Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ukufita kwati nindoshi - Questioning our Independence

“Now we demand a chance to do things for ourselves
We tired of beating our heads against the wall
And working for someone else.”
― James Brown (“Say it loud” song lyrics)

I know for most the title of this article, “Ukufita kwati nindoshi[1] (you are as dark as a witch or wizard)”, evokes sentiments of self-hate because they are of a darker hue than others. There are children, teens, and even adults that are still subjected to expressions like these. The end effect is often loss of self-esteem. This, mostly among females and to a lesser extent among males, leads to persistent use of complexion lightening substances. Does being of a lighter complexion mean one is superior or even more beautiful? I leave the answer to you.

Me, I sing James Brown’s song. “Say it loud, am black and proud”. But the question in my mind lately is – am I black and proud? No, because this article is not about complexions. Though, truthfully it is not much different from the question of complexions.

It is about the indoshi (witch or wizard), not ukufita (being dark). You see, we usually consider indoshi to be divisive, confused and dreadful. Indoshi is a delusional answer to one’s misfortunes or tribulations.

Indoshi still abounds in the motherland I call Zambia. Well, it is called Zambia as off October 24, 1964. Before that, it depends on which side of the historic pendulum you are sitting on.

October 24, 1964 is the day our demand to have a chance to do things for ourselves was realized. We danced, we laughed, we hugged. Hooray, independence at last. I was just over a year old, so I really did not dance, laugh, nor hug anyone. Or perhaps, mum and dad hugged me, and danced with me. Well, if they did, I am sure I did not understand what the hullaballoo was all about.

Looking back over the near 50 years of independence, I really wonder exactly what freedom from control or influence of others we attained. The influence of the British colonialists? The fear of the influence of the village headpersons? No pun intended. I mean traditional influence.

Or was it both? Unfortunately, it was only the fear of the influence of the village headpersons, we seem to have got freedom from. And here in, lies the lesson of today’s obtaining political and socio-economic decline. The village was as dark as a witch or wizard. The colonialists were not.

Hence, the British colonialists really never left. I am not going to go into imperialist or neo-imperialist theories to justify this. That is, a discourse for Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika, Donald Chanda, Derrick Chitala (sorry Mbita), Azwell Banda, Owen Sichone, Tyoanse Kabwe or Neo Simutanyi. These fellows can write a Bible on this issue.

In any case, that I am communicating to you in the language of the colonialists, and in addition, that you and I were imprisoned in the four walls of a classroom for years learning how to do things the colonialist’s way, is evidence enough. Surely, one does not need neo-imperialist theories to understand this. Our governance and political systems are all colonial anyway. Sic.

You see in our deluded sense of independence, our traditional governance values and systems were perceived to be as dark as a witch or wizard. The colonialist’s values and systems were of a superior complexion. So instead of embarking on a process to shed off the colonial influence, we simply dreamt up phrases to explain how we will govern ourselves. Zambianisation, humanism, or and later, new culture, new deal, et cetera. 

Yes, we still maintained the undergarments of the colonialist’s governance and economic systems. There still was the colonizer and the colonized, now typified as the urban elite and the rural poor. Being products of the colonialist’s education imprisonment, the urban elites inherently walked in as the new colonialists (rulers), to the continued disadvantage of the rural folk.

Till today, even when this is conceived through the dog-eared claim that we are a democratic State, you will realize that the rural folk are still mostly not represented by themselves in our current political and economic governance. There is always some urban elite that travels back to his or her hamlet during election periods. He or she stands on some desolate anthill and gives a sermon of “being a good son or daughter of the soil that will represent their interests”. When, in fact, the sermon on the anthill is simply a sermon seeking servitude from them.

Clearly, we have continued to think of the rural folk and their traditional systems as indoshi. So we cannot trust them to represent themselves. They are inferior, after all. But are they?

No they are not. The fear of the influence of the village headpersons (sorry traditional influence) is deliberate. It evolves out of recognition by urban political elites that most traditional governance structures are more representative. They have evolved over long periods of time through various forms of conflict resolution strategies and recognition of preserving harmony among similar peoples. Integration of these systems into our current governance structures will only serve to undermine the urban elites - the new colonialists.

Abracadabra! We are independent! All Zambians are now equally represented! All Zambians will prosper equally!

It was all a colonial delusion. New colonialists, in the same undergarments, popped out. Just take a look at how our governance system is organized. You have a political tier (where the president and ministers sit) – the managers or executive as we call it. These are aided by an administrative organ (where the permanent secretary and his/her administrative staff sit). Then we have two other tiers. The legislature (where the people we throw pieces of paper called ballots sit), and the judiciary (where the men and women in cloaks sit, dispensing justice). Not much different from a little Britain.

Now do the same for traditional authorities like the Barotseland case. You have the Namuso, the first tier of government which has the Litunga as the Head of State; and, the Ngambela (Prime Minister) as the political, administrative and judicial head of the Barotseland.  Then, there is the Lwambi, the second tier of government, regional government of the southern part of Barotseland. This is headed by the Litunga-La-Mboela (Litunga of the South), with the Sambi as the political, administrative and judicial head of the southern region. At Namuso and Lwambi there are Indunas (Ministers). The next tier after this, are chiefdoms (these have Lilalos (number of villages), county administrative areas, and an Induna). Note that each level of government has a Kuta. The functions of the Kuta are political, administrative and judicial. Also not much different from a little Britain, isn’t it?

Hence, there surely is nothing ukufita kwati nindoshi, about this traditional governance system. If anything, it is much devolved when compared to how we are governing ourselves.

I know the major criticism that often comes is that, in these systems there are no elections! Well, democracy is not always about elections as conceived through someone throwing a piece of paper in a box. And if, traditional governance systems are a serious indoshi, they surely can be tweaked (fine-tuned). After all, in our current governance system, there is no devolution. I don’t have a micro-government I can really interact with within my residential space, unlike my grandmother in the village.

Inarguably, there is local government in the traditional governance systems, as exemplified herein. Local government is simply a form of self-authority, self-governance.

But can we, after nearly fifty years of independence, say we all have equal opportunities to influence the policies and operations of the government, if local government is a far cry from our traditional governance systems? Or is independence just a word?

So how it be, that we still consider our fear of traditional influence as dark as a witch or wizard? Why did we think freedom from control or influence of the village headpersons is independence?

In retrospect, given the way we have misgoverned ourselves since independence, there is now a serious case for changing our mindset. The village headpersons are not ukufita kwati nindoshi. We did not have to seek independence from our traditional governance systems. We needed to learn, and integrate. It is the other colonialist we needed to seek independence from. Not simply admiring his/her undergarments and then excitedly rushing into wearing them as our own. This simply made us, the urban elite, no different from the British colonizers.

We need to cease being colonizers of our own people. As continuing doing so, makes the claim for independence worthless. For, without adequate representation or indeed independence, the people will continue being impoverished.

You see, the problem is, the politician, you and I, are still trying to understand and cleanse the indoshi. But there really is no indoshi in our traditional systems.  The indoshi is in us, the urban elites.

Ora pro nobis.



End script: Comments on errors of fact are most welcome.




[1] Ichibemba expression meaning, “you are as dark as a witch or wizard”.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Perhaps, we don’t need democracy!

