Saturday, March 21, 2015

Cecil John Rhodes --- the furore over his statue

South Africa is in the grip of  a somewhat obscene debate over the statue of Cecil John Rhodes that stands in the grounds the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
I have said obscene because much of the offerings can only be described as irrational emotive

It is actually a bad indictment on our education system to have produced students with such an appalling lack of understanding of history, in its context and in the realities of those times. 
It is mind boggling that people who collectively will never contribute even a fraction of what Rhodes contributed to the development of this region presume to condemn him as much as Rhodes may not have been perfect and may have had some grievous faults, real and imagined.
Certainly if Rhodes does not represent the values of the University the statue should be moved.  However there does not need to be any hatred involved.

As a child in the early 1940s I spent much time at my Gogo's village in the District of Kezi, Southern Rhodesia.
My Gogo, Mafulela Thebe, was a very proud Ndebele, steeped in the culture and tradition of her people.
It was simply marvelous to listen to fireside discussions at which there were some who had actually been at the famous defeat of the Alan Wilson Patrol in December 1893 at Shangani. [see].
From these elders I gained a pretty clear impression about our history and their attitude.
They did not love Rhodes. But they did greatly respect him. They regarded him as principled, honourable and as an example of good leadership (of his people). Honour was a greatly prized attribute to the Ndebele people.
The reason for this attitude was simple. In those days the universal culture of man was "invade, conquer and subjugate". This had been so from time immemorial across the planet. [It only changed in 1948 when the UN signed off on the UDHR after 2 bloody world wars and the Holocaust]
In fact the amaNdebele were only in that region because Mzilikazi had trekked from Zululand and forcefully subjugated the locals. They were also acutely aware of the bloody regional mfecane campaigns by King Shaka Zulu and Mzilikazi.
So the universal culture was “victori spolia", i.e, "to the the victor the spoils". As said, that was the culture across this planet. and had been so from the time of Noah's Arc. You were either "dominant or "subjugated".
Their only lament, and it was very much a never ending lament, was that Rhodes and Co had "isgwagwagwa". Isgwagwagwga was their name for the Maxim Machine Gun and "isgwagwagwa" was the sound it made when being fired in battle.
They were as certain as ever that, had Rhodes not had this advantage "their people" in Southern Africa, including the Zulu, would never have been beaten. 
That was their lament, no more no less ... and the stories were long and colourfull about their attempts to negate the terrible advantage the invaders had because of isgwagwagwa.
They respected Rhodes and his people for their education and technological advancement. Remember we did not even have the wheel at that time.
In the result they had elected to guard Rhode's grave "forever".
She must be turning in her grave in the light of recent events. She would undoubtedly see this as cowardly unprincipled, dishonorable nonsense.
I can hear her exclaim - "Hau, we could not beat Rhodes when he was standing in front of us, so now we want to fight with his statue!!!??? Who can do such a thing .... only u'mtwana we mpisi (the child of a hyena).".
The hyena was seen as being always guilty of detestable, despicable conduct.
That is how it was at that time.

PS: copied from a social media post:-
Thabo Kunene: - Some ppl may hate Rhodes for reasons known to themselves but he will always b part of southern african history.yes he changed the face of the region when he colonised it but there was also the other side of Rhodes as our elders used to tell was Rhodes' negotiating skills that endned the rebellion by the Ndebele in 1896.Rhodes realised force would make the situation worse and he decided to confront the Ndebele in their trenches in the Matobo area and negotiated for ceasefire and he won.The Ndebele gave him the name Umlamlankunzi meaning the peacemaker who separated the two bulls.he loved Matobo area and chose to b buried there when he died.His grave is a kilometre from where the Ndebele King, Mzilikazi is buried.We have a very rich history in Matabeleland

Lubimbi Gwevula: --- I am Zimbabwean myself from the Matabeleland province, Robert Mugabe killed 26000 of my people after independence, and he still hasn't apologised for that, he even calls it, "a moment of madness", let's avoid being racist it's no use to judge people by the colour of their skin. Mthembu some of your tribesman migrated to the Eastern Cape during the Mfecane wars simply because they did not want to be under Shaka's Zulu nation, i'm talking about the Hlubi nation, also known as the Fengus, these people went as far as joining the British army in their fights against other Xhosa groups, this goes on to show that we often look at history with rose tinted glasses were all blacks fight with whites, blacks fought against blacks(eg the Ndwandwe-Zulu war) and whites fought against whites(eg the Anglo-boer war)

