Of My Ancestry And The Heritage In My Roots

Avuxesheni avuxeni (hello hello)

I believe Africa is rich with creativity, legends and history deep like the roots of a giant tree.
Come sit with me by the fire, where every good story begins, and because we should not waste such a beautiful flame,  come sit with me and lets watch this clay pot of water boil.

clay-pot-cooking
They say a watched pot never boils so while we wait for it to boil I will tell you the little that I know about my culture.

I am Machangana or Shangaan, a tribe of the Tsonga people. The origins of these my people is steeped in controversy. People use the term Tsonga interchangeably with Shangaan and to further muddy the waters the same language XiTsonga is spoken but it never quite means the same things.

Before the were Shangaan people the were Tsonga people, who hailed from East Africa part of the Bantu groups of the Ronga, Tswa and Ndau who slowly migrated south of the continent, in search of greener pastures, literally, for their livestock, they were pastoral people.

In the  1800s the Tsonga, settled South of Africa until along came the Mfecane (time of trouble/ forced migration) as Shaka The Zulu consolidated all the other tribes into the Zulu Empire, resulting in tribes migrating to settle in new areas.

Mfecana

Soshangane an army general “fled” north crossing the Zambezi into Rozvi territory (what is now Zimbabwe) with some of “his people” finally ending up in Mozambique.
The name Shangaan is derived from the name of Soshangane. Somewhere along all that, we came to be here.

tsonga

Here is a photo of my grandfather and I. He taught me some of what I know about who I am, where I come from, how I have my totem which is Fire, and the praise song for my people. I am from a long line of royalty House: VaHlengwe

generationUya chisa mlilo
Hikisile chauke
Chakungedzele ribweni
Loki uchiona chiehixele
chifile katika
Chihanya hlungwani angahlinga
Aukhosi wahina u’nzilo
Hi mina Beaton
WaGilbert
WaTsamwisi
WaMzamani
WaNdalega
waNgwena
WaMatsena
Wa Bhangwani
wakanga nzela ribwe.
Xikovele xigombeeeeeeeeee
I imagine people dancing around a huge fire as they say that.

Shangaan village

I am not entirely sure of the spellings or what that all means I know its something about an ode to Fire (my totem)

Who are you and where you come from? We are all migrants we started of somewhere and here we and here we are.

In the spirit of UBuntu I am because you are…

~B

Day 22 Africa: Stories From Home

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Of Creative Mornings: A philosophy Of Communitism

“What Africa needs the most, is not food aid, drought relief or funding…… what Africa needs the most is Courage”

-Thembe Khumalo

 

 

A quote from Thembe Khumalo during her presentation at the Creative Mornings Harare Chapter #CMhre titled A philosophy of communitism.

A philosophy of communitism

 

Creative Mornings are monthly sessions held across hubs in cities all over the world, where creatives meet for a breakfast talk and a host shares a brief talk. The theme for the month was community… #cmCOMMUNITY

This is a brief overview of Thembe Khumalo’s presentation A Philosophy Of Communitism.

A philosophy of communitism

Thembe Khumalo is a poet, writer, newspaper columnist and descendant of the Zulu warrior clan and she shared this as preview of her presentation:

If you are wondering just like I did, when I first heard the word communitism, if it even is a word, well it is now…… Local action for a universal mission: communitism

Are you familiar with the story of the Redwood tree forests they grow tall, standing for centuries upon centuries, yet their roots are not overwhelmingly deep….

redwood forest

The secret lies underground, their roots, though they don’t grow deep, they grow wide, their roots intertwine…….

landscaping around tree roots Redwood Tree Roots Intertwined

Young trees grow, their roots sheltered and nourished by the roots of trees of old, all trees connected, through time and space.

And just like this nature teaches us about how our strength lies in each other

People need people.

We understand this lesson and yet, here we all, here we all are and here we all are still knowing what we are…..

#CMcommunity #cmhre

We live in fear, and the things we fear the most, are not soldiers, guns and rioting protestors, what we fear the most are the things that make us vulnerable yet these are the very things that make us magic that humanise us/

We afraid of intimacy because intimacy equals In To Me See

intimacy = Into me see

We sweep under the rug the parts of ourselves that we think do not conform, hiding behind labels and stereotypes, Pastor, Leader, Parent, Youth, Aunt, Uncle…. Imprisoned in safe spaces of silence where we can not speak.