And if it is a fear you would dispel, the seat of that fear is in your heart and not in the hand of the feared.”
- Kahlil Gibran

 Well, not too long ago a journalist friend asked me what I think of the obtaining democratic space in the country. My answer was simply that, “perhaps, we don’t need democracy!” And this is because, when one comparatively observes the presently obtaining practice of democracy to that in the past, one is left with a cold chill up his or her spine. It is a parody of democratic practice!

The fact that one organized his or her party, campaigned and voted freely (or not so acceptably freely) in September 2011, is evidence enough that at least the government adhered to the fundamental principles of democracy. Respect for human rights, and in particular the right to choice (personal liberty) and, freedoms of expression, movement, assembly and association.

In arguing this, I am also aware of the fact that in 2011 there were instances of disrespect of freedom of expression, and assembly. Disrespect of freedom of assembly, being mostly through use of the Public Order Act by the police to deny assembly for political party campaigns.

Thus, for instance, the 2011 CSEC election Report observes that of a total of 770 political campaign events observed, only 4.3 percent cases of denial of freedom to assemble were recorded, with “no incidents of denial observed in Northern and Western provinces”[1].

But interestingly and ironically, the Report also notes, “As a proportion of the total observed political campaign events, the right to hold an event does not evidence any critical incidents, but for marginal incidents for MMD (1.9%), PF (0.9%) and UPND(0.9%).”

The party in power was also denied the right to assemble![2] A case of police non-partisanship and professionalism? Maybe.

Anyway, Plato, observes, “Tyranny naturally arises out of democracy”, and I cannot fault him. This is mostly because in our impoverished country, the most people know about democracy is “euphorically and sometimes dementedly shouting the need to vote for their candidates”, waiting to vote and voting.

That democracy, in addition to the holding of periodic elections by universal suffrage, is also founded on respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, is alien to most of our people.

This is unfortunate and a serious mockery of democracy. Perhaps, nobody (CSOs included) teaches the general populace of the link between respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and their ability to assemble and communicate the ideals of their preferred candidate or political party.

An election does not occur in a vacuum. That one is able to vote freely is evidence of one’s ability to express themselves on who should represent them and why. This is linked to the fulfillment of freedom of choice or the right to personal liberty. It is also linked to freedoms of conscience, expression, assembly and association, and movement.

Further, for there to be elections in a democracy there has to be groups of individuals (political parties)[3] competing to be chosen by the people to rule on their behalf. To do this, they need to freely exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms. This is because they need to both organize themselves as a political party, and to communicate their ideals to their members and the general populace.

Clearly, the present government’s unequivocal resurgence of exercise of repressive colonial laws (in particular the Public Order Act) that negate fundamental rights and freedoms critical to a democracy is making citizens impotent with respect to participating in their own governance.

We must understand that human rights as proclaimed in the Constitution of Zambia and international instruments are simply a socio-political and economic contract between the citizenry and the government. In this contract, the government is compelled not do to something against its citizenry (like not to impinge on freedom of expression, assembly and association). The citizenry on the other hand is compelled not to do something that can likely constrain the government in its pursuits of its obligations, in so far as there is no State failure.

Today, we are in a catch-22. Media reports of people trying to hear a political party’s message, being beaten up; political parties being denied the right to assemble; and, international human rights observer Reports providing evidence of escalation in human rights abuses is certainly clear evidence that the government is not meeting its part of the human rights bargain.

Undoubtedly, the understanding that respect for human rights and democracy are mutually reinforcing, and are a precondition and foundation of democracy is not only lost on the current government, but also on us the people.

In hindsight, thus, like I said in the beginning, perhaps, we don’t need democracy. But we should know that the consequences can be terrible. There will be breakdown of acceptable democratic governance, and increased civil and political dissent. 

Is this what we desire as a country? The answer is no. Our plea to the government of the day is that acts that are criminalising the right of a people to freely assemble or dissent should be stopped. We plead, as we also know that the most manifest dark side of democracy is legitimised illegal acts.

Ora pro nobis.




[1] Civil Society Election Coalition (CSEC) 2011 Election Report, Zambia, December 2011. Section 5.2.4 Freedom of Assembly).
[2] This is not the only ironical incident observed. The CSEC Report also notes, “.. observed incidents of use of Government resources for campaign purposes occurred in 31 constituencies. Fifty-eight point one percent(58.1%) of the incidents were observed at MMD campaign events, with those observed at PF and UPND events constituting 16.1% and 12.9% respectively.
[3] Or individuals (independent candidates).

Monday, March 17, 2014

Revisiting the Past III: Failure of Reason

Friday September 3, 2003


Well, this week someone asked me an arousing question. The question was on the mislaid assertion that I hate Mwanawasa, Nevers Mumba, some politicians, and my country. You see this fellow went on to give me a three-hour lecture on how godly and good the duo is, and how good my country is. God would have been impressed. I listened aptly, but mostly I wondered why Augustine Seyuba has not yet used the fellow in the truly Zambian beer advertisements.

He went on to argue that the problem with Zambians like me is that we are unpatriotic, and incorrigible. Incorrigible! I had no doubt he admires the current presidential vocabulary.

The man supposed we never say anything good about persons that are tirelessly trying to alleviate Christopher’s plight under that cardboard on the streets of Kamwala. And, why have I never said anything about the individuals who prefer lifting Castle to Mosi. On the latter, there was not much I could say. I find mango and orange juice more palatable to my aging taste buds. The only problem with mango and orange juice is that it is a simile of Castle. It is damn imported! Lately, it seems we are doing so well that we even import cabbages.

Any way forget the cabbage, it is a very unpleasant vegetable in some circles.

The truism is, I do not hate Mwanawasa, Mumba or my country. I actually love Mwanawasa, Mumba and my country. Of country, I will conceive beyond politics later.

Hate is a feeling of dislike so strong that it demands action. If I hated Mwanawasa and Mumba, the only action that would avert my aversion would be to decimate the objects of my hate. That way I would have peace of mind. My blood pressure would not be soaring whenever either party provides us a dose of their blah blahs on whose foolish or how committed they are to alleviating Christopher’s plight as long as the IMF and World Bank continue supporting them.

The truism is I love Mwanawasa, Mumba, and some politicians. Love is a deep feeling of desire and attraction.  Love is care. I care.

When one loves, it is desirable and attractable that one always reminds the people he or she loves of their destructive intents, falsehoods, and more so their existence in a contradiction of ideas that to any reasoning person is clearly the determining factor in their being leaders.  Destructive intent, falsehood, or deliberate self-conceited contradictions can only be remedied if they are identified and ideated.

It is an expression of hate to be a sycophant and applaud an individual you claim to love, whilst the individual masquerades as a saviour or a principled and committed person.
Principle and commitment are a historic construct. They are not attributes that can be bought at COMESA market, with the easy with which some individuals in this country buy elections or pass judgement in our courts of law.

Today, the socio-economic and political accolades accorded to Mwanawasa are simply a misconstruction of history. For example, the public media’s screaming headlines on the Lamise saga, seen this week, were tragically smeared with communication lunacy.  Mwanawasa recommended the company. He cannot be absorbed of not having influenced the decision to contract Lamise. Any attempt to do so, shows both hate and disrespect of the president.

