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A FATHER IS GONE

REMEMBERING A SENIOR WARRIOR:
SVEIN SØRLIE 

It is almost two weeks since Svein Sørlie died on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 in Norway. He shall be buried on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. I believe that wherever his soul is in the grander universe, it is thriving in the best conditions of the afterlife; resting in peace, hopefully. There is no rest for the hearts of gold. Gold is forever; larger than life. Such was Svein Sørlie as I knew him, feeling as if it had been all my life.

STrl

©Toril Sørlie 2017

Svein Sørlie: my student, my friend, my mentor, my protector. In time, he grew to represent a formidable father figure for me as I strove to curve a space of my own in a land that is not of my forefathers, Norway. With his death, it feels like a large chunk of Norway has just been ripped off my heart. The hurt I feel is profound.

I have known Svein, since March, 1989. During much of this time, I’ve watched with awe how he would ever so elegantly balance, sometimes in one and the same space, the role of a father, grandfather, brother, uncle, lover, in-law, friend, teacher, student, colleague, citizen, and community member. I could never get enough of the warmth and love that, on the one hand, Svein exuded, and received, on the other.

SKLM

©Toril Sørlie 2017

It did not matter whether we were in Norway, or travelling in Greece or the UK; he was ever so easy to get along with. I guess it had to do with the aura of humility and compassion he radiated, long before he would open his mouth to greet people, and introduce himself to strangers.

Winter, spring, summer, or fall; dojo, camping, competitions, seminars, party, home, city centre, beach, everywhere: Svein Sørlie was the ever green, the ever wonderful. An IT expert, a former naval officer, and Judo adept, he was a knowledgeable and wise man; a man of the world. His terrific sense of humour made it a joy to talk with him about many subjects of common interest, any time.

On Wednesday, March 29, 1989, Anne-Britt Nilsen helped me arrange and host a public meeting to introduce Karate in the local community of Blåbærstien, Nesoddtangen. I was accompanied by my first ever Norwegian Karate student, Knut Arild Midtbø, who I had already started to train in Oslo since October, 1988. He would translate my message, since I hardly spoke a word of Norwegian, then.

In a packed, rather small community hall, the reception we received was mixture of curiosity, enthusiasm, scepticism, and outright hostility. During an altercation between my assistant, Knut, and a man who was totally against our mission in his neighbourhood, my eyes fell on a bespectacled older man. A little girl was sitting and playing at his feet. As our eyes met, the man gave me a gentle, reassuring smile; I thought the look on his face told me something like, “Never mind him!”

The friendly man was Svein Sørlie, and the little girl was his youngest child and daughter, Toril. For the next ten years or so, the Svein-Toril family duo would be the heart-beat of Blåbærstien Karate Klubb, now Nesodden Karateklubb. It was such that at a time when I had to make one of the most decisive choices in my life, I weighed my options against, amongst others, the joint pillar of strength Svein and Toril jointly represented for me in the club, if not the country Norway … (Continued in the book: MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)


Simon Chilembo
Welkom
South Africa
Telephone: +27813185271
August 28, 2017

 

WHEN FRIENDSHIP DIES

FRIENDSHIP RULES

SONY DSC

©Simon Chilembo 2017

Thinking about it as a grown up man, I’ve found that in my social interactions at all levels, I am driven by only two concepts: fairness and justness. The thesaurus lists the two as synonymous. Operationally, though, I take the liberty of applying “fairness” in relation to the good-bad duality; and “justness” to that of right-wrong.

I postulate, therefore, that if it is fair, it is good. It is uplifting. It is praiseworthy.
If it is unfair, it is bad. It is devious. It is condemnable.

If it is just, it is right. It is life supporting. It is revered.
If it is unjust, it is wrong. It is destructive. It is punishable.

When it comes to my friends, I have found fairness playing itself out in how they have accepted me in the way that I am. They have also allowed me to open doors into my life for them, equally accepting them for what and how they are. With the very closest of my friends, the mutuality of respect for one another’s strengths and fallibilities keeps me awake at night some times. It fills me with ever so much joy.

I have found justness playing itself out in hard times, especially.

It is the constant awareness of inter-personal fairness that keeps the love for my friends alive. Fairness constantly sensitizes me to elements of respect, tolerance, and moral codes cementing our friendship. These elements then extend to form the core of the interplay of justness as we all face and seek to overcome the intrinsic daily challenges of life, working either individually or collectively … (Continued in the book: MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)


Simon Chilembo
Welkom
South Africa
Tel.: +4792525032
June 16, 2017

MONEY ILLUSIONS

MEANING OF WEALTH

In material terms, wealth is the individual or collective accumulation of assets over time. In the context of this article, assets are items of value against which, in modern economic systems, monetary worth may be attached. These items may include land, structures built upon it, contents thereof and their applications towards management and accumulation of more wealth. They may also include objects perceived to be aesthetically precious, such as gold, diamond, pearls, and works of art of all kinds.

