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𝗨𝗦𝗦𝗥 𝗢𝗥 𝗪𝗛𝗘𝗥𝗘? – 𝗨𝗞𝗥𝗔𝗜𝗡𝗘 𝗪𝗔𝗥 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮

𝗘𝘅𝗶𝗹𝗲 𝗘𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗢𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀: 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵 𝗤𝘂𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗿𝘆

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

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

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

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

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

©Simon Chilembo 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            “I don’t understand!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            “You are losing me now, Comrade Mjaykes!”

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

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

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

            “I see!”

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

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

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

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

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

©Simon Chilembo 2021

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

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

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

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

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

©Simon Chilembo 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

©Simon Chilembo 2020

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𝗙𝗔𝗦𝗖𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗦 𝗕𝗨𝗥𝗡𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗕𝗢𝗢𝗞𝗦: 𝗔𝗠𝗘𝗥𝗜𝗖𝗔 𝗧𝗢𝗗𝗔𝗬

𝗙𝗮𝘀𝗰𝗶𝘀𝘁𝘀 𝗕𝗼𝗺𝗯𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗹𝘀: 𝗨𝗸𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗪𝗮𝗿 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐋𝐈𝐓𝐘 𝐓𝐕 𝐌𝐀𝐒𝐒𝐀𝐂𝐑𝐄 𝐄𝐗𝐓𝐑𝐄𝐌𝐄: 𝐔𝐤𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐖𝐚𝐫 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐

𝐈𝐍𝐅𝐀𝐍𝐓𝐈𝐂𝐈𝐃𝐄

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Children waiting to be born
Died in their mothers’ bellies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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