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Unilateral Tug of War
Just in terms of numbers, South Africa and Zambia cannot be equated. Of course. The former outstrips the latter by far: from territorial boundaries dimensions, population sizes and overall demographics, natural resources endowment, optimal economic potential and actual performance, to military power. Numbers don’t lie.
It goes without saying, therefore, that at any one time, any one variable or all highlighted above considered, South Africa will, in real terms, be a much more complex society relative to Zambia. Meaning that politics in South Africa will, correspondingly, be a more challenging enterprise for those involved in the national political leadership arena, whether in ruling power or in the opposition.
Needless to say that there are, indeed, countries smaller than even Zambia, but happen to have much more intricate political intrigues than South Africa. Another time and another place for the last observation raised.
A simple Google search will either confirm or debunk my assertions above, much as it will do with many of my postulations throughout this presentation.
Politics is the science of government. Government is the collective of institutions, including their constituent leaderships and functional personnel. They are created to enforce societal progress rules and policies that are arrived upon by the representatives of the body politic.
The government, or the state, will often reflect the interests of the dominant political parties. However, through corruption and greed, the dominant, ruling political parties may themselves be subtly steered by peripheral influential, manipulative economic forces. These may either be local or international actors, if not a combination of both. In South Africa, the concept called “State Capture” describes the collusion between the powerful economic elite and the government.
Notwithstanding the “State Capture” phenomenon, the interests of the respective political parties are often shaped and differentiated by their cardinal ideologies. An ideology is the summation of ideas based on theories and policies of political and economic engineering of society.
Ideologies are applied in varying ways to indoctrinate particular societies to address and find solutions to existential questions and challenges in certain pre-determined, and non-variable methods. Therefore, ideologies are not only critical for shaping individual countries’ internal living conditions, they also influence individual countries’ international relations premises; i.e. which countries will have mutually cordial diplomatic relations with one another, which supranational institutions the countries will be members of, which international solidarity causes countries will engage in and at what cost, etc.
In contemporary times, historical factors leading to the creation of specific nations often contribute to the kind of ideology adopted, developed, or redefined to suit local conditions. A nation’s wealth, often with particular reference to its relative strategic significance to the major economic and political nations and power blocs in the world, will also have a bearing on the nature of the dominant ideology. A subservient country’s geographical location on the globe can further add to, or reduce its strategic value.
At any one time, a quick reality check will show that relatively newer and smaller nations with both perceived and real strategic importance to the major political and economic giant nations, e.g. the industrialized Western world, have a hard time determining their own, sovereign national ideologies.
Old ties bind some of these emergent states with their former colonial masters from the Western world. Others will be held in infinite indebtedness to comrade states from the Eastern socialist, or communistic countries that helped in their liberation struggles for independence.
It is in the light of all the above that I choose to look at the comparative legacies of Nelson Mandela of South Africa, and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia. Comparative because of the many critics of Nelson Mandela, who, in my view is unfairly battered in relation to the critics’ view of to whom real Southern African statesmanship ought to be accorded contra Kenneth Kaunda’s legacy too. I specifically address myself to Zambian critics.
Before I proceed, I wish to make a few salient personal points:
- I must declare that this is a non-solicited presentation. It is only an outcome of the involuntary workings of my critical thinking mind and its creative processes. It is my subjective, free world intellectual response to the foul anti-Mandela vis-à-vis Kaunda sentiments I have seen expressed in the various social media platforms, particularly Facebook, for many years. It is not my goal to want to be malicious against anybody. Neither is it my intention to seek or expect approval, favours, or rewards from anybody.
This is an honest, independent expression of my thoughts and feelings with nothing but the very best of intentions. All this is done with the utmost respect both for Mandela and Kaunda, their respective families, and their followers through their respective foundations and other fora … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It”. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)
February 13, 2018
1. What spurs a nation or a people to attain heights of development?
2. Is it a collective that is the main driver or a leader with “Intrinsic Motivation”
The article below is motivated by Mr Fisho Mwale. It arose from a Facebook interaction yesterday, Thursday, January 08, 2018. I was one of the respondents to his posting, “BUSINESS IDEAS”. In it, he referred to his personal family experiences to highlight some cultural impediments towards following up emergent business opportunities in our society.
Mr Fisho Mwale, summarizing his bone of contention, wrote, “Sometimes out of the box great business ideas do not work due to many factors such as timing, cultural values and lack of guts. You have to believe in your ideas and it’s important to get ‘buy in’.”
In agreement with him, I responded:
“… Great real-life entrepreneurial development case study material, …. Thanks for the insights, Sir! I wish to also add lack of what I call “Intrinsic Motivation” to the list of factors inhibiting follow-throughs to great business ideas and, indeed, opportunities arising from given circumstances.
