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𝗨𝗦𝗦𝗥 𝗢𝗥 𝗪𝗛𝗘𝗥𝗘? – 𝗨𝗞𝗥𝗔𝗜𝗡𝗘 𝗪𝗔𝗥 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮

𝗘𝘅𝗶𝗹𝗲 𝗘𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗢𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀: 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵 𝗤𝘂𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗿𝘆

During my stay in Lusaka, Zambia, 1975-88, some of my most memorable social interactions involved meeting older and veteran, mostly male South African freedom fighters. These were ANC members. Then in their mid-thirties and above, some of them had travelled the world. They would have been in pursuit of various goals, which included:

  • Mobilization of international support for the South African liberation struggle efforts
  • Military training
  • Education

About all the veterans exhibited the abhorrent traits of arrogance, tribalism, bullying, cantankerousness, outright stupidity, and violence endemic of South African kassie/ township life. Hard partying involving huge consumptions of alcohol and drugs and all that it entails were an integral part of the deal. Needless to say. Shebeen culture carried with into exile. Not that Zambians were any less of party animals.

These veterans were people of all sorts, with all sorts of familial backgrounds. They, or we, as individuals or as special-interests sub-groups were motivated and threaded together by the collective higher dream of the attainment of the liberation of South Africa from Apartheid oppression.

Much as they loved to party by default, the majority of these people took their liberation struggle work very, very seriously. They were highly knowledgeable in the various fields of Social and Natural Sciences, including Mathematics. Some had had guerrilla operations experiences within South Africa in the 1960s; also, Mozambique and Zimbabwe in conjunction with fellow freedom fighters in those countries. Others had participated in major international wars, such as the Vietnam war, and in Latin America. These were hard people.

©Simon Chilembo 2016

There were three distinct individuals with whom I shared intense mutual dislike for one another. Each in their own ways reminded me of some older guys and grown-up men that were generally not nice people back in my kassie, Thabong, Welkom. These horrible guys hated especially the ever vocal and visible little boys like myself then. It didn’t help my situation being son of an envied foreign man from Zambia. I had already been in Zambia for several years when I heard that, on separate occasions, five of the horrible guys got stabbed to death by younger boys on the streets. Good riddance. For the obnoxious people these men were, their souls deserve neither rest nor peace wherever they may be in after-deathland.

Regarding the three older exiles that didn’t like me very much in Lusaka, I imagine that a mortal confrontation would have ensued at some point had we been in South Africa then. The likely murdered wouldn’t have been me.

Zambia’s relatively laid-back culture had a way of dampening our wild South African township streaks. Otherwise, I got along fine with everyone; particularly those that found me “interesting to talk big struggle issues to”; their words, not mine.

My favourite was Comrade Mjaykes. He was Commander for a unit of younger, recently arrived immediate post-1976 Soweto student uprising exiles. Overriding objective here was to debrief the traumatized youth with various available and relevant medical and therapeutic methods. Intense and continuous conscientization political education was an unavoidable part of the package. And this was the fun part for me. Much of my fundamental geopolitics principles understanding was founded here.

Contrary to many a senior veteran, on the outset, Comrade Mjaykes was an unassuming personality. But he was one the most highly trained and educated around, both militarily and academically. He trained a lot, often alone late at night. He was very fit. And he read a lot too. Of his few personal possessions other than his books, he treasured a satellite radio that he had bought on one of his travels abroad. Commanding English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili languages, the super veteran used the radio to listen to current affairs programs from all corners of the world. He was a well-informed man.

Being an exemplary leader with superior oratory skills, Comrade Mjaykes was a complete warrior in my eyes. An enduring source of inspiration that I last saw in 1981. Sadly, he was one of the earliest victims of the scourge of HIV/AIDS pandemic that began to ravage southern Africa and the rest of the world from the 1980s onwards. Comrade Mjaykes died in the newly liberated Rainbow Nation, South Africa, in December, 1994. No doubt, his soul is resting in eternal power. I can’t help but often wonder as to what he would have thought of the South Africa of today.

Acknowledging my Karate prowess already in 1977/ 78, Comrade Mjaykes said to me one day, “Much as I know you’d make a much better soldier than all these young comrades here, I’d rather you went to school first. You have the kind of brains there is a shortage of in our political leadership structures, see? We should be able to organize for you a scholarship for studies abroad. I’ll talk to your parents about this.”

            “That would be nice, thank you! You know, my father’s biggest wish for my two siblings and I is that we could go and study overseas. But that’ll remain a pipedream because he could never afford the costs of an overseas education for us. Life is really hard for our family in Lusaka, as you know well.”

“Yes, I know! Your father is a good man. He deserves all the help we can afford him in that regard.”

            “Thank you, Comrade! My parents would be extremely happy and grateful if mzabalazo/ the liberation movement can help.”

“It should work out for sure. But, unfortunately, currently available scholarships for full education up to university level are from Yuseserese/ the USSR (The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). However, no, I don’t want you to go there even if you could leave tomorrow. My analysis of you and how you think tell me that you obviously are not Yuseserese material.”

            “Why? How’s that? All I want is to be a doctor. A doctor is a doctor, no? There are Russian doctors at the UTH/ University Teaching Hospital, right?”

“Correct, a doctor is a doctor to the extent that he or she thinks only within the context of being a doctor and nothing else beyond.”

            “I don’t understand!”

“Let me explain, Sae: you see, being a doctor, or any other modern, academically attained profession for that matter, is but just one of the multitudes of tools available for us to apply in the overall growth and development of society. You’ll, of course, recall that growth refers to the actual physical expansionary attributes of society; infrastructure, for example. Whereas development refers to the total conceptual and practical work that goes towards visualizing and realizing measurable qualitative and quantitative transformation of society.”

            “Yes, growth or lack thereof is a function of ideas and tools constituting a society’s developmental visions as espoused by the incumbent national leadership.”

“Absolutely, Sae. Do remember that the developmental visions are promulgated in national development plans over specific time periods. Your brilliant explanation is further proof that sending you to Yuseserese will be a waste of what I see as one of the most promising of future leadership brains in our soon to be liberated South Africa. You must go to the West. Most of our smart ANC leaders in exile send their children to the West, anyway. There’s a good reason for that.” 

In arguing his case, Comrade Mjaykes repeated a summary of standard rhetorical statements I had heard numerous times before:

  • The Soviet Union is a Socialist state.
  • Socialism is a transition state. Socialism puts together all the building blocks leading to Communism attainment.
  • Socialism shall build a strong state designed to enhance optimal economic growth and protection of society and all that guarantees perpetuity of the imminent march to Communism.
  • Communism is the highest state of existential wellbeing attainable for society. Under Communism, classes are non-existent; all are equal with equal access to all resources necessary and available for a life of non-ending abundance for all.
  • The state machinery, i.e. bureaucracy, has the function of managing efficacy of Communism towards the full satisfaction of societal needs. Under Communism, given certain specific skills according to different levels of societal engineering and resources production and distribution administration, all are at the service of society first and foremost and last.
  • Communism has no room for individualism, the basis for societal stratification, or classes creation. When Christianity and other religions talk about heaven, that’s another language for the perfect Communist state, actually. Only that Communism has no overbearing figures of God as portrayed in religious belief systems.

“That is the rosy picture of Communism, Sae. The reality is different. Just like the concept of heaven for the religious, Communism is utopian. The march to Communism starts and ends in the already dysfunctional Socialism, really.”

            “But I thought that attainment of the Communist state was more realistic because it was based on the dialectical material world for material human beings without mythical angels and gods in even more farfetched heavens above somewhere in the distant sky.”

“Communism attainment would be more realistic had it not been for Socialism’s killing of the human spirit, Sae.”

            “You are losing me now, Comrade Mjaykes!”

“I know that no one here has ever mentioned that last statement to you. I deliberately chose to prematurely take your political education to the next level now. That’s only because I really want the best for you and the future liberated, non-Communist South Africa.”

            “If I may say so, you are beginning to sound like a sellout, Comrade Mjaykes. Aren’t you risking condemnation by others should they hear you talking like this to me now”

“No, my views in this regard are already known to even the highest levels of our command structures. My devotion to the struggle is known; I having been tested on many, many occasions over the years. But because we, the ANC, aren’t hard-core Socialists yet, there’ still much room allowed to hold principled divergent opinions in the on-going discourse of how to establish a unique, workable developmental model for the future South Africa.”

            “I see!”

