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South African Culture, Customs And Practices Writ Large: Re-Morphed Cultural Renaissance Against Dysfunctional Existence

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Young men from the Ndebele nation in South Africa pose for a photo during their initiation day

Young men from the Ndebele nation in South Africa pose for a photo during their initiation day

Mapunbwe Hill, whose material culture and customs and traditions within South African African Historiography should be grouped with the South African Negroid spectrum of peoples.

Mapunbwe Hill, whose material culture and customs and traditions within South African African Historiography should be grouped with the South African Negroid spectrum of peoples.

Mapungubwe and its natural beauty is today threatened by coal mining

Mapungubwe and its natural beauty is today threatened by coal mining

Both Zulu men and women do dance together and here they are in full flight

Both Zulu men and women do dance together and here they are in full flight

When Zulu women get married, they cover their bodies completely to let other know that she has a husband

When Zulu women get married, they cover their bodies completely to let other know that she has a husband

When they are engaged, they cover their breasts with decorative beaded-clothing

When they are engaged, they cover their breasts with decorative beaded-clothing

Zulu Boy and Girl

Zulu Boy and Girl

Zulu Girls wearing beaded bands on the forehead, and wearing short beaded skirts performing the Nguni people's Snake dance

Zulu Girls wearing beaded bands on the forehead, and wearing short beaded skirts performing the Nguni people's Snake dance

King Moshoeshoe I of the Basotho People around the 1800s

King Moshoeshoe I of the Basotho People around the 1800s

A Mosotho man wearing his hat(Modianyewo), and also wearing a goat or cow skin(most times they wear a blanket because Lesotho on the top of the mountains is a cold place

A Mosotho man wearing his hat(Modianyewo), and also wearing a goat or cow skin(most times they wear a blanket because Lesotho on the top of the mountains is a cold place

Basotho young girls in an Initiation school doing the traditional Dance

Basotho young girls in an Initiation school doing the traditional Dance

Basotho Men riding their horses in the Maluti's(Mountains)

Basotho Men riding their horses in the Maluti's(Mountains)

Basotho Women Showing off their Blankets

Basotho Women Showing off their Blankets

Basotho women dressed in their Sotho cultural dresses, along with embroidery on their dresses and beads in their hands and necks

Basotho women dressed in their Sotho cultural dresses, along with embroidery on their dresses and beads in their hands and necks

The Tsonga/Venda people who share an ancestry with the Nguni and Shangaan people, doing their dance in one of their cultural events

The Tsonga/Venda people who share an ancestry with the Nguni and Shangaan people, doing their dance in one of their cultural events

Vhavenda People(The Venda) of South Africa; young Venda Girls doing the "Snake" dance

Vhavenda People(The Venda) of South Africa; young Venda Girls doing the "Snake" dance

Traditional Tsonga/Venda Dolls

Traditional Tsonga/Venda Dolls

Ndebele Woman carrying out her painting as seen on the wall next to her

Ndebele Woman carrying out her painting as seen on the wall next to her

Ndebele Woman engaged in producing her art

Ndebele Woman engaged in producing her art

Ndebele Women in full traditional gear and jewelry sitting nex to their art

Ndebele Women in full traditional gear and jewelry sitting nex to their art

Ndebele Dolls

Ndebele Dolls

Ndebele Woman if full tradition wear

Ndebele Woman if full tradition wear

Mandela, in his younger days wearing the Xhosa traditional garb

Mandela, in his younger days wearing the Xhosa traditional garb

Xhosa Women in their traditional garb  and smoking their pipes. The elegant beadwork on their pipes keeps the pipestems cool enough to handle

Xhosa Women in their traditional garb and smoking their pipes. The elegant beadwork on their pipes keeps the pipestems cool enough to handle

Xhosa woman wearing traditional Xhosa cloth of long skirts, embroidered with horizontal stripes and placed at varying intervals

Xhosa woman wearing traditional Xhosa cloth of long skirts, embroidered with horizontal stripes and placed at varying intervals

Xhosa Woman enjoying her pipe at a cultural Village

Xhosa Woman enjoying her pipe at a cultural Village

Xhosa women wearing their headdresses, long skirts and their leather purses

Xhosa women wearing their headdresses, long skirts and their leather purses

Elderly Xhosa women in Xhosa traditional wear singing Xhosa customary songs

Elderly Xhosa women in Xhosa traditional wear singing Xhosa customary songs

Xhosa men being initiated into manhood clad in their cultural blankets

Xhosa men being initiated into manhood clad in their cultural blankets

Local Xhosa "Chiefs" in an "Imbizo"

Local Xhosa "Chiefs" in an "Imbizo"

Xhosa "Chiefs" about to enter 'Ubuntu' Educational Center

Xhosa "Chiefs" about to enter 'Ubuntu' Educational Center

Xhosa Women in Traditional Xhosa garb

Xhosa Women in Traditional Xhosa garb

Swazi Ladies adorning their traditional attire and in many colors and beads

Swazi Ladies adorning their traditional attire and in many colors and beads

Swazi Dancers

Swazi Dancers

Swazi people can be seen often clad in their traditional cloths "aMahiya", colorful beads and head decoration

Swazi people can be seen often clad in their traditional cloths "aMahiya", colorful beads and head decoration

Clothed only in a small beaded apron, young Venda girls hold each other's arms and move forward around drums ad a fire. During the "Domba" dance they perform "Losha", a traditional Venda greeting, before their King

Clothed only in a small beaded apron, young Venda girls hold each other's arms and move forward around drums ad a fire. During the "Domba" dance they perform "Losha", a traditional Venda greeting, before their King

Swazi children dancers clad in natural fauna of their villages(Leaves)

Swazi children dancers clad in natural fauna of their villages(Leaves)

Thembu men wearing collar beads and other decorative Beads and they belong to the Xhosa stock

Thembu men wearing collar beads and other decorative Beads and they belong to the Xhosa stock

Young Ndebele men have just finished their initiation stint wherein they were interned for two months and learning the responsibilities of a man

Young Ndebele men have just finished their initiation stint wherein they were interned for two months and learning the responsibilities of a man

A Young man from the Ndebele nation in South Africa on his initiation day

A Young man from the Ndebele nation in South Africa on his initiation day

the-blame-is-squarely-laid-on-the-feet-of-poor-africans-chains-on-the-minds-of-africans-dysfunctional-existence
Shangaan Musha: Mambuaulela Makhubela & his Shangaan Drums Dancers performing in Park Station, South Africa

Shangaan Musha: Mambuaulela Makhubela & his Shangaan Drums Dancers performing in Park Station, South Africa

Shangaan Dancers in their traditional wear

Shangaan Dancers in their traditional wear

Shangaan women's traditional dress and also used in dancing ceremonies and is know as "Motjeka"

Shangaan women's traditional dress and also used in dancing ceremonies and is know as "Motjeka"

Shangaan Children doing their traditional dance wearing their customary/traditional

Shangaan Children doing their traditional dance wearing their customary/traditional

A Shangaan man sitting next to her hud and wearing his hair the traditionally Shangaan way, and a cloth and beads

A Shangaan man sitting next to her hud and wearing his hair the traditionally Shangaan way, and a cloth and beads

Shangaan People in a village life setting wearing their traditional clothing

Shangaan People in a village life setting wearing their traditional clothing

Shangaan men in a dancing and festive mode

Shangaan men in a dancing and festive mode

Shangaan Male Dancers

Shangaan Male Dancers

Shangaan Traditional Healer

Shangaan Traditional Healer

A Tswana woman wearing her traditional scarf and head-wrap in Soweto, South Africa

A Tswana woman wearing her traditional scarf and head-wrap in Soweto, South Africa

The Tswana Male dancers showing off their traditional dance moves

The Tswana Male dancers showing off their traditional dance moves

Tswana Dancers

Tswana Dancers

The Tswana Children doing a traditional song and dance

The Tswana Children doing a traditional song and dance

Tswana Bous and Girls performing a traditional song and dance

Tswana Bous and Girls performing a traditional song and dance

The Tswana Girls Traditional Dance Troupe

The Tswana Girls Traditional Dance Troupe

Tswana Girls and Boys going through their traditional dance and song at a celebration

Tswana Girls and Boys going through their traditional dance and song at a celebration

Tswana man painted in traditional garb

Tswana man painted in traditional garb

Tswana Earthenware, red pigment

Tswana Earthenware, red pigment

The San man in a hunting mode

The San man in a hunting mode

The San people resting under a shade and belong to the Nguni Stock

The San people resting under a shade and belong to the Nguni Stock

San Woman carrying he child

San Woman carrying he child

The San people getting ready for a hunt

The San people getting ready for a hunt

The San on the trail of a potential kill during their hunt

The San on the trail of a potential kill during their hunt

The San people on their Trek in the Kalahari(Meaning the Great Thirst)

The San people on their Trek in the Kalahari(Meaning the Great Thirst)

A San youth dressed in simple cloth

A San youth dressed in simple cloth

It is known that the San people are relation to the  Twa people

It is known that the San people are relation to the Twa people

Thembu men in their traditional beaded work apparel, and decor

Thembu men in their traditional beaded work apparel, and decor

Young bare breasted  Xhosa girls in traditional dress and in a procession

Young bare breasted Xhosa girls in traditional dress and in a procession

Thembu Beaded Front Apron worn by young girls in the Thembu nation

Thembu Beaded Front Apron worn by young girls in the Thembu nation

Xhosa . This is called "Ithumbu" Xhosa Bead Blanket Pin or Cloak Pin- This beaded pin is referred to as a "Love Letter", is large and is considered a bead panel

Xhosa . This is called "Ithumbu" Xhosa Bead Blanket Pin or Cloak Pin- This beaded pin is referred to as a "Love Letter", is large and is considered a bead panel

Sotho Thetana Apron worn by Basotho girls

Sotho Thetana Apron worn by Basotho girls

Shangaan- Tsonga or North Sotho(Bapedi)  mostly used for ceremonial and customary occasions by healers/Dingaka/Sangomas

Shangaan- Tsonga or North Sotho(Bapedi) mostly used for ceremonial and customary occasions by healers/Dingaka/Sangomas

Pedi Apron which is worn as front panels called "Gabi". These aprons are mede from leather, plant fiber and glass beads

Pedi Apron which is worn as front panels called "Gabi". These aprons are mede from leather, plant fiber and glass beads

Bottleslke this one are not curios, because they have specific usages. Its colors are popular with the Shangaan, the Pedis, and Tsongas and are popular to these clans

Bottleslke this one are not curios, because they have specific usages. Its colors are popular with the Shangaan, the Pedis, and Tsongas and are popular to these clans

Beaded Nebele blanket ccaleed "Irari" or "Nuga" or Ngurara. these blankets are worn by married Ndebele women only

Beaded Nebele blanket ccaleed "Irari" or "Nuga" or Ngurara. these blankets are worn by married Ndebele women only

Zulu beaded apron made with tiny glass beadsDazzling geometric designs were created by use of the brick stitch. Triangles in this apron are recorded to represent traditional Zulu Shields

Zulu beaded apron made with tiny glass beadsDazzling geometric designs were created by use of the brick stitch. Triangles in this apron are recorded to represent traditional Zulu Shields

Ndebele Apron called "Pepetu", which a small beaded apron worn by a young ndebele maiden after completing a period of seclusion. These ries represent female initiation

Ndebele Apron called "Pepetu", which a small beaded apron worn by a young ndebele maiden after completing a period of seclusion. These ries represent female initiation

The Ndebele Bride's train attached to her bridal costume

The Ndebele Bride's train attached to her bridal costume

Culturally, a girls "thetana" was made by a female relative, most often by her mother or grandmother. Due to the method of construction

Culturally, a girls "thetana" was made by a female relative, most often by her mother or grandmother. Due to the method of construction

Often, the most ornate "thetanas" were as part of an elaborate ensemble by newly initiated Basotho women

Often, the most ornate "thetanas" were as part of an elaborate ensemble by newly initiated Basotho women

The Nebele wore a long train with he bridal costume called "Nyoga", which meant snake. It was attached to her shoulders and trailed down the back to the ground, making a snake-like motion as she danced

The Nebele wore a long train with he bridal costume called "Nyoga", which meant snake. It was attached to her shoulders and trailed down the back to the ground, making a snake-like motion as she danced

Within Motseng(Home) the varied cultures share their history, customs and tradition with guests by means of song, praise, stories, with poets and narrators of their cultural history present and the meaning of it all for the Peoples of South Africa

Within Motseng(Home) the varied cultures share their history, customs and tradition with guests by means of song, praise, stories, with poets and narrators of their cultural history present and the meaning of it all for the Peoples of South Africa

Swazi People in their Traditional dresses

Swazi People in their Traditional dresses

Swazi people posing for a photo wearing their traditional gabardine

Swazi people posing for a photo wearing their traditional gabardine

King Mswati III of Swaziland

King Mswati III of Swaziland

Mantena cutural village know as"Ligugu Lemswati"(the pride of the Swati people" is where anyone wanting to learn about the Swazi culture can go.

Mantena cutural village know as"Ligugu Lemswati"(the pride of the Swati people" is where anyone wanting to learn about the Swazi culture can go.

As alluded to in the Hub, The Swazi King and other  men dance in front of young virgins  doing a traditional dance in a cultural way of communicating with each other

As alluded to in the Hub, The Swazi King and other men dance in front of young virgins doing a traditional dance in a cultural way of communicating with each other

King Mswati III and members of the  royal family watch a traditional Reed dance ceremony at the stadium at the Royal Palace

King Mswati III and members of the royal family watch a traditional Reed dance ceremony at the stadium at the Royal Palace

Members of the royal Swazi family dance with young girls dance at a traditional Reed dance ceremony at the stadium at the Royal Palace in Ludzidzini, Swaziland

Members of the royal Swazi family dance with young girls dance at a traditional Reed dance ceremony at the stadium at the Royal Palace in Ludzidzini, Swaziland

Women wearing the Shangaan 'Motjeka" traditional skirts

Women wearing the Shangaan 'Motjeka" traditional skirts

Shangaan women parading wearing their traditional clothing

Shangaan women parading wearing their traditional clothing

Shangaan children with their parents wearing their traditional clothing

Shangaan children with their parents wearing their traditional clothing

Wmen and children dancing int the streets singing traditional songs and dances

Wmen and children dancing int the streets singing traditional songs and dances

Shangaan girls wearing their "metjekas" clapping hands and singing their Shangaan traditional songs

Shangaan girls wearing their "metjekas" clapping hands and singing their Shangaan traditional songs

Traditional dancing in south Africa is part of the way of life of the indigenous

Traditional dancing in south Africa is part of the way of life of the indigenous

The name "Gondwana was suggested in 1872 by Medlicott from a sequence of nonmarine sedimentary rock, He took this name form the ancient kingdom of the Gonds, whom it was believed inhabited a large part of India

The name "Gondwana was suggested in 1872 by Medlicott from a sequence of nonmarine sedimentary rock, He took this name form the ancient kingdom of the Gonds, whom it was believed inhabited a large part of India

These are some of the Gold artifacts uncovered in the area of Limpopo know as Mapungubwe

These are some of the Gold artifacts uncovered in the area of Limpopo know as Mapungubwe

Necklace from Mapungubwe

Necklace from Mapungubwe

A portion of a gold animal with elongated head, rounded snout, bulging eyes, and ears drawn back is comprised of two gold foils. The animal figurine is three dimensional and may be anthropomorphic form Mapungubwe

A portion of a gold animal with elongated head, rounded snout, bulging eyes, and ears drawn back is comprised of two gold foils. The animal figurine is three dimensional and may be anthropomorphic form Mapungubwe

These ceramics shown here were found in Mapungubwe and some have been dated between AD 120 and AD 1030

These ceramics shown here were found in Mapungubwe and some have been dated between AD 120 and AD 1030

the-blame-is-squarely-laid-on-the-feet-of-poor-africans-chains-on-the-minds-of-africans-dysfunctional-existence
Found at Mapungubwe were terrestrial, freshwater, including complete cowries, ostrich eggshell and tortoiseshell fragments; ivory bangles, armbands

Found at Mapungubwe were terrestrial, freshwater, including complete cowries, ostrich eggshell and tortoiseshell fragments; ivory bangles, armbands

This is the iron works of mapungubwe; in the collectionfrom Mapungubwe you found bangles, anklets, beads, arrowheads, spears, rings, wire, plate, link, pins and pendants; alsom meturlurgical material resulting from smelting and smithing processes

This is the iron works of mapungubwe; in the collectionfrom Mapungubwe you found bangles, anklets, beads, arrowheads, spears, rings, wire, plate, link, pins and pendants; alsom meturlurgical material resulting from smelting and smithing processes

The Glass beads suggest a trade with the East and China and North Africa by the people of Mapungubwe; there was also trade around the 10th century with local Tswana, Pedi, Swazi and Sotho peoples of South Africa

The Glass beads suggest a trade with the East and China and North Africa by the people of Mapungubwe; there was also trade around the 10th century with local Tswana, Pedi, Swazi and Sotho peoples of South Africa

Some of the material culture from Mapungubwe

Some of the material culture from Mapungubwe

Golden Bangles from Mapungubwe

Golden Bangles from Mapungubwe

Porcelain jars from Mapungubwe on display in the Museum at Pretoria University

Porcelain jars from Mapungubwe on display in the Museum at Pretoria University

The oldest painting on a rock sheltr dated about 2400. Many sits in the Dranensburg and Mapungubwe contain scenes depicting hunting, dancing, fighting, food-gathering, ritual and trance scenes of hunting and rainmaking typiial of African culture, etc

The oldest painting on a rock sheltr dated about 2400. Many sits in the Dranensburg and Mapungubwe contain scenes depicting hunting, dancing, fighting, food-gathering, ritual and trance scenes of hunting and rainmaking typiial of African culture, etc

Some of the material culture of Mapungubwe, stone, clay, shell and glass pottery indicating the sophisticated technological advancement and creativity

Some of the material culture of Mapungubwe, stone, clay, shell and glass pottery indicating the sophisticated technological advancement and creativity

Bone points from various deposits at Early Modern Human sites in South Africa. From the blombos Cave (a) Peers Cave (b) Sibudu Cave (C) Klasies River (d) Later Stone Age Cottage Caves (e) Jubilee Shelter (f) Iron age at Mapumgubwe (g) Scale Bar

Bone points from various deposits at Early Modern Human sites in South Africa. From the blombos Cave (a) Peers Cave (b) Sibudu Cave (C) Klasies River (d) Later Stone Age Cottage Caves (e) Jubilee Shelter (f) Iron age at Mapumgubwe (g) Scale Bar

Gold canular  coiled anklets fashioned in the 12th or 13th century from flat strips which were wound around a bundle of organic fibers. Over 100 anklets were removed from fold grave  in Mapungubwe

Gold canular coiled anklets fashioned in the 12th or 13th century from flat strips which were wound around a bundle of organic fibers. Over 100 anklets were removed from fold grave in Mapungubwe

This gold tubular decorative ornament with shaped knob is folded from three sheets of gold foil, the sheets overlapping on the edges and held in place with rows of gold nails

This gold tubular decorative ornament with shaped knob is folded from three sheets of gold foil, the sheets overlapping on the edges and held in place with rows of gold nails

Golden Accessories and Artifacts found in Mapungubwe hill

Golden Accessories and Artifacts found in Mapungubwe hill

Many objects were made of fired clay, and were used for various purposes. Some everyday practical included spoons, whistles, funnel and spindl whorls used for production cotton coth, large pottery beads used to manufacture bead glasses: roller bead

Many objects were made of fired clay, and were used for various purposes. Some everyday practical included spoons, whistles, funnel and spindl whorls used for production cotton coth, large pottery beads used to manufacture bead glasses: roller bead

Golden perforated dish found in Mapungubwe

Golden perforated dish found in Mapungubwe

These two gold circular ornaments with double rows of incised chevron decoration resemble the top of the gold sceptre embossed with half-moon shaped decorations. the three dimensonal shaping was avhived by folding creasing and pleating the gold sheet

These two gold circular ornaments with double rows of incised chevron decoration resemble the top of the gold sceptre embossed with half-moon shaped decorations. the three dimensonal shaping was avhived by folding creasing and pleating the gold sheet

The diminutive sleek gold figurine with a long broadened tail and flattened eats probably depicts some leopard or some mammal

The diminutive sleek gold figurine with a long broadened tail and flattened eats probably depicts some leopard or some mammal

Minute gold nails or tacks were used to attache the sheets of gold foil to wooden carved froms. Number of gold nails recovered was 1428

Minute gold nails or tacks were used to attache the sheets of gold foil to wooden carved froms. Number of gold nails recovered was 1428

Gold Jewelry from Mapungubwe

Gold Jewelry from Mapungubwe

Large quantities of beads were excavated from three royal burial sites on Mapungubwe hill

Large quantities of beads were excavated from three royal burial sites on Mapungubwe hill

These were some of the artifacts found in the Mapungubwe Graves

These were some of the artifacts found in the Mapungubwe Graves

Prof. Phillip V. Tobias, Anthropologist siting in front of the skull and jawbone of the Taung Child, a famous specimen of Australopithecus Africanus

Prof. Phillip V. Tobias, Anthropologist siting in front of the skull and jawbone of the Taung Child, a famous specimen of Australopithecus Africanus

Mapungubwe National Park

Mapungubwe National Park

Credo Vusamazulu Mutwa and his charges

Credo Vusamazulu Mutwa and his charges

Venda Wall Structure

Venda Wall Structure

Venda Drum and housing art, architecture and statue

Venda Drum and housing art, architecture and statue

Venda home decoration and statue art

Venda home decoration and statue art

Venda Human figurines

Venda Human figurines

Venda Altar

Venda Altar

Venda Drummers o the 1940s

Venda Drummers o the 1940s

The disguise for the Venda initiates is made up of a series of grass mats wrapped around them; see picture below

The disguise for the Venda initiates is made up of a series of grass mats wrapped around them; see picture below

This is how the initiates for circumcision looks like. The dress abpove and the one wonr by the two men disguises them, and one here is crrying a typical old-fashined Venda battle axe

This is how the initiates for circumcision looks like. The dress abpove and the one wonr by the two men disguises them, and one here is crrying a typical old-fashined Venda battle axe

The Basotho women engaged in their "Mokgibo" dance, although this time singing standing

The Basotho women engaged in their "Mokgibo" dance, although this time singing standing

the-blame-is-squarely-laid-on-the-feet-of-poor-africans-chains-on-the-minds-of-africans-dysfunctional-existence
A Xhosa Mkwetha (Young man who has just been circumcised as part of their initiatiation to namnhood

A Xhosa Mkwetha (Young man who has just been circumcised as part of their initiatiation to namnhood

Boys from the circumcision "Mophato" ["lodge or compound"]. the Basotho believe that if a boy is not circumcised, he will not mature. There are many absurd stories about the boys' initiation. The hub has given, but a glimpse of it.

Boys from the circumcision "Mophato" ["lodge or compound"]. the Basotho believe that if a boy is not circumcised, he will not mature. There are many absurd stories about the boys' initiation. The hub has given, but a glimpse of it.

The Batswana circumcision initiates

The Batswana circumcision initiates

Xhosa Initiates

Xhosa Initiates

The Venda People in their traditional attire

The Venda People in their traditional attire

The Venda Doma Dance

The Venda Doma Dance

Venda Dancers

Venda Dancers

A Mopedi Woman with her customary stylized head-wrap

A Mopedi Woman with her customary stylized head-wrap

Two Ndebele Women with their toddlers

Two Ndebele Women with their toddlers

Basotho People next to their hut and adorned in their traditional garb(Their hats are called ("Modianyeho")

Basotho People next to their hut and adorned in their traditional garb(Their hats are called ("Modianyeho")

The Tsonga People of South Africa perform a traditional dance wearing their "Motjeka" skirts

The Tsonga People of South Africa perform a traditional dance wearing their "Motjeka" skirts

The Sotho Boys in "Lebollo"(Circumcition)

The Sotho Boys in "Lebollo"(Circumcition)

The Shangaan Women clad in their traditional wear, hair-do and colorful clothing

The Shangaan Women clad in their traditional wear, hair-do and colorful clothing

Shangaan Beadwork

Shangaan Beadwork

Batswana boys and girls performing a customary cultural dance and wearing their cultural dresses

Batswana boys and girls performing a customary cultural dance and wearing their cultural dresses

A Pie Chart of South African Languages plus percentages

A Pie Chart of South African Languages plus percentages

A population chart wherein one can see the minority had the most power under Apartheid

A population chart wherein one can see the minority had the most power under Apartheid

The Tsonga/Shangaan/ who live around the Limpopo along the Kruger National Park doing their traditional dance bumping from the ground in rhythm to the drums

The Tsonga/Shangaan/ who live around the Limpopo along the Kruger National Park doing their traditional dance bumping from the ground in rhythm to the drums

Xhosa initiates basking in the winter sun

Xhosa initiates basking in the winter sun

Sotho girls' initiation known as "bale" shown wearing masks and goatskin skits

Sotho girls' initiation known as "bale" shown wearing masks and goatskin skits

Basotho People's Craft

Basotho People's Craft

Basotho peoples  Dated from 1900sBeadwork

Basotho peoples Dated from 1900sBeadwork

Basotho Brewery Vessel("Eqho"). This particular example was copper pegged  at two points, then sealed with hornets wax. An iron band was cut and attached to its neck for added strength

Basotho Brewery Vessel("Eqho"). This particular example was copper pegged at two points, then sealed with hornets wax. An iron band was cut and attached to its neck for added strength

A Sesotho "Koto (Knob-Kerrie)

A Sesotho "Koto (Knob-Kerrie)

Basotho People with the Man wearing his 'grass'-made hat called Modianeo" and he and his wife waring a "Kobo"(Blanket.

Basotho People with the Man wearing his 'grass'-made hat called Modianeo" and he and his wife waring a "Kobo"(Blanket.

Basotho People's Beadwork

Basotho People's Beadwork

Another Basotho Vessel ("Eqho")

Another Basotho Vessel ("Eqho")

Sotho Steel -made called "Eqho"

Sotho Steel -made called "Eqho"

A Xhosa Beaded Pipe

A Xhosa Beaded Pipe

A Xhosa smoking pipe

A Xhosa smoking pipe

A woman lighting her pipe using a flint

A woman lighting her pipe using a flint

Basotho Cultural Village

Basotho Cultural Village

A Ndebele house decorated by the ndebele women

A Ndebele house decorated by the ndebele women

A Zulu people's hut

A Zulu people's hut

Ndebele Women and clad in their traditional Blanket and colors and standing next to their 'tall' doll

Ndebele Women and clad in their traditional Blanket and colors and standing next to their 'tall' doll

A Ndebele Necklace

A Ndebele Necklace

The Bapedi Women(Northern Sotho Nguni/Bakone) in their traditional dress

The Bapedi Women(Northern Sotho Nguni/Bakone) in their traditional dress

The Venda Women doing the traditional dance

The Venda Women doing the traditional dance

Swazi Men in traditional Garb same as the one worn by the Zulu Men

Swazi Men in traditional Garb same as the one worn by the Zulu Men

Swazi kids entertaining tourists clad in traditional garb and performing traditional and customary dances

Swazi kids entertaining tourists clad in traditional garb and performing traditional and customary dances

Swzi  ale Dancers on Traditional Wear doing a Customary Dance

Swzi ale Dancers on Traditional Wear doing a Customary Dance

Clan Chiefs at the Reed Dancing in swaziland carrying the knobkierie akin to those of the Basotho

Clan Chiefs at the Reed Dancing in swaziland carrying the knobkierie akin to those of the Basotho

Swazi Women in Swazi traditional wear

Swazi Women in Swazi traditional wear

The Sculpture of the Venda and Tsonga People of South Africa

The Sculpture of the Venda and Tsonga People of South Africa

Among the Nuni/Bakone people, the Ndebeles distinguish themselves from other by specializing in their attire and with sparkling colors used in their geometric art design on  the home walls

Among the Nuni/Bakone people, the Ndebeles distinguish themselves from other by specializing in their attire and with sparkling colors used in their geometric art design on the home walls

Ndebele Dolls

Ndebele Dolls

Ndebele Women Sanding Next to their painted houses and holding a traditional Ndebele Blanket

Ndebele Women Sanding Next to their painted houses and holding a traditional Ndebele Blanket

African Inspiration From the Ndebele People Of South Africa

African Inspiration From the Ndebele People Of South Africa

A close-up of the delicate and Skillful Ndebele Work

A close-up of the delicate and Skillful Ndebele Work

Ndebele Woman wearing the thick brass rings around her neck

Ndebele Woman wearing the thick brass rings around her neck

 A ndebele Woman in full cultural Regalia

A ndebele Woman in full cultural Regalia

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The Genocidal and Tortured Legacy Lives of African Peoples Daily Lives - 365 Days Eternally

  • The Successful Revolutionary is a statesman; the unsuccessful one a criminal (Erich Fromm)

Gerrymandering of the Minds' Psyche

"What became of the Black People of Sumer?" the traveller asked the old man. "For ancient records show that the people of Sumer were Black. What happened to them?" "Ah, the old man sighed. They lost their history, so they died." - A Sumer Legend

"I am talking of millions of men who have been skillfully injected with fear, inferiority complexes, trepidation, servility, despair, abasement." - By Aime Cesaire

I have been meaning to write on this subject on the History, Customs, Traditions, Culture, Languages, Rites and Practices of the African South Africans, for a long time. In my past Hubs, I have tried to cover ground on the lives of Africans in Africa and South Africa and what they have been going through for the past 300-plus years of oppression, subjugation, depression, repression and the intensely and extreme violation of their humanity, culture, customs, land and existence.

This is a very serious point I am about to discuss: i.e., how, when and why this was done and is still being done; also, what was life, culture and customs of Africans in the South of Sahara and southern Africa like before and after the coming of the Europeans later-on deep and further into this Hub; and what this life is like today. In the process I will give a serious version of Modern African culture, and an even more deeper historical delineation and concrete historical cultural breakdown, i.e., the customs, culture and practices of the Nguni as narrated by themselves-and also using African-centered references to solidify and anchor the discussion I am about to lay out below.

The topic I am embarking on may not be popular or much known subject, [Maybe too long for the Internet], but I am going to try and unpack this historical phenomenon of a distorted and dysfunctional African society and picture[image] of African Culture and Customs that we read about today, and how the remnants of this African culture we see today affects Africans in their lives and existence in the past and at presently: that of being Oppressed, suppressed, depressed, repressed, enslaved, colonized and stripped off all their cultures, customs, tradition, languages, and have poverty and all types of diseases imposed on them; and, how their cultural practices and traditional rites have been relegated to the inferior status of being regarded as irrelevant, closer to child babble/barbaric and need not be paid any attention to, whatsoever: i.e., a culture best forgotten for it has never been of any use to the Africans themselves.

As of the writing of this Hub, the level of subjugation, neglect, being ignored, having imposed ignorance hunger a constant, and a bleak future and dreadful intolerable existence, has gone into over-drive! Also, later in the Hub, we look as to how the remnants of the present African culture can be looked at anew and thus Africans be able draw inspiration from its present presence and manifestation; also, the past history[as taught by Apartheid] and cultural and customary and traditional historiography issues will be addressed in order to give a complete picture of the past and present-and scholars from the African centered perspectives will be used in order to add muscle to the skeleton of the history of Africans South Africans.

The History of South Africa will be linked to the Civilization of Mapungubwe to begin turning the tide against the lies that impregnate Historical books and journals written by those who are not Africans, or with African 'collaborators'-that Africans of South Africa did not inhabit nor own the land known as South Africa today. There is this lie and myth that has been perpetuated that Africans migrated to South Africa from the North of Africa, and came at more or less the same time as the Dutch landed in the Cape: nothing could be further from the truth than this blatant ahistorical misinformation and lie which I plan to deconstruct in this Hub.

The voices of those Oppressed multitudes in South Africa has been silenced, treaded-upon, scorned, dismissed, ridiculed, mocked, derided attacked, labelled as inhospitable and backward hosts, foreigners, and called Dogs(Read the history of Van Riebeeck on this issue), called "Bantu", "Natives, "Kaffirs", "Plurals"; the locals were labelled as being lazy, inferior, stupid, slow, not-worthy-of-their-land-and-its-riches-as has been touted by the Apartheid rulers, and today can be observed and said by the new foreigners now living in South Africa and disrespecting the local Africans and hurling this type of abuse at them from every quarter.

