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CONSEQUENCES – A Poem

CHOICES

Akin to
Dead men walking
Free spirits
Are indifferent to pain
Suffering unbeknown
Know no barriers
Are of all times
Immortality
Is the name of their being

Akin to the wind
Dead men walking
Free spirits
Embrace space
Devoid of sentiment
Propelled by
The fair and righteous
Infused with clear conscience
Akin to that
Of saints

I made my choices
I took my chances
You made your choices
You took no chances
You the illusory chosen one
Sitter on the
Right hand of God
Centre of the universe
In your comfort zone
Delusional
You cry foul
At the world
You decry makers of you
For thorns and no roses
In your comfort zone
As if they
Your makers
Pruned the flowers
And left you in the bush
When the choice to stay was yours
Ultimately
You ought
To have seen the autumn
Cease coming your way
Aeons gone by
Grown man

You could never learn
How to harvest
Never learned
How to sow
In the first place
Akin to
Baby bird
Who never left the nest
Soundless
Mouth agape
From dusk to dawn
Season after season
Anticipating feeding time
Long gone with the elements
Catastrophe

©Simon Chilembo 2021

Akin to
Destitute baby bird
Who never left the nest
Your mamma is dead
So is your dad
I could never be them
Even if I wanted to
I could never replicate
Their parental obligations to you

Much as
I long for heiresses and heirs
My progeny
Products of my loins
Carrying my blood
In their flesh and bones
Made not like bread
You could never be them
Even if I wanted you to be
Miracles of nature
Have their limits


Ancient Greece mythology
Created Oedipus
It never worked out well for the man
Poor soul crushed
He gouged out his own eyes
Tragedy

And now
You want to
Shoot my brains out
Kill me dead already
Can you take
The ricochet
Dead men walking
Free spirits
Die only once
Forget the resurrection jive, man
It isn’t I who killed promises of
The fiasco
That is the mark of the beast of
Your comfort zones
All I ever did
Was to seek to
Blow light over your life
Or did I come out too strong
Struck like lightning
When I chose not
To plunge into
A miserable life
Of men of no vision
Succumbed to wretchedness of the earth

When you’ve attuned your eyes
To seeing
Only evil spirits in the air
You could never see
The good of my intentions
Pure as silence
In the domain of
Dead men walking
Disentangled
From thorns of love nor hate
Only drawn towards
The fair and just
Amongst the living

You wanna know
How to grow
The #Midas touch
How to
Reap gold
From what you sow
Open your eyes
To the light
Be humble
Be a little grateful
Look and learn
Dead men walking
Amongst the living
Have it all
END
©Simon Chilembo 12/10-2021

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
Telephone: +4792525032

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PS
Order, read, and be inspired by my 7th book, Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories. It might save yours and your loved one’s lives.

©Simon Chilembo 2020
Project management

MAKE ME WANT TO LOVE AGAIN – A Poem

Keep Singing

Sing on
Baby
Make me
Want to love again

The way
You sing
Your voice
Ignites
Feelings
In my being
Taking me back
In time
To
An evening
In that phase
In time
When
A boy child
Transitions to
Man child

My first love
Took my hand
Urged me
To step along
With her
Into a passage
Where she’d
Teach me
How to know
When I love a woman

She embraced me
The maiden kiss
She gave me
Morphed me
Into
Adult lover man
In a young man’s shell
In an instant

Since then
Only
A certain
Kind of girl
A certain
Kind of woman
Only the
Boy child
In me
Instinctually recognizes
Moves me
Like you do

Keep on singing
I just can’t love
Just anything

Called a girl
Just anything
Called a woman

Mine is
Love discerning
Much as
Yours is
Melody exceptional
As I hear
Your song

Sing on
Baby
Make me
Want to love again

I want to love again
Because
Without love
I have
No reason for living

Without love
I go from day-to-day
Doing all
I have to do
Merely
Out of duty
Breathing
For life
With no passion
Like
Post-inferno ashes
On parched land
In depressed
Climatic states
Of being in nature
Waiting
For the storm
To wash away
Into oblivion
At sea
With
Tumultuous waters
Over barren earth
As I breathe
Dry air
Brittle
Incapacitating
My olfactory system

