in turn will imply peace and stability in society.
The Diaspora in the industrialized First World will always thrive at the expense of home in the poorer Third World due to the relatively better and more functional concepts and practices of Power To The People! Here, the latter is manifest through, assuming no unforeseen natural calamities and the like, regular, adequate, and dependable supply of electric power to the people. This power facilitates non-interrupted R&D, and other production processes. People have light all hours of the day. Across the board, machinery, equipments, tools, gadgets, and instruments of all kinds requiring external sources of energy for prescribed functionality, work as they should. And life just goes on and on, on an upward spiral of constant improvement of the people’s qualitative and quantitative lives and living.

In an apparently progressive and promising country like South Africa in the 21st Century, it, therefore, should be declared a Crime Against Humanity to deprive the nation of electric power at will, as the concerned utility, Eskom, seems to be doing. It should be taken as a matter of course that a historically vibrant and globally competitive economy like that of South Africa will have ever rising needs and demands for energy. For the relevant state authorities and Eskom to fail to live up to this reality by way of timely and corresponding energy production, storage, and distribution capacity management and regulation, is a scandal of the worst order. Load shedding sucks more than none existence of any expected utility supply of electricity at all. People in South Africa plan and organize their lives on the assumption that, all things remaining equal, there will be, and there is, regular, adequate, and dependable supply of electric power at all times.

 

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
November 30, 2014

38 YEARS AN EXILE: X

HOME AT LAST! Part 10
LIFE IN THE DIASPORA – MUCH TO PROVE

Simon Chilembo, President/ CEOOnce you land in exile, even more so if you do eventually get stuck out there, you have everything to prove. You have to. Your life depends on it. Exile confronts you first and foremost as the individual. Troubles in your country of origin will only make sense, or not, on the basis of what story you talk and walk. Consciously chosen or not, it may be your mission to be a Messiah for your people. Prove that you are; their lives depend on you.

Regardless of your real or imagined social status in your homeland, the fact that the latter and yourself can no longer thrive in each other’s presence, and because countries do not move, people do, you hit exile with much of you hanging on the line. Anything you’ve called identity, pride, and self-esteem changes meaning. It is no longer about how you perceive yourself; your ego gets crushed in ways you could never imagine before. You’ll have to learn how to respond to what exile initially makes of you, throws at you. If you let it, exile can, and will break you down in more ways than one.

If you want to live to grow and thrive in exile, staying for life if you so wish, or must out of necessity due to non-foreseen other imperatives of life; if you want to grow and thrive in exile so you can see the day freedom dawns and rises in your homeland, you must prove you are somebody. It is not just about names, tribes, and races; it is not about religions, faiths, or belief systems. It is primarily more about being a human being of flesh and blood. A human being of feelings, thoughts, and creative potential, a human being with the power to influence and effect change in any direction, anywhere you find yourself. The quality, as well as attributes of your life and living in the Diaspora will testify as to your humanity.

Are you worthy, are you deserving, of support, or neglect and destruction in exile? Prove it with your deeds. If you have knowledge, use it. Hone it some more as a daily objective. If you have some special skills, some special talent, show them. Improve, and develop them continually all the way. If you are a Super Star, never be afraid to shine whenever opportunity arises. Everyone loves a Super Star, more so in lands of liberty and fraternity. Choose your exile host land with caution, assuming you have the chance to choose when shit hits the fan, and you have to flee at extremely short notice. There are many in the Diaspora living on the edge in exile host countries more inhuman than their original homelands.

Myths abound about the Diaspora. Crush them. Truth is, only you, and others like you could leave your homelands because you were, you are, the strongest, the bravest, the most intelligent, and the most resourceful. It has very little to do with luck. You left because you chose to. You didn’t leave because you were lucky enough to have the opportunity to choose. Reality is, through the choices you made along the way, by way of associations, as well as strategic moves, you facilitated for the chances to make it possible for you to choose to leave present themselves. So, how can you fail to prove that you are human, you are as good as any one in your exile host land, and you have the same rights to treatment with dignity?

