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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.

©Simon Chilembo 2020
Production management.

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.

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.    

©Simon Chilembo 2020
Production management.

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
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is publisher_logo_200dpi-1.jpg
Production management.

JANUARY 21, 2021: 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:  

THE 3K THRESHOLD – A Poem

©Simon Chilembo 2020

I envision
That
This time
Next year
December 8-2021
Oslo Børs
Hovedindeksen

Shall have leapt
Over
The 1 000 points
Mark

I’ll be a small player  
In the ensuing
Børsfesten
As right now 
My capital numbers
Aren’t as big
As they once have been
Before

I earn peanuts
When I should be
Grinding peanut butter
In tonnes

Oslo Taxman
Inkasso men
Are
Sniffing
My bottoms
Thinking that
I bathe
In peanut butter oil
When I’m left
With peanut shells
After they’ve plundered  
My wealth   

And then
I see
Sea shells
In my head
I want to be
Fisherman
Swimming
In fish oil
That no debt collector  
Can wipe dry

I want to swim
Like it’s
Said that
They do in
Sunnmøre
Sea food paradise
Western Norway
Where money
Grows
Out in the sea   
For grabs
Each inward stroke
Under water
Assuming
You’ve got the lungs   

I look
With dismay at
Rising numbers[1]
In
USA
Dancing with Covid-19
Having forgotten  
Dances with Wolves

This time
Next week
December 15-2020
I bet that
The number
Shall have soared over
The 300 000 mark

It’s
Not a lotto number
Not a number for
Pre-Christmas jubilation
With
My bank accounts
Suddenly become fat

Like
Burning oil
Running wild
Ferocious
In Texas crude fields  
Covid-19 will have
Killed
A bewildering
Plus-three times
One hundred thousand Americans
This time next week
December 15-2020

I shudder
At the premonition  

And
It ain’t over yet

Blessings-from-God-miracles-man
Of
Repugnant
Slimy
Purgative
Wet kisses
Still don’t get it 

Kiss of death
Acquired a new face
Of
Horror
Throwing feeble
Kicks of a dying horse
Thinking it’s
The alter-ego
Of
The Wall Street Bull

Yet
The bull’s horns
Are broken
Wall Street
Can’t stand the lunacy anymore

The economy is morose
Time’s up
Go home
Inject your disinfectants
Inside your lungs
And disappear
In one minute

300 000 and more souls
Want your flesh
In all its pounds  
Open your bowels
Run
Loser
Run
If you can
END ©Simon Chilembo 2020

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
December 08, 2020
Tel.: +4792525032

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

©Simon Chilembo 2020
Production management.

[1] https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/, accessed 01:12, 08/12/2020: 290,373 deaths.
See alsohttps://ncov2019.live/data, accessed 01:23, 08/12/2020: 290,342 deaths.

SYSTEMIC RACISM

BLACK PEOPLE’S FIGMENT OF THE IMAGINATION?

If it is systemic it is broad based according to its time, space, and driving forces. It is enduring. It is transgenerational. It is endemic. It is prolific. It is a constant. It is predictable. It is routine. It is structured. It is devious: transparent one moment, subtle the next.

If it is systemic it is its own universe. It has its own domain of interconnectedness, its own self-preservation, self-perpetuation dynamics, its own fallacies contra conventional wisdom.

If it is systemic it is the noun system in applied form. The term system defines particular arrangements of processes, objects, and concepts designed to deliver set outcomes; precision assuming fulfilment of given pre-determined conceptual and operational parameters. A system represents methods to follow in order to achieve certain outcomes. A system may be natural or man-made.

If it is natural, a system may never fail to the extent that applicable natural laws remain constant. Man-made systems may never fail to the extent that they do not seek to defy the laws of nature.

Racism is a man-made system of thought and behaviour that promulgates and applies ideas that there is, by divine providence, a non-contestable unequal relationship amongst the diversity of ethnicities comprising the human race on earth.

Racism is a political power instrument. It’s a social control force exercised by elite classes to explain and justify their oppression of the weakened and broken for economic domination purposes. Racism as we know it in our times is an off-shoot from the growth of modern capitalism from the 16th Century onwards.