Then there is the latest discovery. An indaba! It is clear the word ‘corruption’ is becoming dog-eared, and hence now we have a new word. ‘Dialogue.’ My love for this country always sickens me. Who first sought to dialogue? Mwanawasa or the opposition? Who refused to dialogue?

Could be the problem is that I love Mwanawasa and Mumba so much that I always keep tabs on what they say. When Mwanawasa was riding high on the ‘corruption gravy train’ he trashed the calls for dialogue by the opposition. Thus, for any one to hail Mwanawasa on his call for dialogue is clear evidence of insincere historic amnesia, if not buffoonery.

And to contemplate participating in such dialogue, when the historic facts attest to individuals that show more falsehoods and self-conceited contradictions than principal and commitment, is to simply perpetuate the impunity that sustains our country’s socio-economic and political regression. Gosh, how I admire the anti-globalisation movement, and indeed miss Lucy Sichone.

In saying this, I am mindful of the common assertion that there is no morality in politics. As true as the assertion may be, the bottom line is that politics is about power relations between humans. The underpinning of human relations and the quest for advancement are principle and commitment (no matter how warped they may be). Falsehoods and self-conceited contradictions are retrograde.

Principle and commitment is a cardinal function of reason. To argue that someone is principled and has commitment, is to assert that someone shows reasoning within known historic constructs.  What must always be borne in mind is that reasoning is a process of creating an acceptable whole from the separates, both present and past.

When construed beyond politics, I love Mwanawasa, Mumba and some politicians, simply because in my discourses all I seek to assert is that in their helmsperson-ship of this country, Mwanawasa, Mumba and most of the politicians in government have not shown principle and commitment, and hence inertly lack developmental stewardship.

Let us never delude ourselves. Mwanawasa is a president by default. Mwanawasa is a president that was an option that was selected automatically without alternatives being prescribed. President Chiluba prescribed that Mwanawasa shall be his successor. 

If this act by Chiluba can be deemed to be founded on principle and commitment to democratic ideals, then I will not hesitate to erase my arguments here in. However, the historic construct premised on reason, in this act, is that whosoever is a product of Chiluba’s misconceived principle and commitment to democratic ideals is inarguably questionable.

It, hence, should not be surprising that such an individual will exhibit contradiction of ideas that approximates an individual whose reasoning rivets around security of being president.

In any case, how else does one explain an individual who today appoints to the post of vice-president an individual who yesterday alleged he is a crook, thief or voter-buyer? A principled man or a self-conceited man?

In retrospect, to suppose that an individual that exists outside the deranged bounded reality of sycophancy, historic amnesia, and buffoonery, hates Mwanawasa, Mumba or country, is simply a manifestation of failure of reason.


Ciao. Do not forget to touch a child today, and please also give an affectionate handshake to a cop.

Revisiting the Past II: Indaba, my children

November 3, 2003

That I now exist in the age my pa warned me about is sadly a prophecy come true.  The little hope I had that one day the children will soon domicile in a country they will be proud to be citizenry of is lately thinning.
The little hope I had that tomorrow Christopher will not be under that cardboard on the cold pavements of the streets of Kamwala, is today turning into having Christopher pointing a gun at me asking for my hard earned pennies from the thankless job of being a teacher and consultant.
Time is running out, and we seem to forget that Christopher the innocent under that cardboard will tomorrow be Christopher the adult with no job, no home, and no identity.
Indeed, tomorrow this adult will have a gun, and in our amnesiac existence as a people we will forget that this is Christopher, the boy who used to sleep under a cardboard on the cold streets of Kamwala. We will even say chikabwalala (thief) and the individual in the long black cloak and whitish wig will throw the law at him and lock him away to rot in our disease infested prisons. There will even be another individual in a cloak supposedly funded by the state to defend Christopher, yet this individual will never utter the simple truism that Christopher is a victim of the law. At a time when Christopher needed the law to protect him it did not.
If it were that we are law abiding, peaceful as many would like me to believe, surely Christopher would not be huddled on the streets of Kamwala. It is my affirmation that Christopher is a failing of the law, as the law in this country is a failing. It is in this respect, that today I often argue that Apartheid failed not because of the legitimacy of the law, but more so the failing of the legality of the law.
The premise of my affirmation is the deduction that law is a codification of human behaviour. That is, law is a body of rules of conduct inherent in human nature and essential to or binding upon human society.
It is clear in my intellection that one of our fundamental problems as a people is our inability to reduce meaning into reason.
Mwanawasa, Mumba are president and vice-president, respectively, because of the law.  The citizenry too recognises them as such, because of the law. But that is not the entirety of the law. The reasoning expected is simply that the law obligates Mwanawasa, Mumba and all other politicians in the executive and legislature to do something for the citizenry.  Similarly, the law obligates the citizenry to behave in a manner that does not constrain the pursuit of Mwanawasa’s obligations as long as such pursuits are not at variance with the expected obligations.
The expected obligations by reasoning the meaning of law are that of the essentiality of law to human society – which is the actualising of sustainable livelihoods. That is the adequacy of access to food, shelter, and clean water, and the ability to self-decide (or what those that academies life term security of life and self-governance).
Conceived beyond politics, law is thence not a privilege. Law is an obligation, both to the State and the nation (citizenry).
Inherently, the law provides a framework for a binding contract between the rulers and the ruled. The rulers are expected to behave and act in a manner that actualises the ruled’s expectations. Likewise, the ruled are expected to behave and act in a manner that does not constrain the acts of the rulers in their attempt to actualise the ruled’s expectations.
On both counts so argued, this country is dysfunctional.
This impairment is sadly today a state of our existence as citizens of one of the poorest countries on earth.
We have cast the little children, the youths to the mercy of life on the streets and we stand and congratulate rulers whose utterances and actions are most often objectionable.
Take Mwanawasa’s sentiments of self criticism, surely how does he expect this country to get out of its self inflicted socio-economic and political derangement if self-criticism is conceived as destructive? Least Mwanawasa does not know, what is destructive to any nation-state is simply the inability to be self critical. Period.
From beyond politics, Mwanawasa’s sentiment that Zambians can not support the opposition because the opposition even criticises Zambians is unfortunate and these are surely sentiments expected of a sycophant and not a president.
It is imperative that as a country we are self-critical. If it is that in our social contract with the state our behaviour is such that it sustains Christopher’s plight on the streets of Kamwala, then let it be criticised as it is. If we are idiotic in our governance behaviour, then let us say so, and not seek refugee in some polite rhetoric that will not save Christopher.
Then there is the man of god, Mr. Nevers Mumba (hon. PhD, Flint College, Michigan). Last week he said that the Indaba has brought peace to the country.
What peace is the man talking about? Peace as the state prevailing during the absence of war? Peace as harmonious relations and freedom from disputes? Or peace as the absence of mental stress and anxiety?
Look, Mr. Nevers Mumba, maybe it is time you synthesised Kahlil Gibran’s thoughts on talking.
“You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts; and when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.”
Gibran further notes. “…there are those who talk, and without knowledge or forethought reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand.  And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.”
It is clear in my mind that our current political leaders’ hallmark of inconsistence, spontaneity, irrationality and ejaculatory talking on our governance is symptomatic of their insecurity. They are scared that one day the citizenry will reason the law.  Then we will have an indaba of reasoning and not an indaba of platitudes.
The indaba that this country needs, my children, is one of re-affirming adherence to the law. Not adherence to insecure individuals’ political agendas or our current perpetual subjection to ejaculatory and absurd commentaries whilst Christopher is still huddled under that cardboard on the cold pavements of the streets of Kamwala.
Ciao and do not forget to touch a child today.


