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STIMELA, THE COAL TRAIN

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STIMELA

(In response to M&G article here: http://mg.co.za/article/2011-08-27-bra-hugh-black-to-the-future)

“Unga worry, mfan’a kithi, inkululeko ise duzi phela/ don’t worry, homeboy, freedom is just around the corner!” the older exiles would say to me in the mid-late 1970s, and later years in Lusaka, Zambia, my fatherland. My family and I had managed to sneak into Zambia a year before the Soweto ’76 student uprising. Anybody who had anything to do with the subsequent large numbers of young teen-age exiles in the immediate post-’76 years will recall how traumatic those years were for all.

I’ll today acknowledge the great work the veteran exiles did in helping us young aspiring cadres keep it together. I’ll never forget the long lectures on ours, and global history; such that by the time I entered UNZA to study Politics I already had an appreciable grasp of Dialectical Materialism, Philosophy, and critical thinking. Somehow I never caught on with the game of Chess, my younger brother, Thabo, is a formidable player.

And then there would be cultural activities and parties. We’d sing and play liberation songs, there’d be powerful poetry recitals. But when STIMELA came along, … (Continued in the book: MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)


Simon Chilembo
Oslo, Norway
August 28, 2011

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