That in the end we find the local Africans living in squalor, poverty, sicknesses and diseases of all kinds, ignorance, confusion and tension, uncertainty; and, in recent times, within an empty and hollow democracy- and being denied their humanity, democracy, culture customs, traditions, practices and ceremonies and basic human services and comfort; this has led to today's Colonial Mental disorders that are now commonplace amongst the Africans of South Africa.

Meanwhile, their detractors have no full understanding and nor sufficient knowledge of all the issues at play in the lives of Africans in South Africa and in the southern regions of Africa below the Sahara. Africans have been as a people under Siege - Literally and Practically; daily and to date! Suffering all these social malaise and dysfunctional social realities, and adding insult to injury, the Local African people of South Africa are the least respected communities in South Africa(as noted above) in their land of birth, and this is also visited on them by their own elected ANC-led government.

Everyone[most foreigners and European and some Africans[from the countries north of South Africa, and Africans South Africans, in South Africa, DISRESPECT the indigenous native Africans of South Africa, and this has become the way of life under the so-called rainbow government, too.

The Africans of South Africa who have moved up the social ladder, have some contempt for their poor brethren who are running confused and have no one to lead them or help them. If most of the tourists would begin to go into the townships, live with the people, and not see them through the lens of the past structures and strictures that were created for white dominance and pleasure, that is, meet these Africans in western-style cities, hotels and bars and shopping centers, does not make these people know who the Africans of South Africa are.

One can read the internet as much as possible, or visit South Africa for a month or year, but so long as that is the case, tourists living in five star hotels , and head to the townships through guided tours and take some pictures, this does not necessarily make them authorities on the Africans of South Africa-especially the posts they make on the Net(Facebook for one and other Social Networking sites, blogs and so forth.

This onslaught is gathering momentum and the African people have already noted that this is one issue which the world will see heads rolling! I mean, at present there is this struggle for Africans of South Africa trying to make sense of all what is going, and the there'll be action once they figure out what is happening to them.

There comes a time, when African people believe in the affairs of men and nations, and it becomes necessary for them to engage in 'bolekaja' ("Come down let's fight!") — a term applied in Western Nigeria to passenger lorries ("mammy wagon") from the outrageous behavior of their touts… I would like to make it clear, (without apologies to anyone)!

I am a 'bolekaja' pundit, like those outraged 'touts for the passenger lorries, (South African Taxis!), of African History, Culture and Customs, and that am administering a timely and healthy dose of much needed public ridicule to the reams of pompous nonsense which has been floating out of the stale, sterile, stifling caverns of academia and unequal and oppressive society such as the one in South Africa, which is smothering the sprouting vitality of democracy and freedom on Africa's Historical, political, economical and cultural landscape.

This the African people will have to do as a united people, i.e., to drag the stiflers of their lives down to earth for a corrective tussle. A little wrestle on the sands never killed a sturdy youth. I expect that this will help the sprouting democracy redirect and control their sprouting democracy and freedom into a modern and thriving society, culture and all its naturally acquired wares to their own benefit enhancement and upliftment. African people in this article will be drawn to the act that they need to cure themselves from 'colonial hangover' (Colonial setlamatlama).

The showing and writing about African culture, customs, traditions, languages and crafts will help and enable Africans to begin to see their selves not as "tribes", but as nations which are one and the same, and are made up of various and diverse, but the same culture, customs, traditions and practices and languages,which are not different customary and cultural practices as has been heretofore trumpeted by their detractors: This has been in such a way as to try to dismantle and debase the Nguni People's cultural mosaic. Let controversy rage; may it stimulate creative discussion...! "Ha eye Tau!(Let the Lion loose)

Mind Bending And Soul Wrenching Accessories

Education As Key

For the [past 500 plus-years], therefore, the world has been ruled/molded in the image and likeness of Europe. European history now becomes world history and the European experience now becomes the universal experience. One of the primary weapons Europeans have used to ossify, perpetuate, and maintain the myth and Big Lie of European supremacy, invincibility, and originality coterminous with the myth/Big Lie of African's inferiority and nothingness is education, albeit, miseducation. (Clarke)

I intend to use this Hub as an educational reference for those who would like to investigate some of the issues that will be raised herein. This will done so that a counter could furnished against those academic and writers of all stripes trying to tell the world about Africans in South Africa, without really contacting them, living in their places of domicile, nor knowing very much about the African communities and the Nation of Africans in South Africa as a whole.

Paulo Freire reminds us, "What these educators are calling dialogical is a process that hides the true nature of dialogue as a process of learning and knowing. ...Understanding dialogue as a process of learning and knowing establishes a previous requirement that always involves an epistemological curiosity about the very elements of the dialogue."

Freire reminds us that, "The awakening of critical consciousness leads the way to the expression of social discontents precisely because these discontents are real components of an oppressive situation." But as noted in the paragraph above, these knowledgeable persons who talk about Africans, cull their information form Apartheid's ideological projection of Africans, and from their own assessments which do not jive with the reality of Africans in South Africa.

We need to remember that beginning from the times of bombs, guns, bulldozers and brutal tortures, that the Europeans brought along with them when first colonizing Africans, Africans faced daily displays of state violence, beat downs on their bodies, with Apartheid operating with impunity through overt and covert political, economical, social and religious violence — conventional and counter insurgency warfare, forced removals, assassinations, "disappearances", detention and torture -as well as through myriad forms of "structural violence."

Under the weight of this oppression, and the gaze of psychological surveillance that had previously pathologized the African mind as an object of White consciousness was reversed, African people had to 'cope' and still hoping and surviving the constant and age-old onslaught on their humanity and human rights and freedom of expression and to live as a sovereign nation. In the 1970s a counterpoint to the destructive power of sovereign violence was secured into place.

Euro-colonial education was designed to produce people who would participate in the process of colonial rule; people who would participate in the process of their own oppression and in the oppression of their own fellow colonized people (neocolonialism); moreover "colonized schooling was education for subordination, exploitation, the creation of mental confusion, and the development of underdevelopment," powerlessness and dependency. Africans are re-living this horror in manifold ways today under the ANC-elected government. It also reinforced the "notion of privilege" and the "notion of alienation" (divide and conquer).

In other words, colonial and neocolonial education ossified the psychological dependency complex of the African colonized/oppressed to the extent that in the era of "flag independence," the African "wasn't preparing to be a sovereign nation" but instead was only "preparing" to imitate his slave master's ruling of a nation(Clarke). The condition of the people of African descent is testament to the statements made above.

Ipso facto, Africans not only: ...take for granted the validity, truth, and superiority of the culture of the (European) colonizer but )also) assume that the behaviors, culture, values, life-styles, moral preferences and definitions of morality of the colonized as invalid, wrong, false, or inferior... (Moreover, they) have been infected and conditioned to invalidate and reject their own culture, value and philosophical individuality ...

[They] tend to evaluate their behaviors in terms of whether or not they are acceptable to (European) colonizer. (They accept) the colonizer as the standard …[and] crave to be like their colonizers ... Clarke wryly adds: "European scholarship has darkened "The True Light of African History" and as a result we are brain-dead, brain damaged, and culturally comatose. What African people need to do as we are now in the 21 century is to de-Europeanize, de-mystify, detoxify, and de-brainwash their subconscious mind of this invisible drug called Eurocentric miseducation. In this way we can relocate our subconscious mind-set to its original locus/reference point - Mother Africa."

Prof. Clarke warns that: " ...We have to realize that education has but one honorable purpose ... one alone ... everything else is a waste of time: that is to train the student to be a proper handler of power. Being Black and beautiful means nothing until ultimately your Black and powerful. The world is ruled by power, not Blackness and beauty ..." I also add that power on behalf of an Imperial or deep pocketed Capitalist of Corporate potentates, is not power at all. So long as the education of African children and African society is not in their control, and is controlled by others, they will remain not only slaves and chained people, but also second hand poor copies of their masters. It would advisable to learn some thoughts and ideas about education from Jose Marti who writes:

1. Instruction is not the same as education: the former refers to thought, the latter principally to feelings. Nevertheless, there is no good education without instruction. Moral qualities rise in price when they are enhanced by qualities of intellect.

2. Popular education does not mean education of the poorer classes exclusively, but rather that all classes in the nation-tantamount to saying the people-be well educated. Just as there is no reason why the rich are educated and not the poor, what reason is there for the poor to be educated and not the rich? They are all the same.

3. He who knows more is worth more. To know is to possess. Coins are minted, knowledge is not. Bonds or paper money are worth more, or less, or nothing; knowledge always has the same value, and it is always high. a rich man needs money with which to live, but he can lose it and then he no longer has the means of living. An instructed man lives from his knowledge, and since he carries it with him, he never loses it and his existence is easy and secure.

4. The Happiest nation is the one whose sons have the best education, both in instruction of thought and the direction of feelings. An instructed people loves work and knows who to derive profit from it. A virtuous people will live a happier and richer life than another that is filled with vices, and will better defend itself from all attacks.

5. Every man when he arrives upon tis earth, has a right to be educated, and then in, in payment, the duty to contribute to the education of others.

6. An ignorant people can be deceived by superstition and become servile. An instructed people will always be strong and free. An ignorant man is on his way to becoming a beast, and a man instructed in knowledge and conscience is on his way to being a god. one must not hesitate to choose between a nation of gods and a nation of beasts. the best way to defend our rights is to know them well; in so doing one has faith and strength; every nation will be unhappy in proportion to how poorly educated ate its inhabitants. A nation of educated men will always be a nation of free men. Education is the only means of being saved from slavery. A nation enslaved to men of another nation is as repugnant as being enslaved to the men of one's own.

That is why the writing of this Hub is important in that it attempts to bring to the fore-front of Human World history, respect for and knowledge about African South Africans and their history, customs, tradition, languages, practices and rites more serious and respect that it deserves. The intention of this Hub is to earn that knowledge and respect of Africans and their being recognized as a Nation. Education, which is now in decrepit state, needs to be addressed promptly and thoroughly otherwise Africans will remain enslaved, as Jose Marti so expertly observed: "A nation enslaved to men of another nation is as repugnant as being enslaved to the men of one's own." It is also important to note how "Ubuntu" is displaced by "Alienation" which we will explore below

Ubuntu! Botho! The Act of Being a Human Being

"Paulo Freire connects the thoughts of Professor Clarke above by writing: 'While the problem of humanization("Ubuntu'?), has always, from an axiological point of view, been human kind's central problem, it now takes on the character of an inescapable concern. ...Within history, in concrete, objective contexts, both humanization and dehumanization are possibilities for a person as an uncompleted being conscious of their incompletion. Dehumanization, which marks not only those whose humanity has been stolen, but also (though in a different way) those who have stolen it, is a distortion of the vocation of becoming more fully human.

This distortion occurs within history; but it is not a historical vocation. Indeed, to admit of dehumanization as a historical vocation would lead either to cynicism or total despair. The struggle for humanization, for emancipation of labor, for the overcoming of alienation, for the affirmation of men and women as persons would be meaningless.

This struggle is possible only because dehumanization, although a concrete historical fact, is not a given destiny but the result of an unjust order that engenders violence in the oppressors,which in turn dehumanizes the oppressed. It is very important that Education should be revamped and looked anew-education of a nation should be controlled and be in the hands of those whose interests it serves, and in this case, it should be controlled by and serve the interests of African South Africans.

One of the thrusts of this Hub is to essentially talk about the dehumanization that Fromm is talking about above. As has been noted in the other Hubs written about the lives of Africans under Apartheid. In this instance, one constant feature is the denigration and dehumanization of Africans in South Africa for the past centuries, and the modus operandi towards nation building is for them to decolonize, deprogram, de-colonize themselves, as Clarke has pointed out above.

It is absolutely clear that the majority have been denied decent education and respectable humanity, and with the advent of an incompetent ANC-led government, we have and are witnessing the disappearance of several generations engulfed by ignorance, poverty, mental diseases[of which these are on the rise as we speak] — carried from the past[as dictated by Apartheid], and present, of course the future, as it is now being set up by the ANC.

The ANC-led government is failing in its tasks to help educate the Africans masses because of the encroaching state and centralized control which is aggressively being pushed by foreign monied interests and governments (You can read the book "Confessions of the Economic Hitman" on this subject of operatives, governments and corporations in other countries).

The root of the problems now facing African South Africans in education was the appointment of the intellectually weak Sibusiso Bengu and the blustering Ideologue, Kader Asmal, They introduced "Outcome-based" education, and as they did so, both had no clue how to begin to overcome the effects of Apartheid's eduactional legacy and its effects on Africans, and they have no idea what needs to be done for the present state of education amongst Africans today.

Jose Marti writes: "The general happiness of a nation rests upon the individual independence of its inhabitants. A free nation is the result of free settlers. Honorable and durable nations are not made out for men who cannot live for themselves but are attached to a leader who favors, uses, or abuses them. Whoever desires an enduring nation aids in establishing his country's affairs so that each man may work in active labor applicable to a personal and independent situation. Let every man learn to make something which other need…" What, then, we have here is a situation turned on its head.

The present leaders in South Africa do not adhere to the maxims above, instead they have seriously embarked on to the road of corruption, greed, nepotism, cronyism, cabals, demagoguery, being imperial lackeys, fostering of community and social underdevelopment and impoverishment of their fellow being who form the bulk of the nation of South Africa: Africans! Erich Fromm describes this condition as follows:

"Reason is man's faculty for grasping the world by thought, in contradiction to intelligence, which is man's ability to manipulate the world with the help of thought.

"Reason is man's instrument for arriving at the truth, intelligence is man's instrument for manipulating the world more successfully; the former is essentially human, the latter belongs to the animal part of man."

This has been denied to Africans in South Africa since the coming of the Dutch seafarers/colonialists, and in the present day Democracy they have yet to be achieved and realized. That is why the Africans in South Africa today are saying that, "We wanted Freedom and they gave us Democracy."

The masses in South Africa are attached to leaders who 'favors, uses,or abuses them.' Although we know for a fact that, 'man will arrive at the truth, intelligence as their instrument for manipulating the world more successfully,' as in the case of the poor African majority eventually will, the very negative actions of their own elected government is constantly making them feel alienated, and social security a remote possibility, they will always feel oppressed and suppressed.

Erich Fromm informs us that:

"By alienation it is meant mode of experience in which the person experiences himself as an alien. He has become, one might say, estranged from himself. He does not experience himself as the center of his world, as the creator of his own acts — but his acts and their consequences have become his masters, whom he obeys, or whom he may even worship.

"The alienated person is out of touch with himself as he is out of touch with any other person. He, like the others, are experienced as things are experienced; with the senses and with common sense, but at the same time without being related to oneself and to the world outside positively.

"Africans are experiencing alienated life in contemporary South Africa as something that is not connected to them The 'elite' who rule over the dominated African majority, makes one wonder if these educated persons are actually equipped to face the real ordeal before them or unconsciously contribute to their own undoing by perpetuating the regime of the oppressor. "(Woodson)

This attitude of being blocked at every turn can be traced by taking a critical and seriously in-depth look at African South African history and culture and its meaning in the African society. This means that Africans need to learn and teach, control and design for themselves their education and culture, as they understand and know it and disseminate it throughout their people and a nation-as they see fit.

Cultural Miasma

Erich Fromm informs us as follows:

"The basic entity of the social process is the individual, just as to understand the individual we must see him in the context of the culture that molds him [this we will look at in-depth below]. To understand the dynamics of the social process we must understand the dynamics of the psychological processes operating within the individual, just as to understand the individual, we must see him in the context of the culture which molds him.

"Modern man, freed from the bonds of pre-individualistic society, which simultaneously gave him security and limited him, has not gained freedom in the positive sense of the realization of his individual self; that is, the expression of his intellectual, emotional and sensuous potentialities.

"Freedom, though it has brought him independence and rationality, has made him isolated and, thereby, anxious and powerless. This isolation is unbearable and the alternatives he is confronted with are either to escape from the burden of his freedom into new dependencies and submission, or to advance to the full realization of positive freedom which based upon the uniqueness and individuality of man.

."…After centuries of struggles, man succeeded in building an undreamed-of wealth of material goods; he built democratic societies in parts of the world, and recently was victorious in defending himself against new totalitarian schemes(Hitlers debacles); yet, modern man still is anxious and tempted to surrender his freedom to dictators of all kinds, or to lose it by transforming himself into a small cog in the machine, well fed, and well clothed, yet not free man but an automaton."

This can be seen amongst the newly enriched Africans, albeit they be few in number compared to the whole African population.

Under the weight of this oppression, the gaze of psychosocial surveillance that previously had pathologized the African mind as an object of White consciousness was reversed. I have touched a bit on this mindset and set of social relations that were part of the reality of South Africa from 1652 up to De Klerk's rule, above. In the 1970s, and as the single most prominent disciplinary counterpoint to the destructive power of sovereign violence, Biko's Black Consciousness(BC) emerged to motivate an African Personality. Bantu instructs thus: "In my opinion, it is not necessary to talk about African culture."

However, [in the light of the above statements], one realizes that there is so much confusion sown, not only amongst casual non-African readers, but even amongst Africans themselves, that perhaps a sincere attempt should be made at emphasizing the authentic cultural aspect of the African people by the Africans themselves. Since that unfortunate date - 1652 - we have been experiencing a process of acculturation. It is perhaps presumptuous to call it "acculturation" because this term implies a fusion of different cultures. In our case, this fusion has been extremely one-sided.

"The two major cultures that met and 'fused' were the African culture and the Anglo-Boer Culture. Whereas the African culture was unsophisticated and simple, the Anglo-Boer culture had all the trappings of a colonialist culture and therefore was heavily equipped for conquest."

It is better we know concretely what took place in South Africa and its colonization. As Biko says, the fusion of cultures was one-sided, and there never was 'acculturation' taking place in South Africa. It was and it is still a one way street-with Africans being disadvantaged by that 'fusion'.

Biko continues:

"Where they could, they conquered by persuasion, using a highly, exclusive religion that denounced all other Gods and demanded a strict code of behavior with respect to clothing, education ritual and custom. Where it was impossible to convert, fire-arms were readily available and use to advantage. Hence, the Anglo-Boer culture was the more powerful culture in almost all facets.

"This is where the African began to lose a grip on himself.These oppressive and depressive laws and rules imposed on Africans have had some untold miseries and deadly effects over time. African people today need to know how and when were these policies imposed and forced on them and how and why they worked and are still working today."

While acknowledging that not all oppressed persons were equally subject to the alienating effects of Apartheid, which are the same as Erich Fromm explained his take on "alienation," which is in par with Biko and BC's focus on how it[alienation] insinuated itself into subjectivity meant that all African people themselves constituted the pathology, and therefore that their cure demanded rehabilitation of the entire social body. Manganyi characterized the ordinary African as a "psychological paraplegic" as he wrote: "...in the African experience there was over time developed a sociological schema of Black body prescribed by White Standards."

"The prescribed attributes of this sociological schema has, as we should know by now, been entirely negative. It should be considered natural under these circumstances for an individual Black person to conceive of his body image as something, something which paradoxically must be kept at a distance outside of one's self so to speak."

In this instance, the disrespect of Africans was set in motion and has lasted the last more or less 360+ years. As I have noted above, this opened the flood gates of disrespect for Africans in South Africa that is still going on to this day, inside South Africa, under ANC rule .

It is important to keep in mind that what is needed now for Africans in South Africa is a whole social and psychiatric help for the needy and poor Africans now undergoing a seriously deadly siege of their humanity and existence as a people. Biko and Fromm inform us as to how this "alienation" was foisted onto the people, the outcome of that insidious action and , as have been pointed out in this hub, is adversely affecting Africans in South Africa as a Colonialism which is presenting itself, amongst the African collective, as post-Colonial Mental disorders. It is therefore important we cull from the existing but decimated culture and raise it up in order to learn from it.

Modern South African African Culture:

Thumb-Nail Sketch of The Nguni/Bakone's Culture/Custom, tradition and Practices

There is there rampant belief that Africans in South Africa have no culture, no understanding of it and are essentially, culturally speaking, Europeans in Black skins who happen to be the indigenous or natives of South Africa. The term "Native" is used here to denote the original inhabitants of the part of Africa now called South Africa. There was and there still is the culture of Africans in South Africa.

Biko writes as follows on this issue:

"One of the most difficult things to do these days is to talk with authority on anything to do with African[South African] culture. Somehow, Africans are not expected to have any deep understanding of their own culture or even of themselves. Other people have become authorities on all aspects of African life or to be more accurately BANTU life[as has already be stated above]. Thus we have the thickest of volumes on some of the strangest subjects - even "the feeding habits of the Urban Africans"., a publication by a fairly "liberal" group, Institute of Race Relations.

"As an inward-looking process, expanded the meaning of violence to include sociological and ideological factors which they identified as destroying the authenticity of African people and undermining African's pride and dignity. He, Biko, then made this appeal: '... to come to himself; to pump back life into his empty shell; to infuse himself with pride and dignity; to remind him of his complicity in the crime of allowing himself to be misused and therefore letting evil reign supreme in the country of his birth."

If this is what Biko was saying about Africans under Apartheid, this has worsened now under the ANC-led government: they have made their African people who voted them into power, into "psychological Paraplegics". In fact, the present-day African South Africans are getting the worst end of the national deal. Most people complain about the rate of mental diseases that are now a common theme. Disrespect has now become the norm, and the mantra of "dog-eats-dog" has become embedded into the cultural consciousness of the Africans in South Africa and in their national existence and conversations to the detriment of their authentic culture, customs, traditions, history, rites and practices.

One thing that should be noted here earlier on is the fact that, "Inhlonipho"(in Zulu) or "Hlompho" in Sotho (Respect) is no more heeded nor the norm today, yet it is the basis of the concept of "Ubuntu". Not only is one recognized as a human being and acknowledged as one, but that any human is to be treated with utmost 'Respect' as a human being and part of the human family. This is part of the customary practices of the African culture of South Africa; the Anglo-Boer coalition made sure that they dismantled that part of the customary practices of African culture.

Bantu states:

"Thus, in taking a look at cultural aspects of the African people, one inevitably find himself having to compare. This is primarily because(talking about respect and culture), of the contempt that the "superior culture" shows towards the indigenous culture. To justify its exploitative basis the Anglo-Boer culture has at all times been directed at bestowing an inferior status to all cultural aspects of the indigenous people.

"I am against the belief that African culture is time-bound, the notion that with the conquest of the African, all his culture was obliterated. I am also against the belief that when one talks of African culture one is necessarily talking of the pre-Van Riebeeck culture. Obviously the African culture has had to sustain severe blows and may have been battered nearly out of shape by the belligerent culture it collided with."

Yet in essence, even today, one can easily find the fundamental aspects of the pure African culture, which Bantu points out that the culture was never "'time bound' nor stagnant," as will be discussed in brevity below.

Cultural Fundamentals

Religion: Biko decries the fact that Westerners had an aggressive mentality. ...He dismisses and draws a sharp line between the natural and supernatural and non-rational as superstition... Africans being a pre-scientific people do not recognize any conceptual cleavage between the natural and supernatural. They experience a situation rather than face a problem. By this I mean they allow both the rational and non-rational elements to make an impact upon them, and any action they may take could be described more as a response of the total personality to the situation than the result of some mental exercise.

We as a community are prepared to accept that nature will have its enigmas which are beyond our powers to solve. Many people have interpreted this attitude as lack of initiative and drive; yet, in spite of my belief in the strong need for scientific experimentation, I cannot help feeling that more time also should be spent in teaching man and man to live together, and that perhaps, the African personality with its attitude of laying less stress on power and more stress on man is well on the way to solving our confrontation problems."

Biko continues to add:

"All people are agreed that Africans are a deeply religious race. In the various forms of worship that one found throughout the Southern part of our Continent there was at least a common basis. We all accepted without any doubt the existence of a God. We had our own community of saints. We believed — and this was consistent with our views of life — that all people who died add a special place next to God. We felt that a communication with God, could only be through these people (Amadlozi/Badimo - my addition).

"We never knew anything about 'Hell' - We do not believe that God could create people only to punish them eternally after a short period on earth. Another aspect of religious practices was the occasion of worship. We did not believe that religion could be featured as a separate part of our existence. ...

"We thanked God through our ancestors before we drank beer, married, worked, etc. We would find it artificial to create special occasions for worship; that is why we did not see it logical to have a particular building in which all worship would be conducted. We believed that God was in communication with us and therefore merited attention everywhere and anywhere."

We learn from Biko that the missionaries were the ones who confused the African people with their brand of religion..Biko writes: "By some strange logic, they argued that theirs was a scientific religion and ours was mere superstition in spite of the biological discrepancies so obvious in the basis of their religion. They further went on to preach a theology of the existence of "Hell," scaring our fathers and mothers with stories about burning in eternal flames and gnashing of teeth and grinding of bone. This cold religion was strange to us but our fore-fathers were sufficiently scared of the unknown impending anger to believe that it was worth a try. Down went our central values!"

Biko takes some time to make a point as to the nature and characteristic of "Modern African Culture, as it functions as a culture within the realm of European culture, and as it holds its own 'concepts' of itself as an authentic culture. Although some European scholars and scholarship pontificate about the fact that African culture is dead and non-existent, Bantu has this to say about all these issues: 'Yet it is difficult to kill the African heritage and culture. There remains, in spite of the superficial cultural similarities between the 'detribalized' and the Westerner, a number of cultural characteristics that mark out the detribalized as an African.

"I am not here making a case for separation on the basis of cultural differences. I am sufficiently proud to believe that under a normal situation, Africans can comfortably stay with people of other cultures and be able to contribute to the joint cultures of these communities they have joined. However, what I want to illustrate here is that even in a pluralistic society like ours, there are still some cultural traits that we can boast of which have been able to withstand the process of the deliberate bastardization. These are aspects of the Modern African Culture - a culture that has also used concepts from the White world to expand on inherent cultural characters."

Biko expands on these 'inherent cultural characters' in the following manner: "Thus we see that in the area of music, the African still expresses himself with conviction. The craze about jazz arises out of a conversion by the African Artists on mere notes to meaningful music, expressive of real feelings. The [monkey Jive, soul, Mbaqanga, Scathamiya, Mohobelo, etc], some are peersuing a fusion of either purely African music, are some aspects of a modern type African culture that expresses the same original feelings.

"Solos like Booker T and the MGs, soul stars of the '60s and 70s, a little Elvis Presley Pat Boone, Otis Redding, Brook Benton, James Brown, etc., all of them find expression within the African culture because it is not in us to listen passively to pure musical notes. Yet when soul struck with its all-engulfing rhythm, it immediately caught on and set hundreds of millions of black bodies in gyration throughout the world," (the same goes for Kwaito and Rap Music, today in South Africa-my insertion).

"These were people reading in soul the real meaning — the defiant "Say It Loud! I'm Black and I'm proud!" This was fast becoming our modern culture. A culture of defiance, self-assertion and group pride and solidarity. This is a culture that emanates from a situation of common experience of oppression. Just as it now finds expression in our music and our dress(see photo gallery), it will spread to other aspects This is the new and modern Black culture, to which Africans have given a major contribution; this is the modern Black culture that is responsible for the restoration of their faith in themselves and therefore offers a hope in the direction Africans in South Africa are taking from here.

The concept of a modern African South African culture is at the heart of this Hub. What I am saying here is that it has been too long , as has been tabulated above, that Africans have been told that they are non-persons. But, as far as this Hub is concerned that is not true, and was never the right perception and the reality and existence of the culture of Africans as has been pointed out by our detractors, that African culture does not exist and died a long time ago-is false and a lie. No, it is not dead and has never died.

If one were to look at the Photo Gallery pictures, those that show the 10(ten) peoples or different groups that make the Nguni/Bakone Nation in South Africa, this Hub introduces the reality and fact that, if one were to look at the dresses, dances, Languages, initiation pageants, cultural festive performances, arts and crafts, houses and housing decorations, beads, different colors and the unity displayed throughout all of the material culture of Africans in South Africa

Events and performances, care and comfort, also entertainment of the tourists, visitors and the like are all greeted and welcomed to South Arica in the spirit of "Ubuntu" of the African people, can be seen as one united nations of Mzantsi: One or "Simunye"/"Re ngatana"/"Sisonke"(We are one People, one community and society; everyone who reads through this hub will be enlightened and will be enabled to get a birds-eye view of one nation of African people of South Africa - the Nguni/Bakone People-the 9(Nine) peoples, as has never been presented-like before.

South African Traditional Culture And Custom: Simunye: Re Ngatana - We are One

This Hub asserts that African South Africans have been under various forms of enslavement throughout their existence in South Africa. What I have attempted in the photo gallery is to present a small picture of the various clans or nations of South Africa, namely, the Zulus, Basotho, BaPedis, The Xhosas, The Batswana, Vendas or Tsongas, Shagaans, Swazis and Ndebele's Khoi-San, dressed in the regal gabardine of their clans, and if one looks at them closely, one cannot fail to see and recognize one people.

This concerns and relates to the way they wear and design their clothes; their dances, the type of drums they use; the music and singing[their musical styles can be heard on live365.com/stations/djtot12/]; their making of beads, arts and crafts, as pastoralists and settled communities, the architecture of their houses is similar, and so are their languages, customs, culture, traditions and practices: is diverse and one and the same.

The photos are many, but the lesson is presented in such a way as to show the culture of the Africans of South Africa in its fulness[length, breadth and depth], beauty and dignity: sameness. If one were to casually read the short captions written by people who really do not know them on the Internet, one gets a disjointed picture of "TRiBES". Indeed, where European and American scholars had argued that there were many different and disconnected cultures in South Africa. so they decided to tell us we are "Tribes" and are different, so that we cannot even become one united nation

Diop talks about the varieties of African experiences that they "gravitate around a single matrilineal center like some massive magnet pulling the pieces together into one coherent whole." His argument unfolds on the basis of linguistic, philosophical, and cultural evidence. Whereas, his cohort, Theophile Obenga and other African scholars have already used a "macro" approach to African history, and that the assertions and arguments and ideas are political or not have been considered political minimized the impressive scientific work accomplished by both scholars.

But the debate over the nature of the scientific evidence is often reduced to an argument over the political nature of science itself. Of course, Diop and Obenga would object, as other scholars have done, to the "micro" studies that tend to view African societies or civilizations as dis-embodied,disconnected, isolated, discreet, and detached entities with no organic relationship to any other societies or civilizations. The two gentlemen above encourage most African scholars to examine phenomena with all of the instruments at their disposal.

This might mean linguistic, anthropological, historical, ceremonial, oral tradition or mythic evidences and so forth, will have to fully vetted and interrogated extensively.

Diop debunks the established perspective that Africans are "tribes" because their being to referred as "tribes", meant that they stopped developing, and that these cultures are different and not related to one another in any way whatsoever. So that, from the get go, this Hub rejects the usage of the world "Tribe" as it is applied to describe the national entities that form the Nguni/Bakone people. I will only use the term, "tribe" whenever I am citing from someone who uses it, but will put it in quotations marks. Otherwise, I will interchange the names between clan, but preferably nations will be used more consistently…

The Crisis of Tradition and Identity

In the latter half of the Twentieth century, most African societies were struggling to resolve conflicts between the forces of tradition and change(foisted upon them by Colonization). In contrast to Westerners who found their societies mercilessly ravaged by the Industrial Revolution a few generations earlier, contemporary Africans are now more self-aware and conscious of the revolution restructuring their lives.

Defining ways of life that will unite the technologies and material advantages of the present age with the precious heritage of African cultures is an urgent problem, perhaps the most urgent of all is in contemporary Africa. Both rapidly growing metropolitan centers and rural African villages teemed with anticipation and excitement about the future.

But there was also a desire to preserve esteemed traditions. Most Africans were witnessing in their own lifetime a revolution of society and culture whose proportions were potentially Copernican; and the specter of such radical change produced its own antithesis, an intense struggle for [historical/cultural] continuity in the midst of change.

This dialectical tension between [historical/cultural] continuity and transformation, this concern for assimilating the best of an emerging world culture without in turn being assimilated by it — in short, this juxtaposition of how deeply it was felt but partially compatible desires — was the dynamic of social change in contemporary Africa.