Revisiting the Past I: Cherise, a drip, and patriotism

Fore note: Often I write, "in this country we always arrive where we left", and today I went to my commentary archive to show why. The issues are still the same a decade later.

September 12, 2003
Last week, I attempted to show that the mislaid assertion that I hate Mwanawasa, Nevers Mumba and country is a manifestation of failure of reason. I did not dwell on the question of country as it is the subject I now seek to address.
But first, if I may briefly concern myself with the name on most people’s lips – Cherise.  So Cherise won the “immoral and un-African” big brother Africa reality TV show.  She is a role model, hardworking, and all the baloney many are according her. The government has even honoured her with a diplomatic passport.
The only concern with the baloney is the “African and Zambian values role model” acclaim.  It seems in our contradiction of existence and identity a human that enjoys early morning household chores and cooking is an African woman.  Before we get steeped into the “role model” acclaim, we should seek to understand whether Cherise enjoys early morning chores and cooking simply because she is human or a woman.  If Cherise enjoys the chores and cooking simply because she is human, then I too will acclaim her. But, if the contrary, then surely Cherise can not be a role model in current times, as this merely perpetuates the stereotype thinking that a woman is nothing but a vacuum cleaner and food dispenser!
 Any way, congrats Cherise, even though I still do not know what big brother was all about and why some pastor somewhere decided to petition ZNBC TV. 
This week, a question of an intravenous drip brought to mind the apparent failure of reason in a citizenry’s relationship with the State of Zambia.  Whilst under the blade of a young barber, I learnt that in most clinics patients have to provide gloves, syringes and even drips!  This in a country whose government is a ‘new deal’ was unnerving, and hence intellectual trespass was in order.
When questioned on his political preference, the young man was vehement in asserting his support for the ruling party.  An attempt to show the young man that if the party in government was as good as he argued, he would not have had to buy four sachets of intravenous (IV) fluid for his aging father, elicited failure of reason.
“Ba Mudala, ifya ba MMD fi mapolitikisi, ifya ba bbali fya fipatala.” (Old man, the issue of the MMD is politics; the issue of my father is about hospitals).
In his sentiments, it was clear that our reality and our continued socio-economic and political derangement lies in our inability to bridge the gap between the people we vote for and our daily livelihoods. 
Politics and hospitals are inseparable.
That the health sector is decaying is both politics and because of the obtaining political ineptness. It is irresponsible for the citizenry to show fanatical support for a party that does not seem to alleviate their everyday livelihood constraints. The sooner people like the young barber comprehend this, the better for this country.
The health sector in this country is in a pathetic state. It is not enough to continually trumpet the donor-instigated poverty reduction or corruption lullaby, without due recognition of the immediate plight of Christopher. The average doctor per population ratio in this country is one doctor per 16 000 persons. Provinces like Luapula have one doctor for nearly 145 000 persons! The doctors are out-migrating, and the government is busy issuing in-migration visas to deputy ministers and DAs.
Mind you the country’s health strategic plan affirms that the health sector reforms will “provide Zambians with equity of access..., quality health care…”  The problem with nearly all of this country’s reforms is that the average citizen only sees new vehicles emblazoned “something reform, or something capacity building,” or indeed a continually elongating government.
Consider, the two deputy ministers per ministry. Surely, either the fellows in government are dull or this country’s civil service inertia is so overwhelming that ministries need more elective personnel. Come to think of it, may be it will be prudent if Mwanawasa and Nevers Mumba fired all the civil servants and replaced them with deputy ministers and DAs. No. Fire the deputy ministers and DAs, then may be the young barber will not have to buy a drip for his father!
Sorry for the digression, back to the barber.
The young barber did not have to buy an IV for his father because this country is poor, but, in part, because this country’s leaders are ineffectual, contradictory and not worthy looking up to.  If not, why should the young barber have to buy a drip, and not simply have government fly his father to South Africa like they do their kind?
In addition, this country is poor and will continue being poor because the citizenry is seriously irresponsible. For decades now there has been the misplaced belief that sycophancy, denial of ones’ impoverishment is patriotism. In my travels, I have met Zambians who vehemently admonish me for being categorical in asserting that my country is one of the poorest of the poor. 
We are poor and a pathetic lot, period! The sooner we accept it than burying our sorry heads in the sand like an ostrich the better for ourselves and Christopher. It must always be understood that a wrong or problem can only be solved when it is first identified and accepted.
That one, that accepts the realities of one’s country hates his or her country, or is not patriotic is a misplaced assertion.
Patriotism is responsibility, commitment and dedication to ones country and citizenry.  Patriotism is not loyalty to an individual that today is president or vice-president. After all, that individual may tomorrow be a thief, foolish or mentally deranged, and the one that once asserted misplaced patriotism will be the one that stands up and throws the first stone. 
And by the way, the patriots are arguing that all concerned should attend the great Indaba.  Cabinet office this week issued a statement saying all those that seek to attend, should put it in writing. As the years pass by, I can not cease to believe that these fellows in the current government are on a conspiracy to age me faster than I should. How can I write seeking to attend something I have no idea about?
Are we ever going to do something right in this country? Forget the Indaba, since they do not know what the ‘ndaba’ is.  Why should they be in government, if it has to be you and me to tell them what the ‘ndaba’ is?
When conceived beyond politics, could be Cherise, a drip and patriotism all coalesce to manifest a country where there is a deliberate lack of discourse on linkages between political office and one’s livelihood.
After all, the political landscape is not short of individuals that can articulate linkages between lack of a drip and Mwanawasa’s or Mumba’s inability to provide developmental stewardship. The problem as I see it is that most politicians in this country know too well that they are better placed to parody as saviours only in an environment of ignorance.
Ciao. Do not forget to touch a child today, and please also give an affectionate handshake to a cop.


Friday, February 28, 2014

Delusions - A journey into a world of the righteous: Part IV - Desert Sands

End of the year 1988, Anno Domini.
Dad was right. The pendulum marking time is swaying. Left. Right. Pertinacious, solitary, scary. Ambivalent, a Temple becomes. The sermons become prosaic. The wailing becomes louder. The tongues, the language only the gods understand. Dogs bark. Rats bite dogs. Swallows shed feathers on the streets. A people watch. We squealed. Yet, they march in numbers, wail in numbers, for providential intervention.  They even lament in tongues the gods once used. Lo and behold, the Pharisees, they beam. The rumps swell. Now they need suspenders.

*

In the year 1989, Anno Domini.

Monday, January 9.
Wonder where Namakau is. Found another economic pastime victim, I guess.

Wednesday, January 11.
            Oh, not again. Another solidarity march for the Pharisees. Surely someone has to tell them, they can not be union of purpose with individuals whose sole interest is increasing their rump sizes.
Oh, my…!. That woman is swinging it. Could be she thinks some Pharisee will notice. Wonder what her children will think when they watch her during the evening Temple TV script show. After all it is always on Temple TV.

Sunday, January 15.
            Now that is novel. Full blues account number and street address. They surely don’t want one to get lost.  the rewards, riches in heaven.
            Pity the fellows that seek riches through blues donations. Does not bother me much. They read a different book any way.

