Freedom Poems - Poems For Freedom
Poems about freedom. You can read the best freedom poems. Browse through all freedom poems.
Essays On Literature - Poem by alexander opicho
LEADERSHIP FRONTIERS OF AFRICAN LITERATURE
Alexander k Opicho
Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya; email@example.com)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABAN MAKITIYONG RENEKET LO LIYONG AND PREFECTURE OF AFRICAN LITERATURE 4
THE CURRENT EAST AFRICA IS NOT A LITERARY DESERT 27
AFRICAN WRITERS HAVE CULTURAL RIGHTS TO FORMULATE AND CREATE ENGLISH WORDS 31
LIKE PUSHKIN, AFRICAN WRITERS MUST CREATE THEIR OWN PROFFESSION OF LITERATURE 35
THERE IS POWER IN THE NAME ‘ALEXANDER' 40
KENYAN COURTS AND PARLIAMENT ARE BETRAYERS OF HUMANE GOVERNANCE 47
AFRO-CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO RADICAL LITERATURE IS GOOD AND SWAGGERISH 50
YUNUS'S SOCIAL BANKING IS A GOOD BENCHCMARK FOR THIRD WORLD ENTREPRENEURS 54
HEROISM IS NOT GREATNESS BUT HUMILITY IN SERVICE TO HUMANITY 57
KENYAN STUDENTS; YOUR MOBILE INTERNET CULTURE IS ANTI- ACADEMICS 61
WHAT IS THE MAGIC IN THE WORD ‘DRINKARD' OF AMOS TUTUOLA 63
SOCIETIES IN AFRICA HAVE TO MENTOR BUT NOT CONDEMN THE LIKES OF JULIUS MALEMA 66
AMERICA WILL NOT WIN THE WAR ON GLOBAL TERRORISM 69
AFRICA CAN OVERCOME A MENACE OF RAPE IN EVERY 30 MINUTES 71
COMPARATIVE ROLES OF AFRICAN-BRAZILIAN LITERATURE IN THE POLITICS OF RACIAL AND GENDER DEMOCRACY 76
NEO-COLONIALISM IS NOT THE MAIN VICE TO THE GAMBIAN POLITICS 85
RELATIVE MEDIA OBJECTIVITY IS ACHIEVEABLE IN AFRICA AGAINST POWER CULTURE AND TYRANNIES OF TASTE 89
READING CULTURE IS GOOD FOR BOTH THE POOR AND THE RICH 96
VIOLENT DEATH IS THE BANE OF AFRICAN WRITERS AND ARTISTS 100
AFRICAN WRITTERS AND ARTISTS MUST ASPIRE BEYOND A NOBEL PRIZE 104
WHAT ARE CULTURAL RIGHTS OF AFRICAN ENGLISH SPEAKERS? 109
WHY IMPRISONMENT OF WRITERS CONTRIBUTED MOST TO AFRICAN LITERATURE 113
DORIS LESSING: A FEMINIST, POET, NOVELIST, WHITE-AFRICANIST AND NOBELITE UN-TIMELY PASSES ON 121
Amilcar Cabral: Beacon of revolutionary literature and social democracy 127
How the State of Israel is brutally dealing with African refugees 131
Historical glimpses of language dilemma in Afro-Arabic literature 146
THIS YEAR 2013; IS THE YEAR OF GREAT DEATHS 153
AFRICAN LITERATURE WITHOUT POETRY IS LIKE LOVE WITHOUT VAGINAL SEX 156
BARRACK OBAMA READS MOBY DICK
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
American president is reading Moby dick
Ja-kogello is reading Moby dick
Ja-siaya is reading Moby dick
Ja-merica is reading Moby dick
Jadello is reading Moby dick
Ja-buonji is reading Moby dick
His lovely Oeuvre of Melville Herman
And what are you reading?
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Because untimely death took his father
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Because untimely death took his mother
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Because untimely death to his brother
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Because untimely death took the grannies
His lovely Oeuvre of Melville Herman
And what are you reading?
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Baba Michelle is reading Moby dick
Baba Sasha is reading Moby dick
Baba Malia is reading Moby dick
Baba nya-dhin is reading Moby dick
Sarah's sire is reading Moby dick
Ja-sharia is reading Moby dick
The nigger is reading Moby dick
His lovely Oeuvre of Melville Herman
And what are you reading?
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Because here ekes audacity of hope
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Because here ekes dreams of fathers
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Because here ekes yes we can
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Because here ekes American dream
His lovely Oeuvre of Melville Herman
And what are you readings?
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Because American president is like whale hunting
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Because Obama is a money making animal
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Because hunting Osama is whale riding
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Because hunting Gaddaffi is whale riding
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Because coming to Kenya is whale riding
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Because Guantanamo prison is a bay of whales
Barrack Obama is reading Moby dick
Because Snowden is a Russian whale
Because launching drones is whale riding
His lovely Oeuvre of Melville Herman
And what are you reading, Moby dick?
TABAN MAKITIYONG RENEKET LO LIYONG AND PREFECTURE OF AFRICAN LITERATURE
I am writing this article from Kenya on this day of 23 September 2013 when the Al shabab, an Arabo-Islamic arm of the global terrorist group the Al gaeda have lynched siege on the shopping mall in Nairobi known as the West Gate where an average of forty people have been killed and a hundreds are held hostage. The media is full of horrendous and terrifying images. They have made me to hate this day. I hate terrorism, I hate American foreign policy on Arabs, I hate philosophy behind formation of the state of Israel and I equally hate religious fundamentalism. Also on this date, all the media and public talks in Kenya are full of intellectual and literary tearing of one Kenyan by another plus a retort in the equal measure as a result of the ripples in the African literature pool whose epicenter is the Professor Taban Lo Liyong.He is an epicenter because he had initially decried literary mediocrity among the African scholars and University professors, Wherein under the same juncture he also quipped that Kenya's doyen of literature Ngugi wa Thiong'o never deserved a Nobel prize. Liyong's stand has provoked intellectual reasons and offalities to fly like fireworks in the East African literary atmosphere among which the most glittering is Chris Wanjala's contrasting position that; who made Liyong the prefect and ombudsman of African literature? This calls for answers. Both good answers and controversial responses. Digging deeper into the flesh of literature as often displayed by Lo Liyong.
Liyong is not a fresher in the realm of literary witticism. He is a seasoned hand.Especially when contributions of Liyong to east African literary journal during his student days in the fifties of the last century during which he declared east Africa a literary desert. In addition to his fantastic titles; Another Nigger Dead and The Un-even Rips of Frantz Fanon, Professor Taban Lo Liyong also humorously called Amos Tutuola the son of Zinjathropus, what a farcical literary joke? I also want to appreciate this Liyong's artfulness of language in this capacity and identify him in a literary sense as Taban Matiyong Lo Liyong the son of Eshu. He is an ideological and literature descended of the great West African Eshu. Eshu the god of trouble which was dramatized by Obutunde Ijimere in the imprisonment of Obadala and also recounted by Achebe in the classical essays; Morning Yet of Creation Day. I call him Eshu because of his intellectual and literary ability to trigger the East and West Africans into active altercation of literary, cultural and political exchanges every other time he visits these regions. Whether in Lagos, Accra or Nairobi.
Now, in relation to Ngugi and intellectual quality of Kenyan University literature professors was Liyong right or wrong? Does Liyong's stand-point on Ngugi's incompetence for Nobel recognition and mediocrity in literary scholarship among Kenyan Universities hold water. Are Liyong's accusations of East Africa in these perspectives factually watertight and devoid of a fallacy of self-aggrandizement to African literary prefecture as Professor Chris Wanjala laments. Active literary involvement by anyone would obviously uncover that; It is not Liyong Alone who has this intellectual bent towards East Africa, any literary common sense can easily ask a question that; Does Ngugi's literary work really deserve or merit for Nobel recognition or not? The answers are both yes and no. There are very many of those in Kenya who will readily cow from the debate to say yes. Like especially the community of alumni of the University of Nairobi who were Ngugi's students in the department of English in which Ngugi was a Faculty during the mid of the last century. Also the general Kenyan masses who have been conditioned by warped political culture which always and obviously confine the Kenyan poor into a cocoonery of chauvinistic thought that Ngugi should or must win because he is one of us or Obama must win because he is one of us or Kemboi must win because he is the son of the Kenyan soil. These must also be the emotional tid-bits upon which the Kenyan Media has been based to be catapulted into Publicity feat that Ngugi will win the Nobel Prize without reporting to the same Kenyan populace the actual truths about other likely winners in the quarters from the overseas. I am in that Kenyan school thought comprising of those who genuinely argue that Ngugi's literary work does not befit, nor merit, nor deserve recognition of Nobel Prize for literature. This position is eked on global status of the Nobel Prize in relation to Ngugi's Kikuyu literary and writing philosophy. It is a universal truth that any and all prizes are awarded on the basis of Particular efforts displayed with peculiarity. Nobel Prize for literature is similarly awarded in recognition of unique literary effort displayed by the winner. It is not an exception when it comes to the question of formidability in a particular effort. However, the most basic literary virtue to be displayed as an overture of the writer is conversion of theory into practice. This was called by Karl Marx, Hegel, Antonio Gramsci and Paulo Freire, especially in Freire's pedagogy of the oppressed as praxis.History of literature and politics in their respective homogenous and comparative capacities has it that; There has been eminent level of praxis by previous Nobelites.Right away from Rabitranathe Tagore to Wole Soyinka, From Dorriss Lessing to Wangari Mathai.Similar to JM Coatze, Gao Tziaping, Alexander Vasleyvitch Solzhenystisn and Baraka Obama.This ideological stand of praxis is the one that made Alfred Nobel himself to to stick to his gun of intellectual values and deny Leo Tolstoy the prize in 1907 because there was no clear connection between rudimentary Tolstoy in the nihilism and Feasible Tolstoy in the possible manner of the times.In a similar stretch Ngugi wa Thiongo's literary works and his ideological choices are full of ideological theory but devoid of ideological praxis. Evidence for justification in relation to this position is found back in the 70's and 80's of the last century, When Ngugi was an active communist theoretician of Kenya. His stature as a Kenyan communist ideologue could only get a parallel in the likes of Leon Trotsky and Gramsci. This ideological stature was displayed in Ngugi's adoration of the North Korean communism under the auspice of the Korean leader Kim Yun Sung. This is so bare when you read Ngugi's writers in politics, a communist pamphlet he published with the African red family. By that time this pamphlet was treated equally as Mao tse Tung's collected works by the Kenya government which means that they were both illegal publications and if in any case you were found with them you would obviously serve nine months in prison. And of course when the late Brigadier Augustine Odongo was found with them he was jailed for nine months at Kodhiak maximum prison in Kisumu, Kenya.O.K, the story of Odongo is preserved for another day. But remember that, this was Ngugi only at his rudimentary stage. But when Ngugi got an opportunity to get an ideological asylum, he did not go to Russia, nor East Germany, Nor Tanzania, nor China but instead he went to the USA, a country whose ideological civilization is in sharp contradiction with communism; a religion which Ngugi proffessess.In relation to this choices of Ngugi one can easily share with me these reflections; is one intellectually honest if he argues that he is a socialist revolutionary when his or her employer is an American institution like the university of California in Irvine?
Ngugi was not the only endangered communist ideologue of the time. There were also several others. Both in Kenya and without Kenya. They were the likes of; Raila Odinga, George Moset Anyona, Willy Mutunga and very many others from Kenya. But in Africa some to be mentioned were Walter Rodney, Yoweri Museven, Isa Shivji, Jacob Tzuma, Robert Mugabe and others. The difference between Ngugi and all of these socialist contemporaries of him is that; Ngugi went to America and began accumulating private property just like any other capitalist. But these others remained in Africa both in freedom and detention to ensure that powers of political darkness which had bedeviled Africa during the last century must go. And indeed the powers somehow went. Raila has been in Kenya most of the times, Anyona died in Kenya while in the struggle for second liberation of Kenyan people from the devilish fangs of Moi's dark reign of terror and tyrany.Walter Rodney worked in Tanzania at Dare salaam University where he wrote his land mark book; How Europe underdeveloped Africa. Later on he went back to his country of birth in Africa, Guyana where he was assassinated while in the revolutionary struggle for political good of the Guyanese people. Yoweri Museven practically implemented socialism by fighting politics of sham and nonsense out of Uganda of which as per today Uganda is somehow admirable. Isa Shivji has ever remained in Dare salaam University, inspite of poverty. He is now the chair of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere school of Pan African studies. Jacob Tsuma and Robert Mugabe they are current presidents of South Africa and Zimbabwe respectively. The gist of this reference to African socialist revolutionaries as contemporaries to Ngugi wa Thiong'o is that a socialist revolutionary must and should not run away from the oppressor in to a zone of comfort. But instead must remain and relentlessly fight, just like in the words of Fidel Castro; fight and die in the battle field as long as it is a struggle against the enemy of the revolution. This view by Castro is pertinent as it's a Revolutionary praxis which actually is redolent of practice of an ideology that has to be held for ever above ideological cosmentics.Ngugi scores badly on this. So if the Nobel academy looks at Ngugi in terms of defending human rights then it must be reminded that Ngugi have no marks on the same because he only ran away from the practical struggle. Anyway, Politics and ideology has its own fate. But let us now come back to literature. Ngugi and his books. As at this time of writing this essay Ngugi has published the following works; Weep not Child, The River Between, A Grain of Wheat, Black Hermit, Petals of Blood, Devils on the Cross, Matigari, Homecoming, Decolonizing the Mind, Writers in Politics, Ngugi Detained, Pen Points and Gun Points, Wizard of the Crow, Globalectics, Remeembering Africa, Dreams in Times of War and I Will Marry When I Want as well as the Trial of Dedan Kimathi which he wrote along with Micere Githae Mugo.Out of this list the only works with literary depth that call for intellectualized attention are; A Grain of wheat, Wizard of the crow and Globalectics. The Grain of wheat is simply a post colonial reflection of Kenyan politics. Its themes, plot, lessons and entire synechedoche is also found in Wole Soyinka's Season of Anomie as well as Achebe's Anthills of the savannah. My argument dove-tails with those of Liyong's stand that rewarding Ngugi's Grain of wheat and forgetting Achebe's Anthills of the Savannah and A man of the people would be a literary ceremony devoid of literary justice. Wizard of the Crow is indeed a magnum opus. I am ready to call it Ngugi's oeuvre. It tackles the question of dictatorship and corruption as a cult in Africa. A cult which has been socialized to an extend of being justified by both the African oppressor and the African oppressed. This book was initially written in kikuyu and intended to be intact in kiguyu.But commercial sense made Ngugi to immediately translate the book into English. Its kikuyu version was Murogi wa Kagogo.Now if this work is recognized by the Nobel committee then which version is it being recognized for. Is it kikuyu version or its English version? The Globalectics comes with lessons. After reading it I was mused into a reflection about writing. One reflection I experienced was intra-comparativity of literature and another one is evolution of a writer.Intra-comparativity comes in when Ngugi is placed alongside Fanon while evolution comes in when the readers become a ware that Fanon wrote Black skins and white masks on the first trial, but it has taken Ngugi five decades to write almost like Frantz Fanon. Throughout his carrier Ngugi had never written any book in a philosophical style the way Paulo Freire wrote the Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Fanon Black Skin and White Masks, Nkrumah the consciecism, Wole Soyinks A good name is better than tyranny of taste and Aime Cesaire the Discourse. He has only been narrating stories.But in the Globalectics; Ngugi has tried to stretch himself beyond the realm of story telling into the precincts of philosophy. In this stretch Ngugi has done with a lot of bovarism.This is so on the basis of the analogy which brings out the facts that Ngugi's Globalectics is structured and lain out after the framework of Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed.Pedagogy of the oppressed has four chapters; the pedagogy, monologics, dialogics and anti dialogics, similarly Ngugi's Globalectics also has four chapters that actually hint freire's philosophy of communication. Globalectics is actually a concept brought forward from Hegel, Marx and Goethe about the dialectic materialism.Just the same way the opening chapter in this book on poor theories is barely Ngugi's linguistic gymnastics on Marx's philosophy of poverty and poverty of philosophy as well as the the Germany philosophy.Other ideas echoed in the globalectics are the shakespearean mirror of Dimitry posplievsky in; the tempest, king lear, King henry and Othello which goes in the tune ot the tempo that proffessionalism is a conspiracy to the laity; Mostly when the theatre between caliban and prospero is taken to be an allegory of Europhone master and African bondservant, when an African bond servant is timorously battling subaltern languages only to use the words of Gavatri chakavorty spivak.What does it mean? It means that Ngugi's Globalectics is devoid of originality.It is simply re-branding of ideas and philosophies that are readily available in other books.
Writing in vernacular languages is now a contemporary hallmark of Ngugi's literary crusades.It is an intellectual cum surrealistic movement he began sometimes in the mid of the last century at the University of Nairobi.It was Ngugi and his other two academic accoplices; Taban lo Liyong and Henry Anyumba that jointly and severally called for abolition of the English department from the University of Nairobi in preffered substitution with the department of literature.Truely this was a noble effort.The efforts gave an opportunity to African academic and political systems to arrive at a pedastal on which foundation of African literature in English can be pursued as an academic and proffessional committement at graduate and postgraduate level.It was on this revolutionary grounds in the academic spheres that the then literary desert of East Africa blossomed into cultural vineyard which experienced blossoming of intellectual flowers like; Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, Francis Imbuga, John Ruganda, Okot P'Bitek, Margaret Ogolla, Benjamin Wekesa, Meja Mwangi and Rabbecca Njau just but only to mention a few.However this revolution was accompanied by either a utopian or a prosaic literary revolution launched by Ngugi which he thought was a missile against linguistic imperialism and cultural darwinism.Writing in vernacular.As part of this literary revolution Ngugi said good bye to writing in English and then courted writing in kiguyu.The language of his ethinic community.This turnaround had Ngugi writing Gaithan Mutharabani whose English and of course commercial name is the Devil on the Cross.Regardless of its good intentions the idea of writing in Kiguyu is purely an act of intellectual goofing.If at all there was need to write in vernacular then the East African minimum is kiswahili.Which have its writtings of literature, orature, drama and poetry known as fasihi ya riwaya, fasihi simulizi, sarakazi na ushahiri respectively.This is also the point that was initially shared by Mwalimu Julius Nyerere who expressed completeness of Kiswahili as a language by tranlating shakespeare's Julius ceaser, Merchant of venice, Merry Wifes of windsor and also sophocles' Odipus rex in to the Kiswahili versions.Those who have been in the current East Africa of
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Somali, Malagasy, Congo in the diaspora of East Africa and Zanzibar can be able to appreciate the globalectic effects of Kiswahili on African cultural and intellectual civilization. This is why readers, students, the media and scholars in East Africa and other Africas at large are ready to appreciate the current literary activities of Dr. Walibora Waliaula, whose works in Kiswahili like Kidagaa Kimemuozea, Siku Njema and very many others have made the Kiswahili literary civilisation a househols idea at global level. The argument is that if the veranacular or writtings of literature in non European language by an African from East Africa are to be considered for Nobel reward then posthumous recognition of Nyerere will be a non pyrric choice.And also recognition of Walibora especially on the account of him having formulated a Kiswahili political word eneo bunge, meaning an electoral area will be also a genuine idea by any prize committee.A factual abstraction is that Dr. Walibora's Kiwahili writing is a service to the humainity in the geographies of East Africa.The rationale of the matter is that, Kenya alone has more than forty ethinic languages, Uganda has more than forty, and this other countries of the region the same.Kiguyu Language is only one of the thousands of languages in the region.It is spoken by less than four million people.Then why should a writter of Ngugi's eminence chose to have such a provencal audience.Next, writing in Kiguyu is not any effort against linguistic imperialism.Instead it is local cultural imperialism.Ngugi has been away from Kenya for four decades.He cannot practical understand the current economic and social structures in Kenya.The idea is that, now Kiguyu language is not the language of the oppressed but it is the language of the oppressor.Since posticolonial times the Kiguyus have enjoyed Kenyan politics by having their clansman being the president for the preceding four decades.This political conditions derived from tyranny of numbers and brutality of crime have given the kiguyus an economic advantage over other communities in Kenya.This is why the 2007 violence was about all tribes of Kenya fighting the kiguyu.Thus, by basing on such backdrops it can be averred that it is Kiswahili which is the language which carries social, economic and political sentiments and values of the people in Kenya.It is not Kigugyu.In fact Kiguyu as a language has joined English in the ranks of oppressing the Kenyan poor. But anyway, there is one virtue that Ngugi has done which no other writter in the living history of literature in the whole world has never done.The act is a social virtue of intellectual succession.Writers rarely plan for what will happen after their death in terms of continuity of their writing work.This is a fact which effects literary and artistic civilisation from the days of Aristotle up to now. Shakespeare and Pushkin, Melville and Kunene left no intellectual successor to their artistic domain.But Ngugi has carefully and consciously mentored his son; Mukoma wa Ngugi.The author of Nairobi Heat.He is the son of Ngugi wa thiongo.Mukoma's literary and writing skills are very promising.Kudos to the father.Courtesy of visionary parenting.
However I want to accept that I am not a member of the Nobel committee, neither will I be one in the foreseeable future. I don't have any right at all to censure who is to win or not to win a Nobel Prize in literature. But because the Nobel Prize is the world affair I therefore have to enjoy my rights of global citizenship by making comments about what pertains to the Swedish academy. It has to remain as a fact that winning a Nobel Prize need not be the primary source of motivation for an African writer nor a motivation any African public practictioner.African literature instead must be motivated by an African dream. But the natural conditions are that this may only be my outlook of African literature and The Nobel Prize, where the actual psychological disposition of an individual African writer at the present time is different motivation. Which can likely be a cognitive process towards a valence in the totem of the Nobel Prize? Under this spirit therefore, I have to be permitted to share with the entire world that some women are and have been strong. At most I borrow these feelings from the human and literary spirit of Marriama Ba the late.The Senegalese author of So long a letter and the scarlet song. She defied all odds of being a woman in Africa, being a woman in Muslim nation, being a woman in poverty and of all the sorriest conditions to be a woman with cancer, to carry her head above all and write superbly with a sterling touch as displayed in the complete sweetness of literature in her works; So long a letter and The scarlet Song. Similar virtues are displayed by a Nigerian actress. She is middle aged.I have forgotten her name as you know Nigerian names and Russian names are not easily remembered by a foreigner. I have also forgotten the scripts she acted. But she acts in the African movies corporation (AMC) .Some of the plots she acted are; She was rejected by a boy friend and she became mad on the street, she was beaten by her step-mother and had her eyes punctured so that she could be snatched a boy friend by her cousin, She hired parents to stand in for her wedding because she was ashamed of poverty of her really parents, and also she picked money but she returned it back to the chief who had lost it which again became a long spell of troubled love. I mean she is so aesthetic.She reminds me the words of Jesus Christ; If the Nobel committee has the ears let it hear and if the has the eyes let it see. Amen.
But after week of long complains by the academic and literary communities in kenya, complains about Liyongo's derogation of these communities literary mediocrity. Liyong chose to be an elder and came back with a literary olive forest full of paradox and oxymoron by retorting in an apologetic tone that; ‘‘I have had differences of opinion with Okot p'Bitek and Ngugi wa Thiong'o but they have been on literary stand points. On one or two occasions, I have not seen eye to eye on personal matters with Ngugi. That time has passed. But it never diminished my judgment of Ngugi's leading stature in East African writing, especially of fiction. Ngugi's River Between and Grain of Wheat are our best works of fiction. They are classics. Why our budding writers do not use them as models to be emulated, I do not know. When I campaign for the creation of "classics" and the publishers reject them in favour of easy-reading school textbooks, the journalists and academics say, "Taban, with so many books published, why do you still say there is literary barrenness in East Africa? " And my answer is, more ugali is still ugali, more busaa is still busaa. If A Grain of Wheat, produced in the mid 1960s, as well as Okot's Wer pa Lawino and its translation into English as Song of Lawino, equally published in the mid 1960s, are still our classic novel and poetry, surely you will agree with me that in the production of classics the literary barrenness still prevails? And I owe nobody an apology for maintaining that stand. I never said "Jua Kali artisans deserve the Nobel prize more than Ngugi." I did not say "Ngugi doesn't deserve Nobel". As a matter of fact, I skirted that question over a period of three hours. I never passed judgment on Ngugi's merit or demerits regarding the Nobel Prize. In reference to Nobel Literature Prize, I said that Chinua Achebe had deserved it. I understand that Per Wastberg, The Swedish Commission of Nobel Literature Prize, had a disagreement with Achebe and swore that so long as he lived Achebe would never get it. And he lived up to his word. The other writer who had deserved it was Leopold Sedar Senghor. I do not know whether he, too, had an altercation with Wastberg. But his rejoinder to Leopold's promoters was that Leopold's best writing were written far behind. Yet when the British promoters campaigned for VS Naipual, he got it even when his best books were written as far back as Leopold Sedar Senghor's. So, the Nobel Literature Prize is a Swedish or European or Western prize which they award to whoever satisfies conditions only known to or by them.''
Liyong in the above arguments which he is of course making as a septuagenarian of literature purely repeat to hold the stand on Nobel Prize for literature as the one he held on the Dance Between Balck and White three decades ago.All of his porteratures of literature in the publications as; Another Nigger Dead, Un-even Ribs of Frantz Fanon, Thirteen Steps Against our Enemies, Eating Chiefs, The Last word and Another Last Word all echoed this stand.African literature need not to seek glorification from Europe.
There are also very many other revelations about African literature in relation to the Nobel Prize. Some are observable in the eventualities which subsequently happened after the death of Chinua Achebe. Immediately after the death of Chinua Achebe, there was sudden outbreak and barrage of ideas, discussion, speculations and projections about the reasons why Achebe did not win a Nobel Prize for literature, If he had had been selected for this year's Nobel candidacy or whether he can still win the same prize posthumously. Amid this emotional and intellectual hullaballoo punctuating the death of a noble person like Achebe, the literary journalist with the Nigerian newspaper, Sahara reporters promptly engaged Professor Wole Soyinka on the issue of Achebe and the Nobel Prize.
