THIS FREEDOM IS MINE TOO
Just had a Lafayette, SanFransisco, feeling this midnight hour: Not a soul on the streets; not even the midnight Black Cat of Suburbia. Only an accasional car this and that way. No police, no private security patrol vehicle on sight. But they are there. Press Panic Button, and they will appear as if from nowhere, in no time. Things money can buy in opulent society.
Strutting up and down, with two buckets as I chose to manually water my street side garden flowers and trees, I can’t help anticipating that from the shadows yonder, someone can throw a projectile at me anytime. If this is my night, they might even shoot, KABOOM!!! Goodbye, Ngamla. Welcome to Mzansi fo sho, land of the living dead.
But then again, I wonder, how free can I feel, and be free and if I go round paranoid of getting killed in my free land? In my world, freedom as a living sentiment in the whole of my being means that I will, and shall, defy death, as well as uncalled for death threats from societal deviants. Freedom is courage to choose to live, and victor over enemies of liberty for the free, the peaceful and peace loving, as well as the progressive. I did not fight for the freedom of my land for it to be enjoyed by criminals and gangsters alone, giving them the prerogative to decide when and how I shall die. Neither can they decide for me how I shall live, enjoy, and manifest uttributes of the freedom of my land. So, I shall water my garden in peace, anyhow, anytime I want to. When done, as I did this midnight in front of a recently planted flower, I shall perform my Tai Chi form powerfully with grace, in praise of Freedom, in profound thoughts of all fallen freedom fighting heroes for generations the world over. There are still beautiful things about South Africa. These are what I’ll take with me to Exile II.
TEL .: +27 717 454 115
November 17, 2014
HOME AT LAST! Part 8
POLITICS OF MURDER: APARTHEID, GANGSTERS, AND DEATH STORY
Necropower regimes take rule by fear to the goriest level. You are not their friend, threatening their status quo, they catch you, they torture you; information obtained or not, they kill you. On a good day they may kill you first, then ask questions later. If you are their friends, in the inner or the outer circles, same difference, you trust nobody, nobody trusts you. All go with tight golden turtlenecks of death waiting to squeeze, burn, or blow up at the slightest sign of disloyalty. Staying alive is a loyalty reward enjoyed one day at a time. Rock the boat once, and a day can instantaneously be extremely long, the world can all of a sudden seem very, very small, with nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, smell of death real, and omnipresent, like God.
When you finally hear total silence, you see your voice waving and bopping away from you, the echoes of your desperate begging for mercy cries coming towards and quietly passing through your still body like the wind through a porous medium, then you know you are dead. Heaven, or hell? It does not really matter now. Sitting on the right hand side of the necropower regime, life was heavenly on earth: You ate and drank to your fill, you smoked Havanas; virgin or no virgin, they were there everywhere the women. Oh, yes, the monies, the cars, the aeroplanes, and all the luxuries. Hell is when the golden turtleneck cuts your breath, as well as constrains all blood flow to-and-fro your brains. Your eyes bulge so you can see death coming full view. Die, mother, die! Necropower base and existence secured, sustained, and justified once again.
Necropower regimes have their tentacles everywhere, at home and abroad. You can run, but you cannot hide from them. From the moment you decide in any way to stand up against a necropower regime in your own land, you sign, by default, an automatic pact with death. We are all going to die someday. But no single person, or groups thereof, have any natural and legitimate right to take it upon themselves to terminate the life of another at will, simply because the victim represents opinions, standards, and values incongruent with the former’s. Therefore, necropower and necropolitics are as undesirable as any evil on the face of the earth.
Any exile resettled anywhere in the world as a result of necropolitics in countries of origin will have long embraced living intimately with death by the time they find a place of relative safety, and possibilities of starting new lives. An exile of this nature has uncalled for, sudden death not only hanging at close proximity above their heads, but follows them like a shadow with the sun sitting directly overhead at midday in the tropics. You become uncomfortable in the dark when you cannot see your own shadow. You thrive in conditions of light for, if you can see your own shadow, you are still alive, you can still fight for freedom, even if just for one more day.
