Home » Posts tagged 'apartheid' (Page 2)

Tag Archives: apartheid

SMARTER ZIMBABWEANS, STUPID SOUTH AFRICANS?

IS IT TRUE OR NOT THAT ZIMBABWEANS ARE MORE SMARTER (sic), EDUCATED THAN SOUTH AFRICANS??
Asked somebody on a Facebook group, The SA Political Forum.

©Simon Chilembo, 2014

©Simon Chilembo, 2014

A clumsily formulated, but interesting, question which has provoked extremely intense debate on the forum in recent days. The latter manifesting more the worst than the better of our views of one another in this part of the world: Nationalism, racism, tribalism, bigotry, parochialism, xenophobia, ignorance, primitivity, nauseous arrogance, pettiness, immaturity, insensitivity, paternalism, mental derangement symptoms, lack of imagination, intellectual poverty, academic disorientation, non-culturedness, superstition, spiritual emptiness, insecurity, dumb-headedness, self-destruction tendencies, predator mentality, terribly developed language/ communication skills, cheap rhetoric, thick-headedness, anarchism, mistrust, misinformation, information distortion, history misinterpretation, manipulation, wilful ignorance of facts, e-kassie mentality, ill-defined defiance, profanity, foolish pride, as well as threats; including leadership/ rule by fear.

I do not quite recall how my first year, 1965, at school in Lesotho unfolded. What I do remember well, though, is that it was a hell lot of fun learning how to read and write for the first time. Returning from what I had then understood to have been Christmas holidays, January 1966 I discovered that I had completely new classmates at my school. The others from the previous year were in another class I heard called Padiso/ Sub B. That didn’t bother me much, however; all I wanted to do was to continue learning how to read and write. It was ever such great fun, at the request of the class teacher, to stand in front of the class reading or counting for my new classmates. Nevertheless, I recall that at some point this whole thing began to bore me half way to death; I kept reading and counting the same things all the time. I felt it was time I went to join my old classmates who were now in Padiso/ Sub B. So, I stated my wish to the class teacher. The school principal wouldn’t allow that to happen, I was told. Why??? “Because you are just too intelligent for your age, Simon. Boko ba hao bo tla bola …/ Your brains will rot if you go to higher classes while you are still under age. People who get too much education while young get mad, you see. Don’t worry, you shall go to Padiso/ Sub B when you are 8 years old” the teacher resolutely told me. So, I stayed in Grade 1 for three years, 1965-67, to keep my sanity together. Jeeezuz!

During the years 1967-69, the only meaningful school activity I recall are the almost daily after school fights arranged by older boys and girls. The idea was that boys my age should/ would beat the brains out of me because teachers at the school never stopped talking about how intelligent I was. Sadly for the matchmakers and my opponents, I would win absolutely all my fights. There was no way I was going to allow these dumb heads to kill my brains. I was also a street-smart kid. The thing is, while these age mates of mine were still working round getting the alphabet, and numbers, together, I was already reading to my class teacher and my grandmother some passages from the Lesotho Times newspaper. I am a South African child begotten of a Zambian father. At this formative school of mine in Lesotho, there were many other mixed ethnicity parentage children (representative of the ethnic and racial diversity of the Southern African sub-continent) from relatively more resourceful families in the major South African metropolis, including Lesotho itself.

In 1970, going onto my tenth year of age, I find myself in a South African school classroom for the first time. The academic excellence self-confidence developed in Lesotho got acutely shaken by my failure to understand what the textbook I was given by the new class teacher was about. Reading comprehension, of course. I struggled through the assigned reading passage, and then answered the subsequent 10 questions best I could. I got zero out of ten. The teacher expressing dismay at my explicit lack of knowledge of Afrikaans, I couldn’t reveal that I had actually started schooling in Lesotho, where there was/ is no Afrikaans spoken or taught in schools. By the time of the mid-year exams in June that year, though, I was scoring the highest all-round grades in class. Upon return from winter holidays, my class teacher called me out to where she and other teachers seemed to be discussing something serious together with the school Principal. I was told that all had agreed that I deserved to be promoted to the next class because I was just too intelligent for Grade 3, which I had in fact been forced to repeat in the first place. I declined. Why? I was afraid my brains would rot, and I would thus go mad from too much education while still young. Bummer! I kept scoring the highest grade point averages at school in South Africa till end of 1974.

First quarter of 1975 I am in Lusaka, Zambia. No school that year. Very depressing. I have never felt smaller, and more insignificant. Shattered medical studies dreams. But then again, just under 15 years of age, I discover, and enter into a space called library for the first time in my life: Lusaka City Library, British Council Library, American Library. Book, books, and books everywhere, including my Uncle Oliver’s private library at home, as well as later, the magnificent UNZA library. And there were so many magazines, journals, and other publications of all sorts to read. I became a bookworm that year. A whole new world of thinking and dreaming was opened for me; and thus began my daily English reading and writing journey to this day.

