HOME AT LAST! Part 1
Mutterings of Ngamla* Kid from eKassie Thabong
The ignorance of opulent society people regarding the real condition of poor people all over the world can be very appalling sometimes. This, in spite of the fact that “Jo, kjære/ Dear Simon, Norway was also a poor, Third World level country until as late as just under 50 years ago”
The real condition of poor people, whatever the causes of their poverty, goes beyond just the lack of life’s essential material goods such as food and clean drinking water. It isn’t just about “We Are the World”. Christmas? What is that? Christmas comes and goes in circles. Poverty is a point-to-point straight line for the poorest of the poor of the world. Born in poverty. Raised in poverty. Live poor. Die poor. Corpse rots in open space. No strength, no grave. No fire, no ash. There is a vulture waiting.
Poor people are vulnerable not only to the devastating effects of natural forces when necessary protective measures such as solid and safe housing, general infrastructure, and health services are neither available nor accessible to. When the Superstructure, either by intention or through sheer ignorance and/ or incompetent incompetency, fails to protect and defend poor people against natural calamities, corrupt and ineffective national leadership, as well as national enemies, then hell becomes a place on earth for the poor. Only that the fire in hell on earth is of a very slow combustion nature.
You cannot see the flames, for the fire burns extremely slowly inside the personal worlds of the poor, slowly eating up and mutating the fibre of their hearts, minds, bodies, and souls. Very dehumanizing, indeed. Opulent society people have no relation, and can never relate to this. Believe me, once you’ve tasted the life of opulence, whether through personal hard work and effort to create and sustain own personal wealth, or by fate, you don’t want to be poor (again). Never. “But, kjææære/ deaaar Simon, there isn’t much I can do about my having been born in Norway. I cannot go round feeling sorry that I was born a Norwegian!” an opulent society person will defend themselves, implicitly saying that because I, Simon Chilembo, am from some supposedly poor and backward African jungle, I don’t have a real appreciation of what opulence and its implications are; it’s best for me to continue living simply, and close to nature like my other African people do back home. “It’s bad, and unnatural for you to allow yourself to get caught up in the trappings of our own lifestyle and culture, Simon. Western civilization is an extremely destructive force for a beautiful man like you …!”. Okay, owkey, ok!!!
As a grown up youthful man, I have chosen to live the way I have lived my life so far because it is the only lifestyle I know. From the time I became aware of, and began to make sense of my surroundings and reality, I found my father driving the finest of the few cars in the neighbourhood; my mother had the finest home by standards going for the rising Black middle class of the then Apartheid South Africa in the 1960s. I knew I had more clothes than many of the other children in the neighbourhood. My clothes were, of course, the finest. I had lots of toys. There was always excess food at my home. My parents used to be the most dashing couple at the social parties immigrant workers from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique would hold from time to time, more often than not, at my home. When the time for me to go to school came, “cheap” apartheid Bantu Education schools my father didn’t want to hear anything of. So, I was sent to an exclusive Catholic mission school abroad in neighbouring Lesotho, thereby starting what would be an exciting international travel and career in later years. It was important for my parents that my siblings and I got the best education they could afford. Education would secure safe and lasting entry into the safe, attractive world of opulent living for us. We didn’t know of any poor Doctor then. As such, it was only natural that I would be a Doctor when I grow up.
Although I wouldn’t say I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth like many I know in the 21st Century opulent society, I was not born in poverty and misery either. My parents’ own stories are completely different, though. These two awesome people were born and raised in different poverty and misery settings, but very poor all the same. Nevertheless, somehow, at different points, and under as different circumstances, they each independently managed to break themselves away from the shackles of poverty, ever aspiring to be strong and healthy everyday, so that they could have the power to work hard everyday to make money, and, that way, buy themselves passports into the good life of health, safety, protection, and fun characteristic of the opulent society. They did very well indeed, within the limitations and constraints of the then Apartheid South Africa, which, much like colonialism before it, thrived on creating conditions that would mean that Black people would be subjected to perpetual poverty and misery.
My parents taught me to appreciate, and therefore continually aspire for, the good life from a very early age. But there was only so much Black people could do to be materially and spiritually successful, free, and happy those days. Every basic and essential social service was by design and intention to be small, inadequate, and substandard. Slow combustion implies limited and constricted supply of oxygen. Total Apartheid strategy: Mercilessly brutalize the Blacks outside on the streets and places of work. If they refuse to die then, it’s okay. Let them go to their substandard homes, and die slowly from overcrowding, asbestos, carbon monoxide, lead paint, alcohol, drugs, violence, and sexual abuse. (There are some who may argue that not much has changed in the post-Apartheid South Africa, celebrating this year, 20 years of supposedly genuine Democracy since the official fall of Apartheid in 1994. But, another place, another time)
My mother always talked, therefore, about how, when things change one day, we’d build a bigger house, like the White people did. As a little girl, my mother had, together with her own mother, worked as a house girl for several White families consecutively. So, she had a clear vision of what she wanted, and aspired for, regarding living a more fulfilling life of opulence and well-being.
About 40 years later, I am somebody in opulent society. Many people out here do not really know who I am as an individual, private person. They do not know where I come from, they do not know my history; they do not know my values, my beliefs, my faith, what I stand for, and what the things are which for me define the man and the person I am when confronted as the individual, free, and independent-thinking Simon Chilembo. They have no idea as to what my aspirations, my hopes, my concerns, my worries, and my fears are. What are my sources of joy, my sources of sorrow?
Whatever little they think they know about me is as a part of a collective, as described in literature and through other cultural media. For example, hear an opulent society highly cultured intellectual who has backpacked all over the world over many years, “But, du, kjææære/Deaaar, Simon, I know everything about you. I have read every book ever written by Wilbur Smith, you know! Moreover, I have read at least twice Alex Hailey’s Roots book, and I have seen the Roots TV series over and over several times. Kunta Kinte var flink, ikke sant/ was good, not so? ”. Ohhh, help me, God!
So, when I do things the only way I know them from before, given my unique personal background; the latter having shaped my aspirations, my dreams, my hopes, my longings, I seem to break the rules of everything opulent society people know, and expect of and about me:
- “But, kjææære, Simon, you have bought another, even bigger Mercedes? Whyyy? How vulgar!”
- “I see you are wearing a gold Rolex watch these days, kjære deg/ you, my Dear Simon. What’s the meaning of this now?”
What the opulent society person did not know is that I have been wearing classy wrist watches since my parents bought me, as a 12th birthday present, an expensive watch typically worn by grown up, working men. Therefore, when I am finally grown up myself, making my own good opulent society money, I go for the best there is. Naturally.
- “You are full of surprises, kjære deg/ you, my Dear Simon. Do you have to build such a big house for your mother, then? Whyyy???” opulent society person is relentless.
Simon, “Well, it’s normal to build big in South Africa. There’s lots of land”.
- Opulent society person, “Tjaaa, but is it really necessary?”
Simon, “Actually, had my family been bigger, the house would have been much bigger. We are only four adults, with each one of us a designated own bedroom when we all come together at home …”
- Opulent society person, “Neeei/ nnnooo, it’s still too much. Do you reaaally need that many rooms? So many bathrooms and toilets? You have all slept in one and the same bedroom before, not so? I know that people share huts in African villages. You see my point now, kjære deg/ Dear you?”. Jeeezus!!!
What opulent society person didn’t know was that, when I was about 10 years old, I made a silent vow one night: I would never subject my children to the discomfort and embarrassment of seeing or hearing their mother and I making love, even in the most subdued way. In the same small, substandard municipality house, my mother ran a very popular shebeen business. Booze everywhere, all that goes with alcohol abuse by poor and severely oppressed people happening everywhere around my siblings and I. I swore once again that my children would never have to go through this kind of thing. Somehow, the three of us children survived, and came out of this mess clean. Not that we are not each carrying each our own luggage from this shit life. The three of us are, of course, three very different personalities who each deal in their own unique special ways with their own luggage. Thanks to living in exile, to a large extent, I believe, the three of us will live to well beyond age 50. Many of our childhood friends passed on a long time ago. Of the few still around, it is clear that life has not been very kind to some of them. Our family exile started in Zambia, and I eventually ended up in Norway on my own, making my exile stay longest in the family. Coming back home to stay after 38 years abroad has been a totally different experience than that which my fantasies had envisaged, and I had hoped for. The meaning of a place called home is not the same anymore.