If I can’t
Sense
The odour of you
In the atmosphere
There can be no love
As to enliven
My immediacy

So
Sing on
Baby
Lubricate my soul
With your song nectar
Make me
Want to love again

As
I inhale deep
Hold my breath
Listen to my heart
Singing along
With you
Pumping
Your song sweetness
Into every cell
Composing the lover in me
In sync
With the love vibrations
You ooze
With your song

In this state
I feel in perfect health
I want to live for
I want to love
Only you

The boy child in me in love
Says to tell
That
For you
We shall live
We shall love
Until
Eternity
Comes knocking
On my door

Sing on
Baby

If it pleases you
Urge me
To step
Into your love corridors
If you love me too

For
I could never ever intrude
Into your love chambers
Yearning for you
Much as I do
Give me your song
Give me hope
Teach me
How you want me
To love you
Like you sing
Like you make love to your song

Only you make me
Want to love again
Sing on
Honey
Baby

END
©Simon Chilembo 05/04-2021

SIMON CHILEMBO
OSLO
NORWAY
Telephone: +4792525032
April 12, 2021

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PS
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©Simon Chilembo 2020
Project management

FALSIFIED

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

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

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

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

Project management

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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

THE UNTHINKABLE – PT1: A Poem

THE UNTHINKABLE – 1

The unthinkable happens
When it happens
And we pay the price

It’s simple
To kill
One hundred thousand people
In a spring of
One year

Move slow
Like a ship
Sinking in icy waters

Be Stupid: 

No, the ship won’t perish
Water shall freeze
It shall keep the vessel together
Iced machines don’t move, see

We’re doing great
Great job
We won’t drown
Maybe summer will come
Maybe it won’t
We’ll see what happens
You never know

And, yes,
Maybe ice shall turn into water again
Maybe it won’t
Who knows
We see what happens

All we got to do is
Move on with our sailing
We were made to sail
The world over as we want
We are the greatest people ever
In the history of mankind
It’s our right
We deserve it
I won the election
It was perfect
Perfect like
The letter
The call to Ukraine
You know
Perfect like never before

Don’t be sorry:
When
The unthinkable happens
The sea thaws in silence

Ferocious as a tornado
In a silent movie
It swallows down the ship
A hundred thousand people die
Right in front of your eyes
But this is fake reality to you

For each dead person
A hundred thousand pairs of eyes cry
They shed tears
Enough to raise the sea level by
A hundred thousand millimeters
A hundred thousand more
People are going to die
We are all going to perish

Your eyes are dry
You are so stupid
Your brains are so dry-iced
You don’t know
How to cry

Your brains cannot see
That
The solution is
Noah’s ark
The drawings are here
So are the engineers
There is a bit of time yet
Teach people how to swim
Build boats
Train sailors

Your brains are so dry-iced
Your hearing capacity
Is impaired
You cannot listen to reason
When you speak
Your speech spews
Sounds of cracking
Contaminated
Dry-ice that forms your brain …
(Continued in the book Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories)

END
©Simon Chilembo, 01/ 05- 2020

Simon Chilembo
Oslo
Norway
Telephone: +4792525032
NB:
Deadliest day, USA – https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/02/who-us-just-reported-deadliest-day-for-coronavirus.html (Total, 02/ 05- 2020: 65,173)
See also: “US coronavirus death toll surpasses 100,000,” https://youtu.be/CVLpAMlaoM8 

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

Production management.

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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

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

©Simon Chilembo 2020
Project management

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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

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

©Simon Chilembo 2020

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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

MGEU, FOOTBALL SUPER STAR

MOYA NKHABU: TRIBUTE TO A ROLE MODEL

Growing up in the old, subdued black South Africa, I could never see myself playing serious football in a formal club setting. From the point of view of personal drive, the game has never charmed me that way. I could never say whether or not my lack of success as a junior street football player was due to being untalented, or simply that my passion was never aroused strongly enough. I’m inclined to suspect the latter.