This will help us clarify as to why this Hub is so long, and why the information applied herein is important as it stands, because the time and nature of the imposed assimilation on Africans has been going on in South Africa close to four centuries. So that, what will be needed is an in-depth historical and cultural accounting and auditing. When this Hub is published, its aims were to cover every culture and of South African Africans, it will still be elongated in the future giving other well researched cultures, custom, traditions, languages of those of the 10(ten) peoples not included herein, as of yet. That part of the other cultures is still being prepared at this juncture, and only a few are discussed herein.

Urbanization has also transformed many African societies. Throughout the continent, men have migrated to cities in search of employment, motivated in part by the centripetal pull of urban life and in part by the need for cash to send back home to the villages. In the villages, the men's absence created dislocations, modifying patterns of societal organization, and requiring redefinitions of moral codes and adjustment to culture, customs, traditions, languages and practices. For the men themselves, employment and urban life required the playing of roles that exacerbated alienation from traditional values. So that, traditional rural men were turned into city people, and the villages were altered and changed by their absence.

Even as unskilled laborers participating marginally in the affairs of the city, they acquired new conceptions of time, of work, of social relations with colleagues and kinsmen, and much more. Since the migrations are temporary or seasonal, the return of workers to rural communities became an additional force for change.They brought along with the them ways and mores of city life back to their villages, thus effecting permanent change to the way of life(culture, traditions, etc.), within their respective communities, and changed them forever. This we must take note of.

When families followed the men to the cities, the scope of Africa's social and psychological revolution expanded even further, and we begin to see and admixture of rural African cultural, traditional, linguistic and new cultural modal and lifestyles, superseded by the European Western Cultures; thus, we have what we an "urbanized African South African", and a morphed village or rural-cum-semi-urbane African", thus Creating a"two-ness" that has been discussed within this Hub. This 'two-ness' is partly what Du Bois talked about in relation to African Americans and their two-nessness' embedded in them)

The forces for change are everywhere much the same, but their impact on individuals varies considerably. For some, the erosion of traditional life portends an optimistic future. Freed from the constraints of tradition and orientated toward a different world(the Western form), that the members of this vanguard(Africans pro Western civilization) welcomes the opportunity for new political and cultural destinies.

To others(African cultural conservatives), however the possibility of change is fearful. Almost instinctively, these individuals realize that the experience they have acquired over a lifetime will count for little should the time-honored ways of life disappear. Backed by their conservatism, many of the traditional societies are putting up a determined and extraordinary fight for survival.

Attachments to the old orders are strong(as can be seen on the picture gallery, where-in I show-off the traditional, cultural, customary, dress, arts and crafts of the different nine to ten groups of the South African nations), and that of Mapungubwe, that in the final analysis, even highly acculturated individuals are often ambivalent about new values which threaten to displace ancient and venerable traditions. This point is a common lore in the discourse of Africans about the way those Africans who extol the virtues of Western superiority, but clandestinely steal away and find their way to the respectable cultures, traditions, languages and the whole bit.

We pick up a more cogent and succinct explanation of African culture in its entirety from Cheik Ana Diop who writes:

"The historical factor is the cultural cement that unifies the disparate elements of a people to make them a whole, by the particular slant of the feeling of historical continuity lived by the totality of the collective. It is the historical conscience thus engendered that allows a people to distinguish itself from a population, whose elements, by definition, are foreign, one from the other: the population of a large city market is composed of foreign tourists who come from the five continents and who do not have any cultural bond with each other.

"The historical conscience, through the feeling of cohesion that it creates, constitutes the safest and the most solid shield of cultural security for a people. This is why every people seeks only to know and to live their true history well, to transmit its memory to their descendants. The essential thing, for people, is to rediscover the thread that connects them to their most remote ancestral past.

"In the face of cultural aggression of all sorts, in the face of all disintegrating factors of the outside world, the most efficient cultural weapon with which a people can arm itself is this feeling of historical continuity. This erasing, the destruction of the historical conscience also has been since time began part of the techniques of colonization, enslavement, and debasement of the African peoples."

The passage below by M. Peyronnet, cited by Georges Hardy, is proof of this:

"There is a subject I would like see disappearing without regret [from the program of our African schools] declares M. Peyronnet , senator from Allier, in a recent article in the Annales Coloniales: it is History. A few reading during the French course would be enough to give them the notion of our country's power. ... There is an even simpler way to give a clear idea of our strength to the native youth, which is to decorate the classroom with the intertwined manigolos and to set a miniature 75 mm cannon on the teacher's desk.

"This, by itself, in some measure and for a given period of time, can replace history; but one should not forget that people very quickly get used to scarecrows: the sparrows end up making their nests in the pockets of the gentlemen who gesticulate in the cherry trees." Diop Adds:

"It is these possibilities of cultural aggression, linked to the vital importance of this subject matter, that have led the developing nations coming out of the colonial night, such as South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, etc., to make the teaching of history a national activity. In any case, the teaching of this material must particularly hold attention of the state."(Diop) In present-day South Africa, this is not the case.

"Social and cultural transformation, because all aspects of a system do not change in synchronicity, produces dislocations and conflicts. Individuals who live in the midst of change must develop ways to cope with the inevitable conflicts if their lives are not to be consumed and destroyed by the change process. A common way of dealing with such conflicts is maintaining a stance of compartmentalizing one's thoughts and actions."

Keeping each thing in its proper place, and not trying to resolve all the conflicts, is proving to be a successful modus vivendi for many Africans in adapting to the contemporary world, a mode which works reasonably well when connections among the many spheres in which individuals operate are maintained and when movement among them is possible.The breaking down of African culture above was not completed, and the present fledgling culture has the promise of a new and better future, anchored on the pillars of the past culture, which barely exist, but though barely fully functional, needs to be heeded and utilized by Africans.

Sociocultural changes raise inevitable questions about traditional identities and their relevance in altered environments, and, in many parts of the African continent, uniformities in the patterns can be discerned. This is one of the main thrusts of this Hub, although its focus is mainly within the South African African cultural/traditional, historical and linguistic orb, it also gives a thumb-nail sketch of other aspects of African reality and survival a much deeper look.

Traditional religions of small scale are giving way to membership of Christian and Islamic sects, which in turn become new bases of loyalty which crosscut traditional ethnic, language, and even national boundaries, and in most cases to the detriment of Africans themselves. The once relatively standardized cultural and traditional life cycles of many African societies are giving way to a myriad of new careers-foisted upon them by western civilization and its concomitant, accessories and intellectual condiments, for which both share only a few similarities with one another.

Migration to urban areas, even if only for short periods of time, has itself made Africans more aware of the cultural differences and sameness among themselves, along with many similarities and commonness embedded within their variegated cultures-yet one culture. But a new and free South African should be able to learn from his/her culture that these differences and similarities are but a matter of the 'degree' not acute difference, but sameness, i.e., in relation to their cultures-they(Africans of Mzantsi) are one folk. For individuals and for societies, such changes often precipitates crises of identity. This is the perplexing existential and precarious methods of coping that is a conundrum and causes of social dysfunction for the African peoples of South Africa today. This is what this Hub will deal with below.

Clarifying the Cultural Material Cement

The Historical Prognosis

Diop writes: "For every individual his or her own cultural identity is a function of that of his or her people. Consequently, one must define the cultural identity of a people. This means, to a great extent, one must analyze the components of the collective personality. The historical factor is the "cultural cement" that unifies disparate elements of a people to make them into a whole, by particular slant of the feeling of historical continuity lived by the totality of the collective."

For Africans to understand and rebuild and redefine their culture, Africans in South Africa need to study and understand the cultural material that is presented to them and are presently faced with in the post-neo colonial period. They should not only look at what's left of their past, but what does their left-over material culture has to offer and teach them about the themselves and their future, so long as they pay attention to the remnants of cultural indicators and the cultural material holistically, and as an aggregate, look at it in its entirety and present total historical/cultural manifestations, and what it does have to offer its charges as they deal with the future, in the 21st century.

Diop point out that: "It is the historical conscience thus engendered that allows a people to distinguish itself from a population, whose elements, by definition, are foreign, one from the other: the population of a large city market is composed of foreign tourists who come from five continents and who do not have any cultural bond with each other. This historical conscience, through the feeling of cohesion that it creates, constitutes the safest and the most solid shield of cultural security for a people.

"This is why every people seeks not to know and to live their true history, [culture and traditions] well, and be able to transmit its memory to their descendants. The essential thing for people is to rediscover the threads that connects them to their most remote ancestral past." This can be seen by all these Africans in South Africa who will look into the pictures in the picture gallery to help them realize the point just made by Diop. Also, to learn from such Hubs how coalesce around their own history/culture and make it work for them

"In the face of cultural aggression of all sorts, in the face of all disintegrating factors of the outside world, the most efficient cultural weapon with which a people can arm itself is this feeling of historical continuity," as Diop averred. The erasing and the destruction of the historical and cultural conscience also has been in existence since time began and was part of the technique of colonization, enslavement, and debasement of a people."

A second level, more general, further off in time and space and including the totality of African people, comprises the general history of Black Africa, insofar as research permits, restoring it today from a purely scientific approach will not be an easy task until information such as this one in this Hub can reach the vast majorities of South Africa and Africa, including the Western world, effectively and concretely: each history of the different clans of the 10(ten) peoples is thus pinpointed and correctly situated in relation to general historical coordinates and timeline within this Hub for the benefit of Africans and Westerners in the same manner. Thus, all the continent's history is reevaluated according to a new unitary standard suited to revive and to cement, on the basis of established fact, all of the inert elements of the ancient African historical mosaic.

Linguistic Unity

Montesquieu wrote that: "As long as a conquered people has not lost its language, it can have hope because those languages are the unique common denominator of African history, and that they are characteristic of cultural identity par excellence." Some people say that Africa is a Tower of Babel, but this is not different from Europe which has 360 languages and dialects. Diop says that everyone knows that this superficial heterogeneity in Europe hides a kinship. Diop adds:

"If we speak today of a European linguistic unity, it is only at this profound level, released and restored to science by linguistic archeology.

"Otherwise the French, the English, the Germans, the Italians, the Rumanians,the Lithuanians, the Russians, etc., do not understand each other any more than the Zulus, Tswanas, Sothos, Pedis, Xhosas, Ndebelels, Shangaaans, Vendas/Tsongas, Wolof, The Bambara, the Hausa, etc., do.

"It is therefore a necessity that a duly conducted African linguistic research bring African people to experience deeply their linguistic unity, in the same way as Europeans have, in spite of the apparent superficial heterogeneity. The result obtained already allow us to undertake the cultural education and evaluation of the African consciousness in that sense."

"Africans would quickly discover, to their great surprise, that it is a typically Negro African language that has been the oldest written language in history of humanity. It began 5,300 years ago, in Egypt; Whereas the most ancient testimony to an Indo-European language (Hittite) goes back to the XVII Egyptian Dynasty(1470 BC), and this, probably under the influence of the political cultural domination of Asia Minor by Egypt. But this would take us too far.

"Let us only say that, all of a sudden, African linguistic research offers breathtaking possibilities to comparative linguistics and is about to reverse the traditional roles in this field. Be that as it may, it is through the study of the Egypto-Nubian languages that the historical dimension, up to now missing, is introduced in African Studies; the comparison that derives from it allows, with each passing day, reinforcement of the feeling of linguistic unity of the Africans, therefore the feeling of cultural identity and unity.

"The review of the historical and linguistic factors as constituent elements of cultural personality brings to light the necessity for a total recasting of the African program of education in the field discussed herein. and for a radical centering of these on Egypto-Nubia antiquity[including historical and cultural past of Mapungubwe]-in the case of South Africa, in the same way that the Western educational system has its foundation in the Greco-Latin antiquity: there is no [other]way more certain, more radical, more scientific, more sane and salutary to reinforce the African cultural personality and, consequently, the cultural identity of Africans." (Diop)

Africans in South Africa should pay attention to the fact that since they still retain their nine languages, as we center and suture them around the Egyptian linguistic history, they should also learn how to link and fuse them into one "Nguni/Bakone Dialect" by interfusing and transplanting important and historical linguistic utterances of the 9-(Nine) groups into one whole continuous robust linguistic unity. These 9 (Nine) language have common words found in each language and these can be used into forming a unified language for the purposes of linguistic continual cultural unity. I have written a sequel to this Hub and called it "History, Culture, Custom, Traditions and Practices of the Africans of South Africa: deconstructing Historical Amnesia" wherein I go into an in-depth look at the language and literature of Africans in South Africa in a much more expanded form.

Psychological and Cultural Invariants

The Egyptian civilization, with its grandiose art, entirely due to a Black(African) people, because we only want to stress the fact that the intellectual and psychological climate created by all the writings of this type, strongly conditioned the first definitions that the African thinkers of the period between the two World Wars, had tried to give to their culture. But today, in order to better grasp people's cultural identity, a scientific approach to the psychic factor can equally be tried.

For this, in the context of a socio-historical approach, one should try to answer the following questions: What are the psychological and cultural invariants that political and social revolutions, even the most radical ones, leave intact, not only among the people, but among the very leaders of the revolution? If one tries to answer such a question from the analysis of the historical conditioning of a given people and of the African peoples in general, one then already arrives at some results relatively better elaborated than before.

One realizes that this communicative gaiety, which goes back to the Galen's epoch, instead of being a permanent trait due to the result of the reassuring communally securing social structures that bog down our people in the present and in a lack of concern for tomorrow, in optimism, etc.-makes them seem stagnant and backward-looking; whereas individualistic social structures of the Indo-Europeans engender anxiety, pessimism, uncertainty about tomorrow, moral solitude, tension regarding that future, and all its beneficial effects on the material life, etc. Thus projecting as modern and progressive

Today, with the explosion everywhere in the world of these structures inherited from the past, we are witnessing a new moral and spiritual birth among peoples: a new African moral consciousness and a new national temperament are developing before our eyes, and unless the structures resist — and how could they? — This phenomenon of spiritual transformation of the people will become greater. Biko had set it in motion through Black(African) Consciousness Movement and thinking(Philosophy)

The cultural invariants we are talking about here are that the historical and linguistic factors constitute coordinates, quasi absolute reference points in relation to the permanent flux of psychic changes. In the work, approaching national building through recognition of their cultures, Africans stand a better chances of shaping, sharing and reformulating their futures. This, as has been observed above, can be found in the sequel to this Hub that I have already pointed out its title above.

The Deep and Excruciating Psychological Hurt

Recycling Apartheid: Western Civilization/Religion Negating African Culture

Biko writes: "The logic behind White domination is to prepare the Black man for the subservient role in this country. Not so long ago this used to freely said in parliament even about the educational system of the Black people, by the apartheid oppressors. It is still said even today, although in a much more sophisticated language. To a large extent the evil-doers have succeeded in producing at the output end of the machine a kind of Black man who is man only in form.

"But the type of Black man we have today has lost his manhood. Reduced to an obliging shell, he looks with awe at White power structure and accepts what he regards as the "inevitable position". Deep inside his anger mounts at the accumulating insult, but he vents it in the wrong direction on his fellow man in the township, on the property of Black people. ...

"In the privacy of his toilet his face twists in silent condemnation of White society but brightens up in sheepish obedience as he comes out hurrying in response to his master's impatient call. In the home-bound bus, taxi or train he joins the chorus that roundly condemns the White man but is first to praise the government in the presence of the police or his employers.

"His heart yearns for the comfort of White society and makes him blame himself for not having been "educated" enough to warrant such luxury. Celebrated achievements by Whites in the field of science - which he understands only hazily - serve to make him rather convinced of the futility of resistance and to throw away any hopes that change may ever come.

"All in all, the Black man has become a shell, a shadow of man, completely defeated, drowning in his own misery, a slave, an ox bearing the yoke of oppression with sheepish timidity ...This is the extent to which the process of dehumanization has advanced." It is as if Bantu is talking about the present-day Africans of South Africa and the condition, state and existence they find themselves mired-in."

Bantu continues to add: "This is the first truth, bitter as it may seem, that we have to acknowledge before we can start on any program designed to change the status quo. It becomes more necessary to see the truth as it is if you realize that the only vehicle for change are these people who have lost their personality. The first step therefore is to make the Black man come to himself; to pump back life into his empty sell; to infuse him with pride and dignity, to remind him of his complicity in the crime of allowing himself to be misused and therefore letting evil reign supreme in the country of his birth. This is what we mean by an Inward-Looking process.

"This is the Definition of 'Black Consciousness'. One writer makes the point that in an effort to destroy completely the structures that had been built in the African society and to impose their imperialism with an unnerving totality the colonialists were not satisfied merely with holding a people in their grip and emptying the Native's brain of all form and content, they turned to the past of the oppressed people and distorted, disfigured and destroyed it.

"No longer was reference made to African culture, it became barbarism. Africa was the "Dark Continent" and religious practices, customs and practices were referred to as 'superstition'. The history of African Society was reduced to 'tribal' battles and internecine wars. There was no conscious migration by the people from one place of abode to another. No, it was always flight from one tyrant who wanted to defeat the 'tribe' not for any positive reason, but merely to wipe them out of the face of tis earth.

"No wonder the African child learns to hate his heritage in his days at school. So negative is the image presented to him that he tends to find solace in close identification with White society. ...A People without a positive history[and culture], is like a vehicle without an engine [or a body without a soul-my addition]. Their emotions cannot be easily controlled and channelled in a recognizable direction."

They always live in the shadow of a more successful society. Hence in a country like ours, they are forced to celebrate holidays like "Paul Kruger's Day, 'Heroes' day, 'Republic' day, etc., -all of which are occassions during which the humiliation defeat is at once revived." Africans are still forced to pay obeisance to their oppression by the present ANC-led government.

What we see today in South Africa has long been planted and well orchestrated. From the era of Bantu Education(which now seems better than the education of Africans in South Africa); to what I was just talking about in the paragraph prior, the so-called-model-C schools-and some mumbo jumbo Education blueprint and system today, both of which miseducate and confuse African children, are what has been displaced with exuberance by the Educational leaders, which ends up making people confused and ignorant.

When Apartheid set up Bantu Education, they were working towards ensuring that the African children remain left behind in comparison to their white counterparts; today, in looking at the African education, both in the townships and in the 'Model C' schools, its products and those of Bantu Education formats on steroids; the former are completely assimilated, and the latter were driven by a high level of political and social consciousness. African children, today, have a disdain for their African languages and culture, and they also have a penchant for the English language and culture, that in the long run, they have become a disruptive presence within their households and communities.

Parents are decrying the loss and lack of "Inhlonipho"/"Thlompho"-"Hlompho" (Respect) which the mostly 'Model C' display or regard with their sheer arrogance and dismissive attitudes that 'now' is their time' mantra, that the past was for those who lived it-and highly dismissive of the protocols of their African culture. In other words, what they see as 'freedom'(a la Born Frees).

Democracy, 'dead is Apartheid'('which, they ignorantly claim they have never experienced nor 'know-about''), and are 'psyched-out' by international Television, new and ever-changing emerging technologies, that they arrogantly gloat and act like their parents are the backwards people who do not even understand "White Culture", because these children trumpet the fact that they are attending the best white schools in the country, therefore they are better than their African cohorts(in the Townships and their parents and relatives and African community as a whole).

Reading Bantu's heavily quoted excerpt above , is like he was talking about South Africa today. What he talked about when he was writing in Frank Talk, is not only relevant today, but it really speaks to the confused and ahistorical Youth of South Africa about the things that they are doing today, believing and touting their present reality as if it's the first time that this has happened in South Africa for Africans.

What they are doing, they do not read Steven Bantu's Work, Mda, Robert Sobukwe's works in order to be able to supplement their becoming educated in present-day South Africa in an informed and positive historical and cultural perspective; and, also, and why it is that they are fighting with their elders, culture, customs and what it means being African-come to understand why, in historical terms, they are acting the way they do now, they cannot fathom that, nor can they wrap their heads as to why there is this continuous conflict with their own people-and they have become alienated(see the discourse on alienation above in the Hub)…

One thing that has been noted above is the fact that one of the important cultural pillars that Africans have been able to retain, was their languages. According to this notion, since African people were able to retain their culture by speaking and sticking to their language, and that this shows that the colonization of African was never complete nor successful, on that part of the European colonizers, and that, their history is deeply embedded within their mother tongues(African Languages), and if they could only understand this fact, they could use the language to upgrade their history.

African children today in South Africa converse in English, and most of them cannot spell nor write it cogently; neither are they intellectually functional to deal with their own history, culture, customs, traditions, languages and practices-in both English and heir own African languages. They are also finding it tough to speak and converse in their mother tongues(African Languages).

Yet, the reality remains hidden in plain sight. Africans in South Africa are still lagging behind in all areas. Little or nothing has changed much for them. One of the major obstacles faced by Africans today in South Africa are the proliferating different types of religious beliefs and institution. These have created a chasm amongst Africans, and many are confused as to what is happening to themselves spiritually as a society. Many are driven by desperation and poverty into some of these churches. There are many other reasons as to why many Africans are being fleeced, gauged and gypped by these "Fly-byNight" instant and mushrooming churches.

To better understand these religious shenanigans, we will refer to Bantu Biko who has written a little bit on this subject. Biko writes: "What of the White man's religion - Christianity? It seems the people involved in imparting Christianity to the Black people steadfastly refuse to get rid of the rotten foundation which many of the missionaries created when they came. To this day, Black people find no message for them in the Bible simply because our ministers are still too busy with moral trivialities.

"They blow these up as the most important things that Jesus had to say to people. They constantly urge the people to find fault in themselves and by so doing detract from the essence of the struggle in which the people are involved. Deprived of spiritual content, the Black people read the bible with gullibility that is shocking.

While they sing in a chorus of "mea culpa" they are joined by White groups who sing a different version — "tua culpa". The anachronism of a well-meaning God who allows people to suffer continually under an obviously immoral system is not lost to young Blacks who continue to drop out of church by the hundreds[if not by the thousands and millions, [today too-my addition].

"Too many different types of people and races are involved in religion for the Blacks to ignore. Obviously, the only path open for them now is to redefine the message in the Bible and to make it relevant to the struggles of the masses. The Bible must not be seen to preach that all authority is divinely instituted. It must rather preach that it is a sin to allow oneself to be oppressed. The bible must continually be shown to have done something to the Black man to keep him going in his long journey towards realization of the self. "

"Further, according to Biko: "Blacks must be freed from spiritual poverty. What must be demonstrated for Black people is the absurdity of the assumption by Whites that, "Ancestor worship" was necessarily a superstition and that Christianity is a scientific religion. Also, they should be made aware that Christianity is an adaptable religion that fits in with the cultural situation of the people to whom it is imparted"(Blacks, their religion and culture). Sekou Toure was right when he said:

"To take part in the African revolution, it is not enough to write a revolutionary song; you must fashion the revolution with the people. And if you fashion it with the people. The songs will come by themselves and of themselves. In order to achieve real action you must yourself be a living part of Africa and her thought ; you must be an element of that popular energy which is entirely called forth for the freeing, the progress and happiness of Africa.There is no place outside that fight for the artist or for the intellectual who is not himself concerned with, and completely at one with the people in the great battle of Africa and of suffering humanity."

As long ones religion that not serve its adherents, then it is useless as a spiritual vehicle if it handcuffs the spirit and development of a people, as is in the case of the oppressed, repressed and depressed people of south Africa

As I have pointed out above when I commented about the "Model C"-trained African youth and those instructed in the poor and shoddy pedagogy used in the townships, these children are not anchored nor moored in the culturalAfrican cultural moorings and positions best suited for them to be able to lead and control their destinies within the African community. The Africans have been treated with contempt to the extent that they were necessary to provide cheap labour, to aver Biko, and 'they helped raised the standard and lifestyle of opulent living for white people, and in the process they were set up to fail in any endeavor they might attempt to undertake'.

The rising, minority African bourgeoisie at this juncture, is perched on the horizon and rolling with the riches of the Gravy Train, looking inside from the outside at White Wealth, of which a few are let in, the rest remain aspirants and wanna-be millionaires, barely licking the enriched froth from the end-tables of their masters. But, as Sekou Toure advises that they(Africans-wannabe-White) "should be in the innards of the struggle, with the people, and that at the present moment they are not with the people and are criminally and greedily helping themselves with all the wealth they can lay their paws onto, and meanwhile, starving and distancing their African people at each turn of any new day away from their scrapped crumbs."

As noted in some of my articles, the ANC-led government did not start the June 16 1976 revolution and all the struggles thereafter, which according to Fanon helps promote "auto-self destructive behavior," which the present government is content in helping and encouraging to perpetuate. Our not understanding and acknowledging, respecting and improve our practice of African culture, customs, opens doors for the destruction of African South Africans.

South African African custom, culture, and practices are one issue that needs to be narrated based on what remnants of it can culled from today's African culture. This mind-set needs to be the 'modus operandi' of the 'cultural warriors' and political pugilists along with economical facilitators, working in tandem to not only put this culture back on world cultural map, but bring respect, glory and recognition of their culture and pride for all the world to seek/see, understand and acknowledge.

In order to enable Africans in South Africa to reclaim, control and own their culture, they need to see it as it is, and work with it from what they see and experience, which will afford them the opportunity to produce and perpetuate the culture/history that will then ooze from their re-working and re-establishing their Cultural mosaic in their own image. In order for us to understand the culture of the Nguni/Bakone peoples of South Africa(Mzantsi), we shall have to establish cultural, traditional, linguistic, customary and historical background(Historiography).

What must be paid attention to is the fact that social cultural issues and changes raise some inevitable questions about the traditional identities and their relevance in the presently altered environments in South Africa and in many parts of African continent, and whether these uniformities in the patterns of change can be discerned.

Traditional religions of small scale have in this day and age given way to membership in Christian and Islamic sects, which in turn become new bases of loyalty which crosscut traditional , ethnic, language and even national boundaries of Africa and the Africans. This is clashing with the local African culture and mores and creating a lot of confusion and the future does not look bright for the Africans of South Africa in this sector.

Those African societies that were once relatively standardized in the life cycles of many African societies are giving way to a myriad of new cultures which share only a few similarities with one another. African people's migration to urban areas, albeit for a very short time, has itself made Africans more aware of the cultural differences among their lot.

In the case of South Africa, and in this Hub in particular, I am showing that the differences between the different indigenous people's clans/nations is not very significant and real, but it is a created fiction,and in essence, it is the same, unified but as groups with diverse but unified cultures, customs, traditions and practices with variation of the same cultural manifestations in all spheres of the same cultural customary tradition [look at the pictures in the photo gallery].

We also need to pay attention to the reality that within any particular society, that the absolutes and givens of yesterday are today's variables. Our differentness is our wholesomeness; what has been seen as different cultures is instead the one big culture with greatness and a varying nature and variegated diversity of the culture of African people, which up to the point of this discussion, in this Hub, has been discussed as to how its detractors have presented it in an ill-defined characterization, especially concerning the African people's culture: that they have gone up to the point of casting it as being separate, and 'not the same', 'not related', and lastly, perpetually "tribal", and this is trumpeted by all those who know nothing about it.

The intention of creating this research is to begin to turn the dialogue around on the behalf of Africans in South Africa, and provide if not furnish them with building blocks in their learning about their history and culture, and how to talk and view, fully appreciate and promote their culture without apologizing to anyone, anywhere.

Instead, they should be able to elaborate it in its magnificence and send other people to the Hub above in order to begin the process of allowing other people to understand their culture, and for their culture to morph with the present changing world, but still preserve and promote/perpetuate its essential, vital and well grounded elements, aspects and core customary traditional and practical values in fashioning a South Africa in their African image and reality-from their own African perspective and experience.

Ways Of Learning African South African Culture

Wilson writes: "Under certain social-economic circumstances, cultural identity can become an instrument for the expression of power of the predominant cultural system which molded it, and may also become the instrument used by the dominant culture and its members to further its survival and enhance its empowerment.

Black cultural identity, even in its stratified and diffused state, even on the individual level, is a political economy or essentially an organization of lacks, deficiencies, interests, needs, desires, passions tastes, ideals, motives, values, etc., the response to which on the part of Blacks helps to maintain or enhance the social power relations, prerogatives, and integrity of the White dominated racial status quo.

The salvation, empowerment and liberation of African peoples require an appropriate, thorough, pragmatic cultural analysis of the deculturation and reculturation of ourselves by dominant European peoples, of reactionary "Black culture," and their social products as represented by reactionary Black identities. We must analyze how these identities, whether considered prosocial or antisocial, function to maintain the oppressive power of Whites and the subordinate powerlessness of black.

Our salvation requires that we perceive White supremacy as the major social, political, and spiritual problem to be resolved by African peoples, and that we ask and answer definitively the questions: What kind of a culture must we construct in order to overthrow White supremacy? What kinds of social identities, relations, arrangements, alignments, institutions, values, etc., which when actualized, will allow us to attain and protect our liberty? Enhance our quality of life? What kinds of socialization practices must we institute in order to empower ourselves to become the kinds of people we must become if we are to secure our right to be free?

Certainly, the answers lie in the direction of the reclamation of our African identity and the reconstitution of our African-centered consciousness supported by commensurate African-centered cultural, social, political and economic values, institutions and relations. It is very important to keep in mind that a culture is to a significant extent a historical product, a social product; a culture is socially manufactured, the handiwork of both deliberate and coincidental human social collusions and interactions.

A culture also manufactures social products, and some of the most important social products it generates include its own cultural identity, and the social and personal identities of its constituent group and individual members. Africans must confidently build and recreate their own culture from the remnants of the culture that they have today. This Hub is a motivation for such actions that need to be carried out by Africans of South Africa to begin to rebuild their people who are steeped in dysfunction and confusion.

Putting The Concept and Meaning of Culture Much More Clearly

Wilson continues to inform us about culture and what it actual is and means. It is important that at this juncture Africans in South Africa pay closer attention to Wilson's instructive points bout what they should know and understand is culture.

"What is culture? Horton and Hunt provide a workable answer to this question," Wilson cites: "From their life experiences, a group develops a set of rules and procedures for meeting their needs.

"The set of rules and procedures, together with a supporting set of ideas and values, is called culture." Anthropologist Clyde Kluckhon has defined culture as all the "historically created designs for living, explicit and implicit, rational, irrational and non-rational which may exist at any given time as potential guides for the behavior of man.

"As a set of designs for guiding the behavior of its members, i.e., a set of guidelines for directing and regulating the behavior of its members, and a culture provides standards of proper cognitive, emotional and behavioral conduct; a set of proverbial precepts as to what reality is, and an accompanying set of rationalizations or ostensible explanations for its nature and purpose.

"Thus, culture, though a product of the actual lived experience of a people — the primal source of much of their daily personal and social activities, their forms of labor and its products, their celebratory and ceremonial traditions, modes of dress, art and music, language and articulatory style, appetites and desires - is essentially ideological in nature as it is on shared beliefs, customs, expectations, and values.

"Culture constructs definitions, meanings and purposes, these cultural constructs are used to proactively and reactively mold the mind, body, spirit and behavior of the constituent members of a culture. These active constructs become the cultural and social heritage of the members of a particular culture. Hence, culture does not exist outside and independent of its human subjects.

'Culture is represented symbolically and operationally in the minds and characteristically mental/behavioral orientations or styles of its members, and is incarnated in the customary ways they move and use their bodies [also the clothes they wear and the dances the perform, the songs they sing and the instruments they use, along with the languages they speak — my addition].

"That in the final analysis the culture is represented "in" the minds and bodies of its members, and expresses itself through the systematic ways they attend, experience, categorize, classify, order, judge, evaluate,explain and interact with their world.

"Mentally, culture involves the socially shared and customary ways of thinking, a way of encoding, perceiving, experiencing, ordering, processing, communicating and of behaviorally expressing information which distinguishes one cultural group from another.

"All these activities are dedicated to the end of adapting the culture to the consistent and changing demands of its physical and social environment and reciprocally adapting the environment to the demands of the culture."

What Africans need to do as the definition of culture is explained above, they need to plug in what culture, tradition, customs, languages and practices that are now still evident, and they might see something different, new but still the same old culture, just that it is being upgraded into the technological Age and societies of the world.