TO BE CONTINUED …
*Wealthy, influential one (man)
March 04, 2014
Tel.: +27 717454115
ONE LOVE, ONE SEX. MAN, WOMAN, SAME DIFFERENCE
Sex is cheap. Sex is so cheap nearly all living things do it. Dogs do sex. Snakes do sex. Bees do sex. Seen solely as a reproductive means, even the wind does sex; Virgin Mary knows, ask God. Celibates do sex. Sex is no big deal.
Essentially, sex is about one thing, and one thing only: 6-20 seconds of the pure delight of orgasm. Some struggle to, or never, experience it at all; some get it too quick, too soon. But that doesn’t change the basic instinct behind the pursuit and, and the ultimate motive for indulging in sex. Cheap stuff.
Sure thing, baby baking is the highest ultimate real outcome of sex. But, certainly baby production is not the driving force behind the need, and the desire, to do sex. It’s orgasm first, then babies, where applicable and intended, or even accidental. There would long have been no more room on earth if babies were conceived every orgasm hit, if doing sex was primarily a baby factory act.
At its rawest, sex is the cheapest thing. And yet it has the power to make people very rich. Sex also makes people very poor everyday, all over the world. Sex is cheap power, and it works all the time. When people pay for sex, they are not paying for the act itself, actually. They are paying for accessories. We call them apps these days.
The subjective aspects of sex, touching emotions of love, preferences and choices, are what complicates this cheap thing called sex. People want, and like, to have sex packaged in certain ways. And, more often than not, sex partner targets are very specific. This is how artificial value adding apps come into the picture. And this is how sex crimes arise as people aspire for sex targets they either can’t match, and/ or can’t afford.
In a perfect world, the specific nature of sex partner targets as influenced by emotions of love and affection will be as random as people are born where they are born. And the people will have the personal all round attributes they will have at, and from, birth. Some people will even prefer, because they are who and what they are, to have themselves as their own sexual partners. They will do sex alone in their private worlds, neither harming nor pleasuring no one but themselves. Cheap and effective; assuming no huge investments in mechanical and such apps. And, of course, there are some who’ll do sex with practically anything, whatever the costs, financial and/ otherwise. Sex is so cheap it can make people even cheaper emotionally, spiritually, and, not in the least, economically.
If we accept the specific nature of sex partners and sex turn-ons choices and preferences; and if we accept that love is a guarantor of satisfactory and uplifting sexual relations, thereby promoting and sustaining peace and harmony in society, ensuring stability and growth in the present and the future, we must also acknowledge, accept, and respect that at times human behaviour will be incongruent to conventional wisdom as propagated by the majority. From a Human Rights perspective as promulgated in the free world, people must be allowed to love who they love, regardless of sex, race, creed, or faith. Archaic laws inhibiting these must be repealed forthwith. And, we know that historically, when people rise against abuse and denial of their right to full self-expression as free citizens of the world, the tide just cannot be stopped until the people have attained their freedom. Who knows it better that African people, the most oppressed people on earth? Africa will always lag behind the rest of the world as long as it does not get its developmental priorities right.
Chasing people around to see who does sex with whom? Arresting men who have sex with men they love, and women who do the same? What a waste of fucking time and resources!
February 16, 2014
Tel.: +27 717454115
FORWARD TO THE ROOTS
To mark my resumption of Karate teaching after a 2 ½ years’ semi-retirement, I take the liberty of reproducing an edited version of an interview I had with what are considered to be, in Karate terms, my Karate grandchildren in Zimbabwe. It is worth noting that my comeback is done in Welkom, the city of my birth in South Africa. This is where the adventure began …(Download public info/ demo, Wednesday, January 29, 2014, here, Pdf-fil: Karate Club demo invite)
BM: We are excited to be interviewing Simon Chilembo, Sensei, as a known pioneer of Seidokan back in the day. We hope to patch in some history that has been hazy, and we are grateful to people like Simon Sensei, who in many ways were responsible for linking Zimbabweans to Stephen Chan, Sensei, and responsible for shaping Jindokai as we know it today
1.BM. Sensei, many thanks for agreeing to this interview. We hope that we can go back with you in time. Please tell us how Sammy Chilembo was drawn to Martial Arts, and when this happened?
SC: I have always fought. First, as a smaller than average, sharp-tongued child protecting myself from others making my life difficult in various ways. Second, defending myself as a mobbing victim, given my sudden growth in body weight and size from near pubescence to early teens. Third, protecting my two siblings and myself against xenophobic and tribal inspired verbal and physical abuse arising from our father’s non-South African origin. There were also some direct responses to racial abuse and attacks in the then Apartheid South Africa.
I first started with Boxing from about age five. Christmas holidays 1971 in a street fight I’m warned that someone was about to throw a stone at me from behind. I turn around to find, a few meters away, the boy raising his right arm to effect the throw. Without thinking of it, I ran perhaps five steps and then flew on to the boy, kicking him with my right leg square in the face before he could throw the stone. Years later I’d understand that I had then performed something similar to a Tobi Yoko Geri. Afterwards, people kept asking me where I trained Judo. I didn’t know what they were talking about; so I kept saying it was secret! It was during my ensuing investigations about Judo that I, a few months later, discovered James Bond. An older guy told me that Bond was a Karate expert, and there and then I knew I wanted to train Karate so as to be cool like Agent 007.
2.BM.Your first formal Karate, was this under Seidokan? When did you meet Chan Sensei?
SC: Although I now know that that the guy hadn’t gone very far in his Karate training then, I like to acknowledge Lefty as having been the first-ever person to give me a formal Karate training session sometime in 1972. Lefty was one of the few older guys really nice to me in our township in Welkom, South Africa. He taught me Heisoku Dachi, Oyoi, Rei, and Hachi Dachi. Other than that I do not recall what exercises we did. But there sure was a lot of pain and sweat. And Lefty said one thing I never forget, “The most important thing in Karate is respect!” When I look back I think he could have meant “humility”.
I first met Chan Sensei in early 1981.
3.BM. How did Sedokan end up being such a force in Zambia, and later on Zimbabwe? Who introduced Seidokan in Zimbabwe?
SC: Regarding Zambia, my view is that at a very critical point in time we find at UNZA a spontaneous student convergence of the best and most promising Karateka in the country in the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. Then, at about the same time enters the scene an unusual Chinese Sensei Chan from New Zealand.
Sensei Chan’s style, approach, and attitude are like nothing we had ever seen before; very generous, very patient and tolerant, open, and inclusive, as well as innovative. Sensei Chan subtly broke all rules of everything we thought we knew about fitness training, and all of the basics, kata, and kumite training. From this we emerged with a new style of fighting, which was more mobile with more circular and spinning techniques, including takedowns. At the same time we were all allowed to maintain and develop further our own individualities, such that it was difficult for opposing teams to find workable strategies against us who stood strong as a team, and yet performed so very differently individually. Respecting and developing further the uniqueness of the individual within the confines of certain specific techniques and methods has been a trait upheld since.
The late Jimmy Mavenge introduced Seidokan in Zimbabwe. Working then against very strong forces in Zambia, I facilitated this. When I heard that Zimbabwean Karate was represented in the World Championships 2012, I celebrated quietly, and thought, “You made it, Jimmy!” This is how it all started (excerpt from earlier correspondence to a friend):
[One Sunday morning early 1983, a BMW 5 series parks outside my home in Lusaka; and out comes the biggest and ugliest man I ever saw. Upon seeing me his face lit up brighter than the happiest baby face I ever saw... Although I had never met or heard of this man before, he spoke to me like we were like the oldest of friends (he had done some good research on me apparently). And, to be honest, Jimmy had enough charisma to kill the biggest elephant.