Moya

©Simon Chilembo 2018. 2006/7, with Abel Nkhabu, a.k.a. Moya, Mgeu, legendary pioneer South African professional football player. Family friend, mentor.

 

In the old, apartheid South Africa days, football talent groomed itself, and thrived on the township streets, and rural playing fields. It was raw, pure, and ecstatic. Paradoxically, it provided spaces for all the joys of a free childhood in a then tyrannical state. Moreover, my childhood street football reality provided escape from the attendant ills of poverty in many a black South African home: all round domestic violence, woman and child sexual abuse.

Like most South African township boy children, I imagine that the first expression of my active physical power, from the time I managed to stand up, balance, and walk, was probably to kick at something. I have been kicking for as long as I can remember. Ball control, reading the game, and stopping opponents from scoring against my street team were my forte.

Dribbling was never my inclination. But, I recall, even the very best of our dribblers during my street football active years, up to age 12 years old, knew well not to fool around with the ball around me. If I had any football talent at all, it shone brightest whenever we opted to play a rather rough version of the game. Often, if it’s genuine street culture, it has to be rough; it has to be tough, it has to break all the rules, like Rock & Roll.

Here, the object was not to score goals, but for the competing teams to incapacitate each other’s players until there was only one young man standing, with the ball. If the one team totally demolished the other, the winning team’s members went for one another, then. Thus, the last man standing outcome. It gave an unforgettable, ego-boosting adrenaline rush. Great, great fun, it was.

In this brutal game, we had to be subtle, but extremely effective. That was so that if any adults were watching us play, they wouldn’t understand that we were, actually, out to deliberately injure one another. A strict rule was “no ball, no attack”; meaning that we went for one another only to the extent that one side had ball possession. And, direct kicks to the legs above the ankle were not allowed.

The idea was to “slice”, or “chop” each other’s legs at the ankles, much like Karate players execute the devastating leg sweeping technique called “Ashi barai”. Serious injuries, necessitating hospitalization, often occurred here. I never got injured. Several casualties have pointed to me, though. In action, I can be light and quick on my feet. I developed this ability from this dangerous kind of football playing. I would, later, take the skill with me to Karate. Fifty years on, I’m still standing, rocking as if there’ll be no end to my rolling life. Truth is, I want to live forever. I am a dreamer, and so shall it be.

My street football career was much fun, whilst it lasted. It gave me lasting valuable life lessons, as well: street survival alertness (“Tsotsis”, violent street hustlers, didn’t play football!), and fierce competitive spirit, or killer instinct cultivation. Street football also afforded me the first real taste of leadership, going into puberty and subsequent young manhood. The leadership trial run would reward me with just as premier and unforgettable taste of the thrill of victory. That owing to the coaching my impromptu leadership role empowered me to do with my team, one day.

A team had challenged us from another part of our township, Thabong Location, Welkom. Our challengers were notorious for severely beating up their opponents when they, the former, lost matches. These guys were a little older than us, and they had some of their neighbourhood supporters following them everywhere they went. Our team, on the other hand, was, usually, an ad hoc affair. It spontaneously organized itself around whoever was available on our street, and wished to play, there and then.

Unfortunately, on the day of the challenge, whereas we had more than what we needed of potential players, no one wished to play. All were afraid of getting beaten up by the visitors, in the event of the latter’s loss against us. The problem was that the visitors were still going to be violent if we chose not to play. These guys, the challengers, were crazy: when they won, they still beat up the opponents, if only to teach the losers not mess with the bad guys! So, either way, we were in trouble. Catch 22.

I do not seem to recall what led to my team prodding me for a solution to the dilemma we were in. They even decided that I should be the team captain for the day. Because I had already started training boxing by then, a thought struck me that if I made my team believe we were strong as individuals and as a collective, we could win in such a way that the bad guys wouldn’t want to fight us afterwards.