With his experience as a writer, an ex-detainee, a scholar and a gifted verbal fundamentalist in proper equipage with a seasoned mind of being panelist on the Nobel committee, Wole Soyinka boldly highlighted some reasons why the African writters that have published with the Heinemann's African writters series, Achebe being one of them and editor in chief of the series, would and will not win the Nobel recognition for literature. The reasons that professor Soyinka gave had were wild and diverse full of cross-cutting effects. Some were technical, others were logical, and most of them irrational, illogical and intellectually translucent provoking further inquest.
The technical reasons that Professor Soyinka gave were that; the Heinemann section of African writters series mostly lacked artistic competence that could possibly attract attention of Nobel committee. Also naming of the Publications as ‘African writters' was a step towards self-marginalization that made works of this series so African hence they lacked global recognition through such a global or European attention like the Nobel Prize.
Soyinka goes ahead to contest this disadvantaged position of the African writters series by defending the publication of his book, the interpreters in the same Heinemann section of the African writters series by reclusing himself that they were the champions for political detainees who took the manuscript to the Heinemann publishers, when he himself was in prison during the reign of democratic break-down in Nigeria under dictatorship of Nigerian Chiefs of political of doom of that time.But had he not been in this predicament the manuscript for The interpreters would have been sent to a different publisher.
Irrationality of Professor Soyinka's argument lags in a mire of inability to see the invincible hand of ideology and political consciousness of the African writters series and other African writters by different publishers. Because a slight literary crouch of the mid of the last century would quickly show that very many African writters published their works with Penguin and Longman publishers as well as very many other publishers but, they still never attracted Nobel recognition. First premise in explanation of this experience can be deduced from, just to use Ngugi's words, the prevailing globalectics of the last century.There were a lot of cultural and political dynamics of postcoloniality, neo-coloniality and ideological typification.The Nobel institutions as a social institution also had the values and norms that supported a certain form of civilization. Misfortunately African writters as published by William Heinemann were openly pan-Africanist in spirit and socialist in ideology. Their literary allegories majorly hinted socialist political and literary civilization.
Brief highlighting quickly makes this clear, The key writters of this series included Ousmane with his God's bits of wood, Achebe with his Heart of Darkness, a with her so long a letter, Ngugi with his writters in politics, Odinga with his not yet Uhuru, Nwaba with her efuru, Guma with his in the fog of the seasons end, P'tek with his song of lawino, Cabral with his revolution and struggle, Senghor with his nocturnes, and Mbella Sone Dipoko with his black and white in love. Any body who had an opportunity to read the above sampled writters will agree that they beautifully represent the rest of the population of African writters of Heinemann publishers in matters of themes, plot, influence, inspiration, philosophy, language usage and even ideological reflections. But it would be a historical error in regard to African literature for one to point out that the spirit of art and literature to express post colonial political and intellectual consciousness were only inherent among the African Heinemann publishers, very many other writters with a historicity of postcoloniality equally wrote with a literary tempo of Ezekiel mphalele.The likes of V. S Naipaul in Mr Biswas house, Harriet Becheter Stowe in uncle toms cabin, Richard Wright in his savage holiday, Paul Frere in his Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Pedagogy of the liberation where he regularly argued that liberation of a society by use theory and ideology at all the times requires three p's; pavla, povla e povo meaning; people, theory and gun powder. After international criminal court at the Hague in Holland expedited the killing of Sadam Hussein, the then UK, premier Tony Blair made a justificatory public address to the university students of Islamic and Arabic descend in the UK, in his speech he argued that the war between Islam and Western powers is not a clash about civilizations but a clash for civilization. I also want to borrow this style of language usage and semantically argue that eminent African writters have only missed to earn a Nobel Prize not as dual results of intellectual and artistic incompetence but as interactive consequences of clash of consciences where one is the self-consciousness of post-coloniality and another as self-awareness of cultural master-hood. Sincerely it has all been about clash of civilizations.
Now after such contextualisation, one will be justified to develop a vista of questions of this genre; what is the future of an African writer? , what must be the motivation of an African artist? , what are right intellectual benchmarks for an African novelist? And is obsolescence of postcoloniality thought bringing an African novel in the African writters series of Heinemann publishers gradually to death? ...
Clean and sober soul-searching by an African writer will easily bring him or her to quick answers in relation to the above questions.One palpable praxis is that the future of African writters is not a Nobel dream. An African writters must indentify others sources of self-actualization as an artist and an intellectual, but not always Nobel recognition. History of European drama has two beautiful lessons in relation to the above observation. The lessons are derived from examples of Alexander Pushkin and William Shakespeare. Both Shakespeare and Pushkin never had a Nobel dream. They were only playwrighting and stage-acting to serve and entertain their communities as an opportunity to express the beauty of their English and Russian culture respectively.Primarily, the lesson is that, these two playwrights are living legends of drama and art minus Nobel achievement in their lifes.Indepth analysis of all the writters who won Nobel recognition between 1945 and today will lead to decipherations that factors of ideology and ideological bias played a big role in their success. Starting with Wole Soyinka, His firm stand against the communist backed Biafra feature a lot as a variable in his Nobel nomination. The Chinese Xiangping Gao and Dalai Lama are pro-western and anti-sinophile activists in their orientation.Gao's work that made him to qualify for Nobel nomination was Soul Mountain.
After this book was nominated for Nobel candidacy, I personally made the efforts to read it along side African written novels like Ousmane's God's bits of wood as well as watching Ousmane's cinema; CEDDO AND XALA, Ngugi's wizard of the Crow, Achebe's Anthill of the Savannah and Fanon's Black skin and White masks. I also involved myself in active debate with sociologists, political scientists, literature teachers and general intellectualls.Some from the University of Nairobi, Daresalaam and Makerere University as well as the general readers and book lovers. Indeed we did not deduce any intellcutual, artistic and creative superiority that made Gao's Soul Mountain better than above sampled African writters. But those with a political science bent among us cited issues of ideology in international relation to be key drivers that made Gao's soul mountain spin a Nobel literary reward.
Therefore under the light of such dynamics, intellectual benchmarking for an African writer should enjoy all the cultural and artistic opportunities transcending the Nobel standardisation.Readily enough there are lessons again from European classical experience, where the famous Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Russian, was recognized for the Nobel literary award and Charlie Chaplin an American, was inversely recognized for the Glasnost award, Russian prize of art and culture. The respective governments of the above artists cum writters denied these writters the right to receive the prizes. Each government had to raise an ideological red flag about the prize offer.
Hitherto, the Nobel accolade or nemesis should and cannot kill an African novel. It is only the African mind that can kill it. The mind of the African writer as well as African reader. Especially the African mind in its un-decolonized capacity. Mental decolonization in relation to art and literature should not only be limited to language as discussed by Ngugi Wa Thiong'o in his Globalectics and Decolonizing the Mind. But a decolonized mind should be wary of bourgeoisie and, to use Lenin's labeling techniques ‘comprador Bourgeoisie offers.' Nobel Prize is a bourgeoisie's offer that comes with cultural contemplations. The contemplations can be only understood if my dear readers can ask yourselves this guestions; what is literary tempo of any writter after receipt of a Nobel Prize? Are the African Nobelites like J M Coatz, Dorris Lessing, Nadine Gordimer, Naguip Mafoutz still displaying literary fireworks like the one they displayed before their Nobel expereince? Or what is literary spirit of a writter before and after the encounter with Nobel reward? Or how will Nonviolet Bulawayo and Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche behave after they will be announced co-winners of Nobel Prize? Will Chimamanda go a head to write Africanah, Africadabra or Nigerianah or the Nobel consciousness will hinder her from such ventures?
It is beffiting to accept Prefecture of Liyong'o on his observations about mediocrous standards of teaching literature in East African universities.Justification for this prefecture is based on Philip Ochieng's article (The EastAfrican Nov 24-30,2012) on the ancestry of William Shakespeare.Which hinted the possibilities of Arabian descent of William Shakespeare, the same way Alexander Pushkin is hinted of Ethiopian descend. Arabian descend of sahekespear would give him his real identity as Sheikh Zubair. On a retort, I in my capacity as a lecturer, in both public and private universities in Kenya, I had to put Mr Ochieng's argument on useful test for intellectual awareness among University students in Kenya but to my horror, all the students I talked to from private universities were not aware of the article, meaning they have not read it. They however asked if it was going to be pertinently examined and if they were expected again to pay extra school fees in case they requested for notes on Sheikh Zubair. In a funny contrast, students I talked to from two public universities in Kenya had however read the article but as a Facebook and Twitter trending topic. Most of these are third year students from the school of political science, history, arts, law, health science, business. None were from the faculties of education. However, one of the students also wanted to know if Shakespeare is an American actress like Oprah Winfrey. This boils down to a question of intellectualism and academic freedom as a prime objective of higher learning. This is a virtue that has been neglected. Private universities in Kenya and other East African countries are focused on examination and certification. Where the factual truth is that this should not be the guiding spirit towards teaching of literature. This has only helped to inspire learners to look forward to the graduation ceremony regardless of whether one was educated or not. To confirm how bad the situation is, I asked the students who their favourite author is. Those in public universities mostly named authors of set books they used in high school, especially those examined in the final exam. Those in private universities named N. A. Salemi because of common courses like statistics, business mathematics and communications skills. A number of students named Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong'o for his book The River Between which they think is a love drama.
Whoever that will deny Liyongo's position on the role of publishers in developemt of literature in Kenya will be a pretender. Liyongo pointed out that the publishers in East Africa will pblish you after you shower them with a bribe of beer. I want to liken the East african Publisher to the one and dual personality of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide.I will also borrow Ali Mazrui analytical approach to explain this point. In 1996 or thereabout, the then Sunday Nation, a week-end edition of the Daily Nation in Kenya carried an allegorical serialization by Professor Ali A Mazrui of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide, a human civilization satire By Robert Louis Stevenson. The serialization was so interesting that it also captured an opportunity to be aired as BBC television Feature. The hidden meaning of the serialization was about duality of character of Professor whole Soyinka who therefore befitted the dual accolades of both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide. Jekyll representing Wole Soyinka's commitment to extreme democratic ideals that upheld human value in a tumultuous ocean of Nigerian reign of terror and tyranny under intermittent dictatorships of the likes of; San Abacha and Awolowo. While Hide representing Soyinka's extreme hatred of Mazrui and Islam evident in an intellectual clash during that year between Mazrui and Soyinka which had Soyinka calling Mazrui an Arab and not a Kenyan, who only used go to Nigeria to fuel Islamic fundamentalism but not peaceful nationhood, because he himself (Mazrui) does not have any single drop of African blood flowing in his Semitic veins. As a young man in early twenties I curiously watched and read this serialization before I had read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide as Novel. But sometimes later I got an Opportunity to read the book at Mombasa National library. The literary lessons I deciphered from the book were that Dr Jekyll an extreme humanist and Mr. Hide a horrendous sadist were not two different persons, but instead it was one person; benevolent Dr. Jekyll who sometimes on regular basis transfigures himself into a sadistic and devilish Mr. Hide.
Robert Louis's literary presentation of Duality of human nature and character in Jekyll and Hide goes beyond mere literary cryptography to explain strange weaknesses of humanity redolent in man's behavior as he or she involves the self in the macro-political and sociological civilizations. The best example is beautifully obtained in the current Kenyan publishing civilisation.Which ekes its very being on the political civilization inherent in its current political culture.In comittiment to public services in their capacities as manufacutrers and custodians of knowledge are only but rudimentary centerpieces enjoying matchless presence.However at current times a simple pragmatic outlook would not fail to pinpoint umpteen examples and logic that confirm current Kenyan publishing industry not being beyond the spectra of the allegorical Hyde and Jekyll in which there is an ambivalence of inadvertent goodness as a primal and intentional evil as a duality. These conditions are especially bare when the Kenyan publishers of Newspapers, Books, Newsletters, Tabloid, Journal ans Sunday editions of the dailies are given a censure in regard to their moral duty of knowledge dispensation but particularly in relation the Kenyan young and poor writers.
Just like the primal Dr. Jekyll, Kenyan publisher's enticesall values of good relations with the poltical class and aristocratic crust of the society. However these original good values are instantly deterred. The bug of ethinicization and corruption as well as economic discrimination instantly grips a Kenyan publisher every time a young and moneyless writters appears with a manuscript. This discrimination will possibly distort Kenya's literary evolution down to uselless ideals of ethnic bloc formations in the body of national literature.As to any lover of literature and art such situations make me to fondly remember Chinua Achebe's warning in The Arrow of God that; the large tribes should not swallow smaller ones.
Let me go into a contradiction with the literary status quo in kenya which looks at Shakespeare as a dead civilisation by appreciating Liyongs position that he is an ardent student of Shakespeare and Greek classics.One literary columnist Peter Oduor with declared in the weekend editions of Kenya's Newspaper The Daily Nation; the Saturday Nation that Shakespeare is dead and irrelevant to young readers.However it is logical to concur with the prefecture of Taban Lo Liyong by pointing out that, the writer was wrong both in literary sense and political sense, artistic and theatrical. The writer should appreciate that in the literary circles the most living writer in all languages of modern civilization is the bard; William Shakespeare, So virulent because of the literary prowess readily observable in his tragedies, sonnets and comedies. An effort to put Shakespeare on a literary rustication by this writer is simply a failure to see and appreciate what nature and history gave to mankind.
Let me start by borrowing my argument from Liyongo's Pearls of wisdom by averring that passage of time serves good books as it does to good wine. The more time passes the more good wine goes sharp, thus in an analogy good books become more relevant as time passes. Hence their honored name literary classics. History of literature has it that Homer's Iliad and Odyssey; the two Greek classics are the oldest literary works but their lessons have kept on improving in value to a state where any young person coming out of secondary school without having read them is equivalence to illiteracy. Their respective relevance to juvenile reader was so persistent to an extent of having a strong influence, in that, six centuries later Alexander the great held them closely to his memory and heart as his constant companion in his bedroom. Mr. Oduor the author of the piece which dismissed Shakespeare has a biblical name as Peter.I believe he is a Christian who sometimes read and believe in the Bible.The Bible was written about 15 centuries earlier than complete works of Shakespeare. If time is a basis of appreciating or dismissing a work of literature then let Peter write another article to declare the Bible dead and irrelevant to the youth. The bible is as documentary and fictitious just as shakespear.The book of job and Song of Songs are fictional creations of Moses and King Solomon respectively, whereas the plays of King Henry and Antony and Cleopatra in Shakespeare are documentary accounts of European history. In 1964, just before his assassination President John F Kennedy Made the most popular speech with full of cadence, in which he quoted Dante Alighieri's the Inferno. Kennedy posited that; ‘the hottest place in hell is preserved for those who see a problem and remain aloof without intervening to solve.' Dante wrote the cantons in 3 AD, but relevance of his work is superb that it worked as an intellectual justification for Kennedy's military intervention in the Vietnam. This was after 15 centuries.Oduor should know that time brews good literature as it brews good wine.
Karl Marx read King Lear Shakespeare's political satire at the age of sixteen years.Oftenly, biographers of Karl Marx usually point to Marx's early encounter with Shakespeare as among the sources of his intellectual influence. Comparatively any other youth or general reader can still benefit intellectually from such classical readership.
A writer's works can only be declared irrelevant on the basis of themes but only through natural death into oblivion because the readers have no benefit either aesthetic or intellectual benefit to gain from the artefact. But in contrast to this; Shakespeare's themes are full of lessons to the modern reader whether young or old.Noteably Shakespeare explored the theme of dangers of alcohol consumption in Julius ceaser, marital dishonesty in merry wives of Windsor, generation gap as well as ethnicity in Romeo and Juliet, impunity in measure for measure, avarice in Merchant of venice, Sadism in Macbeth, competition in a sonnet the turtle and the phoenix, jealousy and betrayal in Rape of Lucrece, benefits of hard work in Othello, benefits of mental alertness among the youth in Hamlet the prince of Denmark, folly of un genuine love affair in Antony and Cleopatra and power of mastering languages in the Tempest. And more other lessons that can serve a young reader positively. Indeed, Shakespeare is thematically fashionable. Shakespeare is not actually infallible in the literary sense. There are cultural weaknesses of his time which he displayed across his different works. Like he openly expressed negative racism against Africans in Othello, in which Othello the moor or a northern African was forced to take a humiliated position. Also in Merchant of Venice Shakespeare expressed overt anti-Semitism by presenting the Jews as the people who can shred away insolvent debtors flesh in repayment of the loan. But this is common to all great writers; a historical glimpse would show that Alexander Pushkin the great Russian Poet wasted a lot of pages praising women's thighs.Rudiyard Kipling wrote poems that praised colonialism. George Orwell alias Eric Blair in his book 1984, was very over sensational on sex.Wole Soyinka is not accessible to an average reader due to his hard English replete with jargons like abracadabra. Ngugi wa Thiong'o is an ardent communist ideologue living in America with a deep rooted sense of property, While Achebe abysmally failed in his memoirs.Ergo, man is to error and writers are men where Shakespeare was a man.
Peter Oduor forgot to mention a common a criticism which most critics use against Shakespeare and sometimes also against Kwame Nkurumah; that is shakes the writer of all the plays and poems under his name? The answer would have been yes but actors have been editing his works to make them feasible on the stage therefore there is chance that original meaning have been lost in some plays. And is also true that Nkrumah wrote the most complex book by an African; The Consiencism. I now personlly have one copy of complete works of Shakespeare in my sanctum. I used to have two copies. One at home and a mobile one, but I loaned one copy to Michael Kijana Wamalwa in 1994. Am sorry he passed on in 2003 before he had returned the book. Shakespeare is a good read and I want Peter Oduor to read and watch his plays.
In the manner of winding up this essay I am puzzled with humor and ecstasy by failing to know why Taban Lo Liyong chose to amuse the world of readers both in East and West Africa by choosing to call Amos Tutuola the son of Zinjathropus. Perhaps due to the thrill in the word Drinkard, a complication of drunkard, as found in the title of Tutuola's novel The Palm Wine Drinkard. However in a similar frame of mind, I am also bound to accede to this farce of Liyongo about Tutuola by mentioning that this year 2013, I have attended three international cultural conferences, one in Kenya and others in other countries in Africa. All the conferences have been unique to me because of the regular eventualities of the Afro-English word drinkard as coined by Amos Tutuola as a title of his novel Palm wine Drinkard with which it was mentioned and then spontaneously made to be a subject of the day every time it is mentioned. Also, more than five top African scholars of politics, Literature and language have within the range of past seven months discussed Tutuola in relation to his word drinkard.Ngugi wa Thiongo in his recent BBC hard talk entitled; English is not African language reconized Tutuola's charm in the efforts towards Africanisation of English as its evident in Tutuola's word drinkard. Initially still Ngugi had on umpteen occasions referred to and inferred from Tutuola in his annual lecture delivered at the Rene Wellek library. The lecture which became published as his currently last and philosophical book entitled the Globalectics. Similarly Phillip Ochieng, a Kenyan literary and English language columnist with the publications of the National media group, in his usual duties of being an African guardian of English language openly expressed gusto for the acoustic thrill he usually derives from the sounds; Drinkard as coined by Tutuola and Beautyful as coined by Ayi Kweyi Armah as a word in the title of his book Beautyful ones are not yet born. In a similar tempo, Taban Matiyong Lo liyong has on several occasions admired Tutuola's literary sense especially the sensibility that Tutuola to midwife a thought process that gave the world the word drinkard.Liyong has displayed this appreciation in his two books; the last word and another last word. Concurrent to This was also Wole Soyinka's cherishing in relation to Tutuola's knack for art of language and language of art through a premonition that the Drinkard in the mean time will remain un-impeachable artistic success which only invites similar efforts from the Yoruba vernacular writters.Now on such a backdrop the must ensue a pertinent literary angst to such persistent barrage of acclaims to Tutuola's drinkard. The anxiety is; what is the inherent magic in the word Drinkard in the title of Tutuola's novel the palm wine drinkard and his dead palm-wine tapster in the deads' town.
The entire angst is eked in the cultural hopscotch about universalisation of English language which has been there and will be there for some times. It is not only Africa that has been affected by European languages, English in particular. It is every society. Even the French people with their high degree of cultural chauvinism use the word e-mail when referring to a computer based electronic mail. These are the same cultural fabrics that catapulted Professor Wole Soyinka to coin the phrase; Intellectual kamikaze. in 1978 and later on used it in 1987 in article with Kenyan Daily Nation and 1997 in an article in a Sunday Nation.This phrase which was equated to intellectual suicide bombing as committed by Christopher Okgibo in the Biafra war, was received by the world society with a lot of positive intellectual brouhaha, the same way Tutuola's Drinkard has currently received.
These barrages of admirations are only a Florence to Ngugi's timely BBC talk that English is not African Language. In which Ngugi posited that writers and artists from Africa who write in English are only making English as a language more colonial and imperialistic in its overtures of cultural and linguistic Darwinism. However, in this very talk Ngugi did not specify which English is not African English; Is it British English, American English, Caribean English, Nigerian English, Kenyan English or the funny Australian English against which Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye in her prose and critical writings has classically derided that once upon a time, an Australian preacher came to Nairobi in 1980 and said that; to dayi is the dayi of st stephen.His translator Kiswahili translator; shouted after him that Kufa ni kifo cha mtakatifu stephano. Which means to die is the death of st. Stephen, But it was supposed to be; to day is the day of st. Stephen! ....So Ngugi has to specify the brand of English to be avoided as not African.Also Ngugi has not authoritatively told the world what is to be used as an African language.Nyerere and Mazrui settled on Kiswahili. But Ngugi is still experimenting with Kiguyu at a rudimentary stage when in practice he derives his livelihood from teaching high profile English at university of California, Irvine. He stands out at this University as a distinguished professor of English. He also teaches a course known as special English.
Let me use Ngugi'S hallmark word; Globalectics in this juncture by pointing out that truth of the matter in the cultural Globalectics is that Africa and African Writers cannot move away from English. But instead an African writer can do a lot in English and a lot for English in the global game of world literature and world civilisation.The trick is that African English speakers have to get cultural rights as users of the language so that they can also move ahead and enjoy the freedom of cultural development as the one displayed by Tutuola in formulation of the Drinkard, Soyika with his word Overrecheasness, Ngugi with his word globalectics, Zirim with his word orature and Opicho with the word prisonorature.This type of approach was equally given a leeway by Lo Liyong in his funny book Amos Tutuola the son Zinjathropus. In which he echoed that; you go, let Okara, Okgibo, Mailu, Nwapa, Imbuga, and all sons of Africa go against the grammar and Africanize English.
One young person from Kenya I talked to me about Ngugi's stand on English not being an African language told me that; how many things are not African that Ngugi has? Irvine is not an African University, Dollars are not an African currency, Virgin group is an African airline, Vodafone are not African computers, BBC, is not an African station and very many other things that Ngugi is using daily. Then why is Ngugi refusing English language?
Amos Tutuola; Palm wine Drinkard
Dimitry Posplevsky; the Soviet Union and the Church
Taban Lo Liyong; Amos Tutuola the son Zinjathropus
THE CURRENT EAST AFRICA IS NOT A LITERARY DESERT
Evans Mwangi published in the literary discourse pages of the recent Sunday Nation at Nairobi an argument that East Africa is still a literary desert, as it had been described in the mid of the last century by the then youthful Taban Makitiyong Reneket Lo Liyong some decades ago at Iowa writers workshop that Kenya is the land of Jogoo and east Africa a literary desert. Mwangi, was intellectually reacting to a festival of the literary prize faire that had taken place in Nairobi the same week, during which all awards were scooped by non east African writters.The truth is that East Africa is now a fountain of literary talents, orature, art and theater masters beyond any complain. The faire that awarded non east Africans writers with literary prizes did not have all the machinery to establish the degree of literature venture, both at manuscript or at inchoate level, as well as those at post publication level. The only truth in the argument may be that east African publishers are over focused on publishing and recycling literary celebrities at the cost of young and upcoming creative writers.
Currently, it is a reality that any avid scholar can enjoyfull read East African literary Works from January to December without facing any intellectual shortage, unless otherwise. This gets a befitting support in recently published work by David G. Mailu, the broken drum. A novel so long and very spellbinding just like Tolstoy's War and peace, Umberto Eco's Scriptorium, Maugham's Of Human Bondage and Fydor's Brother's kamarazov.Maillu has displayed intellectual maturity, artistic efficiency, ideological relevance and entertainment knack. In the Broken drum it is evident that any reader with African consciousness, whether white African self-awareness or black African self-awareness will agree to Mailu that actually our African drums are broken. It is timely for Africans of both categories to jointly share in a communal soul-search as per why, works like Mailu's Broken drum did not earn the prize in the recent Nairobi book prize faire.Any way we can't make a judgement.
Mwangi must have defined to his audience what actually East Africa is in terms of literature of prose, theatre, drama and poetry. Under normal judgement; our artistic East Africa is both black and white. Composing both White African writers and black African writters.Mwangi must as well appreciate the fact that east African boundaries of literature includes the diaspora.When Okoth Obama, president Obama's brother published his work in China, this is an East Africaner publication, only not to forget president Obama's; Audacity of hope and Dreams from my father. They are both writing to communicate a specific micro- African heritage. By a similar stretch, the Kiswahili publications like Kidagaa Kimemuozea of Ken Walibora Waliaulla by an American University publisher are also an East Africaner publication. When Dr Ruganda published his latest; Telling the truth laughingly; as PhD thesis on Professor Imbuga's political satires and the shreds of tenderness some years ago while in Canada, this was also two more African classics from an east Africaner.Ngugi's memoirs; The dreams in war, Globalectics, and In the name of the father that reveal the luminary's revist of his child-hood intellectual formations and experience at the University of Nairobi, may have been plotted in America or anywhere else they remain literary crop-ups from east Africa; Oludhe Macgoye's works are not European but instead, they are the peak of Luo-white cultural blend that confirms literary presence of white East Africans.