After introducing himself: Jimmy Mavenge, Green Belt holder, First Secretary at the Zim High Commission in Lusaka, on a 3 year tour of duty, he went on something like, “Zimbabwe Karate is polarized and racist. I want to change all that when I get back. Black people don’t go above Green Belt there; and I want to take Karate to the poorest of children in my country. You have to help me with this. I’m willing to pay you generously if you can give me a crash-training programme so I can return to Zimbabwe with a Black Belt. I am willing to work and train every day, I’ll do anything you want me to...!” I remember my jaws sagging, my eyes bulging, with me saying a low key “Wowww...ohhhh.... ok, let’s do it!” I told him though that given the magnitude of the ambition, we had to this properly by engaging the then Zambia Seidokan…]
Unfortunately we initially received neither understanding nor support from the others. Only because both Jimmy and I were both mad thickheads, we unilaterally went ahead with the project any way, getting a lot of battering along the way. Rest is history; speaks for itself.
4.BM. Taking you back in the day, who were some of the young men you trained with? You being a champion back in the day, who was your most difficult opponent?
SC: When it came to kumite I was my own toughest opponent because I was just too strong and temperamental. With a history of disqualifications and injuries both inflicted upon my opponents, with me getting my own share, I do not have an impressive competition kumite record. Kata was, and still is my thing. I must mention though that, in my opinion, Lemmy Ngambi (late) was the most formidable fighter we had in Zambia during my time.
5.BM. We know Raymond Mbazima and Wycliffe Mushipe as some of the generation you might have started off with. How good were they back in the day? And, importantly, as Stephen has alluded to Wycliffe being the highest graded Jindokai African student, what was he like back in the day?
SC: Both Raymond and Wycliffe have always been good in their own ways. Raymond as the ever happy and smiling Karateka/ Sensei, but incredibly deep and thoughtful, poetic in talent and movement. Wycliffe ever cool and seemingly unassuming, but what speed, power, and focus when situation demands! Both are excellent teachers with solid academic and professional backgrounds.
Wycliffe and I first trained together (1978-81) at the former Trinity Karate Club, then run by Sensei Bonar Noble. The latter is, in my view, the original father of Zambian Karate. He was the first of the few Zambian Martial Arts experts of European origin who went out with the deliberate intent to teach Karate to indigenous Zambians. Mr Noble was also adept at Judo, and he taught a select group of us senior grades of the time, rudiments of Judo falls, throws, locks, as well as body movement and placement in space. I would think it safe to say that these Judo extra lessons lay the foundation for the subsequent Toide and Ju Jitsu we would learn in Seidokan, and now Jindokai.
6.BM. You have known Stephen Chan most probably longer than most of us. Describe the Man in as many words as you want.
SC: Despite him being a really big man of the world with a lot of power and influence, affecting the lives of many, many people in many different ways all over the globe on a daily basis, Stephen Chan has the unique ability to make me feel like I am the most important thing whenever I communicate with him in any way, on any subject matter. I get the feeling that Stephen Chan is one of the few good men around me who have an idea as to how my madness works. The man has seen me fall; he has helped me rise on my own. He has helped me to, on my own, hold my back straight, and hold my head high in victory.
It may sound strange, but it’s not Karate I have learnt from Stephen Chan. It is Diplomacy, as well as the concept and practice of loyalty I have learnt from the man. Karate training has only been a means to get there. If I couldn’t learn from him in a proper academic setting, I could as well get it on the training floor. Worked for me. Stephen was, therefore, the natural first recipient of my Chilembo Warrior Moves Waloba Award in 2011. The award is in memory of my father, and is awarded to men who, among other things, constantly inspire me to work to be a better person tomorrow than I was today.
7.B.M. The parting of ways between Stephen Chan and Roy Jerry Hobbs (you have also known both men for a long time), why Jindokai and not Dentokan?
SC: When the split came about I had already retired from international Karate for several years. Jindokai brought me back to life.
8.B.M. You have been overseas for a very long time. In which areas do you think African Karate has stayed in one place, improved and overtaken Karate in the 1st World?
SC: The extent to which African Karate has or not stagnated, improved or not improved, is, in my view, in relation to the general African condition. Africa will indeed improve and do well in certain areas, but will never surpass the so-called 1st World. This is more an attitudinal thing than about material endowment.
Africa has yet to learn how to break away from what I call the Dependency Syndrome. What I mean is, for example, learn and understand how things work, relate them to your own circumstances, innovate, create a new and unique better functional expression of the old, move on, win and rule.
I’ll postulate that Americans started doing things to Karate and other Martial Arts forms already in the 1960s, with the Europeans following close on about the same time, certainly from the early 1970s. I, with confidence, hereby state that Japan does not own modern Karate any more. Some of the very best Karate practitioners and brains are found in the Western world today.
Well, Africa is, as always, on the periphery thriving on handouts from often well-meaning 1st World patrons. Somebody in Durban, South Africa, said to me three years ago, “You need a Japanese under your wings to be somebody in Karate!” Load of bull, if you ask me. With my Chilembo Warrior Moves Karate Development, I will show that good Karate can be as African as can be.
There are crucial 1st World success pre-requisites though: Discipline, total commitment, focus, sacrifice, ethics, morals, long-term view, strategic and critical thinking, Health & Wellness, etc. How optimally can a Zimbabwean/ Zambian Karateka sustain Peak Performance capacity if he/ she pays little attention to strict dietary regimes of top competition training requirements established internationally? And, Jeeezus, what about those litres of Castle/ Mosi after training? Sometimes even before training?
9.B.M. Where do you see Jindokai, the International Organisation in 5years? 10years time?
SC: Difficult to put a time perspective. But speaking in general terms, like many other good organizations before it at any level, Jindokai will at its own pace develop to be strong, popular and dominant. Jindokai will produce the finest all-round Martial Artists, Sensei, Coaches, and administrators. When the organization reaches a certain level of maturity in time, it will then outgrow the founder, Stephen Chan in this case.
From personal experience, I know that an organization has reached the level of outgrowing the founder when, at worst, mutinies arise. There is no set pattern of events or members’ behaviour; but, often, the most senior and once most loyal will gang up with relatively newer and less experienced members to question the integrity of the founder/ leader. It’ll be about anything from leadership style/ power to knowledge and understanding of things (i.e. training concepts, history, relevance of current syllabus, adaptability to changing times and circumstances, etc.). I’ve always found this to be a most fascinating dynamic stage because this is where men/ women are made or broken; this is where organizations are rejuvenated or destroyed; this is where dictators mark themselves from progressive democratic players. I read many years ago somewhere that “Pioneers get hanged and burnt!” But then again, Phoenixes will always rise from the ashes.
10.B.M. You have had periods in your life where Karate has had to take a back seat, or sometimes completely not train. Does it get harder to get back to training? And at what point does one not completely think about the way if not training?
SC: There will always necessarily be times when one needs to take a break from Karate. It could be for a myriad of reasons; and it is the specific nature of the reasons that will often influence how hard or not a come back will be. I think health related reasons are ever the most challenging, whereas it is relatively easier to come back after a short/ long break as a result of need to give priority to studies, job, family, and other life’s practical considerations.
December 2011- June 2012 was the longest-ever break I took from any form of physical exercise training since I started to train seriously non-stop and goal-oriented at the age of twelve, 1972. For reasons I won’t go into, I had become extremely tired both mentally, spiritually, and physically much of year 2011. I felt I needed a break from my normal routines for a while so as to clear my head, re-asses my feelings about things, work my body in unfamiliar ways. I thought a personal six months leave of absence in South Africa would do me good; and it did. Working hands-on with the continuing construction of my new family home was a very uplifting and most educational trip. It was a thrill to work so very differently, and relate to people (builders, etc) as differently. Now I know that if I could start all over again I’d study Architecture.