In exile milieus anywhere, to the extent that you stay alive, also one day at a time much like a necropower politics loyalist back home, somebody else gets assassinated, or maimed in your stead every so often somewhere. You may, or you may never, live to see your home country liberated from necropower someday, but, in time, you do get hardened to and towards death. People of your political/ ideological/ religious persuasions will keep dying, getting killed in all sorts of the crudest methods, requiring, where and when possible, handling of the remains in the most emotionally and mentally demanding ways. You routinely do what you have to do to honour the fallen comrades, sisters and brothers, compatriots. Eventually, your tears dry up, and your feelings become deep and hard like a diamond in the ground. Your experience of, and response to death become, then, a deeply private and personal matter. No need, rather, no strength to manifest your sadness and mourning to the world. Untimely death, no matter, the circumstances saps the energy out of you. But to the extent that you still have another day of living, you can only do what you can, and have to, only in your own way, in the name of freedom. You cannot be indifferent; otherwise necropower reign is perpetuated, and can justify itself and its abominable ways.
I survived Apartheid necropower death at home and in exile. Apartheid necropower venom permeated every fibre of pre-1994 South African society. In many a political education debate while in exile, I would argue that the brutality of Apartheid in South Africa reproduced itself in the home. Freedom came, and in the twentieth year of the same I am still alive. I saw the threat, and felt the venom, of Apartheid necropower leave my being, as well as my entire existence, as I cast my vote on April 27, 1994, in exile, Oslo, Norway. How sweet life became thereafter, then, in prolonged exile. I began to live, and feel, like I owned all the time I am allotted on earth. My longevity would now be, to a large extent, a function of the conscious and deliberate choices I make in my life as a free and independent man of the world. My dreams and hopes for the future of my at long last free and sovereign land of my birth and I became larger and brighter. My heaven on earth had come to life.
Heading towards the twentieth year celebrations of the New South Africa, I heard Nelson Mandela was terminally ill. I decided it was to come back home. He passed on. I mourned in my own way, exile style. Worked for me. The country did what it had to do. Worked superlatively well for all. When my time comes, it’s like I can do it like Madiba. Strange thing, though, is that I go from day to day with the feeling like I am living on borrowed time with extremely high interest rate. The risk of defaulting is high. Penalty? Immediate death, execution style. In our own beloved Rainbow Nation, The New South Africa? Sure.
The paradox is, twenty years on since the fall of Apartheid and its atrocities at home and abroad, I feel like I live my life from hour-to-hour. Life feels and seems shorter and more brutal these days. During Apartheid days, senseless deaths and killings came with the territory. That was a given fact as well understood, as it was predictable. When we rose against Apartheid we knew exactly what we went up against, as well as the potential consequences thereof. That, of course, never dissuaded us from our goal of ultimately achieving a free, non-racial, inclusive, and sovereign South Africa. But now, sadly, it is clear that when Apartheid fell, necropower remained in the hands of criminals and gangsters. What comes with the territory concerning the latter is the common tendency of randomness and unpredictability. Who knows, this just may well be the last article I write for my blog.
Breaking news!!! … Simon Chilembo, internationally acclaimed Karate expert, Wellness professional, and writer/ poet has just been shot dead by an undisclosed number of armed men who broke into his home. Initial reports say the late’s bullet riddled body was found lying in a pool of blood in his study in the middle of the night, barely five minutes after the security alarm in his house had gone off. Apparently, Simon had been working on his two computers, which were still on, and left untouched by the time the private security company officers arrived on the scene. Only his new plasma TV was found missing. No arrests have been made yet.
Don’t cry for me, South Africa. I hear Exile II calling. Life does not have to be as short and as cheap as necropower likes to force it to be.
Dedication: All those who fell, directly and indirectly, in the hands of the former Apartheid regime in South Africa. May their souls rest in peace.