It functions on the irrational classification of human beings according to physical attributes, starting with skin colour and purported cognitive endowments differentiations in favour of dominant classes.

An arbitrary distinction was introduced to classify light-skinned people of Eurasian extraction as being of higher intelligence with the God-given right and power to dominate others of darker skin complexions.

According to racism postulates, the darker-skinned were meant to be at the permanent servitude of the light-skinned. This justified European colonial endeavours the world over, with Africa taking the brunt of it all through the ensuing slave trade that took multitudes of African people into plantation slavery in the Americas.

Racism appears in different forms all over the world. For purposes of this presentation I look at the Eurasian anti-Black racism. This is in view of the current state of global Black Lives Matter debates sparked by the horrific visuals of George Floyd’s heartless murder in Minneapolis, USA, on May 25, 2020.

Along the way to the Americas, millions of other African people perished at sea. As a total dehumanizing experience, colonialism and the Afro-American slave trade have left an indelible trauma in the psyche of African people in the continent and the Diaspora.

At the same time, the White Power movement that grew out of the Eurasian economic might class in North America continues to use the partly successful crushing of the Black African spirit as proof of their superiority.

Fragility of racism as a system starts already with the man-made divine providence principle. Devine providence has no basis in natural law precepts. It lacks consistency, therefore; opening itself to non-ending enquiry leading to infinite inconclusive findings. Doomed to failure in the long term.

Racism’ systematic application of manipulation and overt extreme violence as tools of oppression have persisted, hence systemic racism.

In the White Supremacy racism against the Black world context, systemic racism is the complete set of conceptual and practical tools devised to sustain the status quo of the racists’ unnatural dominance of the Black race in order to perpetuate the one-sided capitalistic exploitation of the subjugated.

The set of tools sustaining White Power systemic racism have long permeated the amoral fabric of Western society and its satellites the world over. Appearing in unique forms in the Middle East and Asia, the methods of subjugation of the downtrodden are the same, amongst others:

  • Part to total disenfranchisement of the oppressed
  • Limitation or total denial of access to education
  • Limited access to wealth creation opportunities
  • Sub-standard living conditions
  • Sustenance of squalor through deliberate minimal to zero provision of social amenities
  • Application of effective brutality against any real or perceived rebellion: police, military
  • Development of a powerful propaganda machinery across society: educational system, culture and sport, media, faith,     family
    SYMBOLS: Monuments!
  • Devise a state machinery to ensure functionalities of all the above: bureaucracy – INSTITUTIONALIZE!
  • Teach, reward, and protect agents of state machinery: impunity

Systemic racism is a living reality. It’s not a creation of novel minds. Neither can it be explained away with rhetoric. We use fine language and sophisticated wordcraft to describe it in order to demonstrate that we know well what we are talking about.

Through our articulation, we seek to give systemic racism a face so that those with eyes to see, with brains that think can have something tangible to relate themselves to as we invite them to step into our shoes to learn about our existential realities.

Systemic racism is a well-oiled machine of bigotry and ignorance. It therefore has to be addressed with superior intellectual firepower if we are going to eliminate it from the face of the earth.

In terms of application and experience, racism is a very personal trip. As an object of racism from birth in formerly officially White Supremacist Apartheid South Africa, I know racism when I see it; I know racism when I feel it. I can smell racism from afar.

My personal sensitivity to racism transcends the active or passive practitioner’s ethnicity. Racism comes in packages as colourfully diverse as the human race is. It’s only about degrees of application, and extents of actual or potential damage caused.

Given my background, it goes without saying that I know more about Eurocentric White Supremacist racism than any other form. And, that is my personal experience, and mine alone. Nothing, and no one else compares to that.

No one can define, no one has the right to want to define for me what racism is or what it is not. Doing so is in itself symptomatic of the oppressive, imperialistic nature of racism. At the individual level, application and experience of racism are relative modalities for the aggrieved.

Systemic racism is racism collectivized. Systemic racism steps over the individual and contaminates the group for eventual total domination, if not genocide at worst. In this case, racism is applied institutionally in one-size-fits-all formats.

Meaning that, for example, in the eyes and power tools dispensation of anti-Black White Supremacists’ worlds, when you are Black you are Black. It doesn’t matter how cultured or uncultured, enlightened or non-enlightened you are with regard to integration or non-integration into these worlds.

