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CRITICAL RACE THEORY SENSE

DISSECTING RACISM WITH THE LAW

Simplified in everyday but clean language, Critical Race Theory applies law principles to expose and to deconstruct the historical foundations upon which the illegalities of legalizing racism stand.

In broad terms, the law represents, to the extent that the prevalent, universally acknowledged status quo remains unchanged, a constellation of fundamental guiding principles and values held dear by a group of a diversity of members (henceforth a nation, for purposes of this essay) brought and held together by a need to sustainably safeguard their common existential imperatives, perceived and real.

The latter above as dictated by encountered natural conditions, or as conceptually defined by the group with respect to ways and means of organizing settlements, food production, provision of health and other essential social services, defence and security. Ideally, the law is supposed to serve as both a reference and applicatory tool for establishment and maintenance of order in society. Society being a human, conceptual and material institutions construct that constitutes the totality of a nation.  A nation is by default a multifaceted functional collective entity working towards the attainments of certain predetermined goals for the survival of the nation as a unit, and the individual as the essential part of the entity.

The Constitution of a nation is, then, a sacred documentation of the core laws of the land upon which a nation exists. A constitution in its current form is a living document that, with consensus, may be subject to amendments in order to suit changing local and international material and conceptual paradigms with time. If and when a constitution is hijacked and changed by force, or at worst suspended altogether by disgruntled elements defiant of the laws of the land, that process is called a coup d’état. More often than not, coup d’états impose unpopular, draconian laws for the instigators to stay in power. This is how dictatorships emerge world-wide. Dictatorships cause hardships.

The legal system is the working arm of the law. It comprises numerous branches requiring specialized education and training in the various aspects of the law, from the interpretation of the laws and their ramifications across the entire spectrum of societal existence, to enforcement of, and compliance with specific laws in given contexts. The judiciary administers the court system, where disputes are litigated, and criminal cases are tried, with punitive measures of the law determined and imposed where and when applicable.

Judges and magistrates preside in the courts. They weigh merits and demerits of cases as argued by defence lawyers and prosecutors. Defence lawyers represent aggrieved parties, or those facing criminal charges upon having been accused of breaking certain aspects of the law. Prosecutors’ job is to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the criminally accused.

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Laws are made, modified, or repealed by the legislative arm in parliament. In functional parliamentary states, Members of Parliament (MPs) are elected officials representing national citizens through their various political parties which have variable demands as to their political orientations. This is in response to, or may lead to protracted inequities in society, where one or several groups will seek to dominate others through a variety of overt and subtle abuses of power in the state machinery. The idea being to, as much and as long as it is possible, exclude the subdued from enjoying the freedoms and all-round benefits of the bounty of their lands.

Through hook or crook, setting ludicrous, outrageous prerequisites for qualification to participate in the elective processes determining composition of the legislature, the dominant forces can manipulate the legislative procedures to institute laws that will inhibit or even totally exclude the dominated from participating fully in the developmental processes of their nations.

To pass an idea into law is to legalize it. The piece of law passed shall have a name and number, with reference to the relevant part of the constitution where and when applicable. It shall, amongst others, state its purpose, justification, extent and implications, as well as punitive levels and nature according to degree of contraventions, including circumstances prevailing at the time of offence execution. For example, in 1913, the then White dominated legislature in South Africa introduced a lastingly catastrophic Native Land Act for Black people of the land.

“THE NATIVE LAND ACT (NO. 27 OF 1913): The natives land act was specifically created for the control of black access to land. This act had a profound effect on the African population across the country and fundamentally still maintains that same effect on black people today. The Act’s most devastating condition for Africans was the exclusion from buying or hiring land in 93% of South Africa.

“Africans, despite being higher in population numbers were only allocated 7% of land ownership and were only allowed to remain on white owned land as labourers and servants, which forced independent black farmers into the labour market by denying them the rights to purchase land,” AWCI Property.

