Saturday, June 8, 2013

Why we are killing the children

For many long years now I have been wearing spectacles with clear lens. Every time the lens shattered, I would hurriedly replace them. If it so happened that at the time I am broke, I would send a myriad SMS’s to friends and enemies soliciting their intervention as I believed I can not do without clear lens. Today, they shattered, and surprisingly, my reality looked much clear. I had peace of mind. I was no longer worked up over what earlier had looked imbecilic. With a shattered lens, I now could understand why the apocalypse of our providence[1] lies in our inability to separate bounded and rider reality from our obtaining providence.

Our obtaining apocalypse of our providence is such that we need to re-interrogate our own existence in today's global context.
Who are we? Is a question, which lately depresses me. We are neither white, oriental, nor black. We are indistinguishable as our reality is a messy mosaic of other people's reality and aspirations. Take our conceptualisation of the institution called marriage. We first marry within our ancestral heritage, then later walk under the arch to marry within the rider's ancestral heritage or what in this backwater country I exist in, they call statutory marriage (sic)!
The other question is: what exactly do we seek as a people? Whose reality are we going to continue existing in? Ours or theirs? Inarguably, the answer is theirs. Period! We see it in the four walls of concrete we call places of education and learning. We even see it in the aspirations of the persons that stand on the podium of these four walls. Their aspirations are mere recognition by them first, and then us.
If we seek to change our despicable and imbecilic providence, it is now and not tomorrow that we should start walking into their world. We can only walk into our world, if and only if we can change the global context to suit our own pursuits. Which we do not even attempt to do, anyway.
Fact is, the bounded, anachronistic and dual reality in which we exist does not really provide understanding and solutions facing most of our people wallowing in an abyss of poverty and despondence. This reality does not help that child dying in a neighbourhood near you as you read this article.
We are poor as countries; the children are dying, not because we lack technology, fiscal resources or human capital. Neither are we poor solely because of explanations provided in liberalist, Marxist, development or imperialist theories.
We are socio-economically and politically poor in today's global context because we seldom take time to interrogate the inconsistencies and variance in our providence. We are also poor because we exist in the rider's bounded reality that we still do not understand! And even if we so proclaim we do, we always still run to the village (as a scapegoat) when it suits us.
The tragedy of our providence lies in our inability to realise that we are poor simply because our existence is dualistic and anachronistic!
It must be understood, that the predominance of a particular rider reality in thought (political or developmental), in our ignorance and understanding is so inbred that what ever knowledge we claim to seek within the bounded reality is in the end ultimately a part of that reality.
Consequently, whatever human development or progress sought, acts within the reality, and will inevitably simply lead to the perpetuity of that reality.
That reality is a foreign reality. If we can not change it now, let us start thinking and acting within that reality. After all, the knowledge we so claim to acquire within the four walls of concrete we spend years in is foreign! How come in our providence we have never come across the dictum - to catch a thief, one has to think like a thief.
Today, the backwater country I exist in is at the crossroads, and yet many of its population do not seem to think so. A country's fiscal resources have and are still being appropriated for the preservation of political hegemony, and a people continue on with their miserable existence like the god of Jesus has come to visit.
People I once respected as independent-minded, people who have the written word on development dialectics on myriad pieces of paper, are today hopping around like monkeys. They are even defending individuals and policies that rape the existence of the children.
It is in times like this, that I sometimes believe there is truth in what we are sometimes called. We are all hopping from a rider reality to a dualistic and anachronistic reality whenever it suits us. The consequences of such behaviour are seldom considered. Do we really realise that we are killing the children?
Children have been dying of hunger and curable diseases, have been mis-educated. Yet, like we did then, and we are doing now, we sit back and marvel at the ingenuity of the rape of the children. I am not an anarchist, but surely if it be that we were in the reality whose providence was a colonialist, many would stand on the watchtower of reason and dissent.  
That Africa and this backwater country I exist in, is today in an abyss of despondence, is indicative of the fact that we did not and still do not take time to unravel our own reality. What horse have we been riding? What horse are we going to ride?
In retrospect, the tragedy of our providence (why we are killing the children) lies in the fact that we have no known reality at all. And this is whether socially, politically or economically. We exist in a vast emptiness of reason, thought and realism. We want to be riders, but we do not even know what a horse is or even what it looks like! Is it white? Is it oriental? Or is it black?
Pax vobiscum.

[1] Providence is here used to mean the prudence and care exercised by someone in the management of resources (which includes the population).

It is in the eyes

It is in the eyes.., that is where the story lies.., in the eyes. You walk into distant places.., the stale smell of poverty hanging timelessly.., in the market place.., in the shebeen.., in the Hotel.., you hear the laughter.., you feel the laughter.., and you feel their warmth. On murky.., muddy streets.., the kids play.., on street corners.., the youths hang.., the smoke thick and pungent.

Africa.., a beautiful continent.., a beautiful people.

But.., the eyes, they tell a different story.., hope lost.., time lost.., a future smoke it embraces.., this is just another sad story the eyes tell. Africa.., it is in the eyes.., you will seek its understanding in books.., in Marxism, imperialism, in church, in the temple, in the mosque.., but there the story of this continent you will not find.., for its story dwells deeper in the eyes.., so deep.., its depth you can discern.

