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.
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 necessa