This stand gets support from historical experiences of literature in the name of V S Naipaul, Karen Blixen, Robert Ruark, Carol Eliksen and very many others. The facts of the experience is that all of the above re-known writers used to live in Africa and did substantial part of their writing while in Africa but their works are not classified as African literature but instead as Asian or European literature wherever necessary. Naipaul wrote the Miguel Street and House for Mr.Biswas while in Uganda but his works are classified as Trinidadian literature or Caribbean literature neither Ugandan nor African. Same case to Blixen, Ruark and Eliksen. They all lived in Nairobi, Kenya and wrote while in Kenya. Theirs works; Out of Africa, Mau Mau and Britain's Gulag were respectively written in Kenya. The plots and themes in these books are Kenyan both in texture and orientation. But they are finally classified as neither European literature.
Moroever, east Africa has never been a literary desert. Similarly, no any society in the history of the world has ever been a literary desert. Like in those days when Taban Lo Liyong was a student at Iowa writers' workshop the word literature used to mean both written and unwritten literature which was respectively known as literature and oral literature. Where written literature is missing then the void is filled up by oral literature was re-identified at Makerere university as orature and taken as a protégé of intellectual crusade to the world by Ngugi, Micere Mugo, Spivak Gavartri and many others. No time in history of the world did Africa ever missed orature. The Igbo folktales, Egyptian fairytales, Zulu Military songs, Bukusu circumcision songs, Akamba love songs, The kipsigis wall paintings which can be called wallorature, the Ghanaian sculpture, The Akamba handicraft, the Turkana decoration, The Somali oral poetry and incantations, the Kikuyu proverbs, Baganda love songs, Bagishu khadodi dance and the Swahili sayings have been their ten centuries before the advent of prose and written civilization in east Africa. They denoted nothing other than communal entertainment and cultural heritage of the people. If this was not literature then we need to re-define literature. But the main idea is existence of literature is possible without existence of books.
The facts are that the current east African literary situation is that of very many readers but a few writers. And those few writers who are there cannot easily access proactive publishers. Persistent lack of writer friendly publishers in one way or another has worked towards suffocation of written literature in east Africa. Perhaps an abstract logic to toy with is that if publishers are part of the body of the given literature then east Africa is a desert of literature publishers. In his book Another last word Taban Lo Liyong gave a sham solution to the problem of publishers letting the writers down by suggesting that you bribe them overnight with rivers of whisky and vodka then in the morning you will find yourself in the print. What a shame! Such an approach will not put east Africa on the same literary footing with Brazil. Because the current statistics is that Brazil has more than seven thousand established writers, writers with a stature as that one of ebrahim Hussein and J M Coatze. But in contrast east Africa as a whole has less than one hundred established writers. Let publishers like; Evans Mwangi, Ezekiel Mwazemba, Henry Chakava, and Jeneralli Maulimwengu change their focus from the old septuagenarian and octogenarian writers towards promoting young writers then the dull buds of cactus in this Tabanian desert will pulluluate into an immense foliage and canopy in the fauna of cultural and literary vineyard. Show young African writers a right intellectual cum cultural bench mark.
Taban Makitiyong Reneket Lo Liyong; Another last word
AFRICAN WRITERS HAVE CULTURAL RIGHTS TO FORMULATE AND CREATE ENGLISH WORDS
William Shakespeare appreciated in the literary community of knowers as an English bard remains an intellectual and a literary enigma until today, even if he died three centuries ago. He crafted more than a hundred tragedies and comedies for the English royal theatre of the Victorian times. He had a prowess for literary creativity that went beyond theatre and drama, to enjoy an equivalent domain in sonnets and other genre of poetry.One, unigue lesson about Shakespeare is that he was a mature writer and artist in the environment of young and immature linguistic civilization.
The Elizabethan English of Shakespeare's time did not have each and every word to express and communicate Shakespeare's imaginative and creative ideas. In this artistic quackmire Shakespeare chose to formulate his own words to achieve a language capable to express his ideas. Among the words Shakespeare created are; leapfrog in Julius ceaser, mercurial in Romeo and Juliet, clown in measure for measure, tapster in merry wives of Windsor, falstaffity in king Lear, bestow in both the tempest and much ado about nothing. The list of words created by Shakespeare cannot be exhausted.All of these Shakespeare‘s words are now adopted and used as standard middle English vocabularies.
This prowess is not lacking among African writters.The are some African literary personalities that enjoy a similar human potential of an artist with shakesprean literary knack. However, contradictions stand on the way of African artists towards Shakespearean big picture. At most, there is lack of cultural freedom, rights and powers to execute literary creativity, especially creativity that has an effect of adjusting current English grammar and diction. Africans; whether, laymen, writers, artists, theater masters and poets have only to use English language in communicating their creativity for their universal recognition. More distressing is that a good African writer must command good knowledge of English words and grammatical rules as recognized in the United Kingdom or North America.
Currently, a Ugandan Musical artiste, Betty Nafuna, in Mbale has formulated the word Brosters, meaning brothers and sisters. The word is flexibly used in a singing parlance. The only short fall is that the word broster may remain in the domain of Ugandan slang English forever and ever but not amen.
The late Chinua Achebe in his Anthills of the Savanna and Things fall apart, formulated the words; Mad-medico and Ogbanje respectively. Mad -medico means a corrupt civil servant or corruptible public leader, while Ogbanje is a child who is born then dies several times before it is finally born as a human being which can survive to old age. The need for communication in such situations of Achebe beats the current Maturity of English language as a popular sound media for communicating African ideas in art and literature.So, to absolve; a writer has to use a flexible word, which has to be appreciated by English speakers as a blessing, given that there was no previous English word for the purpose. However, this is not readily possible because the originator of the word is not an English man but an African. This type of cultural discrimination is a very wrong intellectual disposition.
Among the legacies of colonialism, adoption of English language as a universal sub-culture stands high above all other legacies. English as a language therefore is no longer a cultural protégé or reserve for the British, but instead a universal culture to be supported by the speakers in the common wealth. This gives any African, Asian or Arab in the commonwealth all cultural rights to form English words, as a quest for creativity and innovation in smoothening universal Anglophonic culture.
Empirically, there is a case in point as exposed by the east African standard on Thursday 4th 2011. In which was a feature story on Women entrepreneurs in Kenya. This media questioned and cautioned the future state of Kenyan men- folk in the corporate world given the threatening state of upsurge of women entrepreneurs. However, to a keen reader and any person interested in English language as a sub cultural factor of African linguistic civilization, one has to be thrilled by the writer's effort to have the engendered English language in this juncture through an observable formulation of the word Mamapreneurs in reference to women entrepreneurs.
Firstly, the English word entrepreneur is a combination of three French verbs; entro pro noir having an English equivalence in the verbs; to move towards darkness or to move in to unknown, or to reconnoitre.It has a logical connotation of taking a risk which is an exact description of a venture into a new business. The French verbs therefore had to be corrupted into an English term entrepreneur. This word entrepreneur does not have gender value.However, due to masculine nature of capitalist world, where men are at most the ones venturing to establish new business, the word entrepreneur therefore is conventionally related to a male risk taker in business.
Whereas the word Mama is a Kiswahili noun for mother or female who has once given birth whether married or not. Thus, the implied linguistic and cultural consciousness of the east African standard writer to use the word mama and preneur to formulate a single word Mamapreneurs is that women entrepreneurs have to be described differently, given special perception as well as corporate leadership expectation.
Cultural sensitivity to gender is an attribute of both Kiswahili and French language. This is why both of these languages have strict rules of grammar that at times require long time to be mastered. This cultural sensitivity also influences psychology of language formation and hence the complete culture of a given people. Similarly if the same method of reasoning is taken to Middle English; Clarity can be achieved by describing female entrepreneurs as femipreneurs, effemipreneurs, geneopreneurs, she-preneurs, sispreneurs or girlpreneurs just but to try a few.
Similar efforts have been shown by different persons and artists in different points of time in the history of English language. Most interesting, is John Ruskin the father of Ruskinian moralism and the author of Unto This Last. By logic Ruskin deduced that the word wealth is deduced from the words; well being, or economic well being.Hence well beingness, which when corrected to grammatical standard becomes ‘wealth' but not economic ‘wellness'. On a reverse logic of word and opposites or word and antinonyms; Ruskin thought of ill being. Like economic ill being, social ill being or say political ill being. On this, Ruskin finds the ill beingness not fit for the purpose but instead, he extended the logic of forming the word wealth from well being to form the word illeth as a descriptive verb for ill state of economy, the opposite of wealth. Other good efforts have been shown by a Ugandan scholar at Makerere University; Who uses the word orature to mean entertainment heritage of any given people or community existing verbally but not necessarily written down. Dr Rourke an American political scientist uses the word Intermestic to mean both international and domestic. Example is an intermerstic policy, which is a policy affecting both international and domestic affairs of the policy maker. Similarly, Dr Namwamba of Kenyatta University encourages usage of the word propportunity but not problem, given a mystery that all problems come along with opportunities.
However, the question is that to which extend are English words formed outside Britain can be accepted as standard words of the English language in Oxford English dictionary? Is it possible for such words to have a cultural extend as that of those words formulated in European countries and North America? Will the word ‘Mamapreneurs' soon join the mainstream English linguistic subculture?
John Ruskin; Unto This last
Namwamba Destiny; critical thinking and logic
Rourke D; International Politics
LIKE PUSHKIN, AFRICAN WRITERS MUST CREATE THEIR OWN PROFFESSION OF LITERATURE
Regardless of high requirements for intellectual input and refined talents writing literary works, Acting in theatrics as well as poetry performance or sculpturing are the least paying career one can entice in Africa. Collectively the domain of literature as a career is not a certain source of income to the practitioners in Africa. What It means is that, it is not easy to be assured of the livelihood, support of family and even the self by basically eking on literary talent; whether novel writing, drama nor poetry wrighting and acting. Empiric reality is that, in the present Africa no one has ever lived as a writer without complementing his or her incomes through different efforts.
Economic history of literature reveals that this is not a strange situation. It only confirms that successful literary economies have been in the same economic and market quack mire a handful of decades ago. Borrowing examples from European writers of the last two centuries; it is noticeable that poverty and sgualorly pennilessness were the life conditions of devoted and committed writers. Ayn Rand, the European American queen of objectivity, who authored philosophical classics of the fountain head and the atlas shrugged, was forced to move out of Leninist Russia in to USA in pursuit of good economic environment for a writer. Within the broad perspectives of American dream which was also the dream of Ayn Rand made it possible for her to be established as the world's best writer of protic novel and objectivistic cum moralist philosophy.
Supposedly, the best benchmark for a young African intellectual entrepreneur in the line of art and literature is the extreme poor Russian saint of literature; Alexander sergeyvich Pushkin. Whose life is a pure paradox of literature as both a social and intellectual value; that, inspite of putting Russia on the world map of literature, he was ever threatened by death due to lack of food or money for basic Medicare.But, exemplary enough, Pushkin began bargaining with publishers in Petersburg for payments before publication and where publishers never paid he opted to self-publication through reading and performing of his poetry to the public but at a fee. These two moves made Pushkin a first Russian writer to make a coin from literature and artistic writing.This was indeed the genesis of Pushkin's opportunity to enjoy some good state of income. Thus, in the subsequent experiences, Pushkin was enabled by these commercial maneouvres to comfortably write his best two works; Eugene Onegene and Boris Godunov. Indeed, it is factually right to condone that Pushkin is the father of commercial Russian literature as well as the father of literary strategy of self- publication.
The current observation as a guide out of this African literary economic despair is the German example.In Germany, Professional self-publishing is no longer an oxymoron. The situation In German is that; Self-publishing has become much more than a way to see your name in print. Some German authors are selling so many books themselves than the publishing houses are doing.
One of these Germany authors is Ina Körner, who like any other writer started off by wanting to go through a traditional route. She shared out on the Deutsch Welle German international paper that; in early 2009, she had an idea for a story, wrote it, and sent the manuscript to a number of different publishing houses. The result was sobering in that she didn't receive any response at all. Then the rejections started coming in. But recently in sharp to contradiction to her past experience Ina Körner won a self-publishing award at the Leipzig Book Fair. Ina Körner's story is an intellectual swagger. Indeed one with happy endings. It is an empiric life testimony that success for self-publishers is possible anywhere in the world. A beautiful lesson from this experience is that after her success as a self-published writer, more and more publishing houses have approached her.Kroner shared out on her face book page that; first, the foreign publishers came, asking for the French, English or Korean rights to the books. However the lesson to learn is that self publishing often depends on the genre of the work being published. Self-publishing is particularly fit for fantasy, mystery and light fiction. However a slight digression to this stand is that one of the most informative and most read American documentaries is a self published book by Andrew Hitchcock. The book is none other than the famous Synagogue of Satan.
Another pertinent literary move in relation to the same is a position that; whether with or without a traditional publisher, writers, authors poets, sculptors, playwrights and painters or person in the world of literature, orature and art in the contemporary days in Africa or anywhere, have to play a big role in marketing their works via Face book, Twitter, Goggle + or on their respective blogs or diverse homepages. The rationale for all these is that most publishing houses don't have the financial capacity to invest equally in all of their authors. Thus For these reason or another the authors have to boost their own presence in the form of advertising and literary publicity campaign says.The above cited Germany writer Ina Körner is a case in point who has had abundant positive experiences with these social media approaches. She often communicates with her readers on her social media platform and shows an interest in their constructive comments. She also solicits for their help in finding names for her active literary and intellectual protagonists. She also invites particularly her faithful readers to review unfinished manuscripts or test copies. Körner literary quality focus is that she doesn't want to give up this virtue of author-reader contact to all levels whether as a self-published writer or not.
In contrast to the above, Writing in the USA has been and it stills a lucrative venture with minimum challenges, as long as the author commands the required level of writing and intellectual competence. A recent example in support of this observation when Mario Puzzo, was living as a poor person in Newyork's Hell's kitchen. He had no economic options other to chose one move which he believed could pull him out of poverty. It was to write. This is when he wrote mafia related popular fictions like The God Father. This book heavily sold on a debutante and actually released Mario Puzzo from a sharp fangle of poverty and want. But in a sharp contrast this cannot be possible in any African country like Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana, Tanzania, Angola or any other.
The present-day literary economic status quo in Africa is that, one cannot and will never in a single day imagine pulling herself from moral, environmental or economic depravities of urban or rural poverty in Africa by choosing to write. All pocket- happy African writers are simply products of the diaspora.Ngugi wa Thiong'o was a poor young man who was simply depending on teaching literature in English as main source of his income, when he had already published the best -selling; The River between, Grain of Wheat, Petals of blood, Weep not child and I will marry when I want. This misfortunate state of economic insensitivity to literary and artistic efforts by the African societies are among the intellectual as well as economic forces that made Ngugi to succumb to the ideological whims of utopian communist.However, after moving to the USA, writing has made Ngugi to earn, even to an extend of earning from his Murogi wa Kagogo, a long novel written in his mother tongue; a kikuyu. This of course has made Ngugi to dilate from his ideological past. As per now, Ngugi is ideologically toying between goodness of capitalism and defects of communism. This is barely discernible in his recent work which he has written as Memoirs known as dreams in time of war.
There are no contextual and economic reasons whatsoever that can make writing to be a non cash generating venture in Africa. Just as one time Mahatma Gandhi argued that; writing like any other labour must achieve to be a bread labour to all, whose benefit is to nourish both the soul and the flesh of the labourer.This is very true for African literary and artistic conditions. It is very true especially all of us have interest in literature we can be cognizant of the fact that, large book stores in the cities like Nairobi, Kampala and Lagos or Accra and Johannesburg experience high levels of stock turnover whose cash inflows from sales of novels in day are usually a whooping!
Government policies among the African states are still replete with cases of laxity when it comes to commercialization of art and literature. There are no good laws and administrative structures that can help in giving to an artistic and literary entrepreneur a leeway to effective creativity, authorship and performance. Also African bankers need to design their products to an extend of accommodating financial challenges of an art and literary worker. This will also spirit up potential writers and intellectual property policy makers to team up and work towards glorification of literature and art in Africa. Otherwise why should an African shoe-shiner earn more than an African writer?
References; Writtings of Mahatma Gandhi
THERE IS POWER IN THE NAME ‘ALEXANDER'
Spiritual scholars of Christian Science have a concept that there is power in the name. They at most identify the name Jesus and the name of God, Jehovah to be the most powerful names in the spiritual realm. But in the world of literature and intellectual movement, art, science, politics and creativity, the name Alexander is mysteriously powerful. Averagely, bearers of the name Alexander achieve some unique level of literary or intellectual glory, discover something novel or make some breakaway political victories.
Among the ancient and present-day Russians, most bearers of the name Alexander were imbued with some uniqueness of intellect, leadership or literary mighty. Beginning with the recent times of Russia, the first mysterious Alexander is the 1700 political reformist and effective leader, Tsar Alexander and his beautiful wife, tsarina Alexandrina. The couple transformed Russian society from pathetic peasantry to a middle class society. It is Tsar Alexander's leadership that lain a foundation for Russian socialist revolution. Different scholars of Russian history remember the reign of Tsar Alexander with a strong bliss. This is what made the Lenin family to name their son Alexander an elder brother to Vladimir Ilyanovsk Ilyich Lenin. This was done as parental projection through careful choice of a mentor for their young son. Alexander Lenin was named after this formidable ruler; Tsar Alexander. Alexander Lenin was a might scholar. An Intellectual and political reformist. He was a source of inspiration to his young brother Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, who became the Russian president after his brother Alexander, had died through political assassination. However, researches into distinctive prowess of these two brothers reveal that Alexander Lenin was more gifted intellectually than Vladimir Lenin.
Alexander Pushkin, another Russian personality with intellectual, cultural, theatrical and literary consenguences. He was a contemporary of Alexander pope. He is the main intellectual influence behind Nikolai Vasileyvich Gogol and very many other Russian writers. He is to Russians what Shakespeare is to English speakers or victor Hugo is to French speakers, Friedriech schiller and Frantz Kafka is to Germany readers or Miguel de Cervantes to the Spaniards. Among English readers, Shakespeare's drama of king Lear is a beacon of English political theatre, while Hugo's Les miscerables is an apex of French social and political literature, but Pushkin's Boris Godunov, a theatrical political satire, technically towers above the peers. For your point of information my dear reader; there has been a commonaplace false convention among English literature scholars that, William Shakespeare in conjunction with Robert Greene wrote and published highest number of books, more than anyone else. The factual truth is otherwise. No, they only published 90 works, but Pushkin published 700 works.
Equally glorious is Alexander Vasileyvich sholenstsyn, the, the, the author of I will be on phone by five, Cancer Ward, Gulag Archipelago' and the First Cycle. He is a contemporary of Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Alfred Nobel and Maxim Gorky. Literary and artistic excellence of Alexander Sholenstsyn, the, the anti-communist Russian novelist was and is still displayed through his mirroring of a corrupt Russian communist politics, made him a debate case among the then committee members for Nobel prize and American literature prize, but when the Kremlin learned of this they, detained Alexander sholenenstyn at Siberia for 18 years this is where he wrote his Gulag Archipelago. Which he wrote as sequel five years later to the previous novel the Cancer Ward whose main theme is despair among cancer patients in the Russian hospitals. This was simply a satirical way of expressing agony of despair among the then political prisoners at Siberia concentration camps.In its reaction to this communist front to capitalist literature through the glasnost machinery, the Washington government ordered chalice Chaplin an American pro-communist writer to be out of America within 45 minutes.
Alexander's; Payne, Pato, Petrovsky, and Pires are intellectual torchbearers of the world and Russian literary civilization. Not to forget, Alexander Popov, a poet and Russian master brewer, whose liquor brand ‘Popov' is the worldwide king of bar shelves?
In 1945 the Russians had very brutish two types of guns, designed to shoot at long range with very little chances of missing the target. These guns are; AK 47 and the Molotov gun. They were designed to defeat the German Nazi and later on to be used in international guerrilla movement. The first gun AK 47 was designed by Alexander klashilinikov and the second by Alexander Molotov. These are the two Alexander's that made milestones in history of world military technology.
The name Alexander was one of the titles or the epithet used to be given to the Greek goddess Hera and as such is taken to mean the one who comes to save warriors. In Homer's epical work; the Iliad, the most dominant character Paris who often saved the other warriors was also known also as Alexander. This name's linkage to popularity was spread throughout the Greek world by the military maneuvers and conquests shown by Wikipedia as those of; King Alexander III. Alexander III is commonly known as Alexander the Great. Evidently; the biblical book of Daniel had a prophecy. It was about fall of empires down to advent of Jesus as a final ruler. The prophecy venerated Roman Empire above all else. As well the, prophecy magnified military brilliance, intellect and leadership skills of the Greek, Alexander the great, the conqueror of Roman Empire. Alexander the great was highly inspired by the secret talks he often held with his mother. All bible readers and historians have reasons to believe that Alexander of Greece was powerful, intellectually might, strong in judgment and a political mystery and enigma that remain classic to date.
In his book Glimpses of History, jewarlal Nehru discusses the Guru Nanak as an Indian religious sect, Business Empire, clan, caste, and an intellectual movement of admirable standard that shares a parrell only with the Aga Khans. Their founder is known, as Skander Nanak.The name skander is an Indian version for Alexander. Thus, Alexander Nanak is the founder of Guru Nanak business empire and sub Indian spiritual community. Alexander Nanak was an intellectual, recited Ramayana and Mahabharata off head; he was both a secular and religious scholar as well as a corporate strategist.
The American market and industrial civilsations has very many wonderful Alexander's in its history. The earliest known Alexander in American is Hamilton, the poet, writer, politician and political reformist. Hamilton strongly worked for establishment of American constitution. Contemporaries of Hamilton are; Alexander graham bell and Alexander flemming.bell is the American scientist who discovered a modern electrical bell, while Fleming, A Nobel Prize Laureate discovered that fungus on stale bread can make penicillin to be used in curing malaria. Other American Alexander's are; wan, Ludwig, Macqueen, Calder and ovechikin.
Italian front to mysterious greatness in the name Alexander spectacularly emanates from science of electricity which has a measuring unit for electrical volume known as voltage. The name of this unit is a word coined from the Italian name Volta. He was an Italian scientist by the name Alesandro Volta. Alesandro is an Italian version for Alexander. Therefore it is Alexander Volta an Italian scientist who discovered volume of electrical energy as it moves along the cable. Thus in Italian culture the name Alexander is also a mystery.
Readers of European genre and classics agree that it is still enjoyfull to read the Three Musketeers and the Poor Christ of Montecristo for three or even more times. They are inspiring, with a depth of intellectual character, and classic in lessons to all generations. These two classics were written by Alexander Dumas, a French literary genious.he lived the same time as Hugo and Dostoyevsk.when Hugo was writing the Hunch-back of Notredame Dumas was writing the Three Musketeers. These two books were the source of inspiration for Dostoyevsky to write Brothers Karamazov. Another notable European- cum -American Alexander is Alexander pope, whose adage ‘short knowledge is dangerous, ' has remained a classic and ever quoted across a time span of two centuries. Alexander pope penned this line in the mid of 1800 in his poem better drink from the pyrene spring.
In the last century colleges, Universities and high schools in Kenya and throughout Africa, taught Alexander la Guma and Alexander Haley as set- book writers for political science, literature and drama courses. Alexander la Guma is a South African, ant-apartheid crusader and a writer of strange literary ability. His commonly read books are A walk in the Night, Time of the Butcher Bird and In the Fog of the Season's End. While Alexander Haley is an African in the American Diaspora. An intellectual heavy- weight, a politician, civil a rights activist and a writer of no precedent, whose book The Roots is a literary blockbuster to white American artists. Both la Guma and Haley are African Alexander's only that white bigotry in their respective countries of America and South Africa made them to be called Alex's.
The Kenyan only firm for actuaries is Alexander Forbes consultants. Alexander Forbes was an English-American mathematician. The lesson about Forbes is that mystery within the name Alexander makes it to be the brand of corporate actuarial practice in Africa and the entire world.
Something hypothetical and funny about this name Alexander is that its dictionary definition is; homemade brandy in Russia, just the way the east African names; Wamalwa, Wanjoi and Kimaiyo are used among the Bukusu, Agikuyu and Kalenjin communities of Kenya respectively. More hypothetical is the lesson that the short form of Alexander is Alex; it is not as spiritually consequential in any manner as its full version Alexander. The name Alex is just plain without any powers and spiritual connotation on the personality and character of the bearer. The name Alexander works intellectual miracles when used in full even in its variants and diminutives as pronounced in other languages that are neither English nor Greece. Presumably the - ander section of the name (Alex) ander is the one with life consequences on the history of the bearer. Also, it is not clear whether they are persons called Alexander who are born bright and gifted or it is the name Alexander that conjures power of intellect and creativity on them.
In comparative historical scenarios this name Alexander has been the name of many rulers, including kings of Macedon, kings of Scotland, emperors of Russia and popes, the list is infinite. Indeed, it is bare that when you poke into facts from antiques of politics, religion and human diversity, there is rich evidence that there is substantial positive spirituality between human success and social nomenclature in the name of Alexander. Some cases in archaic point are available in a listological exposition of early rulers on Wikipedia. Some names on Wikipedia in relation to the phenomenon of Alexanderity are: General Alexander; more often known as Paris of Troy as recounted by Homer in his Iliad. Then ensues a plethora; Alexander of Corinth who was the 10th king of Corinth, Alexander I of Macedon, Alexander II of Macedon, Alexander III of Macedonia alias Alexander the Great. There is still in the list in relation to Macedonia, Alexander IV and Alexander V. More facts of the antiques have Alexander of Pherae who was the despotic ruler of Pherae between 369 and 358 before the Common Era. The land of Epirus had Alexander I the king of Epirus about 342 before the Common Era and Alexander II the king of Epirus 272 before the Common Era. A series of other Alexander's in the antiques is composed of; Alexander the viceroy of Antigonus Gonatas and also the ruler of a rump state based on Corinth in 250 before the common era, then Alexander Balas, ruler of the Seleucid kingdom of Syria between 150 and 146 before the common era. Next in the list is Alexander Zabinas the ruler of part of the Seleucid kingdom of Syria based in Antioch between 128 and 123 before the common era, then Alexander Jannaeus king of Judea,103 to 76 before the common era and last but not least Alexander of Judaea son of Aristobulus II the king of Judaea. The list of Alexander's in relation to the antiquated Roman empire are; Alexander Severus, Julius Alexander who lived during the second century as the Emesene nobleman, Then next is Domitius Alexander the Roman usurper who declared himself emperor in 308. Next comes Alexander the emperor of Byzantine. Political antiques of Scotland have Alexander I, Alexander II and Alexander III of Scotland. The list cannot be exhausted but it is only a testimony that there are a lot of Alexander's in the antiques of the world.