It goes without saying that the above law legalized preclusion of South African Black people from benefitting from the bounty of their land. The law acutely skewed economic and political power to the Whites. This law was a decisive precursor to the inception of the subsequent racist South African Apartheid state, 1948-1994.

Apartheid was not just. Because it was not just, it was illegal. Because it was illegal, the struggle for the freedom and enfranchisement of Black people of South Africa had to continue. Enfranchisement gives the legal right to vote and influence societal progress in one’s country. Throughout all the various legislations pursued in order to enhance White power during the Apartheid years, the condition of Black People in the country only but worsened. This was despite that the Apartheid regimes kept shooting themselves in the foot all the time.

The post-1994 South Africa of Nelson Mandela inherited a massively broken society. Critical Race Theory offers an analytical and explanatory model for understanding the realities of South African socio-political discourse today. It’s applicable to Zimbabwe. It’s applicable to the entire global post-colonial society, actually. That a stratum of USA society is so anti-Critical Race Theory is just a reflection of how really detrimental racist White Privilege has been for the intellectual and cultural sophistication growth of these people, together with their Black and Brown people cohorts. Shame.

From the South African example given above, it is clear that Critical Race Theory is not just an empty theoretical postulate. It lays bare the historical facts to explain contemporary racism as it plays itself out with impunity right in front of our eyes on a daily basis; we be in the USA, Europe, South Africa, Australia, or anywhere else in the world.

Critical analysis of any phenomenon entails not only studying the phenomenon in isolation, but also in relation to other relevant dynamics around it. We compare, we contrast, we interpolate, we extrapolate, we synthesize, we hypothesize, we weigh pros and cons, we test, before we arrive at what we know are well-thought-out and structured conclusions.

It’s naïve and ignorant to want to dismiss Critical Race Theory as divisive, and promoting anti-White racism and hate. What can be more divisive than the White Supremacist racism has already been for at least four-hundred years? Black people’s struggle for freedom, justice, and equality is exactly as the three concepts say: free from malice, seeks fairness and the prerogative to reclaim their right to exist with human dignity on par with everyone else the world over.

I have yet to meet a serious Black liberation warrior that is pre-occupied with vindictive oppression, subjugation, and annihilation of the White race. Honestly, the entire world would have long gone down under had Black and Brown people risen in vengeance against the obtrusively documented White Supremacy barbarism all over the world

But in order to fully appreciate where we are coming from with our demands and fears, Black and White people have to embrace facts of their history:

  • White Supremacy and its roots in the global colonial and capitalist expansion owes its economic might to the raw exploitation and destruction of Black and Brown societies of the world. It’s an absolute fact that has nothing to do with sowing seeds of hate and all that bull. Racism justified and sustained the cross-Atlantic slave trade. Enslaved African labour unequivocally facilitated the documented historical exponential growth and consolidation of American capitalism, with inevitable spillovers to Europe.
  • Whereas technological advancements in the 17th Century onwards would render large-scale agro-industrial slavery redundant, racism continues to live on. Racism is both a philosophical and practical tool used by White Supremacists to exclude and eliminate Black and Brown people from equal and just participation in the collective determination of their own destiny in their lands. Existing economic inequalities in the USA, South Africa, and similar countries have indisputable racistic undertones.  
  • Demands for reparations in the USA and Europe are as justifiable as can be, therefore. These demands are never going to die some natural death. They have to be addressed one way or another. These demands are no declaration of hate or war. If and when people talk about fighting for reparations, they are not talking about any martial warfare, they are talking about legal battles in the courts. That’s all. No blood was shed in the case of Bruce’s Beach, California, property being returned to its rightful owners.  
  • Successful Black and Brown people aligning themselves with White Supremacists must know that the latter don’t really see them as genuine blood compatriots. In the slave-owner tradition, White Supremacists simply use these lost Black and Brown souls to further their (WS) goals of perpetual global hegemony. A lost cause.