“And that is the point, Sae; behind the apparent success of Socialism in the USSR, North Korea, Cuba, and China, to name the most prominent, there are millions of robotized people whose senses of individuality have been broken to the core. Indeed, people may be provided with the best education in the natural and social sciences, producing top doctors, engineers, economists, and many more vocations. But that’s often as far as it goes.
That’s because, through various political indoctrination methods, backed by extremely brutal national security forces trained to think and act as robotically themselves, the ruling elite ensure that the people cease to think independently and critically over existential questions.”

“But I’ve thus far been made to believe that people in Russia and all these socialist places live happily ever after. Moreover, Russia’s support of ours and others’ anti-imperialist struggles were for that the world must unite against capitalism’s exploitative socio-economic relations subjecting us to lasting poverty and subjugation.”

“That’s a myth, Sae. The truth is that us South Africans we are just too free-spirited, too wild to tame for Socialism. It goes without saying that Communism isn’t even worth talking about. Our allied South African Communist Party is a good platform for training in polemics and rhetoric more than anything else. We’ll discuss higher level Capitalism issues another time.”

“I must say that this new side of Socialism has shocked me, Comrade Mjaykes.”

“You see, Socialism works for, and constructs linear thinkers; people who cannot think outside the box. People who think only in straight lines and right-angles in fixed operational spaces. Perhaps that may be one of the reasons Russians are superior chess players! I don’t know.”

©Simon Chilembo 2021

It’s at about this time that my interest in chess waned. I dreaded the idea of my brains turning square! Indeed, many a South African liberation struggle veteran is a formidable chess player. If they ruled today’ South Africa as exceptionally as they mastered chess, the country would probably be in a better place. But political leadership is an infinitely open field presupposing capacity for paradigm specific, or beyond as necessary, multifaceted thinking in problem solving and application of solutions derived thereby.

“You have on many occasions demonstrated that you are a more independent and well-rounded thinker than your contemporaries here, Sae. I know that that’s why some of the older comrades here don’t favour you much. They simply hate your guts. Highly educated as they are also, these guys don’t take it kindly when they are pushed out of their intellectual comfort zones, especially by a young comrade like you. They are Soviet educated.
“I’d hate to see you stagnate or degenerate intellectually as you get older. That’s why you can’t go to Yuseserese for studies, Sae, you see? One or two young comrades of your calibre have died out there before. Some have had mental breakdowns. It would break my heart to see that happen to you. Although the truth is suppressed in our organization, racism is also rife in the USSR. Encountering racism out there is tantamount to jumping out of the South African Apartheid pan into the Soviet racism fire, if you ask me.”

At own private initiative elsewhere, the first scholarship chance I got for an overseas higher education was to Social Democratic capitalist Norway in 1988. I got stuck here. Primarily out of idealism and for love. No regrets. Norway is the richest country in the world. All things considered, life is as good as can be in Norway. Of course, never perfect, never fully satisfactory for everyone, but Norway does deliver for its people.

And the country is a leading Foreign Aid nation. Norwegian Finance Ministers have for years been megastars amongst their global colleagues. No Communism here. The few ardent Norwegian communists around are but fringe individuals or insignificant groupings with inconsequential social change impact, if any at all.

I write books now. I am what they call norsk forfatter. ‘Forfatter Simon Chilembo’ sounds ever so cool!  I write without fear or favour, freely following my creative fantasies to wherever they take me. I live happily ever after in an effectively non-Communist state. If Comrade Mjaykes could see me now! All gratitude due.

©Simon Chilembo 2017

USSR-Socialist trained South African national leaders across the board fail to get the Rainbow Nation out of the mess they’ve plunged it in after the fall of Apartheid in 1994. In big geopolitics questions, the USSR yoke is sitting comfortably on South Africa’s neck. Mzansi drowning with a sinking ship that is post-USSR Russia fo sho.

The USSR fall with the Berlin Wall in 1989 give rise to Russia. In essence, Russia is the ghost of the former USSR. Ghosts are no touch of reality. It’s therefore not surprising that, identical to South Africa contra Apartheid’s subsequent collapse five years later, Russia never could rise from the post Berlin Wall shambles. Oligarchs ruthlessly plundered the Russian state coffers, taking corruption to the next level.

Post-1994 South Africa created its own egregious oligarchic class through the State Capture phenomenon. This has shown many a Comrade from humble beginnings becoming millionaires to billionaires overnight. They have acutely incapacitated the South African state’s ability to optimally deliver the promise of a better life for all in a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic republic. The post-1994 South African oligarchic class has given the formally Apartheid state’s corruption colour. The former is living in the past. They have lost sight of the reality that Russia is not the USSR. Dismembering of the USSR is permanent.

In 2022, Russia invades Ukraine with chess moves mentality. Some things never change. It has turned out that Ukraine is not a chess board for Russia to play on as it wishes. Things have changed here. Parochial USSR legacy oblivious to this fact. Just for starters, young men of my age in the late 1970s are dying, falling like sacrificial chess pawns. The rest is a tragic war on a straight line trajectory ending potentially with a nuclear war catastrophe.

World in panic makes noise. USSR legacy ears are plugged. USSR marble eyes see imperial rebirth victory where the odds for survival are impossible to turn around. Meanwhile, Norway gives shelter and protection to Ukraine children and women running away from the ravages of Russia’s war on their country. No better place to be. Communism allergic. Progressive society as close to heavenly terrestrial opulence as can be.

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
April 23, 2022

PS
The pandemic is still in our midst. Fears and factual untruths haven’t abated. In my 7th book, Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories, I highlight fallacies red lights and how to identify them. Order the book, read, and be inspired by my philosophical exposition on the matter. It might save yours and your loved ones’ lives.

DISCLAIMER: I neither offer nor suggest any cures or remedies. I promote fearless, independent thought and inclination towards pursuing science-based knowledge in times of, indeed, frightening, life-threatening phenomena in the world.

©Simon Chilembo 2020

RECOMMENDATION: Do you want to start writing own blog or website? Try WordPress!

𝐋𝐔𝐍𝐀𝐑 𝐂𝐑𝐘𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐋 𝐁𝐀𝐋𝐋: 𝐔𝐊𝐑𝐀𝐈𝐍𝐄 𝐖𝐀𝐑 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐

𝐓𝐢𝐩𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐏𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭

Looking at
The crystal ball
That was
The full moon
Last night
In the month of April
Revelation is that
If it’s a multiple of
The number six
Year 2022 is
Year of the Beast

On the impending third month
One full moon ahead
Of hot-nutted men’s
Refuse-to-stop war games
Orgies of destruction
Murder and pillage
In Ukraine
The last of
People dying
Dominoes-falling-style
Shall cause
The axis of
Diplomacy
Imperialism
Irrationality
Resistance
Sacrifice
And
Pushed boundaries exhaustion
Tension point
To collapse

Snapping
The blackmail:
𝘊𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘦’𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶
The ransom:
𝘐 𝘬𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵
𝘐𝘯 𝘮𝘺 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯
𝘐 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘣 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵
𝘙𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘦
𝘞𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘥𝘪𝘦
𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘰𝘯

Nuclear war
Brought to life
For one last time
Duration of which
We’ll never see
Humanity obliterating itself
From the face of the earth
In an instant

©Simon Chilembo 2021

From the heart of Europe
Stupendous Big Bangs
Excavating the earth
Higher magnitude
Hiroshima-Nagasaki like
Mushroom clouds
Thunder-rolled
Into outer space

Black holes in the universe
Giving our once
Earthly bodies particles
Sanctuary
Reducing us further to
Sub-atomic particles

Heaven to some
Hell to some
Which won’t really matter
Anyhow

Total humanity decimation
Return inconceivable
Reincarnation ideas pulverized
When we’ll have
Already lived all
There was of both
Heaven and hell
In all forms
In our
Pre-apocalypse earth now
Abound with
Godly crap talks and acts
Everywhere
Wrapped up in
Satanic verses in
Proclaimed holy books
Fools don’t even know
How to read
Upside down
Downside up
𝘚𝘢𝘮𝘮𝘦 𝘧æ𝘯

Hear my possible last
Melancholy song now
Those of you
Hooked on legacies
Show them now
Share them now
Enjoy them now

For God’ sake
We all gonna perish
Shit ain’t gonna mean no shit
In post-nuclear war
Apocalyptic world
Bloody ’ell

It is what it is
Worst of humanity
Playing out its ultimate idiocy
To the very end
Obnoxious

Woe betide
Tyrants of the world
Whilst we last
Let us breathe
𝐄𝐍𝐃
©Simon Chilembo 17/04-2022

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
April 20, 2022

PS
The pandemic is still in our midst. Fears and factual untruths haven’t abated. In my 7th book, Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories, I highlight fallacies red lights and how to identify them. Order the book, read, and be inspired by my philosophical exposition on the matter. It might save yours and your loved one’s lives.
DISCLAIMER: I neither offer nor suggest any cures or remedies. I promote fearless, independent thought and inclination towards pursuing science-based knowledge in times of, indeed, frightening, life-threatening phenomena in the world.