Religious leadership also enjoys vastness of Alexander's. This is so among the Christians and non Christians, Catholics and Protestants and even among the charismatic and non-charismatic. These historical experiences start with Alexander kipsang Muge the Kenyan Anglican Bishop who died in a mysterious accident during the Kenyan political dark days of Moi. But when it comes to The antiques catholic pontifical history, there is still a plethora of them as evinced on Wikipedia; Pope Alexander I, Alexander of Apamea also the bishop of Apamea, Pope Alexander II, Pope Alexander III, Pope Alexander IV, Pope Alexander V, Pope Alexander VI, Pope Alexander VII, Pope Alexander VIII, Alexander of Constantinople the bishop of Constantinople, St. Alexander of Alexandria also the Coptic Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria between then Pope Alexander II of Alexandria the Coptic Pope and lastly Alexander of Lincoln the bishop of Lincoln and finally Alexander of Jerusalem.
However, the fact of logic is inherent in the premise that there is power in the name.An interesting experience I have had is that; when Eugene Nelson Mandela ochieng was kidnapped in Nairobi sometimes ago, a friend told me that there is power in the name. The name Mandela on a Nairobi born Luo boy attracts strong fortune and history making eventualities towards the boy, though fate of the world interferes, the boy Eugene Mandela ochieng is bound to be great, not because he was kidnapped but because he has an assuring name Nelson Mandela. With extension both in Africa and without, May God the almighty add all young Alexander's to the traditional list of other great and formidable Alexander's that came before. Amen.
Jewarlal Nehru; Glimpses of History
KENYAN COURTS AND PARLIAMENT ARE BETRAYERS OF HUMANE GOVERNANCE
(An echo of Marxian parliamentary cretinism)
I have chosen not to use the word democracy but instead I have used words; ‘ humane governance' not out of not knowing but under the full knowledge that political conditions in Kenya indeed pose a challenge to application of the word democracy in description of administrative institutions. Democracy is rendered hypothetical where democratic election machinery produces non-democratic results.Like in Kenya a large tribe forms a government against small tribes, a large religious organization forms government against small religious groups or the moneyed class muzzles all the democratically genuine efforts of the poor only to form government against the very poor. So in Kenya, at most governments are formed out of tribal consciousness and cultural-religious consciousness of the most populous against the similar consciousness of the minority. Now, using the word democracy in such situation is indisputably too early. However, through trial and error the words; humane governance can at least befit the situation.
Coming back to the point; institutions of parliament nowadays known as the lower house of Kenya and the courts otherwise known as the judiciary have of late evolved into forces that again provide materials that pin down the very contemplated human governance. The a, b, c, and d of recent events and current political unfolding are testimonies to these vices, the vices that are now eating the Kenyan society to a mild despair like a goat-ling in the loops of the boa constrictor.
It is memorable that the teachers who were participating in a lawful unionized strike were denied their monthly salaries. In addition the court fined all the teachers a penalty of Kenya shillings ten thousand each or they serve a sentence of six months in prison. This decision was publicly glorified by the attorney general of the state, Professor Githu Muigai.More extorting experience is evidently bearable, when the attorney general further contested on behalf of the state against the striking teachers that it amounts to court contempt if teachers will not abandon the strike and dance to the punitive tune of the court. This position was taken by attorney general in full contradiction of the law; both the constitutional law which gives all Kenyans the right of participating in the lawful strikes and demonstrations as well as the Statutes of general application that made the basis of decision in the matter of Ford motors versus associations of workers of Ford motors union in 1943 in London. The attorney general was biased when he failed to recognize a democratic virtue that if the court in its duty fails to uphold the constitution then any person or organization has full constitutional rights to remain defiant to that court order that was executed in conflict with the constitution.
The joint efforts of the attorney general and the Kenya teachers service commission to perpetrate this type of extortive terror on powerless teachers will not fail to make any person who saw the media clips of the teachers during the last week not to fail in adopting Karl Marx's words that they are a crowd of scrofulous, overworked, tired and consumptive starvelings, as the most optimal description of Kenyan teaching fraternity.
Readers of German ideology, one of the classical works of Karl Marx are aware of the condition that a person who does not have food, house, drink and clothes to an adequate measure he or she cannot defend democratic rights that pertain to herself.Thus, using logic of action and purpose in above episode of Kenya's labour versus political razzmatazz, one would not fail to deciphere that the attorney general wants to play a sadistic role of subjecting teachers to terror of illusive want so that they cannot stand a capacity to enforce their constitutional right of freedom to unionize their labour and entitlement to a good pay.
In a current economic continuum of interplay between sectors and institution, teachers and education sectors add more value to Kenyan macro-economic bowel than the parliament. In fact the parliament is merely a cost driver, it is expensive to the taxpaying society in return for nothing worthwile.The parliament of Kenya was required to make quality legislations that could give ground work for devolution of governance but instead the parliament in its lower house is the major stumbling block to devolution of governance and implementation as well as dispensation of the constitution. Observation of recent events has it that the parliament is more engaged in selfish legislation, it inspires sense of tribe and is nonchalant to democratic and economic imperatives of a run- of- the- mill Kenyan.However, in a sharp counterpoise, teachers and education sector are the true soilers, it's the sweat of their brow that will catapult Kenya towards the desired goal of millennium development. Indeed economic torment of teachers is a high level of inhumanity in governance at all possible levels.
A clear example in which the Kenyan courts stand out as antitheses to democracy is in the recent eventuality of the Kenyan Supreme Court foiling the procedural fabric of the case which disputed presidential elections of 2012, where the chief justice made a decision against the plaintiffs without giving reasons neither of facts nor law. Such and many other administrative flaps will not fail to give to a Kenyan les enfant terrible who will solve next disputed elections in the streets but not in the court room. The same brave courts went ahead to criminalize a drama work of Bunyore Girls secondary school simply because the shackles of doom, the drama which these girls were to perform. Simply because the play gives would give a clear picture of how avarice of capitalism plus deep sense of primitive accumulation of wealth will make the oil resources recently discovered in Kenya to put the society in to troubles instead of peace. How I wish the courts and the political class in Kenya had some literary benchmarking on the Catholic Church, which keeps all the books that pique the church in the church library. All anti catholic literature books like; The Bank of God, In God's name, Christ the man, the word, the apparition, Da vince code, and O Jerusalem are found in catholic libraries all over the world. Technically it means that censure of literature is only done by public taste, literary critique or literary experts but not by the court which even cannot differentiate synechedoche from serenedipity. This was mere failure to respect nationwide democracy.
Karl Marx; German ideology
AFRO-CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO RADICAL LITERATURE IS GOOD AND SWAGGERISH
The world has ever had in every epoch the literatures that guestion and criticizes christianity.But in all of these situations response by the African Christian community to these cases of radical literature has been always gentle, nonviolent and admirable. No generation has ever passed in the world without a literary instance where a book is published with contents full of scathing contradictions to Christian faith. But all these have been received with very admirable response.
To start with a very a recent observation; Pope Rantzinger's intellectual history is nothing else other than open passion for Marxism as a basis of liberation theology.Ratzinger's presentations, publication and arguments for world Christian movement is based on the ideological blend of Christo-marxism.Where a controversy comes in is that Karl Marx openly dismissed Christianity as an opium of the mind fit only to sent peasant women to lull and sleep, Marx argued that Christianity has nothing to do with working middle class. How Pope Ratzinger harmonized Biblical Christianity and the radical Das kapitel remains an intellectual mystery putting many on the spiritual willow-o-the-wisp.
In 2007, Dan Brown, an American, a Christian and also a citizen of a substantially Christian nation, published a book that perpetrated very scathing ridicule against authenticity of Christ's ministry and the Christian church. Dan Brown evinces presence of homosexuality in the history of Christianity, exposes the marriage of Jesus to Mary Magdalene which he coded as the Holy Grail and also doubts death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But interestingly neither African nor any other Christian leader displayed tempests in behavior in response other than allowing Brown's book; Da Vinci code, to be subjected to both intellectual and theatrical appreciation as the best option for censoring and getting censored. The nonchalance apparent in the Christian intellectual response to Da Vinci Code has finally let the book to a decadence which time gives often in neutrality of its judgment.
Decade earlier, Barbara Thiering, had published three works that openly dismisses validity and factuality of Christian faith. Barbara's books are; Jesus the man, Life of Jesus after cruxification, and Jesus of the East. All these three works share a disposition of themes and content; they all point to assertion that, Jesus married Mary Magdalene, Jesus did not die on the cross, Jesus was not of the virgin birth, Jesus fought with his brother Jude over inadequate food at home when their mother had been sentenced to three years of being a woman of the devil after death of her husband Joseph which was the observation of the bombazine by the Jewish society of those days. Barbara Thiering further observed that; after Mary Magdalene, Jesus died at age of sixty years in Rome and also the idea of immaculate Conception is mere a Jewish lie and an intricate sly way of converting shame to communal glory. All these claims are sensationally sacrilegious to Christian faith. One interesting observation is that Dr. Barbra Thiering lives in Australia as a retired lecturer of divinity and Vaticanology; he is an established writer, highly respected as an intellectual with a leap of logic. Inspite of the fact that Australia is dominantly a Christian continent, Dr Thiering's life has never been in any danger. She is happy and looking forward to publish another book on the same type of themes, which she has entitiled; Christ of apocalypse.
A decade earlier before Dr. Thiering, an American Vaticanologist called David Yallop had published; In God's name and The Bank of God. These two works jointly dismissed the catholic church at the holy see in Vatican as nothing else other than a gang of drug dealers, Mafia supporters and Money launderers.Yallop, argued in God's name that; mysterious death of Pope John I born Albino Luciano, was purely an outcome of evil wheel-dealing as a brain child of the then Vatican secretary of the state; Jean Vilot in conjunction with accomplices; the two evil Vatican bishops; Paul Masingusi and Michelle Sindona.Yallop's books were popular reads of 1980's and they never put Yallop's life in any danger of the Christian rage. This was so both in African Christendom whose Christian faith is eighty percent catholic and other Christendoms without Africa. The only reaction was usual intellectualized version of literary appreciation and critique in the media and academic fora.
A decade earlier before Barbara Thiering, Irving Wallace had written two fictions but with full of allegory capable to make them blockbustering religious satires; the miracle and another one was the Word. The miracle dramatized apparition of the Virgin Mary at the cave called the grotto in the outskirts of Paris. Wallace ended the book with a plot and theme on shameful catholic faithfuls not actually meeting their expectations. But the word deeply delved into humanity of Jesus Christ. It exposed that Jesus Christ had a pronounced limb in his left leg and hence he was disabled. The collective rationale of these observations is that the way Christian community has responded to the experiences of literary attack on their faith is so calm that it has supported growth of literature, art and theatre in Africa and the entire world. This is so good in the sense that it is not normal for religion to hamper human imaginations.
Above all in 2006, Andrew Hitchcock Carrington dismissed the allegations that the Algaeda bombed the twin towers. He discussed in the self-published book The Synagogue of Satan. That they are the sly Jews who bombed the twin towers in order to decoy the Americans into the war with the Arabs. This wondrous 60,000 word book was translated by independent publishers into several and diverse different languages and subsequently never missed to feature on bestseller lists worldwide in Africa and without. Now, five years later, Hitchcock's groundbreaking analytical historical study of deceptive Jewry has been expanded throughout and updated to the end of 2011.This has helped to form a chronological encyclopedia of this criminal burgeosie network which spans over 140,000 words and has a 30 page index to aid navigation. Included within the splendid wealth of additional information are the complete Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion together with excerpts from each of the eighty articles that make up the willy Henry Ford's four volume set The International Jew which are presented for the first time in a beautiful chronological order. This book is not recommended for the sheer faint-hearted. It is not an ordinary book. And no-one who reads it will dare remain the same again.
Lastly, one of the most controversial and acclaimed novels ever written is the Satanic Verses. It is Salman Rushdie's oeuvre and best-known and most galvanizing book. It is set in a modern world filled with both mayhem like Boko Haram and Alshabab. The story begins with a bang: the terrorist bombing of a London-bound jet in midflight. Two desperate Indian actors like the one witnessed in the siege at the Nairobi Mall of West Gate of opposing sensibilities fall to earth. They got concurrently transformed into living symbols of what is angelic and evil. This is just the initial act in a magnificent and turbulent odyssey that seamlessly merges the actual with the imagined spirituality. This book has book whose actual importance is eclipsed only by its quality The Satanic Verses as a key word leaves the world bamboozled; why are Moslems emotional?
YUNUS'S SOCIAL BANKING IS A GOOD BENCHCMARK FOR THIRD WORLD ENTREPRENEURS
Reading Muhammad Yunus's Bank of the poor is inspiringly enjoyful.Published by Public affairs of new York in a realm of seven years ago, the Banker of the poor is an informative autobiography, philosophical thesis, ethical cornerstone and an economics dissertation that befit extensive adoption and application as a model of corporate leadership in the third world economies. In this work, Yunus carries the reader through different scenarios of man's fight against poverty. As an experienced economist and social banker Yunus finely points out how the world economies; both developed and un-developed can adopt social banking as operationalised through micro lending, as a worth-wile social, economic as well as moral weapon for fighting world poverty.
As an autobiographical work, Yunus discusses his childhood experience in a lucid and a picturesque style of any versed writer of prose. Just as it is characteristic with all great people that make significant policies, Yunus is a product of child hood poverty, inner-city upbringing and material inadeguacy.Yunus's twist of fate got sharper when his mother who was his close friend went mentally berserk for thirty years down to her death.Inspite of poverty related challenges that plighted his early years, Yunus points out that avid readership of school text books and freelance reading of European classics, are key pillars of his mental alertness and scholastic focus. This is evident when Yunus later reveals that his earning of a Fulbright scholarship to Vanderbilt University was pure result of duty but not solicited favour.
In guest to present personal philosophy and personal moral disposition, Yunus argues that credit is a natural human right that each and every human creature must be entitled to. It is on this basis that Yunus establishes micro-lending as both a social and development practice that gives the poor of the earth an opportunity to see light of self reliance. In a similar stance, Yunus further, narrates that the poor people in all economic civilsations, are not able to retain capital, which is usually earned as part of their meager wages, in this situation therefore capital formation through profit accumulation is more attracted towards owners of invested capital. On this foundation Yunus encourages the industrial capitalist who have idle capital in their custody, to make it available to the poor through micro-lending.
The book gets to the climax by Yunus showing how some-times selfish political leadership can suffocate brilliant entrepreneurial ideas. This often happens when political leaders to contravene in corporate governance only to make economically insensitive policies. This is open condemnation of regular cases of third world government officials arrogating to themselves powers to board membership of corporations that are policy sensitive, even if some government officials don't have information, knack, commitment and experience to run a profit oriented enterprise in an economic environment of lean capital resources. Under this context, Yunus brings in a very controversial argument that, even also hiring of highly qualified personnel into corporate leadership is not a guarantee that these superb qualifications will translate into optimum corporate policies. As a solution Yunus becomes suggestive that manpower management must appreciate the idea of internal sourcing and executive development. In order to survive negative government infringement on corporate leadership, Yunus brings forward a picture that political and sovereign risks to corporation structure can be mitigated through political and parliamentary lobbying in addition to very good social net working. On the of unfair government interference in corporate leadership, Yunus conclusively remarks that most of third world poverty cases is ascribable to in- consistent government policies.
Lack of synergy between the universities and the community practice of small scale agri-business enterprise is a bane of third world academics. Yunus brings out this point by showing that universities in the poor world are insensitive to poverty. They only make research that ends up as a paper publication on the shelves of university libraries. Yunus challenges universities to solve the problem of rural and urban poverty directly without necessarily bringing in confusing models of mathematics and development economics.
In conclusion, Yunus points out that; it is a serious shame for the current human society to tolerate poverty, when it has enough machinery to remove it from the face of the earth.Yunus, points out that if the world leaders can borrow the Grameen bank idea of corporate leadership that focuses on poverty alleviation, human dignity, fundamental human right of accessibility to loanable funds or credit, and social obligations that human comfort is a center-piece of modern corporate objectives other than selfish profit making, then poverty can be sent to a backyard of the world museums when by the time the world celebrates the next jubilee.
Muhamed Yunus; The Bank of the Poor
HEROISM IS NOT GREATNESS BUT HUMILITY IN SERVICE TO HUMANITY
Culture of hero worship is now up and down in all the states of east Africa, Africa in general and even in Asia. This is openly evident in public ceremonies in honor of the perceived heroes and sheroes or heroines that often characterize statutory and customary public holidays of the east African states. In Kenya, the new constitution has a provision stipulating for the October 20th to be a public holiday, locally described as Mashujaa day. It is a similar cultural and constitutional civilization of very many other states around the region. However, this cultural and political achievement is dominated by very many shortcomings, weaknesses and commonplace piccadiloes that every man and woman having facts of local history can easily point out.
East African perception of a hero is strongly influenced by history of strongmen and women, who have in one way or another enjoyed extreme leadership position. It is this version of hero worship that has again and then conditioned leaders in the east African region to have a political and governance mindset that leadership has to be equated to greatness.Where, the contrast is the technical truth that true leadership is really heroism achieved through humility and service to mankind but not personal valor and glory that rest on solid personal ambition and achievement mostly coming as a connotation of great-manship.
Two American proffessors; Daft and Rourke have made very exemplary observations about the nature of meaningful and true heroism when it comes to leadership, governance, ethics and service to mankind. Daft (2000) observed that leadership is not greatness, but true leadership is like the act of that one American soldier who was in Iraq, after noticing that there is boiling oil tank about to explode and kill fellow troop members, he jumped in to it to forestall the explosion. He died but fellow troop members were saved out of this self immolating action. Professor Rourke, equates heroic leadership and governance to the spirit of the words that are found in the national anthem of the Balkan state Checheynia.The words are that; ‘we were born in the wee of the night when the bear whelps we shall never leave our country to any vice.' In a similar proactive tempo; President John Fitzgerald Kennedy equated true heroic leadership to effective followership by posing a question that ask yourself what you have ever done for your country before you ask your country what it has ever done for you? ..All this virtues tune into one another, even just like the famous Luther king Jnr version of leadership and heroism expressed through the parable of a street sweeper, all point to one good lesson that hero worship in any society should be worship of service to humanity but not as Ali A. Mazrui puts it, ‘apotheosification of strongman at the expense of degradation of social capital and institutions.'
In contrast to the above tempo of humility and service to mankind, practice of leadership and hero worship in east Africa is simply commemorations of greatmen.The true heroes who sacrificed themselves for the sake of the community are merely forgotten. Like in Kenya, true selfless heroes in the likes of Arap Manyei, Koitalel Arap Samoie, Elijah Masinde, and Joash Walumoli, Dedan Kimathi wa Miciuri, Chelegat Mutai and Alexander Kipsang Muge are never easily mentioned during the public ceremonies of the heroes' day. But instead people who made unfair fortunes from politics and public office are highly garlanded during these holidays to an extended of naming some high streets and avenues after them. It is under this context of self aggrandizement that words of Shakespeare; ‘my lord, time as a judge has a wallet on its back in which it puts items of the past whence they doeth go no man can explain, ' have a matchless meaning.
Other civilizations in history also failed to appreciate the true value of hero and leadership worship only to end up into a blind dint of personality cult. Personality cults were first experienced in relation to totalitarian regimes that sought to radically alter or transform society according to radical ideas. Often, a single leader became associated with this revolutionary transformation, and came to be treated as a benevolent guide for the nation without whom the transformation to a better future couldn't occur. This has been generally the justification for personality cults that arose in totalitarian societies of the 20th century, such as those of Hitler. Not all dictatorships foster personality cults, not all personality cults are dictatorships, some are nominally democratic and some leaders may actively seek to minimize their own public adulation. For example, during the Cambodian Khmer Rouge regime, images of dictator Pol Pot were rarely seen in public, and his identity was under dispute abroad until after his fall from power. The same applied to numerous Eastern European Communist regimes following World War II.Similarly, in North Korea and Thailand, there exist very successful cults of personality. In North Korea, there is actual semi-worship of both the father, Kim Il-sung and his ancestors, some estimates going as far as suggesting that citizens of North Korea believe that Kim Il-Sung, proclaimed Eternal President four years after his death created the world, and that his son, current Dear Leader; Kim Jong-Il, can control the weather. In Thailand, strict laws keep people from expressing negative opinions of the royal family. Facebookers and twitterratti who do such things have been charged with long jail terms.
Some writers like; Alexander Zinovyev have argued that Leonid Brezhnev's rule was also characterized by a cult of personality, though unlike Lenin and Stalin, Brezhnev did not initiate large-scale persecutions in the country. One of the aspects of Leonid Brezhnev's cult of personality was Brezhnev's obsession with titles, rewards and decorations, leading to his inflated decoration with medals, orders and so on. This was often ridiculed by the ordinary people and led to the creation of many jokes. Journalist Bradley Martin documented the personality cults of North Korea's father-son leadership, 'Great Leader' Kim Il-sung and Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il. While visiting North Korea in 1979 he noted that nearly all music, art, and sculpture that he observed glorified Great Leader Kim Il-sung, whose personality cult was then being extended to his son, Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il. Kim Il-sung rejected the notion that he had created a cult around himself and accused those who suggested so of factionalism. Evidence of the cult of Kim Il-Sung continues into the 21st century despite his death in 1994 with the erection of Yeong Saeng or eternal life monuments throughout the country, each dedicated to the departed Great Leader, at which citizens are expected to pay annual tribute on his official birthday or the anniversary of his death. Similarly, Saparmurat Niyazov, who was ruler of Turkmenistan from 1985 to 2006, is another oft-cited cultivator of a cult of personality. Niyazov simultaneously cut funding to and partially disassembled the education system in the name of reform, while injecting ideological indoctrination into it by requiring all schools to take his own book, the Ruhnama, as its primary text, and like Kim Il-sung, there is even a creation myth surrounding him. During Niyazov rule there was no freedom of the press nor was there freedom of speech. This further meant that opposition to Niyazov was strictly forbidden and major opposition figures have been imprisoned, institutionalized, deported, or have fled the country, and their family members are routinely harassed by the authorities. Additionally, a silhouette of Niyazov was used as a logo on television broadcasts and statues and pictures of him were erected everywhere.
Rationale and urgency of hero worship as a national practice is that it has a direct effect on the quality of public sector governance, corporate governance and level of ethics in the multiple sector leadership. It thus, has to serve true goals of future history but not to be manipulated to an extend of becoming an entertainment package for the powers that be. It must be based on identification of true heroes, Like Wangare Mathai who in spite of enjoying high financial success, her passion for green environment guided her conscience to caution that she be cremated in a cheapest coffin made from fresh water hyacinth but not solid timbre lest she may commit a sin of cutting a tree whether in life or in death.
Daft, L. (2009): Leadership experience
Rourke, D. (2009): International politics
KENYAN STUDENTS; YOUR MOBILE INTERNET CULTURE IS ANTI- ACADEMICS
Dear Kenyan University and college students, our fellow African lady as young or old as you are, has won series of prizes for her excellence in academic productivity, literary creativity and intellectual originality. Her name is Nonviolent Bulawayo; she was born and brought up in Zimbabwe, the land of reign of terror. Her age is mid twenties; her story is on the page of book editorial of The East African of July 19th to 25th 2011 and also in the Boston review. The secret of her success is academic intergrity, intellectual originality, superp creativity, talent management and genuine struggle for academic publicity. On all perspectives her publisher the Boston review journal had no choice but to nominate her for prize award.
But remember, apart from exceptional cases academic integrity in relation to originality and creativity among Kenyan University student community has totally disappeared. As you all know, this must be an outcome of several contextual causes but with a reminder that your mobile phone culture in relation to your obligation to exam and research ethics is in one way or another somehow distasteful. Why and how?
The first reason is that Kenyan Universities just as in the words of Taban Lo Liong'o; are on the brink of literary desert, had it not been the blessings of very old oases like Ngugi, P'tek, Ruganda and Micere Mugo. Secondly am sure that during every exam time you have ever used internet on your cell phones to cheat exams if not you have once or twice facilitated a friend to cheat exams via your mobile internet. You have also gone overboard in terms of your listening skills, in that you don't read during your free time but instead you browse your mobile internets when lectures are on. By so doing you only distort your listening psychology. Your physical orientation is also at risk due to your culture that you receive a phoney call in every ten or twenty minutes, Thus during lecture hours you must once or twice go out of lecture hall only to interrupt the lecturer or delink yourself from core information of the lecture. Why are you becoming slaves of very simple technology?
Some of you are now at a master's level.Required to submit a research report. Which is good, but your problem is that you will develop the literature through pure copy and pasting of the down loaded files of Wikipedia. Who told you that Wikipedia is a scholarly website? Let you be cautioned that your age and education has one purpose to this country of Kenya and continent of Africa. It is to do and achieve what your fore fathers has never done. This cannot be achieved by plagiarizing half baked write-ups you download from non academic web sites.
Ask old people at your homes, they will tell you that sex is holy, used only for divine purposes of making children. Therefore sex education should only be obtained through sanctified sources; parents, ethically positioned teachers and church leaders. But not the way you usually do: Browsing pornographic sites with endless appetite. You have to be sorry because you are only disorienting your behavior when it comes to sexual disposition and parental responsibility. Future is not far.
The culture which has overtaken your willpower in relation to mobile phone use has made you prone to intellectual robbery. You fail to be creative and original now; it will still be reflected in your future career life. You may not make any research and scientific success. This will make you again economic, cultural and technological slaves of the academically disciplined. Please change your mobile internet culture. Thank you.