Indeed, experientially, racism may be reducible to the inevitable variable individual (in-)sensitivities. But as a system, White Supremacist systemic racism makes no individual exceptions: from the outset, when you are Black or Brown or Yellow, you are exactly that. In WS eyes, you are, as per God’s design, inherently inferior and destined to permanent White Supremacist servitude. As shown below, the latter postulation is blatantly fallacious, of course:  

1. America abounds with examples of Black people who have demonstrated sustainable superior competence Black Excellence – across the board in the advancement of the society.

2. A Nigerian mathematics genius has made global headlines in Japan.  

3. Four computer brains Black women sent NASA to space and back.  

4. Global Black excellence in all areas of human endeavour is documented across the entire sphere of modern mass media platforms. But all this is of no use if people are illiterate and incapable of exhibiting any critical thinking skills, or even inclination for thinking about the big questions of life and being. For the intellectually dysfunctional, their ignorance is ever exacerbated by their paying attention to purveyors of conspiracy theories, often with dire outcomes.

5. Yours truly is a one man intellectual and creative power house of reckoning. He treads upon intellectual landmines where few dare to venture into.

All children must be taught Critical Race Theory uncoated. Knowledge is power. Truth liberates. The future of humanity may be secured by children growing up into adulthood equipped with the knowledge of what human behavioural attributes have led the world to the existential mess we find ourselves in today.

It is only through the teaching of facing plain truths about the mistakes and injustices committed in the past and the present that future people can make informed choices about what kind of a world they want to live in. Herein lies the essence of critical thinking skills and attitudes inculcation in the minds of children. Devoid of critical thinking skills faculties, children grow up as fertile grounds for sowing seeds of living with fears of the unknown. Fears of the unknown breed and feed irrationality. Irrational people are a curse to humanity.

Appreciation of Critical Race Theory today is a remedy for potential racial wars arising in the future. It should encourage atonement as a means for facilitating peaceful co-existence. That founded on the principles of knowledge of who we, humanity, are and what we are capable of achieving for both the good and the bad of our being humans on earth.

I rest my case.

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
October 20, 2021
Tel.: +4792525032

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PS
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©Simon Chilembo 2020

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

STORY OF MOTHERS AND WIVES

WHAT MOTHERS AND WIVES DO

The little I know about my mother’s life inspires my forthcoming fourth novel, which will be my sixth book. As I progress with the work, I get to appreciate more and more that a wife and mother will do what they have to do for the good of their children and the honour of their husbands. At the same time, wives and mothers are also made of flesh and blood; they are human too, just like everyone else.

They shall slip and fall, gather dirt like everyone else. They shall rise, shake themselves from the dust, and fail to erase the stains; just like everyone else. If the good they did for their children, and the honour they bestowed their husbands is greater than the outcomes of their fallibilities, then, who is anybody to judge?
Winnie Mandela ODE TO WINNIE MANDELA:
Courage personified
Defiance personified
Endurance personified
Grace personified
Humanity personified
Inspiration personified
Longevity personified
Loyalty personified
Mystique personified
Resurrection personified
Motherhood dignified

Phum’la ka kuhle, Mamma
Should they seek
To blow out
The torch of your legacy
I will be there
They’ll have to first
Take me out
A luta continua
For the love of Mothers
Amandla ngawethu!!!

SIMON CHILEMBO
RIBEECKSTAD
WELKOM
SOUTH AFRICA
APRIL 13, 2018
TEL.: +4792525032

 

FOR SYRIAN WAR CHILDREN: A POEM

CANNOT BE RIGHT

WTMFblg

Buy book on link. All rights reserved. Simon Chilembo, 2016.