“Intrinsic Motivation is an active killer-instinct driven desire and determination to achieve set goals, and beyond. That arising, perhaps, from chance opportunities, or those created in response to certain apparent societal, if not bigger natural conditions and/ needs. E.g. the cholera epidemic mentioned above. It works independent of external deliberate or unintended hindrances, and is often a profoundly personal journey. Seen from the outside, people in “Intrinsic Motivation” mode can appear to be selfish, reckless, one-track-minded, and defiant, amongst other negative personal attributes.
“This kind of motivation is ignited by desperate survival need circumstances too, if not a pure natural curiosity state of being. When pushed against the wall, without any possible manoeuvre or exit, fearless, “thrill-seeker”-type-people with strong wills to live will find the most ingenious ways to survive: creativity kindled to find the most unconventional solutions that could be developed into business models, subsequently.
I believe that we have to teach ourselves to be hungry enough, curious enough, and afraid enough to ignite our “Intrinsic Motivations” in order that they, pushing the continuum farther, ignite the killer-instinct guts necessary to get us to see things through, no matter the odds. It is a mind, attitude thing, really. Doable.”
The reply from Mr Fisho Mwale was gracious. He concluded by throwing me a challenge, “Thank you and I would love for you to expand more and discuss it from a National context …”
The latter got “… my Intrinsic Motivation to find, and engage with like-minded people about national development issues, plus possible solutions …” to shoot to the roof.
DEVELOPMENT: Attainment, Nurture, Sustenance.
In Social Science, the concept of Development is defined in terms of upward qualitative and quantitative transformation of society over time. Operationally, it means that from society’s observable benefits of this positive change, people will reflect higher and enduring frequencies of subjective states of contentment, hope, and belief in an ever bright future for all.
This state of affairs will be a manifestation of societies ability to provide for all the people’s basic short-term and long-term needs and wants for successful living from day-to-day, all their days: food, shelter, health, education, security, and more. Abundance is when society has a constant surplus of all the resources that are necessary to ensure that the people’s contentment levels do not dramatically spiral downwards in cases of natural calamities, wars, and, especially, population growth in time.
The objective side of Development is, therefore, operationally seen in the growth, in sheer numbers and magnitudes, of material and service values of all the tangible and intangible aspects of societal management towards lasting prosperity attainment. Herein come elements of:
- Infrastructure – water reservoirs, food production facilities (agricultural land, food processing plants, etc), housing, roads, hospitals, schools, power stations and grids, telecommunications, and others.
- Services – the entire spectrum of social amenities and necessary operational personnel across the board (health workers, engineers and other scientists, entrepreneurs, R&D, and many more), national security (police, military), including culture, i.e. the whole possibilities field of the creative arts.
- Longevity – In sustained development states, short of mortal accidents of all kinds, under variable circumstances, people tend to live into ripe old ages. Absence of private and societal want, as well as a general sense and state of well-being in society tend to have a life prolonging effect on the people: resilience against various life-threatening illnesses, and ever improving medical treatments of the same.
Because Development is about growth, and is forward-looking, it can be encapsulated in the concept of progress. This means that stages of development can be measured, and isolated in terms of space and time. Viewed in this regard, it ought to be understandable that Development entails a rise in complications of societal management and administration.
In the context of this presentation, management is about the allocation of resources in appropriate quantities to relevant material and service needs in developmental work. Administration, then, sees to it that resources are applied for their originally intended purposes, and according to stipulated rules with regard to predetermined decisive conditions.
Therefore, from the point of definitions above, for Development to succeed, it is imperative that it is spearheaded by people of at least as intellectually and culturally progressive as Development itself is inherently, and necessarily entails on its reality.
“INTRINSIC MOTIVATION” FOR DEVELOPMENT: The Collective? A Leader?
On the one hand, human beings are inherently self-centered as individuals. On the other, because human beings are, actually, also very smart, they realized a long time ago that to survive in an inherently hostile nature, they had to learn to live in collectives. We, as humans against other earthly creatures, owe our position at the top of the food chain to our ability to work together in our necessary efforts to tame aspects of nature for our, yes, Development (-al) needs … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It”. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)
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February 09, 2018
HUMILITY NEVER HURTS
Because I’m, in this posting, addressing myself to psychopaths, I’m going to be linear in my thought expression. I’m going to deliberately make non-substantiated claims. I am not opening a discussion. I only need to let my frustration out. That is because I need to breathe, so that I can continue enjoying the made-to-last freedom and peace of my motherland, South Africa.
