Someone once said that to be well adjusted to a sick or abnormal society is not a sign of sanity. Arthur Koestler in his book Ghost In The Machine writes: “Poets have always said that man is mad; and their audiences always nodded delightedly because they thought it was a cute metaphor. But if the statement were taken literally, there would seem to be little hope : for how can a madman diagnose his own madness? The answer is that he can, because he is not entirely mad the entire time.“
One of Afrika’s greatest and most inspirational leaders, Burkina Faso’s Thomas Sankara once said that socio-political change in Afrika will require a certain amount of ‘madness’. Did we fully grasp the meaning of this statement, after his untimely demise at the hands of betrayers, can we still find mad-ones today who can dare to invent a better future for Afrika? given the amount of problems that are mostly made worst by the non-abating grip of corporate and political corruption, it seems highly unlikely that a large movement of the mad-ones may arrise anytime soon. But then again in Southern Afrika, there are organisations such as Black First Land First and to a certain rather dubious extent, there is also the Economic Freedom Fighters. One of them seems cut from Sankara’s cloth, while the other appears to be larger, but appears similar to an ordinary populist political party – nevertheless, the conversations that these two parties evoke is similar and it leads young Afrikans to boldly seek solutions that appear crazy to nost liberal and mainstream observers.
In the daily course of living and aiming to have a purpose driven life, where conscious choices lead to relatively high levels of success in our endeavors, there is the challenge of knowing exactly when and when not to get involved in social causes. As an Afrikan living in an increasingly crisis prone and economically struggling country/region, one seeks to have a healthy balance between personal ambitions and social responsibility.
We are not well as Black people globally. We each have different battles to fight on personal levels, and there are many success stories and inspiration instances where people beat seemingly impossible odds to emerge victorious or successful in relative terms, but how do we measure that success in the midst of severe social degeneration, poverty and corruption? Can one truly be considered successful when that success exists next-door to squalor, violence and social chaos?
While we are striving to better ourselves we are also striving to transform our society’s, to instill the self confidence and cooperative economic ethos that many social activists have striven to establish in our communities. Surely there are ways for Black Consciousness, the ideals of Kwanzaa and Pan Afrikanism to animate the peoples of the ghettos and the struggling masses of our people. Having many activists and various movements all pontificating and agitating for political powers is not enough – we have to find more ways to create sustainable changes in our communities. Perhaps we are also overstimulated, there is too much information flowing in and out of our lives, the current affairs and crises in the world are a real distraction from the revolutionary mission that many of us believe must take place. We know that revolution and social change is not an event …there are processes that have to take place gradually but we need leadership at different levels that from the legislations/policies to the implementation stages to see to it that what we envision actually transpires.
Here in Zimbabwe, I am currently challenging traditional healers to become more involved in social revolution. I am urging them to create real solutions to the problems of hunger, ignorance and find alternative economies where more can benefit rather than the few elites. To identify the healers among a plethora of hopefuls is not an easy tasks, and one has to deal with a lot of deeply set attitudes, egoes and preconceptions of what it means to be Spiritually gifted or being ‘possessed’ by Ancestral beings. There are risks and dangers at every side, but there are also infinite possibilities for fruitful collaborations. Perhaps this is where Afrika’s new breed of warrior-priests and priestesses will emerge.
When we receive information from whatever source, when does it become knowledge and when does that knowledge transform to wisdom and by what processes does wisdom become enlightenment?
These are the interrelated questions that we shall tackle under this title. There are also some concerns regarding a subject we have covered before, which is the necessity of Guides, Guru’s and Master-teachers – those individuals and even institutions that purport to represent Source.
“The well based resistance to change which is usually for the worse, explains the obvious reticence of officialdom to release information, because the silent approach offers the greatest prospect of getting the obviously unacceptable accepted, if at all possible.” – John Page in Protest at Urban Environment from Protest and Discontent (The Nature and Causes of Student Unrest)
Harare is about to enter into another period of unrest, and I am reasonably nervous and skeptical about the outcomes. The protest planned by the opposition party the Movement for Democratic Change with a few other affected partners such as members of civil society and workers unions does not seem as well planned or articulated as it should, given the track record and results of such uprisings in this country. What is the value of a protest in a country where many people are ruled by fear? What happens when the uprising fails and who compensates for the loss of lives?
The flippant response from the deputy leader of the national defence forces is both predictable and worrying. By simply dismissing the intentions of the people behind the protest and stating that it will not happen, he is simply playimg to the gallery and stoking the fires for more aggression from both ends. It would have been wiser to simply tow the legal or constitutional line and even pretend to be allowing the democratic process to unfold. I personally have been concerned about the lack of coherent revolutionary strategies and ideological incoherence from the opposition party, even though I had not expected much from the liberal and populist leader, I have been hoping that there is a radical youth or intellectual element within the party or countrywide, to at least formulate some semblance of revutionary direction. I am hoping to hear what happens beyond the protests and “legal uprisings”.