It was very hard to take up training again because I had gained at least 15kg during the six months of inactivity. There were a lot of emotional issues I had to deal with in the process. And when you are 52 years old, the body does not restitute as fast as when you were 22 years old. A very painful ride indeed. This is when I appreciated the strong mental training I got from the formative years of my Karate playing.
11.B.M. Which of your students showed great potential and came through? And one that surprised you completely, and doing very well?
SC: When you are Sensei you learn very early that people come and go all the time. You enjoy them while they are here, you don’t miss them when they are gone. When they are gone, you hope though that they take with them happy memories, and that the people skills they’ll have learnt during their stints with you will help them make decent human beings of themselves out there in the real big world.
When Daniel Sønstevold stopped training after 3-4 great years of superior junior competition results in the Oslo/ Eastern Norway Karate circuit, I missed him dearly, though. There was something unique about his approach to training and competition for one of his age. This in spite of a health condition that would under normal circumstances knock out many a tough player, regardless of age.
Several years later, Daniel makes a come back. He is like 10 times bigger than the last time I had seen him, and he has just come back from a successful compulsory national youth military training/ service stint. In my state of positive shock, given what I know of his physical health challenges, I ask him how it was possible for him to do a complete military service training tour. “It’s all in the head, Sensei!” he says. Daniel is a shining Jindokai Super Star in my eyes. He crowned it all by getting a job with the Norwegian Martial Arts Federation. In 2013, Daniel Sønstevold became the third winner of the annual Chilembo Warrior Moves Waloba Award.
12.B.M. Which of your Teachers has had the greatest influence on you? And which of the teachers you trained under was the one you aspired to get to his level of proficiency one day, and why?
SC: All the teachers I’ve had the privilege and honour to work with have each influenced me greatly in different ways. I am a synthesis of all of their respective works with me. Lefty, mentioned above, introduced the concept of humility to me. My first-ever Black Belt Sensei, Tom Banda, emphasized physical and mental power; he used to say, “If you are strong you can do anything!”
After Tom Banda, Sensei Bonar Noble introduced the concept of “… use your head when you train. Do your kata with all of you!”
But the most valuable thing I got from Bonar Noble is the act of devotion to one’s students. The wild two, Sensei Anver Bey and Ajit Mangali, simply took what the others had taught me to even higher levels. Anver and I would eventually become close friends; he emphasised the importance of reading and research in order to know more about Karate and training in general. Sensei Ajit taught me the rawness and brutality of fitness training and kumite, as well Kata execution. Today, Ajit and I are good friends, and I awarded him a Chilembo Warrior Moves Karate Development Go-Dan degree in year 2010.
In between, at our old Trinity Karate Club in Lusaka (Noble, Anver, Ajit), Sensei Eugene Moody would drop by in his then Jim Kelly look. He was the fastest, most powerful big kicker I ever saw. Eugene never taught me directly, but he once led a mean kumite session from which I knew I wanted to be as good a kicker as he was then.
And then came Stephen Chan, who refined the rebel in me, and made a diplomat out of wild I. I’m not sure if he’ll agree with me, but I learnt diplomatic diplomacy, as well as rebellious diplomacy from him. In my world, diplomatic diplomacy wins friends and allies in times of peace; rebellious diplomacy is crude, breaks all the rules, goes against the storm, hurts people, sacrifices and loses friends, only because of the conviction that the cause is good and will benefit all eventually. Thanks to rebellious diplomacy, Seidokan was introduced, developed, and sustained in Zambia initially, and later, in Zimbabwe. Though the resistance was of a more subtle and speculative nature in Norway, I had to apply brute rebellious diplomacy with a smile to win, maintain, and sustain the then Seidokan Norway space that is now proudly and independently occupied by Jindokai Norway.
13.B.M. Who is Simon Chilembo during those Unza years and before? And who is Simon Chilembo today? Are the two separate? Given the rewind button, would Simon Chilembo of today travel the same path?
SC: The Simon Chilembo of today is older, and much wiser after some hard life conditioning alone in Europe. The Simon Chilembo of the UNZA days completes the story of today’s Simon Chilembo. We travel the paths we land upon, and do what we have to do from what we know, or do not know, about life and things there and then. To the extent that I have no regrets about the choices I’ve made, or not made, in my life so far, I would happily travel the same path again. Though I will occasionally complain about lost millions of dollars in business, betrayals, women, children, dogs, cats, etc., life has been good to me; my life is good.
14.B.M. Which Zambian would you pick to be the man who has dedicated his life to Karate, and done so selflessly over the years?
SC: I cannot answer for the years after 1988. But from the mid-1970s, perhaps earlier, to the time I left Zambia in 1988, it is my opinion that Sensei Bonar Noble was the lifeline of Zambian Karate. Always there, never complaining. Asking for nothing in return.
15.B.M How big is Jindokai in Norway and what role did you play in having this established in Norway
SC: As far as I know, Jindokai Norway comprises the two Karate clubs I started and led in Norway over the years. I had no role to play at all in the establishment of Jindokai in Norway. This is because my former students had already outgrown me when the process started. I have taught, and I teach, my students to be strong and independent. This is an example of Universal People Empowerment at work. Africans can also do it for Europeans in Europe, see?
16.B.M. How many languages do you speak fluently and what were those early years in Norway like?
SC: I speak 15 languages fluently, and communicate satisfactorily with another 5 or so.
It’s important to remember that I first came to Norway to study business only. It was never my original intention to stay in the country after my studies. My ultimate goal was further studies in either the UK or USA. After that I’d return to Africa with a mean PhD in Economics, land myself a big transnational job, make serious money, marry 10 wives, make hundred children, and live happily ever after.
For Karate, and later for love, I chose to stay in Norway any way. No Oxford/ Havard Economics PhD, no big job, no serious money, no wife, no children, but lived happily ever after with Karate. I stayed 5 years unemployed, as the authorities couldn’t quite make up their minds as to whether or not allow me to stay in Norway for Karate and love. The latter was a challenging emotional exercise; Karate worked and kept my head above water. Karate produced some of the best Karateka in the land; some of current Norwegian Youth Karate International Super Stars have gone through my hands. Love had to sink and drown eventually, and I swam further with Karate up until June 2012, when Karate outgrew me. I still live happily ever after.
17.B.M. We hear of stories of you and an Italian twin. Tell us about this relationship and who this individual is.
SC: Paolo Piccinini was my first-ever serious mentee. Stephen Chan assigned me to help him, Paolo, attain a Sho Dan in 1983/4 or thereabouts. Paolo and I had earlier trained together at the old Trinity Karate Club in 1979/81 if I’m not mistaken. When I look back, I now understand that it is the work I did with Paolo, which made working with Jimmy Mavenge later on so easy and such fun. Actually the ambition was to get Paolo to beyond Sho Dan as quickly as possible before he’d return to Italy to do his military national service there. Paolo just worked and worked, both at the dojo and privately at his home every day. We’d have these long and hard training sessions at his home on Saturday and Sunday mornings. He learnt and perfected new senior kata faster than any one I know to this day. It goes without saying that a deep and close friendship developed from working this closely together. When he beat me to second place to take gold in the Zambian nationals in 1985, I knew I had done one hell of a good job with this guy. I had been Zambian kata champion 1981-84.
Paolo’s Karate prowess became recognized and acknowledged almost as soon as he began his national service duties in Italy in 1985/86. He has been teaching Karate and self-defence as part of his job since. One of the finest Karateka, and human beings I know.
18.B.M. Teaching and Training overseas, did you ever feel like you had to prove to people that you were as good as any Teacher?
SC: I have a very inflated ego. Such that when I know I’m good at something, I’m good at it. That’s it. Take me or leave me! So, I’m not into proving to people that I can do things that I already know I can do well. I just do what I have to do to the best of my abilities there and then, here and now. If it’s fun, I perform even better. The results of my work will speak for themselves and for me.
But the question is a very important one to the extent that in the eyes of many ignorant people in Europe and elsewhere in the developed world, when we come to their world we are non-resourceful under-dogs. To this day, I from time to time still meet people who do not understand that I was already a university graduate, and a 3rd Dan Black Belt holder when I first came to Norway. No one could teach me anything new in Karate in Norway. That’s how I decided to form my own clubs. So, if I had anything to prove, it was that I was better than many teachers. But then again, let the results of my work speak. I know I’m good at what I do; it’s all that matters to me.