©Simon Chilembo 2020

RECOMMENDATION: Do you want to start writing own blog or website? Try WordPress!

𝐆𝐈𝐕𝐄 𝐌𝐄 𝐓𝐈𝐌𝐄

𝐁𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐄𝐱𝐜𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞

Please
Give me time
Walking a straight course
Is not
A given for me

Given are
Obstacles
From the first step to the last
I’ve got sores
Under my feet
I walk
Spiked metal
Carpeted roads
In my time

I’ve danced through
Landmines in my time
Bombs clapping sounds
In my ears
Don’t stop

Scars on my body
Don’t heal
I eel through
I scale
Razor wire fences
To get anywhere

My muscles are wasted
I’ve walked through fire
It’s a wonder
I can move at all

My eardrums hurt
It’s a wonder
I can hear
Birds sing
My will is intangible
It cannot be isolated
Cannot be broken
I move as I will
I get there
The elements
Give me no easy task
To set my roots in the soil

©Simon Chilembo 2022

Hostility
Above and below
The ground is
A given for me

I must fight
All the time
I must fight
Absolutely
For everything
To reach the top of
The mountains
I climb
As a given
To sustain my life
Even just to serve

From a mountain top
When I’d rather
Rock and roll
Down to home base
In satisfaction
I’m ever thrust over the edge
To tumble ’n roll
Over ’n over
In pain

Hitting home base
Body twisted
A bone or two broken
I’m taken
Back in time
Back in space
More obstacles
To overcome
Another mountain climb
To the top
Where keys to
My well of joy lie waiting

If love
Blanketed the earth
I’d reach for you
My joy
Every step I take

©Simon Chilembo 2021

Give me time
I cannot breathe at your pace
I carry
Weight of the world
Laden with hate
On my shoulders

I fight bigots
Hating me
For colour of my skin
They demean me
They seek to dehumanize me
Every step I take

They twist my words
Slander me
Project myths that
Colour of my skin
Facades evil in man
I get enemies for free

They muddy my paths
Spill oil over roads I walk
I slide and fall
I get up
Burn the midnight oil
Keep moving on
One step at a time
Against the clock’s
Sixty tick-tock seconds steps a minute
Sixty tick-tock minutes steps an hour
My steps have time tick-tocks
Of their own
As a given
In my precarious existence

Bigots
They seek
To break my spirits
Every step I take
I am indomitable
My spirit terrifies them

They shoot me
I die
They created Jesus’
Resurrection story
To cover their
Confoundment over
My resilience

Give me time
You’ll see in time
That I really am human too
Everything they can do
I can do better
As a given
I must work
Ten times as hard
Anytime
In my time

There are times
The agony inside
Is unbearable
My head
Wants to explode
At not only
The bigots’ cruelty
But their horrendous
Outright stupidity

©Simon Chilembo 2021

When reason doesn’t work
When prayer doesn’t work
Because their God is made
In the image of them bigots’
Collective derangement
I have to stop and cry
From time to time
Please give me time
For my tears to dry

Starting from below zero
With zero privilege
Against these meanest odds
I’ll rule the world
It ain’t for nothing
I’m the oldest
Human being on earth

They created Adam
To sideline me
Doesn’t work
I’m here
As a given
On the eve of
My victory

It’s beyond haters’ imagination
But
I shall blanket
The world with love
As a given
Some day soon
Nothing can stop me
It’s only a matter of time
Brace yourself
My love
𝘈𝘪𝘨𝘰𝘣𝘦𝘬𝘪 𝘭𝘦 𝘯𝘵𝘴𝘪𝘮𝘣𝘪
This Black don’t bend
𝘈𝘪𝘹𝘩𝘦𝘬𝘦𝘻𝘦𝘬𝘪 𝘭𝘦 𝘯𝘵𝘴𝘪𝘮𝘣𝘪
This Black don’t crack
𝐄𝐍𝐃
©Simon Chilembo 06/04-2022

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
April 13, 2022

PS
The pandemic is still in our midst. Fears and factual untruths haven’t abated. In my 7th book, Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories, I highlight fallacies red lights and how to identify them. Order the book, read, and be inspired by my philosophical exposition on the matter. It might save yours and your loved one’s lives.
DISCLAIMER: I neither offer nor suggest any cures or remedies. I promote fearless, independent thought and inclination towards pursuing science-based knowledge in times of, indeed, frightening, life-threatening phenomena in the world.

©Simon Chilembo 2020

RECOMMENDATION: Do you want to start writing own blog or website? Try WordPress!

𝐅𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐘 𝐓𝐇𝐎𝐔𝐒𝐀𝐍𝐃 𝐁𝐎𝐘𝐒 𝐃𝐄𝐀𝐃: 𝐔𝐊𝐑𝐀𝐈𝐍𝐄 𝐖𝐀𝐑 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐

𝐁𝐥𝐨𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐂𝐨𝐫𝐩𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐈𝐧 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐮𝐧

Once upon a time
I was a man of means
My formative years I lived
With beloved
High Priestess
𝘈𝘶𝘮𝘢
Mother of my mother
Sowing seeds of 𝘒𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘢
Land of milk and honey
In my head

She used to say that
If I do good
God will bless me
With 𝘒𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘢’s abundance
Here on earth
If I can handle it
Heaven is for the dead
𝘒𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘢 is the gift of immortality

She waited until
I was a man of substance
In my world
Before she transitioned
To heavenly domains
I emerged from my sorrow
To find 𝘒𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘢 opulence
Doors wide open
Auma must have had
A talk with God

I did good and good some more
With my thoughts
My hands
God poured her blessings on me
Shined my soul
Gave me the Midas touch

Everything I caressed
Felt the touch of God
Gave me gold
It wasn’t by chance that
I was born in
𝘔𝘻𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘪
The land of gold
Diamonds and pearls
𝘍𝘰 𝘴𝘩𝘰

In the land of
Black gold
Swimming with the salmon
Powered by the cod
I counted my money
In units of forty
Forty-this
Forty-that
Forty thousand here
Forty thousand there

I invested in
Forty thousand acres land here
Forty thousand houses there
I’d have
Forty thousand million dollars
In my name
By age forty plus forty years

Me
Moving too fast to see
Me
Coming on too strong to care
Forty thousand bolts
Of malignant forces
Hit me
Took me down
Burned my forty thousand
Real estate units
Stole my forty thousand million dollars dreams
Threw me into the fire

Like a whale out of water
Crushing under its own weight
Malignant forces collapsed
Under the weight of
My forty thousand million dollars dreams

They can’t walk
They can barely crawl
The sun never sees them
They can hardly breathe
Miserable
Natural born envious losers
Forty thousand corona ventilators
Couldn’t help them
My forty thousand million dollars dreams are gone

The fire died
Phoenix that I am
Immortality blessings
Recipient that I am
For the good and good some more
That I do
I could only rise again from the ashes
I dream again
No hurry
No worries
This time around

I smell
My forty thousand million dollars anew
𝘒𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘯𝘢
Bring on the milk cows now
Do kindly inform
Queen bee that I’m back
Feed me the honey
Babe

Alas
In Ukraine
Forty thousand corpses of
Young men sacrificed in
A war made for
Catastrophe from beginning
To humanity finality
Decay under the spring sun
In open killing fields
Sprawled on devastated city streets
Where even urban stray dogs
Dare not appear

As if artillery smoke
Burning human endeavour spaces
Flowers set on fire
Inadequate
Human body decomposition gases
Foul the atmosphere
Killing cows
Milk is gone
Choking bees nests
No more honey

There never is
Life rising again in these conditions
Burning oil refineries smoke
Strangle the sun
Misery absolute

All dreams
Young men
Boys
Still carrying
Their mothers’ milk odours
On their pre-demise bodies
Forty thousand of them
Are gone
Never to return to
Their 𝘣𝘢𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘩𝘬𝘢𝘴
Forty thousand plus forty thousand
Of them
Their mothers
Forty thousand of them
Their sisters
Forty thousand of them
Their cousins
Forty thousand of them
Their fathers
Their brothers
Their uncles
Their buddies
All men dying
On the frontlines too
In
Forties of thousands
Forties of thousands
And
Forties of thousands of them

Meanwhile
In Russia
One man
Presses these and those buttons there
Like a delinquent child
Micro playing computer games
Live
On the biggest outdoor TV screen
Only that death arising in
The Ukraine war
Is that of real life human beings
Forty thousand of whom
Are children of his land
Dying in ways
Sacrificial chess pieces
Never could comprehend
Ghastly