Wilson further adds: " Socially, culture patterns the ways its members perceive each, relate to and interact with each other. It facilitates the ways they create, develop,organize, institutionalize, and behaviorally apply their human potential in order to adapt to the conditions under which they live so as to satisfy their psychological, social and survival needs.

"To the degree that the shared beliefs and behavioral orientations of the members of a culture are consensually consistent, reasonably rational and realistic, are effectively and consistently socialized and reinforced, the culture is characterized by coherence, somewhat low levels of internal conflicts and contradictions, relatively smooth, automatic, coordinated operation, and thereby effectively functional in the interests of its members." And this culture, if revamped in the manner Wilson points out to, will uplift Africans as a nation.

The culture of Africans in South Africans has all these points that Wilson is making above to make the definition clearer, cohesive and much more cogent, to be upgraded in a disciplined manner. These social interactions and communal ways are still being practiced today in South Africa amongst Africans, and as the picture gallery attests, it is the same culture with many variations, and yet not losing its core and traditional, customary and uniquely South African. Colorful and a lot of dancing and cultural wares that, if one were to look at it much more closely, is the same, albeit its variations.

Why I quoted at length from Wilson and from Bantu is because there has been so much written about South African culture that it is imperative that I delved much more into the writing of those, who, in their writing, will impart information clarifying certain issues, like cultural identity, as to what is that Africans should know and do to advance their society's culture and what are its components and building blocks that Africans need to learn, know, see, experience, understand and be enabled to change by their own culture as to where it fits in their lives and in the whole scheme of human existence and endeavors.

Those who colonized and enslaved Africans have worked assiduously hard to deny Africans their humanity and languages, customs, traditions and practices of their culture. By talking about culture within these two Hubs' content, I am hoping to help raise and revive the trampled culture of a people from the graveyard of history, after being in the doldrums of real colonial historical timeline, creating a society that has been made dysfunctional in its form and existence for the present African people of South Africa.

It is therefore my contention that the culture of Africans in South Africa is alive and well, and what needs to be done is to put it in a national perspective, South African cultural, customary, traditional and linguistic content and context, resuscitating it in the process, i.e.,this culture, in its manifestations shows that it is unitary, uniform same and united, although varied-giving it a sense of variety ,and that there is no difference but commonness/sameness about the culture as we look closely at the photo in the picture gallery.

What I am attempting to do in this Hub is to uplift the African nations in South Africa, as a 'Nation,' with its many variations and it being lived, experienced and passed from one generation to another, and mainly controlled and disseminated, culturally, customarily, traditionally, linguistically, historically and in its practices.

If this preoccupation is not made a national past time by the people of African descent in South Africa, the hope of reconstructing their nation within these contexts, diminishes, and that, by looking and seeing this culture as a culture that belongs to and practiced by the African Nation in South Africa, as a social duty, for those present and still in the future, will have to be the task overtaken by all Africans of South Africans and hope to achieve national cohesion. It is at this point, again, that we defer to Bantu who will lays out the blue-print towards solving this conundrum.

The Innards of African Culture in Mzantsi(South Africa)

The cultures, traditions, languages and customs of African people in South Africa are not dead, nor was it ever wiped off the face of the earth.They are still alive and well and the people are experiencing a cultural renaissance, albeit slow in catching up, it is nonetheless on the rise. Because we are talking about the presently ascending African culture in South Africa, we need to broach the subject and get a cultural and customary historical foundation and clarification as to how the Culture of Africans worked in the past and is still working-like today.

There still a lot of Boers and other White(irrelevant scholars) who are still insisting that Africans are made of "tribes," are different and will never be one nation. This is a false assumption and argument because its intended to divide and conquer Africans, which has been the 'modus operandi' of the Europeans and Boers who have been domineering the indigenous local African people. When one looks at the picture gallery, it is evident that the culture of Africans is one big national culture.

Even Europe, has one big culture for in their individual countries, and they are not uniform or monolithic, inasmuch as they are variations as they manifest themselves as European cultures. No one calls the different clans/nations in Europe 'tribes', and their 'kings' are not 'chiefs' and so forth. Semantics are used against Africans to show their culture as backwards, unscientific, diminutive and in fact, lost and nonexistent today.

These spurious arguments made against a culture , not hidden in plain sight, but existing in plain sight, creates a need for a corrective cultural history to be re-written on behalf of African people who are so poor that they cannot, en-masse, obtain computers, let alone pay for the exorbitant fees that are charged for the Internet in their poverty stricken dysfunctional state of existence: coping in an insane society. Later on in the hub we will address the thrust of this, which is to make and create a sane society.

As for now, we will cull a bit of Bantu's Some African Cultural Concepts Sub-chapter, wherein he lays down a much more simpler, cogent, coherent and straight to the point cultural history of the Nguni/Bakone peoples of South Africa.

The Sane Culture of Africans in South Africa

African Traditional Culture

The Africans of South Africa lost their cultural orientations, environmental familiarity and their own surroundings due to the Anglo Boer belligerent culture and military mights and murderous warfare campaigns against the indigenous populations of south Africa. It is at this point where we read Bantu writing as follows:

"One of the most difficult things to do these days is to talk with authority on anything to do with African culture. Somehow Africans are not expected to have any deep understanding of their own culture or even of themselves. Other people have become authorities on all aspects of the African life or be more accurate on "BANTU" life. Thus we have the thickest volumes on some of the strangest subjects — even "the feeding habits of the urban Africans" a publication by a fairly "liberal" group, Institute of Race Relations.

[Therefore], in taking a look at cultural aspects of the African people, one invariably finds himself having to compare. This is primarily because of the contempt that the 'superior'(Anglo/Boer) culture shows towards the indigenous culture. To justify its exploitative basis the Anglo-Boer culture has at all times been directed at bestowing an inferior status to all cultural aspects of the indigenous people. In other words, African peoples future propelled by their culture was set up to fail, no matter what Africans may try to do in regards to uplifting themselves and their culture in the future"(21st century ad infinitum...)

In his own words Biko further informs us that: "I am against the belief that African culture is time-bound, the notion that with the conquest of the African all his culture was obliterated. I am also against against the belief that when one talks of African culture one is necessarily talking of the pre-Van Riebeeck culture.

"Obviously, the African culture has had to sustain severe blows and may have been battered nearly out of shape by the belligerent cultures it collided with, yet, in essence, even today, one can easily find the fundamental aspects of the pure African culture in the present-day African. One of the most fundamental aspects of our culture is the most importance we attach to Man(Umuntu/Motho, or if you like, Human Being).

"Ours has always been a Man-centered society. Westerners have in many occasions been surprised at the capacity we have for talking to each other — not for the sake of arriving at a particular conclusion but merely to enjoy the communication for its own sake.

Intimacy is a term not exclusive for particular friends but applying to a whole group of people who find themselves together either through work or through residential requirements," [I have partly spoken about this above when citing Wilson on African Culture and in addressing the concept of "Ubuntu" several paragraphs above - my addition].

In fact, Biko continues, "In the traditional African Culture, there is no such thing as two friends. Conversation groups were more or less naturally determined by age and division of labor. Thus one would find all boys whose job was to look after cattle periodically meeting at popular spots to engage in conversation about their cattle, girlfriends, parents, heroes, etc. All commonly shared their secrets, joys and woes.

No one felt unnecessarily an intruder into someone else's business. The curiosity manifested was welcome. It came out of a desire to share. This pattern one would find in all age groups. House visiting was always a feature of the elderly folk's way of life. No reason was needed as a basis for visits. It was all part of our deep concern for each other."

Even today, one still finds the traces of this perceptions and perspective of africans in South Africa amongst themselves.

Bringing Up Children

Maybe today many young boys might not be interested in looking after cattle and sheep, but institutions that are dedicated to youth upbringing and teaching could be made a reality and most youth be passed through that type of cultural pedagogy. Amongst the Africans in South Africa, there is an overwhelming socialization mannerism that were all part of the concern of Africans for each other.

Bantu writes:

"These are things never done in the Westerner's culture. A visitor to someones's house, with the exception of friends, is always met with the question "what can I do for you?" This attitude to see people not as themselves but as agents for some particular function either to one's advantage or advantage is foreign to us. We are not a suspicious race. We believe in the inherent goodness of man. We enjoy man for himself.

"We regard our living together not as an unfortunate mishap warranting endless competition among us but as a deliberate act of God to make us a community of brothers and sisters jointly involved in the quest for a composite answer to the varied problems of life. Hence, in all we do we always place man first and hence all our action is usually joint community orientated action rather than the individualism which is the hallmark of the [Western] capitalist approach.

"We always refrain from using people as stepping stones. Instead, we are prepared to have a much slower progress in an effort to make sure that all of us are marching to the same tune." As we have noted, the situation today is no more what Biko is talking about. The Africans aptly call it 'dog-eats-dog world,' today in South Africa amongst Africans, wherein these values have been trounced and not caring for each other has become the norm, anomie reigns supreme.

"Yet, as we have been saying above, these cultural mannerisms are still part and parcel of Africans, and the only problem they face is that there are no serious cultural warriors to "Re-set" the culture, but the present African opportunists and criminals are guided by their greed and want of material wealth, in their haste towards opulence, they're trampling anyone in their rushing pell-mell into looting the land and people of its wealth, and depleting their public coffers but amongst the majority of the "poor" Africans, what Bantu is discussing is still aspects of customary respect and reality" "inhlonipho/Thlompho-Hlompho" (Respect) which still guides the relations amongst Africans and their neighbors and brethren: Man is still prime and considered to be the most important.

Celebratory, Work and Other Cultural Songs

To what I have just said above, Bantu adds: "Nothing dramatizes the eagerness of the African to communicate with each other more than their love for song and rhythm."All the nine African nations of South Africa shown in the Picture gallery, one more other cultural aspect displayed in the photos is the dancing and singing amongst them.

In effect, this does not make them 'different,' but any person of African heritage in South Africa should be, and will be able to discern the common theme of dancing people, of any of the 10(ten) nations are doing the same thing: they have dances for women, girls and elderly women, they also have dance for young boys, teenagers and those for older me.

All have them have dances that are performed by children of all sexes, teenagers of the same age, boys and girls, and those dances that incorporate dances of the grown-ups — men and women mixed. Biko continues: "Music in the African culture features in all emotional states. When we go to work, we share the burdens and pleasures of the work we are doing through music.

"This particular facet strangely enough has filtered through to the present day. Tourists always watch with amazement they synchrony of music and action as African working at a road-side use their picks and shovels with well-timed precision[or spontaneously sing in fantastic harmony a song for any occasion-those who have been to South Africa have come across what I am talking about].

"Girls and boys never played any games without using music and rhythm as its basis. In other words with Africans, music and rhythm were not luxuries but part and parcel of our way of communicating-but of their cultural interaction and elaboration(of ways of culture, customs, traditions and practices-my addition) Any suffering we experienced was made much more real by song and rhythm."

"The major tis to note about our songs," writes Bantu, "Is that they never were songs for individuals. All African songs are group songs. Though many have words, this is not the most important thing about them. Tunes were adapted to suit the occasion and had the wonderful effect of making everybody read the same things from the common experience.

In war,the songs reassured those who were scared, highlighted the determination of the regiment to win a particular encounter and made much more urgent to the need to settle the score: in suffering, as in the case of the Black slaves, they derived sustenance out of a feeling of togetherness, at work the binding rhythm makes everybody brush off the burden and hence Africans can continue for hours on end because of this added energy.

African Community, Property, Animal Husbandry and Agriculture

The life of Africans people of South Africa, before the coming of the European was peaceful and very communal. "Ubuntu/Botho" reigned supreme, as has been discussed by Bantu above, wherein the emphasis of African was more Man-centered than what we see today as the Western half-baked version of an African who is in full flight trying to be accepted into the White community at the expense of his people and culture. But, before the advent of the belligerent White culture into the country now known as South Africa, Africans had different perspective about many things that concerned and affected their lives. Biko informs us thus:

Attitudes of Africans to property again shoe just how unindividualistic the African is. As everybody here knows, African society had the village community as its basis. Africans always believed in having many small villages with a controllable number of people in each rather than the reverse. This obviously was a requirement to suit the needs of a community-based and man-centered society.

Therefore, most things were jointly owned,for instance,there was no such thing as individual land ownership. The land belonged to the people and was merely under the control of the local, minor "chief," who was ruled by a "King" on behalf of the people. When cattle went to graze, it was on an open 'veld' and not on anybody's specific farm. Farming and agriculture, though on individual family basis, and many characteristics of joint efforts.

Each person could by a simple request and holding of a special ceremony,invite neighbors to come and work on his plots. This service was returned in kind and no remuneration was ever given. Poverty was a foreign concept. This could only be rally brought about to the entire community by an adverse climate during a particular season.

It never was considered repugnant to ask one's neighbors for help if one was struggling. In almost all instances, there was help between individuals, clan and clan, chief and chief, king and king, etc., even in spite of war." (This was the case when Shaka's army," attacked Moshoeshoe on Thaba Bosiu, and he successfully repelled the attacking warriors, who, when in the end grew tired and hungry, he sent them food and cows to slaughter, and they subsequently returned home, to Chaka - my example…)

As we are reworking the presentation and respect for the culture of Africans, we need to keep many things in perspective, as Bantu noted that it has been whipped out of shape when it collided with other foreign and belligerent cultures of Europe. So that in presenting it as I am doing, this is done to flesh-out and imbue it with matter and material that will cover its present state, and preserve it for many years to come for future generation of people of African descent. Bantu, generally speaking, is giving us the synopsis of the culture of Africans in South Africa as a whole, not of one 'clan'.

What he is writing about is the whole of African ten(10) groups as to what their culture is all about and is like. This is important for whenever the detractors of African South African people attack their culture, they discuss it as if one group of the Africans people's culture is not related to the other group and so on.

It is not a separate culture, and it is a viable national and cohesive culture which should be addressed as such and written about as being one, not different nor divided. Some of the enemies of African people in South Africa and those that are ignorant about the mind-set of Africans in South Africa, and they do not really know the state of mind and the psyche of African people in South Africa. Bantu Biko explains:

African South Africans State of Mind

"Another aspect of the African culture is our mental attitude to problems presented by life in general. Whereas the Westerner is geared to use a problem-solving approach following very trenchant analyses, our approach is that of situation-experiencing." Dr. Kaunda illustrates this point thus: "The Westerner has an aggressive mentality. When he sees a problem he will not rest until he has formulated some solution to it. He cannot live with contradictory ideas in his mind; he must settle for one or the other two. And he is vigorously scientific in rejecting solutions for which there is not basis in logic. He draws a sharp line between the natural and the supernatural, the rational and the non-rational, and more often than not, he dismisses the supernatural and non-rational as superstition.... Africans, being a pre-scientific people do not recognize any conceptual cleavage between the natural and supernatural. They experience a situation rather than face a problem. By this I mean they allow both the rational and non-rational elements to make an impact on them, and any action they may take could be described more as a response of the total personality to the situation than the result of some mental exercises."

These differences are often denied or dismissed by the Colonizers who maintain that African culture and ways of thinking and knowing are irrelevant, backward and unscientific, Yet, there is always a clear distinction between people of the world, different cultures and so on, who understand that we cannot think alike, and that colonization is immoral, unjust, and very detrimental to the humanity of African people and their right of being humans. Biko follows up the Kaunda citation above in the following manner: "This I find a most apt analysis of the essential difference in the approach to life of these two groups. i.e., as a community, are prepared to accept that nature will have its enigmas which are beyond our powers to solve. Many people have interpreted this attitude as lack of initiative and drive, yet, in spite of my belief in the strong need for scientific experimentation, I cannot help feeling that more time also should be spent in teaching man and man to live together and that perhaps the African personality with its attitude of laying less stress on power and more stress on man is well on the way to solving our confrontation problems."

African Customary Traditional Religion; Western Religion

If one were to read some of the HubPages articles written by mostly, Afrikaner European people of South Africa, one would notice how demeaning and insulting they are. When the Afrikaner descendants of the Dutch Sailors and settlers every time attempt to write about Africans, their disdain and dislike of Africans often permeates their writing and they are also so paternalistic and looking down on Africans, their culture, customs, traditions, practices and languages, and insist on calling them 'tribes'.

And their 'kings' called 'chiefs, and every African person a 'Kaffir' that despite their dull efforts at doing this, one can simply see this from the Boer Trekker, Piet Retief and the Dutch sailor, Jan Van Riebeeck, how their attitudes towards Africans were vehemently racist and very mean towards Africans and the San. To really get a sense of this dislike of Africans, we will casually peruse the cultural/religious history of South Africa and how it came to be what it is.

Again, we defer to Biko who writes: "All people are agreed that Africans are a deeply religious race. In the various forms of worship that one found throughout the Southern part of our continent, there was at least a common basis. We all accepted without any doubt the existence of a God. We had our own community of saints.

"We believed — and this was consistent with our views of life — that all people who died had a special place next to god. We felt that a communication with god, could only be through these people.

"We never knew anything about hell — we do not believe that God can create people only to punish them eternally after a short period on earth. Another aspect of religious practices was the occasion of worship. Again, we did not believe that religion could be featured as a separate part of our existence on earth It was manifest in our daily lives.

"We thanked God through our ancestors before we drank beer, married, worked, etc. We would obviously find it artificial to create special occasions for worship. Neither did we see it logical to have a particular building in which all worship would be conducted. We believed that God was always in communication with us and therefore merited attention everywhere and anywhere."

There are many reasons why all the above issues did not take hold in South Africa. The Africans in South African knew of all these issues and were living in accordance to their dictates. Some still do today, but, a whole crew of christian missionaries saw to it that the destruction of African culture, religion, customs and traditions were crushed under the iron boot of western-type of religion.

It is at this point when Biko writes to inform us that: "It was the missionaries who confused our people with their new religion. By some logic, they argued that theirs was a scientific religion and ours was mere superstition in spite of the biological discrepancies so obvious in the bases of their religion.

"They further went on to preach a theology of the existence of hell, scaring our fathers and mothers with stories about burning in eternal flames and gnashing of teeth and grinding of bone. This cold and cruel religion was strange to us but our forefather were sufficiently scared of the unknown impending anger to believe that it was worth a try. Down went our cultural values!"

The effect was not nearly total and complete as the colonizers would have it. It is true that they 'whipped African Culture out of shape,' but as this Hub is showing, the culture still lives and has a certain authenticity and vibrancy to it. How did these African people become "TRIBES," instead of 'Nations'. Basil Davidson gives us a historical glimpse dealing partly with this issue below.

Africans Remain 'Tribes" Even in the 21st Century

The Historiography of South African African Culture has been written about by many people who have never lived it nor know it. They observe the present life-styles of African people, and do some copious notes from unproven accounts abut African culture, then read up some obscure written account about the Africans , gather some oral account here and there, and overnight they are experts on African South African culture.

Most of these experts always make a point of pointing out how diverse, but, very different cultures are there amongst the indigenous South African African people. Even though we know that there are10(ten) nations, and the other languages added to this are all foreigners who have to pay some respect to local culture as being the original and sturdy African languages, they are never referred to as one, but as part and parcel of the national languages of South Africa.

South Africa is not a melting pot of cultures and the rest are and have always maintained their foreignness, and African and their culture were looked down upon and stagnant and not changing; as to whether it should be changed and become an appendage of European and other cultures — meaning that African culture should change and these other foreign cultures should remain as they are, they supposedly can accept African culture, and have it changed to fit their own foreign culture.

This is why, even today, Africans and the culture are viewed as 'Tribes' and unable to come together. We have touched on this above as stated by Bantu Biko.

It is interesting to note the works of the likes of Krishnamurthy and Dejan Verdic who give an erroneous analysis of African South African, that to show their biases and ignorance, one will have to reject the syntax, wording and semantics used in trying to inform the reader about who and what African South Africans are, in terms of their inability to unite, have one culture, and not knowing how, when they become westernized they'll need to face up to the need to either take up the newly acquired culture while remaining authentic.

I have also pointed out this false premise above and discussed the fact as to how Africans are suffering from this twoness, and what its origins are. These two authors speak about the existence of a "deep discord" between cultural 'preservationists' and 'developmentalist' on cultural preservation.

The former arguing that such a transition should not undermine the fundamental value systems of Black Society, which they claim is akin to the Afrikaners wanting to preserve White Afrikaner Culture and the Afrikaans languages. It is as if the Indian, Chinese, Greeks and other cultures do so, as a matter of fact, and this finally makes their observations biased, racist and devoid of African historical perspectives and knowledge about African culture in South Africa.

Most of these so-called pros on African history are ignorantly arrogant and do not respect nor know the culture , custom, traditions and practices of Africans are all about. They conveniently forget what the Apartheid regime did to African culture, which I have documented elsewhere in my Hub whilst I anticipated I will have to deal with. In this Hub I will only touch up on it as I have noted in this paragraph.

I will be dealing with it in full using the literature as written by these experts and refuting them point by point they falsely and wrongly raise, highlight or point to in their writing-in some future Hub. One thing the authors mentioned above do not know is that the 'lack of interpersonal, collectivistic social acumen, have been fostered by global the Apartheid culture, global culture, acculturation, media imperialism, the resurgence of cultural and religious conflict,intercultural communication(if there are any that are normal),

That we see the conditions as they are in contemporary South Africa. For them to cite Boon whom it is claimed wrote extensively about racist tribalistic perspective is unconscionable. Boon's tribalistic analysis' is just as archaic as the old trumpeters of Apartheid ideology in misleading the readers about Africans and their cultural mindset and how it is relevant today, not as irrelevant as it is made to be by the propagandist against African people's culture, custom, tradition and practices.

We will take the liberty of culling from Basil Davidson about issues pertaining to Why Africans are referred to as African 'Tribes' and how they turned that around to be regarded as Nation states.

If the ethnic diversities of Africa outlived the long medieval period of the regna, many subsequent revolutions and reorganizations, and finally the manifold upheavals of the nineteenth century, these diversities then found it relatively easy to live through the colonial period-as ethnic diversities, that is, though sorely often not as persons or constituent communities.

The new nationalists of the 1950s would then embrace national-statism as the only available escape from colonial domination. Striving to transform colonial territories into national territories, they would find Africa's wealth and ethnic cultures both distracting and had to absorb into their schemes. They would fall back into the colonial mentality of regarding it as "tribalism," and, as such, retrogressive.

This diversity, it seemed, had to be just another hangover from the unregenerate past. It should at least be on its way to museum shelves, and should be meanwhile handled as a temporary nuisance. That was to prove difficult. The nuisance was found, as in the earliest days of nation statist debate in centers as Cape Coast during the 1860s, to be stubbornly insistent. It refused to disappear into museums.(Davidson)

Foreign Enforcement of Africans as "Tribes"

Davidson further elaborates: "This was scarcely surprising: most of these precolonial political formations were communities with a venerable past rooted in popular acceptance. In the public mind they were living realities; they were identities to which people strongly held.

"Dismissing them as the regrettable phenomena of 'tribalism' might comfort those, British or others,who preferred to think of precolonial Africa as a kind of savage backwoods, rather than the notion of a Scottish nation or a Welsh nation had long become an antiquarian absurdity to average English opinion.

"But that is not how the 'tribesmen' were prepared to see it. Out of this came confusion. For there was also at work, from quite earlier in the colonial dispossessions, another meaning for "tribalism." This was the new product of "divide-and-rule" policies, perhaps the only African political invention of those times that did or even could succeed, and as well promoted by the British and the French, major colonial powers, as a useful administrative instrument.

"Let related ethnic 'units' band together and become "tribes" — a term probably applied in the African context by Officials educated in the classical tradition of Caesar's Gallic wars — because, if they banded together, the costs of European Administration would be that much less."

Davidson adds: "Segments of even substantial communities in more of less closely related communities, though historically separate and distinct fro one another, now declared themselves a single people; and new 'tribes' such as the Sukuma and Nyakusa, rose fully formed from the mysterious workings of "tradition"."

"Not being worried by such workings, whatever the Europeans supposed them to be, such coagulated clans and segments do not seem to have minded becoming 'tribes' with exotic names - Sukuma, for example, is a word borrowed from the neighboring people of Unyamwezi - but rather pleased about it.

"A single agreed spokesman against the claims and demands of colonial power was easily seen to wield more argumentative clout than a mob of spokesmen from smaller units. And then, of course, Europeans believed Africans belonged to "tribes": Africans built tribes to belong to."

Ilife adds: "And the effort to create such "tribes", was as honest and constructive in those circumstances of apparently permanent foreign rule as the latter effort, when the appearance of permanence was gone, to create a Tanganyika nation," Both were attempts to build societies in which men could live well in the modern world."((Ilife)

Davidson tells us how this came about: "This was one situation. And as Africans from rural areas moved, ever more in the 1940s, toward the "melting pot" of peri-urban slums and shantytowns, this "tribalism" that was a genuine product of African diversity, but also an invented weapon of self-defense, became a potent factor in opening the route to nationalism.

"Tribal Unions" and "Tribal Associations," or other such manifestations of solidarity, began to flourish in the 1940s, and were to be powerful influences in the building of nation-statist politics. Their nature, of course, meant that they were destined to become divisive of national unities. They would then play the role, after independence, of opposing 'tribe' to 'nation.'

"But that was still for the future. For the present, these "tribal unions" were able to rephrase and reabsorb Africa's own history in times of great political change and challenge. ...Broadly, the educated elites in West Africa - for a long time, it would be much the same in South Africa - saw Africa's own history as irrelevant and useless.

"The issue has been contradictory because so was their stance. They saw that the assertion of Africa's having a history of its own must be part of their case against colonialist racism. They presented this assertion in books they wrote about Africa's past glories. They lectured on the subject, composed brilliant and poetic evocations of great moments in Africa's past.

"If they were clergy men, they recalled the Christian African bishops of Byzantine descent. If there were lawyers, they praised the writings of classical Greece in praise of Homer's "blameless Ethiopians." If they were politicians, they did their best to square the circle.

"But when it came down to brass tacks, to the question of who should take over from the British withdrew, they demanded a more or less complete flattening of the ethnic landscape. All that history then belonged to what Attoh Ahuma back in 1911 in his book The Gold Coast Nation and National Consciousness, had found no difficulty in calling the "savage backwoods."

Deplorable in the past, it could do nothing for the present; and the future would forget it. As the gathering force of national-statism in its guise of liberating ideology began to reap the fruits of argument and agitation around mid-century,what David Kimble has called the clash between "the inherited privileges of chieftaincy" and the "acquired privileges of education" — meaning Western education, and it derivatives — became acute and would soon become violent.

As for the culture of African people, it followed in the path of all the African states who in the end became post colonial nation states always appeasing their former colonial master. The ANC-led government does this very well: being a buffer between African people and their culture, and they(ANC) safeguarding of foreign cultures and people, and meanwhile neglecting their own indigenous Africans of South Africa in so doing.

The point I am trying to make is that, those who write about Africans and their culture, do so without really understanding what they are doing to a people who are still not yet in the position of telling the world, "themselves," what they want to say about themselves as African people of South Africa.

Every time and anyone who writes about the culture of the Nguni/Bakone, they are mostly telling their readers about how different the African people are from each other culturally or otherwise. This serves their need to keep on dividing and conquering, if not debasing and deconstructing African people and their culture that in this Hub, I have utilized the pictures of the 10(ten) groups of African people within the Photo gallery, and without having to talk about the pictures in a direct way within this article, the photos speak for themselves.

It is not a question as to whether there is any doubt in the minds of Africans in South Africa that they have to ease into the 21 century as do other nations, it is also true that they know that they can morph into their culture with relative ease and spontaneity that always amazes tourists and intellectuals alike that they cannot help but see this culture as alive and vibrant.

In fact, White people peddle African culture as a front in order to gain renumeration from the visitors or buyers of African Artifacts and other types of arts and culture. Many of the former colonizers have become the spokespeople, for the past hundreds of years which has now come down to the point where everyone today on the Internet is a 'Kits'(Instant) Historians on South African African history and African South African historical culture.

As Biko noted, 'once an African starts talking about African History and African Cultural history, he assailed and projected as whatever choice words they choose to hurl his way.' Yes, time has no come to set the record straight because once one begins reading such comments as those uttered by Boon as cited by Krishnamurthy and Vercic that: "For the Africa of the 21 century to succeed, that it must become rational and pragmatic. Underdevelopment is not a matter only of capital or resources, but it originates "inside the heads of Africans[P, 61 - Boon(1998]. ...

And that he wrote extensively about tribalism and ethnicity and stated that, 'tribalism exists in the present not only in distant rural areas but also in peoples heads." They say that Boon suggested that, 'people retreat into ethnicity when they are most threatened. Communities then form communications so that they could get the "tribe's" perspective on the threat posed by massive change'(What Change? From who and how is it change?-my questions).

This is just a smattering of all the hogwash by nattering nabobs like Boon, whose work inspired a book by both Krishmamurthy and Vercic, who ignorantly and in an ahistorical skewed, biased and demeaning way believe that pungent analysis by Boon, and edited a book they called "The Global TPublic Relations Handbook: Theory, Research, and Practice." Africans are called a 'tribal' people whenever it suits the Europeans to divide, and all those who do not have respect for African.

They expect that any African people, talking about his culture, should consult with other races because they themselves(Africans) cannot understand nor know their history by and about themselves. Africans retain and are endowed with the rights of writing and saying what they like or how their perceive their cultures as it suits them, only. Africans should not be asking for permission from anyone for them to describe and discuss their 'own' culture, however they choose to do.

African Culture is What Africans Say it is; Any Questions?

African South African culture is Similar and the Same

Chancellor Williams writes and tells us that: "The present-day confused outlook of the African people is the result of centuries of Caucasian acculturation, a quite natural process wherever one people come under economic, political and social domination of another people. The ideologies and value system of the oppressors quite unconsciously become those of the oppressed, even when the result is demonstratively against themselves.

"But all other oppressed peoples, whether Indian, Chinese or Japanese, were able to hold on doggedly to their own racial pride and cultural heritage as the last response for survival as a people. Unlike the Blacks, they were never completely cut off from this sustaining life-line of every people."

Just what can we really find out about what actually happened to the Africans South Africa and the destruction of their culture. It is important that we use history to unpack and peal back at the hidden layers of what African people should know what happened to them as they will undoubtedly begin to see and talk about their culture from an informed African historical cultural backdrop.

The eighteenth-century commando frontier impinged on regions inhabited by the Bantu --speakers and Khoisan. ('Khoisan' includes both pastoral Khoikhoi and groups of hunter-gatherers whom Khoikhoi clans 'San' and whom the colonists called 'Bushmen').

"In central Namibia, south of the Ovambo peoples, were the Bantu-speaking Herero, cattle-keepers par excellence[H. Vedder] East of the Kalahari [which may not have been as extensive then as it is now] the HIghveld and central and eastern Transorangia were dominated by the Bantu speaking Sotho-Tswana peoples, who were cultivators as well as pastoralists.

"The southernmost of these in the eighteenth century were the Rolong(Barolong)(south of the Molopo) and, to their east, the Fokeng(Bafokeng), Ghoya and Taung(Bataung) spread as far south as the Caledon river(L.M. Thompson) South of the Bantu-speakers, and interspersed among them, were the Khoisan(I. Schapera).

Prior to the eighteenth century there is evidence that cattle-keeping Khoikhoi were living adjacent to Bantu-speaking communities, at least in Namibia and along the middle Orange(Wikar and Gordon) by the early nineteenth century these Khoikhoi north and south of the lower Orange were known generically as the 'Nama,' and those north and south of the middle Orange as 'Kora'.

In contrast, the region of eastern Transorangia (roughly present-day Orange Free State), was, in the eighteenth century,occupied only by the Khoisan hunter-gatherers alongside the Bantu-speakers(John Campbell). In all these cases, specifically regarding Nama and Kora, it is almost impossible to disentangle which elements were long-established inhabitants of the area, and which had retreated from the Cape during the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries, though there is fragmented evidence of both situations(J.A Engelbrecht).

The resulting tangle of social relationships, exacerbated in the frontier zone period, makes it well-nigh impossible to link Khoisan political groupings in the nineteenth century to any earlier Khoisan political historyL.F. Maingard).

The obsession in the historiography of South Africa with the analysis of society in 'racial' terms produces endless attempts to differentiate Bantu-speakers from Khoisan, Khoikhoi and San, Sotho from Nguni/Bakone, and, within each, sub-'tribes' from sub-'tribes', and so on. It is only through an analysis which begins from the social relations of production that this tendency can be overcome(R. Moorsom).