Wednesday, January 18.
Today, the thought of even closing my eyes in sleepy contentment and relaxation is scary. Not because I do not trust these Pharisees, but more that their inconsistence, spontaneity, irrationality and ejaculatory sermons on street children invokes a fear of sleep. Can not trust them as tomorrow the scraggy street children behind our offices may be deemed to have found happiness elsewhere when in fact they could be six feet underground.
How come they can not tell us what this operation Noah for street children is.

Thursday, February 9.
We are entrapped in a degenerate state of idiocratic irresponsibility, mostly because the only rationality we know, is the irrationalities of the Pharisees.

Monday, February 13.
            He is so quiet. What happened to the anger for history. Could be the present is also changing him. It must be sorrowful seeking to change history, only to end up being the change that marks the history.


Saturday, February 25.
Dad,
in the city youth sapped,
like a rag he is cast.

The sun rising in the misty horizon,
homeward he trudges,
a dusty spiral in his wake,
blowing away an illusion,
a better life.

The landscape he sees,
esoteric and embryonic,
the sounds of nature he hears,
mellifluous and mellow.

Through misty eyes in the distance,
he sees,

Tiny mud walled huts,
pregnant ragamuffins goggled eyed,
curious women weeping in joy,
men solemnly watching.

Melancholia creeping in,
a tear falls.

He is home.

Home,
a forlorn place in a desert,
no oasis near,
a meliorism lost.

Home, 
a world on the edges of time.

Sunday, February 26.
That there is my world. All you that seek to know me do not seek to come to my world. It is only a world in which, I dwelled yesterday. You will seek my knowledge, and you will not find. For I, man, to the unseeing, is only an anachronism.

Thursday, April 6.
       These Pharisees are au naturel!
Wednesday, April 26.
            Really have to put the damn Temple TV under the chop. Does not show anything worth enhancing one’s understanding of the evolving reality. How do they expect to change our circumstances when only Pharisee and Pharisee spouse talk. Little ‘did this, did that’ is all they damn show.
            Come to think of it, nothing significant ever happens in this land. So every insignificant Pharisee and Pharisee spouse talk, little ‘did this, did that’ has to be recreated into something significant. Not us. We scribe as we see it.

Sunday, April 30.
Hooray! Nothingness, for an existence!
A people wait for the rain. In the rain lie their hopes. When the rain does not come, a people still continue waiting. Dodos.
But, lo and behold, yonder rich ancient streams lie. As blind as a people can be, in such blindness Pharisees abounds. A people on the edge of existence. Sermons, the blackguard of their existence.

Thursday, May 5.
            Did I hear them properly. Thanking a Pharisee for  donating a pit-latrine!
Gosh. Answering the call of nature in the bushes all your life-time, and you thank a Pharisee that has the pleasure of answering the call of nature in a gold platted toilet bought through your sweat. A sick people. Could be it. A sanatorium for a country!

Friday, June 16.
            Thought it is Soweto Day. Guess these Pharisees never heard of June 16, 1975. The day the children in Soweto showed their parents how better to engage those that dehumanise you.

Sunday, June 18.
The glory of God is not in how much you shout about your God. It is about where your footprints in the sands of history lead.

Saturday, July 1.
In the dark of the night, their dreams shattered as like woodworms from the rotting walls of hope, Pharisees crawl. Slimy and odious yet still desirable. Such is a people’s libido, even that which slims till the earth weeps in despair, a people still hold dear.
Yes, I hear the earth weep. In the earth lies the desire to have a people walk exotic flush gardens beneath which rich ancient streams flow.
Yes, the earth seeks that in yesterday’s time, tomorrow a child shall run and play in deep greener green meadows.
I hear the earth weep, because in yesterday’s time was sown the seed. Have witnessed it in my time. Have failed to understand it all, as I too, I am a part of this seemingly reckless existence.

Friday, August 18.
We continue to exist in an abyss of righteousness simply because of our continued failure to accept that our immediate local environments are the symmetry of the infinite immorality of the Pharisees.

Monday, September 11.
            They do not like the words of ink here. Well thought these Pharisees did not reason.
            He is scared, he is. Never thought his false sermon would be reproduced in indelible words of ink. That is dad smiling. Sneaky old man.

Thursday, September 21.
            Joyce Maya again!
            She surely must be related to a Pharisee. How else can one be so loved. The damn TV will surely face the chop!

Saturday, October 21.
            Strange white fellow. Excited about the country. Oh, what good service he got.
            Told him to paint himself black. Was he bewildered!
            Decolonisation of the mind, that is what is essential. Especially the Pharisees.  always tongue tired when those ramrod straight men from 700, 19th Street, N.W., Washington D.C., come visiting. Need to tell the Pharisees to first take them to see impalas, when in fact they will be seeing goats. After all the ramrod straight men do not know the difference. How else do they prescribe Martian remedies.

Monday, October 23.
            Oh no! It is the ramrod straight men from 700, 19th Street, N.W., Washington D.C.  I had dreamt of. It is a workshop!
            And what tongue twisters!
Socially excluded, mainstreaming, paradigm, country driven.
Ah! Pro-poor!
I guess, they do not know that classifying humans is a means by which the elite perpetuate social exclusion as a means of sustaining their livelihoods.

Thursday, November 9.
            He is educated. He has titles before his name. Strange he is convinced the Exalted Revered Pharisee is anointed by the gods!
            Pity, his children. An educated illiterate Dr. Something, for a father.
Indeed! It is sad that we can educate humans, but we can not make them intelligent.
Any way, you are educated only to the extent people appreciate your intelligence.

Friday, November 10.
            Now wait!
            She is a Pharisee. Thought she is the one I saw swinging it. Well indeed someone noticed. Only wish her well. Hope there is no hereafter contract that was abrogated.

Sunday, November 12.
Hope. Only destitution. Will they ever learn!
Hope is tears without sorrow. The anticipation of change that always dissipates before dawn.
Perhaps, not. Hope is a feather in a whirlwind.


*

Days in the year 1990, Anno Domini, and thereafter. Gosh! I thought only I, the genius, keeps a testament. Wonder what he calls it. At least mine is hidden.

Thursday, February 15.
Son,
naked children,
spindly legs over heels,
joy and happiness abounding,
the skies beaming,
fish eagles dancing,
calves chased,
birds raced.

Oh,
tightly hurdled together,
head on spindly knees,
the skies weeping,
cattle lazily chewing the cud,
a lonely boy sits,
the eye does not wonder.

Mopane bees buzzing,
hands swatting,
an aged boy smiles,
the eyes,
only specks of longing.

A child listens,
a life bemoaned.

Longings,
blue skies,
only sparrows reach,
such is the story.

Africa tragedy,
feelings shared,
a child reaches out.


Thursday, March 1.
Son,
on a shaggy head,
a calabash sits,
a child in a sackcloth,
delicately hanging on saggy bottoms,
firewood clutched to the bosom,
from the well,
a woman returns,
weary and famished.

Oh,
solitary thatched huts in the distance,
smoke seeking the steaming skies. 

Mopane shades cool and soothing,
a beer calabash floating,
the transgressions of women,
a meal delayed,
a child crying,
men rumble,
men grumble.