Special dedication to political exiles of the world in our times, including all children of the Diaspora. Death can be defied. In South Africa, we say Del’ukufa, Xhosa.
Inspiration: Senzo Meyiwa, as well as all who have fallen, and shall fall in the hands of armed criminals and gangsters in South Africa. May their souls rest in peace.
Remembering: HE Michael Sata, President, Zambia; Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, and Phindile Mwelase, as well as all others who departed of this world in the last 2-3 weeks, in South Africa and elsewhere. May their souls rest in peace.
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
November 03, 2014
THEY KILL FOR SURE
Comrades took with them apartheid catalysed eKassie violence to exile. In exile, many a Comrade enjoyed some dubious diplomatic immunity privileges. Many a Comrade lived an on-wrong-premises-protected lifestyle, no different from spoilt children at some juvenile delinquents’ institution. Returning home to Mzansi, many a Comrade brought back with them the impunity and arrogance of exile living fo sho. The country became a rainbow nation. All keep running and running in, naturally, ever so futile attempts to reach for the proverbial pots of gold at the end of the rainbows criss-crossing the land:
1) It’s here in the ground, Comrade.
2) No, it has to be over there where the rainbows end. Obvious, there is no smoke without fire, you know, Comrade. Get out of the way before I blow you off the face of the earth! This is my country. I do what I like. That gold is mine.
1) Run, comrade, run.
Trisha tells of how her husband kept lashing at her with his belt, striking her all over the body. This time, though, it felt as if the belt was leaving on her skin, lines of a special kind of warmth at every strike. With her hands flying all over the place in a vain attempt to protect herself, it felt as if her skin was peeling off from these warm lines induced by the belt lashings. Strange. Whole body begins to feel hot, and moist. Panic. She had begun to bleed profusely. Only then did she realize that the man was in fact chopping her with a panga. This time he means to kill me, she thought. Soon she felt no pain, no sensation at all as the man kept chopping on and on. It didn’t matter anymore. I might as well fall and die, she concluded. No talk of dying and resting in peace here. Blood everywhere. Bloody mess. This sure is no way of entering the kingdom of God in heaven. Ain’t going nowhere, my man. He never heard her.
When she came to, after lying one whole week in a comma at the exile hospital, it was in time to hear her visitors talking about the husband’s stated intentions to come to finish her off in the hospital. Other Comrades applied acute instant mob justice to the man. Trisha survived. Love for the man ended, for good. Divorce. Long healing process began.
Years later, exile ends. Everyone returns home. Mandela is back. Freedom is here. We see it, we smell it, we touch it, we sing it; we dance it. With freedom come home, gear up impunity and arrogance, then. The power is in our hands. Remember how we were Kings in exile, Comrade? Let’s do it again. So, Trish’s ex-husband resumes constant physical and emotional harassment of her. What can she do? We are home now, and I’m the man here, I am a guerrilla veteran. Top brass. The power is mine. I do what I like, divorce or no divorce. He thinks.
Trish: I’m home. This is my land too. This freedom is mine too. I defied death in the hands of the man so I could live and raise my children in peace in the freedom of my land. Here we are. Perhaps it’s time I gave the animal a taste of his own medicine.
A woman in love is soft as an angel, sweet like candy, vulnerable as a baby. A woman weaned off love is lethal. The man got to hear of Trish’s changed state of mind. So, when another day he decided to come and harass her again, he exercised his military training caution towards her for once, “I hear you have a gun these days. Is it true?”
Ex, “The gun is licensed, I hear. Is it true?”
Trish, “Of course”
Ex, “You, who never wanted to do any military training while in exile! It means that you have taken shooting lessons, then?”
Ex, “Eish, can you really shoot?”
Trish, “I hit the bull’s eye at 50 metres any time”
Without a word, the man turned and walked away, never to bother Trish again for the next, and last, ten years of his life. As fire consumed the man’s corpse, Trish surrendered her weapon to the police. In peace.
Guns kill. Murder? Culpable homicide? Same difference. Same death. Guns kill.
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
September 23, 2014
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