Indeed, for the thrust of this hub has been that all the African nations in South Africa are the same and similar. All were small-scale societies in which persons were depended on forces of nature over which they had but little control. Some communities gathered for subsistence, others hunted, others kept cattle or grew crops. Some engaged in more than one ,or all of these practices.

The social relations of production in such communities have inadequately explored. Certainly there was a sexual division of labor, although this was more pronounced among agriculturalists and mixed production communities than among pure pastoralists or hunter-gatherers. There were also craft specializations (blacksmiths, herbalists, rainmakers) mostly in Bantu-speaking communities.

Mining was carried on, both of metals and of a decorative yellow ochre called 'Sbello'; it;s still unknown who did the mining, nor under what compulsions or incentives [Obviously it was the africans of SouthAfrica who did the mining](Campbell). Relationships in all communities were expressed, neither economically nor politically, but in terms of kinship. Kinship was the language of social interaction,disguising the relations of production.

The only potential for class relationships existed in societies where there was 'chieftainship'. This office was inherited through lineage descent, and could therefore emerge or disappear in kin-based communities without any basic alteration in social structure. Where it became institutionalized, it was surrounded by a structure of government based on leading lineages: lineage-members were the councillors of the 'chief'.

The officers of government had the obligation to redistribute resources for the benefit of the community, but these obligations obviously required the appropriation of resources to redistribute(I. Schapera)

The prerogative of 'chief' to receive labor was well established in many Bantu-speaking societies by the nineteenth century (though this practice postdated the upheavals of the Mfecane in the 1820s and 1830s). Equally, the presence of mining products, handicrafts and cattle provided a potential basis for appropriation and for either redistribution or private accumulation.

By the late eighteenth century, trade was already conditioned by merchant capital: Khoisan traded cattle southward to the Cape; Bantu-speaker exported metals, karosses(Hides), finished furs, and increasingly, ivory to the Portuguese settlements of the East Coast(C. Saunders)

This trade was not carried out by long-distance traders but through a series of relays than the reverse. Exchanges of goods customarily took place either at the neutral frontier between communities or at the 'Kgotla'(sort of Congress or forum) in the town center of the community.

Where a chiefly structure existed, the chiefs and the heads of lineages, would gather around them as many Men as their wealth would admit, to each of which they assign the milk of one or two cows which, together with the efforts of the Man's wife in gathering roots, wild fruit, locusts, and the cultivation was generally sufficient to enable him to maintain his family.

At one level this relationship of clientage was simply one of the major ways through which communities could grow on a non-or-quasi-kin basis. At another level it's a proto-feudal relationship of personal dependence which acquired the name of the fhisa or Mafisa system among Sotho-Tswanas in the nineteenth century.

Hunter gatherers might also become dependents, acquiring dogs, old iron weapons or tobacco from their patrons in return for supplying karosses.(Legassick).

One other thing I would like to add at this juncture is that it seems that the Iron age inhabitants of the Transvaal and Swaziland were agriculturalists and herdsmen, and they manufactured pottery similar to that known from Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi; but what will surely disrupt the colonial theses that Africans came from Egypt, as characterized in Wikipedia, but one thing Wikipedia does is to recognize that the Nguni nations made up of clans, based on males ancestry(even female ancestry), and that they formed the highest social unit, led by influential men [and women] who were independent by creating their own clan

The Ways of Culture, Customs, Traditions and Practices

Whenever most historians talk about the history and culture of the African people, they have inserted a false fact by trying to show that the Nguni(I guess they mean Zulu and who else? ...As if they are different from the Sothos and Tswanas-are the only people worth studying. In the Sesotho language the Word for "Nguni" is "Mokone".

The language of the '10 people' of South Africa makes the history, custom, culture, tradition and practices easy to understand, it speaks to and of the traditions and customs; the language and the meanings are contained within its accentuation and intonation, including deflections is a great historical recorder and keeper; it decodes and encodes discourse, effects meaning systems; the language of Africans in South Africa has paradigms, idioms, codes along with the history of the people embedded within the core of their languages.

In performing and living their culture, customs and traditions and customs, there are certain actions, observances, rituals, sayings and other related cultural artifacts' usage, behaviorism, drum beat music, Africans performers and performances, sayings and idioms, singing, linguistic gymnastics.

Or, the making of African beer for the ancestors, food of all sorts, slaughtering and sacrificing of certain beasts, consulting with their 'African Doctors, in matters concerning the instructions from their ancestors, the instruction relayed though the "Doctor" in matters of which they are dissatisfied with or suggestions of how families should deal and or live with certain social phenomena arising and causing social maladies and other related human concerns beyond their control.

Issues of magic and sorcery, instructions given to the "Doctors" on how to deal with those matters through the Doctor by the Ancestors. Africans need to know that all their social and cultural and linguistic utterances, activities or products are encoded, wired-into their biological, psychic, social and otherwise existence and reality, and they have signification(the denotative).

This culture understands and recognizes dissonance , cognition, rhetoric, cybernetics, entropy, messages, redundancies and so forth, that are apparent in their linguistic-cultural(Isiko/Setso)-customary, traditional and ceremonial mannerisms and behaviors and beliefs.

This is important to know, that there is no different "tribes" in South Africa, but a whole Nation of the Nguni/Bakone, no matter in what accents, context or diction it is uttered or said, or acted; all these 10 people adhere to the same customs, traditions, culture and practices which we shall look at closely in a short while.

The history of the Africans in South Africa can clearly be traced back to some 170,000 B.C.[of which a separate Hub is going to be written about this time period and pictures to go with it. Years ago, or even better, we can concretely trace it to between 1,000 to 13,000 AD

This has reset the historiography of South Africa because most this history was hidden and kept secret by the Apartheid regime, whilst lying that African people came into South Africa when they(Europeans) landed in the Cape in 1652, Jan Van Riebeeck, or 1492 or so with the passage of Vasco da Gama and Bartholomew Diaz. Some state that the Africans came and killed-off the Khoisan, and other such nonsense and ahistorical babble.

Before we breakdown the cultural, customary and traditional practices and ceremonies of Africans in South Africa, I would like to insert the background on the History of Mapungubwe ad their material culture which some so-called-experts state that it started around 1,000 and 13,000 years ago after the Christian era.

Well, as I have said above, the history of Africans in south Africa can now be traced back as far back as 160,000 years ago. This, as I have indicated, will be for another Hub in the immediate future.

Mapungubwe: As Nguni as You Like or Not

The Missing Link; African Historical and Cultural Renaissance

Mapungubwe is as important to African South African History and Cultural History, as is Egypt is important for the Whole of The history and culture of Africa. There is ample literature in the world that helps illuminate the culture of africans from derisive dismal which literally tried to write-off African Cultural history form the Map of World cultural history.

The Apartheid regime tried very hard to keep the history of the civilization of Mapungubwe, but with the changing of the regime, the ANC-led government demanded the material and historical cultural heritage of the area of Mapungubwe be made known public.

According to the official Website of The University of Pretoria, "The story of Mapungubwe's research and excavations is detailed and complicate because it has a long tradition that serves as the foundation o an African foundation that enables African people to be able to journey back into the past, where every rock and artifact was unearthed and studied and tried to learn about the secrets of the ancient civilization that was there.

"Over time, archeologists, botanists, geologists, paleontologists, anatomists, naturalist and many other scholars contributed,through their dedicated research, to the new understanding of prehistory and an in-depth studies of Iron Age communities in southern Africa."

In order for us to try and find the common themes of the culture of Mapungubwe, and the Cave paintings The outlying mountains around the Areas of Mapungubwe, along with those "Izintaba zika-Khahlamba"(Drakensberg Mountains) as being similar to the Nguni/Bakone people, and helping this research to show the similarities and sameness of the Nguni/Bakone culture, we will unpack the History of Mapungubwe. According to Basil Davidson:

The finds at Mapungubwe are important for two reasons: they were rich in skeletal material and in gold and other objects, and since no Ancient Ruins Company had plundered here, nearly all were undisturbed and could be examined where they lay. A table mountain of rough sandstone precipitous on every side, the hill of Mapungubwe is only one of many such hills amid the blue and ocherous solitude of Northern Transvaal.

It lies just south of the Limpopo River, which divides the modern states of South Africa and Southern Zimbabwe and south-eastern Botswana." The university of Pretoria's website picks up the story thus: "In the early 1930s, a teacher by the name of Emst van Graan heard rumors of riches at an ancient burial site in the far northern reaches of the country, known then as Northern Transvaal. Van Graan and his son Jerry and a group of friends pursued the legend of hidden treasure.

"White men of this unchartered country, mostly of Boer stock, had long heard people of the country, who were the forerunners of the Venda People of South Africa, who were talking about the buried treasures. Van Graan, on deciding to find the treasure, knew it would be difficult, for the people of the country had always thought of the Hill of Mapungubwe as taboo (some accounts said Africans wanted to keep it secret).

This remarkable story were in the end reported by van Graan were in the end reported by his son to his professor at the University of Pretoria. As a result of research finding, and in order to protect the site from looters and treasure seekers, the university sought and secured rights and custodianship of all material recovered.

The Parliament of the Union of South Africa was immediately informed about the importance on Mapungubwe that they in the end passed an Act for the Preservation of Ancient Monuments in 1934.On April 1933, The Illustrated London News reported a "Remarkable discovery in the Transvaal: a grave of unknown origin contain much gold work, found on the summit of a natural stronghold in a wild region."

With Mapungubwe's instant international recognition was set in motion a course that changed the course of South Africa's "prehistory," and therefore the beginnings of the Museum collection (see the Photo Gallery presented here for the readers viewing).

For historical record and reseting the moorings of African culture into clear cultural , customary and traditional historical perspective, we will review how and when the diggings took place and what happened. These phases have been provided for by the University of Pretoria

Phases of the Digs

  • Phase one lasted from 1934 to 1940, when exploratory excavations by the University of Pretoria were followed by large-scale excavations which were conducted on the main site at Mapungubwe and K2. Due to Malaria and World War, these events stalled the excavation, and the excavation done in 1945 were only published in 1963;
  • Phase two was intermittent, covering 1951 and limited excavations on the Southern Terrace during 1953 and 1954, and later in 1968 by the newly established Department of Archeology at the University of Pretoria. In the mid-1980s, the escalating bush war on the northern border of south Africa interrupted the fieldwork. During this phase, a reconnaissance visit to Mapungubwe by anthropologists for the University of Pretoria who were conducting oral ("This simply means they were getting oral history from the inhabitants of that area about the life of the people of Mapungubwe.[This will be further explored when writing about the 170,000 year history of South Africa in an upcoming Hub);
  • Phase three lasted from 1970 to 1995, when detailed research concentration stratigraphic recording , specialized site documentation and interdisciplinary research into the human and cultural remains(Meaning, African cultural material). Mapungubwe and K2 were declared as national monuments by the then National Monuments Council. In the 1980s, measures taken to protect the stratified deposits, sites and artifacts by means of legislation and conservation procedures, coinciding in 1990 with the ideas of establishing a National Park;
  • Phase four of the research lasted from 1996 to 1999, and included the official establishment of the National Park on 9 June 1995. This phase covered research pertaining to detailed studies on aspects related to settlement, chronology and human remains registered by the Department of Archeology and the Department of Anatomy with the South African National Parks as the new owners of Greefswald;
  • Phase five began in 2000 and is regarded as the most important phase since the Mapungubwe Museum at the University of Pretoria was opened to the public in June 2000. In July 2003 Mapungubwe received National status, and it officially became known as Mapungubwe National Park in 2004. Research for the past decade have become museum collection.

The University of Pretoria, in its website gives us this partial history of Mapungbwe by stating that: "Hunter-gatherers of the Stone Age roamed the river plains and cave sandstone hills of the Limpopo Valley from time to time and left their stones tools there[I think that was their place of abode-from time immemorial]. Paintings in /rock Shelters and a few rock engravings are evidence of San hunter-gatherer communities in the Stone Age landscape.

"The first communities who made iron tool and clay pots might have arrived in the Central Limpopo Valley during the early Iron Age[I think that these people having lived there before 500 AD, might have evolved from stone to Iron usage by virtue of their having lived there much longer, and their interaction with the Monomotapa Civilization which covered areas from Maputo(Mozambique then) all the way to Angola]."

This part of African South African history is going to be made much more clearer with the Upcoming Hub updating this present Hub I am onto, in terms of timeline and historiography

It is important for the reader to be leery and wise about the history of Africa and how it becomes the history of Africans, not written by Africans, but by any other people, built or created by any other people , except for the Africans themselves. Basil Davidson writes. "Time and again the achievements of men in Africa - men of Africa - have been laid at the door of some mysterious but otherwise unexplained 'people from outside Africa.'

I"t is not only "Hamites" who have given scope fro the "inarticulate major premise" of an inherent African (or black) inferiority. Over the past fifty yeas or so, whenever anything remarkable or inexplicable has turned up in Africa, a whole galaxy of non-African (or at any rate non-black) peoples are dragged in to explain it. The Phoenicians are brought in to explain Zimbabwe in Rhodesia(Now Zimbabwe).

"The Egyptians are produced as the painters of the 'white lady' of Brandberg in South West Africa. Greeks or Portuguese are paraded as the inspirational teachers of those who worked in terra cotta and in bronze in mediaeval West Africa. Even the Hittites had had their day Yet everyone of these achievements and phenomena is how generally agreed to have had purely African origin."

I have cited Davidson above to make the point that, even the history of a place that has been ''discovered, and was unknown', paltry evidence and vague references are made of the inhabitants there, The Venda, Shona(of Zimbabwe) Pedi' and Tswana people is ever-so-slightly made vague and the people, whose oral tradition is what helped the researchers discover and know more about the place, fail to mention them in full, and the researchers fail to mention that the discovery of this 'mound', was made possible by the Vendas/Pedis/Tswanas and so on who regard the people of Mapungubwe as their ancestors.

Anyway, be that as it may, we pick up the historical narration from the University Pretoria who write: "The Iron Age sites at Mapungubwe and K2 were inhabited between 1000 AD and AD 1300. Archeologists believe that both sites were once capitals of the African Kings(Which?).

Unfortunately the habitants identity remains a mystery since this part of history goes back before written record and no known oral traditions can be recorded over a period of a thousand years, therefore, the inhabitants are merely known as the "Mapungubweans"(who named them?

Are there no Pedi or Venda inhabitants of the areas from whom this oral tradition was eked out from them? Are the people of Mapungubwe not Vendas of Pedis? What are the ramifications of answering that they were either or all of the people of the Venda, Pedi and Tswanas nations, on whose lands Mapungubwe land mass criss-crosses and intersects where the lands of these people fuse, and was where they lived?"

Davidson enlightens us as to how, and why the colonizers of lands and information present the history of Africa the way they do. The problems of backwardness and progress — even when and where these exist, and are more than the illusion of Eurocentric frames of thought — cannot be explained along these simple lines.

They cannot be explained along any racial lines, environment, nor race, provides the key. And that is why it will be found that even when African peoples have taken much from outside, at different times and places, their process of borrowing — whether of techniques or beliefs — has always undergone an adaptation, through environment and circumstance, into societies and cultures and civilizations which became specifically and uniquely African. Achievement and failure can be traced to the same complex and endlessly interesting source: the interplay of men and their environment…"

The Material Culture of Mapungubwe is that of the Nguni/Bakone

Unpacking The Mapungubwe Material Culture

Before we caricature the material culture of Mapungubwe, one needs to point out that the similarities of this culture, though it be made of gold, glass and porcelain, baked clay being glossed , and their workings on steel, the reader should be reminded that the very nature and forms that these unearthed material culture can still be found amongst the various and present 10 peoples' of South Africa who still design them in one form or another.

Most of the information about Mapungubwe was provided for by the inhabitants of South Limpopo, and these people were the Tswanas, Pedis, Vendas and Shonas. According to Andre Meyer, "Current research shows that the Kingdoms of K2 and Mapungubwe contributed to the current indigenous knowledge systems of the local communities in that region." Meyer adds: "Mapungubwe and K2 are often referred to in current public debate.

"They are prominent heritage elements within politicians' vision of the expected 'African Renaissance'. The gold funerary objects and numerous other artifacts, the exceptional stratification, settlement features and settlement sequence are fundamental to their value as heritage sites that represent "African History" of almost a millennium ago."

Maryna Steyn wrote this for her abstract: "Skeletons form the Mapungubwe complex or sites form the largest single collection of Iron Age Human remains in Southern Africa, and are thus excellently suited for study of a whole population."

She further writes: "In this paper, an attempt is made not only to use the more traditional approach of determining population affinity, but also to assess various aspects of life-style. Issues such as the general health status of the population, demographic profile and dietary analysis are addressed. It is proposed that the unusual distribution, with an excess of juveniles, is due to rapid population growth rather than selective burial practices.

Generally speaking, the people from K2 and Mapungubwe seem to have been relatively healthy, and this is attributed to their reliance on cattle herding as a supplement to food cultivation. Incidence of tooth decay point to an agriculturist as opposed to a hunter-gatherer diet. Analysis of population affinity basically confirms the conclusion of some earlier researchers, that K2 people should be grouped with the South African African spectrum of peoples."

Pointing out the fact that K2 and Mapungubwe, will require the scholars of African history to read all related literature, cull and deduce from the knowledge and cast a well rounded history of the peoples of African descent in South Africa. For example in their abstract Munyaradzi Manyanaga, Innocent Pikirayi and Webber Ndoro inform us as follows:

"Recent research in the south-eastern region of Zimbabwe shows that it was intensively occupied during the early second millennium AD. The hot, dry climate, the low, variable rainfall and the presence of tsetse fly have always been viewed as a major deterrent to human occupation in this low-veld territory. [Although tis was mere speculation]

"Archeological surveys have produced a range of sites, including Zimbabwe tradition stone walls, two 'Iron Age' sites were excavated and the analysis of faunal and floral data gives pointers as to what happened between the decline of the state once based at Mapungubwe in the middle Limpopo Valley and the rise of Zimbabwe to the North." [This also need to be clarified, verified and elaborated upon]

Cultural Loot Identification

Mapungubwe is a Venda term which means "place Where Jackals Eat" because the land was littered with human bones which attracted these scavengersIt is important that at this juncture to briefly cite Brian Fagan who writes: The Archeological Committee appointed G.A. Gardner as director of excavations. He worked on the ranch for six long seasons between 1935 and 1940, concentrating initially on K2, and later excavating a large trench at the Western end of Mapungubwe Hill."

The second volume of Mapungubwe was published 23 years later(due to Apartheid laws that were in-force to deny African people their true history). The material culture of Mapungubwe was saved from being looted and sacked when academicians like Prof. Fouche were working on it and tried to protect its material culture.

"Talking about Mapungubwe, Brian Fagan writes: "Immediately to the south of Mapungubwe is Bambadyanalo Hill, to the south-west of which lies the settlement named Bambandyanalo or K2 Stratigraphical profiles have revealed that the occupants settled in the Bambandyanalo Valley, and, by successive or continuous occupations, accumulated the mound of habitat.

Graan and his friends found large pieces of plate gold and some of them shaped; also, they foundation debris that survives today. The center of the village was used as a cattle kraal, around which the houses were built."

Basil Davidson informs us that,

"Working on his own in 1934, one of the excavators, Van Tonder, uncovered an extensive grave area and was able to hand to scientific judgement a large quantity of gold and other metal objects as well as the fragments of twenty-three — the first fully authenticated and more or less preserved 'royal burial ground" of pre-European times in southern Africa(and in South Africa, in particular).

"One of these skeletons was associated with another seventy ounces of gold in various forms, and a third had its legs "wreathed in over a hundred bangles constructed of coiled wire"-[see photo gallery]. Several pieces of beautifully worked gold plating were also found, as well as about a thousand gold beads."

"The term 'African Renaissance' carries great resonance, but for historians and archeologists the question will inevitably arise: "What was the original African "Golden Age" that will inspire the Renaissance - the rebirth of society and culture — in the new millennium?" The European Renaissance, emerging out of the "dark" Middle Ages, invoked as its vision the "Golden Age" drawn from the classical cultures of Greece and Rome."

"What is it that southern Africa[South Africa in particular) can call upon in the postcolonial era to serve as an appropriate model from the past. According to Archeologist Tim Maggs, in 2000, simply stated: "It is Mapungubwe." (Jane Carruthers)

Carruthers furthers her point in this manner:"This is reflected also in the symbolism projected by the Order of Mapungubwe, a national decoration that recognizes excellence in science and creativity.

Of this, Mapungubwe is an indigenous example. Its claim to technological brilliance is the indigenous production of wrought gold, ironically and industry generally much maligned in South African history because its demand for cheap unskilled labor meant a level of coercion that played the major role in this integration of traditional African community structures(Making them dysfunctional), and the consolidation of racial segregation.

The ANC need to make use of the issue of Mapungubwe to meet its Capitalist tendencies, is what some people says. Yet Carruthers writes: "Mapungubwe is an appropriate symbol because it salutes an early modern, technologically advanced state and economy that existed in the region long before the era of colonization.

For South Africa, Mapungubwe is an important contemporary economic and cultural driver: it is well suited for birding and botanizing; it needs to be interpreted(as South African African, of course); access by the people of South Africa should be made readily accessible and information broken-down the meet the need-to-know reality; as Mr. Romokone asserted: "Limpopo is the home of Mapungubwe, the home of civilizationFestivals and arts have begun to put Mapungubwe on the International map."

This is the right time to give some 'kudos' to the African National Congress. Carruthers informs us thus: "Before coming to power in 1984, the policies of the African National Congress, the Congress of the South African Trade Unions and south African Communist Party were based on a vision of a classless society, entrenching workers' rights and [were going to be] instituting anti-capitalist program of nationalization.

Some rhetoric of this kind remains despite the introduction of GEAR(Growth, Employment and Redistribution) and government policy certainly aims to try to reduce the gap between rich and poor." Although I might cite Carruthers and utilize her observations to help support some part of may narrative, I disagree with her when she states that, "Technology, mining, international trade, environmental and human 'exploitation' and 'capitalist accumulation are integral to the cultural landscape that is World Heritage Mapungubwe."

I have given sketches of the culture of African people and in it tried to portray the way of life, culture and economy of Africans in south Africa, thus my reasons for negating what Carruthers asserts. What the ANC decides to embark on as their state national policies within South Africa, does not mean the whole population of South Africa is what the ANC cadre behave-like.

Since, up to this point, many writes are still depended on he local Venda, Pedi, Tswana and Shona people for some of their oral History, one cannot impugn from the material culture that the civilization of Mapungubwe was"Capitalist," because it supposedly used 'cheap or slave labor'(supposedly "must"have taken place-but still no proof of this has been forth-coming)).

Below we will be discussing the Practices, Customs, Traditions and ceremonies of the Nguni, which in effect are key to understanding the Africa South African culture, customs, traditions of the Nguni, whom we have expansively discussed above in the Hub, and the fact that they are the same, and Mapungubwe was the epitome and zenith of their civilizing and being made a civilization by the existence of the Culture of Mapungubwe.

The civilization of Mapungubwe has provided us with the following, according to the University of Pretoria:

Mapungubwe's Material Culture is African South African

  • Mapungubwe: Stratigraphic pages of African(South Africans) History. Mapungubwe Hill is a sandstone hill with vertical cliffs and a flat top approximately 30 m high and 300, long. A substantial deposit with layers of soil covers it; remains of floors, burnt houses and household refuse(What?). The southern terrace below was inhabited from around AD 1030 to AD 1290(about 260 years). The hill top was inhabited for about 70 years from AD 1220 to AD 1290. These dates will be doubled-checked with the availability of new research information (See first or main[Hub] picture in photo gallery).
  • The Cultural Landscape: Settlement and cultural sequence in the Limpopo. According to the University of Pretoria Website, "hunters-gatherers" of the stone Age [lived] on the river plains and cave sands on the hills of the Limpopo Valley for a very long time. Evidence of paintings in rock shelters engravings was proof that the San people tarried there, too. [by the year 500 AD the communities in Mapungubwe were already making iron tools and clay pots right into the Early Iron age] Those that now live around the Limpopo River, the Batswana, Bapedi, Vendas and Shonas, are a left over of the people of Mapungubwe, that when it disintegrated, some of the inhabitants of that civilization were well mixed-up or intermarried with their Nguni Folks, and these were one community with the Nguni/Bakone people of the contemporary African communities of modern South Africa.[My point here is what if the San people were living at the same time with the people of Mapungubwe as they do with us today?]
  • The Settlements: Mapungubwe is the site of three royal graves and was the center of terraced settlement. Stonewalls buttressed the slopes and homesteads were scattered [all] around. The King and his soldiers lived near the hill and lived in [a communal setting with their people, examples of this life-style can be gleaned from those of the Nguni/Bakone People, with their variation and sameness] . The neighboring village of K2 is the large central refuse site, from which archeologists have been able to glean an assorted information. Human remains from various graves indicate that these communities enjoyed a healthy, varied diet. People were prosperous and kept domesticated cattle, sheep, goats and dogs. The charred remains of storage hut have also been found, showing that millet, sorghum and cotton were cultivated.
  • Technology and Trade: Findings on Mapungbwe are typical of iron age. Smiths created objects of iron, copper and gold for practical purposes — both for local use and for trade. Pottery, wood, ivory, bone. ostrich eggshell, and the shells of snails and fresh water mussels indicate that many other materials[Which ones specifically?] were used and traded with cultures as far away as East, North and South Africa, Persia, Egypt, India and China. Imported glass beads(and maybe made locally)? Were obtained in exchange of skins(ivory? Gold?) [Some additional information is still needed on this accounts.]
  • African Farming Communities and Kingdoms: Traditions, subsistence, technology and Trade. The traditions of African farming communities were central to their social life, settlement patterns, animal husbandry, agriculture, technology and trade. Many of these cultural aspects are reflected in the remains from K2 and Mapngubwe. A traditional african village is organized around family relationships, and creates household activity areas and places for special social occasions such as initiation schools and religious, traditional and customary ceremonies. The close relationship of the villages with their cattle is often symbolized by the position of the cattle kraal in the village. The domestic animals kept by African Iron age(people of Mapungubwe) included sheep, cattle, goats and dogs. The Mapungibweans cultivated plants such as varieties of sorghum,millet an beansThe people of Mapungubwe were skilled miners metal and other metallurgical knowledge. Some of the evidence can be found in numerous gold mines in Zimbabwe and there are many tin and copper mines.
  • K2 - An Iron Age Site: At the foot of Bamandyanalo Hill. K2 is 1 km southwest of Mapungubwe Hill in a mall valley surrounded by cliffs. G.A. Gardner, who excavated there during the 1930s, named K2. Between AD 1030 and AD 1220, for nearly 200 years, many generations of farming people lived at K2. The main site of about 5 hectares includes the remains of a central homestead area, a central cattle kraal and a central midden, surrounded by smaller homesteads.
  • Evidence Of Daily Life At K2: K2 is a particularly large Iron Age site with vast deposits containing a wealth of artifacts such as glass beads and pottery, often found in the numerous graves of the villagers. Huge quantities of bone fragments from slaughtered domestic animals and burnt seeds of domesticated plants such as sorghum and bullrush millet indicate that the K2 people were successful farmers. They were healthy people due to their nutritious diet. They were skilled craftsmen who produced characteristic pottery, large glass beads, tools and body ornaments of iron, copper bangles and figurines of humans and domesticated animals. They hunted elephants and traded the ivory for glass and other porcelain objects via the East African coast by traders such as the Swahili and so on.
  • Gold Symbols: The gold objects from Mapungubwe graves, such as the rhinoceros, scepter and bowl(See picture gallery), were originally gold sheet or foil covering wooden carvings. The gold sheet was folded around the wooden core and held in place with tacks. In some cases, the gold cover was decorated with punched indentations or incised lines. Some of these objects, such as the scepter and rhinoceros. Were 'possibly' symbols associated with a person of special significance or high status, such as a King(as we have argued above that Africans had Kings, and the use of 'chiefs' in naming them was underdevelopment of African culture). The person was eventually buried with these objects in accordance with traditional culture, customs, social and religious beliefs. Numerous beads and bangles from graves on Mapungubwe Hill indicate that some members of the community adorned themselves with different types of golden jewelry.
  • Clay Artifacts: Many objects were made of fired clay, or pottery. They were used for various purposes, some still unknown. Human figurines, usually with an elongated body and stumps for heads, arms and legs, were common at K2. They are often decorated with incisions or rows of dots. Some are highly simplified, like the conical figurine found at Mapungubwe. Animal figurines, mostly from K2,include cattle, sheep, goats, giraffe, etc. The conical figurines often found at Mapungubwe had some symbolic significance. Some everyday practical items include spoons, whistles, a funnel and spindle whorls used in production of cotton cloth. Large pottery beads and mould were used to manufacture large cylindrical glass beads, known as garden roller beads.
  • Artifacts Of Animal Origin: The Mapungubweans adorned themselves with numerous beads made of ostrich eggshells, large land snails, bone and ivory. They wore bracelets made of ivory, decorated their "clothes" and hair with pins made of bone and ivory, and wore perforated cowrie shells imported from the East. Some of the inhabitants of Mapungubwe made and used polished bone arrowheads and arrows used by the San, and Khoi. Some bone arrowheads from Mapungubwe have flattened front ends into which iron tips were fitted. The people used awls and flat needles made of bone, to manufacture clothes and from animal skins.
  • Glass Beads: Traditions and Trade. Thousand of glass beads have been found in the middens and graves at K2 and Mapungubwe. Burial customs show that children and adults wore strings of beads in a traditional African way(Needs to be made specific-more research will still be done on this material culture).
  • K2 people manufactured large beads, known as garden rollers. Whole and broken trade glass beads were melted and the molten glass wound into a prefabricated clay mould to set. The clay mould was then broken to remove the new garden roller glass bead. These are the oldest glass objet made in South Africa.
  • Besides the rich cultural heritage of the Mapungubwe, most of the continents big game roam here. There is also a tremendous diversity of plant and animal life, and this will make for the place to be a serious and main attraction to tourists to South Africa.

Cultural Speak!

Thus far, I have tried and attempted to cover the basic undergirding and solid foundational pillars of the Culture, Customs, Traditions, Practices and Ceremonies of the Nguni/Bakone People in South Africa, and asserting that it is one and same culture, and that Mapungubwe was the highlight of their civilization and culture.

If one were to carefully study the culture of the people of Mapungubwe, in order for the social life of the inhabitants of this civilization to make sense, it will be best to look as several customary, traditional and cultural facts of and about the Nguni/Bakone people of South Africa much more closely so's to get a sense of how these cultures are one with the culture of Mapungubwe.

This will also help us to debunk and deconstruct all the lies that have been written about the Africans of South Africa and their culture. This hub is written from the perspective of Africans in South Africa, laying down and re-claiming and rewriting their culture and by wrestling it away from the clutches and interpretations of the colonialists and imperialists information and knowledge peddlers.

It is important that the 'lived historical and cultural experiences" of the Nguni/Bakone are consulted with and this will enable us to see that the culture is one, diverse and that there are no differences nor differentness about the African South African culture, at all. But, firstly, I would like to establish the fact that the civilization of Mapungubwe was a South African African culture.

Nguni/Bakone High Culture


Mpaungubwe is Usa African South African; We are descendants of Mapungubwe

The full story of the civilization of Mapungubwe is still being told and researched. I will now discuss the outside parameters of this biggest civilization in Southern Africa, akin to Egypt, in its glories, riches and advancement, technology and trade, peculiar and distinctly African specifically African South African(this, as I have alluded above, is going to be covered in the upcoming Hub which dates South african history, culture and archeology way back to 170,000 years BC).

The information shed on this hub is about the Civilization of Mapungubwe as African South African. "What in any case is certain is that the men of Mapungubwe had evolved a complex Iron Age culture no different in its essence from similar phases of civilization elsewhere. Defended by their strong system of fortified kopjes to east and west, with the river on one side of them and the ranges of the Zoutpansberg on the other, these Lords of Mapungubwe in their solitary splendor throw down a curious challenge to posterity."(Davidson)

Much of the literature written on this subject seeks to ignore the local Nguni/Bakone Culture and the information it has to provide in regard to the Culture of Mapungubwe. So that, "One cannot understand and know the culture, traditions, customs and practices of the Nguni/Bakone people when one does not know about the civilization of Mapungubwe; likewise, one cannot know, understand and appreciate the culture, customs, traditions and practices of Mapungubwe if one does not know, understand, respect and appreciate the cultures, traditions, customs and practices of the Nguni/Bakone people.".