WHAT IS THE MAGIC IN THE WORD ‘DRINKARD' OF AMOS TUTUOLA
This year alone I have attended three international cultural conferences, one in Kenya and others in other countries in African.All the conferences have been unigue to me because of the regular eventualitis of the Afro-English word drinkard as coined by Tmos Tutuola as a title of his novel Palm wine Drinkard with which it was mentioned and then spontaneously made to be a subject of the day.Also, more than five top african scholars of politics and lanugage have within the range of past seven months discussed Tutuola in relation to his word drinkard.Ngugi in this year when giving a BBC hard talk entiltled; English is not African language refered to Tutuola's charm in the efforts towards Africanisation of English as evident in this word drinkard.Initially Ngugi had on umpteen occasions refered to and infered from Tutuola in his annual lecture delivered at the Rene Wellek library. The lecture which became pubblished his currently last and philosophical book entintled the Globalectics.Similarly Phillip Ochieng, a Kenyan literary and english language colummnist with the publicationS of the National media group, in his usual duties of being an African guardian of English languaged openly expressed gusto for the acoustic thrill he derives from the sounds; Drinkard as coined by Tutuola and Beautyful as coined by Ayi Kweyi Armah as a word in the title of his book Beautyful ones are not yet born.In a similar tempo, Taban Matiyong Lo liyong has on several occasion admired Tutuola's lietrary sense especially the sensibility that Tutuola to midwife a thought process that gave the world the word drinkard.Liyong has displayed this appreciation in his two books; The last word and Another last word.Concurrent to This was also Wole Soyinka's cherish in relation to Tutuola's knack for art of language and language by premoniting that the drinkard in the mean time will remine un-impeacheable artistic success which only invites similar efforts from the Yoruba vernacular writters.Now on such a backdrop the must ensue a pertinent literary angst to such persitent barrage of acclaims to Tutuola's drinkard. The anxiety is; what is the inherent magic in the word Drinkard in the title of Tutuola's novel The palm wine drinkard and his dead palm-wine tapster in the deads' town.
The entire ansgst is eked in the cultural hopscotch about universalisation of english language which has been there and will be there for some times.It is not only Africa that has been affected by European languages, English in particular.It is every society.Even the French people with their high degree of cultural chauvinism use the word e-mail when refering to a computer based electronic mail.These are the same cultural fabrics that catapulted Proffessor Wole Soyinka to coin the phrase; Intellectual kamikaze. in 1978 and later on it used in 1987 in article with Kenya Daily Nation and 1997 in an article in a Sunday Nation.This phrase which which was eguated to intellectual suicide bombing as committed by Christopher Okgibo in the Biafra war, was received by the world society with a lot of positive intellectual brouhaha, the same way Tutuola's Drinkard is currently received.
These barrage of admirations are only a florence to Ngugi's timely BBC talk that English is not african Language.In which Ngugi posited that writers and artists from Africa who write in English are only making English as a language more colonial and imperialistic in its overtures of cultural and linguistic Darwinism.However, in this very talk Ngugi did not specify which English is not African English; Is it British English, American English, Caribean English, Nigerian English, Kenyan English or the funy Australian English against which which Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye in her prose and critical writtings has classically derided that once upon a time, an an Australian preacher came to Nairobi in 1980 and said that; to dayi is the dayi of st stephen.His translator into Kiswahili; shouted after him that Kufa ni kifo cha mtakatifu stephano.But it was supposed to be; to day is the day of st Stephen! ....So Ngugi has to specify the brand of English to be avoided as not African.Also Ngugi has not authoriatatively told the world what is to be used as an African language.Nyerere and Mazrui settled on Kiswahili.But Ngugi is still experimenting with Kiguyu at a rudimentary stage when in practice he derives his livelihood from teaching high profile English at university of California, Irvine.He stands out at this University as a distinguished proffessor of English.He also teaches a course known as special English.
Let me use Ngugi'S hallmark word; Globalectics in this juncture by pointing out that truth of the matter in the cultural globalectics is that Africa and African Writters cannot move away from English.But instead an African writter can do a lot in English and a lot for English in the global game of world literature and world civilisation.The trick is that African English speakers have to get cultural rights as users of the language to also move ahead and enjoy the freedom of cultural development as the one displayed by Tutuola in formulation of the Drinkard, Soyika with word Overrecheasness, Ngugi with word globalectics, Zirim with word orature and and Opicho with the word prisonorature.This type of approach was egually given a leeway by Lo Liyong in his funny book Amos Tutuola the son zinjathropus. In which he echoed that; you go, let Okara, Okgibo, Mailu, Nwapa, Imbuga, and all sons of Africa go against the grammar and Africanize English.
One young person from kenya I talked to about Ngugi's stand on English not being an African language told me that; how many things are not african that Ngugi has? Irvine is not African University, Dollars are not an African currency, Virgin group in an African airline, Vodafone are not African computers, BBC, is not an African station and very many other things that Ngugi is using daily. Then why is Ngugi refusing English language?
Amos Tutuola; Palm wine drinkard
Taban Lo Liyong; Amos Tutuola the son Zinjathropus
SOCIETIES IN AFRICA HAVE TO MENTOR BUT NOT CONDEMN THE LIKES OF JULIUS MALEMA
The monthly pan African magazine known as New Africa in the recent past carried an incursive feature story about an atrocious youthful South African political activist Julius Malema.Malema is implicated in the magazine as a youth who does not have respect for elders in the political caucusus of South Africa. In South African politics this young man has now generated a special breed of politics erroneously and derogatively labelled as the Malema effect. Under correct political analysis poised from the angle of true political journalism; Malema's role in South African politics is to be described as ‘youth effect', ‘class effect' or ‘paradoxical democracy effect', but not just a detestable political misbehavior to be reduced to an intended personality disparagement.
Julius Malema is not a first one of his own kind in politics of Africa.History of African politics is replete with several of such talents.The african diaspora in the America had a case of Dr.Martin Luther King, West Africa in the Nation of Nigeraia had Ken Saro Wiwa and Christopher Okigbo.In the same west African geographies there was a blessing of the strong voice of revolutionary governance in the land of Burkina Fasso in the name of the late president Thomas Isidoe Sankara who used to be admired as Che Que Vara of Africa.East Africa also enjoyed the political wit of Thomas Joseph Mboya.While the very south Africa is founded on the strong fabrics of revolutionary political movements like the Black Consciousness of Steve Biko.Inspite of such positive political energy that African youths exude the elderly echelon in the African political class rarely appreciate this virtue instead they work out to ensure that they decimate the very youth from the future of their politics.
Historically the large African society is known to be perfect in the art of distrusting the youth, misusing human resource in the youth as well as scuttling the youthful leadership potential through what Dr. Mukhisa Kitui describes as straight jacket wisdom in the name of condemning the young to a persistent promise of having to wait so that they may become the leaders of tomorrow. On this backdrop it is expected that the elderly politicians of South Africa have obviously misperceived the strength in Malema which could positively be mentored into a fortune of governance and ethics, only yet to abuse it into constrained categorical corner.
Some Political analysts in Kenya and Uganda, equate Malema to Mboya, the late Wamalwa and Luther king jnr.They severally argue that African governments have been destroying political talents like the one displayed in the political personality of Julius Malema through crude Machiavellian weapons like detention and assisnation. Wenani Kilong, a political scientist at Moi University argues that the problem of African political and corporate leaderships is the commonplace under-representation of the majorities like the youth, women and the poor when it comes to government decision making. He further posits that political efforts like those of Julius Malema trying to bring youthful charm, energy and charisma into diverse governance machineries are timely outcomes of informed and balanced democratic civilizations Which, if had been encountered in mature democracies like the USA it would be obvious that could be nurtured into a good political institution. This implies that under proper management and coaching, mentoring, counsellling and role modeling Malema can easily propel him into either a presidential or Nobel Prize material.
The American community contrasts with Africa on this social apprecaition of young Talent.The Americans appreciated and still appreciate political talent of Barack Obama, this appreciated talent is the psychological basis that nurtured enviroment which catapulted Obama into the office of American presidency.There had been very many contradictions anyway but they have been healthy criticims that target to improve governance quality level of the Obama governement but not necessarily selfish maneuvres.But in Africa, the strong syndrome has indeed battled a cult of dictatorship.The young who are the not yet economically strong have no leeway in the cult of African dictatorship.And even to make it worse these political strongmen go to an extend of mauling and lynching the very democratic youths as portrayed in the political drama between chief Nanga and Odili in Chinua Achebe's A man of the people.Empirically across Africa the cases of legally terrorizing a young female lawyer Miss. Kethi Kilonzo by the poltical powers that be in kenya, Museven's reign of terror in Uganda, Mugabe's despotism in Zimbabwe, Abdoulaye Wade's insensitive politics in Senegal and the non surrendering gerontocracy in the poltics of Eguitorial Guinea are only beautifull testimonies of nothing else other than thinning out of the African youth from the corridors of poltical leadership in to the peripheries where the youth are left to wallow in the mire as the wretched of the earth just borrow the language of Frantz Fanon.
What this means is that, African youths rarely participate in meaniful constitutional politics. Apart from being used by powerful political despots in guerrilla action or even sometimes in shameful stone throwing or railway plucking vandalistic actions.Thus, if our homespun political civilization brings as to an eventuality of African youth with right political spirit, muscle and ambition, it is our turn then to mentor and nurture but not to decimate not for anything else but only because we are nursing a psychological depravity described in politics of institutional formation as fear of change due to eminence of the unknown.
Steve Biko; Black Consiousness
Chinua Achebe; Aman of the people
Frantz Fanon; Wreched of the Earth
AMERICA WILL NOT WIN THE WAR ON GLOBAL TERRORISM
The Al shabab on 22 day of September 2013 attacked Kenya again. It has attacked and lynched siege on the Nairobi's biggest mall known as the West Gate. This is one of the severest after other similar attack in 1998.The people who are averagely assumed to be killed are one hundred.Al shabab is a regional east African arm of Arabo-islamic global terrorist group known as the Algaeda.But something notable about all the terrorist groups in the world, inclusive of Alshabab, is that they all have an Arabic, communist and Islamic bias with overt expression of anti-American movements.
The Lynching of the Mall in Nairobi has affected all the Kenyan communities. Asian and African, Europeans and Americans. However the survivors of the West Gate mall attack has narrated out that the attackers were discriminately asking for ones religion before they shoot. Thus Muslims were not shot but non Muslims were shot and then held hostage. The military sources on the site shared out that the terrorists were foreigners but they perfectly worked through their plan through co-operation of locals and citizens of a victim countries; Kenya and America.
Immediately after this terror attack in Nairobi, a group of social researchers in Kenya carried out an electronic survey on the social media to find out why the Alshabab has easily recruited the followers and why an African youth can easily accept recruitment in to the membership of terror groups like Boko haram, Al shabab, and Al gaeda.The responses gathered from diverse digital socialites skews into one modal direction which shows that America alone with its ostentatious international relations will not win the war on global terrorism.
The motivation for easy recruitment into membership of the terror groups was established by the social media survey as diverse factors but most august among them are; extreme conditions of poverty among the youths in contrast to the rich and wealthy elderly echelons of the most African societies. Also, sharp contrast in the economic conditions between America and Africa where American societies wallow in extreme riches whereas the African societies contemporaneously are stark deep in idyllic poverty perpetually wallowing in the mire of need and economic challenges. Some respondents cited the crooked way through which the state of Israel was formed as well as the atrocious nature of American foreign policy towards the Arab world through which there was perpetration of killing of Muamar Al Gadaffi and regular Military bombardment of Arab countries like Syria and Afghanistan.
Also the current American presidency and the preceding one of George Bush provoke distasteful responses on the social media. Especially in relation to the Prison maintained at quatanamo bay which basically was established as a basic torture facility used by the American government to torture terrorist suscepects from North Africa, Arab emirates and Europe. But the prison at Quatanamo bay is composed of a large number of North African as detainees. A respondent on the social media quoted Pravda, the Russian Newspaper in English version which had a revelation about the Quatanamo prison. The Pravda projected number of North Africans in the Quatamo prison to be currently standing at one hundred and thirty seven. The Newsweek also concurs with this position by narrating in its july 2013 edition that, there are very many prisoners of North African descend in quatanamo prison who began a hunger strike sometimes ago but they are forcefully fed through a tube.
The facebooking, tweetering and charting thematically show one modal position that American discriminatory foreign policy towards Israel and Persia, American extreme capital amid critical world poverty, poverty in Africa especially among the youth, presence of weapons of mass destruction in Israel to which America is oblivious or nonchalant , Russian technological casuistry and Chinese economic dominance combine into a blend of extensive anti-American feelings that make the world youths not reliable when it comes to the moral duty of desisting from joining the terrorist groups. American hard politics and hard diplomacy will make America not to win war on global terrorism.
AFRICA CAN OVERCOME A MENACE OF RAPE IN EVERY 30 MINUTES
On 20th July 2013 the BBC mid day news aired an item that at least aWoman is raped in India in every third minutes. The information wasarrived at after investigation by un- identified gender watch body in collaboration with the investigative journalism organ of British broadcasting corporation. India was only used as a representative case study for the rest of the poor world which encompasses Africa, African American societies like Chicago, South America, underdeveloped Europe
and Asia. The revelation was that rape is committed by man against woman, but rarely by women against woman nor woman against man.Soutik Biswas, a local BBC corresponded in India contented that the statistics in relation to rape will show higher results come next year especially
in the city of New Delhi, Calcutta, and Bombay. This was his local projection based on the trend of the preceding eventualities of rape cases. But more empirical is the eventuality of political brutality that was reported by the Pambazuka News in relation to the recently concluded elections in Zimbabwe that; Rape as a political weapon is part and parcel of embedded socio-cultural attitudes towards women, characterized by roora or bride wealth, an inherently patriarchal practice where women are framed as property or conduits of male wealth. This is when a man pays cash or livestock to the woman's family to enable him to get her hand in marriage. By so doing the woman will be expected to submit to the man. This leaves women especially vulnerable in countries where violent political tensions and poverty doubly marginalize citizens. Rape has been used widely as political weapon. It's the reason why most women shy away from participating in politics. They chose not to be active because once they are inside they will be subjected to all kinds of sexual abuse in order to get support to go high up the ranks of politics in Zimbabwe. Either way participating actively or not women remain at the risk because they are used as weapons in a power game between competing parties and forced sex is usually the favorite pawn used. This is also evident in Kenya where the Daily nation reported the Kenyan deputy president William Ruto who is a teetotaler was uncovered being
massaged by women senators inside a certain airplane. In spite of the threatening statistics the truth is that rape is beastly behavior, crudest form of human brutality and a serious affront to social progress which must be countermanded where there is human will backed up by social and political commitment. Using local cases like: Kenya, Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan and Nigeria. Rape is
usually a social outcome of powerlessness of the rape victim due to political failure, crude religion, cultural repugnance, economic dependence, and un-gendered civilization in a particular society like
the one that has eked persistent rape culture in Congo, primitive military action and irresponsible parental or guardian consciousness. But Karl Marx in his selected works ascribed rape and slave
mistreatment to crude seated culture of male chauvinism pedastalled on primitive sexual capitalism going beyond normal human boundaries crystallizing into consciousness of bestiality. An attempt to look at anti-human cult of rape from this perspective will actually show that in Congo Rape is committed by the armed force personnel or the United Nations peace keeping officers as an act of omission or commission. In Kenya rape is committed usually by parents, guardians or police
officers when on night patrol. For the case of police officers, an informed account has it that they usually arrest vagrant commercial sex workers during the night and if the sex worker fails to produce a bribe to the police officer then she will be raped in rounds by each police officer in the group as others will keep guard brandishing their long guns.Sadly, enough the victim will not come out to complain because she is shy due to a social fact as a sex worker she is already an outcast and the police officers in commissioning of rape have done nothing wrong because if anything they could have arrested, take her to the cells at the station and have her harshly charged. Indeed young
sex-workers in Eldoret town of Kenya who range from college and university students to all other assortments have often accepted that this is what happens to most sex workers in kenya.This if a proper data gathering exercise is executed a whooping encounter can be established that in Africa 30 people are raped in one minute! Hostels in Universities and Colleges as Hospitals wards are not an
exception they are also dens of regular rape cases that go un-covered because of psychological and social reasons. But an inquest into this social depravity has pointed out that sexual behavior became rampart when the governments of east African states withheld food and other catering services to students. This goes hand in hand with government decline to give cash boom and allowances to university students. Recently, there was a case of a male nurse raping an in patient in Nairobi. But the case has already gone to oblivion and buried to eternal rest. Ergo, this was not even a match to the gender agony seriously disheartening as experience by Kenyan womenfolk where more than one thousand women and young girls were raped in Eldoret and other parts of Uasin Gishu County by the Kalenjin Militias during the 2008 post election violence in Kenya. Surprisingly, one will not miss some truths from words of Raila Odinga that; sycophancy is dangerous to democracy, when he or she learns that, no rape case committed during the violence has been brought to any court in Kenya but instead the leaders of the same militia have now been elected to form the
current government in Kenya. It is sad. Rape is a very serious problem in societies that practice pastoralism, Animal raiding and rustling, female circumcision and child slave trade. These economic typologies are still alive in Pokot and Turkana counties of Kenya, Karamajong District of Uganda and areas within the regions of southern Ethiopia. Living in these areas will teach you a lesson dear reader that women and girl child are the most marginalized in the marginalized areas. The marginalized men extremely marginalize their womenfolk with a dint of ruthlessness. In these areas rape is socialized and made to be part of the culture, because every time cattle is raided women and young girls are also abducted away. But no one openly complains about abduction of women for forced marriage which is now an institutional practice of raping. Like in Southern Ethiopia, reliable statistical sources show that the country is infamous for the practice of marriage by abduction. It is common for a man working in co-ordination with accomplices and friends to viciously kidnap a defenseless girl or even a married woman taking her away from her family, sometimes using brutish forces like a horse to ease the escape. The abductor will then go clandestine and hide his intended
bride only to rape her primitively until she becomes pregnant. To carry a baby in her womb that she never contemplated nor consented to. Subsequently, the kidnapper will justify his inhumanity by negotiating bride price with the village elders to legitimize the marriage. Girls as young as eleven years old are often reported to have been kidnapped for the purpose of such distasteful marriages.
Whoever taught humanity that rape as a civil casualty is a military strategy was wrong. He only misled human society and at most he was a genius in gender based stupidly. Reasons are that success of this evil are equally working against man as the founder.Nowadays men are often raped homosexually whenever there is any military breakdown but this is not noticed as it suffers from a lacuna of social values. This level of inhumanity is also hinted but particularly in Zimbabwe where
Tachel, remarked during the interview with the Boston Review that; Mugabe blasted me as a "gay gangster" and I wear that badge with pride. I would be very interested to hear what a psychiatrist has to say about Mugabe's obsession with homosexuality. Given all of Zimbabwe's problems, given the dire state of the economy, the suffering of its people, why is he so obsessed with homosexuality? It's not natural. It's not normal for any man to be so obsessed with other men. What is it in his own mentality or his own sexuality that drives him to this obsession? Tachel went ahead to link this behavior of political masculinity to research by Professor Henry Adams at the University of Georgia, which found that 80 percent of strongly homophobic heterosexual men have deep insecurities about their own heterosexuality and in many cases are repressed self-loathing homosexuals. Rudimentary fallacies in relation to rape are redolent in the works of Thornhill and Palmer, in which they have written that Rape is viewed as a natural, biological phenomenon that is a product of the human
evolutionary heritage. Thornhill and Palmer are bourgeoisie writers who look at a phenomenon in terms of bourgeoisies' convenience. It has to be clear that rape does not indicate evolution but instead it is an apex of social depravement in terms of manners and degradation in terms of humanity. This is why they got a counter in the position of Wilson (2003) who argued that evolutionary psychologists like Thornhill and Palmer use the naturalistic fallacy inappropriately t forestall legitimate discussion about the ethical implications of their theory. In addition to conventional arguments for prevention of rape which have included; explaining to males that they may have predispositions to misread the female invitation of sex, viewing rape as an abnormal desire for domination, or that women dress affect the risk of rape and greater societal freedom of dating without supervision an act of rape has to be looked at as learned behavior of a rapist which is only motivated by the victim not being armed and not being accessible to an effective legal machinery. The perfect prevention of rape is simple; stoning the rapist to death.
COMPARATIVE ROLES OF AFRICAN-BRAZILIAN LITERATURE IN THE POLITICS OF RACIAL AND GENDER DEMOCRACY
Brazilian art, orature and written literature is communicated in the Portuguese language by the assortment of races living in Brazil or by the Brazilians. This cultural embodiments were experienced even before Brazil's independence from portuequesse colonial rule in 1822. However, with the inception of the 20th century Brazilian literature and art movement gradually changed to a different and more Brazilian literary stature. This domestication of Spanish language as agent of Brazilian literature and art in evident in the dint of enticement and use of the Spanish language by the Brazilian natives like the Meozitiso. This cultural change made one of the eminent Brazilian Poets Eduard Kac to make jocular joke by describing this transition from enslaved literature to the Brazilian homespun art and literature as; verbivocovisualscripturality.
Just like African literature which is dominantly communicated through European languages, especially English, French and Spanish with a sharp bent to expose anti-colonial and post-colonial feelings, Brazilian literary civilization is also not devoid of radical theory and active struggle against tyranny of the powers that be. Trenchant declaration by the Brazillian educationist, Paulo Freire in his Pedagogy of the Oppressed that both racial and class struggles reguire three pillars; pavla, povlo e povo, whose English equivalent is; people, the word and gun powder, is a true testimony to this historical position of interplay between literature and politics in Brazilian racial and gender democracy.
In his book Racism in a Racial Democracy, France Winddance Twine poses an objective question that; why do Brazilians, particularly Afro-Brazilians, still have faith in Brazil's skewed racial democracy in the face of terrifying racism in all perspectives of Brazilian public and private life.Widdance did not answer himself.When you read this book you will come to the end without getting reasons as per why most of the Brazillain populace are not aroused to an intesive agitation against pockets of racial misgovernance in Brazil.Twine is not alone, He shares the world with a plethora of African anti-racism writers.He is Just echoeing Dorris Lessing in her The Grass is singing, Alex La Guma in his A Walk in the Night and Alex Haley in his blockbustering novel cum cinema The Roots.Twine is only using a literary candle to illuminate on the obstacles that the Brazilian protagonist for racial and class democracy have to realize as a basis for justifiable attempt to generate relevant grassroot support for a movement that can deliver race blind civilization among the people of Brazil. These are the same groundings on which Lessing based to question morality behind murdering of natives by white landlord in south Africa; And also on which Haley based to doubt psychological health of the tuobobs or white slave drivers in relation to their dehumanizingly horrible treatement of Africans during the era of slavery.
Brazilian literature also stands as a comrade in arms with Africa to join in the contradiction against conventional attacks on the African literature that it is devoid of modern themes other than anti-colonialism.Which indeed is only misunderstanding of a fact. Either due to racial bias or avarice for cultural subjugation. The fact is that any current civilization of any society is influence by the political conditions in the history of the society. All post-colonial societies and ex-slave civilizations express their feelings through their; orature, literature, drama, sculpture and poetry. The time which this feelings will take is never known.History of communal or racial abuse is usually igrained into the heritage of the victims. Similar cases are also bare in the Bulgarian literature. It has not differed much from the literatures of other postcolonial nations like Brazil and African countries. After nearly five centuries of oppressive and insular Ottoman rule which lasted until 1878, Bulgaria also started a struggled to create a new cultural framework for a identical cultural civilization. Most of of its literautre from that period unsurprisingly addressed political agendas and practical democratic concerns of the people of Bulgaria rather than aesthetic and cosmetic themes. There is melancholia in their poetry of folk songs. Ivan Vazov, patriarchal doyen of Bulgarian literature, modelled his work after that of Victor Marie Hugo and Georgi Gospodinov. Ivan Vazov reveals in his Under the Yoke (1894) , an engaging account of heroic April 1876 uprising against the oppressive Ottomans as an inspiration by the philosophical and revolutionary French literature. Thus in this juncture, logic will permit an observation that, Current politics produces future art or literature or literary imaginations or choice of literary mentorship.
Currently the undergraduate Brazilian literature students in the Universities of Coimbra and Sao Paulo are reguired to read and analyze Women Righting: This is a famous novel in brazil. It is a fiction written by Afro Brazilian Woman. The book presents intriguing and incisive stories, tales and episodes about contemporary racial torture in both social and economic sense that any Black Brazilian woman often encounter both in public and private lives. There is a sentence in this book that will obviously affect a significant strike to the mind of any conscious reader of Afro Brazilian literature. The sentence goes like this; ‘The central focus in Afro-Brazilian literature, as in the literature of the African Diaspora in general, is liberation. The inspiration is African but the struggle is global.' Personally as a lover of books, I was intellectually thrilled after reading this sentence. Of course I began to reflect on the African Diaspora and Africa in situ in relation to their pertinent literature. My mind settled on two African writers Marriama Ba of Senegal and Harriet Bechter Stowe of America. I remembered Ba's theme of need for rallying of African women to struggle against excesses of African male chauvinism as well as Muslim derogation of women and general condemnation of a woman to backyard of poverty by the prevailing un-engendered societies as conveyed in her two books; so long a letter and The Scarlet Song. This concept of racial freedom is also given a thorough treat by Stowe in her Uncle Tom's Cabin and even in the rest of her writings.
Truly, both African and Brazilian societies have to embrace this concept of liberation of women.It is still vogue for both Africa and Brazil to channel their literary and artistic energy in to the works that focused on the issues affecting the entitlement of African and Brazilian women to true democratic rights in all the Diaspora of the Caribbean world, Africa itself, the United States, Europe and China.
Esmeralda Ribiero portrays the guest ion of freedom and self-worthiness of an Afro Brazilian woman satirically in her novel In Search of the Black Butterfly. In this novel an informative area to read is where; One of the main characters, Leila, is on the phone with her friend and talks about her French boyfriend, ‘I suspected he was with me because he believed that black women are good in bed.' But even also an empirical version has an accepted reality that there is a common stereotype about African American girls in this regard as well. Esmeralda Ribeiro shares this consciousness with several top African writers. This is the same literary consciousness that have made Ngugi wa Thingo in his latest essays entitled in the name of the mother to appreciate literary portrayal of racial and class struggle by Sembene Ousmane in God's Bits of Wood as pedagogy of hope. Esmeralda is aware and conscious of negro and the native in the Brazillian world whose existence is not always and justly acknowledged. She indeed writes as a black Brazilian woman whose intellectual and moral duty is the concern for others like herself. This literary virtue is further expressed in three of her works; the Malungos e Milongas, A Vingança de Dona Léia and Guarde Segredo.