I let my forty thousand million dollars
Dreams go away
No loss
I can always recall them
I ain’t no oligarch
I own no yacht
No green back
No Euro Dollar
Sanctions on my case

Money is only numbers
Numbers come and go
As we come and go
Any woman knows
We die
Numbers continue
With their lives

Numbers make history
Numbers lock history in time
Numbers set history in line
Either you are on it
Or you are not

There are
Forty thousand souls
Wandering in my vicinity
Unaware that they are dead
Knowing not where they are
Where they want to be
Not understanding why nobody
Seems to care about them
Not in the least see them

PTSD on the other side
Must be some dreary journey
Darker than we’ll ever see alive
In pre-nuclear war times
No wonder God is weary
Given up on us
Long time ago

I reach out nevertheless
𝘈𝘶𝘮𝘢 used to say that
Prayer pacifies the dead
I have work to do

I have forty thousand
Demised young men’s dreams
To ensnare
Their forty thousand stories to decode
Before nuclear bombs
Erase even our ability to count zero

Numbers are because we are
I cannot look
Count
And be indifferent

Where is God
When
Forty thousand dead
Young men
Need to be buried
With human dignity
Before scavengers
Devour their identities
Disperse their bones
Across charred earth
𝐄𝐍𝐃
©Simon Chilembo 29/03-2022

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
April 04, 2022

𝗙𝗔𝗦𝗖𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗦 𝗕𝗨𝗥𝗡𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗕𝗢𝗢𝗞𝗦: 𝗔𝗠𝗘𝗥𝗜𝗖𝗔 𝗧𝗢𝗗𝗔𝗬

𝗙𝗮𝘀𝗰𝗶𝘀𝘁𝘀 𝗕𝗼𝗺𝗯𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗹𝘀: 𝗨𝗸𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗪𝗮𝗿 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮

American fascists
Burn books away
From birth right
Knowledge deservant
Inquisitive by default children

Planting but ignorance
In the children’s brains
Drawing wet blankets
Over the children’s heads
Stifling curiosity

Grooming children into
Manipulable dum-witted goons
Never uttering a word
About their existence
Vis-à-vis planetary realities
Of human relations imperatives
Of harmonious co-existence
Founded on empathy

Pathetic
Dum
Literary shied
Social intelligence deprived children
Wooed to strut
Self-destruction paths
They could be sheep
Submitting to abattoir
Life termination
Without a sound
Conditioned
To accept that
It’s better
On the other side
Contrary to the line
I learned as a school child
Though
𝘌𝘭𝘰𝘪, 𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘪, 𝘭𝘢𝘮𝘢 𝘴𝘢𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘦𝘪
For the uninitiated
That was Jesus
Nailed on the cross crying
𝘔𝘺 𝘎𝘰𝘥, 𝘮𝘺 𝘎𝘰𝘥, 𝘸𝘩𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘴𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘯 𝘮𝘦

See
Life matters but
Primarily here on earth today
Even if it’s a Black life
Even if it’s an indigenous life
Glowing red earth colours
Even if it’s the rest of multi-colours life
In the face of White life
Clamouring for supremacist ideals
Grounded in dark pits of ignorance
Hopeless situation
As of a slaughtered sheep
Grilled over black coal red fire flames

Cremation of books
Chronicling bloody
Murderous paths
In the construction of
American greatness
At the expense of
People of colour
Stolen from Africa
Turned into unwilling sacrificial lambs
Is a move to sow seeds of
Anti-truths about the
Dark history of
Great America facing
A bleak future
As real truth is told
In
Critical Race Theory
To repair America
For America to be great
Forever
For all
Equal in the law of the land
Equal in sharing in the bounty of the land
In the spirit of equanimity
In times of penance
Times of reparations
Times of mutuality of respect
Acknowledgement of humanity’s oneness
In abundance of
Love and peace

But
No
American fascists
Gnash teeth
Clench fists
Shoot guns
Spew expletives
Obliterate books
Lead children
Into adulthood
Devoid of question marks
Exclamation marks characterizing
American fascists’ words
Noted down
By the literate
Non-readers can’t write

Illiterates duped
Into dark sub-worlds of ignorance
Violence
Conspiracy theories’ sitting ducks
Gobbling fake news
Day in and day out
Ever clouding their brains
In a bright world of wisdom
Striving to keep it together
For humanity’s immortality
On planet earth
Seeking answers to the
Hows
Whats
Whens
Whos
Whys
From the roots of question marks
Whilst ignorant buffoons
Seek to decapitate
The question mark
Eternalized in the written word
Storytelling
Asking questions about
Our triumphs
Our trials
Our tribulations
Giving substance
To the cry
We shall overcome someday
Instilling in us
Resilience
Against calamitous deeds of
Illiterate buffoons
Ignorant
On the backs of educated fools
On orgies of destruction
Murder
Running around as chickens
Headless
As exclamation marks dropping
Constipation stool lumps
Emanating gas
Foul enough
To set a buffoon’s bottom alight

No wonder they can lie
Speak detrimental language
Until their mouths resemble
Their soiled bottom orifices
Elimination deserves better exit holes

Just when you thought
You had seen enough
Another fascist
East of Brexshit
Reduces Ukraine children to dust
Even still in mothers’ wombs

When you thought
It couldn’t get any worse
Estranged strong man of Russia
Against the world
Pulverizes Ukraine children in schools
Burying the seat of knowledge alive
When you thought
Bombing schools
Was a Taliban thing

Children’s toys
Remained unscathed
Silent witnesses that
Could never say a word
Have a story or two
To tell

Writers shall decipher
The stories
Truths about fascist atrocities
Crimes against humanity
Shall be documented in new books
Fascist ghosts captured
In the written word
For future generations
To know that
Right is might

Fire burns books
Truth is impervious
Biblical eternal satanic fires
Beckon fascists home
A place called hell
Everybody’s gotta burn sometime

Books remake the world
Preserve the world
Justice shall prevail
One book at a time
If that’s what it takes

Burning books
Bombing schools
Killing children
Are losing games
Wisdom rules
Ultimately
Let us read
𝗘𝗡𝗗
©Simon Chilembo 14/03-2022

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
March 20, 2022

𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐋𝐈𝐓𝐘 𝐓𝐕 𝐌𝐀𝐒𝐒𝐀𝐂𝐑𝐄 𝐄𝐗𝐓𝐑𝐄𝐌𝐄: 𝐔𝐤𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐖𝐚𝐫 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐

𝐈𝐍𝐅𝐀𝐍𝐓𝐈𝐂𝐈𝐃𝐄

High Priestess
Seer
Mother of my mother
Had people perplexed
Sceptical
Disclosing to them
Upon request
Likely future outcomes
In their lives
According to
God’s revelations
In her spiritual outlooks

The 1980’ saw
Television bring
Bioscope and sporting events
In South African homes
A marvel in the townships
Changing people’s lives forever
High Priestess liberated

Television
Gave grandmother’s visions
Explanatory form
God spoke
No longer invisible in the wind
But from a box
The people could relate to
The box in which
God
Performed and revealed his
Future plans for the people
To the High Priestess
Who told that
Television never
Switched off in her head
Empowering the people
For if grandmother saw it on television
It had to be true
The people were convinced
There were no
Fake news
Foxes on television
In those days gone by

Television association helped
Grandmother heal many a hopeless soul
Saved many a despairing life
I wish
She were here
If only for a prayer

On the other side of the world
My 21st Century
Television is in a computer
That under normal circumstances
Doesn’t switch off
Similar to the one
In grandmother’s head

The computer television is
In the palm of my hand
I bring it to my face
So close
I wish it could
Get into my head
Make me speak
With High Priestess grandmother
Who has since
Retired to the
Ancestral sprits’ domain
Call it heaven
That I can’t even
Dream myself to

But I’m here
Television in hand
Watching as it happens live
In real time
In modern television lingo
As a man bombs a hospital
In there died infants

Children waiting to be born
Died in their mothers’ bellies

Bombed in the maternity wing
Of the hospital
Devastating a people
In the worst possible manner
Kill fathers on the frontline
Kill mothers in hospitals
Terminate a people’s
Self-propagation potential at the source
Ultimate cruelty
I heard talk of
Crimes against humanity
On television somewhere
The other day

Other mothers-to-be
On the run
Birth in open spaces
Undignified on rumbled grounds
Trembling from artillaried earth
Dead bodies
In body bags
Name tags amiss
Thrown in a mass grave nearby
As if infectious-disease carrying animal carcasses
Burial rituals won’t do
Missiles thundering overhead
Angels from hell gone wild