You are not stupid; you are not ignorant. You are wise, with a great capacity to learn new things fast. That’s what makes you a survivor, a legend of all times. Prove this. Prove to your hosts that, contrary to one common myth, you are not there to hijack, or pollute their cultures and countries. On the contrary, because you are a good human being, your hosts will in the long run gain from your positive contributions and influences to society. You are a resource. You are, by default, a value-adding person of civility and culture. Prove that you are worth more than gold to your exile host land, whether or not you came to stay. Otherwise you may perish, giving more substance to myths about the Diaspora comprising largely of leeches, and angels of the devil out to destroy all the good that has been developed and built by progressive mankind over many generations and epochs. The lives of your kind yet to escape tyrannies of their homelands depend on you.

You will fall in love in exile. Thus entering into the innermost circles of your host country through family and relations, if your new love is a local. Never is the need to prove things greater than in this most intimate domain. Here, you’ll be undressed naked, literally, all days. Your conscious strengths will often be no issue because you know them well, and they are a great source of pride for you. You build your world around your strengths. However, where else are our vulnerabilities more exposed than in love? In the power games of love, depending on the individual dispositions of the lovers concerned, the one may seek to dominate the other one way or another. The exiled may be pitied like a poor, homeless child. The locals may want to take it upon themselves to want to protect, guide, groom, and educate the exiled in the most disgustingly patronizing ways. In extreme scenarios, the exiled will even be considered to be devoid of any opinions on things, and the ways of the world. Love teaches us to put our defences down. So, the belittled exiled in love will tolerate a lot of trash, in the hope that, in time, the exile land lover will understand that there is more to being an exile. But then again, time can be very long, and we can only tolerate so much. Goodbye, love.

Next to love, perhaps, learning the host country’s language is the most pertinent thing. Any wise and knowledgeable Diaspora member, any hustler, knows that a new language learnt always brings out the best in one, as well as the exile land/ -s. It opens one’s mind to intricacies of the ways of thinking and attitudes towards the myriad of complex societal issues through reading local literature, as well as appreciating other aspects of culture. Ultimately, language mastery facilitates direct person-to-person communication. Prove that you have nothing to hide, and you are open for new ideas and life impulses through communicating with your exile host country people in their own language/ -s. Language mastery brings down barriers of suspicion, insecurities, and fear of the unknown. Speak, read, and write your exile host land’s language/ -s to prove, if only to yourself, that you feel at home. By the same token eat, and appreciate the cuisine, especially those dishes and foods considered as unique and exotic to your host land. Speak, eat, and drink to prove you belong. Language, food, and drink have a tendency to heighten sensitivity to the on-goings in society.

You’ll find in the Diaspora host lands, many who’ll have travelled the world. They may even have lived and loved across the world in different places, and different times. You’ll soon be surprised, though, to find that the supposed ignorance and backwardness they initially see in you as a poor refugee/ exiled, is actually a projection of themselves onto you. By your open mindedness, patience, tolerance, never ending curiosity about the state of the world, near and far, you shall prove that travelling for you is not only about experience. You travel in order to learn, first and foremost. You travel more to acquire, and disseminate knowledge wherever you are. Your life depends on it.

 

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
9459
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
November 25, 2014

38 YEARS AN EXILE: IX

HOME AT LAST! Part 9
WALOBA AWARD 2014

E L W Chilembo, S Chilembo

E L W Chilembo, S Chilembo

My father the original exile, Mr Elias Lazarus Waloba Chilembo, would have turned 83 years old on Wednesday, November 19, 2014. When the pangs of British colonialism induced poverty were too much to bear, he, like his own father before, Waloba The First, trekked from our remote village in Eastern Zambia, to South Africa in search of greener pastures. This was soon after the end of World War II, in 1947. Four years later his mother died. He came back home to bury her. As per clan norms among my people, he being the eldest offspring in my grandmother’s house, Pappa should have stayed on to help Waloba The First look after his large, polygamous family. But no, he preferred to go back to exile in South Africa, where he would firmly plant his own roots in the land of diamonds and gold by eventually getting married, and establishing a family.