Shrivelled breasts sagging,
a sackcloth can not hide,
grandma smiles,
a skeletal bosom heaving,
last breaths taken.

As a child listens,
a weary soul rests forevermore.

Memories lasting,
green grasses singing,
such is the story,
understanding asunder.

Africa, 
a child walking into a desert.


Sunday, March 4.

Son,
from behind the dark clouds,
the moon comes solemn and esoteric,
yet a people await a great event,
orgiastic and orgasmic.

Rose petals litter the streets.

The count continues,
the clock ticks.

As from the distance,
the dawn comes serene and mystic,
the hour descends,
the skies,
the birds take.

A people dance,
a Jesus at last,
on a new footpath,
a people seek to walk.

In the skies the moon weeps.

This Jesus the moon has seen before,
a shadow,
in which lurks sinister desires,
a garden,
in which roses grow not,
a river,
where water flows not,
mountains,
on an abyss,
a bridge,
to limbus factuorum.

If this be the Jesus,
the moon seeks not,
to light the night.

In the fading light,
the twilight comes,
scary and omnipotent,
disciples walk away.

In the shadows,
the sinister desires they witnessed,
in the garden,
thorns grow.

If this be the Jesus,
disciples seeks not to,
walk on rose petals,
be waters,
in a river that is not, 
mountains,
on an abyss,
a bridge,
to limbus factuorum.

Alas,
darkness descending,
as shrouded as,
the dark confines of a coffin,
a people grope blindly.

Walking streets,
littered by withered rose petals,
calling out to a Jesus,
a  shadow,
a river,
a bridge they knew not.

Son,
if this be the Jesus,
with the moon I shall weep.  gosh, he has been busy!

Tuesday, March 6.
It is so quiet in here.

Mama,
it is so quiet in here.
They are so quiet.

Was that a child coughing?
The cough,
sonority the ears cannot bear.

Mama,
why did the child cough?
Silence,
mama becomes.

The silence so deep,
Its reach I feel.

In the silence,
the earth falling,
dull sounds resonating on a wooden box,
a tear falls.

Mama,
she weeps.

It is so quiet in here,
I cannot see,
I cannot breathe.

It is so quiet.
The silence a lullaby,
only tears touch.

Was that a laugh?
He laughed.

In a silent world,
a child coughing,
the earth falling,
dull sounds resonating on a wooden box,
mama weeping,
A Pharisee laughed.

Africa tragedy,
our silence,
their laughter,
ora pro nobis.

Saturday, March 10.
The worst form of social degeneracy is the pretence that one can enjoy one's good fortune amidst sinewy forelimbs seeking the lullaby of alms. And the wailing in his name, a nauseating dissonance that the gods shy from.

Tuesday, March 13.
Talking is an art. Do not talk if you have not mastered the art, lest you sound like a Pharisee. He did indeed sound like a Pharisee. Trying to convince me that the people are not poor, they are just damn lazy. Well, from where I stand, the people are only lazy as far they allow Pharisees to continue pontificating inane sermons.

Wednesday, March 14.
Your scribing is unreasonable, unpatriotic, full of hate. Blimey! What failure of reason.
Wait. Good idea.

Friday, March 16.
The Messenger - Failure of reason.
Well, this week someone asked me an arousing question. The question was on the mislaid assertion that at The Messenger we hate the Pharisees and our country. You see this fellow went on to give me a three-hour lecture on how godly the Pharisees are. The gods would have been impressed.
He went on to argue that the problem with half-halfs like me is that we are unpatriotic, and incorrigible. Incorrigible! I had no doubt, he admires the Pharisees’ sermons.
The truism is, I do not hate the Pharisees and country. I actually love the Pharisees and my country. Hate is a feeling of dislike so strong that it demands action. If I hated Pharisees, the only action that would avert my aversion would be to decimate the objects of my hate. That way I would have peace of mind. My blood pressure would not be soaring whenever they give us a dose of their blah blah sermons on whose foolish or how committed they are to alleviating the people’s nothingness.
The truism is ,I love Pharisees and country. Love is a deep feeling of desire and attraction. Love is care. I care. When one loves, it is desirable and attractable that one always reminds the people he or she loves of their destructive religions, falsehoods, and more so their existence in a contradiction of ideas that to any reasoning person is clearly the determining factor in their being Pharisees. Destructive religions, falsehood, or deliberate self-conceited contradictions can only be remedied if they are identified and ideated.
It is an expression of hate to be a sycophant and applaud a Pharisee you so claim to love, when in fact the Pharisee masquerades as a saviour or a principled and committed preacher.
Principle and commitment are historic constructs. They are not attributes that can be bought at the Sunday market. Principle and commitment are a cardinal function of reason. To argue that someone is principled and has commitment, is to assert that someone shows reasoning within known historic constructs. What must always be borne in mind is that reasoning is a process of creating an acceptable whole from the separates, both present and past. To suppose that an individual that exists outside the deranged bounded reality of sycophancy, historic amnesia, and buffoonery is filled with hate, is simply a manifestation of failure of reason.

Saturday, March 17.
            They came. They asked. They searched. Seems they never tire of asking and searching. Ah, lost souls. That is what they called us.
            Really wonder who is lost.

Sunday, March 18.
            She cares for the less privileged. She does. She even has a community initiative.
            Strange. How come I never heard of the innovation until she wedded a Pharisee.  What righteousness! And the Temple scripts hit paper with vigour. Obsequious cretins.
            Really does not excite me at all. After all the proliferation of community initiatives is symptomatic of failure of the State.

Tuesday, March 20.
Mama,
the sun setting low,
the horizon,
pale and dusty.

Time crawling,
children whining,
homewards,
they labour.

Behind the land,
a rocky surface,
no crop desires,

The skies,
a river,
where no waters dance,

The desolation,
a melancholic lullaby.

In the distance,
skeletal mellow figures hang timelessly,
so much work,
for so short a period of satiety,
that is coitus.

Green flies buzzing,
meat on the pavement,
coins jingle,
a child smiles.

A meal for a famished body,
only a nostalgic lullaby.

Along a country road,
in a wattle and daub shack,
rain drops dropping,
a piercing lullaby.

Jobs,
more cowry shells,
petals of a new rose,
a malignant singsong,
the wireless resonates.

Alas,
in a house,
along a beautiful street,
a Pharisee sits tall,
taller than most men,

Over a people’s rhythms,
he procrastinates,
his greatness,
a malignant singsong,
his Apostles, cuckoo.

Petals of a new rose,
an advisor croaks,
bulky,
and the seams,
the clothes cannot hold.

They dance.
Jobs, cowry shells,
something indeed,
petals of a new rose,
only smoke,
in a tempest.

Friday, March 23.
            Alas! She defended her being always scribe worthy!
            What impunity. Really wonder where she crawled from. Who said she is holier too.

Saturday, March 24.
            We talk for a purpose. That is to communicate. These Pharisees do not. Could be they think their voices are melodious. If only they know, they sound like scratched old records on a gramophone that uses a Muunga thorn.