But, that does not mean that those strongly wishing to respond are prevented from doing so. There is one condition I demand to be fulfilled, though: substantiation and logically structured, mature presentation of opinions, agreeing with me or not. I shall not tolerate personal attacks and insults. If necessary, I’ll only engage with those whose views I regard to reflect a respectable degree of wisdom and intellectual sophistication, if not substance.
Psychopaths have no sense of right or wrong. Psychopaths have only one view of the world. Psychopaths see and interpret the universe only according to how their faultily wired perceptive and analytical senses relate to impulses emanating from their immediate and distant ecologies. Psychopaths lack empathy.
A fifty-six year old man progressively screws and holds his own country and people to ransom for thirty-seven years. Because he is a psychopath, Mugabe holds on to power even in senility. Wasted at age ninety-three, he continues clinging on to the no longer functional national presidency; totally oblivious to the real danger he personally, not to mention the almost 16.5 million people of Zimbabwe, is, are exposed to. That after a rather long overdue but, thank goodness, well-orchestrated military coup.
The Zimbabwean military intentionally chose not to assassinate Mugabe because of the non-psychopathic nature of the key generals and others involved in the coup, and his subsequent peacefully coerced resignation from power two weeks later. However, in their psychopathic minds, Mugabe and his like-minded have no comprehension of this fact.
Mugabe is finished. Mugabe is a lost cause. It is not worth wasting any more of my little breath left on him. I want to, now, address myself to the 5 million Zimbabweans who escaped from Mugabe’s tyranny to find protection in South Africa. 5 million is the whole population of a country – Norway, for example.
Other common and non-mistakable traits of psychopaths are acute arrogance, lack of respect, and ingratitude towards others, especially the generous, kind, and tolerant. (Originally) utterly desperate refugees from war torn Middle Eastern countries, and beyond, encounter rapidly growing hostilities from ordinary citizens in their Western Europe host countries.
The refugees do not understand how their religious and cultural chauvinism continually feed their hosts’ ill will. They are incapable of appreciating challenges around their own lack of willingness to change and adapt to the dynamics of their new environment. They are psychopaths. Thanks to them, the ultra-right wing wave keeps growing across Europe. Thanks to them, we now have Donald Trump as the most powerful man on earth.
In South Africa, there are Zimbabwean psychopaths who manifest exactly the same tendencies as above. Zimbabwean psychopaths in South Africa go around the country enjoying the very best freedoms and democratic rights no other African country can equal. Yet, the mentally deranged Zimbabweans behave so dishonourably towards their South African hosts it’s disgusting. And, then, naturally, they do not understand where the so-called Afro-phobia violence in the country comes from. Sickening to the core … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It”. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)
November 26, 2017
REMEMBERING A SENIOR WARRIOR:
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.
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.
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)
August 28, 2017
IT CAME TO PASS
It has been one year, one month, three and half weeks since I posted the last blog article. Since then, some of the most predominant happenings in my world are as follows:
- I have written and published my second and third books
▫ Machona – Emigrant
▫ Machona Awakening – Home in Grey Matter
The fourth book manuscript is off to the editor. Working on the final touches of the fifth book. In my head, plot incubation period of the sixth book is over; getting in the works soon.
- My extended writing sabbatical continues. My creative asylum is burning hot with inspiration.
- International Big Business ambitions have burnt me once again. But, I have fallen so many times before that I’ve sustained no scars at all this time. My resilience has never been any higher. I have never been happier. Be it known that I am far from finished. If ever.
- I have made two short visits to Lusaka, Zambia. Met my people. Flesh and bones of my fathers made me ever so happy and proud. Lusaka Karateka gave me a warm welcome; allowed me to rescind my retirement from international Karate practice and teaching with them. Life is good.
- The distances between a few of my old personal relationships have grown wider. One or two old relationships have taken a dive. Good riddance. Breathing has never been easier. I can see clearly now. My soul is free.
- Key old relationships just keep growing stronger. I got more than I asked for here. Gratitude, humility are the names of my game.
- New relationships have only been a blessing. To love and be loved in return is a wonderful thing. Love is the power.
- The UK took Brexit, leaving modern Western civilization shaken to the core. Shocking. International solidarity thrown into the English backyard … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It”. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)
Tel.: +27 81318 5271
June 01, 2017
- From an independent and private position I find it imperative upon, and within incumbent South African President Jacob Zuma’s prerogative to now step down and resign. By that, he will be preserving whatever little honour as a leader and noble citizen of the land he has left. Moreover, he will be saving the country much international diplomacy and business ridicule and embarrassment.
My imploring JZ to step down and resign is inconsequential of whether I like him or not. Manifestation of any lack of respect for an elder and leader in accordance with “… it’s our African culture!” is of no relevance here either. My stand is based on impersonal well-thought out critical thinking leadership principles and philosophy.