Others birth in crowded
Bomb-proof tunnels
Whilst numerous others birth
In lands away from
Their homes
A current people
Losing their present and future
All-in-one to a single war
Holding the world to
Ransom in one country
Fighting for survival
Against the onslaught of
One megalomaniac’s
Murderous land grab antics
Dreaming of recreating
Greatness-of-the-past illusions
Of a once upon a time
Empire built-on-sand
Collapsed under its own rot mass

I fail to make sense of all this
I wish I were
Seeing the future
As the High Priestess’
Television in the head
She’d tell it showed her
In the moment

If humanity is one
Those dead children
Are mine too
Their mothers
Could have been my wives
The troubles of life
Women have to endure
In war and peace
As I see it
Make me want
To go to war
Stop
Mad men
Who don’t see it
That way

I inhale
Close my eyes
I exhale
Open my eyes
I see
High Priestess’
Television in my head
It shows books
Flapping their pages
In the form of
A thousand birds
In a heart formation
In the sky
I see my pigeons
From when I was a child
Grandmother’s face
Appears
It morphs into a white pigeon

Pigeon flies out of
The Pope’s hands on television
Lands on my laps
Becomes a book
My new weapon of war

In the season of death
In atrocious earth tremors
Owing to war machines’
Pyroclastic forces
In the envisaged silence of
Pre-suicide moments
When self-constraint
Channels of no return
Have been traversed
I feel happiness intoxicated
I can’t explain
The sense of freedom
I feel
Chilling my spine

So
I write books with love
I write for liberty
Watch me
Defy death
Stop the war
Save the children
Bring mothers home
Save the people

I ain’t no Messiah
I’m only human
Of flesh on bones
I weep blood
For the dead
Who never saw
Their blood flow
Into rivers of pain
𝐄𝐍𝐃
©Simon Chilembo 11/03-2022

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
March 18, 2022

𝐒𝐄𝐋𝐄𝐂𝐓𝐈𝐕𝐄 𝐁𝐋𝐄𝐄𝐃𝐈𝐍𝐆

𝐑𝐚𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐦 𝐢𝐧 𝐖𝐚𝐫: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐔𝐤𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐂𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐀𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚

Abused people
Adaptive people
Admirable people
Adventurous people
Alert people
Amazing people
Ambitious people

Ancient people
Appreciated people
Assertive people
Athletic people
Attractive people
Awesome people

Beautiful people
Blessed people
Blue eyes people
Boisterous people
Bravado people
Brave people
Brazen people
Bright people
Brilliant people

Capitalist people
Change people
Cheated people
Chosen people
Civilized people
Classy people
Clean people
Close to home people
Combative people
Competitive people
Confused people
Conscious people

Conservative people
Considerate people
Co-operative people
Creative people
Credible people
𝘊𝘳è𝘮𝘦 𝘥𝘦 𝘭𝘢 𝘤𝘳è𝘮𝘦 people
Critical people
Cultured people
Curious people

Daring people
Decent people
Demanding people
Democracy people
Deprived people
Deserving people
Desperate people
Determined people
Dignified people
Dominant people

Educated people
Emotive people
English speaking people
Entitled people
Eurasian people
European people
Exemplary people
Exhausted people

Faith people
Family people
Fertile people
First World people
Fleeing people
Flexible people
Free people
Freezing people
Frustrated people

Gifted people
Graceful people
Gracious people
Grateful people

Hard-working people
Hardy people
Heroic people
High tech people
Higher people
Hilarious people
Historic people
Hopeful people
Hungry people

Imperial people
Incredible people
Independent people
Industrious people
Information age people
Informed people
Innovative people
Intelligent people
Intuitive people
Leading people
Liberal people
Liberated people
Liberty people
Life-loving people
Like you and me people
Literate people
Live next-door people
Loveable people
Loyal people
Methodical people
Middle class people
Modern people
Money people
Moving people

Non-Communist people
Non-Marxist people
Non-Socialist people
Normal people

Open people
Oppressed people
Optimistic people
Our people

Palatable people
Party people
Passionate people
Patient people
Powerful people
Productive people
Prolific people
Proud people

Realistic people
Rebellious people
Refugee people
Related people
Religious people
Resilient people
Resourceful people
Responsible people
Revolution people
Robbed people
Robust people

Sacrificial people
Same people
Savvy people
Sensitive people
Separated people
Skilled people
Slavic people
Smart people
Sophisticated people
Sovereign people

Special people
Spirited people
Splendid people
Split up people
Strong people
Strong-willed people
Suffering people
Superb people
Supportive people
Survivor people
Sweet people

Talented people
Tenacious people
Terrific people
Terrified people
Thinking people
Traumatized people
Trendy people

Ukraine people
United people
Upper class people
Urbane people
Visible people
Wanderer people
Warrior people
Wealthy people
Well-off people
Well-read people
Wise people
Wonderful people
Worn out people
White people

Africans
Afro people
Arabs
Asians
Bitches
Black people
Buddhists
Christians
Coloured people
Hindus
Jews
Junkies
Latinos
LGBTQS
Muslims
People of colour
Sikhs
Weirdos

Again
Asking for a friend
Who is better
Who is worse

Who is who
To judge

My friend wants to know
Some more
Should the fascists
Have it their way
What’ll happen to
American women
American children
American weak and vulnerable
When the second civil war
Has set
America burning
Whites scrambling for supremacy
Blacks insisting that
Their lives matter
In the inferno

Onlookers denigrating
From behind the southern border wall
America on fire
Burn motherfucker
Burn
Fat lady ain’t gonna sing
Anytime soon

Who whines
𝘕𝘺𝘸𝘦-𝘯𝘺𝘸𝘦 now
As in
𝘔𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘈𝘮𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘢 𝘎𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘈𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯
𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯
𝘋𝘢𝘮𝘯 𝘴𝘭𝘦𝘦𝘱𝘺 𝘑𝘰𝘦
𝘒𝘩𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘢-𝘬𝘩𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘢
𝘕𝘰𝘯-𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘗𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘦
𝘐𝘮𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵
𝘙𝘶𝘴𝘩𝘺𝘢-𝘳𝘶𝘴𝘩𝘺𝘢𝘢𝘢…

Keep God out of this
It’s about us
𝐄𝐍𝐃
©Simon Chilembo 07/03-2022

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
March 09, 2022


𝐔𝐊𝐑𝐀𝐈𝐍𝐄 𝐊𝐈𝐋𝐋𝐈𝐍𝐆𝐒 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐

𝐍𝐮𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐖𝐚𝐫 𝐓𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞𝐝

In Ukraine
People are getting killed
In the fashion of
A farmer’s cold
Mass-killing of
Mad cow-diseased livestock

In Russia
Which isn’t Hollywood
By any means
A man enacts
A mad cow-diseased farmer
Getting the jerks
Out of counting
Dying human beings
In the fashion
Of a Big Data nerd
Working out next moves
Of how
To kill more people faster
In Armageddon brought to life
Fire flames of hell burning through
Rubbles of brick and mortar
Twisted steel
Disseminated glass
Of
What once was
Human habitation structures
Indicative of people annihilation
Where there was once
Life of men, women, and children
Animals, reptiles, and birds,
All flesh, blood, and bones of whom
Pulverized
In  nuclear war games
Of which one is one in excess
To escalate earthly life extinction
When a mad cow-diseased-like man
Isolated in Russia
Activates the Cheget
For all the world he wants to rule
Nihilism rules
Death wish in the air
Ukraine killings a bait

In the Un-United States of America USA
A mad dog-diseased-like man
Mouth excreted Genius
Response to
Ukraine killings 2022

In Norway
We watch
Our man in Europe
Head-levelled
Incapacitated
In Cold War
Rules of Engagement straight jacket
Level-headed
Dampening temperatures
Striving to reign in
On the strong man of Russia
As he would
A mad cow-diseased man
On a killing spree
In a neighbour’s grazing fields
Remembering Cambodia’s killing fields
Where body bags didn’t count

In Japan
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Whisper through
Rays of the rising sun
Please, not again, please

Traumatized
Been there, done that
Once was one time
More than enough
Hard to count bodies
In post-nuclear rain inferno ashes
Sorrow can’t be quantified

Mad dog-diseased-like man
The former strongest guy in the world
Is in this by association
Ukrainian killings blood
Permanent in their hands
Dripping off their hands
In golf courses
Nauseating horses in the  steppes   
Colouring blood-sweat-drenched Judo kimonos
Staining
Everything they touch
Everyone in their sphere
Ruling by fear
Cold-blooded killing is their second nature
Forgetting that
Killers do die too
Through vindictive hands

Own hands kill as well
Owners of the hands
Thinking it’s the easy way out
When they can’t be real men
Can’t stand up
Can’t own up
When the day of reckoning arrives
As in a bunker in Germany