South African archeology, like any segment of our newly democratized country, lives under the expectation of transformation. But it has not actualized nor realized this expectation. In the new political dispensation, South African archeology remains untransformed. The hosting of the World Archeological Congress in Cape Town was done with the view that social and political transformation were occurring and would inevitably have an effect on archeology (Gero, 1999; Hall, 1990; Ucko, 1990).

Sadly this has not been so. Even though both men and women of European descent have played recognized and important roles in South African archeology, the academic participation of Africans has been minimal. This exclusion has not involved formal qualification only (Shepher, 2005), but extends to restricting or preventing access to archeological sites for ritual purposes (Loubser and Dowson, 1987; Ndlovu, 2003, 2004, 2005; Ouzman, 1999; Rudner and Rudner, 1970; Taruvinga, 1995.

There has also been significant lack of acknowledgement in any official accounts of roles played by African people, such as excavators, domestic servants, and interpreters (Shepherd, 2003b). Yet, these are the men and women 'who dug, sieved, sorted, located sites and finds, fetched and carried, pitched camp, cooked and served food, negotiated with local chiefs and suppliers, and assisted in the interpretation of artifacts and events , yet who remain unacknowledged in official accounts of the discipline' (Hodderb; see Langford, 1983; Shepherd 2003b;334).

Challenges were not only about receiving acknowledgement but also about salaries paid to local laborers (Hall, 2001), [and informants]). Unlike those who advocate certain disciplines over other and all that type of real-politicking, I have chosen to explore the line of history-do everything to try and glue together the civilization of Mapungubwe and the Nguni/Bakone Culture.

What I am about to do below, is to shred and breakdown, in an explanatory way, the culture of Africans and in the process try to show how common everything one clan does it is to the other Nguni/Bakone clans of the 10(ten) peoples of South Africa. In practice, Apartheid was an ideology of violence in that it sanctioned the full use of the coercive powers of the state to preserve racial domination.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Fanonesque apocalypse: anti-colonial revolution in which the colonized seek to put into practice, through cathartic violence, the precept that, "The last shall be first and first shall be last. African South African intellectual have by and large shunned extreme views" of this kind, yet at the rank-and-file level of the African political movements, and nowadays in the Townships and Shanty Towns, undercurrents of such thinking have always run strong and are still doing so to-date.

Before we flesh out the culture of the Africans, we can take some lessons from Fanon about what the oppressed people can do and what will motivate them to act against their oppressors. Based on his observations as a psychiatrist during the Algerian revolution, Fanon described the mind of the oppressed as set in a Manichean mold: everything pertaining to the colonizers is evil, everything about the oppressed is good.

Morality and truth are defined to serve the cause of the oppressed. Truth is that which hurries on the break-up of the colonialist regimeIt is all that protects the native, and ruins the foreigners. In this colonialist context there is no truthful behavior; and the good is quite simply that which is evil for them. The masses have an intuition that their liberation can only be achieved by violence, for violence is the only thing capable of breaking the colonizer's power.

Moreover,the oppressed since their own emotional health can only be restored through violence At the level of individuals, violence is a cleansing force. It frees the native from his inferiority complex and from his despair and inaction; it makes him fearless and restores his self-respect. Notions of evolutionary change only inspire his cynical contempt, for he sees them as transparent ploys to buy his time for his oppressors.

His objective is simple: eliminate the oppressor, "them," the colonizers who have stolen his land and crushed his manhood. The native is in fact ready at a moment's notice to exchange the role of the quarry for that of the hunter. The native is an oppressed person whose permanent dream is to become the persecutor. ...

As his political sophistication grows he comes to realize that intellectual and bourgeois members of his own race are seeking ways to depolarize the struggle; but he still finds it difficult to consider any middle ground of compromise in the present or reconciliation in the future.

The Africans of South Africa are aware of the fact that when they sought Freedom in their struggles against apartheid, the incoming ANC-led government has given not even given them democracy. It is this undemocratic democracy that they are now living under that they have now realized that they had been hoodwinked and told lies, on top of the unfulfilled promises made to them by the present ANC government.

So that, when a hub of this nature is being written, what should be borne in mind is the fact that African people will reclaim their Freedom, as is now happening in North Africa-also, they will take over their cultures, and Hubs like these will provide the rudder to that destined end-Cultural reclaiming and perpetuation of their reality as it is their destiny to do so.

Cultural Material's Nitty-Gritty

For centuries the rich History of South Africa dating back to more than 1000 years was hidden from its people. The fact that the Nguni/Bakone peoples of the region had a highly civilized existence hundreds of years before the first Europeans arrived was simply too much to bear[especially for the settlers, colonizers and Imperialistic Europe and America]. Mapungubwe then, is a testimony of a civilization that existed and flourished years before European occupation.

Also, the findings in Mapungubwe provided evidence contrary to the racist ideology of African inferiority that underpinned Apartheid. As already indicated above, the Apartheid regime remained tightlipped for more than 40 years, specifically about Mapungubwe. The evidence was only made public a few years after the first democratically elected government came into power in 1994.

In fact, in the annals of African history, this subject has been written and talked about, so that, this does not mean the historical community was not aware, but I concede that maybe' in South Africa, ordinary Africans did know much if anything about Mapungubwe, And this Hub is now going to make it possible for the first time that the ordinary African South African man has a chance of knowing about the civilization of Mapungubwe and its relevance to African South African culture, customs, history, tradition, languages, rites and practices.

We now know that Mapungubwe was the most advanced culture which can be traced back from 800 AD to around1400 AD. It was the center of the largest civilization in the sub-continent, from where the Mapungubweans traded in gold and ivory(as noted above).

Carbon-dating back as far back as the 1950s, nearby Bambandyanalo it was settled for more than 300-400 years, seemingly, before Mapungubwe(still to be determined). It means that by 1000 AD, people had already been in continuous occupation for more that 200-400 years. Archeologists unearthed glass beads, copper bracelets, profusely decorated pottery bowls, pots, spoons and beakers.

Animal skulls and jawbones also contained copper ornaments, seashells and pottery fragments and pieces of steel and gold ornaments. Gold was mined in hematite at Ngwenya, and iron ore and copper at Phalaborwa, formerly encased within the former state of Transvaal in South Africa. Virtually all the copper and tin deposits of the Northern Transvaal were worked, and hundreds of workings remain.

The Moloko Pottery of the Later Iron Age was branded and stamped decorated, with tapered or out-turned rims, and occurs mainly at sites between the Witwatersrand and the Magaliesberg. Phalaborwa pottery shows little change in 400 or so years and bears simple, cut designs originally produced by the Venda speaking people, even up to today.

What I am saying is that the need for Mapungubwe to be understood, it will be important to understand the culture of the Venda, who are of the Nguni/Bakone stock. Mapungubwe will remain an 'enigma wrapped and shrouded in secrecy,' can become a knowable past, as long as the Venda people, who are the Nguni people, along with the other "9" people, who all make the nation of Africans in South Africa, that all that should be understood about them and their cultures, custom, traditions and practices.

This should be taken into consideration and forever be it known that , just like the Europeans trace their history from the Greek and Roman civilizations, South Africans must link and trace their history, culture, customs, traditions and practices from those of Egypt and Mapungubwe, in particular.

For us to know and understand African culture, we should try and reconstruct it(in part) from the different groups within the 10(ten) peoples of South Africa; they have to use their perceptions, and conceptions of themselves, through their languages, in order for them to begin to know and learn more about their peoplehood, and human-being hood, about the nation.

In the description below we will start by exploring and learning from the culture of the Basotho and what it is that their culture is about. It should be borne in mind that this culture is the same and similar to other cultures of the 10(ten) people, and it is used to make that point even much more clearer.

Citing Fanon was one way of also trying to point out that the way of understanding and knowing culture can be one way of liberating and helping African people to rebuild their cultures, customs, traditions, languages and practices in the process of building a nation.

This runs contrary to what those of the crew of Black Consciousness (excluding Bantu Biko) who consistently spoke against their traditional cultures and traditions. This was clearly articulated by Prof. Njabulo Ndebele is his early writings(Now the Vice Chancellor of Cape Town University) in the early 1970s that:

"The Blacks(Africans) must set about destroying the old and static customs that have over the past decades made Africa the world's human zoo and museum of human evolution. When customs no longer cater for the proper development of adequate human expression, they should be removed. Almost all the so-called tribal customs must be destroyed, because they cannot even do so little as to help the black man get food" (1973: 82)

To believe that the present state of African culture, traditions, rites and practices show a total misunderstanding of one's culture and its role in African people's lives-neither is it Kosher for Africans to see the same person now a vice-chancellor of an elite European University(maybe by making such statements, the Professor was preparing himself for the kind of position he now holds today).

Someone wrote that this reflects the ahistorical view which has so dominated academic debate in South Africa, a perspective that believes that people want to lave their traditional roots behind for "development" or "modernity". Such hogwash! Balderdash!

Before dealing with culture and so forth of the Africans in South Africa, when it comes to issues of ancestors, this really raises some questions about the African professor who says that Africans must discard of the old and decrepit culture for modernity. But,then, here is what Chief Seattle, in his 1854 Oration had to say about immortality and ancestors:

"Your dead cease to love you and the land of their 'nativity' as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb and wander away beyond the stars. They are soon forgotten and never return. Our(Red-man [so-called Indians]) never forget this beautiful world that gave them being.

They still love its verdant valleys, it's murmuring rivers, its magnificent mountains, sequestered vales and verdant lined lakes and bays, and ever yearn in tender fond affection over the lonely hearted living, and often return from the happy hunting ground to visit, guide, and console, and comfort them. Let him be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are powerless. Dead, did I say? There's no death, only a change of worlds.

In order to make my point clear about the importance of culture which other consider to be a 'zoo' and museum' that should be discarded, we will cite Inayatullah who militated: "As American indians told the New Age appropriators, 'if you desire to us our symbols, our names, our dances, our mysticism, then you must as well participate in our pain, in our defeats, in our anguish. You must also see us in humanity, good and evil, and not as 'noble savages'. It is the arbitrary exclusion of certain dimensions of history and self that become problematic."

It is therefore important for Africans to begin to re-evaluate and write down their lived cultural experiences and not asking for directions from anyone who really does not know anything about their culture. That is why below we are going to explore the real culture of Africans and using the actual wording to present it to the world, and this is open to correction form the African south African community and will be duly adjusted or corrected according to the input of the people who have a much more better understanding of the cultures about to be talked about and discussed below.

The Ways, Culture, Traditions, Customs and Practices of the Basotho

Historical Correction is in order here. The Zulus, Xhosas, Basothos, Batswanas, Bapedis, ManNdebele, AmaSwazi, VaVendas and Shangaan, Khoisan, are all Nguni/Bakone people and they are not different from one another except as to their way they talk, inflection, deflection, accent, tonal style or different words in the languages, but what they say and mean at different times in their languages, whenever compared, one to the other, they are the saying the same thing, and they practice the same culture, customs and traditions and so on.

For people to claim that they know the African culture of South Africa, but not really knowing the "Lived Cultural, Traditional and Customary Experiences," cannot really claim that they know the Nguni/Bakone of South Africa. When the 10(ten) people refer to themselves as Nguni/Bakone, it means the same thing to each of them.

The work that needs to be done is to show the sameness, and no differences in the culture-and difference shown should be to highlight the diverse nature of the African peoples customs, tradition, cultures and language, but cohesively one big coherent whole, and that it is a national culture with various shades and forms, but one culture.

What is missing from the analysis or historicity of the Nguni/Bakone cultures, is their emphasis and propping-up of the material culture(as shown on pictures in the Photo Gallery) history itself, and so on.

The paucity of information and ignorance of the Culture, Customs, Traditions and practices of the various Nguni/Bakone people which we have posted on in the Photo Gallery, in of themselves show some similarities in dress and other dress, dance[with some variation for women depending on the clan, for instance, "ukuGiya or ukuSina", in Zulu, "Mohobelo" and "Mokgibo" in Sesotho].

Though the two be different in writing and pronunciation, and diction, this does not mean the Basotho are different from the Shangaan, but they are a variation of the other, but same at the core cultural values, practices and ways of looking utilizing the rules of behavioral governance and ways of comportment and so forth as the culture dictates; and the Xhosa "ukuXhensa" Basothos "Mokgibo" or "Mohobelo"; both have their own grace and movements, that is "Mohobelo", "Mokgibo", and ukuXhensa and "umTjitjimbo" both look more or less the same.

Different songs, but similar bodily movement, stick carrying and singing in unison or solo, duet or as a group. The myth is being perpetrated in trying to tell the Africans in South Africa that they are divided between the Sotho/Venda and Nguni, Zulu and What? Now, my point in this colloquy is to point out to the fiction that Africans in South Africa are different without the writer knowing the language and core cultures of these inhabitants of South Africa.

I am saying that Biko, and all the writers I have utilized here help me make a very confident deduction to the contents of my Hub, that is, The African South Africans, whom I have dubbed the "10 Peoples" are one nation and their culture is the same, and that, in effect, Mapungubwe cannot be understood without understanding the language, culture, customs and traditions of the Nguni people of South Africa. And the Nguni/Bakone people of South Africa cannot be fully understood without knowing and fully understanding the civilization of Mapungubwe.

Getting to know the Ways, Culture and Customs Of The Basotho, will be like knowing the tree and it s fruits, so writes Azariele Sekese. He goes on to say that ancient Basotho made commitment to the ways of their culture. He talks about the fact that if our ancestors, having left us customs, culture and traditions, they will sooner encourage us to deal with these issues of the future.

He says we must use that which enhances our well-being and discard of the useless old ways of culture. He does not encourage the Basotho to forget their past and customs. He advices that if Basotho people adopt the news ways. That they should then not be surprised if they come across unknown accidents.

But, as a warning, he says that we should not cast away our culture because when accidents happen, we do not have a back-up system, and the older ways of living life was safer and much more sturdier. Sekese says that he wrote the Culture, custom, traditions and practices to continue the work done by his ancestors in preserving the Basotho Culture.

He reckons that it will uplift the Bakone known as the Basotho even though we may no more trust the ways of culture, customs and tradition, and me exports the Basotho to teach this ways of culture to their children.

To know a people better is to know their language. The languages of the "10 people" are chock- full of cultural meanings and explanations, idiomatic expression, sage factoids and other linguistic expression within which history is embedded and can be gleaned from that.

There are "10 major"ethnic divisions of Africans in South Africa. You can find some of their origins from Phalaborwa, the one where iron and copper were dug during the civilization of Mapungubwe… The Sothos were skilled craftsmen, renowned for their metalworking, leather working, wood and ivory carving.

They were some of the earlier stone builders, and they have been respected by historians as some of the most ancient people that have resided in south Africa, and the Bafokeng are recognized as the Nguni in culture, as well as the rest of the "8 people"; one is going to find every time the Nguni/Bakone people have one identification of themselves: Nguni/Mokone.

Having repeated this so many times, we will now look at the Basotho as a case study of the Culture, Customs, Traditions and Practices of the Basotho. the reader must always keep in mind that although we are discussing the culture, customs and traditions of the Basotho, we are getting a birds-eye view of the entirety of the culture of the Nguni/Bakone peoples of South Africa, because I have maintained and still do up to the writing of these lines that it is the same culture and one nation with a variety brand as its hallmark and traditional longevity.

Nguni/Bakone Culture is Alive; Lived Cultural Experiences

Cultivated Cultural Speak

1. Marriage, Pregnancy, Bringing up the Baby and Infant Orientation(Lenyalo, Kemaro, Kuruetso)

  • Marriage(Lenyalo): This has customary procedure through which this takes place. When a young man indicates to his elders that he want to get married, he does by symbolically kicking the milk bucket. He wakes up in the morning, to let them suckle their offspring, whilst everyone is sleeping an he wakes very early in the morning, opens the kraall and lets the their babes succkle the mothers before everyone is up. The parents know immediately on seeing him do that and begin asking around about possible mates; and if they approve of her mannerisms and how she holds herself in public, they send someone, who when he gets to his destination asks for water, which signals to the girls parents the intentions of the messenger. The father then confers with the wife, and if they agree that their daughter can marry, they smear the messenger with some special 'fats', and the parents of the boy will see this as a signal that the news is good even if he had not yet told them. If their proposal had been rejected, the messenger would come looking like before he went. A cow is given to block anyone from taking or asking the girl's parents for have hand in marriage. And any woman who is taken when she is small, the cow that is given is called, roughly, sort-of lay-bye[Insurance](it means they have her taken and they are waiting for her to grow up). The cow is called "tebeletso"(the cow that has her marked as 'taken' If there was no cow to be handed over to ask the hand of the woman from her family, a 'hoe' or necklaces and beads were used and accepted.
  • Guarantee or Insurance - Cows for the Family of the Bride-to-be; [Kgomo Tsa Selelekela- (Male and female cows for the bride's Parents): The brides father makes the marriage plans known to his family, and the father of the groom makes the news known to his side; i.e.,the grooms father tells is father, or the boy's uncle and they are the ones who will be the chief negotiators with the bride's people("Ho ratha))The grandfather are the main people for the boy, even if they might invite someone prominent or eminent in the community, the first two remain the main negotiators. The cows that are going to be handed to the 'bride-would-be' people, are driven by the by their neighbors and all those who have something to do with the coming wedding. There are then those cows that are hidden in case the talks do not go as hoped for. When the cows that are intended to be handed to the brides family, the aunt, his father's sister or the boy's mother, who then shouts, "here, take this walking stick("Tshwarang lere'), and the beer for the handing of the 'walking stick' is drunk first(Jwala ba lere') The bull and the milk cow are for the father(bull) and the mother(milk cow) of the bride. In Sesotho these are known as "Kgomo tsa Selelekela"[ In short, in Sesotho culture these are called "ya seholo-holo(ya ho tswala- the one that is the bull-to give off offsprings); the female one for the mother("ya letswele(ho antsha- For suckling the young" ). These two cows are hurriedly driven by young boys, who when they enter the homestead, the women of that village ululate and gather some sticks('ba phalla mekoulwana(Mefeng), and hit these animals to turn them back, whilst the shepherds push them hard to insert them in the brides people kraal('sakeng'); when the shepherds eventually manage and lock the cows in the brides people kraal('sakeng') they approach the men of the bride's people and say, The one for the one is the red one, and the black one is for the mother. They are thanked by being given a calabash of beer, and on their way home then meet with the others from their homestead who are driving the main body of the cows towards the 'bride-to-be's' place. The children from the grooms village, pair the cows according to their groups, and walk both in front and on the sides of the herd, this is done so that the brides' people would not be able to count them until they are locked-up inside the kraal('sakeng') Those they come upon in the sanctum of the village,because they are intent on marrying the girl, they then proclaim that "A son born is like the first bull of the herd("Ngwana was moshemane ke pholo ya letlaka."). But the women standing outside compound and claim that the kraal(Lesaka) is not full but it is empty("Ha lea tlala(lesaka), le mariba") With their ululation they proclaim that the wedding can now take place. On that day the owners of the homestead wear rags so that they can be stripped of them by the groom's people. Once the cows are interned inside the kraal('lesaka') they all sit down by the door of the kraal and greet their neighbors and the visitors{'Dumelang baeng'},whereupon they enter the kraal and count the cows, and silently headed back into their house. Afterwards they send two men with the cow that that they count as not being there, and increase the lot already sent which by now is inside the kraal('lesakeng') And heads of the brides' people say, "Rea boka kgomo eo, nyalang E-reng funya-funya, re bona(di hlahiseng ka bongata re di bone)[just keep on adding and show the cows to us in the large numbers and let's see them) The start counting from 25 cows and three goats('Dipodi') The father of the bride has two people to pacify('thetesa bohadi') the grooms' people; at the same time, it is he, the bride's father,who will tell the groom's people when to stop in terms of how many cows they'll need to have to marry. In the latter modern days, a horse is used and is called the 'shepherd'('Modisana'). And this horse has become a requirement at the end of the deal with cows and goats. When the cows from the grooms' people reaches eleven, they sort of 'fine' them with one bull by the bride's father; twenty cows, the fine is two bulls. The cow of Selelekela(the one that was sent ahead before ll the cows were sent to the bride's place, is never explained. The ancients used to permit those with many cows to marry, and they also allowed those with a few cows to marry. All this was depended on the bride's father so long as he does not burden his neighbors(grooms people) who want to marry his daughter. But as for nowadays since the cows are used so much, it is much out of greed rather than being an outcome of our cultural, traditional and customary laws. The kings used to offer many cows for their marrying someone, and those who married the king's daughter. In the ancient days, our great-great-great, great-grandmothers were married even if her family was given hoes for tilling the ground as part of her hand being asked in marriage of their son. A lot has gone awry in many marriages as a result of cows being used as cash nexus or having been introduced in the agreements involving people getting married. Some marriages in the ancient times were successful even when a healthy dosage of snuff was offered as part of what their family could afford. Some met and got married in the hustle, bustle and confusion of the "Difaqane"(Scatterings),and the off springs were named according to the conditions its parents finds themselves in."

One can see from the descriptions of Azariele Sekese that there were formal traditional and customary manners through which married became a community activity and much jostling that takes place in different stages of the whole marriage process, like the offering of cows as a means of combining different communities, peoples and families.

Sekese also observes that modernity, with its greed patterns has destroyed the marriage customary set-up by introducing cows and greed, and yet, he confirms that the older generation used whatever was necessary to seal the marriage union, and that was what mattered: hoes, snuff and other gifts were often used and accepted, and the marriages lasted longer.

One can also see the community and its reaction, participation and involvement in the marriage of their neighbors, i.e., how Africans(Basotho-who are Nguni/Bakone) we really living like, and some of these cultural-traditonal-customary and language are still being used today, as they now can be traced to antiquity by really understanding Mapungubwe as an extension of South African Civilization in its various forms and manifestations.

We also learn the patterns and approaches young men performed whenever they felt they were ready to get married. We also learn about the "Difaqane"(Scatterings"), how they tore-apart the culture, customs, traditions and practices of the Nguni/Bakone people in South Africa. The society of the Basotho, like the other societies of the Nguni/Bakone people, were cultured and had bonafide customs and traditions which were the heartbeat of these societies and existence.

Marriage as described above, gives flesh to the notion that Africans in South Africa are one, as we shall see with the Zulus, Xhosas, Pedi's, Tswanas, Swazis, Ndebele, Shannon, Shona/Venda people, it might be the language that is different, as I have already discussed this point within the Hub above, but the customs, traditions, cultures and practices (and languages too, if it can be really studied in a holistic manner, will prove what I am saying about language to be true) are the same.

So that, if we were to understand what the culture and social life was like in Mapungbwe, we will be more knowledgeable about the culture, customs, traditions and languages of the Nguni/Bakone people in full. Most people who write about South Africans do not know that at the core of their cultures there are ways and means through which the culture breathed, sustained and perpetuated itself.

Yes, the African 'city slickers' behave in oddly Westernized manners which is in sharp and stark contrast to their Nguni/Bakone lived culture; yet, most of them when they head back to their village, weekends, holidays or leave and off days, suit up in their traditional garb and live like or become immersed within the culture of their people as I have discussed above, and shown in Pictures in the Photo Gallery, with a tinge of change here and there.

But it is mainly, the same cultural, traditional, customary and linguistic reality that is still alive and kicking in South Africa that we are concerned with here. It also going to be important that we study the effects and affects of "Difaqane"[Scatterings] and how this cataclysmic catastrophe destroyed all societies in South Africa[in a later/future Hub].

And this may have even affected Mapungubwe, because, South Africa was its wealth, backyard and social engineering which was still in a process of developing when it was disturbed by "Difaqane"(Scatterings) and 'The Boer Trek' and the coming of Colonization, Apartheid, and Imperialism, is what is of interest here. We will look further into the culture of the Basotho further again.

The Portioning of Slaughtered Cow Parts to those whose Right it is to be Apportioned for, and Issues Related to RESPECT-(Dikabelo Ka Ditho ho ba Nang le Ditshwanelo, le Ka Hlonepho)

  • Seyakabaeng;(That which will for the Brides' or That which goes for those married or are senior to the family) Ke Letsoho,meaning that this part of the cow special cut ("Letsoho", the cow's hand(foot and hoof) is fried on the fire for the groom's in public; the husband to the brides sister, if he has donated a cow towards the bries people, or the head of the household(who is considered a 'king'), if he too has contributed a cow to those whose daughter is being married. When the dues to the bride have been completed, the groom and his people welcomed with joy, and fed brewed some home-made beer, the brides people proclaim to all and sundry that they have to be given respect and love. When the groom is around, he and his bride are brought together and they use the 'bile' of the cow that was slaughtered on behalf of the brides people, and this bile ceremony is called "Mohlana"(of-the bile), it is well packaged or boiled, it is then taken to the groom's household along with all the other parts of the slaughtered cow that was given for that purpose to the bride's people.
  • The one who was sent by the groom's people to go and ask for the in marriage with the groom is given 'mohlanana-o-monyane(sefutsi, kapa [..or] nkonotelo'). The part called "Meletsa" is cooked for the boys and girls(girls are served before the boys are fed). This is the meat they will eat when they and the girls are corralled. They play the game all night, although nowadays this game that was played ends up with some girls pregnant, usually it tis the girls who are brides bridesmaids and others who are her friends . This game was ended and stopped because the fathers of these girls refused to send their girls in the corralled setting, due to the result of having the girls ending up pregnant.
  • Di ya ka baeng:Those parts that will go to the grooms'. These are the two hoofs (feet or 'maoto') of a cow that has been slaughtered. One part is for the bride's people; they can either cook it there or in their own homestead, and that is their choice to make.The innards that go to the bride's people are: 2 jaws, a thigh, one frontal leg ('letsoho'), the cow's skin, and the head with jaws. At the groom's place, they get: the chest, thigh; joints and bones, frontal foot, for the frontal legs('Matsoho') are going to be fire fried for the men, the other frontal leg is for the men in at the groom's. The intestines, heart and liver and other innards are left behind. During the might is when the women eat the intestines and the innards, and it is at this is time when the women will eat the left-over innards; if they are the thieves, the silently call on each other without ululating. The women who ate the innards, intestines and spleen and kidneys, are the ones who are going to cut the grass and this will be used refresh and support that which is going to build house or something else.
  • 'Matlala' is the name given to all the parts listed: 1. Mala a bitswang Manyeme (special parts of the Intestines); 2. The contents form the part that is called "Mohlana"; 3. Lump of kidney and all these are cooked for grandfather and grandmother. This the meat that when its cooked and given show the respect for the parents. If the grand parents have passed away, they still get to be cooked "Matlala"(all the named parts named 1 to 3, above. After these have been dished-up, they will be taken to the room where the grandparents will eat it, in the evening when everyone is asleep. The following, the people of the house will say: "The Ancestors(The Dead) have eaten, and as we eat what they had, we will just only lick the sides of the pots, that is, where the elders have left us the "left-overs", when they were eating. If the "Matlala are not made, then will come the day when our young girl gets sick while living as a married person at her new place of abode (at the groom's homestead), the seers/healers will say the cause of the illness as: "That the grandfather and grandmother who have passed are displeased with her, and they are complaining and pointing out they were not given their 'Matlala', and would have felt that they were being "Respected", if these were cooked for them. If the son has built himself a house or homestead away from his father's home, and he gets married and also eats of the "Matlala" he is supposed to take a cow from his herd to his father and mother, so that they can eat the cow, instead of the "Matlala" that were designated for them.
  • Pholo ya Moqhoba:The Primary bull that is slaughtered In May when the hair of the cows begin to grow, and it is at this time the woman is taken to "Moqhobeng", at the boys home.When they get closer to the boy's homestead, early in the morning, they sit down, and the people of the boys homestead will come out to meet their brides by sending their own girls carrying beads which they give to their bride, and help her up. The bride and her entourage carry on this act of sitting down, and every time given something until when they tire, they are given the child (infant) to the people of the boy.
  • Once they enter the home of the boy, they are given food(the bride and her little party), the refuse it and sleep hungry. Very early the next morning they go down to the water well, they sweep their home and the yard, they grind corn, they prepare cornmeal, and even though they will finish cooking, they do not eat until a goat of "Kwae," which is put in their food for them to consume. The only agree to eat once this goat has been slaughtered. It is still being done today.