It is actually an imperative idea to put a writer like Esmeralda Ribeiro within the general framework of other Brazilian women writers. This helps in moonlighting for one to appreciate or ridicule her literary niche, beat as well as the style and intellectual value of her literary contribution towards Brazilian gender cum racial democracy. The current Brazillian society has several groups of women writers of all classes and races. But interesting enough, they are also in a similar tandem embracing an intellectual and democratic duty of an obligation to protect a woman, an African and then humanity. This has to be obvious than nothing else. The black and also Brazilian women folk women will only find redemption and escape from oppressive forces by using their own initiative and reality to combat this misapprehension and turn it in to their boon and favour.They must turn against racial and gender bigotry.It is on this political backdrop of struggle for racial and gender democracy, the virtues which were lost in the African encounter with the European stampede for colonial and racial conquest, that motivated talent, consciousness and duty to humanity inherent in the Brazilian anonymity never dared goofing to leave us without a tincture of poetry;
He lived on the African shore
in a regal and ordered tribe
whose king was the symbol
of a laborious and friendly land
One day, this calmness was lost
When the Portuguese invaded
To enslave them in Brazil...
It was an amazing idea
to hide gold powder in his hair
And his fellows did the same
Every night, coming back from the mines
they went to the church and washed the gold
from their hair into the sink
and then stored it somewhere else
until they'd saved enough
to purchase their freedom
each one at once, they were freed
and then the king
worked under the sun of freedom
he bought some land
Having discovered gold, he then became rich.
Like in any other literature that adores democracy and beauty of language. Brazilian literature equally extols mastery and beauty of Brazilian Spanish as a linguistic channel of its civilization. This is in tune with global position of a dance between aesthetics in the language and growth of literature. A notable observation in this juncture is that any beauty that comes out of mastery of language is the heart of literature. This is the nature of beauty that came out of Trinidadian literature in the name of Naipaul, In Burkinabe guitarism in the name of Thomas Isidoe Sankara and in the Russian literature in the name of vladimirovichy Mayakovsky. Mayakovsky is the father of Romantic cum radical titles like A Slap in the Face of public Taste.Such titles came out because of the author, Vlamirovichy Mayakovsky having had a command over mastry of the Russian Language. Same to soyinka's command of English language in the poetical beauty of the language in his last work; A Good Name is better than Tyrrany of Taste.Brazil is also blessed with such a literary and poetic beauty in the name of Eduard Kac.His literary beautification of Spanish and language is based on the artistic marriage between literature, science and natural environment. His works encompasses many and diverse genres not only to surprise the readers Kac is often and always a pioneer and a protagonist in emerging diverse fields. Kac experiments with poetry the way a scientist does with chemistry.On this front Kac has the following on his name; holography applied to the arts, the creation of works to be transmitted by fax, photocopied art, satellites, video, literary genomes, digital art, microchips approached as human prostheses, virtual reality, networks, robotics, experimental photography, webot, teletransportation, fractals, biotechnology, Morse code, and DNA. Kac has also gone a head to appreciate a fact that poetry based on natural enviroment is not deficient in anything as a medium of theory being appleid as a weapon in the struggle for racial and gender democracy. On this notch Kac coined many names for his literary and poetic work, such as: bioart and biopoetics, biorobotics and biotelematics, holopoem or holopoetry, telempathy and plantimal, telepresence and teleborg, transgenic art and weblography, telerobotics to I don't know what, may be one time in the future he will also coin the word infinoterature.
This is actually the poetic freedom which is also displayed by Ngugi in forming the word Globalectics and Cyborature and also displayed by Spivak in coining the words subaltern languages. The above writers Kac, Ngugi and Spivak are borrowing from the beauty in nature to project their literary imaginations.Kac is borrowing from physics of the natural world.Ngugi is borrowing from the shape of the earth to form the word Globalectics and from physics of networked computers to form the word cyborature.While Gavartri Spivak borrows from natural settings of altitudes to decipher the position of African, brazillian and Asian languages as sub-altern languages in their relation to the European languages.Ngugi does this to condemn linguistic, racial and economic Darwinism.Kac the same. He justifies beauty in the natural environment by mocking those who contradict nature through commission of vices like racism and gender prejudice.Spivak is simply decrying human vice, human malice and avarice that make one to think of subjecting a neighbor's culture as an enslaved culture. It is actually this brand of poetic freedom and intellectual consciousness that has of course made Professor Wole Soyinka, to decry human discrimination as a basis of spiritual corruption in the Homage to the Nairobi slain Ghanaian scholar Professor Kofi Ownoor by pointing out that;
Not since Apartheid has our humanity been so intensely and persistently challenged and stressed on this continent. History repeats, or more accurately re-asserts itself, as a murdering minority pronounce themselves a superior class of beings to all others, assume powers to decide the mode of existence of others, of association, decide who shall live and who shall die, who shall shake hands with whom even as daily colleagues, who shall dictate and who shall submit. The cloak of Religion is a tattered alibi, the real issue - as always - being Power and Submission, with the instrumentality of Terror. Let us objectively assess the true nature of the dominion that they seek to establish in place of the present ‘dens of sin and damnation, of impurity and decadence' in which the rest of us supposedly live. We do not need to seek far, the models are close by - they will be found in contested Somalia. In now liberated Mali. Fitfully in Mauritania. In those turbid years of enchained Algeria, and her yet unconsolidated business of secularism. Theirs is the dominion of exclusion. Of irrationality and restraints on daily existence. A loathing of creativity and plurality. It is the dominion of Apartheid by gender. Of the demonization of difference. It is the dominion of Fear. Let us determine that, on this continent, we shall not accept that, after victory over race as card of citizen validation, Religion is entered and established as substitute on the passport, not only for citizen recognition, but even to entitlement to residence on earth.
A discussion of Brazilian literature and the historical struggle against racial tyranny would not be complete without mentioning Zumbi of quilombo and the black consciousness, a movement which challenged the portuequesse imperialialism in Brazil as early as 1600. Zumbi dos Palmares a millitary leader and an artist who designed the native Brazilian dance of capoeira also founded the maroon or quilombo society of freed African slaves during the 17th century in northeastern Brazil. He was ruthlessly beheaded by the Portuguese on 20 November 1695. In similar manner his intellectual descendant in the movement of black consciousness Steve Biko was tortured to death by the pro-apartheid police five centuries leader in south Africa. Both Zumbi and Biko were strong impeachment to expansion of slavery as an epicenter of racist psychology. Palmares, the fortified halls which Zumbi established were racially blind homes to all. Not only the rebellious or escaped enslaved Africans, but also to the mulattos, miserable Caboclos, prejudiced Indians and poor and lower class Whites, especially the Portuguese soldiers that were trying to escape forced military service. This revolutionary spirit of Zumbi dos Palmares is a gender and racial democratic model that guided the writings of Pepetela in his work Mayombe and his active military activities in the South African response to imperialism in his country of Angola. Really there is ineviteable truth that African literature has done allot just as its counterpart in Brazil when it comes to the universal struggle in pursuit of racial and gender democracy.
Gavartri C. Spivak; Death of a discipline
NEO-COLONIALISM IS NOT THE MAIN VICE TO THE GAMBIAN POLITICS
Recently in the month of octobre 2013 a West African state the Gambia withdrew from the Britsh Commonwealth.The British commonwealth is the 54-member grouping including Britain and most of its former colonies. The reason which the president of Gambia adduced the collective rationale for withdraw from the grouping is that this anglophile interstate organization is a vesitge of colonilaism and hence neo-colonial in its political orientation.President Yahya Jammeh, excuted this decision without consultation with his nationals. In the justification for this move president Jammeh argued that; the government has withdrawn its membership of the British Commonwealth and decided that the Gambia will never be a member of any neo-colonial institution and will never be a party to any institution that represents an extension of colonialism.
This is also a common argument used by most African states every time the western world criticizes Africa on matters of governance and human rights.African states often cite neocolonilism, imperialism or lack of respect for African soverignity in every eventuality of getting a diplomatic censure from the Western world.Like in kenya and Uganda both presidents Uhuru Kenya and Yoweri Museven accuse the international criminal court (ICC) of being neocolonial and imperialistic or being antagonistic to the African soverignity.This is usually false and contradictory to the political and democratic facts on the ground.Just like in the Gambia, neo-colonialism is not the main vice to the African politics. Current faillings in African politics has a lot to do with the homespun African political culture rather than Africa's international relations with its former colonial masters.
For example; The Gambia joined the commonwealth in 1965. It was a very promising and comely composition of a country surrounded by Senegal and Nigeria.The Gambia has been popular destination for European tourists.Many of them have been the British.This of course is an attribution to the Gambia's tropical climate and white atlantic beaches. But when President Yahya Jammeh came to power in a 1994 through coup d'etat, the political climate in this coutry automatically changed to nationwide felings of sombre and solidified fear of the poltical unknowns among thr people of Gambia. All these emanated as political adaptations of president Jammeh who accused Britain of backing Gambia's political opposition.This categorical politics of jittery by presidentJammeh got at its helm during some months preceeding 2011 elections. Human rights conditions twindled at this time as seen in the then series of politically perpatrated lawless executions of opposition leaders.
Firstly President Jammeh's government performs poorly on matters of human rights.Just like his counterparts in the current Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Equitorial Guinea. Gambia has often been reported by the Amnesty international as a ruthless perpatrator of persecutions against political opponents, homosexuals, lessbians, transgenders, unlawful detentions, press crackdowns, and discrimination against minority groups. Amnesty International has often been reporting on human rights abuses in the Gambia for many years.The local media in west Africa has also severally uncovered very many eventualities of illegal arrests and detention without trial, extra-judicial killings and politically compulsive disappearances of journalists and human rights crusaders.A recent eventuality of degradation in human rights happenned in December last year where an eminent Muslim sheikh who is also a patron of human rights and crusader for democratic governance mysteriously disappeared for five months.The revelation has it that this cleric was severely tortured and finally released following intense pressure from the civil societies. Such types of cases are very many in the Gambia. Some times ago two journalists from Nigeria; Ayodele Ameen and Tania Bernath were taken into police custody. They were only documenting a story on human rights conditions in Gambia. They had entered the country legally and had informed Gambian authorities of their official purpose for coming to Gambia. On a further inquest the Amnesty spokeswoman Eliane Drakopoulos said that two Amnesty delegates were being detained in Banjul along with these journalists.
Along side this horrors other encounters in the anti- human rights perpatration by the government were exposed by the managing editor of the opposition newspaper Foroyaa His name was Sam Sarr. Sarr once complained against the governemtn of the Gambia that his reporter Yaya Dampha had been arrested while covering the story on a journalist Deyda Hydara who was gunned down. Hydara was a fiery outspoken opponent of repressive media laws of Jammeh governemtn.During that same year the offices of the Independent newspaper were ransacked, raced and burned down and the home of the correspondent for the British Broadcasting Corporation was ruthlesssly set on fire.
More recently, a U.N. official in Gambia was unreasonabbly declared a persona non grata and ordered to leave the country after she boldy went in to a contradiction to criticize president Jammeh's sham claim of having cured HIVs AIDS by use of herbs and voodoo. Jammeh had melodramatically declared that he had discovered a herbal cure for AIDS after which he began treating patients inside the presidential palace, using the same informal herbs.
These revelations show that it is not neo-colonialism that is a problem facing politics of Gambia.Instead it is political avarice and selfisness from the political corridors of the incumbent presidency.Gambia does not only violate the rights of the Gamabians but the rights of foreigners as well as long as the forigner has delved into the the Napoleonic syndrome of President Jammeh.
It is this internationalization of human rights violation by the Gambia that made Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) in the last year to send an appeal to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan urging him to use his influence within the ECOWAS to restrain the Gambian authorities from executing two Nigerians and about 30 Gambians on death row in the Gambia. Arguments of SERAP in realtion to this was that the threat of execution by the Gambian President was eguivalent to a multiple violations of the rights of the death row inimates.Their right to life and fair trial r as guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, and resolutions on moratorium on executions adopted by both the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly.The resolution is that other African goverments and institutions have to join hands with SERAP to guide Gambia on the democratisations coursse.Otherwise President Jammeh will keep of misusing the soverignity of the state of Gambia in pursuit of soothing his tumultous political emotionalisms.
RELATIVE MEDIA OBJECTIVITY IS ACHIEVEABLE IN AFRICA AGAINST POWER CULTURE AND TYRANNIES OF TASTE
It was John F Kennedy who re-sounded a politically daunting echo of the British statesman, Edmund Burke that; the media is the fourth estate. This was somewhere in the mid of the last century or thereabouts. And indeed the media is and can still be the fourth estate. The fourth estate if only Media professionalism and objectivity is upheld. In its fully objective capacity the media will in diverse entirety mirror, shape, educate and inform the society. This objectivity is an unusual phenomenon of the media's self-instrumentalisation that always and often puts a be served society on the garland pedestal of democratic out comes which Ali A. Mazrui in his appreciation of Nigerian Globalectics described as; By the same token we can distinguish between democracy as means and democracy as goals. The most fundamental of the goals of democracy are probably four in number. Firstly, to make the rulers accountable and answerable for their actions and policies. Secondly to make the citizens effective participants in choosing those rulers and in regulating their actions. Thirdly, to make the society as open and the economy as transparent as possible; and fourthly to make the social order fundamentally just and equitable to the greatest number possible. Accountable rulers, actively participating citizens, open society and social justice — those are the four fundamental ends of democracy.
A projected end product in simplifying this argument will of course boil down to a fact that in Africa as in any other post modern society the media is among the first conditionalities of democracy. However, it can only be a democratic conditionality if only the objectivity of the media is the primary conditions of either the media as an agent of democracy or as an apparatchik of the powers that be in their machination to benefit the few in the usual jostles of majoritarian tyranny.
The praxis of all these is evident whenever a look is shot at contemporary media landscape in different African countries. Let us start with Kenya.the point to start with is the case of a Kenyan journalist facing the charges of crime against humanity in The Hague at Holland. The facts are that in a couple of months preceding the general elections in Kenya there was division among the media on the basis of ethnically charged political groupings. The vernacular FM radio stations and Newspapers perpetrated negative ethnic sentimentality which crystallized and exploded into one of Africa's worst political violence ever experienced in the modern times apart from the Biafra in Nigeria and Rwandan genocide. Among the players was the Kass FM as a vernacular radio station in Kenya in which the ICC defendant Joshua arap Sang was working as a programme presenter. The programme which fuelled feelings of hatred among the Kalenjins, a peasant community against the Kikuyu the business community. What we mean is that in this capacity the Kenyan vernacular media failed to build Kenyan nationhood. It instead boosted a tribe as weapon of politics but not ideology as an input for national transformation. The problem of vernacular media as a piston in the engine of political violence during power change had also been encountered in other geographies of African politics. In Nigeria the Igbo media inkslinged the federalists during the Biafra and also in Sudan the Arabic media derogated the southern Nilotes during the struggle in the pre-separation days.
However the question of vernacular publishing does not only reign politics and economics of African media. It is also positive agenda among the literature and art publishers. This was recently shown as in the coverage by the UK Guardian that; At an African Studies Association conference in Oxford a panel of publishers gathered to discuss the (in) visibility of African cultures. Walter Bgoya from Mkuki na Nyota Publishers in Tanzania and Solani Ngobeni from the Africa Institute in Pretoria both expressed their concern that African-language publishing is facing difficult times. Its market share remains in the educational sector, where there is extreme competition from multinationals publishing discounted texts in English. There appears to be limited space for the publication of innovative fiction in African languages, but pioneering firms do persist: Ngugi published Murogi wa Kagogo (Wizard of the Crow) with Henry Chakava's East African Educational Publishers. This tune also echoes the economic state of vernacular and non English print media in east Africa. Most notable are; Bukede in Uganda, Rameng piny in Kenya, Muguithania in Kenya and the economically miserable Taifa Leo in kenya.Readership and volume of circulation of these vernacular papers is poor. The entrepreneurs behind them rarely go beyond a breakeven point. The reading communities in east Africa have an affiliation for English language. This dint of cultural self marginalization has totally tortured the economic well being of the above cited papers. But one thing has to come out clearly in explaining language and consumption of media services or language as channel and media of art and communication in Africa. The thing is personal taste. It is a taste as a pertinent reality or a taste as Wole Soyinka would put; a snob affectation. Thus the internal consumers of African media need to be aware that a good name of our African media is better than tyranny of snobbish taste. If this social psychology can be given chance to crowl, then the African media will achieve objectivity against all the odds emanating from currents of selfish politics that only seek to serve the personal tyranny of the egomaniac tastes. A Diaspora outlook to the question of the language and African media readily generates a twist in cultural fate to bring in our perspective the puzzle of color line and African art, to which W E.Dubois in the Souls of the Black Folks enchanted that; I sit with Shakespeare and he winces not. Across the color line I move arm in arm with Balzac and Dumas, where smiling men and welcoming women glide in gilded halls. From out the caves of evening that swing between the strong-limbed earth and the tracery of the stars, I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will, and they come all graciously with no scorn nor condescension. So, wed with Truth, I dwell above the Veil. Is this the life you grudge us, O knightly America? Is this the life you long to change into the dull red hideousness of Georgia? Are you so afraid lest peering from this high Pisgah, between Philistine and Amalekite, we sight the Promised Land?
In the recent past the Kenyan media also displayed ownership as vice to media objectivity. The neutral and Mauverick Royal media services have been always focused on the democratization course of the Kenyan society. The energies of this media group towards the course of democracy are evident in the two cases of its un relenting campaign for constitutional change and its power broking for the transformative politics in Kenya as perpetrated by coalition for restoration of democrace.But in an ugly game of power, the counter move by the incumbent government was the shrewd formation of capital backed K24 radio and Television stations which took away all the employees of the Royal media services.This move aimed at achieving the economic muzzling of Royal Media services. This type of razzmatazz which engulfs the media in the political mire is however not new. It was captured by Lenin in his oeuvre; what is to be done. Lenin noted that this political appendage as a condition of the media in its publication, circulation and readership campaign for newspapers was there as early as the beginning of nineteen hundred in Russia when the Rabocheye dyello and Iskra often clashed in news and philosophy only to show the beneficiaries of their clash that they are indeed true protégés to the twin forces of power and politics.
The recent observations by Olusegun Obasanjo in an international governance conference at Mombasa that the African media is the ‘enemy within' share a precedence in cases like the ones highlighted thereabove.But for countries in Africa, Spanish America, Asia and the Arab world there is need for institutional civilization that can catapult the media beyond the state of being an internal enemy.Wanyande (2009) in his book the media in Kenya points out that; professionalism, active entrepreneurship, legislations and persistent mass agitations for media freedom are social inputs that can deliver to the current African society a type of the media that can serve Africa, as it at the same time express itself as a really fourth estate. Thus, the society makes the media as the media shapes the society. There is open system phenomenon between the media and modern society. African society is not an exception.Neighther is the world. This is why the Newsweek of America in its July 2013 edition carried a concise feature on African conditions in Liberia showing what become social, economic and psychological conditions of child soldier when it grows up. And this is the rationale for Opicho's complaining in the Pamabazuka news that it is only through nondiscriminatory publishing when the society is optimally mirrored. Opicho further noted that; ‘The side effects of practicing discriminatory publishing have but only led Kenya to a crystallized pedestal of negative results useful in only extending the pale of the society, both economically and socially. Kenyan young book writers have resorted to publishing in Germany. This is sad when faced with a bare fact that Kenyans are sending their manuscripts to publishers in Germany, But once the books are published, Kenyan readers in turn are conditionally bound to import these very books at a very expensive price because of tax, transport and haulage fees and also a reality due to an economic condition that a Kenyan shilling is very week against European dollar.'
Global thinking and local acting in this juncture will promptly bring us down to a conjecture of disillusionment that entrepreneurial and economic challenges to the media are not only in Africa.Media challenges are not of an African homespun. They are encountered all over the world. The world-class experience is that the challenges rage from marketing, technological to ownership. For example in the recent past; the World Association of Newspapers had convention whose main theme was; Newspapers Focus on Print and Advertising Revenues in difficult Times. The World Association of Newspapers called for regulators to intervene against a proposed Google-Yahoo Web based advertising partnership. The association called this alliance a threat to newspaper industry revenues worldwide. The further overtone of the convention was that there must be business process overhaul by the newspaper publishers to entice both soft and hard print productions. Thus for the newspapers to survive it is behooved that they become a hybrid, part-print and part-internet, or perhaps eventually, as has happened with several newspapers, including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Christian Science Monitor and the Ann Arbor News, internet only. However in the meantime, the transition from the printed page to whatever comes next and mostly the e-paper will likely be fraught with challenges, both for the newspaper industry and for its consumers. This is why Bill Keller of The New York Times in January 2009 wrote that for the foreseeable future news paper business will continue to be a mix of print and online journalism, with the growth in the online sector offsetting the decline of print. The paper element in newspaper may go away as several players in the industry have observed, but the news will remain. 'Paper is dying, ' said Nick Bilton, a technologist for The Times, 'but it's just a device. Now it is vogue globally, for newspaper trend managers to realize that replacing the paper with pixels is a better experience. Michael Hirschorn wrote in The Atlantic that the Web allows newspaper journalism practitioners to concentrate on developing expertise in a narrower set of issues and interests, while helping journalists from other places and publications find new audiences. The 'newspaper' of the future, say Hirschorn and others, will resemble The Huffington Post more than anything tossed at today's stoops and driveways. On the basis of positive benchmarking philosophy, it is therefore obvious that The African Newspaper or the newspapers in Africa entice this experimentation happening in the world's newspaper markets. This is because world of newspapers is becoming more digital therefore it is only through careful courtship of the digitalization by the media entrepreneurs in Africa that this specter of technology will not haunt but instead help the African newspapers business as much as it does the Internet. The newspaper entrepreneurs must make the digital technology to work for African media.
Is digitalization the only enemy of the newspaper in and without Africa? It is so-so, meaning both yes and no. The no answer derives its fibers from the fact that some political powers have also been enemies of the newspaper in Africa. There have been regular eventualities of state terror against independent and Mauverick newspapers. More recent case in point was seen in President Museven's closure of the Monitor for some weeks because of its un-biased publications of feature stories on President Museven's succession through his Son, Muhozi. Very many other cases are there on record. For example; in Kenya the Prime Minister Raila Odinga agitated for dismissal of Mutahi Ngunyi from the editorial writters of the Sunday Nation, Because Ngunyi wrote articles that devoured into the weakness of the office of Kenyan premiership. So we are the enemy within to our media as the media maintains its position of the fourth estate.God bless the media in Africa.
Vladimir Lenin; What is to be done
Wole Soyinka; The name is better Tyranny of taste
Opicho A; publishers in Kenya succumb to tribalism
Peter Wanyade; The media in kenya
W E. Dubois; Souls of Black Folks
READING CULTURE IS GOOD FOR BOTH THE POOR AND THE RICH
The western world has a passion and regard for book reading.Reading has been ingrained and socialised in to the European and American social systems.The cultural overture of all this is redolent in the United Nations organization calender which has the World Book Day which is usually on the April 23. On this day the UNESCO focuses on perpatrating worldwide access to all kinds of books especially the books whose reading is informal and also for reasons of pleasure.This date April 23, was artfully elected by the western societies because it also marks the death of two great European literary figures; Miguel de Cervantes the author of Don Quixote and William Shakespeare. In an often fested honor of their joint and several contribution to world literary civilization. This culutural arm of the United Nations organ do express their respect for reading and pertinent reading culture by similarly celebrating this day as the World Book and Copyright recognition Day. In this similar regard, Koichiro Matsuura, Director General for the World Book and Copyright Day has on several ocassions argued that books represent political, emotional, cultural, artistic, historical and linguistic as well as subb-linguistic diversity which is merely implied access to both formal and informal learning, intellectual freedom and global peace.
Since its establishement in 1995, the World Book Day has now attracted nearly 80 countries to participate in its programs designed to promote books, journals, novels, novella and general reading. It is generally this spirit that purportes to internationalize reading culture that has made UNESCO also get involved into the information processing activities like translation and publication programs in the developing countries of Africa and Asia.
This western spirit that inspires the reading culture and formation of reading institutions need to be benchmarked by societies in the developing world, especisally African countries to encourage young and even old people to read not just for commercial gain alone but for leisure and cultural development. Such like efforts will be in tune with the struggle to overcome negative effects of electronic entertainement on the reading culture among the youth in the developing countries..
In African countries like kenya, the drop in the reading culture among the youth is basically ascribed to the electronic entertainment.The social media like tweeter and facebook has made young people in kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and other East African countries to lack interest in books.Majority of young people in high schools, colleges and universities pass their free time watching conveyor pulb creations like moving pictures and colorful multimedia displays. Recently in preparation of this article I interviewed a couple of Teachers, librarians and educational institutes administrators about the reading habit among the youths in kenya, it was discouragingly revealed that fewer and fewer children are reading these days. Although the literacy rate is not declining, the number of books read and the number of children who read for pleasure is twindling. Books are seemingly incapable of competing for young people's attention.
Research studies conducted in America, Germany, switzerland, Britain and very many other countries have freguently let the buck to stop at the table of parenting.The studies show that there is always a postive correllation between that children exposed to reading by parents who themselves regularly pick up a book to read and inculcation of ardent reading culture to these same chilren as they grow up. Readers give birth to readers and thus absolute readers are likely to give birth to absolute readers.
However economic and budgetary constrains in African countries, Asia and latin America hinder the young person from an opportunity to have a reading mother or a bookworming father.Life pressures in these societies often prevent parents from reading on a regular basis. These reality again brings the African or any society to sad truth that knowledge gap will arise due to current generation growing up without reading and passing their intellectual heritage on to the next generation.
Books are not only agents of culture and knowledge.They can also be a source of livelihood in the society.In the the last few years some African countries like Nigerai, Kenya, and South Africa have seen a rise in book profits, general increase in literary output and diversification of the publishing and book trade. But at a global level, the studies conducted in Germany by the Bertelsmann Stiftung show that the number of adult informal book readers has increased over the last decade and thus making books profitable products. On another front when a writer wins a prize his or her livelihood also changes.When Teju Cole wins the International Literature Prize 2013 for his novel Open City. His livelihood actually changes from just being a Nigerian in the diaspora to an afropolitan.