19.B.M. Which Teachers in Okinawa have you trained under? And how many times over the years have you trained there?
SC: I’ve never been to Okinawa. Initially never could afford to travel there. Later, felt no need to after all. There’s so much good Karate out in the wider world these days. If ever I visit Okinawa it will be more for historical and sentimental reasons than anything else. I’ve had the pleasure and honour of meeting Sensei Shian Toma, the former and late head of our earlier Seidokan affiliation in Okinawa, on two occasions in Salamanca, Spain.
20.B.M. Finally, Sensei, tell us what your plans in future are Karate wise. And is the form and sharpness still there? Or is there something that you will be working at to show us in March (2013) in Lusaka?
SC: I will come back to teaching Karate actively again soon. It’ll not be at the same level of engagement as before. I love working with the smallest children; that I’ll continue to do. I’ll, however, want to devote more time and energy to potential instructors. Although competition is fun and good for PR, I’ll let the instructor team I’ll groom to take care of that aspect of training.
When I come to Lusaka in March (2013), you’ll find my form and sharpness still intact for a man my age and size. Those who’ll have seen me in action before will find me much more powerful in my moves. The latter is because of better understanding of body mechanics from Tai Chi, and some Yoga training. This may well be the knowledge I might want to share with all, then.
21.B.M. Thanks, Sensei!
January 19, 2014
Telephone: +27 717454 115
NO FORGIVENESS, NO MERCY
I can’t forgive. I never forgive. I don’t forgive. If and when I’m maliciously offended and/ or harmed in any way, I cry, I pray, I meditate, I think. If I conclude that I have been by intention and purpose, for any reason treated unfairly and unjustly as a way to thwart my efforts, ambitions, and opportunities at attaining any of my goals, there is no way I can ever forgive. Forgetting is out of the question. I am not vindictive. But when revenge hits back, it’s ever so sweet.
In the absence of apology, repentance, humility, and, in extreme cases, penance, on the part of the offender, I can never forgive, I can never reconcile. In the name of progress, because the world will never stop for us, peace may prevail. But unsolicited forgiveness I can never extend, or offer, overtly or otherwise.
I believe in God. I am God. Even God does not distribute forgiveness for free like it’s some Father Christmas goody for children. God gives only upon request, no matter how genuine or false the request is. Just ask, God (for-) gives. That’s what prayers are for. That’s what prayer rooms, prayer houses, temples, churches and cathedrals, including mosques, are for. That’s what ritual sacrifices of all kinds are made to God for. Even the hungriest, poorest person in the world will sacrifice the last grain of rice, the last penny they have in the name of forgiveness in the face of God. You can absolutely not enter into the Kingdom of God carrying sins in your heart and on your shoulders. The wealthiest and most powerful men and women of God have understood that fact well. Pathological sinners never cease to give them their hard earned tithes, for them (the Pastors, the High Priests, and many others) to negotiate for God’s forgiveness, and, by extension, passport acquisition into heaven. Amen.
I speak to my God directly. She has taught me not how to forgive for free. Forgiveness must effect change, it must enlighten. Forgiveness is, indeed, power; forgiveness liberates all. But psychopaths, groping in the darkness of ignorance, evil, and insensitivity, do not know, and do not care about forgiveness; it’s origin, intention, and purpose. For them, psychopaths, life is about them alone, they are the centres of the universe. We ordinary mortals owe them eternal favours. So, how can they ever do us wrong? How can they ever understand our fragilities, our hurts and our emotional turmoil in times of disappointments, abuse, and betrayals? I do not know how to forgive psychopaths. I’ve been around the world, I’ve looked everywhere, I’ve seen things; but I fail to see how I could ever forgive a psychopath who has messed up my life, no matter how little, no matter how distant.
My revenge is self-driven. My revenge is self-motivated. It comes, and it strikes when it strikes, in life or in death. My revenge is ever so sweet to watch in action. It’s better than many a Hollywood movie, tastes better than vanilla ice cream. Ntate/ Mr Pelompe knows better than any other. Pelo = Heart; Mpe = Bad
I hate Ntate Pelompe more than any other person that’s ever walked the face of the earth in my time. In the 4- 5 years, 1964-69, I was conscious of his presence (it turns out he was already on the scene by the time I was born in 1960), Ntate Pelompe remains the most violent, most cruel, and the most abusive person I’ve ever had anything to do with directly in my life. I’d have loved to see him fight an equal, though. But like many a legendary psychopath, he always took the ever weakest and most vulnerable, women and children. Psychopaths are masters at spreading, and ruling with terror. So, everybody in the village was scared shitlesss of Ntate Pelompe. He was, furthermore, of Royal blood. Where is royalty more feared than in Africa? Only once, though, I saw another man, a cousin on holiday from work in Johannesburg, stand up against Ntate Pelompe.
Both men were lookers, and dressed well. Roughly about same age. Very popular with the ladies, given their urban sophistication influence from Johannesburg and Welkom. Living more permanently in Johannesburg, Ntate Pelompe’s cousin had more class, though. The latter quality was evidently a source of envy and jealousy from Ntate Pelompe. I learnt later that there were inheritance issues involved also.
One Sunday afternoon, the Royal cousins return from a drinking spree. Cousin from Jo’burg is looking real bad, thoroughly drunk. We were like 10 children in the compound, and seeing these two drunken men amused us profusely. Ntate Pelompe then accuses the cousin of being the stupid one who has caused the children to laugh at them. And without warning, Ntate Pelompe physically attacks his cousin so viciously that the man tumbles and falls to the ground, lying dead still. When after several hard kicks to the flanks didn’t get to wake the cousin up, Ntate Pelompe then picked a granitic rock (lejwe la moralla: Sesotho) the size of a buffalo’s head and smashed it with brute force on cousin’s head. Blood spewed, the man’s body convulsed violently, we children got the hell out of there. Fast!
Unfortunately, while the other children ran away to their different homes, I ran to Ntate Pelompe’s. The man was my guardian while I went to school in Lesotho 1965- 69. I was one of several children at this homestead. But I was the most visible, given my big mouth. So, when after a while the man came home, he was still in a rage. He went on to thump the brains out of us, including my grandmother, whom he accused of not bringing us up with good discipline. That was the first time I ever saw the face and body of a small child during, and after, extremely violent physical abuse. I recall this happening not long after I had started going to school for the first time. This means that I was nearly five years old then; and I later was told that the small child I referred to was hardly two years old.
Ntate Pelompe used to brag about his property and his royal lineage. All this made no sense to me. So, I didn’t care. I cared only about his orchard, and vegetable garden, including the flower garden. The latter was a little on the periphery, though, because the man preferred to tend it himself. The few occasions I saw my grandmother working the flower garden was under strict supervision, with a stick in hand, by the man. We children were made to work the vegetable garden and orchard under as tough regimentation, driven and guided by the man, with a long whip; the kind you use for cattle, cowboy style. That thing hurts when it hits you; peels off skin upon contact. Some children went around with permanent scars on the bodies as a result of this. What went on inside their hearts and souls can we only guess. There wasn’t any talk of child slave labour, and/ or abuse those days. Children were there to use as you do animals to work. They resist, whip them. And starve them. Simple.
By the time I was 7-8 years old I had already gotten it instilled in me that I mustn’t just stand and receive unfair and unjust treatment passively; I must fight back, and I only have myself to fight for me primarily. It was most frustrating for me to find that I couldn’t fight back against the much bigger and older Ntate Pelompe. Having been subjected to, and having seen the extent of his cruelty and brutality so many times before, I was also scared shitless of this man.