Monday, March 26.
The Messenger - The Dodo is an extinct bird.
Just when I thought the dodo is an extinct bird, yesterday I saw it thrashing about attempting to take to the skies, when it knew too well it does not fly. It really was a pitiful sight. Watching this heavy bird, hungering for the skies like its kin – the pigeons. The sky is freedom – an everlasting monument. An inspiration - vast and endlessly blue. The dodo could not touch the sky, and may be that is why it became extinct.
When, listening to the sermons in this backwater country, one realises that Pharisees seem not to have learnt of the dodo. They have this mysterious tendency of blabbering about or doing what in their bothersome opinions can lead to being next to the son in their imagined Shangri-la.
I no longer have any shred of doubt that these Pharisees are seriously afflicted with delusions of political grandeur, despite already suffering from an intellectual coma. Could be in their lonely moments, they visualise ophidian-like statues of themselves long after they have ended up in the place of many crosses. It is a pity they are not mindful of the simple fact that, as long as most fail to worship the gods of the stomach, that statue will only exist in scheol - the world of the dead. For like the dodo, they will soon be extinct.

Wednesday, March 28.
            We often meet people simply because they add meaning to our lives. Surely that Pharisee added meaning to my life.
            The desire to reduce homo sapiens by a factor of one!

Thursday, March 29.
            He thinks he is more intelligent than us. Gosh, how I love this defeatist lullaby.  And he is a deacon for unemployment.

*

They sincerely did not like March. Came round. Shouted. Searched. Carted us to the Fuzz Temple. Did not tell us anything. Dad laughs. They did not like it even more.  Warn and caution. Against what, only the gods knew.
Back home. He is sad. He is. Rather too pensive.
Son. There we go. Something on his mind. Mom. No. Something else. Oh, gosh!  Now he is smiling. He is laughing.
What is funny. Does not hear. Tears are falling. Feels good seeing him laughing.

Son,
fat, scrawny, short, tall,
what forms they come in.

In the fall of the guns,
the death of a relative,
the leisurely leave of a different people.

Uh,
the count of pieces of paper,
what many ways,
they come through.

These came on pieces of paper,
promises of rose petals.

We love,
adore them.

Their feet,
we yearn to kiss,
their hands,
we desperately seek.

They are anointed,
by the gods,
some make us believe.

When they pass,
the streets we throng,
the trees,
oh,
the branches,
we break and wave.

And,
the dancing,
wriggling our bottoms in ecstasy.

Son,
when their mouths run loose,
orgiastic we become,
the applause,
not an earthquake can equal.

Yet vain,
are their words,
nothingness,
their deeds.

Oh,
the poor fellow,
that patched their words,
no accolade.

Alas,
in the quiet of our homes,
stomachs rumble,
children cry and cry,
mothers,
despairingly watching.

In the hospitals,
the antiseptic odour,
vainly tries to perfume our putrid bodies. 

Oh,
and the land,
the dead, it consumes voraciously.

Yet,
when the morning comes,
illusory is our memory,
gone is our misery.

After all,
they have come to visit.

And,
again the streets we throng,
the trees,
how they suffer. 

The dancing,
the gods shy away.

Son,
if only we know,
our love for the Pharisees,
is only the laugh of a life time. Strange old man. Not very funny. Stood up.  Walked away to my testament. Old man was an inspiration.

*

Saturday, October 6.
Wonder. What is in his. Guess he wont mind me taking a peep.

Son,
he is coming.

From squalor,
the children trickle,
irresolute and wary.

A time remembered,
a time of hope,
a time stolen.

On a podium,
a Pharisee sprawls,
beaming,
resolute.

Blind,
as they come,
the children,
dance no more,
yet he sees not.

Deaf as they are,
discordant rhythms resonating,
the children,
applaud no more,
yet he hears not.

New rose petals,
an advisor whispering,
a Pharisee glows.

The crows crow.

Tomorrow coming,
the children shrug,
a rhythm remembered,
petals of roses,
only a Mopane leaf,
in a fast flowing stream.

*

The year 1991 Anno Domini. Days in the thereafter. Now finding his a better read.  But why is he now leaving it where every Jim and Jack can read it?

Monday, May 6.
Son,
from the window,
humanity scurrying,
like ants,
before a rain storm,
we do not see.

Sands of time moving,
a grain of sand elsewhere,
does not move.

Words whispered,
in the howling wind,
only the deaf hear.

Rain falling,
a thatch removed,
puddles on the floor,
the sky falling.

How there be sunshine,
the skin drips.

The sun darkening,
a candle,
does not light,
scary darkness swarming,
whisperings of flowers,
the singing of silence,
only,
mellifluous sounds in vain.

Such is the story.

Africa tragedy,
voices in vain,
ora pro nobis.

*

Sitting at home. Not much to talk about. He philosophises about justice. Likens it to the gods dwelling place. Wherever that is. Reflected on my testament. He had to know my thoughts.

Dad,
it can never be right,
it can never be wrong,
the replication of the gods’ dwelling place on earth.

Religious justice,
Idiocracy,
many cry out.

In the skies,
the gods solemnly watch,
behind bars,
in death row,
somebody weeps.

We want the freeness of a bird,
Yet,
we do not want the skies.

Give us the skies,
take the skies away,
it matters none. 

Give us the skies,
many, shall we trample on.

Take the skies away,
to a shallow grave, many shall  go.

Give the skies to us,
blood, shall we shed.

Take the skies away from us,
the earth shall burn.

Dad,
the replication of the gods’ dwelling place,
in the end  it matters none…, he is now pensive. Does not respond. Shakes his head. Must be thinking of the faith. Am beginning to lose it, despite the days of yesteryears in Backwaters. The times among feathers of a trapped bird. Why should I have the faith. They don’t have it. He shrugs.

Son,
the sun,
is always rising elsewhere,
always rising.

Horizons,
glittering and golden,

Birds,
melodiously singing,
in the blue skies.

Children playing,
laughing,
in open meadows.

Setting sun children watching,
eyes watery,
and longing.

A life denied,
a life in an abyss.

Waters in secluded plains,
no rivers flowing,
no rain falling,
stale the waters become.

Blue open skies abounding,
birds screeching,
no melody,
no rhythm.

Pale grey horizons,
the setting sun,
always setting,
setting sun children weeping.

Yet, they talk of petals of new roses. Now he is sad. A tear falls. For many, dad wept.  I walk away. It is history. He wept!
            Dad wept. Not a good sign at all. Foreboding, now a state of mind.

*



November 1991.
Son, it is happening South. Can you go down there. Can not believe him. Sending his own flesh and blood, where bullets race birds. Thought could be fun. Took lots of pictures. Was rather some crazies, still believing in Hitler philosophy. Even went to church there. Had the best experience. They even pray to the same God. Couldn’t keep it out of the Chronicles of the Fourth Dimension.

*

Sunday, November 17.
Mama,
in a foreign land I am,
different,
yet alike,
not a care I had.

It is Sunday,
on a Church patio I stand,
as solemn as the bereaved,
to believers I bow.

Along comes the child.

Look mummy,
he didn't bath,
the child she says.

Mummy,
she listens not.

The child,
she brave.

Sir,
you are too dirty for Church.

Nay I says,
the child,
she nay understands.

You are as black as coal.

Yes child,
I a black man,
touch me,
nay dirty you find.

Touches me she does,
what a smile.

How come,
you like me,
yet you black,
the child she asks.

My child I says,
there are black cats,
grey cats,
and,
there are white cats.

Yet all are cats,
the child she adds,
mirthful,
glowing.

