Once Had A Friend

I once had a friend.

She told me the truth.

The truth was mixed with her fantasy and my anticipation.

I once had a friend.

She told me a lie.

Her truth I treated like reality and never interrogated.

I once had a friend.

I told her, I knew that her truth were lies.

I no longer have a friend.

Untamed

Emotions are supposed to be raw, wild, brutal…

You don’t want them to be a flame behind a lantern glass.

You want them to be a bursting flame, with sparks to spark more in you.

Not as fragile as a candle, that can die at the gentlest breeze.

Long Live Robert Mugabe, Your Soul Lives On in US by H.E Mr E Miyeni

I sheared tears when I saw, the televised arrival of the remains of the late President Robert Migabe at the Robert Mugabe international Airport in Harare.

I sheared tears that were a surprise to me because he, the late former President, is a Zimbabwean and I, a South African.

Nothing could be common and intimate between me and the late President of Zimbabwe because between the age of the two of us is more than 40 years generational gap that would dictate no common affinity between the both of us.

Yet, he the late President Robert Mugabe was the first seating or otherwise Head of State whose hand I shook in the early nineties at JFK Airport when he attended the UN General Assembly partially as the chair of the Frontline States at the eve of the demise of the apartheid regime.

I remember his soft palm and a gentle hand shake, unlike the anticipated hands of a freedom fighter.

I remember as if it is yesterday, his concerned and sympathetic eyes that settle reassuringly on my innocent face as I was announced to him as the representative of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania.

I suddenly felt reassured that my decision to fight against colonial apartheid and injustice was correct becuase, I felt that I was spiritually in good company.

I sheared tears because little did I anticipate his unwavering pronouncement that, until South Africa is free, no African country will be free.

Indeed he shared the podium if the UN General Assembly with one of the great front men and big personalities of the struggle against colonial occupation, Yasser Arafat, whose name was my unofficial nickname given to me by my friends at varsity.

Arafat was equally a towering personality whose palm was equally comforting when I rushed to shake his hand after he had presented his speech at the General Assemby podium.

These two struggle luminaries were at that time the uncompromising resistance voice that held sway in overseeing that justice, peace, freedom and liberation shall revisit countries between Palestine to the north and South Africa to the South.

They, in unison demanded the release of the then most famous political prisoner, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who I subsequently met for the first time at close range during his first visit to the US after his release from prison.

On the western front, the illuminating voice of Fidel Costro bellowed throughout the General Assembly Hall, dwarfing the very attentive silence echoing in its uncompromising demand for universal justice by unhinging the chains of colonial oppression while resisting the US unjust Cuban Blockade.

He, Fidel Castro, also was the front spoke person for the oppressed people of South Africa.

They all have died and the recent death of Robert Mugabe marks the end of an era of the global giants who stood towering over all, not because they were the richest leaders or ruled over the richest countries in the world, but they were respected, honoured and trusted in life as they are in death, because of the values they stood ready to die for.

I shall sheared no tears any more because I see no other man to pick their baton to move forward our struggle.

I shall depend on my wits to sustain pressure against the forces of darkness. I remain exposed and directly in the frontline of the firepower of the brutal persisting dark force of oppression.

I wonder to myself, what will be of the fatherless and voiceless people whose interests are left unguarded before the devouring competitive global infrastructure wherein money holds sway above ideals.

Go well the Son of the Soil, go well our Liberation Hero, Go Well.

I know that in your deathbed, you knew that the battle for liberation was not finished. Only the strategies of the colonialists have morphed while persuing their original objective of conquering the people and plunder their resources to finance the unsustainable life styles of morden opulence at the peril of our very common vessel of life, the planet.

The future heroes shall come from the unexpected personalities. Your batons shall be picked from you, our Fallen Heroes and put to good use.

If not for ourselves, we shall continue to resist foreign invaders even if to honour you through receiving your spiritual support, for tomorrow shall come.

Rest Now Son of Africa, Rest for you Lived a Fulfilling Life in Sacrifice for the Down Trodden Lots.

Rest Now Son of the Soil for in Your Memories, We Know What to Do to Secure our Future,” Rest in Peace.

South African Representative in Mali.
His Excellency Mr E Miyeni.
Ambassador Etraordinary and Plenipotentiary.

Memoir on RG Mugabe and his Passion for Zimbabwe by David Van Wyk (@_David_van_wyk)

“On the passing of Robert Mugabe.
Julie and I landed in Harare on 13 January 1983. It was to be our home for the almost the next decade. My daughters Roxanne and Rosa were born there in Parirenyatwa public hospital. #RIPMugabe

It was eerie because just days before the Apartheid regime began destabilising Zimbabwe by blowing up the fuel pipeline between the Mozambican port city of Beira and Harare. The plane landed in a city in which nothing moved, no busses, no cars, no noise.

Robert Mugabe and ZANU came to power in 1980.
The new government dramatically reduced military spending and massively increased health and education spending, building thousands of schools and clinics across the country, and dramatically reduced the housing backlog.
Teachers were imported from all over the world, Australia, New Zealand, England, Mauritius, Ghana and Uganda. Teacher training colleges were set up everywhere. He was, first and foremost, a teacher with a great love for education, which he wanted pass on to all Zimbabweans. The new government also imported experts, on condition that every expatriate employed had to be shadowed by a black Zimbabwean who would take over the job once sufficiently skilled.

But then South Africa blew up the pipeline and unleashed RENAMO on steroids to try and destroy Samora Machel’s government in Mozambique. Zimbabwe is a landlocked country. If things go wrong in neighbouring countries Zimbabwe feels the consequences. To the south the Apartheid regime, to the east Mozambique.
The Zimabwean army was deployed to save Mozambique from the ravages of a terrorist war trained armed and financed by South Africa. Zimbabwe’s independence started going pear shaped as a result. This part the media never tells you.