How? Let’s wear them out, whilst we remain strong all the way, throughout the match. How? Let’s do what nobody else did at that time: do a pre-match, team spirit enhancing jogging and calisthenics session! It’s called warming-up these days. Doing that would also give us a psychological edge over the opponents. It worked like magic.

My team played with the intensity and unity of purpose that we had never thought were possible before. In my head, I still vividly see replays of the match to this day. Playing on what we, then, called the “12 hurra!” principle, we beat the bad guys 12-0. The loss, combined with my team’s upbeat, super confident mood, overwhelmed the bad guys so much that they left our zone running as if they had just seen snakes, or some scary monsters like that. Eventually transferred into Karate, I have enormously enjoyed sports leadership and coaching since. I’ve won, I’ve lost. I’ve been stupid, I’ve been wise. I’ve made friends, I’ve lost friends. I’m here. I live. I love.

Adult club football was a different ball game altogether. I enjoyed watching this, not so much for the thrill of the game, but out of the fascination I had for those players that stood out as the best in the game, regardless of position played. The fascination was about the aura these guys seemed to carry, both on and off the field. They seemed to be ever so strong and happy.

It’s always been a great fascination for me as to how men, and women these days, running after, and with a ball could, at the same time, induce so much euphoria amongst the spectators. Off the field, the super star players seemed to wield so much power that it appeared, for me then, as if they could be rulers of the world. That was despite the fact that I, at that time, I had no real clue as to how gigantic and complex the world really was. They had all the beautiful girls. Attendant hyper fornication scandals I didn’t care much about. Rock & Roll is what it is: you burn, you burn. If the highway to hell is short, let it be. I’ll talk to Mother Mary another time.

One of those super star players was Abel Nkhabu, a.k.a. Moya, or Mgeu, late, 2017. May his soul rest in peace. I first came to personally know, and look up to him in the years 1972-74. Looking back, I like to think that, actually, this man was my first real-life, non-family Super Hero. He seemed larger than life, and, yet, he could touch me, ask me about my wellbeing, and encourage me to be good at school always.

There were also some of Mgeu’s generation of original black South African football mega stars around. By status, they were bigger than him by far; they have remained so, and are, today, living legends in their own rights. I still look at them with awe; still getting that tingling sensation in my hands and feet I used to get at their sight, on and off the pitch, in my early teens.

These men, in various capacities at club and national association levels, continue to steer modern South African football. They are doing so with the same inspirational class I recall from the early 1970s. In them, I still see hope for this troubled land of my birth, South Africa. However, these men are still far away from my immediate spaces. They have yet to touch me like Mgeu did. A consolation, though, is that, in my eyes, they carry on his spirit, and that of numerous other giants of the pre-1994 South African football scene.

Much of my desire to defy and beat the odds in order to succeed in life, be a super star, and live forever, is owing to these men of wonder in the history and development of this land. There is more to football than just seemingly mad twenty-two men chasing a ball around a stupid rectangular space limiting their freedom to run away with it, the ball.

Inspired by the big and strong, unbeatable Hercules in the bioscope, I liked making leather wristbands for my friends, my lebandla, my street gang, and me. The finest I ever made was of some fine, thick, nicely patterned leather piece from one of my mother’s old handbags. Mgeu liked that wristband so much that he borrowed it for a while. He wore it on several big matches he played, with Welkom Real Hearts FC.

Monna, dude, I, actually, feel stronger and more courageous when I’m wearing this band. And, you, know, the other thing is that people on the field get afraid of me, believing that the band is a fortifying juju gear. I like it very much!”

I refused Mgeu’s offer to buy the wristband. Of course, I was taken by the symbolic power effect it had on him. I wanted to have the power too. When he, eventually, gave the wristband back to me, he was overwhelmingly effusive. An ordinary older South African man would have bullied me and kept it, anyway. Mgeu’s return of the band permanently cemented the bond that we already had. Before that, no other adult man had ever shown me that kind of respect for my personal integrity. It was gratifying for me to find that there, in fact, were still some grown up men one could trust.

