Own up to your past

Own up to your past

Out across the street from the guest house where I have been this past week, a funny scene is unfolding, two male dogs are trying to mount each other in the manner canines do when one of their female kind is in heat, bwahahaha!
I guffaw alone in the comfort of my room at the gay canine sexual encounters that kept on unfolding in front of me these past few days every time I went out for a smoke to rest and clear my head from all the laborious typing I have had to do during my short stay down here on the Western Cape coast.

Procreation is an act all creatures in nature perform, and ‘science’ says only human beings and dolphins actually do it for something other than procreation, ‘science’ states both these mammalian species actually engage in copulation for fun! This quality however, is largely unacknowledged due to religious dogma despite clear evidence of its practice as is seen in the large amount of porn one encounters on the web or on the street.

I think science lies a lot of times and I am also aware that its nerdy Darwinian perspectives are often unfounded otherwise, why would this Jack Russel and Fox terriers be so busy trying to ‘get it on’ (as in that Marvin Gaye song) everyday despite the fact that both have no capacity to procreate?
Maybe they are lonely seeing that there are no bi . . . es (female dogs . . . and I cannot type the rest of the word because of its hip-hop connotations despite its presence in every edition of the English dictionary I have come across) out here in their neighbourhood. The other reason may be that the two guys are too short and small to mount the only females available out here in their neighbourhood.

The two are left with the only option/s available for any male who wants to plant the seeds of their progeny, on each other. For that, I take my cap off to the two tiny guys working hard to get rid of the loneliness down in this neighbourhood of South Africa’s pink city.
They have acknowledged their lack and they are making up for it by loving each other, if in a sort of obtuse Brokeback Mountain kind of way. And in the middle of all this little same-sex brouhaha by two dogs the size of puppies, I am watching Billy Connoly and Judy Davis’ The Man Who Sued God! This Saturday is panning out to be a fat jol for me! Gay dogs, mad lawyers, strange musings…

Moments earlier, I was reading through the 2008 edition of The Faith of Barack Obama, whilst munching on strips of biltong (dried meat is quite cheap down here by the coast, it’s kind o’ sad that I am a teetotal, for the wine is even cheaper… then I’d really get bazoonked!).
I came across the name of his controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright and realised that perhaps it is right to question the way that religion has somehow managed to convert us into a religion different from our indigenous religious systems (Christianity included . . . I mean, the Black Jesus sort and not the Jewish blond-haired, blue-eyed Jesus of Nazareth type of religion used to brainwash most countries into submitting into the arms of colonialism and perpertual mental slavery) without question.

I am not being racist here, and well I am being racist by questioning why the image of God is limited only to one side of the colour spectrum when we are ‘all’ His children and the ignored side actually in ‘scientific’ Darwinian terms came before the acknowledged side.
The escapist tendency to escape answers related to religion is ‘exactly’ that which taught men to evade doing the honourable act of ‘acknowledging’ those who deserve it.

The missionary does not acknowledge the simple; that he ‘f . . . . d up’ by writing of his host as a collective (native, heathen, caffre, and such other derogatory names) and not as an individual (I have been researching these past two years and have come up with very few names of those aboriginal individuals that showed the missionaries the way… they are hardly mentioned) that accepted his ‘mysterious’ religion and sacrificed his own people’s beliefs that had been in existence since the beginning of time and sustained the ethos that maintained his people throughout the years of history.
God bears no list of favourite races, but if one were to follow the tenets of some sects of Christianity, then they would start believing that God was born in Europe and found nothing but devil worship in Africa. The representation of all that is morally and religiously ethical is given a one sided perspective where one side is cleaner than the other.

Cain is cursed to wander forever with a mark on his forehead, Shem (shame) is given blackness as a curse, Joseph is sold into slavery, and models are used to portray a white Jesus whose statues stand in almost every mission and church on a black continent that is itself limited only to the backend of every decision ‘world’ bodies take. If you think this view is wrong then tell me, what are the names of the wagon drivers when Stanley met Mutesa, when Livingstone traversed the Vic Falls, and when Arbouset, Gosselin and Casalis reached Thaba-Bosiu in 1833?

Scholars have written copious articles and voluminous dissertations on the history of European religion in Africa, I have found almost no names of the selfless individuals that ensured that the missionaries were at home in a place where writers such as Joseph Conrad had the audacity to call The Heart of Darkness.

Of the genocide of the Herero in the Namibia of the early 1900’s one hears very little; the victims more than less remain unacknowledged, limited only to being imprecise numbers and figures in history books. Scholars still come to this day from far-away countries to pursue some obscure theme relevant only to their interests.

The bad is talked of only as it is, a hushed wrong, and over the years the wrongs have piled up to the extent that they are either declared taboo, or are simply shoved under the carpet.  What will happen when they are brought up to the light remains to be seen or is already being seen if movements such as the ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ and others are given due attention.