You may be a shining star highlighting values of White Supremacist ideology with pride and pomp. But, in the end, when you are Black, you are Black: arbitrarily designated as inherently inferior, primitive, savage, divinely cursed to slave for the Whiteman. It’s just the way it is with systemic racism.

It makes sense, therefore, that, to be effective and produce lasting effects, the anti-racism struggle targets systemic racism states institutions, their functionaries, and their symbols.

Because the systemic racism state is ever so strong and intrinsically inclined to apply immediate brutal force to quell dissent, it’s not strange that carnage and destruction to property shall often accompany uprisings against the system. Contemporary and historical examples of that abound in the USA, South Africa, and several Latin American countries.

In cases of extreme indiscriminate systemic racism state violence against the people as we’ve witnessed in the USA lately, the people’s rage will be such that they’ll even target their destructive energy towards “their own innocent Black-owned businesses”.

Self-harm as a form of expressing frustration, hopelessness against overly strong, insensitive forces resistant to change is called self-flagellation in the Bible, the book of systemic racism proponents, even if they hold and read the holy book upside-down.

Manifestations of the socio-economic collapse of post-colonial, post-slavery societies cannot be understood detached from the overall destructive consequences of White Supremacist systemic racism consequences.

Apparent degeneration of moral and ethical values as evidenced through rampant corruption, sexual abuse and violence against children and women as we see across the world today has a direct link to systemic racism practices over the years.

Racism as relentlessly pushed on by White Supremacists has created monsters in its victims.

Violence begets violence. Those who live by the sword die and promote death by the sword. Is this really the kind of world we want to live in in the 21st Century?

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
June 30, 2020

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

LANGUAGE AND DESCRIPTION OF EXPERIENCE: COVID-19 OUTCOMES CASE

IT IS WHAT YOU SAY

More talk on how to cope with survivor issues around outcomes of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on a personal level. Talk structured around principles of my COOL Coaching (Chilembo Optimal Outcomes Life Coaching) method*.
Pivotal point in awareness of language usage: “Reality manifests itself with impressions that the mind creates as from the language it processes,” Simon Chilembo.
E.g.
1. Ahmet Altan: “… like all writers, I have magic. I can pass through walls with ease.”
2. Mwamedi Semboja, Twitter account tagline: “You can travel anywhere, just by closing your eyes.”

Earlier presentations:
1. SHOULD I DIE: COVID-19 Reflections 
2. CORONA VIRUS DISEASE COVID-19 SHALL FALL: My Reason for Optimism
3. Ode to Manu Dibango: WALK SOUL MAKOSSA
4. SIMON’S KITCHEN IMPROMPTU COVID-19 QUARANTINE VEG STEW

*Subsequently edited and presented in the book Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories)

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
Tel.: +4792525032
April 14, 2020

SHOULD I DIE

COVID-19 REFLECTIONS

In 1998, my father died solitary in a bachelor quarters in Tshwane, South Africa. My mother followed twenty years later. Pneumonia related complications in both cases.

©Simon Chilembo, 2018  Author, President  ChilemboStoryTelling™

©Simon Chilembo, 2020 Author, President, ChilemboStoryTelling™

There were about eleven other fellow patients in my mother’s ward at the hospital in Thabong, Welkom. She had kept everyone awake all night with her moaning in pain, crying out an unknown name all along. Nevertheless, she managed to eat her 0700RS breakfast that fateful Sunday morning; much to everyone’s delight since she hadn’t had much appetite the two previous days. After eating she fell asleep.

When my nephew, Kgosi, and I went to check on her during the morning visit hour between 1000-1100HRS, we found her sleeping peacefully. Apparently. After hearing the report by fellow patients about my mother’s restless night, we thought it wise not to immediately awaken her. She could have her full sleep during the course of the morning, and we’d come back to see her again in the afternoon as per routine.

Fifteen minutes into our arrival in the ward, an impatient family friend found that my mother was cold and lifeless. A few minutes later, a doctor declared her officially dead. She had probably died two hours earlier. No one had taken notice. It was one of those cases of “She died peacefully in her sleep”, I guess. Perhaps the same may be said about my father. He had been dead for about two days by the time his corpse was found in his residence.