As first-born child in my family, I was raised to love, protect, and support my younger siblings, that as a matter of course. My general love for children and youth derives from my upbringing values. From the time I became aware of my sibling position and role in the family, fondness and caring for those younger than me, to beyond my home, was something one just did without question. It was something I never put much thought to, even.

My younger, and last-born sibling, Lucy Dintletse’s birth, in 1974, brought the real intensity of my love for children to my consciousness for the first time. Lucy’s affectionate family nickname is Sonono, often shortened to Sono. The very nearly nine years of her life would thrust the love to heights I have yet to fathom. MHSRIP.

Sono1974

©Simon Chilembo 2018. Sono’s Catholic baptism day celebration, June, 1974. Our maternal grandmother, Auma, there. My powerful women. MTSRIP, Sono (1983); Auma (2004)

I see Sono in every child of the world. Whenever I see children of the world suffer under mankind’s proclivity to wars in outrageously vain attempts to impose peace upon one another, her sweet face emerges above the misery I see; the pain, the hopelessness I feel. And, then, faith that, someday, we gonna be alright, is rekindled. Through every child whose life I touch wherever I am in the world at any one time, my steadfast hope and wish are that, one day, these children will grow up to be conduits of love and peace for all mankind.

Mgeu was one of the pioneering black professional football players in South Africa, in the early 1970s. He made a dashing and influential figure, to his grave. His entire life, he was fiercely anti-apartheid and black people’s oppression. From Mgeu, I learnt that a man could be big and strong as a super star, but he could still have time and energy to engage positively with children and youth. This has remained one of the key defining moments of my life.

Whereas my father remains the formidable force behind my formal dressing taste, my smart-casual dressing style has heavy Mgeu undertones. My father was laid to rest twenty years ago today, July 04, 2018. MHSRIP. I remember him with immense love with this article too: my father, the finest of gentlemen, my hero; the original Machona – (the) Emigrant, the traveller, the gypsy from the warriors of love mystics of my Tumbuka people, Eastern Province, Zambia. If you jump into Malawi, Tanzania, and, partly, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), you’ll land into the midst of the extended empire of my people.

The original Chilembo Warriors

©Simon Chilembo 2018. With Big Daddy Cool, Sir E L W Chilembo. Pappa’s picture taken on my 21st birthday celebration party, June, 1981.

The one quality I’ve not quite been able to grasp, though, is the phenomenal “Ladies’ Man” tag Mgeu proudly carried to the very end. If we meet up again on the other side, I should ask him for specific coaching on this one; assuming that there’ll still be ladies abundance when I arrive there. But then again, we might find that the ladies on the other side are more work than what I have down here on earth. Nnnahhh, we let this one pass.

In the presence of Mgeu, I’d always feel like a 12-14 year old boy, if not even younger. In the photo accompanying this piece, we are meeting up soon after I had arrived in Welkom, from Norway, Christmas time, 2006/7. You know that sweet, loving feeling you get when you are with your favourite uncle, I had it at the time the photo was being taken; I’m feeling it as I write this article, at this very moment. Thanks, football, for one of the most significant men in my life!

I was fortunate enough to have had a few good men to relate to during my formative years. Many of those that were not so nice to me never lived to see the close of the 1970s. Good riddance. A lot of these not-so-nice men were generally unkind to youngsters. It’s just as well that longevity was never to be their gig. Morons!

In my dealings with children and youth, I endeavour to be, at least, as good as those adult males that have, each in their own special ways, contributed to my being the mad energy bundle that I am, now as a fully grown adult myself. I have never been able to think of a better way to express my deep felt gratitude for the presence of good men in mine, and other children’s lives.

In the early 1970s, Mgeu, together with a host of other first generation of black professional football players were organized under the auspices of the then National Professional Soccer League (NPSL). In my forthcoming 6th book, 4th novel*, read how these transformed the lives of the black people of South Africa, at a time when the then South African apartheid regime was at its most venomous. The NPSL effect is played out around a particular family’s life in Thabong, Welkom. Watch this space for more information about the impending book release. Coming soon!

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
July 04, 2018
Tel.: +4792525032
*MACHONA MOTHER – Shebeen Queen