I guess it was the developing defiant young rebel in me working when one morning in 1968, I decided to wake up and pee on Ntate Pelompe’s flower garden. I didn’t care the consequences, I just felt like peeing on the flower garden. He saw me. Removing his thick leather belt, he struck and whipped me viciously, at the same time spewing from his vile mouth the most uncomplimentary things about my commoner heritage. I felt a slash on my right leg. Looking down I noticed a deep cut, flesh and bone exposed, blood gushing profusely a few seconds later. In a moment of shock for both of us, I stood up, and looked hard up at the man. I stopped crying, wiping off my tears defiantly, silently anticipating the next strike. It never came. The man scornfully said something about me thinking I had become a man then. He went on to, for the first time, threaten to kill me because, I had then become big enough for it at last, he said. At that particular moment my then extreme fear for the man turned into lasting, profound hate for him, and everything he stood for. The ugly cut on my leg symbolized my hatred for Ntate Pelompe. Infection due to lack of medical attention meant that the subsequent sore would take a very long time to heal. I still carry the ugly scar, clearly visible even close to 50 years later. No doubt this scar will be on my leg to my dying day. Ntate Pelompe died a long time ago. But the physical scar he inflicted upon me, it being a small external manifestation of the massive emotional and psychological anguish he caused others and me, lingers on. I couldn’t forgive this man even if I knew how to.
Vengeance finally came through a few weeks leading on to Christmas, 2013.
It would be a ludicrous banality to compare Ntate Pelompe’s old royal Real Estate with mine, I, a Ruler commoner. My estate is larger by far by magnitude, as well as by presentation. However, mine is a real money estate. My estate is 100% built from my own sweat and toil, started from ground zero by myself alone; no royal family inheritances, no handouts, and the like. Just me.
Confronted by the size, and the possibilities of my new house, I in July/ August 2013 embarked on a ambitious first time project of designing and single-handedly landscaping an entirely new vegetable garden.
This was an awesome personal challenge full of strong emotions, given my not so charming personal history of gardening in my formative years. I started by naming the garden after my maternal grandmother: Auma Veg Soul Garden. Then I planted the season’s most often grown vegetables, which was also in par with what I recalled from that time so long ago: Spinach, carrots, beetroot, broccoli, tomato, and lettuce. I also planted the hardy and prolific pumpkin, including beans, and groundnuts. At the same time I worked to develop further the front lawn/ flower garden, planting more roses, and other trees. The flower garden is beautiful, and the vegetable garden has produced more than I had ever envisaged it would. The quality, texture, and size of the produce beat by far anything I have ever seen close-range in gardening before.
Checking out my gardens everyday, harvesting the various vegetables for own consumption, as well sharing with others, including my proud mother, fills me with a previously unknown kind of sense of joy and pride. It’s a kind of nice and giddy feeling of making the emphatic statement: I’M HERE, I LIVE; I LOVE!
The roses not only light up the yard, and exude delicious aromas day and night; they fire up my head for my eyes to see beauty everywhere around me. I am free. This is how my vengeance works.
Tel: +27 717 454 115
December 31, 2013
I hereby apply for a job as pioneer professional Chief Executive President of an African country. I wish to take on the entire African continent, actually.
I want to restore the long lost dignity and honour of African people in the world. It’s time I take charge in order that one morning before I die, I’ll wake up and shout out to the world not only I AM AN AFRICAN!, but, I am a PROUD African! At this expression of elation, the earth shall move, and dance under my feet.
I want to turn Africa around. Under my professional, corporate style leadership, Africans will be a model of freedom and human decency in time. People of the world will come to Africa to taste, and learn about, freedom as an innate human quality and attribute. There’ll be no more WE WANT FREEDOM …/ WE ARE FREE … songs and all. Africa will be a symbol of freedom itself. African people will be living manifestations of what freedom means for humanity: ABUNDANCE. Africans will be at home in Africa, welcome anytime, anywhere in the world. This will make me proud.
I am not proud I am an African. I am not proud of being an African. Today. Being the proudest Black Man I know does not make me proud of going around with the African tag engrossing my entire being permanently. How I personally feel, and think, about myself do not, and cannot, alienate me from being an African man, first and foremost. I am not a cosmetic African. I make, design, and live my world as an internally free, proud Black Man. When I confront the external, non-African world, the most likely initial reactions to my presence, that seen from a historical perspective, will be in association with fear-of-the-unknown, evil, hostility, hunger, misery, ignorance, disease, and much more. I have travelled the world, so I know.
Africans are the least respected people on earth. This is a collective curse, I dare say. When everyone else is hammered out through and through, the very last person to take it out on is an African. Every South African familiar with apartheid will attest to this. Many Africans out in the diaspora will sure have their own stories to tell about this, for generations. Thanks to the ever-pathetic African political leadership throughout history.
African people are ever the most betrayed, the most abused by their own leaders. Africans are probably the-most-sold-to-slavery-people on earth, for all times. Africans are the least protected people by their own leaders on earth. If, and when, I die I die. But I do go round pondering how the likelihood is higher that, for my provocative utterances, I may just be taken out by own African political leaders. Strange, but White Supremacists don’t worry me that much in that regard. They’ve had licence to kill in Africa for so long. I see them come from a distance. And I can kill too. I’m only human, like everyone else, ultimately. People are animals. Animals kill and die all the time. That’s life. Who can respect us, Africans, then? Who can ever take us seriously anywhere in the world, then? “You want to feed these hungry niggers? Feed them in Africa! …” said an irate citizen of another country of the world not long ago, protesting against the presence of African refugees, who’ll contaminate the host county’s purity, if allowed to stay. God just looks on. Passive. And the only thing we could do was cry, “Racists! Racists! …!!!” Our political leadership across Africa does not move even the little finger. I want to change all this.
With superior modern Corporate Governance principles I can turn Africa, and the African mentality of self-destruction, around. Under my well-honed professional leadership, African people will cease to run away from wars and the attendant miseries of these often greed-inspired civil wars. I will run Africa like a well-oiled, impersonal commercial and industrial machine. I will bring Nivarna to Africa. No one will have to do anything extreme to ensure right of passage into heaven because I’ll bring heaven here on earth, in Africa. Corporate Governance Ethics make no allowances for endless supply of nubile virgins and the like, unfortunately. In my Corporate Governance managed Africa, you want it, you work for it, you get rewarded accordingly, in real terms. And you live to enjoy the glory. Share. Produce more. Grow. Develop. Co-exist. Be a role model. Make the world a better place to live for all, with mutual respect, dignity, and honour.
Give me the job!
Zero. I feel so strongly about this I’ll work for free. Since I am single, with no children, cats, and dogs, I can live just fine with a subsistence allowance enabling me to buy shaving creams, and other such personal vanity things of my own. Special requests as below, though.
- Fringe benefits
- Food. Not too fussy about food; just it’s clean and nutritious. Organic vegetarian food even better, where/ when possible. I cook. Red Wine, doesn’t have to be Italian. Wouldn’t harm from time to time, though.
- Top class Health & Wellness facilities, as well as services. I can train auxiliary personnel myself.
- Wardrobe doesn’t have to be Armani, or Tom Ford. But no harm if so.
- Get back my gold Rolex (NO diamond studs, please!).
- When the Mercedes is back, it’ll have been upgraded to S Class. Maybach, or Maserati wouldn’t harm either. This category not so crucial, but could be real cool if fulfilled. I don’t need a driver.
- Absolutely not necessary with a palace for accommodation/ official residence. I already have an okay place to stay. Need not more than R 200 000,- (two hundred thousand Rand only) for any upgrading work. Since I live alone, not necessary with extensive security detail. And given that I’ll be the best African people’s Chief Executive President ever, the people will want to interact with me at a much higher degree than it happens in Africa today, anyway. The people shall protect me.
30 years. Immediate dismissal without compensation the moment I falter, screw up, or fail to deliver. No strikes, protests and all that time- and resource-wasting crap. If I, for whatever reason, with sticks and primitive, African traditional weapons decide to attack a policeman armed with modern assault and protective armour, shoot me down at once. It’ll be a mortal sin for any one not to use their brains in my corporate style managed Africa.
