Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Edward Abbey

13 December 2002

It's Friday. The end of the year approaches. It's time for reflection.

In my efforts to focus on reading African literature, as well as the works of authors from the developing world, I am finally finding a home for my world view. It's a relief to know that my way of thinking is not wrong. It's just different to what I was taught at school and different to my cultural background. It's different to the way many of my friends and family members think. So I am going to try and share my views with them in a non-judgemental way. No one's view of the world is wrong. The tragedy is simply that one world view (that of the west) is being systematically forced on the entire planet. (Even our thought patterns are being colonised by globalisation.) Our subjection to a universalised western norm is even alienating our consciousness Those of us with a different way of thinking, end up thinking there is something wrong with us. That is what I am going to fight in a forceful but non-confrontational way with every breath I take.

TODAY'S TRIBUTE: Franz Fanon, anti-colonial revolutionary and humanist in the true sense of the word. Fanon was born in Martinique and spent many years living and working in Africa. "Because of his schooling and cultural background, the young Fanon conceived of himself as French, and the disorientation he felt after his initial encounter with French racism decisively shaped his psychological theories about culture." Fanon, who spent many years working as a medical doctor in Algeria, desegrated wards and improved conditions in hospitals. Fanon has been criticised by post-colonial feminists for his simplistic interpretation that that black women were complicit in colinisation. But despite these errors of judgement, Fanon was a person of courage and conviction. We need more like him to ward off the new era of colonisation which is currently underway. The colonisation of our minds!

Mbali, people first, batho pele

11 December 2002

I came across an article on the international response (or lack thereof) to the genocide in Rwanda in mid-1994. It was bizarre how everyone (the UN, the US, Belgium) that held enough power to change the situation chose instead to fiddle while the country burned. The man in charge of the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda at the time was Romeo Dallaire. He has said time and time again that if he had been sent reinforcements they could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. (Read his book: Shake Hands with the Devil - The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda) Instead he and his men witnessed the massacres in which 800 000 people died in a period of three months.

On a more positive note, my hero for today.

TODAY'S TRIBUTE: Although not an African, Romeo Dallaire of Canada is someone who truly loves the continent. He tried to put a stop to the Rwanda massacres and although he was blocked at every point, he kept trying. Today he lives with the torment. We in Africa salute you comrade Dallaire. Your memory lives on. Aluta Continua

28 November 2002

Mielie impaled himself on a devil's fork fence last night. He's survived and is recovering in hospital. But he gave us one big skrik, that's for sure. My boy Mielie - an African cat of wonderI wonder why suburban South Africans need to fight crime with a devil's fork fence - such bad feng shui anyway! If you have to put up barriers, then build walls that don't hurt animals. Or better still, install an alarm dammit! Cross. Very, very, cross I am. Had to pay a fee to drive on a toll road this morning. It got me to the vet fast, but it made this socialist heart very, very sore to have to pay to travel on god-given roads, in a god-given land and on mother earth, mother afrika.

How dare they bomb the sacred continent. Leave Africa alone whoever you are. Leave us out of your fights. We are members of the non-aligned movement. My thoughts are with Kenya at this time. See:

07 November 2002

You have to have a presence in order to receive presents. If you're at the point of pre-science you are on a precipice. Only abseiling will do.

TODAY'S TRIBUTE: Another great African who was denied the opportunity to play a role in changing the fortunes of the continent he so loved. Angolan poet and doctor Agostino Neto's main wish was to save lives and see his people receive health services. He later become independent Angola's first president and despite his best efforts to normalise his country Western interests saw to it that he didn't succeed. Just one example is the dispute with Zaire over the region of Katanga (originally part of Angola) got in the way of progress. The then Zaire under the infamous Mobutu and allies — including the US, France, Belgium and Morocco — promptly intervened and caused havoc in northern Angola in order to ensure that the mineral wealth of the region would come their way. To this day blood diamonds are still being mined in the region. Jonas Savimbi and co saw to the destruction of the rest of the country. But that is now history. Angola is still on her knees, but peace has finally come to the shattered country. Let's pray it lasts.


06 November 2002

No time for deep thoughts - or any thoughts for that matter. Just a quick tribute.

TODAY'S TRIBUTE: Professor Wangari Maathai is the coordinator of Kenya’s Greenbelt Movement, a tree-planting and women's empowerment programme. Over the years, she has learned that defending Kenya’s public forests is dangerous business. Dr Mathaai has been repeatedly beaten and imprisoned for her efforts to preserve Kenya’s natural wonders. She and the Greenbelt Movement have been labelled by the powers that be, as "subversive". May the ancestors protect Dr Maathai


05 November 2002

Okay first real post! The African prescence on the Internet is a barely audible peep. I hope this web log will add to the volume ever so slightly - and I look forward to the day when the African lion roars, not only on the Internet but in every aspect of life. Welcome to the African century. Watch out here we come!

It's 2:30 pm my time. Summer is here. The sub-continent is sweltering today. So the end of the year draws near and the rain has started falling. I do love summer. Diwali is underway I heard the clap of fireworks in the distance last night. It went on until the early hours. Tomorrow marks the start of Ramadan too. So for many of my fellow South Africans, this is a very special time of year.

TODAYS TRIBUTE: Today's tribute goes to Ogoni writer Ken Saro-Wiwa who spoke out against human rights abuses and environmental issues in the oil-rich Niger delta. He paid the ultimate price in 1996 when he was hanged by the then military regime. I salute you hero of Africa. Aluta continua. The struggle continues.

ps Free Mzwakhe ...
Just a test for the first post!