PS: Wikipedia --- - The awful power of the Maxim machine gun
"Lobengula's troops were well-drilled and formidable by pre-colonial African standards, but the Company's Maxim guns, which had never before been used in battle, far exceeded expectations, according to an eyewitness "mow[ing] them down literally like grass".[16] By the time the Matabele withdrew, they had suffered around 1,500 fatalities; the Company, on the other hand, had lost only four men.[16] A week later, on 1 November, 2,000 Matabele riflemen and 4,000 warriors attacked Forbes at Bembezi, about 30 miles (48 km) north-east of Bulawayo,[15] but again they were no match for the crushing firepower of the major's Maxims: about 2,500 more Matabele were killed.[15]

Monday, March 2, 2015

Why I am not full of CRAP

I am 50% African and 50% Caucasian.
1. At age two (2). Caucasian doctors saved my life when I was poisoned.
2. At age five (5), German nuns gave me sanctuary, safety and security at Sacred Heart Home, Bushtick, Rhodesia, even though I was the direct descendant of an English man, and the English had bombed German civilians to smithereens at Dresden just a few years before.
3. I received a fantastic education at Embakwe Coloured School, Plumtree, from Irish Nuns, even though it was the most under resourced school in the Rhodesia, with the nearby African Schools of Empandeni and Tekwane being better resourced.
4. I was mentored at an early age by my Ndebele Gogo and an African sangoma/spirititulist, Fuyane, who gave me values that have been with me for life.
5. As children in the village of Brick Fields; Thorngrove, our hero was an African man named Ginger who taught us so many life skills and fired up our imaginations.
6. I was trained by British army officers and instilled with the precious attributes of discipline and dependability.
7. I was appointed as the first non-White Judicial Officer in this region by Prime Minister, Ian Smith, after his arch racist Minister of Justice Lardner Burke declined to do so.
8. My son was saved by an African ZANLA guerrilla doctor in Chiredzi, in 1961.
9. I was elevated to the High Court Bench of Zimbabwe, as a Judge, in 1987, by an African Prime Minster, Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
10. My other son was saved by a Caucasian surgeon in Botswana in 1966.
11. My family was welcomed and loved by all in Botswana in 1992 and we spent 5 very happy years there.
12. I was welcomed and loved by all in Namibia and spent 5 very happy years there. In Namibia I was told by a King: -"Be good to a stranger, because remember that you too were once a stranger".
13. My life was saved by a team made up of Coloured, African and Caucasian medical staff at Pretoria East Hospital in 2007.
14. I have been abused by Caucasians; I have been abused by Africans; I have been abused by an Indian.
15. I have experienced racist/tribalistic tendencies on the part of members of all groupings in this region and even on my part.
16. I have experienced unfair treatment at the very highest level in South Africa by both African and Caucasian State officials.
17. I have experienced incredible welcome, acceptance, love and affection by the Carte Blanche team made up of all ethnic groups at their Johannesburg Studio during the Oscar Pistorius Trial of the Century..
18…. And since then I have been stopped by hundreds of people, of all ethnic groups in this region, who have only been effusive, gracious and generous in expressing their regard for me.
So I see people as human … not as colours.
Black and white are colours. (In any event most prefer my colour ... lol)
I love the richness of diversity in nature, including the incredible diversity of humans.
I do not put humans in boxes because of their race, ethnicity and because of what their forebears might have done or nor done.
All my life I have insisted on no more than that I have the same opportunity to realize my potential as a human being as others.
My skin tone is a matter of natural diversity … not a source of grievance or entitlement .... and it certainly was never an excuse for failure on my part.
So I reject crude race based affirmative action as extremely insulting.
I accept the person in front to me as an equal human until he or she does something to change that perception.

Also go to ----

To get a book that will enthrall, intrigue, entertain and provoke very meaningfully go to --

Free counters!