I opt to convince myself that, indeed, both my parents died peacefully in their sleep when their respective times to go arrived. Neither was surrounded by their loved ones upon breathing their respective lasts.

The thought of whether or not my own death will pounce on me in solitude has been on my mind since February, 1991. I had for the first time ever gotten ill with what I later understood to have been an acute attack of the flu. Bedridden with high fever and profuse sweating for three days in my single student room, I was so weak that I was unable to lift a telephone sitting beside me on my bed to call my school or doctor in Oslo.

One week later I had recovered without having had received any medical attention. An older, more knowledgeable friend told me that I had actually had a close brush with death. Perhaps I should consider getting myself a wife, he suggested. He argued that many people who live alone tend to die unnecessarily because there is often nobody there to render immediate assistance in times of emergencies.

In the northern hemisphere spring of 1995, I had a first-time mean attack of hay fever. I didn’t know what it was at first. For many days I kept sneezing like what I thought was like a mad man. Then I began to cough as inexplicably madly. What I thought sounded like a small cat soon started mewing in my chest. This made breathing painfully difficult even at the mildest physical exertion. Then I knew I was in trouble.

At great financial cost to me that I could afford regardless, a former lover at that time then finally hastily made it possible for me to acquire an emergency cocktail of various tablets, capsules, and an assortment of asthma medicines. Had I been alone at that critical time, I could have died from pneumonia, the former lover said later.

Today, the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, moving at a frighteningly fast pace is threatening human life across the globe. The United Nations and national governments are taking drastic and, in some cases, Human Rights defying draconian measures in individual and concerted efforts to isolate, treat, control, and eventually effectively manage the disease. The ideal situation would be to eliminate the disease, of course. But it’ll take time to develop necessary relevant curative and preventive medicine. Researchers the world over are currently working at break-neck speeds to achieve the latter.

Millions of people are under various levels of quarantine throughout the world, depending on suspected or actual infections and severity. Much of the industrialized world is under lockdowns. People whose immune systems are compromised from before are dying rapidly. Some people are quarantined in their private homes with their near family units. I am alone in my abode.

I am feeling well and strong. I can’t help, though, but think about my mortality in the event that my health should take a sudden, COVID-19 related downturn. Some other shit could happen too. One never knows when shit will hit the fan. I can’t help but think that were I to die now, I sure would do so peacefully. I’d die with no beloveds of mine surrounding me. If it happened to my parents it might as well be the same with me. Family solidarity. Family tradition. I’m their eldest child after all.

Like my parents, I leave no great fortunes behind. It’s just as well for me that, unlike my parents, I leave no children behind. As to whether or not it’s a good thing to die as my corpse shall be in a cremation oven, I shall find out upon arrival on the other side.

In the meantime, I can’t help thinking about one of my all-time favourite songs: If I Should Die Tonight, by Marvin Gaye … (Continued in the book Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories)

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
Tel.: +4792525032
March 15-16, 2020

SELF-DOUBT

WHEN I’M HERE 

NOTE: Contributing to discussion on UNSTUCK – The Refinition of Manhood

“I live with no doubts. If I have any doubts, I don’t do it. If I do it anyway and get burned as a result, too bad. What’s done is done. If I die, I die. Closed chapter. If I don’t die, no regrets. I pay the price I have to pay, and move on; assuming that I can still breathe, stand, walk, and think,” Simon Chilembo.

©Simon Chilembo 2017

©Simon Chilembo 2017

It was as a four-and-half-year-old on my first day at school in Lesotho that I first became aware of my hereness. That was as an immediate response to the awareness of my differentness. The latter arose from my consciousness awakening to find me surrounded by many people. I somehow just understood that all were school children of all ages. There were numerous of my age, and others older. My guide, Dineo, was an older girl from the estate where I was staying not so far away from the school.

I found Dineo alternately being aggressively protective of me, and talking proudly about how far smarter I was compared to local children: I was of course tinier and blacker than all the other children because I was not one of them; I was not of their blood since my father came from a land far, far away in the north. In this so distant land, no Lesotho person had ever been. Dineo emphasized.