  • In the evening, a house is cleared-up where the girls will meet with the boys, and they play the whole night, in the meantime they will feasting on the "Kwae"s goat meat, in their corralled habitat. In the morning, the women who had accompanied the bride to the boys' place("Moqhobeng"), the family show them the cow of "Moqhoba" , and if it is too small in size and does not satisfy the women, they refuse to take it; and if they are given a big one, they agree and it is slaughtered, they take the inner parts and other special meat cuts to the girls' homestead(to the girls' parents and people); be that as it may be, the bride will not have long to stay at her parents' homestead. After they finish the meat of "Moqhoba," they send the bride to the grooms' place and homestead.
  • When she returns permanently to her marriage, and lives with her husband, she wakes up in the wee-hours of the morning, goes to the watering-hole, grind the corn or wheat, sweeps her place and the whole yard, and she cooks. Upon her arrival at her husbands' homestead, those at the grooms begin to eat "Thaha-meso" (hot fresh morning porridge). She will sleep together with her husband's mother. They will meet and sleep together as man and wife when their house("Leqatha") is built and finished. But nowadays, it is no more like that. The day her house(Leqatha-[the new house built peers for the newly-weds]) is complete, they go about building the wall ("ho batehwa lebota"), the bride,at that time leaves and heads back to her parents' home, and as she does so, it is claimed that she is scared of the wall ("o tshaba lebota"), and when she come back to her new house she will carrying a lot of beer and meat and gives all that to her groom's people, and the only thing who will take to her new house ("Leqatha), when the sun goes down, will be a jar of beer.
  • Her husband will then have to invite a man he knows drinks beer or has been drinking beer with him. When the sun goes down, the man and the boy propose a game, or should I say sleep together. In that way if the girl is not a virgin, early in the morning, when the man realizes this, he quickly moves away from her; the next day, early in the morning and he opens up the gate for the cows and takes them into the field ("Mohoba") to eat without allowing the young ones to suckle, which will enable them to return home when the sun warms-up.When they are in the open grassy 'velds', "Mokhoabong" by the watering-hole, he smears ("Neta") the one he loves most with mud, and proceeds to make a big hole on his blanket along the area of his shoulder (see photo gallery, Basotho like to wear blankets because the Malulti [Khahlamba] or Drakensberg mountains are full of snow and cold, and Lesotho, their country, is nestled amidst those high mountains-my two cents). When he arrives at home in the evening bringing the cows to the kraal ("Lesaka"), he goes on to sit on top of some protruding rock("Lefika'). When the elderly man see his actions, they know that the bride is not a virgin and may have been sleeping around or had an affair or affairs. They take her back to her parents home and sort of fined("Hlahlwa"- "Kweneho") cows because the will now be a need to look for someone else. The new bride might be subject to the same process if found out that she has already slept with another man, these women are called "dinokwane" (akin to cheaters)s, because they may have had pre-marital sex and the new one would have been checked after three months of her arrival in her marriage. The second woman will suffer the same fate, and she will have to crate an fill a jug with beer and with humility, and when she return come back a different jug filled with beer, to pay the one who gave her the first jug. This is still being done today.
  • The Young Men Who Have Made to Marry and Those Who are eligible Bachelors ("Bahlankana Ba Nydisitsweng Le Masoha") The father of young men are supposed to encourage and make them get married, because they young bucks are prone to breaking up established homes. In ancient times such cases and charges by the young men used to embarrass their fathers. If a young man or eligible bachelor is found guilty of prostitution("Bofebe"), the accused becomes the father, because it said that the guilt/wrongdoing perpetrated here is that the father did not make his son to settle down and get married even though the father could see that he was in the state and stage of getting married, so the young is bound to run fowl because of the shortcomings of his old man. A young man who runs foul of the customs and traditions of the clan when he is married, does not render the father as being the accused nor guilty, just because his son is seen as having committed this crime, in fact, the son who is the accused is regarded as a prostitute("Sefebe"); even when the son decides to get married the second time, even though the first one he was helped by his parents to marry, but with the new and second bride does not bind his father to the son's choice to marry a second wife, and the son takes out his own cows, but, the old man will always pitch in because the boy is his child and loves him very much. "Even though I do not know what is happening throughout Lesotho today, I will simply talk about what I have actually seen with my two eyes in 'Leribe', which is in Lesotho. I once saw a man standing in front of the council in front of his accusers who was made to answer for the misdeeds of his married son. In my heart I said they are spoiling and destroying a just custom with an unjust made-up custom. The father of the girl was angry and hopping mad at the son's father who was a man in his own house and married. Even the council was mad at the father because he could not answer the questions they were asking and the problem for the father was that he was not present when the son committed these offense of which the father is now being accused of. The son was there sitting amongst the lynch-mob-like men that was attacking and accusing his father." (Sekese).
  • The Son-in-law at his Wives' home ("Mokhwenyana Bohweng"). Whenever the son-in-law visits the home of his wife, they do not call him with his name meaning all those of his wife's people. To call him by his name is to show disrespect ("ho sa mo hlonephe"). The bride, is called "Mmanyeo" (Mother of Someone, even though she might not yet have had a child), and this is done so that those of her father's people will be able call the father with the name of his child.the man who has had children rom his first marriage and brings them to his second marriage, he continues to be called by the names of the children of his first wife. some women run away from their husbands even though they live with them. These ways of behaving are a modern manifestation, amongst the "Batlokwa", "Mkholokwe", "Maphuthing" and the "Matebele"(amongst the Zulus) This is perturbing and disturbing trend nowadays. The siblings of the bride, the girls, they help her to be able to maintain respect amongst her in-laws and to her in-laws. Those names that are directly related to the son-in-law but instead use unknown names not related to him whenever they are addressing him.
  • The Laws for Daugters-in-Law("Melao Ya Dingwetsi") When a girl is taken to her in-was, she is given a set of laws by her elders, and by adhering to them would help and enable her to respect her in-laws. 1. First of all she must listen to and hear her mother-in-law("Matsalae") who is older than her, and her mother-in-law who is female; she must listen to all the things and instruct her on as if it were her own parents who gave birth to her; she must also respect all those who are related to her husband in-laws in all forms and manner of their relationships; she must feed all and any of them by showing kindness and caring and respect("Hlompho") and finally, must love all and everyone of them. 2. She must never make her parents hear embarrassing and shameful things about her from her mother-in-law or from her husband.She must always remember that when she got married, cows were given to her and her parents by the father and mother of the son-in-law, and these by now may be wasted in many ways, and thus, in this way, may be putting her parents and people in big trouble. 3. She must try her utmost and apply all her knowledge, experience and working hard to please her man, his parents, and must love them as if she was born in that house. 4. She must be energetic and efficient in her working schedule at her in-laws. 5. She must listen to the instruction of her mother-in-law. 6. She must feed her husband in a timely fashion, and she must not be greedy for food; she must feed the children at her in-laws like they are her siblings. 7. She must keep her house clean, presentable and respectable, and, she must keep her husband happy at all times. 8. "Yes, my child, a daughter's fate is to go and die amongst strangers or foreigners, and she will be lost or buried according to the customs and traditions of those people and that place" ("Eya Ngwnaka! Ngwana wa Mosestasana o shwela ditjhabeng, o lahlwa ka lehlalo la moo a nyetsweng teng") 9. Oh my child, do not spoil our name and custom in the houses of those that have married you and brought you into their families; and they should not be asking: "who actually is her father? "Who really is her mother"?
  • Pretense and the Tricks of the Bride ("Boiketsiso Le Maqheka A Dingwetsi") There are two or three ways that are used by married-women whenever they come to live with their in-laws. some girls grow up with some weird and ugly mannerism when they are younger: or maybe it's the type of inherited mannerism, of which it is said that ("Ngwana Tadi o Bonwa Ka Mereto(mebala) - You can see and tell a person's character/beingness by the way they were treated and behaved/brought-up in the presence of the presence and when they show their true colors(rough interpretation); or some idiomatic expression which goes: "Leshala Le Tswala Molora" Out of solid black coal one gets ash [This sometimes means out of a good family sometimes comes out a horrible and devil-like child]. The brides come to live with their in-laws carrying their own personal character flaws("Dirwala" ["Phahlelo"]) 'Serwala sa pele' (the first baggage is that which is not spoken about by the brides' people, an unusual characteristic embedded within that particular lady unusual for ladies her age. This baggage that the elders do not speak about, or the carelessness of their daughter, or that she might be a kleptomaniac or very aggressive bordering on meanness. That is the baggage that even the bride herself tried to hide, and just because these mannerisms are are not in accordance to cultural norms and norms, she is always overcome by her being used to them, that they eventually prop-up and rear their ugly head and mannerism, and makes it difficult for her to hide it. Nonetheless, in the early days of her arrival, as she gears herself o at cordially, but trying to be kind eludes her, she cannot pretend or grasp the act of being good, it is foreign to her and the act itself! she is incapable of pursuing these norms in a loving way so that she may live like a person who has love for all around her, she merely lives the custom culture so far as it takes her to the point whereby those might not yet be familiar with the towns or village people
  • We have seen above how a bride was advised and instructed before she left her home and went in to live at the in-laws with her husband. She has worked her way into her new family using tricks of being kind and the like because she was as a new member of the husbands' family that was also standing in her way. In this way she looks promising like a bird that is called ["Thetsa Badisana['tsatse']" (The bird that fools the shepherds). Even tough she might work that way, pretending to be be doing good and kind things and exceptional behavior all round, those at her betrodal are made away by the passers -by"Mafeta Tseleng" regarding her behavior and they say: ("Le se ke la re khola, empa le tla mo bona le lona") You should not necessarily believe us, you see her yourself — an if their bride keeps on repeating and acting as the ("Mafeta ka Tsela") Passers by who act as informants") had cautioned them that they 'should not believe hem, but they'll see her themselves', that as goes up and down her cores, the in-laws start winking at each other and realize with embarrassment and sadness all what their ("Mafeta ka Tsela") passers-bye who acted as informants told them was true. At first they thought that it was all gossip and jealousy, or that they hated their bride. And it was with those doubts and giving their bride the benefit of the doubt that they set out to marry her for their son. Now because they caused their own misery, "No one is going to cry for them" ("Baiketsi ha llelwe") Those who refuse to listen when told or cautioned is noticed by the result of having bloodied with blood" ("Se hana ho bollelwa/ho jwetswa se bonwa ka madi"). So when they see for themselves that she is a prostitute ("Sefebe), a kleptomaniac ("wa utswa"), thieve ("Leshodu", very lazy ("Botswa"), very careless and clumsy ("o lehlaswa"), liar ("o leshano"), conniving, ("ke molotsana"), Treacherous and trickster-conman, full of tricks ("o mano"), and so forth. All these are terrible and bad because the bride will have embarrassed herself and shamed her parents,her husband parents,her husband, along with her own parents.
  • What is being spoken about here is the month she goes back to her in-laws, where she then begins her pregnancy ("Letladi, kgwedi e a boetseng morao ka yona" [qalo ya kemaro]). From that day onwards she is not allowed to cut her hair from her head. On the six or seventh month, she is then returned to her parents' home to ("bipa") — to hide her pregnant stomach with a small cloth. At he parents they proceed to hide her stomach with a cloth or skin of a sheep or cow. When the time comes for her parents to take her back to her place of her in-laws), they slaughter for a sheep or cow and then put around her neck a special tail-string (Kgweetsa"), which is a small tail of a small baby cow/sheep directly opposite her throat(this means the Basotho believe is wearing that tail in her hear this is strung along with the frontal feet of the "Nakedi" along with its nails). At this stage, no one is allowed to stand or walk behind her, it dos not matter who it is. When she is back to her in-place, the same month the in-laws send her back to her parents home to go and give birth, on the seventh month. On the eighth month of her pregnancy called "Motlahadi" (time of expectation). When his wife bears a child and it is a boy, the man is informed whilst he is relaxing and him being told that his wife bore a man, and those of his family members will hit him hard with a stick, and say ["we give a child who is a boy"]- ("re o nea ngwana wa moshemane") If it is a girl, one of the women will pour water all over him whilst he is still sleeping and say: "We give you a girl" ("Re o nea morwetsana") Such was the manner of announcing infants, and it seems like it has vanished now. When the child is born, he or she undergoes what is called ("ho Lomolwa"- "ho Qethiswa") before the infant is suckled on her mother. Immediately afterwards, beer is brewed ("Ratholwa") and it is called "Leswatsa"). On the pregnant woman a reed ("Lehlaka") is put on wha, to block people from coming into the room she is with her infant, at the same time, the it retains a symbolical meaning that man has emerged or originated from the reed ("Motho o tswa lehalkeng") it is called "Seotlwaneng"). The fire in the room of a woman who has just given birth to an infant is never allowed to die or flutter out. The reason why the woman who is about to give birth is sent to her parents, is because since giving birth is such a difficult process, and she might fail to give birth, it has been thought better to be in the care of her parents, so that if any mishap takes place, the will not be able to complain that if it were them who were present, this or that would not have happened. The parents and the people of the bride are given all the chances to do all that they know to help her giver birth successfully. This has been done purposely so that the woman giving birth should be well taken care of by her mother who will fed her properly. It is also observed that the bride, from the days she was growing up has always pined for and always longed for her mother, and particularly in times of trouble and chaos and pain.
  • Women during the period of their Pregnancy ("Basadi Motswetseng"); When the woman has given birth, she is handled with care and love, and they help with all that she needs in her having given birth-state; they take water for her to wash, corn meal to make her special morning porridge ("Lesheshele"), they cook it for her and even feed her. The food for the husband and the children are cooked along with hers because they left their homes to come to her birthing occasion. Others who 'put in a hand' end up in the end going back to their homes. The pregnant woman inside the reeds is fed offered that tastes sour, like a special porridge called "Leting" and beer ("Bojwala") — made of mielie corn fermented over some few days). Mostly they give "Lesheleshele" — fermented corn meal served as soft porridge, and this is fed to her for a full month. The women who are helping the pregnant woman show joy and happiness in the celebrations that are carried out during the time of her pregnancy. Before they disperse, the women helping the bride grind corn, a stuff and pack the powdery corn into cans and granaries , so that the pregnant women should not be grinding and putting too much pressure on her back and the developing infant in her stomach. The woman who does not help at the place the pregnant woman is or lives, she too will not be helped they day she becomes pregnant and need such help. Any person who comes from there then they are allowed to meet in the village is not immediately accepted nor allowed to go in the "Lehlakeng"(Reed). The custom is such that the person should wait some allotted time, then they meet the woman who has just borne the child; but if they are burning to see her, they will have to wipe their feet on the ember of a dying fire, they can go in and see her. The people who come from adjacent villages, this is because it is believed that on their way to seeing the pregnant woman, they have jumped over bewitching stuff, those that have been placed on the way for evil purposes. The infant top of the had has drawn on it a cross, lest the evil witchcraft that has been lain and plied along the road the visitor passed might squash the child's little brain, and it never heals nor grows until the infant dies. This is not only limited to the visitors, but as in the case of a woman who has given birth to a baby and goes and worked in the cornmeal fields, she has to do the same customary pattern of cleansing herself like a visitor, because some people burn evil medicine to increase their crops(this can be seen practiced by the (Matebele), these too affect the pregnant woman and detrimental to the baby.
  • The Customary Way of Helping fed the infant Porridge by Making it drink it ("Mokgwa Wa Ho Nwesa Ngwana Motoho"). When the child has just been born, it is made to be made to drink the milk by a woman who has just woken up from sleeping in her house, wake up early, with no one seeing her, and not wash herself and hands yet, and make the infant drink the milk long before it started suckling from its mother, from her hand. This is done in order that whoever comes in the "Lehlakeng", (Reeds) coming from wherever, according to whatever custom, that the child will not suffer the "Lebote" (the slow implosion and not healing of the top of the infant's head where the skull has not yet gelled), but is still pulsating), which will have been prevented by the woman who inoculated ("Entwa") the infant in the manner described above. This is done because anyone who comes and enters the "Lehlakeng"(Reeds) carries omens and other bad things that,if the woman had not fed the infant in the manner as already described above, that child will get sick, because anyone who come into their rooms might be carrying all the evils or has been doing evil deeds and things. Dirt has been the inoculation ("Ente") of the people of old, that even today this is still as an inoculation ("Ente") method. Sekese say that it was embarrassing when it was done by the 'Christians". This is also partly why the culture of Africans,if interpreted in a Western cultural and way of thinking and seeing things, we get to have cultural clashes, misunderstanding, and interpreting African culture using the cultural prism of western culture. Christianity, as we have talked about above citing Biko, created a lot of confusion when it came head-to-head with African culture.This is what The Basotho customarily say: "If the child was not given the porridge in the manner discussed above, and it so happens a woman enters his/her room after doing bad deeds, the milk the child had been suckling from its mother coms out pouring through the nose.
  • The Blessing, "Thanking" and "Appreciation" of the infants ("Dikananelo tsa Masea"). Children when they are 'blessed"("Ananelwa" — "[Diteboho"]) and those symbols or cultural blessings are done in accordance with anyone's birth, and this is done customarily. The Bakwena's blessing/thank the birth of their babies with a sheep or cow; yet other africans, Nguni/Bakone cultures they bless/thank the birth of a child using a goat, specifically. The acceptance of the child and blessing it gets called in the name of the "Kananelo"(thanks and appreciation) is one of the indicators that go to show how happy, and joyous are the parents. It is said that a child who has not been "Kananelwa" [blessed and appreciated] in this way will forever make her mother morosed by crying a lot all through the day.The skin of the goat, sheep or cow that was used for "Kananelo" [blessed/appreciated] ends up being used as a "Thari" [infants sling back]. In other cultures of the Bakone/Nguni these types of blessings/appreciation for children do not exist nor practiced. In the olden days babies were made to wear a part of what was used for his "Kananelo" "[Thanking/celebrating], along with the animal's bile. In these modern days this practice has been ignored and avoided by many people. And yet, the "Dikananelo" [blessings/appreciation] are customarily being used today and are being practiced even today, and nothing diminishes them even if they were to be compared with progress that we see today.
  • The strings that are put on the necks of the children-"Mathapo A Rweswang Masea Molaleng". Infants are made to wear certain strings on their necks to make sure that he should not tilt its head onto the back, front and sideways. These strings are made in knots or plaited and their main function, according to the custom of the Nguni/Bakone, is to prevent the infant's neck from breaking up. The shaking and tilting of the child's neck will not result in its breaking, but a serious medical condition. Sekese feels that the danger in seeing so many strings hanging around the child's neck, with their weight notwithstanding that might be the likelihood that the infant's neck might have problems. Nonetheless, as of the writing of these customary practices, which are not necessarily perfect, Sekese adds: "If it was still practiced the same way today, the parents of that child needed to be arrested and sentenced to jailed. Another reason being that just because these strings have been kneaded with wet clay caused a lot of dirt to be stored on the infant's neck, and invites ticks. Filth and dirt invite teaks which bring diseases to the infant which will cause it to die and will never have stood a chance. These strings were kept damp and ended up weighing two pounds, and that moves whilst hanging on the infant's neck. The infants dribble, full of the porridge that's fed the infant, and all these stay on for long periods up to the time they stink." Some of the cultural practices were never understood as to why they existed, and this was due to the unchanging nature of the culture, and the need to discard some of these ways of culture met with stiff resistance and no compliance from the members of these societies, and this was a set back in terms of how infants got treated, but most of them, grew up to be strong lads and ladies within these communities.
  • The second month since the birth of the baby ("Kgwedi Ya Kuruetso"). This is the second month since the baby was born; the third moth is for "Tshehiso", ["laughter and smiles"]; the fourth one is "tlhaba-mokhosi". On the month of "Kuruetso," the second month of the baby's birth is how the infant baby is socialized into his being and existence as part of his reality amongst his peers and for himself. When it is a boy on the month of "Kuruetso," at evening, before the rising of the moon from the South, young boys of the village are invited and form a play and they say to the child: "Kururu! Kurruru" Molekane wa hao ke elwa". (Kururu! Kururu!, there is your equal or peer), and the child is spun around and made to face the moon, and if it is a girl they say: "See there is your equal, your same-age-group is over there.
  • If it's a boy, he is fed meat by a man of credible morals and standing, so that he might be like him. The meat that was to be given to the child, it was firstly had to be spit upon by the man. If it is a girl, they choose a woman of good deeds, who is not disrespected by children, she too will spit on the girls meat. She must also be a very energetic and meticulous woman, listens to her husbands, not one who is rude and disrespectful, who keeps the home fires burning by staying at home, and so on.
  • The . Moreover, the boy whole milks the cow-second month of the birth of the child is the one involving those who milk the cows ("Kuruetso Ka Mohami wa Digomo"), on the second month of the child's birth, and if it is a boy, or a girl, a boy is chosen who is still pure and never defiled or defiled himself(with women), is the one who will be chosen to milk the cows. Even the cow that is chosen to be milked, it should not have had copulation with a bull during the time which it nursed its calf. If the boy who milks the cows is seen to have done one wrong, this should be overshadowed by the good deeds he/she has done all their life.
  • The use of the first rains of the second moth to orientate the infant with nature("Kuruetso ka Pula"). Ever since the baby was born, they have never been subjected to a drop of rain; the people say that if a drop would land on the baby, not yet having being exposed to it through customary law of the ancients, they day he grows up he will become a thief. For that reason, on the second moth of the baby's birth, or the third month, on the day the first rains of that month come, the child is then put up and exposed to the rain, Even though the child may cry out loud and hard, they just laugh and simply say it is "Kuruetso". Some playfully say to the baby: ("Leshodu ke leo! Haiaha! Leshdu ke leo! Ke leo!) There is the thief! Haiaha! There's the thief! The it is!". They then quickly remove the baby whilst it is screaming and hollering from the rain.
  • The day of the "Koroso" is the day the young baby is taken to its parents home. There, a cow is slaughtered. That day they say that they are eating the cow for the "Koroso"(the cow that is slaughtered), for the child's being brought to the parents homestead. As I have said about the "Letladi," the child's mother was prohibited from cutting her hair; it is on this day that grown-up hair is cut at its longest points, as the ceremony of the "Koroso" of the child is taking place. Meat is taken to her by those put there to help her, and from that day it more talked about the child more than his/her mother.
  • The Cow that is slaughtered when the "Meja" are returned. ("Kgomo Ya Meja") Meja are the strings that had been used to wrap the meat for the "Koroso", and these are being returned to their owners, but this time they have tied the meat that has been slaughtered and are known as the "Child's puke" ("Mahlatsa a ngwana") Making the just draw a spittle is done by the elders of the of the son to his first born. This act will not be done at will of her parents.
  • The second child to be born or she be born when her siblings before her died before she was born is Called "Seqoma". "Seqoma" is a child who is the second born in the family, or born after those who died before she/he was born. This type of child has been known to be very emotional, and whenever these crop-up, there is usually no reason for such outbursts of emotions, and what would help would be when the child begins to know how come he/she has such volatile emotional bursts. Many-a-times when she is seen or heard crying, there is usually no reason as to why the child would be crying.
  • When A man dies and leaves his wife as a widow, the brother, according to the Basotho, can step into the role of his brother as husband and take her as his wife, this is called "Ho Kenela Mohlolohadi" ("The taking over of the role of Husband to a widowed woman"). The Basotho, when a woman becomes a widow, the assign the role of husband to the younger or older brother, of husband; but if she does not want to commit themselves to remarry amongst those of her in-laws, but he must make clear what it is he will do to help with such a situation (if she opts not to be remarried after she was now a widowed woman). and if the woman refuses to "Kenelwa"(have someone of her in-laws re-marry her), there is no one who can do anything about that should she so decide she does not want to do it). All the people will say is that, "There is nothing wrong if Mma-Peete refused to be "subjected to the custom" of being "Kenelwa". Sekese opines that anyway, this custom of having widowed to be made to accept to "Kenelwa", is bad, and is fraught with dangers which usually cause the breaking of homes and homestead of those already long and well settled.
  • 1. The first danger is that maybe the man might be overcome by love of his dead brother's wife, or she might have been the younger wife of the dead brother; this might make the heart of the incoming wife very happy, but create jealous and hatred to the man's original wife. With that, the wife would pack her belongings and head back to her home, and uttering unspeakable denunciations directed at her man, and his relationship with the incoming widow now turned wife and the foul state of the newly-wed widow now turned wife. 2. The second danger: the second husband (Mokenedi") might abuse the widow-now-married again partner ("ya kenetsweng"), and also extend that abuse to her children; this in turn makes the widow-now-married wife to live in misery, and wish that when her real husband passed away, she too should have died; and these in reality become her feelings henceforth. She ends up being teary all the time, loose significant weight and look frail as if to implode and collapse on her skeletal system. She stays in this relation because she firstly considers her children's survival chances and the importance of her being around them because, were she to leave the homestead, the children will have to remain with the man she left. This whole could have been avoided were the relationship, at its origins, been made to balance from both sides, that of the man and the widowed wife.

Sifting Through The Ancient Embers of Culture

Culture as Communications

"What is Culture?," asks Thomas Hall.

"Culture is a word that has so many meanings already that one more can do it no harm. For anthropologists culture has long stood for the way of life of a people, for the sum of their learned behavior patterns, attitudes, and material things. So, from the beginning, culture has been the special province of the anthropologist, who usually gained a firsthand experience of its pervasive power in the field during internship which follows the prescribed period of a classroom training.

Most of the difficulties experienced by anthropologists is that most of them are ignorant. Honest and sincere men in the field continue to fail to grasp the true significance of the fact that culture controls behavior in deep and persisting ways, many of which are outside their awareness and therefore beyond conscious control of the individual. ...

There is no way to teach culture in the same way that language is taught. Until recently, no one had defined any basic units of culture. There was no general agreed-upon underlying theory of culture-noway of being specific-no way for 'B' to get to the field and check 'A's results. Hall and Trager developed a method of analysis of culture. Their ultimate objectives included five basic steps:

1. To identify the building blocks of culture-what we later came to call isolates of culture, akin to the notes in a musical score.

2. To tie these isolates into a biological base so that they could be compared among cultures. We also stipulated that that comparison be done in such a way that the conditions be repeatable at will. Without this, anthropology can lay no claim to being a science.

3. To build up a body of data and a methodology that would enable us to conduct research and teach each cultural situation in much the same way that language is taught without having to depend upon such qualities as "empathy" in the researcher.

4. To build a unified theory of culture that would lead us to further research.

5. Finally, to find a way to make our discipline tangibly useful to the non-specialist.

Hall continues to make his point much more clearer as to the definition and meaning of culture thus: "Culture hides much more than it reveals, and strangely enough what it hides, it hides most effectively from its own participants The ultimate reason for studying one's culture is to learn more about how one's own system works. Simply learning one's culture is an achievement of gargantuan proportions for anyone.

"The best reason for the layman to spend time studying culture is that he can learn something useful and enlightening about himself/herself. This can be an interesting process, at times harrowing but ultimately rewarding. One of the most effective ways to learn about oneself is by taking seriously the culture of others, and also one's own. It forces you to pay attention to those details of life which differentiate them form you.

"The complete theory of culture as communication is new and has not been presented in one place before, and it stresses more than anything else, not what people talk about, but what people do and the hidden rules that govern people. The language of culture speaks as clearly as the language of dreams Freud analyzed, but, unlike dreams, it cannot be kept to oneself. When I talk about culture, I am not just talking about something in the abstract that is imposed on man ad is separate from him, but about man himself, about you and me in a highly personal way."


Culture And Its Social Origins and Power

It is at this point that I use the definition of Culture and power as explained by Wilson in this way:

"One of the most important contexts in which the alignment of individuals and groups is utilized to generate and exercise social power is that of culture. A culture is a type of "power system" which includes all of its members and the various groups and institutions which constitute it. A society or culture as a power system may be subdivided into a number of smaller and smaller power systems nested within, or organically related to, one another. The overall power of a culture or society operationally emerges from these smaller power systems which may include familial, kinship,communal, regional, and other types of social and institutional organizations."

Wilson further adds that: "Culture is man's adaptive dimension, and man alone among the forms of animated nature is the creature that has moved into an adaptive zone which is an entirely learned one. This is the zone of culture, the man-made, the learned, part of the environment"(Ashley Montague). If societies are to survive, they must minimally satisfy certain biological, psychological and social needs of their members. They must successfully counter those forces of nature and man which threaten their well-being and their very biological survival.

"Culture is the social-institutional instrument which is crucial for facilitating a people's adaptation to the complexities of their world. Therefore its functional structure, cohesiveness, resilience, flexibility, responsivity to reality, evolutionary growth and development, or the relative lack thereof, to a very significant extent, determine its longevity and quality of life. Culture is learned and is the result of historically and conceptually created designs and patterns for living with and relating to others and the cosmos."

The Structure Of The Family As A Power System

We learn from Wilson that, "Culture is a social machine, a power grid or system. As a holistic system it is composed of a number of sub-systems,power systems in tier own right. The family is one such fundamental cultural subsystem. It is a system of social relations, hierarchically in structure, where different members exercise different privilege, prerogatives and different levels of authority.

"The family is a primary organization, a fundamental generator or source of power where the human and non-human capital resources of its members are pooled and shared as means of achieving its vital goals. These goals include sexual reproduction, socialization of its children, securing a common habitation, providing protection and affectional relations among its members, maintaining and enhancing the social status of its members and providing for their economic well-being."

Wilson goes on to add that: "The family is a system where power is customarily and legally exercised; where its members are not only related by kinship ties, by blood and a shared history, but relate to each other in terms of membership rights, duties, behavioral expectations and authority. The character and personality of individual family members, especially the young, are developed, shaped and continuously influenced by the organization and exercise of power and authority inside and outside the family unit.

"Consequently, the family as a power system markedly influences its members', particularly its young ones attitudes toward and relationships to power and authority both within and without the family. Thus, there is an important continuity between the nature of power,its quantity, quality and organization within the family and the nature of social and power relations between the family and its physical and social environment including other families and institutions which together constitute a larger social system such as a clan, nation or culture."

"Hence, the effective nature of power generated and exercised by a culture is intimately and reciprocally related to and dependent on the effective nature of the power generated by its family and other subcultural units. Generally, the power generated by a culture derives from the structured coalescence on interdependent family kinship groups, clans and nations for mutual defense against outsiders and other mutually beneficial outcomes.

"This coalescence of subcultural social units is usually organized and motivated by a mutually recognized leadership or governing establishment. This establishment usually fulfills its responsibilities through the creation, issuance and enforcement of policies. At this level of organization a culture may be defined as a political organization which exercises political power in its defense, economic and social interests as a whole, and in the interest of its subcultural group and individual members. (Wilson)

... A culture generates effective power when it aligns its subcultural, social and individual units, especially its family and communal units, in such ways that they can most effectively create and exploit its human social and material resources to its own advantage relative to its environment and other groups or cultures. What is culture" Horton and Hunt provide a workable answer to this question. "from their life experiences, a group develops a set of rules and procedures for meeting their needs.

The set of rules and procedures, together with a supporting set of ideas and values,is called a culture." Whilst Clyde Kluckhon has defined culture as all the "historically created designs for living, explicit and implicit, rational, irrational and non-rational which may exist at any given time as potential guides for the behavior of man."

Wilson elaborate further on this point by adding: "As a set of designs for guiding the behavior of its members, i.e., a set of guidelines for directing and regulating the behavior of its members, a culture provides standards of proper cognitive, emotional, and behavioral conduct; a set of proverbial precepts as to what reality is, and an accompanying set of rationalizations or ostensible explanations for its nature and purpose.

"Thus, culture, though a product of the actual lived experience of a people — the primal source of much of their daily personal and social activities, their forms of labor and its products, their celebratory and ceremonial traditions, modes of dress, art,music, language and articulatory style, appetites and desires — is essentially ideological in nature based as it is on shred beliefs, customs, expectations, and values.

"These cultural constructs are used to proactively and reactively mold the mind, body, spirit and behavior of the constituent members of a culture. These active constructs welcome the cultural and social heritage of the members of a particular culture. Hence, culture does not exist outside and independent of its human subjects.

"Culture is represented symbolically and operationally in the minds and characteristically mental/behavioral orientations or style of its members, and is incarnated in the customary ways they move and use their bodies. The culture is represented "in" the minds and bodies of its members, and expresses itself through the systematic ways, they attend, experience, categorize, classify,order, judge, evaluate, explain and interact with their world. (Wilson)

Mentally, culture involves the socially shared and customary ways of thinking, a way of encoding, perceiving, experiencing, ordering, processing, communicating and of behaviorally expressing information which distinguishes one cultural group from another. All these activities are dedicated to the end of adapting the culture to the consistent and changing demands of its physical and social environment and reciprocally adapting the environment to the demands of the culture.

African South African Primary Messaging Systems

As presented above, the culture of the Basotho has its own language, meanings and way of perceiving and dealing with their reality from birth to death. Hall informs us thus: "In pursuing this problem of how one culture differs from another and ho one can communicate this difference in general terms, I first decided to accept the fact that there was no single touchstone which could be used to explain any given culture.

"I realized that there was no between the past and the present, in which man acts as a culture-producing animal, and the past, when there were no men and no cultures. There is an unbroken continuity between the far past and the present, for culture is bio-basic-rooted in biological activities. so, since culture is learned, it also seemed clear that one should be able to teach it. "

As Hall would explain what I have just done above by describing the Culture of the Basotho is "based on [in this particular case] the informants (Basotho, talking through their culture(as noted with the actual words being used to name everything they were doing), which is their Primary Message Systems, because, as Hall says, the part of the culture of the Basotho I have broken down above involves

(i) Language and some of the non-linguistic forms of communication process, and because their enmeshed in others, one can start the study of culture some of these Primary Message systems, language included,

(ii) Interaction;

(iii) Association;

(iv)Subsistence;

(v) Territoriality;

(vi) Learning;

(vii) Play;

(vii) Defense; Exploitation(use of material).

If we clearly understand what Hall is saying, we have then partly done that with what was the first deposition of the cultural framework of the Basotho from Marriage to Childbearing; the customs and rules that the men and women to be treated like; how a child is orientated by the members of the family and the other village community.

Culture, as it begins to reveal itself, narrated in the Language of Sesotho, unfurls the hidden meanings and helps them reach their intended audience and the world-wide-virtual community After we finish the synergy of what we have tabulated as the way of the Basotho above, and made dominant their language to say what their culture is, that on its own is putting the culture on the World Wide Web Virally and have partly helped bring about a better understanding of the culture of Africans in South Africa.

What this Hub has consistently maintained is that this culture is one and the same. So, if we use, for arguments sake, the Primary Message Systems as delineated by Hall, we can thus begin to see the flesh on the skeleton of a culture that has been denied itself and denied the right to exist and damned as dead and no longer exists.

Since the past in its present form is a continuum, then, the culture we see today can be better understood as a viable culture and can be adapted to the present without loosing its core. The same cultural practices, ceremonies and other cultural manifestations, are commonly found amongst the other African peoples of South Africa:

The Zulus, Xhosas, Pedis Tswana, Vendas/Shonas, Basothos, Shangaan, Swazis and the Ndebele. Once we move and digitalize and make virtual the real culture of a people, by so doing we are putting and facilitating permanence by showing the language that is used by the Basotho to explain their culture, the intermingling which is made possible by communal subsistence(in the case of giving out cows in the case of a boy desiring to get married).

Or, Territoriality, which according to Hall, "Is a technical term used by ethnologists to describe the taking possession, use, and by defense of a territory on the part of living organisms, where, in the case of man, he/she uses space for all the activities he engages. Territoriality reaches to all nooks and cranny of life. From reading about the ways of the Basotho, thus far, one can see how the territory is being used for various social activities, for humans, cows, and other spaces which we will see are being utilized by the Basotho.