- DUTY COMMENCEMENT
Tel: +27 717 454 115
October 25, 2013
- I once again state emphatically state that I am the proudest Black Man I know. And, believe me, I happen to know many, many proud and great Black Men. Starting with my own father, through Muhammad Ali, to Nelson Mandela. And then there is Barack Obama.
I know my strengths, my capabilities, and my potential. Behind every manifestation of real, fake, or fantasised weaknesses, I am at least ten times stronger at any one time. Do not try, do not test, and do not threaten me. I promise you, if you live, you may not be able to tell the story. “You think you are some kind of a God now Simon, don’t you?” I am God. Only no religion, no followers. Just Black & Proud. I tell it like it is, as mine eyes behold.
- I make some strong subjective claims in this posting. Were this an academic PhD thesis, I would substantiate every claim I make, of course. But that has to wait until such a time I do get into some serious PhD program in one thing or another.
Day before yesterday, the lady newly employed to come and assist us with domestic chores and all, does not report for work at the agreed upon time. My younger sister calls her on the phone. It turns out the lady had opted to go out to attend to some official bureaucracy errand instead, and that would keep her away all day. The same had occurred last week Wednesday. Upon complaining to a girl friend that had recommended the lady, the friend says to my younger sister, “Our people are really strange. Had you been White, the woman would have told you, and requested for leave of absence in advance! Our people have no respect for work, not in the least us, who employ them, especially when we pay them well, and treat them humanely”
After an arduous day of clearing away construction site rubbish, I pay the 10 casual workers each double the normal daily rate in Welkom. I had also bought them a Nando’s grilled chicken + Coke lunch earlier on in the day. Politely, I thank them for a job well done, and ask them to, please, all come back the following day so we can finish off what was left of the rubble. Same generous conditions to apply. “Sure, Ngamla/ Boss!” all in unison, with apparent enthusiasm. So cool!
As I turn away, I hear one of them say, “Eish, bafowethu/ homies, enkleke/ really, I don’t work for Black people, mina/ myself. I’m not coming back …” The speaker is a starving, unemployed, non-skilled street hustler as black as industrial coal. 33-45 degrees Celsius temperatures in January/ February, in central South Africa, can be very unkind on the skin, especially that of a malnourished one whose owner most likely doesn’t even have a decent place to stay either.
Someone else, Joey, in the construction industry as well, asks one of his workers to bring an extra hand to work one day. The new worker has not been told who the mlungu/ White Boss is. After picking up the regular worker, plus the extra hand, Joey, decides to pass by a place where a job had earlier been done. Joey takes a little longer than expected to come back. So, a little agitated, the new worker asks his friend who, and where, the mlungu/ White Boss was. Won’t he be very angry when they show up late for work? Upon being told that Joey was actually the mlungu/ White Boss, the extra hand angrily jumps off Joey’s waiting van, shouting, “I don’t work for Black people, don’t you know, man?” The guy chose to walk back into town, about 20km away. Chances are he didn’t make any money for something to eat that day. Aghhh, who cares?
To build my mother a new family home, a top-trained, highly experienced professional builder is engaged. His portfolio includes some of the most beautiful, modern houses built in Welkom’s up market suburbs in recent years. However, with my mother’s new house, he made such gross and costly building technical mistakes other experts meant that only an amateur could do. All this was totally confusing for me because the builder had such a fantastic track record, and reputation. It later turned out that all his previously superbly built houses were owned by White people. Working for gentle, kind, generous, and considerate fellow Black people meant that the he could be lax, and pay little attention to detail. He would even drink alcohol, and get drunk on-site, I’m told later. Not long after he was fired, he fell sick, and died. Wonder if his soul is rested in peace. He sure cost me a fortune. But I’m still living well, at peace with myself, and my circumstances, free, black soul in white South Africa.
In India, my Norwegian friends and I run out of charitable monies budgeted for the day. We convey this information to the group of beggars, who never seemed to get enough. When after some minutes it is clear there was nothing more to get from us, a strange hush engulfs the group of beggars, as they all come towards me menacingly. I am encircled, when something incomprehensible to me is mumbled, and at the same time all spit at my feet, and then walk away in indignation. That didn’t break my bones. I was glad they didn’t get physical. That saved them the black wrath of God. My White Norwegian friends didn’t seem to have taken any notice of all this; it happened so fast, and I was as calm as God I am. Took it all with a smile. Civilized gentleman.
At the height of the last global Finance Crisis a few years ago, I find myself in the most beautiful and most exclusive neighbourhood I’ve ever been to. Here, I met people to whom Finance Crisis “… was just something we read about in newspapers”! After a few days, I just had to ask, “But there doesn’t seem to be any Black people around?” Respond, “Sure, hardly any Black people this territory. You probably wouldn’t see them even if they were here”
I was shown one super mansion built by a major hop-hop star earlier on. He had to sell and go away because “… he couldn’t keep up to standards around here”
I was offered to stay and do my business there. But the idea of being a non de script wealthy Black Man in White America did not appeal. In White Norway and South Africa, I am Black and visible, I am somebody, rich or poor. But then again, to hell with poverty anywhere, any time. Black, proud, and wealthy in White South Africa is ever so cool.
While waiting for our luggage at Banjul International Airport, the Gambia, the other year, standing next to me is an elegantly dressed Senior Corporate Executive type from Belgium. To receive him is an excited, tanned, slightly younger Englishman, nature type. From their conversation I quickly understand that the Belgian was indeed Big Boss of an investment consortium with vast economic interests in both The Gambia, and Senegal. “All our projects are doing very, very well indeed now, Sir. We are on the roll. The government is very pleased with us … but you see, Sir, it is of paramount importance that WE are here all the time if things are to work like we want them to …”
This is White Man’s world. In South Africa, White Man has been the most feared, and most revered person for at least 500 years now. White Man is real power; he wants it, he gets it. No matter how long it takes, no matter the consequences, using all means at disposal. White Man is Lord of the Universe. The moon shudders at the thought and sight of White Man. Jupiter, here we come! Planet earth is already a wreck. But because White Man is solution-oriented, Global Warming shall be fixed. No problem. Just live long enough, you shall see. White Man has it all, does not need to prove anything; this world is his. Ever heard of any White History Month?
White Man makes history all the time. White Man is history itself; the way it’s written, the way it’s told, and the way it’s preserved. Everything that makes the world go round is designed to meet and satisfy the needs and wants of White Man. Anything else of non-White Man origin has to appeal and make sense to White Man for it to have any significant global impact.
At his best, White Man is Philosophy, as well as R&D. White Man is master of invention, innovation, change, adaptability, and foresight in the constant search for mastery over nature in order to improve the quality of life and living. White Man is the future; does not fuss over small, immaterial things that slow down human progress and development. It boggles my mind that White-South-Africans-with-nothing-but-their-own-fears-to-fear seem not to understand all this. They are not that intelligent after all.
At the peak of cultural sophistication and intellectual complexity, White Man becomes a deracialized life-style paradigm, entailing in non-equivocal terms, liberty, equality, and fraternity: DEMOCRACY.
You want to live in ever-lasting success and happiness in a free South Africa, strong Cradle of Humankind home? Just know yourself. Be yourself. And live white, man. Black is deep, keeps it all together. Nelson Mandela knew this.
Tel: +27 717 454 115
October 18, 2013
The humane and spiritual magnanimity of South African people regarding what they have had to give in order to facilitate the creation and sustenance of the relatively peaceful, and prosperous post-1994 democratic South Africa can only be fully understood by those who have felt the venomous bite of the fangs of apartheid in their bodies, minds, and souls. It’s not a thing just read about in books and research reports to comprehend thoroughly.