South Africa openly stated that it would cozy up to ZAPU in Zimbabwe and turn it into a second RENAMO. ZAPU was not interested in an alliance with the Apartheid regime given its close historical relations with the ANC and its association with the Soviet Union. However, just the threat from South Africa was sufficient for Mugabe to unleash the infamous Fifth Brigade on Matabeleland. The South African connection is something that the media also conveniently never mentioned.

Mugabe also made many mistakes. He took too long to deal with the land question. He tried too hard at reconcilliation with a racist white minority who were simply not interested. He alienated the urban working class. He tried too hard to appease the British commonwealth.
Zimbabwe is a favourite hobby horse of neo-liberals. They particularly chew on the contentious issue of the land reform program, but like all neo-liberals they are averse to history, and so distort the truth.
It is not the land reform per se that is the problem in Zimbabwe it is the fact that it did not occur soon after independence.

He thought that the IMF and the World Bank would offer solutions to the economic crisis that followed the impact of the destabilisation of Mozambique.
It is also a fact that in the late 1980s Mugabe became a slave to the World Bank and the IMF who destroyed not only Zimbabwean agriculture but also recommended the wholesale deindustrialistion of the country.
Your agriculture collapsed after the IMF/World Bank recommended in 1988 that the Zim government increase subsidies to cash crops and decrease subsidies to food crops so as to repay its inherited war debt from UDI quicker (The World Bank and the IMF had funded the Rhodesian army).
In addition, the World Bank imposed a very costly new coal-fired power station in Hwange and completely mismanaged the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Commission.
The drought of 1989 saw both cash crops and food crops failing, resulting in the first food lines in Zimbabwe. The IMF/World Bank then imposed the Economic Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP) on an already suffering population, which Zimbabweans joked should read Economic Suffering for African People.

At the time, Mugabe was the blue-eyed boy of the UN, the Commonwealth, and the World Bank and speculation was that Bernard Chidzero would get a senior appointment at either the World Bank or the IMF. Mugabe happily detained and tortured any left-wing critics at the time and sent in the army to remove ‘squatters’ from white-owned farms. He also foolishly removed all protection for local industry at the advice of the Worl Bank and the IMF, as these global institutions advised him that he could import manufactured goods more cheaply than what Zimbabwe produced them. The country manufactured Land-Rover to 80% local content, it produced its own radios and electronic goods (Supersonic) and cloth (David Whitehead). As well as assembling Citroen and Peugeot.

In following World Bank and IMF advice the country became rapidly deindustrialised and unemployment grew apace.
Mugabe’s failure and that of the British government to address the land issue early on and taking advice from the IMF and World Bank are what led to the country’s economic challenges.

As a refugee, Zimbabwe gave me a job as a teacher. It allowed me to do my Honours degree at the University of Zimbabwe. It treated me and my family with respect. I have fond memories and made many friends in Zimbabwe & globally because of the exposure to many nationalities from Africa and globally.

Mugabe was a highly educated and articulate man. Under different circumstances he could have taken Zimbabwe far, but we do not make history under conditions of our own choosing.”

The above is a thread of tweets by David Van Wyk and I tried to construct them into a connected memoir of RG Mugabe and his love for Zimbabwe.

Prayer and Action

I saw a facebook status update, from a friend and for the life of me. I don’t remember who, but they wrote something to the following effect : “I use to believe that prayer changes everything, but I have since learned that prayer changes me to be able to change things”.

This status update has been stuck in my head and the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.
No matter how much you pray, God will not do away with temptation, challenges and our weaknesses.
Religion is not about your environment but it is about your relationship with God/Allah/The Creator. For as long as you are in peace spiritually, no confusion, temptation, challenges or weakness will make your world spin.

Prayer is aimed at changing you and not you situation or environment. You have the power to change your situation for as long as self is content and peaceful. You will not be destructed, tempted or swayed by your weaknesses but will remain resolute in your path, decisions or hearts desires.

Word alone will not change that which is of this world, the spirit was given a body in order to influence that which is of this world. Allow prayer to change you and not hope that it changes your environment or situation.

My old man once told me a story of a man on the one end of a dam and wanted to cross over to the other side. He saw a boat, it had two rowing sticks. One written Action and other Prayer, when the man used all his energy on one, the boat would turn in circles but never moved forward. Until the man learned that prayer and action have to be in sync, one without the other one cause confusion.

To the friend who posted “I use to believe that prayer changes everything, but I have since learned that prayer aimed at changing me in order to be able to change things”. Thanks a lot, I learned alot from your status.

Mzwakhe Mbuli ~ The Day Shall Dawn.

We saw life We had hope. His words echoed victory Brought Black pride to the young. We were fascinated by his word play We yearned to be writers with sole. To twang and pronounce English words like the British, was not part of our world With a heavy accent, we flowed and made sense talking this foreign language. The canvas was tainted Our pure memory was polluted. All which was his lessons, was lost His words lost meaning, his tapes left to collect dust.

Nsinya Wa Milawu

Rhandza Hosi Xikwembu xa wena, hi mbilu ya wena hinkwayo.
Ni moya wa wena hinkwawo,
Ni ku anakanya ka wena hinkwako .

Lowu hi wona nawu lowukulu, lowo rhanga.
Kutani lowa vumbirhi, lowu fanaka na wona
Hi lowu wunge : Rhadza munhu-kuloni, kukota loko u tirhandza.