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DECOMMISSIONED – A Poem

Overkill in My World

.. Metal falls
To the ground
Glue and tape peel off and fall
To the ground
Bricks column crumbles and falls
To the ground
I stand tall
On the ground
Plastic shrinks and falls
To the ground
I can breathe …
©Simon Chilembo 13/07-2021

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
July 19, 2021

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PS
Order, read, and be inspired by my latest book, Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories.

©Simon Chilembo 2020
Project management

THE RUTHLESS RULE

Kassie Jungle Law: Only the Strong Survive

In my never-ending attempt at seeking to make sense of events in the world today, I, as a reflex, regularly look back at the first fourteen-and-half years of my life in South Africa, 1960 June – 1975 January. Growing up in the then racist apartheid state has profoundly impacted my life. Day-to-day living was ever so dramatically charged. Such that, on the one hand, one could but choose to numb oneself to the volatility of emotions, if not traumas arising, and live on disenchanted and detached from the gruesome, disenfranchised reality.

On the other hand, one could look at, hop onto the intricate traumatic feelings and thoughts bandwagon, learn survival ropes, and hope for the best; longevity being a remote idea. Wishful thinking. Although the OPEC oil crunch of the early 1970s had already begun to make its mark globally, this period could easily be seen as the golden years of the apartheid regime’s economic might. The oppressed Black population segment was subjected to extremes of state security agencies’ violence.

©Simon Chilembo 2018 Author/ Poet/ Publisher
©Simon Chilembo 2018 Author/ Poet/ Publisher

Oppression is some costly business. It curtails human resources productive potential growth and manifestation. Atrocious. Oppression will last to the extent that the oppressors’ financial base remains sufficiently robust to sustain the oiling of the oppressive state machinery at all levels. Money talks. Money rules. As it is with South Africa, a country’s endowment with a variety of natural resources that the world is willing to pay generously for is of crucial importance. Oppressors maximize their hold by capturing the wealth of their nations, therefore. They personalize the wealth, becoming super-rich individually and along with their family members, as well as their power clique hounds. At the same time, their nations get caught in quagmires of long-term poverty and international indebtedness

The Soweto Students’ Uprising of June 16, 1976, would not only change the liberation struggle course. It changed the political landscape of South Africa as well; further weakening the oppressive state’s capital base. Apartheid had to ultimately collapse. Not because somebody woke up one morning and suddenly discovered that the system was in fact diabolic. The fact is that it simply was no longer economically viable. And prospects of any meaningful bounce back were bleak. Added pressure from the international trade sanctions had brought the country down on its knees.  

The effective brutality of the apartheid regime reproduced itself across the entire Black populace by default – in the home; at absolutely all levels of social interaction. That to the extent that the nature of fundamental survival power relations dynamics cultivated then amongst Black people themselves have endured. Albeit manifest at even more sophisticated, grander scale, and more destructive levels in keeping with societal management complexities and technological advancements of the times in the 21st Century.

During the apartheid domination years, many a Black South African exile carried along with them these survival power relations dynamics into the Diaspora. Not that it helped the concerned exiles much from the point of view of applying the same survival strategies as generally functional in the township, or kassie culture in Black South Africa. Kassie is a corruption of the Afrikaans language word, lokasie; which means location. Observing, establishing, and maintaining links with fellow South African exiles has kept my fascination with the Black people’s fundamental survival power relations dynamics alive during all these years.

Post-1994 South Africa has also been accessible to me. It’s the land of my birth, the land of my family’s maternal-side ancestry, after all. Thirty-eight-and-half years since living abroad, I returned to stay in the country for five years, 2013-18. As such, I have been in touch with the trends in the land all along. Much had changed drastically at about all levels. However, characteristic personal survival attitudinal attributes have remained constant. I shall dwell on these later on in this essay as I unravel prerequisites for the workings of the ruthlessness of kassie jungle law rule.     

Kassie is a funky catchphrase these days. But originally, it essentially implied a slum; not much unlike Brazilian favelas, for example. In practice, the meaning hasn’t changed in any big way. From the colonial era, peaking during the apartheid years, and stretching into contemporary times, tens of thousands-upon-thousands-to-millions of Black South Africans were dumped here. It initially was predominantly male labourers working in the mines and the agro-industrial complex.

There would be a few state functionaries and even fewer professionals in various vocational categories here and there. Much as there would be numerous fortune hunters engaged in all kinds of illicit endeavours; from petty crimes to large-scale organized crime activities involving alcohol, drugs, precious stones and metals smuggling, human trafficking, prostitution, and more. Family units would eventually emerge as a natural human development process, of course. Children would be born, raised, become adults, lead miserable lives, and subsequently die; the indignity of poverty accompanying them to the grave. Causes of death variable, from murder to illness, if not natural causes.

Prevalent land conditions are far from prime in the townships. This makes the construction of decent domiciles a daunting challenge for impoverished people. Sustainable subsistence food production from the land is near impossible. Minimal to total lack of functional social amenities comes with the package here. If there was anything prime about the original townships, it was the potential to induce and generationally perpetuate poverty with all its attendant maladies: disease, moral decay, ignorance. All that to facilitate self-annihilation amongst Black people: kill them; let them kill themselves; create space for more European trash to come to work, settle, and add to the growth of the white population in the country.

Conditions are even worse these days, taking into consideration, since 1994, the influx of millions of refugees and fortune hunters from war-torn, dysfunctional African states to the north. Others come from other parts of the world, especially Asia. Competition for limited resources and livable spaces in the townships has spiked exponentially, apparently in favour of the new immigrants. Many of the latter come into South Africa with more by far international hustling experience: higher academic qualifications and vocational experience in both the social and natural sciences, military or guerilla warfare experience, and all that it entails – daring nature, PTSD, and other related outcomes. Also, investment capital for entrepreneurial ventures in various fields, often starting with small-scale grocery stores called spaza shops.