It is actually ineviteable that there is no greatness without reading.The primary logic beind this premise is that good reading preceeds all manner of greatness.Simple historical analyses outrightly show that all great men read.From Jesus to Muhamanmmed, Jewarlal Nehru to Thomas Jefferson, Luther King to Lenin pertinet truth exudes no other historiography other than reading to greatnss. A recent example is evindent in the personal culture of the once Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Dmitry was and still is an intellectual who enjoys reading. One time the News agencies reported that the Russian president Dmitry Medevdev has purchased a novel by Stieg Larsson The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Further revelation is that the authors which Dmitry enjoys reading are Chekhov, Bunin Dostoyevsky and Vladmirichvsky Mayakovsky.Dmitry devours non Russian writers also with the same ferver. Modern writers like Pelevin and Murakami are among what the former Russian president reads. Vladimir Putin also enjoys reading books.His reading culture enjoys a good stature. His good reads are usually mostly on history and politics. Putin likes Sergei Witte and the Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin.He has on umpteen times quoted the Ivan Ilyin in his public speeches. It is worth mentioning that Putin's reading culture and passion for books trascends the rudimentaries into a praxis as observed in where he personally staved the budget for the construction of statues and tombstones on the graves of Ivan Ilyin and Ivan Shmelev.These two Russian writers died when they are out of Russia but they were later on exhumed to be reburied officaly in Russia. Also Persian poet Omar khwarissim Khayyam is among the writers that president Putin has fondness for in literature. Barack Obama the current president and one of the most intelligent American presidents during the last and current century, is voraciously fond of literature. Obama reads everything that his hand comes across. As a young man Obama liked a fairytale by Maurice Sendak Where The wild Things Are, and Tom Mboya's Freedom and After. Recently Obama and his daughter Malia have read the book by Yann Martel titled Life of Pi. This book is a story about a boy and a monster. Obama said in one of his interviews that it was a wonderful book that thrilled his daughter.The book has whole chapters on Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. There is also a lot of philosophy discussed in the book.This hints the cradle of Obama's intellectual greatness.
Yann Martel; Life of Pi
VIOLENT DEATH IS THE BANE OF AFRICAN WRITERS AND ARTISTS
Homage to the late poet; Kofi Owonor
In one Sunday Nation article, Professor Ali A Mazrui analyzed the inter-politicality of The Jaramogi Odinga family and The Kennedy family by arriving at a difference that the Odinga's have curse of long life but the Kennedy's have a curse of early death through violent and untimely mode of death.Mazrui made these analogies in reference to violent death of John F. Kennedy and the subsenguent Chappaquiddick bridge tragedy.Similarly, the salient difference between a European and American or a Japanese and African writer or African artist is that most of African writers die early in the mid of their lives through violent death but in contrast American and some European writers die peacefully and comfortably in their old age. Early and violent death is the dominant bane, fate and misfortune that now and then besmirch an African writer. This position is in recognition of a fact that my child-hood American popular literature writers in the name of Mario Puzzo author of the God Father and Robert Ludlum an author of several anti soviet spy series like; Borne dentity, Borne Ultimatum and Icarus Agenda plus very many others like The Matlock Paper had just to die recently in their late eighties. The most surprising of all is Phillip Roth whom I read at the age of twelve years while in my primary four. Now I am forty years and this year 2013 Phillip Roth is still alive and active to the American literary civilization that he has been touted by the Ladbrokes as a probable candidate for Nobel Prize in literature. But sadly enough on 22 September 2013 in Nairobi the black angel of early death has carried ahead its foul duty by claiming the life of Africa's most honorable literary scholar Professor Kofi Owonor during the helter-skelter of Alshabab terrorist lynch of the upscale West Gate Mall in Nairobi.
Actually this essay is meant to be a deep felt homage to the late Kofi Owonor, Killed by Islamic terrorists in Nairobi. However, the essay also goes ahead to decry the violent and early deaths of several other African writers. The deaths which have almost turned Africa into a literary dwarf if not a continent of artistic bovarism. Kofi Owonor, who peacefully and honorably came to attend Story Moja Literary festival to be held in Nairobi, was violently shot by the Islamic fundamentalist terror group known as Al shabab. Whose gunmen lynched the Mall in which was Kofi Owonor and his son. The terrorist were sending out the Muslim catchword on which if one fails to respond then he was known not to be a non- Muslim on to which he is shot or held hostage for ransom.Fatefull enough, Kofi Owonor was not muslim.He was an elder, an Africanist, a scholar, a poet, a realist, a rationalist, a Christian, a religious non-fundamentalist and a literary liberalist. He could not respond with any tincture of religious irrationalism to the question of the terrorist. He was shot dead and his son injured. Too sad. This is actually the time when Christian positivism goes beyond rigidity of other religious affectations in its classic assertiveness that the devil kills the flesh but not the soul. And indeed it is true the devilish terrorist killed Owonor's flesh but not his literary soul. They are such and similar situations that made Amilcar Cabral to observe in his Unity and Struggle, in a section on Homage to Kwameh Nkrumah to rationalize that the sky is too enormous to be covered by the palm of a sadist nor to be vilified by the spitting of the filthy ones; Truly, like Nkrumah, Kofi Owonor was the sky of African intellect never to be covered by the brute of the cannon from the parrel of a Muslim terrorist.
Kofi Owonor is not alone neither are we alone. You, my dear reader and I we are not in any historical nor literary solititude. In Africa God has blessed us with the opportunity of the dead relatives in the name of the living dead. We are not the first and the last to grief. Owonor is not the first and the last to dance with fate. Even Ali A. Mazrui in his literary expositions of 1974 otherwise published as the trial of Christopher Okigbo.A novella in which Mazrui cursed ideology as an open window into the moving vehicle that let in a very bad political accident to Nigeria in the name of Biafra war which claimed life of Christopher Okigbo at the Nzukka battle front. This was one other sad moment at which Africa lost its young literary talent through violent death.
Reading of African literary biographies in all perspectives will not miss to make you attest to this testimony. Both in situ and in diaspora.Admirable African American writers like Malcolm X, and Dr Luther King all died through violent death. Even if in the recent past, the Daughter of Malcolm X revealed to Sahara Reporters, Nigerian Daily, that Louis Farrakhan was behind the assassination of her father, wisdom of the time commands us to know that it was evil politics of that time that made Malcolm X to die the way international politics of today in relation to crookedness which was entertained during the formation of the state of Israel that have made the son of Africa professor Kofi Owonor to die.
An in-depth analysis into the life and times of African writers and artists will show that the number of African cultural masters who die violently is more than the number of those who died normally in their old age. Some bit of listology will show help to adduce the pertinent facts; Patrice Lumumba, Steve Biko, Lucky Dube, Walter Rodney, Tom Mboya, J M Kariuki, Che que Vara, Ken Saro Wiwa, Anjella Chibalonza, and Jacob Luseno all but died through violent death. Lumumba died in a plane crash along with Darg Hammarskjöld only after penning some socialism guidelines. After writing I write what I want, a manifesto for black consciousness Steve Biko was arrested and tortured in the police cells during those days of apartheid in south Africa.Biko died violently while undergoing torture in police cells. Lucky Dube was fatefully shot by a confused thug. Walter Rodney who was persuaded by his student who is now the professor Isa Shivji at Dare salaam University not to go back to his country of Guyana, desisted this voice and went back only to be assassinated in the mid of the rabbles that domineered Guyanese politics those days of 1970's. This happened when Rodney had written only two major books. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, being one of them. Tom Mboya was shot by a hired gunman in down-town Nairobi, some one kilometer away from the West Gate Mall, at which Kofi Owonor has been shot. Mboya could have written a lot. Even more than Rudyard Kipling and Quisling. But fate or bad luck had him violently die after he had only written two books; Challenges to Nationhood as well as Freedom and After. Both of them are classically nice reads until today. He had also submitted sessional paper no.10 to the Kenya government which was a classical thesis on Africanization of scientific socialism.
J M Kariuki, Che and Saro Wiwa are all known for how they violently died. Powers that be and terrorists that be, expedited violent death against these writers. Thus, brothers and sisters in the literary community of Africa and the world as we mourn Kofi Owonor we must also let Africa to unite in spiritual effort to rebuke away the evil spirit that often perpetrate terror of violent death which especially claim away lives of African writers.
Ali A. Mazrui; Trial of Christopher Okigbo
Amilcar Cabral; Unity and Struggle
AFRICAN WRITTERS AND ARTISTS MUST ASPIRE BEYOND A NOBEL PRIZE
Immediately after the death of Chinua Achebe, there was sudden outbreak and barrage of ideas, discussion, speculations and projections about the reasons why Achebe did not win a Nobel Prize for literature, If he had had been selected for this year's Nobel candidacy or whether he can still win the same prize posthumously. Amid this emotional and intellectual hullaballoo punctuating the death of a noble person like Achebe, the literary journalist with the Nigerian newspaper, Sahara reporters promptly engaged Professor Wole Soyinka on the issue of Achebe and the Nobel Prize.
With his experience as a writer, an ex-detainee, a scholar and a gifted verbal fundamentalist in proper equipage with a seasoned mind of being panelist on the Nobel committee, Wole Soyinka boldly highlighted some reasons why the African writters that have published with the Heinemann's African writters series, Achebe being one of them and editor in chief of the series, would and will not win the Nobel recognition for literature. The reasons that professor Soyinka gave had were wild and diverse full of cross-cutting effects. Some were technical, others were logical, and most of them irrational, illogical and intellectually translucent provoking further inquest.
The technical reasons that Professor Soyinka gave were that; the Heinemann section of African writters series mostly lacked artistic competence that could possibly attract attention of Nobel committee. Also naming of the Publications as ‘African writters' was a step towards self-marginalization that made works of this series so African hence they lacked global recognition through such a global or European attention like the Nobel Prize.
Soyinka goes a head to contest this disadvantaged position of the African writters series by defending the publication of his book, the interpreters in the same Heinemann section of the African writters series by reclusing himself that they were the champions for political detainees who took the manuscript to the Heinemann publishers, when he himself was in prison during the reign of democratic break-down in Nigeria under dictatorship of Chief Awolowo.But had he not been in this predicament the manuscript for The interpreters would have been sent to a different publisher.
Irrationality of Proffessor Soyinka's argument lags in a mire of inability to see the invincible hand of ideology and political consciousness of the African writters series and other African writters by different publishers. Because a slight literary crouch of the mid of the last century would quickly show that very many African writters published their works with Penguin and Longman publishers as well as very many other publishers but, they still never attracted Nobel recognition. First premise in explanation of this experience can be deduced from, just to use Ngugi's words, the prevailing globalectics of the last century.There were a lot of cultural and political dynamics of postcoloniality, neo-coloniality and ideological typification.The Nobel institutions as a social institution also had the values and norms that supported a certain form of civilization. Misfortunately African writters as published by William Heinemann were openly pan-Africanist in spirit and socialist in ideology. Their literary allegories majorly hinted socialist political and literary civilization.
Brief highlighting quickly makes this clear, The key writters of this series included Ousmane with his God's bits of wood, Achebe with his Heart of Darkness, a with her so long a letter, Ngugi with his writters in politics, Odinga with his not yet Uhuru, Nwaba with her efuru, Guma with his in the fog of the seasons end, P'tek with his song of lawino, Cabral with his revolution and struggle, Senghor with his nocturnes, and Mbella Sone Dipoko with his black and white in love. Any body who had an opportunity to read the above sampled writters will agree that they beautifully represent the rest of the population of African writters of Heinemann publishers in matters of themes, plot, influence, inspiration, philosophy, language usage and even ideological reflections. But it would be a historical error in regard to African literature for one to point out that the spirit of art and literature to express post colonial political and intellectual consciousness were only inherent among the African Heinemann publishers, very many other writters with a historicity of postcoloniality equally wrote with a literary tempo of Ezekiel mphalele.The likes of V. S Naipaul in Mr Biswas house, Harriet Becheter Stowe in uncle toms cabin, Richard Wright in his savage holiday, Paul Frere in his Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Pedagogy of the liberation where he regularly argued that liberation of a society by use theory and ideology at all the times requires three p's; pavla, povla e povo meaning; people, theory and gun powder.
After international criminal court at the Hague in Holland expedited the killing of Sadam Hussein, the then UK, premier Tony Blair made a justificatory public address to the university students of Islamic and Arabic descend in the UK, in his speech he argued that the war between Islam and Western powers is not a clash about civilizations but a clash for civilization. I also want to borrow this style of language usage and semantically argue that eminent African writters have only missed to earn a Nobel Prize not as dual results of intellectual and artistic incompetence but as interactive consequences of clash of consciences where one is the self-consciousness of post-coloniality and another as self-awareness of cultural master-hood. Sincerely it has all been about clash of civilizations.
Now after such contextualisation, one will be justified to develop a vista of questions of this genre; what is the future of an African writer? , what must be the motivation of an African artist? , what are right intellectual benchmarks for an African novelist? And is obsolescence of postcoloniality thought bringing an African novel in the African writters series of Heinemann publishers gradually to death? ...
Clean and sober soul-suching by an African writter will easily bring him or her to quick answers in relation to the above questions.One palpable praxis is that the future of African writters is not a Nobel dream. An African writters must indentify others sources of self-actualization as an artist and an intellectual, but not always Nobel recognition. History of European drama has two beautiful lessons in relation to the above observation. The lessons are derived from examples of Alexander Pushkin and William Shakespeare. Both Shakespeare and Pushkin never had a Nobel dream. They were only playwrighting and stage-acting to serve and entertain their communities as an opportunity to express the beauty of their English and Russian culture respectively.Primarily, the lesson is that, these two playwrights are living legends of drama and art minus Nobel achievement in their lifes.Indepth analysis of all the writters who won Nobel recognition between 1945 and today will lead to decipherations that factors of ideology and ideological bias played a big role in their success. Starting with Wole Soyinka, His firm stand against the communist backed Biafra feature a lot as a variable in his Nobel nomination. The Chinese Xiangping Gao and Talai Lama are pro-western and anti-sinophile activists in their orientation.Gao's work that made him to qualify for Nobel nomination was Soul Mountain.
After this book was nominated for Nobel candidacy, I personally made the efforts to read it along side African written novels like Ousmane's God's bits of wood as well as watching Ousmane's cinema; CEDDO AND XALA, Ngugi's wizard of the Crow, Achebe's Anthill of the Savannah and Fanon's Black skin and White masks. I also involved myself in active debate with sociologists, political scientists, literature teachers and general intellectualls.Some from the University of Nairobi, Dar salam and Makerere university as well as the general readers and book lovers. Indeed we did not deduce any intellcutual, artistic and creative superiority that made Gao's Soul Mountain better than above sampled African writters. But those with a political science bent among us cited issues of ideology in international relation to be key drivers that made GAO's soul mountain spin a Nobel literary reward.
Therefore under the light of such dynamics, intellectual benchmarking for an African writer should enjoy all the cultural and artistic opportunities transcending the Nobel standardisation.Readily enough there are lessons again from European classical experience, where the famous Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Russian, was recognized for the Nobel literary award and Charlie Chaplin an American, was inversely recognized for the Glasnost award, Russian prize of art and culture. The respective governments of the above artists cum writters denied these writters the right to receive the prizes. Each government had to raise an ideological red flag about the prize offer.
Hitherto, the Nobel accolade or nemesis should and cannot kill an African novel. It is only the African mind that can kill it. The mind of the African writer as well as African reader. Especially the African mind in its un-decolonized capacity. Mental decolonization in relation to art and literature should not only be limited to language as discussed by Ngugi Wa Thiong'o in his Globalectics and Decolonizing the Mind. But a decolonized mind should be wary of bourgeoisie and, to use Lenin's labeling techniques ‘comprador Bourgeoisie offers.' Nobel Prize is a bourgeoisie's offer that comes with cultural contemplations. The contemplations can be only understood if my dear readers can ask you this guestions; what is literary tempo of any writter after receipt of a Nobel Prize? Or what is literary spirit of a writter before encounter with Nobel reward? Or how will Nonviolet Bulawayo and Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche behave after they will be announced co-winners of Nobel Prize? Will Chimamanda go a head to write Africanah, Africadabra or Nigerianah or the Nobel consciousness will hinder her from such ventures?
CHAPTER TWENTY ONE
WHAT ARE CULTURAL RIGHTS OF AFRICAN ENGLISH SPEAKERS?
Inception of the republic of southern Sudan as a new sovereign state has a lot of lessons. Firstly it is an addition to the United Nations organizations, and secondly an extension of the Anglophonic African atlas. The Southern Sudan republic came out through tortuous pain, but received with pomp especially by the people of southern Sudan and most warningly by the world English speaking societies.
Southern Sudan, now has a national anthem written in English, its statehood identity bears an English sound ‘'southern'', its state inception speeches are fairly made in English(with a few in Korean and Arabic) but above all the official speeches are read in British English. This is a cultural connotation that Southern Sudan is a new African state which also is a sub- domain of English cultural civilization.
On cultural front, births of the 54th African state of southern Sudan justify a premise` that French as an international cultural civilization has suffered an injury, and also the same case applies to Arabo-islamic religious civilsation. French linguistic subculture suffers a blow in the sense that English linguistic culture, its competitor in the realm of cultural imperialism has scored a new full state bigger than France. The state is and will be doing everything in English language as its sub- cultural terracotta that will guide so basic civilizations like naming of the children. While, an Arabo-islamic religious civilization has simply suffered a morphic decimation, as in the words of European -American Writer; Ayn Rand, in form of an ominous fate of having its atlas shrugged.
The cultural future of Southern Sudan is neither Dinka nor Nilotic in any manner, is going to be purely English. Southern Sudan is going to run its educational programmes from baby class to university in English, it will have a catholic faith conducted in English, it will meanwhile use Shakespeare as drama set books at o level, A level, diploma colleges and in university schools of art and literature. Only after a generation or so to have its first batch of Sudanese English writers. Who will write literature of anti-Khartoum struggle but in British or perhaps in American English?
The eventuality of the republic of southern Sudan has extended the African strength of African-English culture and English linguistic civilization, both at language and commercial level. Africa is now the second largest English speaking geographical block, after the United States of America, and then followed by Australia, then Canada, India and finally the United Kingdom. This means that with proper management of the economy, Africa will be second to America in supply of actors, dramatists, scholars, novelists, poets, musicians and journalists who write and perform in English, as other Anglophonic regions trail behind. This is so obvious when the current African English speaking population of more than 900 million people is taken as a basis of the projection. However, the question is that what are English cultural rights of an African? Given the position that speaking of a language alone is not true civilization, instead it is pure cultural enslavement that only ennobles the owner of the culture as at the same time ignoble the foreign speaker.
The point of concern is the following questions to be answered; can an African formulate an English word; can an African formulate an English vocabulary? Can the English culture be extended to justify and accommodate a special brand of English language known as African English the way we have American English and Canadian English? Answers can be obtained only if western English civilizations mature to a level of true and unselfish intercultural relations.
The study of English language shows that most of the words used in English are not native and indigenous. They are cultural borrowings from French, Latin and Greek. The word: entrepreneur is a combination of three French verbs etre pro noir.The words; strategum and academy are both of Greek origin, Firstly used by Homer and Plato respectively.Shakespear formulated more than one hundred English words.some of them are; leap frog, oxymoron, mercurial and clown.Falstafity and wench are also ascribed to him. Rudyard Kipling a pro-colonial English writer introduced very many words; coolies and white man's burden are his main English cultural hallmark while George Orwell the English anti-communist writer formulated double-speak and big-brother among very many others. American political writer Dr.Rourke introduced the word intermestic in 2003, meaning both international and domestic. The word has already received a very strong English cultural stature that its usage does not stir any grammatical furore.
In relation to the above observation, it is therefore notable that English language is not yet complete, it does not have enough words to describe, label and explain each and every situation that befall its users. At most, very many African situations don't have English words that can be used in their description. It was under this cultural, linguistic and psychological quagmire that Chinua Achebe used the words; Ogbanje in things fall apart when describing a unique troublesome child, Osu, in no longer at ease when describing a girl whose natural position is that she was not born to be married and mad-medico in Anti-hills of the savannah when describing unique corruptible behavior. Alex Haley used the word tuaobob, in the roots when describing unique American hostility towards a Negro slave, a situation beyond the capture of ordinary English linguistic civilization. However, a severe cultural and intellectual contradiction is that none of the above words have ever been adopted to be used as neutral English words inspite of the situation that there are no indigenous English words for the same. Reasons for their neglect are that they are of African origin but not of European or North American origin.
There are still other situations that reflect a lacuna in the English linguistic culture that can easily be described by African words. But the sad challenge is that authorities in western English language are neither ready nor willing to adopt a word of African origin for the purpose. It is therefore the duty of persons and stakeholders to English civilizations to appreciate each and every sub-culture that makes up the broad English linguistic civilization so that English as a culture can be carried above degradations that relate to cultural slavery.
Recently in the realm of past two years two African artists made very significant contributions to cultural extension of English linguistic sub-culture. These African are; professor Wole Soyinka of Nigeria who was born and brought up in Yoruba nation of Nigeria and another one is a Ugandan peasant musician in a town of Mbale by the name Betty Nafuna.During his lecture on African social science and research at CODESERIA conference in Senegal, Soyinka, alerterd his audience on the goodness of the name being more sweet than tyranny of taste, in this presentations Soyinka formulated and introduced the word; ‘overrecheaosness'.Soyinka pointed out that this word was the most pertinent to be used in communicating the concept he was describing but it was not yet in the English dictionaries. Up to now no English dictionary publisher has heed the advice of professor Soyinka to put the word, ‘overrecheausness' in the dictionanary.What a beacon of cultural laziness!
Betty Nafuna is a betty- peasant, illiterate not schooled in any manner of modern art brought up in rural villages of east Uganda, speaking Gishu language as her mother tongue, the language of Masaba Nation, but surprisingly she sings in English. And even her Musical band is known as Mbale Brosters.The word brosters being artistic blend of the words brothers and sisters. She is able to sing in English despite of her lack of formal education because of cultural factors that in Uganda English is not a basic measure of literacy. All Ugandans; old and young, illiterate and literate, graduates and non-graduate speak British English with equal fluency. They adopted the language as their lingua franca since inceptection of their independence under the auspice of President, Dr. Sir Milton Apollo Obote.It is under such context of culturation that Betty Nafuna formed the word; Brosters. This is technically described as cultural participation.Question; when is this word brosters going to be adopted in England?
WHY IMPRISONMENT OF WRITERS CONTRIBUTED MOST TO AFRICAN LITERATURE
The recent research findings by the local media in east Africa concurred with an idealistic logic behind African and even world wide experience in the history of art and literary creativity that, a writer in prison, isolation, ostracism conditioned solitude or exile has a good state of muse. She commands admirable artistic originality beauty of literary thought and mighty of intellectual productivity. The groundings of the research that triggered this essay was also triggered by online literary discourse that beautifully captured a discussion by Dr.Walibora Waialua's review of prison poetry, with a focus on Saudi ya dhiki by Abdullah Abdallatif. Abdallatif was detained in i975 at Kamiti maximum prison in Nairobi for writing a Kiswahili poem entitled Kenya twentapi. This poem was not more than four stanzas but it earned him five years of detention. It was during this detention that the young Abdallatif wrote Saudi ya Dhiki.This Kiswahili poetry is now a case book for postgraduate studies in politics, literature, philosophy and liberal arts in most of the universities in Africa and the diaspora.The message is that; there is excellence in the level of art created by authors in prison. The excellence which calls for the turn to have a special breed of literature known as prisinorature. This shall mean any work of literature authored by an author while in prison. But exiled writers and those conditioned into segregation can also have their works to go by this literary nomenclature as well. Subject to moot.
World History of literature and creative art, drama as well as music falls in tune with Dr.Waliaula's observation that there is good bedfellowship between the prison and a good novel, drama, effigy or poems. The prime gist is that life of a writer in prison shapes author's creative ability then and permanently after. Beyond Abdallatif, a survey of some eminent writers that have experience of imprisonment, detention and exile once in their lives can remove hypothetical outlook towards co-associations between a prison and creativity. Firstly, history of written literature in Kenya offers beautiful lessons for all. Ngugi wa Thiong'o was detained in 1978 after writing his second play and sixth book; Nghehika Ndenda a Gikoyo version for I will marry when I want. Reasons for Ngugi's detention remain a political turf up to date. But some overtures point to communism others point to panicky state of Kenyatta's government those days. However, above board analyses have to uncover a mere fact of blatant failures of self-rule. Before this experience Ngugi had been averagely writing and seriously teaching literature in English at university of Nairobi. But while in detention, Ngugi wrote, Devils on the cross, a socialist critique of Kenya's cult of dictatorship. A very keen reader can easily discover that, the Wizard of the crow is a sequel to the Devils on the cross. In a word, works of Ngugi after the detention command more intellectual depth than the works pre-detention days. Most notable is Writers in politics, written as essays on North Korean Socialism. Its publication threatened Ngugi with a second detention.Detentiom made Ngugi a world class writer. However he loosed his focus by choosing to write in his vernacular kikuyu so that the political police from other ethnic communities especially of Kalenjin government under president Moi could not detect the politically invasive nature of his work. Ngugi's writing in Kikuyu is simply an effort to harness security measures but not a struggle against cultural imperialism. These security connotations are the key driving factors behind Soyinka's extra complex and esoteric English.