She went on to remind everyone about how ruthless her father was. So, if anybody was unkind to me, her father would come and destroy their lives the whole lot of them! Also, my father could do terrible things to them using powerful wizardry from his lands. Otherwise I was a sweet and happy child easy to be with, Dineo concluded.

This was a strange and fascinating scenario I could only watch without uttering a word. I did not only not know what to say or do, the atmosphere was also overwhelming in its simultaneous bewilderment and euphoria. The following day my grandmother took me to another school. I recall hearing whispers that word had been going around in the village that it was not safe for me to be at the first school. The alternative Peka Catholic school would be a safer bet for me, therefore.

At Peka Catholic school I recall being initially received by a group of nuns and the parish priest, Father Hemmel. The next thing was that I found myself in a room with several other children. We were singing “I am a tea pot. This is handle. This is mouth. Pour me out! Pour me out!”

Tracking animal pictures pasted up and around the walls of the room, I recall us repeating after the teacher, Mme Blandina, “A baby cow is called a calf. A baby sheep is called a lamb …”
And then, “A cat mews. A bull bellows. A hen cackles …”

Such began my school career. I would be at Peka Catholic school for four years, 1965-69. These remain the happiest years of my school life. This is the time I understood that I somehow grasped lessons faster than the lot of my classmates. I further found out that the teachers were extra fond of me. All nuns. The warmth they afforded me is unforgettable.

My popularity extended to older pupils, especially girls, in higher grades. At the same time, though, there were older boys that were not fond of me at all. They used to engage me into fights almost every day after school. I got my beatings much as I gave my share of the same. It ever infuriated everyone so much because I was unusually strong and stubborn for my age and, especially, body size.

I never thought too much about limitations of my personal attributes. All I knew was that I could never allow anybody to beat me up and get away with it. This was particularly so from age six, after my mother had instilled in my head the warrior heart attitude of learning to fight my own battles and settle scores alone.

I was already a seasoned fighter by the time that in my older youth years, my Karate teacher, in response to a report about a legendary fight that I had put up against some of the most notorious and dreaded street-fighters of Lusaka, Zambia, said, “If you must fight, fight. But don’t lose!”
That ethos drives my survival instincts in all situations to this day.

In the commotion typical around street fighting scenes, I would pick out ludicrous utterances that I was the way that I was as a hard-fighting child because of the strange blood that I carried from my strange, alien father. I was a little wizard that had to be killed whilst I was still a child because I was going to kill everyone else if I was to be allowed to grow up into a man.

These were really not nice things to hear for a child not even eight years old then. Now I’m a grown-up man soon to be sixty-years-old. Not a single person has perished in my hands yet. On the contrary, I have in my work saved more than one lives.

I thus learned how to balance getting unwanted extreme attention very early in my life. That, together with receiving much love on the one hand and buttressing myself against prejudice and hatred on the other, inculcated in me a strong sense of awareness of where I am at any one time.

Therefore, when I’m here, I’m here. What has to be will be. I shall do what I have to do to sustain my hereness for as long as possible, or for as long as it is necessary. If I have to love, I shall love. If I have to fight, I shall fight. The assumption being that my presence is valued here and now, and that my being here is not detrimental to my continued real and conceptual existential imperatives.

It’s not uncommon for me to hear that I take too much space when I’m here. It’s of little interest for me to seek to impose my hereness to personal and conceptual spaces that cannot, or are not willing to accommodate my being here.

If I’m here for a specific reason, I’ll do what I have to do to the best of my ability according to expectations, if not instructions. If it is really fun, I tend to go beyond, though. I’ll perform and deliver to the extent that what has to be done is compatible with my values and defined obligations vis-à-vis the given situation.

If I succeed, I succeed. If I fail, I fail. If the latter is due to factors I can correct, I shall do so accordingly. If it’s beyond my powers to correct, or do anything else in order to attain the original desired outcome, then I let go and move on to next level challenges; paying the price I have to if need be. It is what it is.

I never carry on with regrets. I carry on with new learned experiences that often empower me to perform better in the next level, even if the next level may not be related to the previous fiasco in any way. What matters is the new mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical fortification I’ve attained for the new way forward.

