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38 YEARS AN EXILE: XX

HOME AT LAST! Part 20
SOUTH AFRICA AFRO-XENOPHOBIA – WHEN BUSINESS DIES …

©Simon Chilembo, 2014

©Simon Chilembo, 2014

My younger sister is angry. Very angry. She’s extremely bitter. She hurts so very much. She’s so angry, if the new-on-the-block business rivals knew, if they had any empathy at all, they’d either leave town, or better, listen to the extreme dissatisfaction my younger sister has over their unfair and dubious business practices.

My younger sister is not alone. But, they, the new-on-the-block business rivals, don’t seem to care. The relative peace and stability of the post-1994 democratic South Africa allows them to exercise extreme forms of arrogance and insensitivity to their South African business competitors; family mothers, family fathers … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon).

Simon Chilembo
Welkom
South Africa
April 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 and admiration 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 This, for purposes of only this writing, from the point of view of family and social relations dynamics that are outdated, and have remained static since the onset of European domination and subsequent colonialism from towards the close of the Middle Ages in the 14-15th Centuries.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
April 05-08, 2015

38 YEARS AN EXILE: XVII

HOME AT LAST! Part 17
WEALTH MANAGEMENT IN THE DIASPORA

Simon Chilembo, Pres/ CEO, Empire Chilembo
For an ordinary Diasporant with humble origins from their motherlands, with no history of family wealth accumulation over time and, therefore, not born with silver spoons in their mouths; as well as not having been raised with soft pillows under their wings by virtue of family status, influence, privileges, and power, the Diaspora can present unprecedentedly huge opportunities to earn money, create, build, and sustain wealth … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon).

Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
March 24, 2015

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

38 YEARS AN EXILE: VI

HOME AT LAST! Part 6

20-YEAR-OLD SOUTH AFRICA’ STORY
General Elections 2014

Putting the record straight once again: I am very happy with who and what I am. I would be as nasty to my people about their weirdness and things had I been yellow, pink, white, or magenta. It wouldn’t matter whether I was born in Nogonakarabash (don’t know where or what that is), Uoagadougou, North South Dakota, or Ås. Trash is trash anywhere. My background includes being an ANC child to the core.

Predator Boss

Sub-Saharan Africa is a great place to be. All predators know this. With very little or no effort at all, there will always be something, or someone to eat. Nature has, on the whole, been very kind and generous to this strange part of the world. Abundance everywhere. Occasionally, nature gets weary too … (Continued in the book: MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter. Order book on Amazon).


Simon Chilembo
Riebeeckstad
Welkom
South Africa
Telephone: +4792525032
May 05, 2014

PROBLEMS, PROBLEMS!

SIMON CHILEMBO FOR PRESIDENT! Part 2

“Simon, Simon, I know you all 30 years of Oslo and everything about you is problems, problems, problems, … Simon, please, Bello, can you not just for one day, today, have no problems, please. Problems, give me problems every day. I get a headache. NO PROBLEMS, PLEASE!!! I beg you, Simon, Sensei!” my first Norwegian friend, and Brother, Mimmo (72), Italian, would often cry in frustration. And we’d then go out and eat pasta, pizza, tiramisu; drink red wine and espresso, and live happily ever after, sharing our fantasies about good fortunes, women, as well as our frustrations about Karate politics in Norway and all over the world.

SONY DSC The root cause of all my problems is that I do not have a rich and generous uncle I can cry on to and, voila, I live happily ever after. I have problems. Big problems. Serious problems:

  • Across the street in front of my house there is a piece of prime land I want to buy. Here, I can build a modern open-air training and art park for the community. Promoting Health & Wellness principles and attitudes for a healthy, strong, and productive nation. But I’m broke
  • I need to pave up the space in front of my house, not only for aesthetic purposes, but that would further stabilise the earth around the house. Broke.
  • There is an urgent need to fence off the yard to the street. More for privacy needs than security. Broke.
  • Lots of repair and upgrading work to do around the house. No deal. Broke.
  • I need some classy interior decoration job for the house. No deal. Broke.
  • I need to make the house a green one, with solar energy panels and all, as well as own water borehole. No deal. Broke.
  • I must have super high speed ADSL connection here. No deal. Broke.
  • A swimming pool is needed too, so is a billiard room, private gym, as well as a private study/ library. No deal. Broke.
  • No Maserati. No Mercedes. No Maybach. Not even a Mahindra workhorse van. Broke.
  • Future mother of my children taking her time to find me. The house is too big for one man.
  • I have produced too much food in my new garden. Abundance everywhere in suburbia. Problems, problems.

Never ending wars in Africa. African people made destitute in their own lands. African people hungry, dirty, maimed, sick, miserable, broken. African people die without dignity; no honour. Hungry child_1.jpgThere is that picture of a vulture waiting for an emaciated body of a child to die. African humanity crushed. African earth carries so much unholy rot. And to think that we eat of the soil of this rotten earth!

“But, no, Simon, the oil give it shine; gold and diamonds give it glitter. African blood, flesh, and bones precious, see? They don’t call it the Blood Diamonds for nothing, yes?” I hear an army General whisper in my ear as someone applies electric shock to my testicles.

And African poets sing, “Oh, how we love you, Mother Africa!” Gawd!

Ever a thin thread of hope left, though. In extreme times, a thread of grass, a drop of water can take one very, very far. Beaten African people cross the Sahara on barefoot. Nature is more sensible than we often realize. When people are as badly crushed as African people on the run from miseries of tyranny and wars, even the sun gets no thrills out of burning them alive in the middle of the deserts. Others will deal with them more efficiently.

If you can’t get your hands on the African oilfields, the blood diamonds and gold (platinum is Marikana, and that’s another story), there is bounty of poor, desperate African people on the run across the Sahara. Here, there is everything for everybody. Unknowingly, these acutely abused and misused African people will even buy passports to die out at sea when then sun spared their lives in the deserts. Makes me wonder what the fish of the waters between African inhumanity and the lands of hope and perceived better life beyond, think of Africa and Africans. What would happen were the Nile to reverse its course?

I have problems. Big problems. Serious problems. Solution? Well:

Simon Chilembo
Welkom
South Africa
Tel: +27 717 454 115
December 28, 2013

RICH? POOR? POOR! – THE (SOUTH) AFRICAN CONDITION

UNDERSTANDING (SOUTH) AFRICAN INTER-PERSONAL POWER RELATIONS DYNAMICS, Part 1

©Simon Chilembo, 2013

In India I met a 16 year-old boy. Full of life. Looking very fit and healthy. Strong. Centre of attraction. My kinda youngster. After out-dancing him at a wedding party of a mutual friend, he kept asking, “WHO is this old guy? WHERE is he from? WHAT does he do?” I was 42 years old then.

My own queries led me to know that the boy was the youngest member of a large family. Despite his very strong presence and all, he was semi-literate. How come? He doesn’t go to school. How so? He doesn’t want to; he prefers to spend his days in the gym, and he trains a lot of Karate too. Maybe you should talk to him, Simon. Sure!

“I have never seen the point of wasting my time going to school because I’ll never suffer even if I don’t become a Doctor. My family is extremely wealthy, you see. As things are already, I own more than half of the vast family estate. But I’m not entitled to use it now, until a certain age. When you come back my uncle will build you a Karate school, and I’ll tell you more things. …”
I never went back … (Continued in the book: MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)


Simon Chilembo
Oslo
Norway
June 28, 2013