Apartheid hardened more than ever before in the early 1970s. It was no longer defensible for Pappa to continue living in South Africa. Exile had to end. Zambia had been a free and independent land of copper and emeralds for 10 years by 1974. In Zambia, my parents believed, their children would grow up safe and free, getting the best education in the world for them to be doctors, lawyers, and engineers. Chance to escape the clutches of Apartheid’s effective dehumanizing brutality came in the early days of January 1975. After an arduous but adventurous journey, we finally arrived in Lusaka almost four months later. Such began my Exile I.

Unfortunately, Pappa failed to resettle well in the land of this birth. He had been away too long. He had married the wrong kind of woman, and begot the wrong kind of children. He and Zambia had changed in many very different, non-reconcilable ways. My father had become a stranger in his own land, among his own people, his own flesh and blood. Trouble in paradise: Pappa’s wife sneaks back into South Africa. His children remain in Zambia disillusioned and confused, making many, many big mistakes along the way. Zambia became Exile II for Pappa, then. But the man miraculously held it together with extreme displays of dignity and honour. My siblings and I soon came to know and understand that Pappa would always be there for us, no matter what.

From observing how he went about getting his world to go round in the rough world of exiles, I learnt from Pappa that if you are good to yourself, including staying true to the values and principles you have chosen to guide your life, being good to the world comes on its own. The world, at home or in exile, is never a bed of roses. There will always be somebody out there who will want, and actually get to mess you up somehow. It’s okay to fall and lose face, giving satisfaction and pleasure to your enemies and ill wishers. Just don’t lose your strength and die. Don’t lose faith in the power of your values and principles. There is always somebody out there who values your goodness and humanity. They will help you rise again. These good people, shower them with your glow when you shine again. When you are a good, decent human being, you are never alone as long as you live.

Pappa would eventually come back to South Africa on Exile III. I know he felt at home, free and happy in this country. The challenges he had were not very different from any other South African of his station in life. He truly loved this country. When he finally died, I want to believe that he welcomed and took death with his characteristic stoicism. Ku manda kwa Bambo wanga ku malila mikango/ On my father’s grave, lions roar.

In his memory, therefore, I have, under the auspices of my Chilembo Warrior Moves, introduced a special award to recognize outstanding men who each in their own unique ways contribute to making this a better world to live for all. Most importantly, these men will be a direct part of my life in things I do and stand for. These men will be sources of inspiration and strength who, in their own special ways, help me be a better person today than I was yesterday. They will be my teachers, my mentors, my guardian angels, my advisors, my guides, my motivators, my coaches, my brothers, my friends, my family. This is a very personal award, a very personal journey. The recipients will receive a signed diploma.

Coach Øyvind Ask, 4 Dan Shihan

Coach Øyvind Ask, 4 Dan Shihan

The fourth recipient of the award is my second Karate Master student in Norway, Øyvind Ask, 4th Dan Black Belt Shihan, for brotherly love, care, support, loyalty, trust, devotion, leadership, teaching, wisdom, honour, integrity, family, and The Champions. The inscription on his diploma reads:
For Compassion • Family • The Champions.

In the Diaspora, it comes with the territory that the exiled will often misunderstand things, and will be misunderstood themselves. Twelve years ago, one of my national hosts in Norway, not knowing my story at all, grossly misunderstood things. A Conflict Resolution meeting was called in an attempt to help us make peace with each other. In concluding their case to prove how much of a bad influence I was around, and therefore, not good for Norway, they, in a manipulative trump card style, vainly picked out Øyvind to confirm their very destructively negative claims about me. In my Apartheid conditioned racial paranoia, I there and then saw my world coming tumbling down, thinking that, well, blood is thicker than water. Øyvind responded, “Thank you very much, Person X, for the kind words you have said about me. That’s very nice. But, unfortunately, I cannot find me in all the things you have said in your reality’s description of Simon. Sorry!” Norwegian language can be quite poetic. People blood is simply red.

 

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
November 20, 2014

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