Killing has the workings of a boomerang
Killers die as they killed
Only a question of time
People get killed in numbers
Resilience is insurmountable
Permutates for everybody slayed
Crying freedom
Price for freedom
Never too high
Infinity defines freedom urge
Incalculable
Untameable
END
©Simon Chilembo 05/03-2022

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
March 06, 2022

𝐇𝐎𝐓-𝐍𝐔𝐓𝐓𝐄𝐃 𝐌𝐄𝐍 𝐀𝐆𝐀𝐈𝐍𝐒𝐓 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐖𝐎𝐑𝐋𝐃

𝐆𝐨𝐝 𝐎𝐧 𝐇𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐝𝐚𝐲

Where is God
When we need him most
One last time
By the look of things

Out-numbered one-to-five
When people work nine-to-five
For salt ’n water on the table
One man against the world
Gives no damn about numbers
People are just meat

Fire power pulling his nuts
Below his desk
Is all he cares about
Reminiscent of a man
With brains between the legs
Fucking AIDS of the world
Indiscriminate
Unabashed
He comes
He dies
AIDS lives on
Grows in numbers non-stop
Until humanity is all gone
From this space in the universe

©Simon Chilembo 2021

The one man’s nuts throbbing
Between the legs
He fires his power
His missiles come and come

If numbers count
It’s not about
Nine-to-five work people
Meat
Perishing
But the one man’s need for survivors
To come lick his nuts
For black gold droplets here
Gold dust there
Bling hither and thither
Over enlarged territorial acreages
That God long shunned

Two thousand years
Of between-the-legs-hot-nutted men
Have worn God out
He’s away on holiday
In a place beyond heaven and hell
Countless light years away
These mad men
Having long made planet earth
A place called hell anyway

God doesn’t want
To be here
When between-the-legs-hot-nutted men
Bury themselves
In the illusion that
They’ll screw the world
Fire missiles
Come and come
And nine-to-five humanity
Meat
Shall die alone
When
Just as between-the-legs-hot-nutted other men
Fire back
Come and come straight on
With five-to-one leverage
Retaliatory aggression

©Simon Chilembo 2020

No stalemate
No second chances this time
When we’re all gonna go
Dead
Done with hell
Done with heaven
Brains
Splattered
On crumbling walls
On tumbling mountains
Fantasy obliterated
Imagination dissipated
End of the world
Done and dusted

This here defies
All that is God
By any standard

One-point-two megatons
Nuclear bomb
Is universally equal
In the world of man
Men hot-nutted or not
Just saying

This here
Men power mongering on steroids
Playing death games
Can’t be God’s idea of
Being one’s brother’s keeper
Nor love thy neighbour gestures

When we’re all
Dead and gone
Disease doesn’t matter anymore
Mine is bigger than yours is no longer a matter

When our bodies are all
Dead and gone
God won’t have temples any more
When we’re all
Dead and gone
God’s greatest creation’ll be
History to no one

God’s eyes
See in the dark
Where numbers can be anything for man
Foresight long showed God that
The carnage of
One man against the world’s war
Shall smash his eyes
Blind him for life

Pray and pray and pray
And pray again
And pray, pray, pray
Useless
God is deaf
Beyond man’s reach
We are on our own
Now
𝐄𝐍𝐃
©Simon Chilembo 22/02-2022

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
February 23, 2022

BOOKS

To Ban or Not to Burn

At eight-to-nine-years of age, 1968-69, I was too young to see the implications of not attending school for two years. My Grade 1 year at St. Rose Primary School, Peka, Lesotho, was a long one. It lasted from age four-and-half, 1965, to six-and-half years old, 1967. I, at instant notice and under dramatic circumstances, had to leave Lesotho in the earlier part of 1969. There was no time to acquire school reports and formalized school transfer documents to enable me to continue with schooling in South Africa. Not that I knew anything about such documents at that time, though. In any case, my expectation had been that I’d return to my school in Lesotho once the situation had become normal and safe again.

©Simon Chilembo 2022
Author/ Storyteller/ Poet/ Publisher/ Warrior/ Machona Son

Towards the end of 1969, I had already begun to discern the bigger social dynamics around me. That applied to both in my home and with regard to the extended family relations, as well as the wider society to the extent that a nine-year-old child can make sense of their world. It hit me like a bomb, therefore, when my parents unexpectedly made it clear to me that schooling in Lesotho was over for my younger brother, Thabo, and I. We’d resume studies in my mother’s hometown, Thaba Nchu, 210km to the south of my hometown, Welkom. We had been to the former to celebrate Christmas 1969 with my uncle Moses’ new and young family.

The anger and frustration I felt towards my parents at that time hurt me so much that it felt like I had river stones in my stomach. This feeling of profound disappointment and helplessness would last the entire two years that Thabo and I stayed in Thaba Nchu. That I’d have a bad relationship with my uncle Moses’ wife didn’t help matters much. I became a bundle of mental and physical tension. Otherwise a generally happy-go-lucky child up to that point, I became unruly in my uncle’s home.

Understanding Thabo and I’s plight regarding education access given our background, Mr Justice Mmekwa facilitated Thabo and I’s resumption of schooling in Thaba Nchu. Eldest son of my uncle’s landlady, ‘Masang, he was a respected primary school Principal in a neighbouring town called Tweespruit.  Without this kind man’s help, it would have been extremely difficult to find any school places for us in then Apartheid South Africa. As an independent, non-racial state, Lesotho represented values contrary to those of then anti-Black progress racist Apartheid South Africa.

I remain eternally grateful to Principal Justice Mmekwa for his assistance, support, and inspiration. He was a man of class; ever well-groomed. A fine family man exuding charisma that few of my adult male role models of the time had. Other than the traditional Barolong Chief, and Mr Ngophe the trader in the neighbourhood, the Principal was the only man with a car. The latter’s black Mercedes Benz power machine made my father’s then blue Opel Rekord car look like a toy beside the former. No doubt, the man is one of those lasting I wanna be like that when I grow up references in my life. I had already begun to be aware of my predisposition towards being there for the weak and vulnerable in times of need. Principal Mmekwa’s gesture enhanced that attribute in me.

©Simon Chilembo 2022
Author/ Storyteller/ Poet/ Publisher/ Warrior/ Machona Son

A fixed image of Principal Mmekwa in my head is that of him majestically stepping out of his car each time he arrived home from work; a rolled newspaper clutched under his left armpit, with a book in the hand. On the right hand he would be carrying the most beautiful leather briefcase I’ve ever seen. In tweed outfits (never a suit), a Stetson on his head, and a smoking pipe jutting from his mouth, he was a sight to behold. His “Dumelang, bana! Hello, children!” baritone voice resonates in my head to this day. His eyes were the suns.

In January, 1970, Thabo and I were well-received by the Principal of the then newly-opened Namanyane Primary School in Selosesha Township. The Principal, whose name I’ve forgotten, was another affable man. It was advantageous that it turned out that he was homeboy with my mother and uncle Moses from their village, Paradys, about 30km from Thaba Nchu town.

Thabo and I’s respective class teachers and others were really nice to us. That made the two years at the school very enjoyable for me indeed. Whilst at school, I could forget about the unpleasant atmosphere at home with my aunt. I had already experienced the joy of choral music singing in Lesotho. However, I got the first ever taste of inter-school choral singing competitions at the new school. In my head, it is as if there was singing every day of school during the years 1970-71. The sounds of rehearsals voices of different categories of singing according to age and song vocalization skills still buzz in my head in my moments of meditative inner silence.

I got the first taste of formal competition victory when my choir, the Junior Choir, won the regional schools choral music competition in 1970. The category song was called Mmino wa Pino/ Singing of a Song. It spoke about the universal appeal of music; how it, music, defied all the prevalent artificial discriminatory practices in society. My eyes began to open to Apartheid in a critical way at about this time. My life would never be the same again.

©Simon Chilembo 2022
Author/ Storyteller/ Poet/ Publisher/ Warrior/ Machona Son

It is also at this time that I began to consciously think about the big questions of life around hate, love, peace, and all other tendencies reflecting inequities around me. Inspired by the Apollo 11 moon landing in the previous year, I recall one day wondering if it were possible to relocate to another place far, far away from all the evils of mankind on earth.

At the same time, I discovered that whereas I was in Grade 3 that year, 1970, several of my agemates were two to four classes ahead of me. In no time I had figured it out that the situation was due to the fact that I had lost the two school years of 1968-69. The difference would probably had not been that much had I progressed normally from Grade 1 in 1965, I reckoned.