At this very moment
In Aleppo City of Syria
Putin’s bombs
Have just rained down
In claimed pursuit of Daesh
Little Sarah’s body
Is shred to pieces
Little Abdullah’s body
Is by waves of fire
Charred to ashes
And goes up
With smoke and bloody dusts of war
Parents wanting
To believe
It’s all hallucinations
Curse Allah
If this is his willing
Then
He’s not so great anymore
May the next bomb
Land on us
Insha’Allah
Please, please, please
Allahu Akbar
They with soundless voices
Wail in agonized helplessness
With tearless ducts like Madiba’s
Wishing there were
Wi-Fi broadband to Allah

At this very moment
Little Maryam
And
Little Mustafa
Clutched
In parents’ arms
Are searching
In vain
For Western freedom and peace
At the bed
Of the Mediterranean Sea
Dead
The bombs had missed them
So
Allah’s willing
Overloaded their escape boat
It capsized
They failed
To breathe under water
More horrified by
The sound of
Tonnes of sea water
Pressing densely into their ears
Than any bombing’s
It’s just as well
There’s no
Wi-Fi broadband to God

Ever cried under water

At this very moment
I cry with grief
‘Cause I’m broke
As in Bankrupt
Valentine’s Day tomorrow
I’ll lose yet another woman I love
‘Cause I don’t have any money
To call her on the phone
Let alone
Buy her a romantic present
I don’t have money
To call my mother
To say, ‘I love you!’
For like to Allah
There’s no
Wi-Fi broadband into my father’s grave
If I had money
I’d call my younger father
To also say, ‘I love you, Dad!’
I’m wearing
Old, faded, tattered clothes
On my body
‘Cause I haven’t had any money
To buy new clothes
Since
The start of
The Syrian war
At that time
Somebody said to me
Tsk, tsk, tsk, ignorant you
Conflict is healthy
Conflict is the essence of human progress
And I said to him
Does Assad really think
He’ll ever crush the opposition
The ill-informed wise man
Told me
I’m a fool
So, it’s okay
I can stay broke
Till there are
No more people
Till there’s nothing left
To genocide for
In Syria
So much
For conflict
For human progress

At this very moment
I cry Europe
Little Farrah
And
Little Ali
Have defied the bombs
Have defied the seas
Have arrived alive
At your shores
Show them what humanity is all about
Independent of what Allah wills
It can’t be right
To deny them
The sweet taste of
Liberty and peace
It can’t be right
That I stand here
And cry for money
For telephones and new clothes
When
Little Maryams
And
Little Mustafas
Clutched
In parents’ arms
Cry for life
At the bottom
Of the sea

At this very moment
I cry for hope
Fuck the money
Fuck the war
God
Amen

END
©Simon Chilembo, 13/ 02- 2016

SIMON CHILEMBO
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
Tel.: +4792525032
February 13, 2016

38 YEARS AN EXILE: XXX

HOME AT LAST! Part 30
OWN TURF IN THE DIASPORA

SONY DSC

Simon Chilembo. All rights reserved, 2015

Because I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, the notion that I must be happy with what I have here and now, no matter how little, was ingrained in my head from a very early age. If I could get more by doing what is acknowledged as good and acceptable practices, well and good. However, if it doesn’t work, too bad. Try something, or go for something else, and/ or simply wait.

Waiting never meant for me to just rest on my laurels, hoping for some miracle to happen for the more of that which I want to materialize somehow, without any effort from me, though. If I have to pray, it will be more to introspect and find peace of mind so I can think more clearly, but not for God to deliver it all for free just because I believe in her … (Continued in the book: MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter. Order book on Amazon).


Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
Telephone: +4792525032
November 23, 2015 (more…)

38 YEARS AN EXILE: XXIX

HOME AT LAST! Part 29
RACISM IN THE DIASPORA

©Simon Chilembo, 2014

©Simon Chilembo, 2014

Racism is a constant. Racism does not change colour with location, or time. Racism is not some figment of the imagination. Racism is as real as day and night. Racism cannot be explained away; it is neither an intellectual nor academic exercise. Racism is unidirectional like an arrow in flight. Its objective is to demean, use, abuse, exploit, hurt, dehumanize, destroy, and obliterate; nothing in between. The ultimate goal of racism is genocide.