SONY DSC

©Simon Chilembo 2017

Other items of value may be ownership of stock in business enterprises, and possession of hard transactional cash both outside and inside the banking system. A summation of all the mentioned gives total wealth of the individual, organization, or nation concerned. When liabilities are subtracted, a net worth is derived. The higher the net worth of an entity, the wealthier they are.

In principle, material wealth ought to facilitate acquisition and provision of life’s basic needs and wants, and much more, for those in possession and management of it. When this happens, a state of opulence has been attained. The wealthy, i.e. possessors of net positive wealth, are defined as such because their wealth gives them almost unlimited possibilities to access and acquire as their needs, wants, and demands dictate. This is manifestation of power. As to the judiciousness of the wealthy’s use of power in society is another discussion outside the scope of this presentation.

Genuine wealth is, by definition, a functionally non-static concept eroded over time. A state of poverty is reached upon when time has, for any reason, eliminated the symbols of, and access to wealth and the benefits thereof accruing for the formerly wealthy.

Wealth is regenerative, self-sustaining, and seeks to perpetuate itself indefinitely, to the extent that natural and social forces permit. Social forces referring here to the mechanisms through which society is organized politically, economically, and culturally. The essence of wealth is growth, that with reference to quantitative and qualitative aspects of existence, for both the individual and society. This denotes progress, leading to overall societal development.

At my age, 57 years old, I have reached a stage in life where, with a mixture of wonder and sadness, I have watched my contemporaries go through the most amazing transformations in life. Some have died; others are dead-people-walking with terminal diseases, or pursuing life-style choices slowly but surely sucking the lives out of them. There are those who have lost, and are losing their loved ones in the same fashion.

Many others have been married and divorced at least once. A few have found more fulfilling lives after divorce. Others have lost their children and everything they had owned, including self-control contra temptations of the world. The latter lead miserable lives of constant searches for ever non-gratifying pleasures of life, also dying slowly inside.

Some of them have, with varying degrees of success, even been on the suicide path more than once before. Watching them go by their tragic lives, every day is like on a tick-tock-tick-tock time bomb rhythm. When the lethal explosion finally comes, I hope it’ll find each one alone in each their valleys of death. I hope further that they will finally find peace on the other side, if the other side does exist at all … (Continued in the book: MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)


Simon Chilembo

Welkom
South Africa
Tel.: +27 81318 5271
June 15, 2017

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: XXIII

HOME AT LAST! Part 23
WALOBA AWARD 2015
Diaspora Friendship, Brotherly Love Celebration

Anele Malumo, WA2015 ©Simon Chilembo, 2015

Anele Malumo, Waloba Award 2015
©Simon Chilembo, 2015

To introduce the recipient of Waloba Award 2015, I take the liberty of reproducing an edited version of my speech to him on his 50th birthday earlier in 2015:

  • You don’t know what it’s like
    To love somebody
    To love a Brother
    The way I love you …
  • Modern, enlightened, liberated men happily declare their love for one another openly even if their love is not of a physically intimate nature. Some call it Bromance. In any case, in South Africa, land of the free, home of the brave, people love who they love, as provided for, and enshrined in the constitution of the land.
  • I’ve heard it said somewhere that if you are not grown up yet by age 50, forget it, you’ll never grow up … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon).

Simon Chilembo
Welkom
South Africa
June 26, 2015

38 YEARS AN EXILE: XIX

HOME AT LAST! Part 19 SOUTH AFRICA AFROXENOPHOBIA – The Myths

Simon Chilembo, CEO/ President

Simon Chilembo, CEO/ President ©Simon Chilembo 2015

Regarding the renewed, more grave, xenophobic violence rocking major cities of the land at the moment, on the ground, enlightened and critically thinking South Africans know that there is more to South Africans’ apparent envy  over foreign nationals’ business acumen, as well as their apparent resultant financial success. There aren’t many social interaction spaces as revelatory of the true colours of individual and collective human behaviour and attitudes as in places of trade, market places. It’s only natural, therefore, that when shit hits the fan, as is the case with the current xenophobic hassle in South Africa, it will be in and around retail business outlets … (Continued in the book: MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter. Order book on Amazon).

Simon Chilembo
Welkom
South Africa
Tel.: +4792525032
April 18, 2015

38 YEARS AN EXILE: IX

HOME AT LAST! Part 9
WALOBA AWARD 2014

E L W Chilembo, S Chilembo

E L W Chilembo, S Chilembo

My father the original exile, Mr Elias Lazarus Waloba Chilembo, would have turned 83 years old on Wednesday, November 19, 2014. When the pangs of British colonialism induced poverty were too much to bear, he, like his own father before, Waloba The First, trekked from our remote village in Eastern Zambia, to South Africa in search of greener pastures. This was soon after the end of World War II, in 1947. Four years later his mother died. He came back home to bury her. As per clan norms among my people, he being the eldest offspring in my grandmother’s house, Pappa should have stayed on to help Waloba The First look after his large, polygamous family. But no, he preferred to go back to exile in South Africa, where he would firmly plant his own roots in the land of diamonds and gold by eventually getting married, and establishing a family … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon).

 

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
November 20, 2014