The latter attributes above are often accompanied by extreme manifestations of arrogance of power towards the locals, who are considered to be intellectually lacking, lazy, and fearful of White people, who still own the land, anyway. It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that strong anti-immigrant sentiments have mushroomed across the country, culminating in several outbursts of brutal xenophobia-inspired violence in recent years. Afro-xenophobia expression is ascribed to South African Black-on-African Black violence. In keeping with characteristic basal kassie culture, violence is the first instinctual option to eradicating conflict. Tragedy is ever the outcome that never brings forth solutions for a peaceful co-existence for all in the country.

The reality of the matter is that, much like the Ununited States of America, South Africa owes much of its economic might to the historical inflow of migrants from all corners of the world. As I’ve already implied above, these people bring into the country a wide diversity of creative/ intellectual/ academic, productive, and entrepreneurial skills that contribute to the robustness of the country’s vibrant economic and social advancement in the long run.

There’ll always be a few bad apples here and there. But assuming a functional justice system prevailing in the land, relevant policing and legal institutions are there to deal with lawbreakers. South Africa is truly a multi-cultural melting pot. Bishop Desmond Tutu’s broadly embraced Rainbow Nation nickname for the country supersedes discrimination neither based on race nor origin of the people that call South Africa their home, either by birth or immigration.   

©Simon Chilembo 2020

From an epistemological perspective, it is clear that the concept of township/ location/ kassie in South Africa was never meant to create ideal, conducive conditions for Black people to thrive and propagate themselves; neither to attain ever higher standards of living in time, in pace with national economic growth prospects.

The rise of apartheid economic might was at the expense of the lives of Black people, both at the hands of the apartheid state security machinery, and intra-Black violence across mainly urban South Africa. Many other Black lives were also lost through fatal accidents and occupational diseases in the agro-industrial-mining complex. Functionally concerning apartheid intentions, townships were supposed to provide temporary shelter for lives destined to be “… solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.”

But then again, survival instincts abode in all humanity. People can remain wretched only for so long. If they are not wiped off from the face of the earth, they shall engage in all sorts of means to prolong their existence. Perhaps fate can change for someone, someday: break the bonds of subjugation, rise and liberate the people, and, ideally, live happily ever after in boundless abundance.

In the meantime, at the individual level in the South African kassie context, survival was and still is about ruthless “semphete ke o fete” (Sesotho: don’t overtake me, I overtake you) tendencies. Here, the strong survive. The ruthless rule; applying cruelty as their claim to prosperity and longevity.    

Set in alphabetical order below are personal dispositions I’ve arbitrarily identified as being cardinal for relative individual survival and ruling potential in the South African kassie culture of violence. That as a tool for understanding the nature of human relations power dynamics, and consequences thereof, at all levels of contemporary society, both locally and globally. The respective attributes may be understood regarding the identification of the individual as to who they are, and what their social standing is concerning behavioural phenomena observed of them:

  • Bodomo (street parlance – Setsotsi) is derived from the Afrikaans word dom. Alternatively bokwala (Sesotho), it means stupidity; downright idiocy. Amidst events, act like you don’t know what’s going on. Go about your daily business indifferent as to whether or not you cause others harm in your endeavours; you lack empathy. You are not interested in reason. You are a denialist. You are a revisionist.  
  • Bokhopo (Sesotho) is cruelty. When it is deep-seated, merciless, non-benevolent, and non-repentant it is called khohlahalo in the same language. Rule by absolute iron-fisted fearsomeness. Without exception, anybody transgressing you in any way shall suffer the full ruthlessness of your wrath in line with the nature of the offence and the choice of punishment you dim fit. The line between life and death is often very thin here. This tends to elicit baffling loyalty from your cohorts. Much to the bewilderment of your detractors.
  • Ho tella (Sesotho)/ ukudelela (isiZulu) is an uninhibited show of lack of respect. Total disdain. You are brazen. You bulldoze your way through towards the attainment of your power or material acquisitions, and other egocentric ambitions. In your interpersonal and other relations in the community, it’s your rules or no rules at all. 
  •  Lenyatso (Sesotho) is the root of ho tella and leqhoko, immediately above and below respectively. It means to undermine, to belittle other people. Tools applied include patronization, ridicule, insults, unjust criticism, passive aggression, isolation or exclusion, subjugation; all propelled by jealousy and/ or feelings of threat irrationally perceived or real because the victim may, indeed, be the better person in many respects. The idea is to crush the victim, cut them to size, and put them in their place of insignificance. This is pure mental and emotional abuse that often easily degenerates to physical abuse.
  • Leqhoko (Sesotho) is provocativeness. Be agitative even out of nothingness just so your presence is noticed, is not forgotten. Be relentlessly disruptive. Cause havoc; be an ass. Instigate and sustain fear. Use all means at your disposal: bully, defame, riot, vandalize, pillage, depose, fight, maim, kill. Ultimately, emerge as the leader of the pack; level-headed and solution-oriented, if only to cow and manipulate the terrorized towards aiding to secure attained dominant safe position.
  • Mamello (Sesotho)/ Qinisela (isiXhosa/ isiZulu) refers to tolerance capacity; endurance in both hard and good times, depending. Good times are generally no big deal. But in hard times, practice self-preservation by keeping to yourself and your own. Hang in there. Stay away from trouble. Be invisible. Make no noise. Cultivate hope. Keep the faith because everything is going to be alright someday.

    For the mighty, though, mamello/ ukuqinisela means staying the course no matter what: keep on pushing; stand tall, don’t fall. Never, never, never give up! Never change the course of action once commitment to act in a certain manner is made. Here, mamello/ ukuqinisela becomes an interplay of bodomo, bokhopo, ho tella, leqhoko, and manganga in variable doses and combinations according to the circumstances prevailing at any one time and space.
  • Manganga (Sesotho)/ Inkani (isiZulu) is absolute stubbornness. Take a stand, be resolute to the very end, whatever the cost. Whether or not original intended goals are attained is not the essence. You are defiant to the extreme. Stay rock-steady as a matter of principle because you cannot be wrong, or you cannot be denied your demands. You are the truth. You are the light. If you are not the son of God, then you ARE God! Your opponents shall declare you as deranged, delusional; but that doesn’t bother you at all. You are mmampodi (Sesotho)/ champion; you rule. You live above the law. You own your followers through and through. Each one of them understands that you are their life saviour.
    A street parlance (Setsotsi) adage goes like this, “Maziwaziwe, maz’bidlikaz’bidlike! (isiZulu)/ If they (e.g. towers) fall, they fall; if they collapse, they collapse!”
    It is what it is.

