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