I have listened to Land Reform discussions in such Southern African countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa and wondered why the name of the true indigenous peoples is never mentioned in the discussions.  The San and the Khoi-Khoi (Die Stranlopers Jan Van Riebeck, Vasco da Gama and other explorers invaded) are actually the owners of the land who were secluded to the deserts when the now shouting masses conquered them.

Talk of land-reform, but never forget to acknowledge the original inhabitants of that land you are raving and ranting to get back from those you call stealers of the land your self-righteous being violently wrested from the aboriginal inhabitants. There are more pressing issues to discuss than fighting for land you might never get to put to good use. Unemployment, poverty and disease plague this continent, and they are rightly the issues we should be addressing instead of rambling on about something that will cause even more strife in their process.

I sit among the grandchildren of a people who faced massacre, rape, and disownment first hand. What we lost was often willingly done in the name of loot and trinkets, our forefathers being too focused on being the most dapper dude amongst their peers.
I hear talk of freedom, and I see true revolutionaries forgotten in the controversial talks and confusing contrasts are created in the process.
Just last week Afonso Dlhakama was quietly buried in his home village in Mozambique, I guess you can tell from the silence how snidely hypocritical we are. This is just the way of Africa, the way of a million critics and a thousand ignorant judges who remember only for their own convenience’s sake, that is, those who are remembered are those whose faces can be printed on t-shirts and sold for coins.

The 2018 April 30 to May 7 issue of Time Magazine lists the 100 most influential people and Emmerson Mnangagwa and the puny Kim Jong Un are present, I am speechless. Dictatorship and backstabbing do have a place on such international platforms as Time magazine!
The reality is that notoriety and fame mean nothing these days, the number of people that ‘follow’ one actually count far more than etiquette does.
As long as those numbers keep rolling in and are attached to one’s name, it is acknowledgement enough; a strange kind of twisted acknowledgement related to a disappearing world that has descended to the levels of the morbid governed by what the social media says.

In a talk with a young man recently, he spoke of how one should learn to conform to succeed in this current world made of ‘yes men’ states. I wish I could conform, but it goes against my ethos and my understanding of what freedom means; being able to do what I wish without infringing on the rights of others and not being forced to do what goes against the basic norms of good societal living for the sake of pleasing someone and their interests.

Being the tool of an oppressive system means that one is an oppressor too, no matter how subtle their methods of subjugation. If one claims to free the people and then starves them the next day whilst he flies in private jets and has private chefs, then such a figure is in my books the worst kind of oppressor, a smiling Judas that stabs one underhand whilst proclaiming their innocence.
It is the reason why I have for the longest time thought that political rule in any African state is actually a farce meant to serve only the interests of the ruling party and its members.

There are no common interests in terms of everything, there are only national coffers to plunder for the sake of the aggrandisement of those that can access them. Those that stood in long lines to make the vote are forgotten as soon as the poll results are released.
The same issue of Time fortunately lists South Africa’s Trevor Noah and Xi Jinping, two men I have grown to admire, the former for his frank sense of humour used to address our cross-cultural differences that make us common, and the latter for being the most pragmatic president in the history of time (look where China is if you are tempted to disagree).

For the past 50 years and more, President Xi has been watching his “Water Droplets Drilling through Rock” theory become a practice. Trevor, despite his obvious youth has through his memoir Born a Crime and appearance on The Daily Show brought the world much closer to understanding ourselves as the human race despite the many fallacies in our character and the fallouts in our history.

As much as the world may seem to feign ignorance and amnesia, there are individuals that shaped the events that moulded the history of the world. We are tempted by choruses of cynics and ‘experts’ to ignore certain names, but we should not for then the real truth about who contributed to the shaping of the ideologies that govern the human race will disappear, and we will all have lost a significant part of ourselves; the past that formed our present which we must never forget if we are to progress to the future

I have to acknowledge too the importance of places where the heritage of the Basotho and Southern Africa can be clearly understood such as the Morija Museum and Archives.  The curator, Stephen Gill, has proven time and again that indeed, there are people dedicated to the understanding of our cultural essence and historical heritage.

Just two years ago, my knowledge was limited only to the vague (popular) knowledge of who Morena Moshoeshoe I is, but after the trips and the discussions I had with Ntate Steve, I now possess enough knowledge to dare to go deeper than the surface and write on the lives of his ‘children’ who contributed to the history of the land of Lesotho and Southern Africa (and perhaps the world if the names Thomas Mokopu Mofolo, David Cranmer Theko Bereng and others are to be given due consideration/acknowledgement).  I cite my sources, and I acknowledge my sources to avoid being labelled a plagiarist in the future. Let us learn to acknowledge. Rightly!

By:Tšepiso S Mothibi

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