    Tyrants, hard-core conspiracy theorists, and charlatans fall under this category. So, in the USA, Coronavirus is just the common flu; “… it’ll disappear just like a miracle!”
    Not forgetting The Big Lie that Joe Biden and the Democrats stole the presidential elections of November, 2020. And then supporters of The Big Lie insurrect The Capitol peacefully like tourists, leaving destruction and carnage behind. Very special people that The Big Lie spinner loves.
    You can also do an egotistical, parochial, typically falls premises pushed brexshit and pull your country out of a body of international solidarity in the Western world.
     
    Neither does State Capture exist in South Africa. You know none in your family that has contracted AIDS in South Africa. Therefore, it doesn’t exist. Step aside rule in the ANC? What’s that? If you are indeed going to fall, you don’t go alone. You are vindictive. 
  • Sebete is a Sesotho word for liver.The liver is considered to be an organ of courage in my part of Black South African culture. A courageous person is said to “have a liver”/ O sebete. Courage is a common thread linking all survival, or power attributes in kassie.

Ho sa (Sesotho, noun), lumps together the attributes above into one virulent trait: petulance as gross as only an extremely spoiled brat can display. The descriptive form of ho sa is “O sele!”, meaning “He/ she is petulant!”   
People of all ages manifesting ho sa as a characteristic social interaction trait are some of the most dangerous a community can have. Makings of despots emerge here.  

Underpinning the relative kassie individual survival and ruling potential laid out above is the question: O tshepile mang (Sesotho)? Which directly translates as, “Who is it you trust?”
Who’s covering your back?

Simple as the question might seem, it is not necessarily a daily conversation question posed in my original part of Black South Africa. The question is profound to the extent that it is asked a person directly, or others are asked about a particular individual when the latter’s negative behaviour defies not only mainstream social protocols across the board, but sheer common sense as well. It is believed that there must be some extra-ordinary qualities, some mystic about these kinds of people. For example:

  • What gives them the guts? What makes them tick?
  • Whose progeny are they? What are their lineages?
  • Do they have some guardian angels, perhaps? In that case, who are the latter? Where are they?
  • What do they have that ordinary people do not have?
  • Are they working for somebody even more powerful than themselves? Who are these people?
  • Are they protected by God? Ancestral spirits? Wizards and witches?
  • Or are they just raving mad, sick in their heads? Are they bewitched?
  • Do they have magical powers themselves? If so, from where do the powers derive?
  • Are they members of some organized crime gangs? Or some secret societies? The Illuminati?
  • Is it just because they are too rich? But where does their wealth come from? 

It’s only if and when sufficient knowledge about these treacherous people is gathered that concerned individuals or the community can effectively react to get rid of them in one way or another. It’s not unusual that the former fall from glory in the most dramatic and humiliating fashions; those who lived by the sword dying exactly as they lived. Such is kassie life. The ruthless rule but momentarily.

The strong are often the smart with senses of moral and ethical awareness. They tend to survive, break out of the mould of kassie misery and ignorance, and live longer. Some in this category will in time even travel wide and see the world, permanently breaking the spell of kassie anti-life attributes. Expressing themselves through diverse media and creative and performance forms, they may also become proponents of liberty, justice, and equality as fundamental Human Rights tenets all of humanity on earth is entitled to.  

Meanwhile, South Africa has yet to cleanse itself of the kassie anti-life attributes spell, to the extent that it’s possible. However, given the current display of elite kassie mentality antics in various judicial and organizational platforms in the country, it is clear that much more work remains to be done at this rate. Well, cumulatively from the onset of contemporary European colonialism in the 17th Century up to the apartheid era in the 20th Century, the mechanizations that facilitated their imposition had at least four hundred years to dehumanize my people and screw up our psyche. The Rainbow Nation is only twenty-seven years old.

Khotso is a common Sesotho name for South African males. It means peace. The female version is Mma-Khotso both as a formal name and may denote that the woman is a mother of a boychild called Khotso. The name has significant connotations. In practice and conceptually, peace is a universal prerequisite for progressive human co-existence. That making for harnessing humanity’s creative potential towards a sustainable, infinitely fulfilling life for all. The South African national anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika! (Nkosi Sikelela) is essentially a cry for peace, captured in the Sesotho text:

Morena boloka sechaba sa heso/ Lord Almighty, save my nation
O fedisa dintwa le matshwenyeho/ Bring an end to strife and suffering  

Were the ruthless and the smart kassie people of South Africa and beyond to realign their attitudes and heed the message of Nkosi Sikelela, the future would be bright for all. I want to be here in four hundred years to gloss in the glory of the heaven on earth that South Africa and the rest of the world will have become. I sit here in a space of relative peace. I breathe. I dream. I write. Ever conscious of the lasting impact that my kassie life background has had on me, I have every reason to want to choose to be hopeful.  


SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
May 29, 2021

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

PS
Order, read, and be inspired by my latest book, Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories.