I guess the apartheid venom was so effective it made us, Black people, into huge, docile sponges you can pee and shit upon ceaselessly, and we’ll keep smiling, ever extending our hands out to evil-minded White supremacists people, begging for love, and peaceful co-existence. But then again, I fear there is a Black Cat in the hearts and souls of many a, if not all, apartheid survivors and their descendents. The Black Cat is on the run, quite, fluid, and purposeful despite all the madness around it. The cat does not want to die: Keep moving; endure the hurt, the pain, until …
As per the social engineering ramifications of obnoxious apartheid, there was no order, no law those days in the townships of South Africa. So, this stray Black Cat, like many other cats and dogs before it, appears like from nowhere. Lost. We could have been fewer, but in my child’s head I see about 15 children getting instantly delirious, as was usual in situations like this. Picking up stones, and other projectiles, we chase the animal. Kill the cat, children! When the stupid cat decides to run into a tennis court nearby, I thought, “Well, this is going to be easy game!”
There were now even more children in the only form of hunting adventure we knew in the townships those days. Stones, bottles, pieces of metal, anything, zooming onto the poor cat now hopelessly trapped in a cul-de-sac. In total exhaustion and pain, the cat finally falls off the fence it had been clawing in vain, hoping against hope that it could still escape, collapses on the tennis court floor. Momentary state of shock for all. Yet another projectile is thrown. The cat is hit. It makes a weak attempt to move. No good. Then, I still see the scene like in slow motion, it’s like there was dead silence for a while. The cat became smaller, is if air was being squeezed out of it. We are all mesmerized. Before we knew it, the cat had become, in my eyes, as big as a horse. Standing on its hind legs, upright into a tennis court corner, fore legs raised kick-boxing guard style, the cat made the last snarl and flew at us. Pandemonium as we all, now 20 plus children, scrambled to come out of the tennis court gate simultaneously. Only now does it makes sense about the claustrophobia I quietly suffered from for many years soon afterwards.
When the time comes, heaven forbid, for the Black Cat in South African Black People’s hearts and souls to snarl, and retaliate, for “enough is enough”, evil-minded White supremacists will have nowhere to run. South Africa is the omega, you see.
Nelson Mandela did not sell South Africa to Whites. Nelson Mandela did not sell South Africa to imperialist capital. In line with the unique humane and spiritual magnanimity of South African people, Nelson Mandela chose to swallow camels so that you and I can be here today, living happily ever after in our beloved Mzansi fo sho, inspite of its imperfections. Remember, effects of apartheid venom include diminished sense of empathy, leading to extreme levels of selfishness, self-centredness, including loss of responsibility for one’s own actions as manifested time and time again in certain, and various leadership cabals in the country.
Thanks to Nelson Mandela, when the rest of the world will be left in shambles and rumbles, South Africa will still be here, standing tall. Unlike today, though, there won’t be much space for all, as South Africa will still be a peaceful sanctuary for the lucky few who manage to escape ravages of wars in their own countries of origin. The omega is like the last full stop of a great book. Very, very tiny point. At this point, it’ll be ON! with the switch of darkness. No more smiles, no more love, no more reconciliation. Bye-bye, beloved Bishop Tutu. Time for the Black Cat to rise and strike back. I feel for the progeny of the short-sighted, evil-minded White supremacists people, who refuse to recover from their own apartheid venom ingestion symtoms. As I see it, their children’s future may be very black, indeed. But there is still time, there is still room for change. There is still, as it was in the beginning, hope. Democracy fixes most things, if given a chance.
Read also: A comprehensive guide to white privilege in South Africa
Tel: +27 717 454 115
October 14, 2013
Speaking about an ill Nelson Mandela and South Africa on Norwegian TV2 end of June 2013, I was asked about the condition of Whites in South Africa: Do they have anything to fear for their future in the country?
I answered that if nothing happened in 1994, nothing is ever going to happen to them. South African Whites must just stay at home because they are needed for their knowledge and skills in the process of growth and development of the country. I went on to say that despite the much talked about problem of corruption and other manifestations of good governance inadequacies in the country, democracy was now firmly ingrained in the more open, and free post-apartheid South African society. Indeed, the high and mighty in the state apparatus will in the short to medium term stretch the law when exposed of their corrupt practices and other vices. But in the long run, processes as provided for, and backed by, relevant democratic institutions and organs will insure that all law breakers will be caught, and shall be punished accordingly if found guilty in legally instituted courts of law.
South African Whites have nothing but their own fears of the unknown to fear. I cannot think of anybody in the current political dispensation sitting somewhere plotting, alone or together with others, the annihilation of the White Race in South Africa. Private, for purposes of this discourse, Black South Africans, despite their horrendous pre-1994 history, have other real and current issues to worry about than driving White South Africans out to sea and disappear: Poor Service Delivery, Child Abuse, Violence Against Women. Chances are higher by far that at this very moment a child is being brutally molested, and a dejected lover is killing a woman who doesn’t love him anymore.
Despite the rather characteristically loud, small-scale populist rhetoric which South African democracy necessarily allows adequate room for, there is no single landowner whose land shall be repossessed without compensation, where applies. To the extent that conventional paper work pertaining to land and property ownership is in order, appropriate laws, as well as conventional business negotiations methods shall be followed to subsequent mutual satisfaction of all parties concerned. At its most elegant, democracy works systematically and orderly. Choosing to ignore democratic principles and processes would only lead to chaos, and, at worst, war and total disintegration of the gracious Rainbow Nation of South Africa. Free South Africans with nothing to fear have no time for wars and destruction. This country is just too beautiful to burn alive in pursuit of selfish ends driven by ignorance of the functionings of modern, progressive societies.
People die. People are killed all the time. Criminals kill people. From the outset, we are all equally vulnerable to hideousness of crime. What differentiates us is how security/ safety conscious or non-conscious we are. Who is better security/ safety conscious than White South Africans? No one does it better. South African Whites are trendsetters when it comes to aspects and intricacies of personal, home and property security and safety preventive measures. The security and protection industry in South Africa is dominated by White operators. Many of these are fearsome, effective, and good, in so far as prevention, and apprehension go. For my own personal relative peaceful sleep at night, I have engaged the Surveillance and Protection Service of a White-owned armed-response security firm. Not because they are White first and foremost, but simply because they are good at what they do. Superlative reputation. Excellent service. Pure business considerations paramount. Works for me. So far so good. In a perfect world, the Police would focus more attention to protecting and safeguarding the needs of the less fortunate and less resourceful in the wider society. The poor get killed. The poor kill each other like flies.
But people die. People are still killed by criminals, small-times, as well as hard-core professionals. This may well be my last blog entry, as I might wake up murdered tomorrow morning. Indiscriminate spate of robberies in my neighbourhood lately. White, Black, purple, green, yellow, blue, maroon people, all concerned. Security companies working overtime. Soon, somebody has to be shot down. Smell of blood in the air. Criminal. Black. Dead. Happy then?
Ultimately, I believe, it’s not necessarily about how big, high, and strong are the walls of your electric-fenced fortresses. It’s not about how many guns you carry on you. It’s not about how many bulletproof vests you wear on your body. It’s about our attitudes to other people out in the big, wide world. It’s about how you relate to people. In my view, many people will do extreme things to protect and preserve their sense of humanity and personal integrity. Unfortunately, it is an observable phenomenon on a daily basis that many a White-South-African-with-nothing-but-his/ her-own-fear-to-fear can be extremely rude and arrogant towards other people, Blacks for our purposes here. These rather special White South Africans are still caught up in the shackles of out-dated, White Supremacist Apartheid South Africa.
Reality is that South Africa will never go back to the old days of White Supremacist Apartheid. Despite the often-sighted fallibilities and inadequacies of the current political leadership in the country, ordinary South Africans of all shades, shapes, sizes, and orientations have tasted the sweet nectar of Democracy. The fibre of Democratic Values and Principles is now firmly intertwined in the psyche of the majority of ordinary South Africans. White-South-Africans-with-nothing-but-their-own-fears-to-fear, and others like them, better get used to this reality. Those who would rather leave the country in protest will find that it’s not any better abroad. Stay home, contribute to making this beloved country of ours the peaceful haven of co-existence you dream of. For all.
You want to live a long, prosperous, and happy life in Rainbow Nation South Africa, and indeed, the world anywhere? Simple: Just be nice to people! Now, that’s not so much to ask, yes?
Tel: +27 717 454 115
October 11, 2013