An aeon of innocence

“This is my testament. Tomorrow I may not walk among you. For I man, like many before me have to pass on.  I am not immortal, and this I have always known. As celestial is the eclipse of the end of time, tomorrow, I will walk away, far beyond the future. A distance, the past can not equal.” He paused, and I looked searchingly into his eyes. Trying to understand, a lesson I knew may be the last. He sighed, and I sat up.  Yonder into the deep blue skies, his eyes locked. Mine too, sought the depth of the deep blue skies. It can not be. It surely can not be. But it was. In the deep blue skies, I saw him.
“I may not have lived my existence to the fullest. I may not have been as good as many may have expected. And, indeed, I may not have achieved what many thought I would achieve. But, in my heart I am contended. I walked in meadows, dry brushes and patchy sands attesting to the footprints of those who heard my cries. I sought not echoes of understanding from others. But, if it be there were echoes of understanding, and nought was learnt, then let it be known, I too have my failings.
In this testament, I seek that you not look to the heavens seeking that which afflicts you, I seek that you look closely into your shadow, look over your shoulder and seek my understanding.
If it be that you relate to my understanding, I am sad. For how it be we continue letting a truth that should create deeper blue skies for the children be shrouded in our own inability to walk among the free.  Didn't, you hear that child yesterday calling out for someone to reach and touch her hand? You heard, but just like me, you said it is not my child. If it be it is not your child, how it be you too where a child.  Look inner yourself and reflect on whose child you were, then you will surely find whose child it was that yesterday was calling out to you. 
If these be my last words, I seek not to say to you whose child it was that yesterday was calling out to you. For if you do not know, then I say this to you - you know not humanness. And it was you that walked beside me, yet I never knew you.
If it so be that you do not relate to my understanding then I am happy, as out there, there is not one, but many that still need to look at their own shadow and see who else walks with them.
I am not entirely a pessimist. I am not absolutely saying the human race is irredeemable. There are still some few good humans. If I say things that you might find offending to your sensibilities as a human, then I am happy you at least do agree with me. Often, that which we find offending is the truth.  The tragedy is we have been led to believe in vain and worthless politeness' definitions of what is offending and not offending.
If these be my departing words, then it be that it is an aeon of innocence.
The aeon of innocence evolves out of the desire to understand the seemingly inexplicable. Why a people can allow themselves to slide into the murk of existing on the edge of existence. Seemingly existing without desiring to walk deep greener green meadows of hope and timeless rainbows.
Yes, existing without believing we can walk in exotic gardens below which rich ancient streams flow. This is an existence where a people seek sanctuary in the illusory belief that the politician understands their aspirations and will one day, build bridges on which their posterity will flourish. An existence where a people wait for the politician like they are waiting for the messiah.
Resilience, is a word I have endless heard repeated. The African is resilient and will overcome all! Resilience, my foot, when a people are reduced to existing on the edge. But who exactly is to blame for our woes? For now I will not answer this question, instead I will slide myself into an abyss of nostalgia. And I do this, by looking wherein in my existence, things started to slide, and indeed what lessons if any did my parents impart on me in preparation for what evolves today.
I grew up in a rather moderately well off family. In the early years, we did not lack for anything. We grew up as most urban kids did. The tribulations of our parents were their own. After all, there was always food on the table. That a people could go hungry was alien, until in later years. But then, it really did not happen to us. This I only witnessed. Could be if I too had been hungry, may be I could understand why a people can let themselves slide into an abyss of despair. Yes, why a people can let themselves slide into abject poverty, while the very people they voted for to govern and realise their aspirations line their pockets to utterly contemptible levels.
When, I was of school going age, again their was nothing lacking in my existence. The politician was there, but really the politician was merely the person who at Independence Day celebrations delayed the fun. The politician always seemed to enjoy talking to himself. It was mostly a him, then.
I never really could understand why the people afforded this fun-spoiler so much time. There they were looking up at the podium, gobbling even the foulest words that fell out of the foulest mouth. And did they clap!
Like thunder the ovation always was, and the birds the skies they took. I guess the birds too really did not understand why a people could disturb so much peace just because the politician has opened his mouth. It never really occurred to me that this person who the people seemed to love so much could be the very person who in time the people come to hate so much. I believe I was one up from the people. After all, I already hated this person. But I guess it was all for the wrong reasons. Surely, I could have had more reasons, but really it did not matter. The politician I recall used very strange words. Humanism, man at centre, was rather prevalent those days. Words that had no meaning to me. I was innocent as all children are. Then, there were the times, a new tall building came up, and the politician would again make an appearance. Of course, having a two storey building in your town was something exciting. And if it had lifts, then you should imagine how much fun us kids had!
Yet again, there would stand the politician. Talking and the people awed into silence, then thunder. Never really bothered me much as long as the new watchman would not mind us riding up and down the lift. It is just that I could never fathom a reason why the politician was liked so much. Yes, my father would also often be there. Being a somebody in the town, he somehow had to make an appearance. And did we glow. That is my father up there.
Looking back, I believe I never really witnessed my father smile whenever next to the politician. Could be he always knew something. Must have been a secret. For why else did he not tell us what it is about the politician’s presence that did not make him smile.
Looking back, perhaps it does know matter anymore as I was only living in an aeon of innocence. But, however, now it matters.

Ora pro nobis.

How it be - Mbinji Mufalo

kupuzo - Mbinji Mufalo