©Simon Chilembo 2020
Project management

I REFUSE – A Poem

Fairytales in My World


Must I look away
From children
In my daily
Living spaces
On 2021 17 May
Norway’s National Day
Show-casing tangible
Children’s worth and joy
In a free world of peace
Whilst other children perish
At this very moment
In ravages of war
In baby Jesus’ world
Where peace is but
A concept in foreign vocabularies
Studied in Military Sciences
At Ivy League universities
Of this world

Jesus was a child of the wind
May be reason why
Nobody cares about
The fate of
Children of the soil
When the missiles rain out there

Must I obliterate myself
From the scene
The moment I hear
Children’s voices
In my proximity

Must I sing
I would rather go blind
Than to see
Children’s eyes on me
In their fields of vision
Fields of play

Must I be
Malignant angel
To a child
Warming my heart
With their purity of emotion
As I sense them

Must I suppress
My paternal instincts
To want to assure
A child that
I want only to
See them happy
Exuberant and free

Must I refrain from
Singing for a child
Dancing for them
Clowning for them
Reaching out
To touch them
For them to feel
The warmth
The honesty
Of my actions
My intentions

Must I ever look over my shoulders
In children’s presence
For fears
Of my actions
My intentions
Being misconstrued
By eyes
Seers of whom
For reasons obtaining
From their own fears
The nature of their lives’ journeys
Has taught them
To see only evil
In the acts of
The joyous
Glowing in the light
Of children
Yet to know
The sentiment of envy
The force of hate

I refuse
‘cause
I don’t know
How not to suffuse
Pure affection profusion
In view of children

I refuse
To succumb
To malicious fairy tales’ pitfalls by
Delusional prejudicial minds
Seeing reality
Through
Diabolic colours-tinted lenses
Tainting my honour
In view of confrontations with
Their own insecurities
In which their design
Their display
My hands
Never had a role to play
Could never want to
Never
Never
Never

On the contrary
My hands sought
Only
To build
Pillars of strength
Towers of power
Alas
In a moment of
Attention gone astray
Monsters were birthed

Now
Time of reckoning is here
Bring it on
I gotta move on
I got children
To enthrall
I got children
To raise
It’s not for nothing
They call me
Sirkus Chilembo

I refuse
To be vilified
I cannot be cancelled
At the stroke of a pen

I REFUSE!

I cannot be micro-assassinated
I cannot be buried alive
When
In my soul I’m free
END
©Simon Chilembo 16/05-2021

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
May 30, 2021

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

PS
Order, read, and be inspired by my latest book, Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories.

©Simon Chilembo 2020
Project management

GUILTY AS CHARGED

Savage As Observed

Savage As Observed
The case was as plain
As the death ground was plane
Blatant murder on display
The view as plain
As on a TV on a wall plate

Everywhere News media stream
Global eyes witnessing in dismay
On a day in the month of May
Hands in cuffs arresting pain
Knee on neck effecting killing pain
Pervert’s fingers in pocket aim
To assuage phallic neck
Squeezing head with no shame
World’s emotions ‘n disarray steam

I would have cried in pain
Tears poured out in vain
Lost in torrential rain
Over hostile terrain
Upon which Derek Chauvin
As with his cohorts they train
How to oppress and strain
Black lives again and again
Had George Floyd been slain
For the murderer to retain
Disdain
For people the colour of whom he can’t drain
Whose annihilation he can’t gain

White supremacy ‘s got no brain
Needs a grain
Of justice every step of the way to refrain
From pushing on the race hate train
The latter effort is mundane
No longer can justice entertain
Black hate reign

Rot in jail
Don’t wail
Watch your pomposity wane
Until you are frail
Perish at pace of a snail
Evaporate as water in a pail
In the shade

No space to contain
Your remains
You ain’t arcane
You’re just stupid, plain and vain

No one could sustain
But abstain
From your racist lynching strain
Psychopath immune to pain
Your white privilege ‘s down the drain
Slow death to your deranged brain
Choke in trenches with the hail
I CAN’T BREATHE
Feel how it is
Who feels it knows it
END
©Simon Chilembo 21/04-2021

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
Tel.: +4792525032
April 21, 2021

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

PS
Order, read, and be inspired by my latest book, Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories.

©Simon Chilembo 2020
Project management

DOCTORS OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES

KNOW THY DOCTOR

©Simon Chilembo 2020

From a societal existential, functional, and progress contributary perspective, we become what we become and do what we do out of an interplay of various constant and vicissitudinous factors. Listed not in order of significance, the latter may include:

  1. Planetary geographical location. That in consideration of the impact the diversity of planetary ecologies has on us in our survival endeavours over time and space. For example, people living in tundra regions of the north organize themselves and relate to nature differently from those living in the Equatorial zones. And those living in the desert as well.  
  2. Inherent personal attributes. These form the basis for our ability, or lack of, to make choices towards the attainment of certain pre-determined or chance outcomes. The quality and impact of the outcomes may be understood regarding the individual’s attributes as manifest through, amongst others:
    • Overall state of health.
    • Cognitive capabilities.
    • Stated, or perceived wants and needs: ambition.
    • Communication skills at various levels: day-to-day verbal interaction with others; creative expressions through a variety of mediums according to personal proclivities – multimedia, art and design, literature, artistic performance, athleticism.
  3. The station in life. This determines access to resources necessary for sustainable holistic existence. Access to resources being, in turn, a function of privileges attendant to the hierarchy of social relations giving rise to stations in life, or status: the food chain.

    Those in the highest echelons of the food chain, often a minority relative to the general populace, have the greatest access to all kinds of resources across the board. They sustain their positions’ privileges by deliberately limiting the lowly stationed access to, if not total exclusion from access to even the most basic of survival imperatives resources – landed property and derivative productive and mineral resources thereof, health services, education, defence from enemies, and protection from natural or man-made catastrophes.

    The above explains historical and contemporary societal inequities the world over, giving rise to classes: privileged upper classes contra subjugated lower classes. Depending on analytical perspectives taken, this societal class stratification can be viewed in terms of wealth or poverty owing to land ownership or land disenfranchisement; the former enabling political domination backed by superior military capabilities.

    Brute military and economic might are ever applied to tilt societal inequities in favour of the privileged upper classes, also referred to as the ruling elite. This is consolidated in the land-grabbing phenomenon of imperialism. Colonialism is the settling in of imperialist subjects and agents to secure and further the interests of the imperialist foreign powers.

    Short of needing lower classes for labour exploitation as slaves and performers of menial chores, as well as subjecting them to other abuses such as rape of children and adults of both sexes, privileged classes would rather see the former eliminated from the face of the earth: genocide. To justify and defend their dominance and its resultant privileges, the ruling elite develops and propagates manipulatory social control methods through religion and philosophy.