Racism is a systematized, institutionalized mind-set of false superiority, entitlement, and privilege … (Continued in the book: MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter. Order book on Amazon).


Simon Chilembo
Welkom
South Africa
+4792525032
September 14, 2015

38 YEARS AN EXILE: XXVIII

HOME AT LAST! Part 28
New Job Application:
Change, Win, Adapt, or Jump in The Lake in The Diaspora

Simon Chilembo, Founder/ President, ©Simon Chilembo, 2015

Simon Chilembo, Founder/ President ©Simon Chilembo, 2015

How old I was then was of no concern to me. At that age I saw things in terms of physical appearances relative to other objects in the immediate environment. People were adults because they were far bigger, and stronger than me. When I first became consciously aware of where I was in my surroundings, it was of no concern to me as to whether I was coming or going; I was just there where I found myself, having the time of my life discovering wonders of the world … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon).

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
9469
South Africa
August 24, 2015

38 YEARS AN EXILE: XXVI

HOME AT LAST! Part 26

 

Schooling in the Diaspora – Kamwala Secondary School

©Simon Chilembo, 2014

©Simon Chilembo, 2014

1975 was the longest year. My first calendar year in Zambia was nine months long, which felt like time barely existed, with no beginning I recalled being part of, no end, and no direction in sight. Time was an idea just there to relate to indifferently.

The three months on the rails and road it took my family and me to get to Zambia from South Africa had bruised my sense of reality, presenting life’s challenges in a totally new way, and intensity. My family relations internal dynamics changed in ways that many mistakes made along the way have never been repairable.

New things learnt we each processed and integrated each in our own individual lives, each in our own unique personal ways. I often like to think that the extremely high senses of individuality and independence my two siblings and I will exhibit in critical choice times and situations, were consolidated during this time … (Continued in the book: MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter. Order book on Amazon here). 

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
July 23, 2015

38 YEARS AN EXILE: XVIII

HOME AT LAST! Part 18
DEPRESSION IN THE
DIASPORA – It’s Over Now

 SPECIAL NOTES:

  • This article must be understood in the context of the entire ‘38 YEARS AN EXILE’ series thus far. Dedicated with unreserved love to my Dearest Uncle, Family Patriarch, Legend-In-His-Own-Time, Mr OB Chilembo, in Lusaka, Zambia.
  • It is with never so small humility that I emphatically declare that my African culture in the 21st Century is one of the most prolific breeding grounds for Depression in the world. This, for purposes of only this writing, from the point of view of family and social relations dynamics that are outdated, and have remained static since the onset of European domination and subsequent colonialism from towards the close of the Middle Ages in the 14-15th Centuries. Who, for example, is more prone to Depression than an African family patriarch, or matriarch? … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon).

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
Telephone: +4792525032
April 05-08, 2015

38 YEARS AN EXILE: XII

HOME AT LAST! Part 12 CITIZEN OF THE WORLD? MY FOOT!

SPECIAL NOTE: Link takes us to an article written by a frustrated young lady in Oslo, Norway, who feels she has no place to call home anywhere. Although my writing below may sound harsh, it is not personal. I am writing on the subject in general terms at her inspiration, from my, of course, highly subjective point of view. Believe me, I feel her pain, anger, and sorrow. Nelson Mandela, PresidentI am a citizen of the world is another one of those idealistic statements of which poetry and literature are inspired. I am a citizen of the world as an emotional statement reeks of arrogance, ignorance, naiveté, self-centredness, patronization, and imperialistic tendencies. You don’t go calling yourself citizen of the world simply because you don’t feel at home in your country of birth, and/ or your host country if you are an exile in the Diaspora. It’s not up to you to declare yourself a world citizen, as if the world owes you any favours, to begin with …(Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon’s CreateSpace here).

 

 

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
December 15, 2014