Yet the things that keep us safe are not our safe spaces the bars on our windows, the walls and fences around us, locks, the army and their bullets. The things that keep us safe are one another.

diversity

What we need is the courage to be who we are and to be accepting of who others are. Being courageous is just like exercising a muscle the more you work it out the bigger and stronger it gets…………….

beatonm5

I have untold stories saved in draft folders in long forgotten drives because I am afraid of the little bits of my soul exposed to whoever chances upon my pages but if I never get the courage to tell my own story, who shall tell it for me, and this, this is why I write…..

#CMcommunity

#MyAfricaMyWords

~B

 

Day 2 of the blogging challenge

Photo Credits:

Thembe Khumalo

Cde Tseisi

The FeedZW

Silviakwin

FaithKats

Tony Howel redwood trees

 

 

Of Black Panther: A review of sorts

I finally watched Black Panther I get what all the noise was about

Yey

This isn’t exactly a review as such:

Wakanda could be Africa’s story had Africa not been colonised and allowed to flourish …agreed.

However if Wakanda existed the way it’s depicted in the movie then it would have been an inward-oriented country; that would have probably let the rest of Africa be colonized. I find it hard to imagine an empire which would not adhere to the uBuntu philosophy (uBuntu is Nguni-Bantu word for Humanity) I am because We Are

ubuntu

If Wakanda where truly an African country (Chadwick Boseman, who plays Black Panther is said to have told The New York Times that Wakanda is a fictional version of “the Mutapa empire of 15th-century Zimbabwe.”) Wakanda would have dealt with world outside its borders with more humanity, humanity towards others.

mutapa empire

The Mutapa Empire which spanned a significant portion of southern Africa might not have had vibranium but they had gold and vast amounts of it too which they traded freely, far and wide if not a bit too free and far which is how mining claims became colonial instruments one treaty at a time……..

Founders of the Mutapa Empire are descendants of those who built the Great Zimbabwe in the 11th century

great zimbabwe20180528170332
Great Zimbabwe from where the name Zimbabwe are the largest and most puzzling architecture South of the Sahara competing only with the Pyramids of Egypt.

“Among the gold mines of the inland plains between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers there is a fortress built of stones of marvelous size, and there appears to be no mortar joining them…. …. This edifice is almostsurrounded by hills, upon which are others resembling it in the fashioning of stone and the absenceof mortar, and one of them is atower ”

1531 Vicente Pegado, a Portuguese army captain

The architecture is so mind boggling that it’s not surprising history would not allow us to have achieved this by ourselves and would rather write about the Portuguese, Phoenicians or biblical characters yet it is a birthright from our ancestors how far would we have gone had we been left to flourish?

Back to Wakanda

So vibranium, all I know about it, is that it’s what Captain America’s shield is made from and the Black Panther’s suit and claws and that it absorbs kinetic energy but how does this explain how Wakanda managed to get so technologically advanced to be many years ahead of the rest of the world unless if the heart shaped herb not only grants you superhuman strength, speed and instincts but makes you smarter………

I kind of sympathized with Killmonger and thought they deserved having him come back and shake the cobwebs out of the cocooned lifestyle they built around themselves and even rooted for him a little bit.

What I loved most is how the women of Wakanda where their own people first, strong, proud and stood up for themselves; from Princess Shuri who would not let tradition limit hair, to the regal Nakia

A-great-queen

and lets not forget their most elite fighting force the Dora Milaje an all woman ensemble led by the formidable General Okoye

When what’s his name says “would you kill me my love’ and Okoye replies “for Wakanda without a question

black panther scene

But I did feel their “civil war” escalated on flimsy grounds and I think I might have disliked W’kabi more than the “villain” killmonger for taking so long to get to back his senses.

Can we also talk about the language of Wakanda though; what was that? I can’t be the only one made to cringe by them murdering the Xhosa language like that; what was with adding west/central African inflections to their speech and not just picking a west African language, maybe if the cast had been peppered with a more local talents then they might have spoken more naturally. I noticed a few faces from local TV soapies such as fondly known as Mamokhete from Rhythm city, Connie Chiume played the role of the Mining tribe elder

conie-chiume

Overally well what can I say the numbers speak for themselves it’s a record breaking blockbuster

Wakanda Forever

~B

What are your thoughts on The Black Panther?