Back to school in 1976. Forced to backtrack again because, my father was told, the then South African Bantu Education Grade 7 academic standards were lower than those of Zambia. But, as soon as I had gotten into the rhythm of things at school, I was topping class grade average points, as usual. I could never understand the Grade 7 failure panic and hysteria characteristic of the time in Zambia. I, of course, passed the final exams with flying colours later in the year. South African born, Zambian dad begotten man-child would show constant, and predictable, academic excellence throughout the entire Secondary/ High School career to university; crushing class- and schoolmates from many other countries/ nations of the world, including Zimbabwe. This, despite the fact that I didn’t know what a science laboratory was until I was 17 years old at secondary school. That Zambian school children had already been exposed to sophisticated scientific education for years had also greatly intimidated me at first. There was at that time an awesome Zambian youth scientific magazine called Orbit. The story would repeat itself in Norway, both academically and professionally in my adult years.

20 years ago, after failing a Drivers’ Licence theory examination in Norwegian language, a blue-eyed Norwegian young man, upon hearing that I had scored almost 100% in the same test, exasperates, “Fffæææn/ Ssshit, I never knew that there were in fact wise negrer in the world!” Another dick head bites the dust.

The moral of this story is that when you are hot, you are hot. Your origin, or Nationality, due to various objective and subjective factors, may have some, but certainly not, decisive bearing.

My initial response to the question on the forum went as follows:
NOT true! The 5 million or so … in SA should tell a lot about Zimbabweans’ smartness, with their country messed up by (one of) the most educated presidents in Africa. We have our Msholozi, we have our legacy of inferior, for Blacks, apartheid Bantu education. But, for one of many examples, and despite acute imperfections here and there, through SASSA, South Africa effectively distributes at least R 10 BILLION in various social grants a month. 

Ultimately, it’s not so much about how smart or educated Nation(-s/ -nals) are, it’s about how they apply these qualities to meet their people’s needs and aspirations as their nations develop and progress among nations of the world.

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
9459
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
October 12, 2014

AFRICANS: SKIN COLOUR JOKES. VICTIMS?

Responding to Norwegian Aftenposten newspaper article:

Simon Chilembo, Chief Executive President

Simon Chilembo, Chief Executive President

My aunt ‘Mabatho/ Mother of The People, if, on a good day, you were to call on her unannounced in the morning, you’d find her shabbily dressed in a tattered nightdress. Her eyes will be red; face as radiant as sunset orange in the Free State veld, though. She will give you this warm hug, kiss you reassuringly on the forehead, saying softly, “Ngwanake/ My child, they were here again. Ohhh, I am so tired …”

From time to time, our family ancestral spirits visit my aunt. She says they are ever so angry and bitter at the world. They want to burn the world down for the evil on it, the evil that destroyed my aunt’s life forever. She will fight with them all night, preventing them from unleashing their wrath out on the world.

In retrospect, my aunt says her own anger and bitterness towards those who grossly abused her is not so much in their abhorrent acts, but in that they did not kill her in the process. When you are dead and gone, you don’t hear, you don’t see, you don’t feel; when you are dead, you live above morons.

In a botched (White) farm robbery in the Free State in the 1970s, my aunt, then working as a domestic maid on the farm, was severely beaten up and successively raped by 6 men, 2 Whites, and 4 Blacks.

When it was understood that the police were on the way, the two Whites turned against their Black colleagues, and shot them dead on the spot. The former denied abusing my aunt, claiming that they had in fact come to defend the farm as they had earlier on received a tip-off about the impending robbery.

“How can decent, God fearing boerefolk have sex with a dirty kaffir woman? We beat her up a bit to teach her a lesson never to collaborate with other kaffir criminals who come to rob our farms. We had to execute these four criminals here because their original intention was to come and kill the people of the farm. Self-defence, you see?” they said to the police.

My aunt was arrested, and served 3 years in jail. It’s said that the two Whites went to war in Rhodesia, and never came back.

My aunt’s ordeal was too much to bear for her husband. One day, the man decided to hug a goods train moving towards him at high speed. Pieces of his body were picked up and placed in a plastic bag as if it was meat to be fed to crocodiles.

Despite the way-out traumas in her life, without any professional help forthcoming, my aunt went on to raise her three children to decent adulthood. She makes a living of some sorts selling umqumbothi, as well as some special traditional tobacco.

This true story will make most sense, and will be familiar, to those who have felt in their flesh and bones, Apartheid in the pre-1994 South Africa, as well as other forms of institutionalized forms of racism against Black people anywhere else in the world.

When Black/ African people yell, weep and cry, laugh, sing and dance demanding recognition and respect for their feelings, as well as their sense of integrity and honour, we are doing this in the face of real injustices that have been perpetrated on and against, and upon, us for generations.

It is basely moronic for some arrogant and apparently incompetently incompetent White intellectuals, academics, philosophers, and artists to want to define for us Black people how to respond to all forms of racism directed towards us, both as a global collective, and/ or as individuals wherever we may be in the world at any one time … (Continued in the book: MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)


Simon Chilembo

Welkom
South Africa
June 08, 2014

 

38 YEARS AN EXILE IV

HOME AT LAST! Part 4
Love In Exile/ Women of Exile

Exile land women in love with men in exile get less recognition, acknowledgement, and respect than they deserve.