    Religion presents ideas of a God that has designated power to the chosen elite. According to the doctrines of God, as in Christianity, those that are oppressed are enduring suffering because of their inherent sins against God. Their salvation lies in serving the elite in the name of God. They shall be rewarded in heaven if God forgives them after death. Unforgiven sinners shall burn in the eternal fire of hell upon their demise. Theories of some racial or ethnic groups being superior over others, that being proof of their enjoying God’s favours, are more often than not rooted in religion.

    However, as history shows across the epochs, the oppressed shall at some point rise to claim their freedom and right to live on equal terms with or depose those of the dominant classes on their lands. Also, historical and current civil and international wars across the world are fundamentally about competing forces seeking either to maintain their hegemony one over the other or the oppressed seeking to overturn the status quo.
    In their efforts to sustain morale amongst their own and to garner support locally and abroad, the antagonistic forces will each device their unique information strategies: propaganda, PR (Public Relations). This is Communication Skills in action as highlighted in item no. 2 above. It can make or break a cause.
  4. Fate: luck, misfortune. Things just happen or just don’t happen.

Therefore, anybody can be anything, including a doctor, in the world today. It’s a function of where we are at any one time, and the choices we make as to our personal cognitive abilities. It’s also about how empowered we are from the point of view of access to relevant resources in response to available, or in search of opportunities; and sheer luck. The latter relating to one being at the right place at the right time when opportunities present themselves as if from nowhere.

©Simon Chilembo 2020
Project Management

Doctors in any field of study are only human like everyone else. The only difference is that they’ll have endured long study careers; spanning at least seven years in many cases. In their research endeavours, doctors will read more books and write more texts than few unlearned people can ever fathom. Medical (MDs) and veterinary doctors (DVMs) will have dissected scores of human corpses and animal carcasses during their studies.

In subsequent professional work, doctors will continue to cut and put together bodies in connection with surgical procedures required for the treatment of certain illnesses and injuries. There is a socially constructed mystical aura about doctors arising from their perceived power to act as if they are extensions of God in so far as, in some situations, they can decide whether or not people shall live or die. We are all at the mercy of doctors’ goodwill, thanks for the presence of professional ethics and the law when we require medical attention. A humbling reality.

Doctors command much admiration in society. And, by extension, they are extremely influential as role models and trendsetters. This entails far above-average levels of responsibility, integrity, ethical and moral awareness.  

To stay relevant, doctors read and write all the time; constantly honing their intellectual knowledge and professional skills. As such, doctors are fountains, curators, and purveyors of knowledge. Attainment of a professional doctor title (MD, PhD) is no mean achievement. It denotes ownership of superior knowledge in a given field of study.

Regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, race, religion, colour or creed, a doctor is a doctor when so officially qualified and recognized. The unsolicited address “Doctor So-and-So” is as legitimate and as deserved to Jill, James, Mohamed, Aisha, Wang Yu, or Qaqambile. The world needs more doctors.

On the other hand, doctors do not have a monopoly over knowledge, even in their particular fields of study, or professional work. Hence the imperative of constant reading and research, publications, lectures, public appearances across as many platforms as possible, and collaboration with peers within their and across other disciplines. The human knowledge database and its potential are infinitely vast. Outstripping the walls of all libraries of the world put together, it grows exponentially every day. This is especially true in the 21st Century, the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The unfortunate reality, though, is that human capacity to acquire knowledge, to learn, is only so much. Much as is the capacity to integrate the knowledge, see and explore the interconnectedness of the wider and stupendously diverse planetary knowledge bases. The ability to apply specific knowledge acquired as a foundation for understanding other branches of knowledge is a mark of a sophisticated doctor-title-holder, if not any other individual that has attained higher level academic education, for that matter.

Things get even better and more exciting to the extent that the highly educated individual with the fancy “Dr” title can synthesise new exploratory and explanatory models to contribute not only to the growth of knowledge, but to its curation, as well as conveyance for the universal betterment of society, ever enhancing the overall quality of life for all on earth.

There are holders of multiple PhD degrees the only value of which is in their hanging in golden frames on the wall as if they were acquired solely for decorative purposes in the home or places of work. Bad taste. Useless knowledge acquisition. That to the extent that their owners are lacking in the capacity to apply the knowledge that the degrees symbolize in the development of their immediate and distant world communities.

  • Dr McBrain Stalebreadpride, “You know, I am a very much highly educated man. I have more PhDs than all your tribesmen put together.”
    Mr Simpleton MacHumblepie, “What does that mean?”  
  • Dr Stalebreadpride, “I am the cleverest man this country has ever produced. All my degrees are first-class from UK and America, not Russia, by the way.”
    Mr MacHumblepie, “Is that it?”  
  • Dr Stalebreadpride, “Oh, yes, I am the chosen one. Praise God Almighty. Amen!”
    Mr MacHumblepie, “O-oooo…, I see. Bless you! You are lucky, heey?”  
  • Dr Stalebreadpride, “Sure thing. When you’re hot, you’re hot. Come, I buy you beers, you poor peasant. I can buy you and sell you at a loss. Doctors make money, my friend!”

Enhanced quality of life necessarily implies saving human lives ever threatened by disease, crime, wars, and natural or man-made disasters. Thus, fulfilling mankind’s apparent innate aspiration for longevity, if not immortality, and the creation of a paradise on earth. In this paradise on earth, all shall live equitably happily ever after. All shall optimally enjoy the abundance of the bounty of the earth without fear and hindrances from any source. In these conditions, human knowledge base potential can only thrive on and on in an infinite loop of self-perpetuation. This is where the value of doctor level education lies. It differentiates socially intelligent, cultured higher education graduates from the mediocre.    

Talking about saving human lives brings to mind the fallibility of doctors. As I have put forth above, doctors are only human just like everyone else. Moreover, doctors are not absolute wells of knowledge. Doctors are not gods. Through active learning of natural and social sciences, they have worked to acquire superior knowledge about what life implies and how it thrives and ceases on planet earth. Comprehension of how life on earth relates to the wider universe and beyond is an important content of the higher learning encapsulated “Dr” title superstardom.

Needless to say, therefore, that, like ordinary mortals, doctors will have the same fears, insecurities, idiosyncrasies, health and wellness issues that we all have in variable degrees of manifestations at various stages of life; also, in different circumstances. Some will be passive, some will be moderate, some will be extreme. Doctors will be as narcissistic, vain, and attention-seeking as everyone else.

