Archive for South Africa

Poetic Politics?

Posted in Awareness, CULTURE, HISTORY, Mother Africa, North America with tags , , , , , , on October 7, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

Lyndall Beddy, a South African columnist with News Time, recently wrote an article in what she calls Poetic Politics. I could not get through the whole article before knowing I needed to respond. She wrote,

“European Colonial Doctors, not Indigenous Healers, cured Africa’s diseases: leprosy, yellow fever, bilharzia [sic], malaria, sleeping sickness et al . . . in most of Africa the faith of the people was in cannibalism (body part medicine), witchcraft and spirits. And far from understanding animals, they were afraid of most of them. My own char is too afraid still of frogs or spiders to go near them and I have to evict them from the house.”

Well, that was her opinion, and this is mine . . .

Let’s start with  actual facts. These diseases are collectively known as tropical diseases. They were so named because they thrive in warm climates. They also thrive in communities that are victims of poverty and malnutrition. Malnutrition is a result of poverty. Malnutrition leads to medical disorders and leaves you vulnerable to more diseases. Before colonists came to Africa, communities (villages)  were not victim of poverty. Do not forget Africa was a rich continent and this is what drew the colonist.

Beddy also wrote,

“As I have explained, black American descendents of slaves made up a culture and history of an Africa that was perfect until the nasty whites went to Africa and captured blacks as slaves from this perfect world (which, by the way, was monogamous in the Kwanza Cult version)”.

Kwanza is not a cult. As you should know (since you call yourself an amateur historian), Kwanza is a celebration. It originated in Africa and was adopted in America by members of the African Diaspora in an effort to regain ties with our heritage. As an amateur historian did you not know that slavery robbed the American born members of the African Diaspora of knowledge of our ancestry?

Beddy also wrote,

“The truth is that whites had no resistance to malaria, and did not even enter the interior of Africa until a cure had been found for malaria . . . It was white doctors, during the European colonial period, who found the cures for the many illnesses of Africa, often at considerable risk to their own lives.”

Beddy, the truth is, the colonists were not forcibly taken to Africa in chains. They willfully entered Africa, at their own risk, for their own benefit. I am sure they could barely wait to enter Africa’s interior and “discover” more riches.

Beddy says she is an anti-racist activist, yet she said,

“. . .  in most of Africa the faith of the people was in cannibalism (body part medicine), witchcraft and spirits. And far from understanding animals, they were afraid of most of them. My own char is too afraid still of frogs or spiders to go near them . . .”

In fact, a good lesson to learn in being an activist against racism is not to make racist statements. Have you worshipped with people who practice their traditional or indigenous faith enough to “understand” their faith? Is it not the “spirit” of Jesus that is the cornerstone of the Christian faith? Do you understand “frogs and spiders?”

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Nelson Mandela Celebrates 92nd Birthday

Posted in Humanity, Mother Africa, NEWS with tags , , on July 21, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, celebrated his 92nd birthday on July 18th. In honor of his of gift of 67 years of fighting for human rights, in 2009, the United Nations recognized his birthday as ‘Nelson Mandela International Day.

Income Gap Replaces Racial Divide in South Africa

Posted in Humanity, NEWS with tags , , , on April 12, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

New Bus Rapid Transit system reveals the divisions caused by past racist policies are still in existence due to lingering income gaps.  While workers value the safety and lowered cost of riding a bus to work, affluent residents dislike buses coming through their neighborhoods. Cab drivers who once profited from the commute also protest in fear of loss of income.

The process of change is painful for some and beneficial to others. More change is to come for the country to reverse the effects of the past. Whereas some consider the changes that are still needed as not related to race, it is related to resolving problems caused by racism.

Nelson Mandela

Posted in Awareness, HISTORY, Mother Africa with tags , on February 14, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. – Nelson Mandela

Long Walk to Freedom

Born Rolihlahla Mandela, in Transkei, South Africa, and given the name Nelson by his school teacher. At the time this was done due to the arrogance of British colonization.  Rolihlahla in the Xhosa language was a cultural way of saying “trouble maker”, and Nelson Mandela meant trouble for the apartheid in South Africa.

Apartheid means separation and is a social, economical, and political system of discrimination that was established by the National Party of South African in 1948 and brutally reined until 1990. As a young lawyer, Mandela defended victims of apartheid and as a leader, he and others took over the African Nation Congress, ANC.

At that time, the ANC was a non-violent civil disobedience organization whose protest led to the arrest of eight and a half thousand natives. After the Sharpeville Massacre in which 69 natives were killed by police, the ANC were declared illegal and Mandela changed their strategy to an armed crusade against the military and government targets such as railways, telephone lines, power lines, and buildings.

Mandela continued to lead while in hiding for 17 months before he was arrested and tried. He was sentenced to five years in prison and was arrested again in 1964 and sentenced to life.

Raising support against apartheid prompted the United Nations to impose trade sanctions against South African. On Mandela’s 70th birthday a tribute concert seen by 400 million people was given for the dedication Mandela’s plight brought the crusade to abolish apartheid. In 1990, the U.N. negotiated with newly president F.W. de Klerk for Mandela’s release.

Mandela served 27 years in prison and on February 11th 1990, he was released. In 1994 Mandela was elected president of South Africa and served until 1999.