Throughout my life I’ve lived with the consciousness that I’ll meet all kinds of resistance in my endeavours to live my life as I see it, and as I wish to live it within the parameters of established life-supportive societal norms. I learned very early how to exert my presence with all my outward expressive faculties. This was an important skill to develop given the fact that I, as earlier stated, was a tiny child in a partially but grossly cruel world. In my adult years I never grew up to be the physically biggest man around either.

My mind, my intellect is my weapon. I load my mind with knowledge acquisition pursuits. I fire with my words: I write, I speak. I can sing too. My body is my combat machine. In this state of being, self-doubt is a known but non-applicable phenomenon to me. That is how I’ll always rise above negative forces working against me. Indeed, I might fall and lose one thing or another.

Actually, I have lost a lot of tangible and intangible things during the last twelve-to-fifteen-years. If I don’t die, I’ll rise again. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, but I will rise again. I am on the rise again as it is. My death can wait. I ain’t got no time to die as yet.

It happens time and time again: for each knock and fall I get, for each loss, at least tenfold new options for the better present themselves upon my rising again. For that reason, I never cry over spilt milk. When it is clear that the milk loss is inevitable no matter what preventive measures I may apply, I let go without shedding a tear.

No resistance. When change is gonna come, it’s gonna come. If one of the new options emerging after the milk loss will be a dairy cow, I hardly ever get surprised. Nevertheless, I remain ever humble in the face of continuous favours bestowed upon me by nature, my ancestral spirits, and my God. The resilience I put forth in times of trouble, in my darkest hours, does wonders for my ego. But that resilience is of origins far beyond the realms of my ego’s mind games’ current manifest performance and ultimate potential.

Deep down inside of me I know that constant pursuance of being a decent human being is my inclination by default, much as are my human fallibilities. When I get a knock for my own failings, my inadequacies, I shall with dignity take the punishment I get. My sense of dignity gets even more profound in the face of injustice and malice directed upon my person. Always.

I am cognizant of my strengths and vulnerabilities. These two qualities annihilate any sense of self-doubt I might have in any given situation. Because I know, i.e. my personal cognitive and intuitive data bases are adequately supplied with relevant information and energy, I’ll always have options in both good and challenging times.

The phrase Machona Awakening came not only from that moment I finally understood for myself that a place called home can be more a function of thoughts and feelings, contra its being one’s place of birth only. Machona Awakening is also about that moment in time it dawned upon me that I, indeed, am that I am. I am that I am with all the beauty and the ugly that define me in the eye of the beholder. That with respect to the conscious and unconscious display of my deeds as I dance through the intricacies of my life for as long as I live.

Fear I might have. Insecurity I might have. These may arise in times and situations where I lack applicable functional and conceptual knowledge. When and where I don’t know, I’m likely to be invisible; silent. If I’m ignorant relative to a given reality, it may perhaps be because it’s neither interesting nor important for my existential needs here and now, or there and then. Knowledge is power over fear, insecurity, and self-doubt. It’s about knowing what branch of knowledge is relevant where, how, and when.

I’m not a thrill-seeker. As such I’m not given to blind pursuits of the unknown at any cost. So, let it pass. Ain’t no love lost. No regrets. Self-doubt possibilities eliminated. But does that not limit maximal growth potential? Well, all things considered, I can only grow to the level I reach today. The next levels of growth tomorrow and beyond are only dreams with today’s growth experiences as their launch pad; as certain as the sun shall rise tomorrow for all living creatures of the earth. No doubt from the self, neither from nature. Solid knowledge. Self-doubt expunged.


SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
TEL.: +4792525032
March 02, 2020

ANGRY BLACK MAN – Poem

ANGRY BLACK MAN

Are you afraid now
Have I just
Pulled your illusory
Comfort zone carpets
From under your feet

Have I suddenly become
Your worst nightmare
Come to life
Blacker than
The abyss into hell
Spewing flames of
Raging fires
Splashing volcanic lava
All over your terrified face
Rolling down your
Blood drawn
Protective hands
Your body frozen stiff
As if Sodom and Gomorrah’s
Pillar of salt 