Outside of, but can also happen within the protection of the bubble of the intellectual superstar mystic bubble, doctors can be just as shockingly superstitious, paranoid, controversial, irrational, shallow-minded, myopic, vulnerable, manipulative, corrupt, injurious, treacherous, obstinate, and arrogant as everyone else. It is in this category that Doctors of Conspiracy Theories are found.

Doctors of Conspiracy Theories are the most dangerous of conspiracy theories, truth falsification peddlers. That is due to the high regard society affords doctors and other influential, highly educated individuals. They come from all corners of the world. Therefore, in the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic debacle with countless denialists and anti-vaxxers* doing the rounds on the internet and other fora, it is of utmost importance to know how to identify and discard factual falsehoods against verifiable scientific information**. I address this matter in my newest book, Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories.

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO  
NORWAY
Tel.: +4792525032
February 05, 2021

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FURTHER READING: “List of unproven methods against COVID-19” on Wikipedia.

PS
Order, read, and be inspired by my latest book, Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories.

©Simon Chilembo 2020
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*JANUARY 21, 2021: BREAKING NEWS – Responding to reports that African and Eastern European immigrants in Norway are sceptical to vaccines; and have the highest rates of Coronavirusdisease (Covid-19) infections in the country, particularly Oslo, the capital city. Video response introducing the book and my thinking behind it:

**MARCH 09, 2021: BREAKING NEWSThe Covid Vaccines Work, Which Means… | A Doctor Explains: Latest YouTube talk from ZDoggMD

CONSPIRACY THEORIES: TO BE OR NOT TO BE SUSCEPTIBLE

WE ARE WHAT WE ARE

From the outset, our physical and physiological attributes as humans are coded in our DNA. Our unique individual manifestations of our conscious and unconscious socio-cultural traits are directly linked to the workings of our visceral systems as dictated by our respective genetic make ups. Personal genome sequencing can reveal actual or potential states of our physical and mental health.

Our overall health status has a bearing as to how we relate to nature; how we carry and present ourselves to society at any level, at any one time. The potential that we have to execute both physical and mental work necessary for our survival in any setting in nature and society is crucially dependent on our state of health.

We shall be robust and function well, living in peaceful co-existence with others to the extent that we are in good health. Though not absolutely defined, but for purposes of this presentation as a starting point, good health presupposes normal, balanced functioning of the visceral system. Meaning that, for example, the physical and chemical functioning of the digestive system from the intake of food to elimination of waste is normal: homeostasis. That supported by as normal and balanced central nervous system. The latter consists of the brain and the spinal column, through which the body’s necessary internal functional reflex signals are transmitted in response to stimulations from the hormonal system.

The brain’s work is manifest through outward expressions of motoric abilities, sense of orientation, feelings, thoughts, language, and recollection. That in the beginning we are what we are as social beings, and that we can only be what we are presently is a function of how the brain works given the nature of its wiring, or development.

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All things remaining equal, the ever-complex interplay of human developmental processes from fertilization to birth to subsequent growth into adulthood, determines how the brain shall interpret for us what it makes of reality in our immediate and distant ecologies. In order that we shall instinctively or consciously respond accordingly in any given context, the brain shall respond and structure our behaviour according to messages conveyed through the central system. These messages are conditioned by specific hormonal responses. The hormonal responses are transported in the bloodstream.

In joyous moments, we shall express happiness through various ways – laughter, dance, storytelling, and much more – because the brain has come under the influence of happiness hormones: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, endorphins. In moments of fear, the brain is powered by adrenaline. Closely related to the latter is cortisol, the stress hormone.

The brain constantly feeds and reinforces our behavioural attributes, as well as expressions thereof in given situations. It conditions our view of the world. As the brain works, qualitatively developing in sophistication or degenerating depending on circumstances, our world view may stay parochial or variable over time. This defines an individual’s mental disposition.

Things fall apart when, out of a myriad of potential causes, the brain is either not fully developed or it both cognitively and physiologically degenerates with time. Things don’t get any better when the brain serves, or is serviced by a body in obvious pathological disorder. Things get even more interesting when the brain is stimulated by visceral, central nervous, and hormonal systems chronically out of balance. Meaning that the systems either individually or collectively do not work optimally as a synergic functional order to ensure good health for the individual.

The visceral, central nervous, and hormonal systems may be out of balance as an inherent outcome. They may come out of balance as a result of external factors also: diseases, aging, intoxicating substances, electro-magnetic radiations, amongst others.

That we are as we are as individuals is not an accident, therefore. Through our constant or variable behavioural attributes, we are expressions of our mental dispositions as an outcome of, or in reaction to given existential circumstances. As human beings, our personal genomes are a subset of the grander human genome.

The human genome is the key determinant factor that ensures successful sexual reproduction amongst people of the world. That irrespective of race, colour, religion, or creed. This fact essentially crushes racism to pieces because the oneness of humanity is imprinted in the core of, if not in the fundamental building blocks of the human organism.

Humanity’s oneness is not visceral in a manner of speaking; it is visceral for real. It is in our blood. Differentiation in blood types is more an evolutionary response to the body’s ability to resist infectious diseases. It also enables adaptation to durable ecological transformations either in one location, or consequent upon relocations from space to space in search of better and more life-sustaining environments.

Response to hunger, sexual drive, variable climatic conditions, fear, affection, and numerous other survival imperatives sensations are a common factor across humans the world over. Humans are driven by the same needs and wants. Differences occur in the competition for the fulfilment of these needs and wants by way of ownership of resources or circumstances facilitating this. Ownership ensures lasting control of supply and distribution of resources and facilitative circumstances.

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Ownership entails power. Power, actual deliberate exertion of effort energized by applicable material and conceptual resources, entails domination. Domination entails suppressive rule over weaker competing parties, unilaterally determining the latter’s often undesired, destructive destinies. Suppression ultimately gives rise to rebellions as the oppressed rise to claim their rights to access resources and circumstances imperative for survival: wealth, liberty.