If I ever had a sore moment at Namanyane Primary School in Thaba Nchu, it was the illumination of how much schooling time I had previously foregone due to circumstances beyond my control. The school Principal, my class teacher and some of their colleagues also found it hard to understand how I could have academically stayed that far behind my contemporaries. This enhanced my new sense of bewilderment here. I was actually a brilliant pupil. And, ideas of what I wanted to be when grown up were already crystallizing in my head. I began to wonder some more about whether there didn’t exist another place far, far away where I could get educated quickly to be a doctor without having to bother about the other kids that I felt had had an unfair lead over me. Visions of living in other worlds preoccupied my mind from then on.

Thinking about the moon was not exciting because I had already learned that normal human life was impossible out there. But the moon remained a major point of reference until in my class we began to read stories and answer questions from books. We began to read and write down our answers to the questions set in the books. This was a major leap from verbally answering questions from texts our teacher would have read to us.

I don’t recall any of the stories the teacher ever read to us. But I know that listening to them induced in me a feeling of flying away like a bird during the reading séances. This gave me a special inner peace that detached me from my frustrations with my derailed academic progress. In this state of mind, negative forces around me ceased to matter. The challenge, though, was that the reading sessions were ever so short. Nevertheless, that made me to ever want to look forward to going to school the following day. Truly happy memories.

©Simon Chilembo 2022
Author/ Storyteller/ Poet/ Publisher/ Warrior/ Machona Son

We may have read more stories when the time came for us to read our recommended class text book on our own. That’s because the first two stories I remember, and got to make a lasting impression on me, were somewhere in the middle of the book. Both in appropriate condensed forms, the first story was about a man whose tragic life led him to unknowingly kill his father, and end up marrying and having four children with his own mother. The second story was about two men in an intense competition to reach the South Pole one before the other.   

My class teacher made it clear that the first story was not for real. It was created a long, long, long time ago by a writer and thinker from an overseas land called Greece. Although it was a story too difficult to discuss thoroughly then, she told us that its idea was that sometimes we cannot escape what destiny had in store for us. It was therefore important to aspire to be as descent a human being as possible, despite the troubles of our world. She went on to say that we were going to read even more books as we grew older and progressed with our education.

“Books are a safe store of knowledge about who we are; just like banks keep our money safe,” she concluded.

As regards the second story, it was from reality, the teacher enlightened us. The story highlighted the importance of determination towards the achievement of our goals as we grew older. She said that books that tell real life stories teach us about what it takes to attain certain goals. The books help us to learn not to make the same mistakes that the writers shall highlight in their stories.

“Real life story books teach us how to be human in ways we should easily relate to, even if we could never replicate events of the stories as they are narrated in the books,” the teacher said. She went on to say that it was the aim of acting in the bioscope and theatre stages to seek to bring book stories close to life as much as possible. Some of us would be actors when grown up, maybe?

Two years later, I’d see for the first time a professional theatrical performance: Sikhalo, by the legendary South African playwright, Gibson Kente. This play brought home to me a clearer picture of the Black condition under Apartheid South Africa. I got a better understanding of the monster. The monster had to die, even if many of my people had to die in the process. We could cry and laugh away our troubles through the arts. Education was a crucial weapon in our struggle for freedom. If education was found in books, then I’d  read and read them all.   

It was one thing to hear the teacher’s philosophical discourse on the stories and the value of books. From reading and understanding the essence of the stories, what happened with me was that my mind for the first time in my life saw the existence of other worlds on earth. I could, perhaps, escape to these new places for my peace of mind. The more I read, the more the world, life, made sense to me, for better and for worse. The more I wanted to explore human nature in order that I might better understand myself and my purpose in life.

The interesting coincidence is that I have now been living in Norway, the land of Roald Amundsen, one of the two South Pole explorers mentioned above, for nearly thirty-four years. Greece was my first encounter with Europe in 1985. Talk about fate!

©Simon Chilembo 2022
Author/ Storyteller/ Poet/ Publisher/ Warrior/ Machona Son

I came to Norway via Zambia, my fatherland. Landing in Zambia in March, 1975, would turn out to be a thirteen years’ enduring be careful what you ask for moment. Zambia took me down, took me up, tossed me mid-air in stormy weathers, took me up and up to finally thrust me even farther away to new lands in my pursuit of a suitable place for my peace of mind. Thanks to Zambia, upon my landing in Oslo in August, 1988, I was a mean physical fighting machine, a polished rising international intellectual powerhouse with, of course, a taste for the finer things in life. Zambia gave me tough lessons in how to be a man of the world. Such that, no, landing and eventually living in Norway has never been a culture shock trip for me.

The two years prior to my parents relocating the family to Zambia, 1972-74, presented me with a trove of pubertal-early-teens growing up thrills: consolidation of my sense of identity, winning respect from my peers, earning own cash, rock-and-roll with girls, street survival mentoring from older friends of both sexes, travelling, sport, and much more. At school I was a star by default. The vision of my being a doctor when grown up was becoming more and more real. That as talk about beginning to look for potential bursary/ scholarship sources for me had begun. I got inspired to want to read more and more intensely so as to maintain my top-of-the-class status at school.

Reading then involved a great deal of cramming, especially during examination seasons in June and November/ December every year. For homework assignments, I could in one sitting lasting perhaps an hour, read and memorize all the recommended texts for the day in all the subjects: English, Afrikaans, Maths, History/ Social Studies, General Science, and Bible Studies. That was the most natural thing for me to do at the time. However, it used to baffle me when some of my classmates used to complain about how difficult it was for them to either find time or concentration to read at home. I didn’t know how I could help them; neither was I keen to, really, because competition for academic excellence was very stiff. Only the very best of the best got access to the extremely scarce bursaries/ scholarships provided by various private business entities and rich individuals.

Extra-curricular reading during this time mainly comprised newspapers, various weekly and monthly entertainment magazines and comics. Bible stories of Moses, Samson, Kings David and Solomon captured my imagination in a huge way. So, I read the Bible a lot. Some of the best literature-induced mental travels I’ve ever had have been during this time. Reflections over the adventures of the mentioned figures have lastingly influenced my view of life.

Moses opened my eyes to the sense of devotion. Samson’s warrior heart ceases never to give me goose bumps; his wife, Delilah’s betrayal of him may just be one of the reasons I’ve yet to get hitched. I don’t know. King David and his son’s lust issues gave me a special perspective about power and sex. And, then, King Solomon’s proverbs in praise of his women paved the way for the lessons of love that I’d later read about in greater depth in The Perfumed Garden. I learned from the latter book that if I wanted to maximally enjoy physical intimacy with a woman, I must handle her with utmost tenderness, just like when I consume my favourite juicy fruit. This book broadened the mystery of misogyny and violence against women. Beats me.

After over three months on the rails and road, we arrived in Lusaka a tired family unit. The journey had been hard on us on many fronts. Our joy at having finally arrived home turned into acute disillusionment within a matter of days. Longstanding conflicts in my father’s family made it difficult for us to bond. Subsequently, at different times and under different circumstances, my parents, my two surviving younger siblings and I would leave Zambia. The youngest sibling, Dintletse, died and was buried in Lusaka in 1983. I came to Norway, whilst the others returned to South Africa.

©Simon Chilembo 2022
Author/ Storyteller/ Poet/ Publisher/ Warrior/ Machona Son

Starting with my uncle, Mr OB Chilembo’s private library at home, arrival in Zambia was an introduction to a world of books like I had never seen before. In the home library, I could mentally fly away from bitterness bordering on hate in my family situation then: I’d find myself following murder investigations in the USA, falling in love with English women in London, fighting in World Wars 1 and 2, investigating human nature as a psychologist, defending criminals in courts all over the world, singing and dancing Jazz on Broadway, playing World Cup football, getting lost in the Sahara, robbing banks in Paris and Rome, escaping from Russian labour camps in Siberia, pretending to be dead in Mao Tse Tung’s China’s rice paddies, hiking across Australia, and much more.

The comfort I derived from reading books was like no other. I don’t quite exactly remember what specific books and other publications I read especially throughout the rest of 1975, when I didn’t attend school. But I know for sure that much of the reading helped me make sense of my reality. That way I could, indeed, find some peace in my inner world.

I found the reading culture in Zambia amazing both in magnitude and diversity. Even Radio Zambia had an African Literature reading hour most working day afternoons, if I recall. Zambians had no culture of displaying their book collections on shelves in living rooms. I’ve met numerous foreigners who had concluded that Zambians were not well-read for not having showy bookshelves in their houses. Quite the contrary.