No, it’s not the end of the world yet
You are still alive
I burn you with my words
Salivary showers follow my speech
Not to give you comfort
But to moderate the heat somewhat
You mustn’t pulverize yet
I need you alive
You gotta hear what I gotta say to you
Even if yours are lead-soldered ears
Read my lips, nincompoop  

Fuck ’n ’ell
You bet I am angry
I am fuck ’n furious
I’ve had more than enough
Of your dehumanization of me
Year in and year out
Over five fuckin’ hundred years
Not only do you continue stealing 
Wealth of my land
You have made it your mission to
Eradicate me from planet earth
Only because
You decided to make me
Black and abominable

Whilst you took
My forefathers by surprise
And overwhelmed them with
Your uncanny brutality
I am a different ball game
In my time
I know you
More than you really ever cared to know me

How could you ever
Know me
When you’ve numbed your senses
To the suffering you cause me
To this day

Talking to you
Is like talking to faces
Of a desolate mountain
In the middle of nowhere

Crying in front of you
Is like
Crying in the middle of a desert
My tears evaporate before hitting the ground
The only thing your eyes see
Is the sub-human
Your sick mind has made me into

You don’t respect me
You don’t respect my humanity
You’ve emasculated my forefathers
You’ve raped my foremothers
So much humiliation
Have you subjected my people to
But now you have reached
The end of the road

Read my lips
Yes, I am one
Angry Black Man
My rage is wild
My rage is raw

I’ve harnessed all
The blood and thunder of my people
I shriek with every breathing cell in my body
To thrash your senses back to life
To awaken you to reality
Of my time
I want what is mine back
I want my humanity back

Things will never be the same for you
Your time is up
Shut the fuck up
You’ve said enough
You’ve caused enough damage already
My bitterness is five hundred years old
You can’t stop me now
GRRRRHHHRRR…MHRRR…!!!
You wanna hide now
I’ll search for you 
I’ll find you
This world is mine

©Simon Chilembo  
(19/ 11- 2019)

OSLO
NORWAY
Telephone: +4792525032
December 03, 2019

THE WORLD TODAY – Poem

 
My intuition
Tells me that
The world today
Is as beautiful
As wonderful
As it was yesterday
As it ever was
Actually
 
The world today
Is as marvellous
As tomorrow can be
 
My intuition
Tells me that
The world today
Is a fulfilment of visions
Of the world tomorrow
In the eyes of our ancestors
 
Our ancestors
Are looking at us
From above in utter amazement
Their bones rattle underground
 
For
The world today
Is a world that does not
Need to wait for tomorrow
To guarantee us all
Longevity
In abundance
To beyond extravagance
Thanks to science
 
Our ancestors
Are enthralled
By technology of
The world today
The world of all possibilities for all humanity
 
The world today
Defies time
Defies limitations of space
Through Science and Technology
I should not be apprehensive of
Not seeing through the day
In
The world today
Because of hunger and strife
 
The world today
Ought to be
Heaven on earth
Here and now
For us all
 
My intuition
Tells me that
Heaven is perfect
Heaven begins and ends in itself
Heaven is perpetual upward movement
Of self-regeneration, self-fulfilment
 
In heaven
There is no want
There is no death
 
So
The world today
Ought to be
A space of peace and immortality
For all of humanity
 
Alas
We are ruled by
Avaricious
Bloodsucker
Immoral
Jackass
Myopic
Spiritually retarded
Psychopaths
Pathological liars
Charlatans
Manipulators
Thieves
Necropots
Bloody idiots
Brains of whom ceased
Growing at
Embryonic levels
Forever blemishing
Wombs of our mothers
What a curse
To womanhood
 
Forgive them not
Father
For they know
Yes
What they do
 
Blood is gushed out
Everywhere
As the people
When we the people cry:
FREEDOM
JUSTICE
EQUALITY
SOLIDARITY
FOR ALL ON EARTH

Good heavens
How the hell did we ever get here
In
The world today

©Simon Chilembo (13/ 11- 2019)
 
Dedicated to the people of Chile and others struggling for freedom the world over. Read in Oslo at Solidarity Concert for Chile, Saturday, November 23, 2019. Any struggle for freedom is my struggle.

OSLO
NORWAY
Telephone: +4792525032
November 30, 2019