- Watching how the once most revered African National Congress/ ANC and its loyal structures defend the indefensible in President Zuma’s already long tarnished beyond repair image and reputation as a national leader is a fascinating endeavour.
It’s like hopelessly watching a woman I dearly love slowly drugging herself to death on a daily basis. With every new temporary abstinence killing shoot, she has gone beyond believing; she deliberately defies logic and reason. She ever irrationally convinces herself in vain that the new shot would be the very last and most decisive to fix and put everything back in place again once and for all. On and on till she drops dead.
Perhaps with death comes freedom from self-deception … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA BLOGS – As I See It”. Order Simon Chilembo books on Amazon)
April 07, 2016
CANNOT BE RIGHT
At this very moment
In Aleppo City of Syria
Have just rained down
In claimed pursuit of Daesh
Little Sarah’s body
Is shred to pieces
Little Abdullah’s body
Is by waves of fire
Charred to ashes
And goes up
With smoke and bloody dusts of war
It’s all hallucinations
If this is his willing
He’s not so great anymore
May the next bomb
Land on us
Please, please, please
They with soundless voices
Wail in agonized helplessness
With tearless ducts like Madiba’s
Wishing there were
Wi-Fi broadband to Allah
At this very moment
In parents’ arms
For Western freedom and peace
At the bed
Of the Mediterranean Sea
The bombs had missed them
Overloaded their escape boat
To breathe under water
More horrified by
The sound of
Tonnes of sea water
Pressing densely into their ears
Than any bombing’s
It’s just as well
Wi-Fi broadband to God
Ever cried under water
At this very moment
I cry with grief
‘Cause I’m broke
As in Bankrupt
Valentine’s Day tomorrow
I’ll lose yet another woman I love
‘Cause I don’t have any money
To call her on the phone
Buy her a romantic present
I don’t have money
To call my mother
To say, ‘I love you!’
For like to Allah
Wi-Fi broadband into my father’s grave
If I had money
I’d call my younger father
To also say, ‘I love you, Dad!’
Old, faded, tattered clothes
On my body
‘Cause I haven’t had any money
To buy new clothes
The start of
The Syrian war
At that time
Somebody said to me
Tsk, tsk, tsk, ignorant you
Conflict is healthy
Conflict is the essence of human progress
And I said to him
Does Assad really think
He’ll ever crush the opposition
The ill-informed wise man
I’m a fool
So, it’s okay
I can stay broke
Till there are
No more people
Till there’s nothing left
To genocide for
For human progress
At this very moment
I cry Europe
Have defied the bombs
Have defied the seas
Have arrived alive
At your shores
Show them what humanity is all about
Independent of what Allah wills
It can’t be right
To deny them
The sweet taste of
Liberty and peace
It can’t be right
That I stand here
And cry for money
For telephones and new clothes
In parents’ arms
Cry for life
At the bottom
Of the sea
At this very moment
I cry for hope
Fuck the money
Fuck the war
©Simon Chilembo, 13/ 02- 2016
February 13, 2016
HOME AT LAST! Part 30
OWN TURF IN THE DIASPORA
Because I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, the notion that I must be happy with what I have here and now, no matter how little, was ingrained in my head from a very early age. If I could get more by doing what is acknowledged as good and acceptable practices, well and good. However, if it doesn’t work, too bad. Try something, or go for something else, and/ or simply wait.
Waiting never meant for me to just rest on my laurels, hoping for some miracle to happen for the more of that which I want to materialize somehow, without any effort from me, though. If I have to pray, it will be more to introspect and find peace of mind so I can think more clearly, but not for God to deliver it all for free just because I believe in her … (Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon).
November 23, 2015 (more…)
HOME AT LAST! Part 12 CITIZEN OF THE WORLD? MY FOOT!
SPECIAL NOTE: Link takes us to an article written by a frustrated young lady in Oslo, Norway, who feels she has no place to call home anywhere. Although my writing below may sound harsh, it is not personal. I am writing on the subject in general terms at her inspiration, from my, of course, highly subjective point of view. Believe me, I feel her pain, anger, and sorrow. I am a citizen of the world is another one of those idealistic statements of which poetry and literature are inspired. I am a citizen of the world as an emotional statement reeks of arrogance, ignorance, naiveté, self-centredness, patronization, and imperialistic tendencies. You don’t go calling yourself citizen of the world simply because you don’t feel at home in your country of birth, and/ or your host country if you are an exile in the Diaspora. It’s not up to you to declare yourself a world citizen, as if the world owes you any favours, to begin with …(Continued in the book: “MACHONA AWAKENING – home in grey matter”. Order book on Amazon’s CreateSpace here).
December 15, 2014