To mummy she runs,
promises of,
see you at evening Mass,

Mummy,
she nay pleased.

Evening Mass comes,
as messianic,
as the saviour.

The child,
she nay child no more.

Stinking kaffir,
the child she says,
her nose,
she holds.

Mummy,
she smiles,
as broad as the Mississippi.

Indeed, innocence is,
the age before mis-education.

The child,
innocence lost,
black cats nay cats,
white cats nay cats too.  I laugh. Wondered whose God, he is in the end anyway.

*

Returned to glory. Old brains always wiser. The articles I posted, did it. Zambesia is no longer a tiny republic in the backwaters of Africa. The Boss of a dad is now growing younger every day.

*

Days in the year 1992 Anno Domini.

In February, was invited to give a talk to the African Young Inner Temple's Forum. A rather new innovation, to befit the adage, the youth are the Pharisees of tomorrow.  Did not see that many youths. Unless youth greys early. He surely needs a peniscope.  Could be, even youth blossoms around the gut. Any way need to talk.

My fellow youth, that this country needs a religious change

The word on my mind is violent, but can not utter the sinful word. Mine is a peaceful country. So peaceful, that children take to the place of many crosses like sparrows take to the skies before the vagaries of winter.

Can only be doubted by those that walk the footpaths the Pharisees walk

Gosh not sounding right. Backwaters, its experience should be the lecture. Surely other youth need to enter my world. Any way.

Youth today, is no longer a beautiful serene  virginal experience. In youth today, there is no laughter, no warmth, no happy songs. Only sad eyes, whose depth reflect despondency and destitution, in a country run by those whose preoccupation is only illusions of grandeur, anointment by some unknown gods, and we always applaud. We do

Now, that sounds better. Is getting better. That must be dad smiling. What is he doing here. He is not a youth.

Yes, in their illusions, they exists not a purpose of others worshiping the gods of the stomach. They exists not a dream of meadows we can identify with. They exists not a footpath we too can calmly walk tomorrow. Or do they?

No heads nodding. Well could be, we understand our reality differently. At least my understanding is not from the Pharisees.

What is the essence of their rule? It can not surely still be the need to reclaim the comfort of our land from those that crossed seas hundreds of years ago. Neither can it still be the need to cleanse the evils of the bygone Pharisees? What evils any way, when these Pharisees are a product of the evils? The tendency to always blame history is nothing but a manifestation of the inability to face the future, to change the future.

That is surely a head nodding. Clever girl. Or is it attention seeking. Not bad looking anyway. At last, I am communicating. That is a cacophony of assent. Thanks bro. But you don’t need to be that loud. Well, I like those smiles.
           
It is unacceptable of youth to continue pretending that the Pharisees are holy. That they can define the change we need. No, these Pharisees can not.

I plead.

It is unjust for the youth today to pass on their changeable reality to the youth not yet to be – the children.

We must always remember. It is written in the stars, that ours shall be the kingdom. It is written in the stars that we are all stars. Our ways should light the path of darkness, not only for ourselves but more so for those that come before us, for those that do not have the strength to walk with us, and for those that fell before us. We are the light, and our ways, not our words, should be the living monuments of that light.

This is the promise, and we should try always not to break it.

Children come in from the dark into our world, frail and weak, and it is our promise that the children run and play in open skies and greener green open fields.

It is our promise that tomorrow, the children walk with us, as we should be the light.

It is our promise that tomorrow, the children too become the light for those to come before them.

This has to be our promise. To be the words that are written in stars.

Thus, my friends, I say to you, if we don’t change our ways, when our children seek our footprints in the sands of history, they will arrive at only one conclusion. 'We went nowhere’.
           
The cacophony now rising. He clapped too. Thanks chair. Standing ovation, at last.  But chair, not too happy. Head bowed. Could be, he is related to a Pharisee.  Gratitude is in order.

Thank you, thank you.

What did the chair whisper. Ah!
Before winding up you should also comment on matters of religious priority. You need to praise The Revered Exalted Pharisee.

For what? The man must be sick. How could he have the nerve to ask me to repeat nothingness as issues of religious priority.

More applause still. They have understood, they have. Chair is shaking his head.  Must regret having invited me. We have before us a youth who diligently writes for The Messenger. And he had smiled. Well now, look who is smiling.
They are still applauding. They toast. He beams. He is proud.
Thanks son, you have learned well. Interesting. Should one day open the testament for him - of the days of yesteryears in Backwaters. He surely should know. Where are they. Must have sneaked out. Damn them.

*

The applause has ended. The youths are screaming. Now nobody is applauding anymore, except dad. They can no longer stand our odour. It can be caught miles away.
The Fuzz came. Took me away. Dad threatens to cry bloody stifling of religious rights. Warned me to be careful.  I thought they are the ones who should be careful.  The wailing was getting louder. The dogs, the rats, the doves, were now uncontrollable.

*

Monday, June 15.
It happened.
It had happened before. Different camels chased, like sparrows northward they flew,  cold uncertainty in its wake. Fragility a people become. The  reach of their hand, a people did not understand. Independence, idiocracy. The drums fill the air.  Pharisees leered.
Then the nights begin. Listless cold shadows prowl. Dissidents, voices in the wilderness become. In cold sweats, a people bath. Loved ones go away. Where, many do not want to know.  Whispers in the night, a people do not hear.
Then came that one night, in cold sweats of fear a people bathed. Still was the night. No peace, no laughter. Only the sound of heavy boots. Keenly cold shadows prowl. From their beds, loved ones are taken. In the golden hue of the new dawn, into shallow graves loved ones go. No tombstones, no preachermen's words, no wailing. The pain a people hide, the grief, who can not show.
Yet, in the silence of the evening guns, the helicopters, the soft mourning.  Coup d'etat, the evening twilight bellowing. The streets a people take.
Heroes, cold shadows become.
Hallelujah, only memories of darkness.
Petals of roses wither, another rose blossoms.
Hooray,  Zambesia.

*

Still in June. They are dancing, again.
For all the love that knows the painful moments,
needling me torturously.
I am bowing my endless thoughts of you to tell you...

The void of an empty heart dominates,
failure overpowers,
an empty heart,
an unwanted heart,
is a cry in the dark of the night,
a silent death others see only with hindsight.

The dreary wind hisses,
in awkward tunes that clouds a wilting fate.
Then rain,
the heavenly teardrops,
seeming endless.

Pale grey eyes locked on a future that has no image,
the mind dwells in thoughts that lack meaning.

The screaming silence,
terrorises melancholic hope.

The desert sands are coming,
the last grasp,
will only be a straw that snaps before the sand storm.

*

On the way to a plane to a distant land. To the window I turn.  I look out. On the horizon, thick smoke spirals into the skies. So distant, so detached. I do not reach out, I do not  touch. I do not return. My peace at a precipice. My soul chilled, my heart cries out.
Distant  thunder claps I hear. The cries, the anguish on the horizon, I do not hear.  Desert sands I see. In my heart, famished multitudes seek sanctuary. The sanctuary sought is distant. Alas, a people I have failed.
I could have stayed. I could have walked there. Like a date palm I was. Desert sands swelling. No trees, shrubs, to stem the flow. Only of my self I cared. Now desert sands are here, I too is famished. No peace. No sleep.
Well, I hope sweet mom will be sweeter.


*