So far as the culture of Africans in South Africa describes itself to the reader above, there is no way that it can be claimed, by anyone, that African South African Culture is dead and unrecognizable because the many features of the culture that has been described above, clearly show a vibrant culture, and a culture that has longevity because the remnants of some of the customary practices still persist to this day, and can be revamped to meet the desires of its owners any way they choose to engage themselves in it.

One's knowledge of one's Cultural History gives them an option against and an antidote towards countering the myth that Africans have no past, and that they came to South African when the Dutch landed on the Cape in 1652, and that Africans killed-off the Khoi and the San to own the country and the whole bit.

The people of South Africa have a chance, through this Hub and others like it, to set the record straight, and use the information, acting like a Nation of the People of South Africa, to begin to place solid foundations in their reviving of their beautiful and varied culture, which is the same and one culture.

This leads us to what Hall has to say about culture: "Culture not only has great breadth and depth in the historical sense, but that it also has other dimensions of equal importance. Culture is saturated with both emotion and intelligence. Many things that man does are not even experienced, for they are accomplished out-of-awareness.

"But a great part of human activity is either the direct result of conscious thought of suffused with emotion and feeling. The way behavior-and culture-can be divided by the degree of awareness of feeling which attaches to it."

If we now look at the issue of Mapungubwe, we cannot make any sense of it so long as it does not interrogate African South African Culture, Customs, Traditions and Practices, which, as I have been pointing out, is the culture, custom, traditions of the people of Mapungubwe. The problems that beset Africans can be solved by reconstructing the deconstructed cultural history by clearly adding to the social life of the people of Mapungubwe, African South African history and cultural history.

If, for instance, we wanted to know more about the customs of circumcision of Boys and girls in Mapungubwe, we would do well by revealing and plying them to the eons of South African African history with the contemporary circumcision schools of the 10(ten) people. Hall has this to say about the nature of the rules of culture: "Entire systems of behavior[culture] made up of hundreds of thousands of details are passed from generation to generation, and nobody can give the rules for what is happening.

"Only when these rules are broken do we realize that they exist. So that, too much awareness of the process of writing or speaking can get in the way of what one is trying to achieve, in terms of inhibiting Informal awareness. Because, we should remember that formally aware people are more likely to be influenced by the past than they are by the present or future.

"Formal awareness is awareness of what Appley would call "What's right, what ought to be there. Like African people who have a culture, meaning a past, they are bound to be 'influenced by the past' than by the present or the future."

If one were to listen to grunts and sighs of the poor in South Africa, some think that the return of the Apartheid government would be better than what they are facing(not the majority, really); and on the other side of the coin are those who seeing that they have now gotten their freedom from Apartheid, are working assiduously to renovate and ply it with some renaissance, especially the claiming of Mapungubwe and showing its connection to the Africans of South Africa.

Surrounding all this binary oppositional points is that old regurgitating of the old mantra that Africans in South Africa have no viable culture and it has since been lost when industrialization, modernization and colonial Apartheid took over. Well, in order to give more flesh and muscle to the new conception as pursued and argued by this Hub, we will now add the second deposition about the culture of the Basotho as it involves Circumcision.

It is clear that the people of Mapungubwe were practicing the same culture of circumcision as it was done by the Nguni/Bakone of ancient times and today. This should be borne in mind: the Venda/Shona of South Africa are part of the 10(ten) people of South Africa and they are of the Nguni/Bakone stock, so is are their customs, traditions and culture. When we deal with the vhaVhenda/Shona people of South Africa, we will come back to the Vendas and their relationship to Mapungubwe and their being maNguni/Bakone who are African people of South Africa.

Speaking Through Culture: Spreading Customs; Practicing Customs

Lebollo La Bashemane le la Banana(The time and Period when boys and girls go for circumcision ["Lebollong"], school.

  • When the time came for the young men to go to circumcision school (Lebollong"), the community planted corn for them a year before they were interned the following year in "Lebollong" (Circumcision custom), when the corn planted for them is ripe. The day the time comes for them to go to the mountains for "Lebollo", a soldier of the people is sent to deliver a special message ("Ho mathisa Thebe"), and when he enters the "King's" quarters , (Moreneng) homestead, he then calls the kings genealogical history ('ho roka morena"), and says the kings' praises, and walks through up to the council singing and reciting the king's praises ("Dithoko"). From then onwards, he goes on to announce to the king, ("Morena") about the day for the celebrations.
  • Out of the corn that was planted for them a year ago, a huge amount of home-made beer is brewed ("ho rathwa"). Firstly, when the summer comes, the young begin to go in secret hiding. Wherever they'll be hiding, cows are doled out to go and fetch them and these cows are fetched by the young boys. On their arrival at home and start to play a game called "Kata Macha". This game paying is begun in the late afternoon and it is stopped when the sun goes down, when the late-early morning ("Madingwana") is given way. They go back after three days.
  • As already mentioned, when the boys prepare to go in for the period of time in the mountains for customary circumcision and learning the ways of the culture as it befits men, a lot of home-made brew, and a bull is slaughtered which will be used to begin the initiation ("ho lekiswa"), of the boys. An African doctor ("Ngaka") is brought around to consecrate and fortify the ("Mophato wa Lebollo") the quarters of the initiates and initiation ceremonies, and which will also be their domicile. When the wee hours of the early morning ("Masasa") creep in, it will be the evening when the "katwa macha" will be played, on the day and time of "Madingwane" [evening], and meanwhile await the morning hours singing a night song. The next morning some, not all of the boys are sent back to their homes. Most of the many boys that had come to the ceremony remain behind with the few that was not let off to go home, and they do so while singing the songs. When the men come from the compound ("Mophatong"), which they had been building for the initiates, there and then the song of "Mohobelo" (a Basotho customary way of singing traditional songs), is then sung: these includes step dancing ("Kgato") and other jives or dances ("Motjeko").
  • Usually the boys are circumcised during the months of December ("Tshitwe") or January ("Pherekgong"), and they are taken out in June (six months later), during the winter season. When they are "Makolwane"(Young Initiates), they cannot eat yesterdays porridge; nor they do not eat "Kgwahla" (dried corn). During the second year, they are no more required to eat "Kgwahla" (dried Corn), and thus end up being called "Maphura-Kgwahla"-Those who have matured beyond the state of being "Makolwane" (young-incoming-initiates).
  • The Day of the initiation of the young Boys ("Mohla Polotso Ya Bashemane"). On the early morning of that day, when the boys enter their home, and before anything else is done, a bull is slaughtered, and those who open("ho bua") the carcass, after carving-up ("ho rala") the lines on the legs and the belly, and they afterward, very quickly, remove the frontal leg and is roasted on the fire very quickly, because it is going to be used for the initiation ceremony of the young boys, and it must be cooked/fried thoroughly, and when it is well cooked ("tlabohile"), then they "hoba" or "tlotsa" [smear it with African natural medicine] which had been used to marinate with other parts of the cows body parts.
  • They then choose the strongest man who show strength and prowess during war, and is well know for his good work. Sekese says that he and his peers were initiated ("ho lekiswa") by Ramotjamne( the thief of "Dichaake"), who was famously known to have stolen corn form King Moshoeshoe, in Butha-Buthe he was related to "Lethole", a warrior in the battle-field.
  • A person who is so chosen for the one to "Lekisa" [initiate]-the boys, is the one who will feed them that meat. The are made to eat the meat in the following manner: the man stabs it with a "Kwebe" kapa (or) "lerumo" (spear) with "manaka a mabedi" [two horns], and after the meat has been cut, and made into large chunks ("madiboho"), the man carries the "Kwebe"(spear) on his shoulder, whilst the meat will be hanging on his back; and the boys, in a kneeling position, with their hands clasp on their backs, chop-off the meet with their teeth, and they are not allowed to hold the meat in and with their hands; all the while, the man is shaking and moving the "Kwebe" (spear); whilst the boy fights to chop the meat with his teeth, someone is behind him with a stick. Once he chops off the meat, and he no longer is stubborn of cheeky, they then cut off the meat from the "Kwebe," and then he takes it to his spot to eat it. He is now allowed to touch and hold it with his hands. Each and every one of the boys undergoes the same customary exercise and ceremony. On this particular day, that is the day they are fortified using the powerful medicines used for the warriors are the medicine for the warriors, because after the initiation and fortification with the medicine used for soldiers, they are expected, after their circumcision ("Lebollo") to be trusted and be ready for war. King Letsie Moshweshwe and his peers actually fought the war in the quarters of "Lebollo" (within the circumcision school quarters), this was at the time when King Sekonyela had tried to raid Thaba Bosiu (Basotho people's mountain fortification), was at the time when Moshoeshoe was away to "Bolla" (to be circumcized).
  • The day the boys are taken out from the compound for the those to be circumcised, and where they spent their day-("Mohla Bashemane Ba Ntshuwang Mophatong"). The day they burn the compound, the initiates ("Makolwane") are instructed that when the "Mophato" [Compound], and they hear a sound going "Ju!", they should run home in way that they have never run before, and they should never look back at the "Mophato" [compound] they are from. They are strongly warned that should if they look back, they will encounter danger.
  • This is nearly akin to the story of Lot who was warned that he or anyone should not look back at the burning city, and Sekese is wondering where the Basotho got theirs from, obviously the bible story had nothing to do with the custom and practices of the Basotho.
  • When the "Makolwane"-[initiates] are very close to their village, elderly men stop them so that they should enter the village being totally surrounded by the men; they are then taken right through the homestead and into the council square, and when there they will be given new blankets. When they arrive in their homes, they are fed hot mealy meal cooked like the one they ate at the "Mophato" [compound]; but this is not kept up for long, since they will now be back from being "ho bolotswa" [circumcised], because they will be home now and finished with it.
  • When A young man dies in the "Mophatong" (circumcision compound)-["Ha Moshemane a Shwele Mophatong"] In ancient times, "Lebollo la bashanyana"-the circumcision of boys-has a sad aura; because when a boy dies at the "Mophatong"[circumcision compound], he is not put to rest at his home, his death will be made in secret so that his mother is kept ignorant of how he passed away. His death was kept hushed-up until the day the boys are released from the "Lebollo" (circumcision school). Even the rites of "Bokolwane" [being an initiate] are carried on in his behalf as if he were alive. This is done to keep his mother unaware ("ho lotha Mmae"), that he has already passed-on.
  • The boy is taken care-of by his father until he dies in his hands; even if that were the case, he makes a concerted effort to hide it from the boy's mother, and the deliverance of the news about his death. The going-ons of the "Mophato"(initiation compound) is never allowed to go out into the community, unless it's issues like the death of one of the initiates. Today the custom has been spoiled, and this happened during the rule of King Moshweshwe. This is so because in 1865, when Theko Letsie went in for circumcision, with his uncles, the sons of Moshoweshwe; so that, in that "Mophato"(circumcision compound), the son of Pauluse (Mokheseng) died, the elder of both Lenkwane and Mokhameledi , the sons of Mokhachane. The boy was buried at home, contrary to the rules of "Lebollong" (circumcision school customs).
  • Just at the same time, when Theko was at the "Mophatong"(circumcision school) in Thaba-Bosiu, Jonathan was at the "Mophatong"(circumcision compound) in Leribe. During his time there, two boys got sick, and they were taken out of the "Mophato," and they were taken to some small caves where they were doctored,medicated and taken care of, and these caverns were near to the "Mophato". When they were there, they were taken care of and doctored by their fathers and their mothers, and they died in their hands. The Batlokwa are the ones who had followed these ways more than the"Bakhalahadi"('Basotho')
  • Lebollo la Banana (Girls circumcision school) When the girls are prepared for "Lebollo," in the beginning they are orientated (dikiswa) by women. The explanation of "ho [to] 'dika' During the time when the moon is in full bloom, a man, or a woman who saw it first, he then screams at the top of his voice and says, 'You did not see it in the house!' Immediately, at the tail end of that loud voice, all the women due for "lebollo" (circumcision), and wherever they might be when they hear the cal, they then take of running (ka sekaja"), very fast to the fringes of the village. The women of the village gather themselves together and run in the direction of girls. When they arrive amongst them, a song is composed and sung for the next two hours, and hence head back to their village in a more robust song, amidst ululations("modidietsane") and praises. When they enter their villages, they quickly spit to their houses or homes. When they split up, they sing a song with sayings and adages that they employ when heading towards the women who were left behind when the rest of the women followed the women initiates ("Mathisa"). In groups of twos and threes, headed towards their own homes in their homesteads, they go on singing a song with these words:
  • ("Mamela wee! Sefebe ke Mosadi!") All listen, a prostitute/bitch is a woman!"
  • Others answer: Mamela wee!" Sefebe ke Monna!". "All listen! A prostitute/ Bitch is a Man!"
  • The first of the singers retort: "Le Mosadi of jwalo!" (O ne a sa hane ke eng ha monna a re a sale!)". "Even a Woman is like that! Why did she not refuse or disobey her husband when he said he she should remain behind and not follow or go with other women?" Then the chorus chimes -in and shoots back: "Mamela Ka tlung." "All of you in the house, listen."
  • "Thojane" (young women initiates) Those who await "Thojane" are the boys from "Disema," Bataung the "Bapedi", and "Batshweneng". Although the "Bahlakwana", "Bataung", and "Hlalele" do the same thing. The day "bale" are dressed up on grass straws tied with hair that was cut from them since they have been "Bolotswe" (initiated). That day is called "Ditswejane," when their hair is cut on the sides of the head, and a crop ("tlopo") of hair, and leave it as exposed hair since they have been "bollotswe"(initiated). The sides of the hair on the head remain shaven ("beotswe).
  • The side of the head is smeared with ochure-like salve, and some other fatty salve called "sekama", and the one on the smeared on the sides of the head is called "letsoku".. These two parts are done in this way, and are waited-upon the whole day and night, until the sun comes up.The young initiates("ditswejane") and their peers are kept awake all night all the time without being allowed to sleep at all. The "ditswejane", on the day of their initiation, are made to hold reeds. They are careful when they sing their song not to shake("nehena") their heads, for the fold-knot) on the head will spill onto the side of the head with the "letsoku", or the tall grass-tied-like contraption will fall onto the side-head with the "letsoku" mixture,due to its length. If this would happen, that would be a very big mistake for the "setswejana". Young initiates would have to come back with the new initiates debuting their bout and rites within their custom, sculpture, traditions and practices the next year.
  • Those who are awaiting "thojane" (initiation) realize or notice that one sleepy "thojane"initiate, they look amongst the relatives of the 'thojane' if none of them is sleeping. Once they find the one sleeping amongst her relative, they wake them up and encourage them to continue singing. It would be because of the sleepy "thojane". Some of the "ditswejane" are prolific ("dikgeleke") singers thus enabling others to be very sleepy. Those who are "mapepele" (chronic) in singing, they are temporarily removed from the core of the singers and put on the fringes of those singing, to wake them up from their stupor. They are thus returned to the center of the singers to resume singing, The day the "thojane," "ditswejane" are stripped naked, with no cloth covering even their shoulders, even if there is a lot of rain that night. If there is a lot of liquor provided for, the hangers-on are bound to stay longer, but if it is little, they leave and go to sleep in their houses, and all who will be left will be the relatives, only. Some of the songs of the "thojane" are many, but this one chosen goes on like this…
  • "Ngwana Mohlakwana, ka ila boroko. Bahlakwana ba leta thojane; Bahlakwana ba tshwana le Bataung. Bahlakwana ba bina pina bosiu; Bahlakwana, hale batho, le baloi!" (Child o a "Mohlakwana", I struggle with sleep. Bahlakwana tend care and await on the "thojane"; Bahlakona are like the Bataung; Bahlakwana sing the song the whole night; Bahlakwana, you are not human, you are witches!"). Those who are burdened by the ways of their homes, always like to rid themselves of these ways, they are advised to slaughter some cows sacrificing the cows to their gods/ancestors who will acknowledge the shedding-off the family unseemly ways for the person asking for such. But it is said, anyone who was not brought-up the right ways of her people, long before she sacrificed anything to the ancestors, she is always going to be plagued by hard luck and carry on the bad omen. The girl who was not made to wait as a "thojane," she will bear no children.("nyopa"). Even though if she might sacrifice many cows to be free of the omen, her things may still not work out for her.
  • How the clans grade each other and also in accordance to their having been initiated ("Lenane la hlahlamano ya meloko, ka mabollo"). Concerning and regarding both the boys and girls initiation, ancient Basotho applied age and seniority according to the clans customs and traditions, differentiating between the younger ones and the old ones. When the cutting rites wherein medicine is inserted into the cut (ho phatswa), they follow age gradation. If a mistake is made and the reverse order is mistakenly performed, a younger one before the elder person, more emphasis was placed on the age gradation and descending order as dictated by custom, and the one who confused issues is expected to observe this tradition. It was believed if the kings sons were subjected to this error, that boy was said to be going to be disabled. Therefore, those who were performing such rites and ceremonies took care to follow the old ways of carrying out this rite. "Mokhotlwane," the son of "Matowane," who when the "Mankwane" in Lesotho, split, he went over to"Moshweshwe" and joined his people. The day when "Molapo" and "Lesawana",were to 'bolla' King "Moshweshwe" ordered that, "Mokhohlwane" be initiated before his sons,"Molapo" and Lesawana, because he was the son of his King, "Matowane"; "Moshweshwe" pointed out that "Matowane" was his senior if not his elder. Mokhotlwanewas put ahead of the King's sons when he was being initiated ("bolotswa").
  • "Lebollo la ngwana wa matsibolo, seila sa lona"), The initiation of the first born child and its customs. When the girl who is the first born as been initiated("boloditswe"), her mother is expected not to her hair until she had been released from the "mophato" (initiation compound/school). She is not even supposed to touch the soil until the initiates have done "hlabare" (smeared themselves with the white substance) Additionally, she must not smear herself with the "letsoku" (red ochre), until the initiate("ngwale") is taken out of the "mophato", (initiation school)
  • It is the same with boys: the mother does not cutoff her hair, does not smear herself with "letsoku" (red/white ochre). She finishes half the day's job. She becomes distinguished in her routines from that of her peers in accruing material for the "lebollo" (initiation) of her son. During those days, she's like a woman in mourning ("mosadi wa sekgwahlapa"). Women behave themselves in the same manner when their men go to war. It is said that if the woman beautifies herself she is making ["hlonamisa"], makes the gods/ancestors unhappy when she is doing many disturbing things, and is taking her child out of luck (o montsha "serokolong" or ["lehlohonolong"], and subjects her child to punishment or censure. But the woman who mourns ("mosadi ya ikgwahlapisang invites the grace and compassion of god to her child and to herself, 'ho rapela, kapa ho phasetsa' to pray and to pay obeisance to one's ancestors or gods you invite gods compassion and blessings to one's son and even to her husband who might be at war. That is how the ancient Basotho used to pray like.
  • ("Hlompho Ya Makunutu A Lebollo") The respect and secretes of "Lebollo" (initiation). Women are not allowed to insert ("nyarella), themselves into the affairs of the "lebollo" (initiation) of the males. The men are not allowed, totally, to peek into the secrets of the of initiation of the women. But amongst the youth and their peers, there are the "diotswa/Difebe(prostitutes) who teach each other the songs of men and women on the sides of the homesteads where they had schemed to meet. The women had said to their husbands they are going to gather wood, or for some entertainment ("tsikitlaneng"). But this may not be so because the men may be set up for pranks some called "maphakwe, ma-leba-kwana, ha Ramokhele." "mahodi a patile maeba." When they come back home, they enter their homesteads carrying wood on the heads, the wood that has been collected by the young men early in the morning. The bundled-up wood that is being taken home by the women is one game in which the men must figure out the meaning ("selotho") which is "ba kakatledisitswe lehaha, ba ile le kgongwana hodimo!" The men were left guarding and watching the cave, and in the process they were suckered into the ploy or ruse.
  • Selemo Le Digwedi (The Year and Months):-The year for the Basotho people starts in ["Phato"], August. They did so because it was the start of tilling the soil and planting, it was also the time when they let their cows loose to go and eat the new and fresh green grass, and because the weather or climate was beginning to be warmer. Although it is a very dusty ("Lerole"), it is wind that is void and barren of the bitter winter winds(pre-Spring). The Basotho then say, "serame se se se boetse metsing (leqhwa)" - "The wintry chill and cold has changed into water(defrosted)
  • Dikgwedi Tsa Ngwaha (The Months of the Year)
  • 1. August: "Phato A' Mokwetle, Pudula-Madiba": "Kgwedi ya Moshanyana"' (The month of the boy), and that he should not cry to go and tend to the sheep and cows because May and July (Motsheanong le boPhupu"), are still coming. It is at this time in June when the cold and the chill has receded and melted into water. It is when the warmth returns This is when the domesticated animals are corralled ("Sarelwa") this also includes the wild animals. This month is called "Pudula-Madiba", because of the dusts that are blowing over the land come around and abound, the month of ploughing; the cows are hooked-up for ploughing within this month of "Phato"(August).
  • 2. September "Lwetse; Le yona ke Pudula"): This is the second month of the Year; it is called "Rasetlaka Lwetse, sentsha mafi(It is called September the producer of fatty milk). It is also called "Pudula-marole" (the moth of the dusty winds) It is said it is "Sentsha-Mafi" (the month of excess production of Milk. It is also the month when it is warmer than "Phato" August.)
  • 3. October: "Mphalane 'A Leshoma", Tswetswana": "Mpalane 'A Leshoma. It when the "Phalana ya Leshoma" are seen. It is on this month of a lot of dust ("leroleng le leholo" whereby the tilling of the soil and the planting of the corn and maize mielies. This is the month when the cows give-off surplus milk. ("ke twetswana")-"a suckling"-it is when the off-springs of the cows , goats and sheep are born.
  • 4. November: "Pudungwana": This is when they point out to the 'kids'(sheep lambs) are born on this month, and other yearlings. It is when "setloonono" crows which makes others mistaken the month to be "Tshitwe" (December).
  • 5. December: "Tshitwe": It is the name of a small locust which when it cries it goes: "Tshitwe-e! Tshitwe-e! Tshitwe-e [the sound it makes] having hidden itself in the green lush grass. It is the month when the milk in the cows lessens and the Basotho say that "it is affected by "Tshitwe" ("e anngwe ke 'Tshitwe"). The beauty of the summer is encapsulated within this month. A visitor walk partly naked, and carrying his blanket on his shoulder. it is the month that White people say it is the beginning of they year, January("Pherekgong").
  • 6. Pherekgong the month of
  • ,At this juncture, I would like to address the issue of the initiates dying in the "Mophato", amongst the 10(ten) peoples of South Africa.The various 9(nine) people of South Africa, all have the same circumcision custom , except the Zulus, who have recently reinstated the circumcision custom, are now practicing circumcision which was banned by Chaka during his reign. Now, as I have been discussing the issues of circumcision above, as cited from Sekese who wrote the "Customs of Basotho"-"Mekhwa Ya Basotho" in 1893, and when it came to discussing the custom of circumcision, in the time frame the book was written in, as stated above, he discusses the deaths that were occurring in the "Lebollo". It is not like one is excusing the deaths that took place then, or are taking place now, but this is the same 'neat-picking' outcry that the detractors of African culture can hang their argument on, and the truth of the matter is that, circumcision as it is being pointed out that it is causing the deaths of many boys, is a non-starter because firstly, within South Africa, the worst case of this issue and it is in the Eastern Cape cause by unscrupulous and fake doctors in pursuit of the cash nexus. But it is not really something that is endemic within the Nguni/Bakone culture in general. The nation of the Nguni/Bakone see and/or treats or regards circumcision as a rite of passage into manhood as part of the culture of the Africans in South Africa.

Cashing-in on Cultural Ignorance

The Custom and Rites of Passage to Manhood

News Africa reported that in 2010, over a period of 12 days, 20 boys were killed in the Eastern Cape and 9 of them over 24 hours. Some 60 boys have been rescued from 11 initiation schools which have since been closed. BBC News reports that 100s have been injured and some have been severely beaten during the initiation rituals. Every year young men go into the bush alone, without water and many do not survive in these initiating schools.

Illegal initiation schools have become common in the Eastern Cape, especially in the rural schools. Unregistered surgeons often set them up as a way of making money. Some seven and under-aged initiates were rescued from an illegal initiation school run by a 55-year old unregistered traditional surgeon who had been arrested several times for the offense.

"He was recently given a three-year suspended sentence but he continued doing the same thing. In the past five years, close to 20 initiates died in his schools and 15 had their penises amputated," said the Eastern Cape Health Department.

Health department officials are meeting the police, members of the justice Department and Prosecutors to discuss the prosecution of those of those contravening the Traditional Circumcision Act, which regulates the custom in the province.(SAPA) This law was recently introduced which required initiation schools be registered and licensed and only allow circumcisions to be performed on youths aged 18 and older.

AfrikNews Reports the following about what Phatu said: "I have never been to Pondoland, and I do not even know which side to point it, but reports indicate that as of 21 June 2010, 28 boys died of botched initiations and my more died around the greater Eastern Cape area, not Johannesburg or Nelspruit (where one finds the Swazi, Shangaan, Ndebele, Venda and Tsonga People), neither the Pedis in Limpopo nor in the Sotho areas of the Free State including the Zulus in Natal (of which King Zwelithini has just re-instated the circumcision custom amongst the Zulus), but the Eastern Cape.

This is nothing new, [as noted in the deposition of the Basotho Initiation schools] as written by Sekese in the 19th century; we read and hear about these reports every year. The problem I have at the moment is that no one in the political sector is standing up and saying something. I know it would be improper for a Zulu president to question this Xhosa practice, but how many Xhosa men sit in parliament and say nothing? Vavi is very vocal when it come to striking, why is it that people of his calibre are not asking questions and trying to find solutions to the matter."

It is the contention of this Hub above that we are all the same and are practicing the same culture, with a variation here and there. But one cannot impugn the culture of one clan as if it is peculiar to itself rather than aligned to the Whole South African cultural mosaic.

Information being accessible to Africans in South Africa about the whole cultural history and knowledge is fast fading because the people are not reading and learning about their culture from books that deal wholly with this question of circumcision or , rather, the wholeness of the differentiated and various culture that make the Nguni/ Bakone cultural kaleidoscopic mosaic.

Anna Smith Writes: "In the Limpopo province, the often disastrous initiation rites led the local government, in 1996, to put a legislation in place to govern the conduct of the province's more than 200 initiation schools, but cultural taboos that prevent initiates from talking about their experiences, and the involvement of local officials in running the schools has made the law difficult to enforce.

"The Province recorded 5 deaths in 2007 and another 5 in 2008 among young boys between June and July[which is winter in South Africa], while attending initiation schools. The boys flock to these initiation schools, because the faster and less painful medical method in hospital can result in a lifetime of social rejection": one will constantly be reminded how much of a boy, and not a man, they remain, even after a hospital performed circumcision.

Phatu writes: "Circumcision has been part of our culture and it is not about to fade away any time soon. I am from the Limpopo area, where circumcision is practiced by the Vendas, Tsongas, Bapedis, Shangaans, and Ndebeles and Batswanas. You rarely, if ever, hear stories of boys dying while at the mountain school. I am 26-years old and in my village we have had more initiations than I care to remember and here is a fact - NEVER - NEVER HAS ANYONE EVER DIED IN THE MOUNTAIN SCHOOL.

That means that there is something that people in Limpopo are doing right. I am not in any way attacking the Xhosa culture [and customs, which, by the way, are one and the same thing-my two cents]. The reason that this rarely happens in Limpopo and other areas is because the circumcision is still being done by the custodians of culture, that is, those who have been doing it for years and not anyone can just start an initiation school.

In Limpopo, the 'chief' is the one who opens the initiation school and the selection of the best snip-master. The most important thing about the whole process is the aftercare of the initiate and that person's private part. If one is not experienced enough to make sure that the initiate and his circumcised part gets the right care, it becomes septic and eventually falls off or has to be chopped off (Phatu).

"This customary circumcision session is done in the winter because it heals much more faster than in the summer. The problem in the Cape is that the custodians of culture remain silent and attack journalists for not respecting culture or of being not African enough," writes Phatu.

One of the problems which Africans in South Africa are facing is that the culture of the 10(ten) peoples is not taught well and excellently enough to the ordinary folk, that in the end, the ignorance of the masses is being exploited because of that.

It is important that Africans begin to write and talk about culture, first and foremost, for the Africans in South Africa, then to the world, and this is what this Hub intends to achieve and affect. The lack of historical cultural information directed towards Africans in South Africa is causing all these problems we see streaming on the Web, about how Africans are committing genocide on young boys.

That is a function of ignorance about the culture of the Nguni/Bakone people, and a lack of knowledge and as to how one begins to see the Africans in South Africa as a "Nation", and not 'tribes'-because it impedes one seeing the 10(ten) people as a nation with a kaleidoscopic cultural mosaic

Biko explains why it is that Africans are being assailed in regards to their culture: "One writer makes the point that in an effort to destroy completely the structures that had been built up in the African society and to impose their imperialism with an unnerving totality the colonialists were not satisfied merely with holding a people in their grip and emptying the Native's brain of all from and content, they turned to the past of the oppressed people and distorted,disfigured and destroyed it.

"No longer was reference made to African culture, it became barbarism. Africa was the "Dark Continent". Religious practices and customs were referred to as superstition. The history of African Society was reduced to 'tribal battles' and internecine wars. There was not conscious migration by the people from one place of abode to another. No, it was always flight from one tyrant who wanted to defeat the 'tribe' not for any positive reason but merely to wipe them out of the face of this earth."

For a people who have been treated in the manner described above, it is instructive at this point to listen to Ibn Batouta who visited Sudan in the thirteenth century:

"What I have Seem To Be Good In the Conduct of Blacks":

"Acts of injustice are rare among them: of all peoples, this is the one least inclined to commit these and the sultan [African King] never forgives anyone guilty of one. Through the length and breadth of the country reigns perfect security; people can live there and travel without fear of robbery of depredation.

"They do not confiscate the goods of white men who die in their country; even when they value of these is immense, they do not touch them; on the contrary, they appoint trustees of the inheritance,chosen among the white men and it remains in their hands until the rightful owners come to claim it."

Of these moral conceptions and the social solidarity resulting from them gives Africans the moral high ground; it is the only continent in the world where man is poorest, that is, who at the present time, possesses the least; but it is the only continent in the world where destitution does not exist in spite of this poverty, thanks to the existence of rightful solidarity. In South Africa this is called "UBUNTU and this term has been hi-jacked by foreigners and colonialists and they have put their spin on without really understanding the African Culture which undergirds it.

The Nay Sayers: Detractors of African Cultures, Custom and Traditions

"Little Knowledge is dangerous," so say the Africans in South Africa. The saying pinpoints directly and exactly what I have been discussing above in regard to all the people who find it "necessary" to be the harsh critics and detractors of African cultures and custom.

Before we talk about other aspects of African Culture, Customs, Traditions and Practices further, I would like to segue into some historical material as written by Basil Davidson to thoroughly make the point that all those people who are writing about, and pretending to know much about African South African cultures are really ignorant and know very little, if anything, about the Culture, Custom, Traditions and Practices of the Nguni/Bakone or the 10(ten) people I have been referring to and discussing above.

Basil Davidson writes: "The African, many thought, is a man without a past. Black Africa - Africa South of the Sahara Desert - is on this view a continent where men, by their own efforts, have never raised themselves much above the level of the beasts. "No ingenious manufactures among them, no arts, no sciences," commented David Hume.

"No approach to the civilization of his White fellow creatures whom he imitates as monkey does man," added Trollop. Even in the last twenty years a former Governor of Nigeria could write for countless centuries, while all the pageant of history swept by, the Africans remained unmoved — in primitive savagery."

Even in 1958 Sir Arthur Kirby, Commissioner for British East Africa in London, could tell the Torquay Branch of the Overseas League that "in the last sixty years — little more than the lifetime of some people in tis room - East Africa has developed from a completely primitive country, in many ways more backward than the Stone Age..."

Africans, according to this view, had never evolved civilizations of their own; if they possessed a history, it could be scarcely worth the effort of telling it. And this belief that Africans had lived in universal chaos or stagnation until the coming of Europeans seemed not only to find its justification in a thousand tales of savage misery and benighted ignorance; it was also, of course, exceedingly convenient in high imperial times.

For it could be argued (and it was; indeed, still is) "that these peoples, history-less, were naturally