Were I a woman, I would never ever fall in love with an exile man in my land. Exile men are nothing but a load of trouble.

However, my South African mother did fall in love, and eventually got hitched to an exile man from far off Northern Rhodesia. Now, look what we got! Americans got Obama … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon’s CreateSpace here)

 

Simon Chilembo, President/ CEO

 

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
March 28, 2014

 

 

38 YEARS AN EXILE: II

HOME AT LAST! Part 2

Life After Death, Incomplete Stories …

©Simon Chilembo,  09/ 12-2012

©Simon Chilembo, 09/ 12-2012

I want to equate exile to death. Whether or not planned, when it’s time to go, it’s time to go. If there is life after death, from what I know of life in exile, life in after death must be a living nightmare for the dead. I, therefore, am not keen to die just yet. And I don’t ever want to experience living in exile again.

Some people do get the chance, and make time to plan their deaths. Write suicide note. Set up video cameras. Go online. Press Record. Say/ read your message to the soon to be bereaved, to the world. Point gun to the head … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon’s CreateSpace here).

 

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
March 10, 2014

 

SOUTH AFRICA: BRIGHT WHITE FUTURE

Speaking about a terminally ill Nelson Mandela and South Africa on Norwegian TV2 end of June 2013, I was asked about the condition of Whites in South Africa: Do they have anything to fear for their future in the country?

I answered that if nothing happened in 1994, nothing is ever going to happen to them. South African Whites must just stay at home because they are needed for their knowledge and skills in the process of growth and development of the country. I went on to say that despite the much talked about problem of corruption and other manifestations of good governance inadequacies in the country, democracy was now firmly ingrained in the more open, and free post-apartheid South African society.

Indeed, the high and mighty in the state apparatus will in the short to medium term stretch the law when exposed of their corrupt practices and other vices. But, in the long run, processes as provided for, and backed by, relevant democratic institutions and organs will insure that all law breakers will be caught, and shall be punished accordingly if found guilty in legally instituted courts of law.

South African Whites have nothing but their own fears of the unknown to fear.  I cannot think of anybody in the current political dispensation sitting somewhere plotting, alone or together with others, the annihilation of the White Race in South Africa. Private, for purposes of this discourse, Black South Africans, despite their horrendous pre-1994 history, have other real and current issues to worry about than driving White South Africans out to sea and disappear: Poor Service Delivery, Child Abuse, Violence Against Women. Chances are higher by far that at this very moment a child is being brutally molested, and a dejected lover is killing a woman who doesn’t love him anymore.

Despite the rather characteristically loud, small-scale populist rhetoric which South African democracy necessarily allows adequate room for, there is no single landowner whose land shall be repossessed without compensation, where applies. To the extent that conventional paper work pertaining to land and property ownership is in order, appropriate laws, as well as conventional business negotiations methods shall be followed to subsequent mutual satisfaction of all parties concerned.

At its most elegant, democracy works systematically and orderly. Choosing to ignore democratic principles and processes would only lead to chaos, and, at worst, war and total disintegration of the gracious Rainbow Nation of South Africa. Free South Africans with nothing to fear have no time for wars and destruction. This country is just too beautiful to burn alive in pursuit of selfish ends driven by ignorance of the functionings of modern, progressive societies.

IMG_1853People die. People are killed all the time. Criminals kill people. From the outset, we are all equally vulnerable to hideousness of crime. What differentiates us is how security/ safety conscious or non-conscious we are. Who is better security/ safety conscious than White South Africans? No one does it better … (Continued in the book: MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)


Simon Chilembo
Welkom
South Africa
Tel: +27 717 454 115
October 11, 2013

DO POOR BLACK MEN EVEN CRY?

Inspired by: Lynching Black Men

©Simon Chilembo,  09/ 12-2012

©Simon Chilembo, 09/ 12-2012

I had first picked it up in his voice on the phone. Calling him from Oslo at his work place in Pretoria about once a week in the latter part of the 1990s, I could hear him sounding ever more tired each time we spoke. He would of course express tremendous delight upon hearing my voice, proudly shouting to his colleagues,  “My son is calling from overseas!”

When I last saw him Easter time 1996, he was as charming as ever. But he was beginning to look a little frail. And it seemed he had stopped caring too much about his hair, which he always groomed immaculately before, dying it pitch black constantly.

I was just beginning to find my way around in Norway at that time myself, and coming home to Welkom that Easter, I had bought presents for everyone. I even paid for renovation work on the family house, buying some nice furniture for my mother as well. Better times had arrived. Let’s celebrate.

Pappa would be fine, I thought. At age 63 then and still working in Pretoria, I felt it was, indeed, time for him to retire, come home, relax, and enjoy life. I would do every thing possible to ensure that my parents have a good life all their days. But my ever-resilient Pappa went back to work. His work was his life. Little did I know that it would be two years later the next time we meet again after the Easter holidays, 1996. He would be in an abattoir-like city council mortuary, lying supine in a coffin; eyes open wide, staring into oblivion. The autopsy cut sewed up ugly, unbefitting a once most elegant gentleman. In the end, we are just things, I thought … (Continued in the book: MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)


Simon Chilembo
Oslo
Norway
March 08, 2013