Well-off Zambians like my uncle had private libraries, as I’ve already alluded to above. Otherwise, people valued their book collections so much that they kept them in their bedrooms, or such other private spaces. Others concealed the books in locked, opaque cupboards in their living spaces. Upon entering my uncle’ spacious living and dining area, including a bar, there was almost never a book to see.

Uncle OB has on more than one occasion spoken in awe about how vast a collection of exclusive books two of his contemporaries had in their private libraries. Only selected individuals could enter here. If you didn’t ask, or you didn’t get caught up in a heated debate necessitating available literary referencing, you’d not likely see your Zambian host’s book collection. Erudite or not, Zambians can be formidable debaters, if not orators, thriving on the pedantic.     

©Simon Chilembo 2022
Author/ Storyteller/ Poet/ Publisher/ Warrior/ Machona Son

With time, some of my paternal cousins of my age took me to the Lusaka City Library. I don’t recall ever reading or borrowing a book from there. But the picture of me walking around and around the library gazing at the books in amazement for what felt like hours on end, day after day, never leaves my mind. I had never seen that many and huge book walls anywhere.

The following year, 1976, I started schooling in Grade 7 at Lusaka’s Olympia Primary School. That a mobile clinic came to the school for pupils’ periodic medical check-ups and the like wasn’t such a big deal. But the first day a mobile library came over, I was positively shocked beyond words. It soon dawned upon me that, with such ample access to books, it was no wonder that Zambian Black people were not only doctors and nurses, they were pilots, train drivers, army commanders, and all sorts of things Black people of South Africa were not.

I’d eventually be member of both the British Council and American libraries in Lusaka. From the former, a book on running made the biggest impression on me. Such that when my Karate teacher and life mentor, Professor Stephen Chan, OBE, suggested that we, the then senior-most students at the University of Zambia Karate Club in 1983, take part in the maiden Lusaka Marathon run that year, I had long been mentally ready for it.

From the American library, the one book that made the biggest impression on me was on the freedom of speech concept. I recall its stand that whereas freedom of speech was indeed a fundamental human right, it was important to remember that there are moral and legal constraints as to how far we could say what we will on any subject, to anybody. Freedom of speech is not an entitlement to be malicious to others. In connection with the freedom of speech ideas, the book also touched the subject of truth telling. It argued that truth must be told always, but not necessarily at any cost. If currently telling the truth could cause more harm than good, then it may not be a bad idea to withhold it until conditions are more favourable, if ever.

©Simon Chilembo 2022
Author/ Storyteller/ Poet/ Publisher/ Warrior/ Machona Son

And then in 1982-86, the University of Zambia Library became my books haven. Many of us students and the academic staff did our research here. This institution consolidated the intellectual foundation upon which this my new writing career stands.

During the years preceding university studies commencement, I used to have much informal political education talks with a selection of some older South African freedom fighter veterans based in Lusaka in those days.

One of the veterans, Comrade Lerumo, once said to me, “Sy, when you analyse any issue, you must always look at it from both opposing sides. When you read in your research, read books, or any other relevant form of written presentation, articulated from opposing perspectives. Do the same when you listen to world news on the radio; listen to everybody, whether you agree with them or not. That’s how we become intellectual powerhouses, able to solve problems effectively as they arise because we know how everybody thinks.”

Comrade Lerumo went on to say, “The sad situation is that surprisingly many of our leaders in exile don’t read. If they do read at all, it’ll be a book on Marxism here, Che Guevara there, and Chairman Moa there and there. They’ll recite a stanza or two of a Shakespeare and think that they are smart. Tragic!”

©Simon Chilembo 2020
Author/ Storyteller/ Poet/ Publisher/ Warrior/ Machona Son

The UNZA Library provided me with all the books I ever needed for a successful university  studies career. These days I have access to major world libraries in the palms of my hand, at the tips of my fingers. In principle, no one can hide from me a once formally published book. No one can absolutely hinder me from publishing a book, formally or otherwise.

From the outset I write with good intentions. I write with a pure heart, my imperfections notwithstanding. Because I’m non-cantankerous by propensity, I consciously choose to write non-offensive, uplifting books; upholding principles of freedom of speech and truth telling with responsibility. At the same time, I do not expect that my writings shall be appreciated by all. I’m not a popularity contests writer. I write as a free spirit without fear or favour, simply practicing what book reading has taught me over the years. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to contribute to the growth of humanity’s reading material data base.

Writing books has liberated my soul. The worlds I create with my books instil in me a sense of peace and love beyond words. Each publication of any writing of mine is an attempt to portray the workings of the peace and love that I feel. Although it is for the observer to judge my deeds, inside of me I feel I’ve become a better person breathing and walking as an author.  Books have outright saved my life. In more ways than one. Plain and simple.

©Simon Chilembo 2022
Author/ Storyteller/ Poet/ Publisher/ Warrior/ Machona Son

If we want this our world to be a better place for all, it’s symptomatic of intellectual bankruptcy to ban books that tell and expose truths about transgressions we have historically, and continue to commit over one another. That depending on the balances of power according to race, political orientation, and other artificial human discriminatory categories and practices.                     

Good or bad, truthful or malicious, once a book is written and published, it’ll stand the test of time in numerous formats. That’s why we have, amongst others, national libraries and archives. Power is in writing another book to counter or falsify a book that proliferates undesirable messages. Better yet, power is in writing another book to take already existing progressive literature to ever higher levels.

Banning of books prejudicially classified by powers that be is tantamount to running away from the truth, running away from the self. Banning of books is denialism of the existence of one’s deeds tracks in history. Banning of books fakes presentation of the present as if the present begins and ends in itself. Living the present on fake presuppositions is sure a promise of a future of ignorance and non-sustainable existential premises. As it is, it is evident that a current exercise of banning of books enshrining enlightenment and wisdom is a consequence of forces of ignorance and destruction having had the upper hand in the past, distant and near.

Truth frightens the guilty. Cowards fear for life confrontations of truths about themselves. They shall ban and burn books, they shall incarcerate and murder writers, but cowards in the form of fascists shall never ever succeed in erasing the urge for truth search and expression that is at the core of being human.

In the 21st Century of unprecedented potential for making planet earth a place called heaven for all, USA (The Ununited States of America), the most powerful nation on earth, is in an orgy of banning books. As if the Coronavirus pandemic and the January 6 insurrection weren’t bad enough. Amongst others, these books lay bare the truths about one of the essential elements of the foundations upon which the economic might of the USA stands: the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This endeavour inhumanely uprooted African people to go and work in slavery the initially cotton-based American agro-industry.

Classified as inferior humans, American-enslaved Africans lived and worked under the most appalling, dehumanizing conditions. Modern day USA racism against people of African descent and others stems from the earliest days of European settlement and subsequent colonization of the north American continent. Truth as plain and undeniable as can be.

Slavery in the USA formally ended in 1865. In the Euro-USA context, though, racism as a social construct continues to seek to perpetuate artificial racial inequalities that have been developed to sustain oppression of Black and other People of Colour. This phenomenon is experienced in other parts of the world also (The Middle East, China, Eurasia), notably Australia, South Africa, and other areas of the world where Euro colonialism has had a lasting imprint. The idea being to infinitely suppress the oppressed so as to maintain them in perpetual subservience. That way forcing them, the People of Colour, to continue selling themselves cheaply for the benefit of the superior White race. Baloney, of course.

Through research and critical analysis of historical facts, books are written in order that knowledge about the truth about where the USA comes from, and what values make and break it can be disseminated as wide and durably as possible. In here is included books countering anti-Semitic literature and the anti-Jewish sentiment as a whole, both in the USA, Europe, and globally.

©Simon Chilembo 2022
Author/ Storyteller/ Poet/ Publisher/ Warrior/ Machona Son

Banning and burning of books is knowledge dissemination delayed and denied. I shudder to think about the future of America when literacy rates are as low as they are today. All explicable in historical terms, of course. When some of the leading books banning proponents are Ivy League universities graduates, it may be arguable that many a student enter these institutions with but half-baked academic maturity. No wonder the country is in such a socio-politico mess spearheaded by educated fools. Unversed American children raised by conspiracy theories pregnant America can only but keep the fires of American Nightmare burning in all perpetuity. Trash begets trash. In that case, they can ban me with pleasure for my broken Dream of America.

In Africa, an educated fool emerged from anti-liberation struggle imprisonment once. He had seven university degrees to his name. Obtained from studies behind prison walls with limited access to relevant research literature, the degrees could only have been half-baked. The man brought his country to its knees. He is dead now. His country is on stumps; amputation wounds chronically infected. No school books in the country. Teachers are running away before they lose their knees. Future of intellectually bankrupt America as dire as that of country balancing on stumps that won’t heal.        

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
February 05, 2022