It is in this competitive environment that external human characteristics and cultural practices are applied to justify domination, laying foundations for imperialism and establishments of colonies over generations all over the world. At the same time the human genome and its intrinsic attributes remain a constant.

In terms of human power relations contra survival imperatives fulfilment or lack of, people of identical mental dispositions attract one another. This attraction cuts across all unnatural power barriers instituted to justify domination and dehumanization of others. Political orientations arising in the organization of society are instituted upon people’s mental dispositions influencing and expressing their value judgements. As such, Conservatives don’t like change to the extent that they rule. Whereas Liberals seek to overturn the status quo inhibiting liberty, justice, and equality in society.    

Level-headed people are of calm mental dispositions. They are inclined to reason and conventionally held testable truths in the pursuit of finding life-supporting solutions to the ever-present human life existential questions. These people appeal to the like-minded also. The mind being the encapsulation of our total individual view of life as manifest in how we think and act according to how we relate to our existence in the universe

Overt and private choices and activities we engage in by way of vocation, or simply in response to ever-changing realities of life reflect the workings of our minds. The nature, magnitude, qualitative, and intentional aspects of manifestations of the workings of our minds determine the degree to which we shall impact society, both locally and globally.

Great minds are those which inspire and support sustainable human progress in all life’s endeavours. That may be through political thought and philosophy, science and technology, arts and culture. Great minds are not only sensitive to the suffering of mankind; they strive to eliminate that suffering. Benevolence is a trait that knows no irrational, bigotry boundaries created amongst people of the world in their physical but superficial diversity from the point of view of the right to exist for all.   

Small minds are destructive. They are prone to lack of capacity to, or interest in thinking about the big questions of life in a humanity unifying, uplifting manner. They are narrow-one-track-minded. Small minds are self-serving at the expense of others’ wellbeing and right to life worthy of dignity and honour. They ever conspire to create and sustain alternative universes of factually false truths contra mainstream paradigms in society, or against certain individuals, if not certain interest groups.

Small minds thrive on fear, uncertainty, lies, rumour-mongering, deception, manipulation, threats, cruelty, hate, chaos and violence, amongst others. Small minds derange. Small minds are delusional. This mental disposition has its kind of people across the board the world over. It explains how even one of the most blatant, most obnoxious of white supremacists and his white nationalist cohorts have black supporters and apologists. Also Latino supporters. And Asians too.

Above is the premise upon which I base my take on the generic conspiracy theories phenomenon as propounded in my newest book, Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories.

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
Tel.: +4792525032
January 11, 2021

PS
Order, read, and be inspired by my latest book, Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories.

©Simon Chilembo 2020
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JANUARY 21, 2021: BREAKING NEWS – Responding to reports that African and Eastern European immigrants in Norway are sceptical to vaccines; and have the highest rates of Coronavirusdisease (Covid-19) infections in the country, particularly Oslo, the capital city. Video response introducing the book and my thinking behind it:  

FURTHER READING 1: “List of unproven methods against COVID-19” on Wikipedia.

FURTHER READING 2: Vaccine misinformation: What to do when it’s coming from leaders – By Tian Johnson• 28 February 2021, Daily Maverick

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ON ABORTION

TO HAVE OR NOT TO HAVE A CHILD:
WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE

I wouldn’t hesitate to have the pregnancy terminated were I a woman and I found that I was expecting a child that my being was not ready to have and subsequently raise. Reasons for my decision being mine, and mine alone; coming from the deepest recesses of my being, where no one but me alone will ever reach, feel and know.

©Simon Chilembo 2020

It’s a natural eventuality that the human race, as with numerous other species, shall propagate itself. But it’s not a given that absolutely all women shall, or must fall pregnant and be perpetual baby-making machines. Furthermore, it’s not a given that all pregnancies shall complete the normal nine-month cycle of foetal development to birth of a wholesome child: stillbirths. Neither is it a given that all children shall be born with perfect physical symmetry and neurophysiological functionality. Pure science.

To begin with, it’s not a given that sexual encounters resulting in pregnancies would have all occurred under ideal conditions. The latter being, amongst others, mutual consent, healthy woman and man, as well as a myriad of other biological and sociological factors. It has to be a woman’s prerogative to choose whether or not she shall carry will-be children in her body. That regardless of her civil status as an adult. Morality.

Especially decisions around minors’ pregnancies need to be attended to with absolute care under the guidance of relevant professional personnel across the board. It goes without saying that the same shall be made available to adult women as a matter of course. It’s only that minors’ and adults’ realities are non-identical, non-comparable. Ethics.  

Child bearing is not an obligation. Child rearing is. The latter is primarily an obligatory venture between the parents of the child. The parents’ micro and macro villages shall render their assistance according to their abilities and prevailing social norms and values. It’s worth noting that modern society’s parental constellations are more than just about female-male/ same-sex in all sorts of cohabitation arrangements as married, single-living-together-apart; female or male single parenting. Also, artificial insemination enables pregnancy without direct sexual intercourse. Surrogate parenting and surrogacy options add more complexities to the dynamics of modern society’s parental constellations. Changing times. Inevitable.  

A woman’s choice to abort a pregnancy does not have to be independent of the existence of the child-to-be’s father. That assuming earlier or current relationship of one kind or another between the two. Rape and other forms of abuse upon the expectant mother ought to preclude the rapist’s right to claim or seek to influence the sexually abused pregnant victim’s decision to terminate the condition. It’s bad enough for a woman to have to endure the trauma of rape in the first place. Compassion.

I hold the view that, having weighed her options, when of own volition a pregnant woman of normal faculties settles for abortion, she needs all the support and love from the sperm donor above all other relations. That to the extent that there is some form of functional relationship between the two, of course. Rapists and abusers need not have any part in this. Empathy.

Normal birthing is an ever so excruciatingly painful and precarious exercise. In fact, the entire pregnancy-to-birth journey is a high potential death affair. In non-ideal conditions of inadequate or non-existent, if not deliberately instituted limited access to, public or private health services infrastructure, the rate of maternal mortality rises exponentially. As such, it’s one monumental deal for a woman to decide to make the drastic choice of abortion despite the risks and actual attendant physical and mental torment arising. This leaves me in even greater awe of women as bearers of untold physical, emotional, and mental suffering. In this together. Solidarity.