We all aware of the States propensity to unleash violence on its citizens but the silence of the president of the country in the face violations of the law by his subordinates clearly shows that he too has no capacity to lead beyond rhetoric and power mongering. He has to fight external and internal battles and pay lip service to economic fundamentals, while his finance ministers spew incomprehensible nonsense at every gala or gathering. Meanwhile there will be many protests in Zimbabwe yet no one has yet mentioned just what will happen to the economy once the rulers are deposed. The crucial question is How Will Zimbabwe rise from the mire of state sponsored debauchery, steering its society from Fear to Creative and Proactive action ….
Some trust in the Ancestors guidance while others trust in Jesus Christ ….I trust in thw people’s Will to get Free and Create a New Zimbabwe, learning from the Ancient, the present and daring to invent and invest in the Future.
They call it jazz but this music is much bigger and broader than any definitions.
Miles Davis called it Social Music, Nicholas Payton calls it BAM (black american music) but the closest description has to be Wayne Shorter’s “I Dare You” music.
Call It what we may, this phenomenon known as jazz is fun, intricate, witty and full of whimsical freedom and wisdom; It is music at its most sincere, although often highly enigmatic.
As Amiri Baraka poetically stated “jazz listen to it at your own risk”.
It can literally either heal your soul or blow your freakin’ mind .
Here is a taste of the gloriously visionary maestro Sun Ra and is Solar Arkestra. Its from a record titled God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be.
Just click on the link and enjoy:
Askusiyo imfihlo ukuthi izwekazi elibizwa ngeAfrika libhekene nezinkinga eziningi. Noma kungekho nelilodwa izwe elingenazo izinkinga nezingqinamba zakhona, imiswazi nezinhlobonhlobo zemivimbo esiyibona kuleli elihle kakhulu ziyethusa; zisenza sibuzane ukuthi ngempela-ngempela kwakhala nyonini kwelakithi. Kuze kube neculo lomzabalazo elithi “Senzeni na”, leliculo liyisikhalo, isizwe sishweleza kunomangubani onendlebe ngezinhlupheko ezisisingethe. Kweminye yemibuzo evelayo, kunalowo othi, kambe siyawazi yini umsuka walemikhokha esivelele futhi sizimisele ukwenzenjani ukuze sinqande izifo esibhekene nazo? Ngamanye amazwi sinazo yini izinyanga noma ongqondongqondo nabaholi bemiphakathi abangaba nezixazulolo.
Singakazami ukuphendula lemibuzo, ake sibhekisise ukuthi ngokosiko, besenzenjani uma sidinga ukwelapheka. Ngizoqala ngokucaphuna emibhalweni yosolwazi bangakithi KwaZulu. Sizoqala ngokuhlaziya igama elithi Inyanga. Ake sikhe encwadini ka C.T. Msimang ethi Kusadliwa Ngoludala, lapho echaza kabanzi ngezangoma nezinyanga:
“Igama elithi ‘inyanga’ linemiqondo eminingi ngesiZulu. Empeleni ngaphandle kwebhamuza leliya eliphezulu elikhanyisa ebusuku, inyanga ngumuntu owumpetha emsebenzini othile awenzayo; noma nhloboni yomsebenzi. Kukhona izinyanga zokwakha, zokukhanda insimbi, zokweluka nokuqhina izinwele, zokwelapha njalonjalo. Nokho osekwandile ukuba lapho kukhulunywa ngenyanga umuntu acabange ngabaphatha amakhubalo belaphe izifo. Yileyo nhlobo yenyanga engizoxoxa ngayo kulesi sihloko. Izinyanga zokwelapha zehlukene kabili, kukhona lezo eziphatha amakhubalo zelaphe izifo, zibethelele amalumbo. Kukhona olunye uhlobo futhi olugabe ngokubhula lubone imbangi yokugula. Imvamisa yezinyanga ezibhulayo – izangoma – azikwelaphi kepha ziye zikulayele enyangeni eyofike ikusize. Uma zibhula ngamakhanda kuthiwa yizangoma noma izanusi kanti uma zinemimoya enjengabalozi namandiki kuthiwa omangothobana. Zombili lezi zinhlobo zezinyanga zethwasa ngendlela ecishe efanayo. Njengoba izinyanga zanamuhla zifundela emaNyuvesi ukwelapha, ezasemandulo zazethwasa. Ukwethwasa yikho ukufundela.” (p. 303)
Lana sizama ukuveza ukuthi kunezindlela eziningi zokuhlelela nokuhlwanyela ukwazi oluthize ….