I maintain that for a child-bearing woman to lose a child under any circumstance has to be an all-round tortuous experience no man can ever come close to comprehending. Then, who is any man, or another woman for that matter, to want to get in the way of a woman’s right to choose to keep a pregnancy or not? Justice.

Life to the living first. It’s the living thriving in environments and times of abundant love, wellbeing, liberty, equality, and solidarity that will create conditions for higher standards of living for the yet to be born children when their time, place, and opportunity to be part of humanity present themselves. Realism.

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
Tel.: +4792525032
November 17, 2020

PS
Order, read, and be inspired by my latest book, Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories.

©Simon Chilembo 2020
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FALSIFIED

I KEEP ON PENNING
 
So
I
With pure heart
Write books
People misunderstand me
 
Powers that be
I cover my mouth
They think they got me
Simon Chilembo

©Simon Chilembo, 2020 – Author/ Forfatter/ Publisher/ CEO 

 
So
I write more books …
(Continued in the book Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories)
 
©Simon Chilembo, 23/ 07- 2020
 
 
OSLO
NORWAY
Tel.: +4792525032
July 24, 2020
 

PS
Order, read, and be inspired by my latest book, Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories.

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FREEDOM: To Die or Not To Die For

FREEDOM
To Die or Not to Die For

When I’m dead
I’m dead

Me dead

My life
As I lived it
The joys
It gave me

The sweet life
Of
Wines and roses

The trials and tribulations
It subjected me to

The sour life
Of
Swords and sores

Don’t matter no more

Heaven and hell
Are
Illusions
For
The after life

Therefore
In the living
I worry
But little about them

I have
This vision
That
I shall die as I lived
A spirit
Hooked on freedom

Freedom taught me that
It is like the air
It is love

Love is the
Axis
Around which
The earth rotates

Without air
I can’t breathe

I can’t breathe
I die

I die
Earth axis vanishes
All love lost
Earth rotation stops
All hell breaks loose

Deprivation
Of freedom
Strangles me
Constricts my lungs
Inflames my sinuses

I can’t breathe?
I don’t die?
I panic
I go berserk

I go berserk
I feel no pain
Fear evaporates from my body
I am mad
Like a
Médecin sans frontières

Deprivation
Of freedom
Makes the
Line between life and death

Very thin
Every which way
I’m heard
I’m seen
If I die
I do so
For the living
To breathe
They’ll call my action
The ultimate sacrifice

If I live
I won’t celebrate
Until
I can shout out
Freedom
From the depth of my lungs
I’ll call that pure joy

In the name of freedom
A man defied
Military tanks in
Tiananmen Square
(Continued in the book Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories)

END
©Simon Chilembo, 07/ 06-2020

Dedicated to anti-racism protests world-wide. George Floyd murder legacy larger than life. Change has to happen. Freedom sure does not come cheap – #letusbreathe

NB: I do not trivialize the seriousness of Coronavirusdisease (COVID-19) with this piece. The pandemic deserves the highest respect: we must all follow expert advice from doctors, scientists, and relevant multilateral and state health authorities wherever we are in the world.

Simon Chilembo
Oslo
Norway
Tel.: +4792525032
June 07, 2020

STORM OUTSIDE – A Poem

STORM OUTSIDE

Storm outside
Not of atmospheric pressure variations
Rage of the people
Rumbles through
Earth’s atmosphere
Turbulences the world
From pole to pole

If you circumnavigate
The globe
Precise as a
Substandard complication clock
Marching against time
The people’s rage
Will entangle you
Every minute of the way
In the 21st Century

It is a ferocious storm
It’ll embroil your insides
In degrees
Immeasurable
Unpredictable

It’ll obliterate
Your comfort zones
You’ll run into your bunker
You’ll find it full of your shit

You puke
See
If you can breathe now

Were you ever to
Come out of your delirium
You’d find that
There is order
In the heart of
The storm outside

Rage of the people
Has a cause:

Bullets
Knees
Nooses
Strangleholds
Denying oneness
With the atmosphere
Must cease

I can’t breathe

You kill me
I glide into
The valley of death
My body joins
My ancestral spirits
In the soil

In an instant
My soul trajects
Into outer space

There is no peace here
There is no rest here
All souls I find here
Are floating non-stop
Bouncing on to
Bouncing off
One another
All crying

Where is the love

They say that
We were coerced here
Far too early
When we arrive
Prematurely
Into
The kingdom of God
We land into hell
This is zombie land

This place here
Has no room
For our pains
For our tears
We are far too many
Arriving one after the other
Some souls arrived
Multitudes upon
Multitudes-in-one-at-a-time
Over time
Spanning six hundred years

God cried
Storms rumbled
Across the universe
Ancestral spirits
Hold center of
The earth together

Rage outside is
The people
In the eye of the storm
This is
The mother of all storms

If you thought
Hurricane Florence
Was a tough one
Wettest ever seen
Yes, in your words
From the standpoint of water
If hurricane Dorian scared
The wits out of you
In yet another bizarre display
Of your delusional
State of being
You ain’t seen nothing yet

This time around
The storm is called
George
In this name
Pulsates heartbeats
Of slain Black lives
In your vain pursuit
Of
White supremacy
Dances with the devil
Over six centuries

In
George Floyd’s name
The people say
Time has arrived
To say
Enough is enough
Gianna’s words
Aren’t empty words
When she sang
Daddy changed the world
Either you are with us
Or you perish

Look into
The eye of the storm
The order
In there is simple
Valid for all times
We want equality
We want freedom
We want justice
We want peace
We want solidarity

Let’s breathe!  

Do you wan’ to pray

Go down
On our knees
On the ground

Ever danced in a storm
Play
In the name of love

Hate is subdued
For life

Breathe
Man
Breathe

END
©Simon Chilembo, 05/ 06-2020
In memory of George Floyd, MHSRIP

Simon Chilembo
Oslo
Norway
Tel.: +4792525032
June 05, 2020