The literature Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka and Professor Ali A Mazrui are equally products of unfair detention. Soyinga was detained in the seventies by Nigerian military dictators; While Mazrui was detained by Idi Amin, the Ugandan dictator. Reasons for detention of both are that they maintained intellectual open mindedness. Soyinga had written the interpreters, Kongi harvest and the lion and the jewel before his detention. But while in detention, he stole a warder's pen and toilet paper to write the Man died a play which enjoys artistic might above Achebe's Troubles with Nigeria. After release from detention, he wrote the season of anomaly, a literary analysis of Africa's cult of political dictatorship. The same theme observed by Ngugi. These plays and books written by Soyinga while in detention as well as the novels written after detention captured attention of the Nobel committee. Soyinga won the Nobel Prize on a clear basis of literature work after detention as well as his firm stand against dictatorship and abuse of human rights by series of Nigerian power maniacs. Mazrui had written the trial of Christopher Okigbo, an anti communist satire whose main message is the risk that Africans take by carelessly experimenting with foreign ideologies like communism. Especially when Okgibo intellectually goofed by hiding a secessionist call of Biafra backed by the careless Marxist and utopian socialist spirit. After the detention, Mazrui has done a literary magnum opus. Mazrui is great intellectually. His Islamic way of looking at issues plus his experience of political terror in Uganda during the two political epochs of Milton Obote and Id Amin Whetted his sense of writing as exposed in his post detention days writings in The African Conditions. A student of African literature would easily sense a void in the fiber of African prisinorature if analyses of this type misses to highlight literary preponderant of African literature like D M.Zwelonke, Dorris Lessings, Elechi Amadi, Koigi wa Wamwere, Dennis Brutus and Pepetela the Angolan author of Mayombe.And possibly it can be a critical fallacy of prisinorature if Nkrumah and his Consciecism as well Paul Freiere with his Pedagogy of the oppressed is not given a literary treat on such pages. To my taste this analysis African history of literature gets more painting from the expositions of Elechi Amadi in his Sunset in the Biafra. Captain Amadi got the inspirations and charm to thrill his audience in the Isibiru and the Great ponds after some experience of regular detentions During the Biafra breakdown.Dorris Lessing shares some accolades with Oludhe Macgoye.They are an anti thesis to a pan African thesis that pan Africanism is black and focused on African blacks as Senghor and Cesaire called it Negretitude.This ladies Lessing and Macgoye are white Africans. Their writing has taught me one lesson; There are also white panAfricanist.Lessing is a victim of South African apartheid influenced state terror.
European literary history has similar epochs in its past and current times. Jeffery Archer has at long last written his climactic work after completing a sentence he began five years ago. Archer was imprisoned for false use of alibi to win economic gain unfairly. Before the imprisonment, Archer's books; shall we tell the president? , Cane and Abel, First among the Equals, No penny more no penny less and the Cart of fruits were average popular entertainers. But the work after prison, Judas Evidence has earned Archer an accolade of author of a genre than popular fiction writer.
Victor Marie Hugo, Alexander sholnestsyn, and Fidor Dostoyevsky, the three giants of European drama, prose and poetry are also products of prison agony just as their predecessor Cervantes, the Spanish jailbird and author of Don Quixote. Hugo was exiled for fifteen years to a lonely island of cassantra; this is where he wrote the Hunch- back of Notre dame. His main character Quasimodo is a self-picturisation while the whole book is a literary condemnation of the then French society for hatred of ugly truth. Hugo was released from his island of exile as a result of the current government being thrown out of power by Napoleon Bonaparte. After the exile, Hugo wrote Les Miserable. I request young readers to read Hugo's works. Of which am certain they will agree with the world that all of Hugo's books are intellectually spellbinding and classic across all times.
Fidor Dostoyevsky and Alexander Sholnestsyn were all condemned to Siberia. Dostoyevsky was sentenced a death sentence, while Sholnestsyn was jailed for eighteen years.The reason for their respective punishment is that they were writing novels about their current Russian society. They mirrored Russian politics, family and business life through their books.Dostoyevsk was released by Tsar Alexander after going through mock hanging. But Alexander Sholnestsyn was lucky to escape from Siberia before his term was over. Life of both Russian writers after their Siberia experience was very productive.Sholenystin won series of prizes, while Dostoyevsky was made a state embalme on roubles, the Russian currency.
Other fertile grounds for literature and art are the economic and social challenges that young writers and all African artists initially face. Dominant among others are the challenges of; poverty, alienation by publishers, failure to attend university education, culture and language barrier as well as a society of toxic personalities. However, to a gifted young writer all of these calcify to a literary and artistic stimulant not a snag.
This the dint of false censure that made Okello Oculli who represent a plethora of similar intellectual fallacies, to write in the literary discourse pages of the recent Saturday Nation that Kenyan youths have two literary Kilimanjaro to climb for them to write from the top; Oculli adduced high or University education and wide reading but not self- education.Occuli ended his article on a mistaken premise by strongly averring that good writers that can be likened to literary stature of Ngugi Wa Thiong'o and Ogot p'Bitek have to be highly educated and widely ready.Occuli, it can be said in this juncture was more heuristic and intellectually sublimated to boldly attribute literary greatness to high academic achievement in bare contradiction of historical facts of literature, orature, poetry, drama and cyborature not only to forget wallorature and streetorature.
Oculli need to be aware that most great writers as Ezekiel Mwazemba put it; must be classical in their work. This means that whatever they write remains intellectually and aesthetically fashionable. Commanding palateability to all ages and be capable to bestride geographies and societies. Going by these attributes of literary greatness no other breed of writers will command high degree of literary mighty than the early Greek writers that wrote the Iliad, Homer, Odyssey, Oedipus rex and the state or the Discourse. Similar accolades easily go to the Indian writer who wrote the epic of Ramayana and Mabharata and Moses the Hebrew scribe cum fictionalist who crafted the book of job in the Bible. Research in literature methods of these early classical writers reveals that Greek writers are not products of university education but instead Greek authors were inspired by Muse the god of literature whereas Moses was inspired by Jehovah the fountain of wisdom. An inquiry in to classical literature shows that both Greek and Indian early writers were all the products of self education and wide reading but with very minimum formal schooling.
In the more recent times, European society enjoyed a blessing of very many great writers who actually shaped universal civilization of literature, art and theatre.Benjamin Disrael, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Winston Churchill are the top cream that can be used as examples in this case; Disraeli used to joke that every time he wanted to read he instead wrote a new novel. While Cervantes, the Portuguese classical writer and author of the famous Angligue and Don Quixote, was a constant jailbird due to heavy burden of debt. Cervantes learned how to read and write while in prison. But a controversy of fact is that those who have read Don Quixote know how great Cervantes is. On a similar footing, Greatness of Shakespeare in world literature is unfathomable. Some scholars say Shakespeare was a literary machine others say he was a theatrical institution. An intellectual profile of Shakespeare has it that William Shakespeare is the seventh son of poor farmer John Shakespeare. William went up to class three, he never went to a secondary school, he ran a way to town because he had stolen a deer of the rich farmer in the neighbourhooh.It was while he was in the hideout away from the police in London that he tried his hand in playwrighting and stage acting. Those who have studied European English know that there are two types of English language in London; Churchillian English and the Queen's English. Churchillian English is attributed to the writings and public speaking styles of Sir Winston Churchill. Reading of Churchill's oeuvre the Gathering storm is a clear testimony to this. However in contrast to Okello Occulli's stand that higher education perhaps certified by University education or degree certificate is a basic for great cultural and intellectual contribution, Winston Churchill was a class three dropout with very bad grades in all the subjects apart from French in which he scored a merit. Churchill was self made. Through self-education which had him just like Shakespeare devoure extensively the Greek and Roman classics.
History of American literatures also presents facts that give a counterpoise to Oculli's position. Indeed a sharp and penchant attest to artistic reality that the poor, the half- literate, the Negroes and even the self educated can write with matchless excellence. This reality comes out in the names of Richard Wright, Malcolm X and Alex Halley. Richard Wright is the Author of the Native Son and the Black boy. However most readers know Wright for the Native son because of the thrilling story of Bigger Thomas and his psychology of the black skin. Greatness of Wright's authorship is that he changed how white America looked at the blacks and also it is noted that he is the sole source of influence to Frantz Fanon's psychoanalytical thinking. Both the black skin and white masks, the wretched of the earth, and Facts of Blackness are simply Fanon's extension of psychological analysis of the Bigger Thomases versus the white masters. All students of political science know the impact of Richard Wright's novels on American political thought and even as its impetus on world politics. Alex Halley's the Roots is an epical account of Negroe struggle against the institution of slavery. It is both a film and a novel. Halley came a decade later after Wright but he was a contemporary of Malcolm X.He is the one who wrote an epilogue to Malcolm X'S blockbustering autobiography. Common intellectual feature of these three black American writers is that they were all self educated and never had formal education. They all learned how to read and write in prison. On such a backdrop of American literature from the illiterates, Okello Oculli's arguments that those without university education cannot write to the top only reminds the elderly readers those days of world racial darkness during which the white people used to ask with contempt if any African can write like Johannes Kafka? - - a doubt to which Ali Mazrui retorted that Neither a white man can write the Quran.
Africa, both east and west, south, central and north has a mosaic of spectacular talents in orature, poetry, drama and prose; despite the negative fact that most of them suffer from misfortune of small formal education. Two cases will help to expose this African artistic virtue. One from Kenya and another from Senegal. I guess Okello Oculli has read God's bits of wood but he has not read the Broken drum. Apart from Killing the Mangy dog and Money Order With White Genesis, Sembene Ouasmane Wrote God's Bits of Wood. The literary weight of this book is only equated to Ngugi's petal of blood and Mazizi Kunene's Shaka the Zulu. Whereas David Maillu who has been denied recognition by local institutions, was recently honored by an Australian university for crafting an intellectually pregnant novel The Broken Drum.In literary circles, there is agreement that if at all there is any difference between Ngugi's Wizard of the Crow and Maillu's Broken Drum then it is a subtle one. The only significant difference is between authors; Ngugi is a professor of literature but Maillu is not a graduate.
As a remedy to Oculli and others in his school of thought; I recommend that he or they read last book of Ngugi wa Thiong'o. The book is Globalectics; theory and politics of knowing. Oculli should focus on the chapter on abolition of English department. Actually borrowed from his previous work in decolonizing the mind. And also on national culture, a chapter borrowed from Frantz Fanon's Wretched of the earth.Ngugi comes out beautifully that; the challenge to an African writer is language. A condition that an African writer should conform to cannons of European languages when writing is a vice which Ngugi has described as canonicity. Beyond this an African and Kenyan youth both in freedom and in detention or graduate or not can still write. Superbly write. The only Kilimanjaro they are to climb is mastery of their respective mother tongues and indigenous languages by having a motivation beyond money and economic cosmetics.This is current and a live to a stage in civilization and cultural development of African society that African languages are mature enough to be vessels of prose, drama and poetry.
Ngugi wa Thiong'o; Globalectics, politics of Knowing
CHAPTERV TWENTY THREE
DORIS LESSING: A FEMINIST, POET, NOVELIST, WHITE-AFRICANIST AND NOBELITE UN-TIMELY PASSES ON
I mourn this white daughter of Africa
With an old white dirge
From the yellow land of Americas
In the avaricious venture of whale hunting
Well decried a gnome of death
O death! O death! Why are you untimely?
To which the white daughter of Africa
Rationalized; it is a chance to live
In the Mara and Dann all of us are to be killed
Why should you waste your body waters on tears?
It was on Monday 18th of November 2013 that I had written a poem on African literature, which I entitled; literature without poetry is like love without vaginal sex. In this poem appreciated Doris Lessing's fourteen poems in two lines that, Doris Lessing should not dare dream of the testicles of Tagore and Soyinka as she is no Match to the six hundred and sixty six concubines of David the psalteristic Jewish rex. Then the next day in the morning, which was Tuesday 19th November 2013 I also finished reading Lessing's spellbinding novel, Mara and Dann, thereon I walked off to my office. I chose to go for online news. My favorite paper is the Germany online paper Deutschwelle. I flipped in the hyperlink for global news and then to my favorite hyperlink; culture. Like looking at hell I came face to face with a doomsday of a title; The British Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing died peacefully at home at the age of 94. A whole day was ruined for me.Nothing good followed. I shared this page of Deutschwelle which carried information about Lessing's death on my twitter and face book platforms. Until now, the time of writing this article, there are very minimum responses on the both the social media platforms given the poor reading culture and low level of intellectual curiosity that currently reign the contemporary world. Like all other white literary sons and daughters of Africa, Doris Lessing is a prolific writer, reluctant feminist icon, human rights activist, anti apartheid crusader, humanist and a white African intellectual. She is a seasoned storyteller, loyal and committed to the power of the written word with maximum passion for reading and literature in all of its diversities of the African literary set up. She often has appreciated African prose, drama, orature, poetry and recently before her death cyborature as some of her works has been common on the electronic social media. Doris Lessing was not alone in the realm of this marginalized cultural and literary civilization, she got companionship from other fellow white Africanists in the likes of J M Coatzee, Nadime Gordimer, Peter Abrahams, Allan Paton, Alex La Guma, Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, Jerry Rawlings, Sirleaf Johnson, Naquib Mafouz and Frederick De Klerk as well as very many others whose commitment to African intellectual and Political freedom was portrayed in their several and a times collective social unsentimentality, intellectual provocativeness and ideological uncompromising in guest for re-africanization of the continent through mental decolonization with a sole purpose of overcoming colonial legacy of self-doubt. All this was done through one literary virtue of formidable and respective literary oeuvres that wove together the threads of lived African experience and avaricious politics in world history with an unswerving commitment to the art of poetry, orature and protic storytelling. Humbly like all other African writers in the name of Ba, Coatze, Achebe, Soyinka and Ngugi, just but to mention; She was Born Doris May Tayler on October 22,1919, in Kermanshah, Persia now the revolutionary republic of Iran. Her birth coincided with two world cultural events; the success of Leninist revolution in Russia and the end of the First World War. These events were an open foreshadowing of Lessing's future cultural influence on the African English civilization. Lessing would later come to discover that her parents had been depraved by the First World War. Her father was on umpteen times nearly killed by shrapnel in 1917 and which of course left him with lost a leg. Dramatically, like the ones which Doris has crafted, Her mother who was a nurse met her father Mr. Lessing, during this time he was undergoing treatment at the hospital in London where he was recovering from the amputation of the leg. Then in 1925 the family moved to the British colony of Southern Rhodesia the current Zimbabwe to farm corn and maize. The farm on which Doris grew up as a daughter of any other African farmer. This is given in the historical evidence that always the family struggled to make a living. In her public speeches Doris remembers several times when she was not fighting or running away from the mother who was often brutal to her, out into the African cold temperatures. These are supposedly inhuman conditions that Doris despised in her spellbinding Novel the Grass is singing. Muse on such moments would always not fail to give us a tincture of poetry;
Ash pit start is not ash pit end
Agony in the start is gusto in the end
Gods will give you a throne
Even in the mire of your scum
Hustles of life are mere fibers of glory.
In practical but not rudimentary literature there is a critical position that small education produces great writers. A list on which Lessing will be last of great writers with meager education starts with Nikolai Gogol, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Richard Wright, Alice Munro, Sembene Ousmane, Amos Tutuola, David Mailu, William Shakespeare, Winston Churchill, I mean the list is endless, put we can put the 2007 literature Nobel Prize winner Doris May Lessing as the last. Then how did she like these others on the list come to master the game of writing? Passion, language and sometimes disciplined Autodidactism is the answer. Lessing chose to be immersed in books sent over from a London book club after she had left school at the age of 14.This is also when she had moved to Salisbury the present Harare to work as a telephone operator. These are the same childhood experiences Sembene Ousmane had when he worked as a young pipe smoking railway builder in Dakar, cultural foundations that inspired him with the spirit of God's Bits of Wood. Later on after some social upheavals, Doris was influenced by the influx of European immigrants in Salisbury most of them were Jewish intellectuals who had fled the Nazi regime in Germany. This gave Lessing an opportunity to experience political awakenings. She became a member of the communist Left Book Club. In this intellectual club socialization is when she met and married her second husband German refugee from Nazi terror at home Gottfried Lessing. This is the father of her favorite son and their only child, Peter Lessing who was born in 1947.
Life is a mishmash of gloom and glory
A blend of sorrow and sweetness
A twig of brambles and plums
A meat of a hare too delicious
But because of fast running
So hard to harvest.
Now, after African childhood Lessing arrived in England as a single mother with no formal qualifications. Just the way Wole Soyinka arrived in England with a weak bachelor's degree. However, both of them rose to become two of the most important figures in post-war Afro-English literature. Soyinka with the past deep in the colonial heritage of West Africa and Lessing with past deep in apartheid dominated Southern Africa. Lessing's literary debut about interracial relations in colonial Africa left the audiences bamboozled both in Europe and the USA. Later on due to her Mixing with members of the left-wing literary intellectuals like; among them John Berger, John Osborne and Bertrand Russell as well as many others, Doris Lessing became an active member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and an outspoken critic of apartheid in South Africa these made her to be banned from entering South Africa and Rhodesia on account of her political views. She combined these virtues with her stretches as a reluctant feminist to release her greatest work, The Golden Notebook in 1962. In this book, Doris Lessing explores themes of feminism, communism, motherhood, and mental breakdown as an outcome of oppressive political culture.
Lessing's literary virtues are a lot, they can only be condensed in the words of the English novelist and critic Margaret Drabble; ‘a writer who said the unsayable, thought the unthinkable, and fearlessly put it down there.' Later on in her life Doris Lessing also won a social cum intellectual accolade only which was labeled the professional contrarian. This was after her achievement of disillusionment with utopian and prosaic communism. She then went ahead to discovered Sufi mysticism in the mid-1960s and wrote a series of five science-fiction novels known as the Canopus in Argos sequence. Then immediately amid Frustrations with the literary establishment of the day that was hostile to her rebellious nature, Lessing published two novels under the pseudonym Jane Somers: The Diary of a Good Neighbor (1983) and If the Old could (1984) . The intention was to expose terror of the publishers to a writer without fortune and fame. Then in 2007, when being awarded a literature Nobel Prize, the Swedish academy jury praised her as author and the epicist of the female experience, who with skepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilization to scrutiny. In her final book, Alfred & Emily (2008) , Lessing returned fully to her childhood in Southern Rhodesia. The first half is a novella about how life might have been for her parents if they had managed to escape the horrors of the First World War; then thE second half is a biography of her parents.
Utterly repulsive to all forms of sentimentality
Proponent of non-linear thinking,
Never bowed to convention
Novelist, playwright, poet, biographer, librettist and essayist
Was first and foremost Africanist storyteller
One whose faith in the power of the written word
Never wavered nor perambulated.
Doris Lessing once said that she does not know why she writes. That writing is something just she has to do. If she does not write for any length of time she gets very irritable. If she had to stop she would probably start wandering the streets, telling herself stories out loud.
Any way this year alone, the world of literature has lost a lot of literary stakeholders through death. And misfortune is felt heavy in Africa. However, We the living ones, we are guided by faith that; in their death which took them this year 2013, Doris Lessing, Chinua Achebe, Kofi Owonor, and Seamus Heaney they will all remain formidable, multifaceted and provocative tellers of stories for world and diverse generations of readers to come.
CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR
Amilcar Cabral: Beacon of revolutionary literature and social democracy
The prominent difference between political leadership of present Africa and Africa of the yester-century is the gradient in intellect. Political leaders of Africa during the anti-colonial epoch mostly referred to as liberation fathers were full of ideas and vibrand of intellect. They also had a strong appreciation for intellectualism as well as power of the mind from whatever the source. In contrast with present day African political leadership, which is devoid of political thought and if there is one it must be in turn disadvantaged by a position that it is devoid of quality, suffers from one commonplace stark vice that it is an open contradiction to intellectualism.
This outlook is based on both rudimentary and political experiences in Africa both in the Diaspora and in situ. Both in the francophone, Anglophone, spanophone and even in the un-colonized Africa of Ethiopia and Liberia. The movement of anti-colonial African political interest was in the hands of heavyweights like Kwameh Nkrumah of Ghana, Namdi Azikiwe of Nigeria, Leopold Sedar Senghor of Senegal, Patrice Emery Lumumba of Congo, Eduardo Mondlano of Angola, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Amilcar Lopes da Costa Cabral of Cape Verde. The un-colonized Ethiopia had and has always had a series of intellectually curious leaders ranging from brilliant Marxists like Mengistu Haille Mariam to swashbuckling realists like Meles Zenawi. Liberia was not an exception apart from regular military and non military but armed insurgences. However, there were also cases of intellectual misfortune where Political leaders were not intellectuals like Kenya where Jomo Kenyatta was a kikuyu traditionalist but he becomes the president because of the ballot process favoring the large tirbes.This is why again Jomo Kenyatta made cult of the tribe to be a political weapon. This condition of hostile ethnicity has persisted as a legacy of Jomo Kenyatta in Kenya until today. The unlucky part of such cases like those of Kenya is that half literate presidents and political leaders were in full control of state power, but the top world appreciated intellectuals Like Tom Mboya and Ngugi wa Thiong'o were in ever politically threatened civil positions. One more phenomenal experience is to be encounterd in the relationship between culture and intellect. Especially when an overt reality is observed that English speaking colonies produced political leaders who were not intellectuals contrasted with Portuguese and French speaking African colonies. Inquest into this political and cultural dilemma takes us straight to Cape Verde, the former Portuguese colony which produced Amilcar Cabral.
Personally I am not luck because I did not see and understand what Amilcar Cabral was. As I was born one year later after his violent death. I was born in August 1974 but Amilcar Cabral had been shot to death by Inocentia; a fellow revolutionary in January 1973. He was killed in his own Country as an outcome of twin forces of the cult of betrayal and colonialism. It is betrayal because Seko Ture is confirmed to have participated in the connivance which led to assassination of Amilcar Cabral because he was for split of Guinea from Cape Verde but Amilcar Cabral was for combination of Cape Verde and Guinea as one sovereign Africa state when liberated from the colonial shackle of Portugal. This tragedy was again extended on the African soil which happened in the manner that the American imperialists used colonel Afrifa to execute a violent coup d' etat Against Kwameh Nkrumah of Ghana in 1974. This was really tragic epoch for African revolutionary movement and social democracy.
But twenty five years later in 1998, after I had had cleared my high school education and desperately looking for a job and a job that you would never get in the city of Mombasa is when I came across a literary force known as Amilcar Cabral.My discovery of Amilcar Cabral was of big concern to me because I was already two and a half decades old, I had cleared my secondary school education with a principal pass in history having a focus on African history but I never knew what Amilcar Cabral was. Really Kenyan education system during Moi's rule was very evil. We had only been taught about Daniel Toroitich arap Moi and to sing a slogan of his ruling political party which we always sang; Jogoo! Jogoo! Jogoo! Every time but there was no actual evidence of education that could intellectualize an African young boy or girl in guest for intellectual liberation of Africa. Moi owes apology to the generations of his reign.
This is how it began; I was chased away from the construction site that time of Monday eight in the morning because of some tribalism issues. So, that day and eventually that week, I did not have any work to do. I went to the public national library at Mombasa. Next to the famous Portuguese military fortress known as fort Jesus. I walked straight to a section for history and politics. A lot of attractive titles were at the shelves. Likes of Jewarlul Nehru, Karl Marx, Mahatima Gandhi, and very many others. In the midst of these titles I saw a paper back, published by Heinemann's African writer's series, its title was Unity and Struggle the author was Amilcar Cabral. His photograph on the backside of the book showed a very handsome man in revolutionary attires. I didn't waste anymore time but I straight got myself a chair on the vestibule of the library then I buried my self into this bible of socialist revolution. I enjoyed humour, intellectual content, language flow and liveliness of the story a whole of that day. What really gripped my emotions and still grips my emotion whenever I read Cabral's Unit and Struggle is the section on tribalism and another one is Homage to Kwameh Nkrumah. The one on tribalism I discovered later is redolent of National consciousness as discoursed by Frantz Omar Fanon in his Wretched of the Earth. But the section I utmost enjoy, even I have enjoyfully read it by this time of 23rd November 2013 when am writing this essay is the section of homage to Kwameh Nkrumah. Whenever I read the lines that; ‘Kwameh Nkrumah was the sky no filthy saliva of any malicious mouth can vilify him, he could not be covered by the human balm, and that he has only died because of cancer of betrayal, ' I always come to personal disillusionment that Amilcar Cabral was not only a Cape Verdean Socialist Revolutionary but indeed the son of Africa.
Usually good books end with a section on the bibiliography.Where you get recommendation for other books that you can read. Now I was perusing in the bibliographical section of Unity and Struggle. My eyes again came across another work by Amilcar Cabral the title was weapon of theory. Some scholars refer to it as a tri-continental speech made in Havana Cuba, The chicken bones Journal severally refer to this work in diverse tributes to Amilcar Cabral but me I will refer to it as Cabral's oeuvre.The work which he formulated both verbally and scripturally when all of his muse and African gods of wisdom plus oratorical angels were fully on duty. I utmost uphold this book for the super revolutionary argument that; ‘revolutionary practicum comes before revolutionary theory, masses are fighting not to gain ideas but to gain material success and the armed struggle is a so basic necessity for the success of the revolution.' Actually in this super-revolutionary mental stretch Amilcar Cabral overturned the traditional classical stand of Paul Freire from pavlo, povlo, e povo to povo, povlo e pavlo. And earnestly Amilcar Cabral adjusted to this stand with the heart that was warmed by an unshakeable certainty which gives some of us with an intellectually left bent an appalling courage in the difficult but glorious struggle against the vestiges of both post-colonial imperialism and domestic comprador bourgeoisie agents of African imperialism.
As Amilcar himself could; let also follow the true revolutionary consciousness by going back to him as the source. And indeed he entitled his book as going Back to the Source. We the present living generation of the southern hemisphere we are to be bound by the spirit of Amilcar Cabral by not telling no lies nor claiming no easy victories by affirming that Amilcar to us was a very strong intellectual force, A literary and a no nonsense revolutionary. Those of us who did not have an opportunity to meet him in person we only get such evidence by reading him most. By reading his Unity and struggle, African revolution, Weapon of theory, Going Back to the Source, and tell no lies nor claim cheap victories.
Paul Freire; Pedagogy of the oppressed
Kwameh Nkrumah; Consciencism
Frantz Omar Fanon; Wretched of the Earth
CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE
How the State of Israel is brutally dealing with African refugees
Israel as a state is not good when it comes to dealing with Africans. Especially those Africans who cross into its borders as refugees. The state of Israel is totally brutal to what it calls illegal African immigrants. It exposes African refugees to all manner of terror before their final death. The fact is that the most unlucky mistake an African man or woman can commit is to be found in Israel as a refugee. In this essay, the writer has collected excerpts of published accounts from neutral newspapers around the world.The newspapers have given different accounts and experiences of how Israel has been and still is deeply engaged in the heartless culture of brutalizing African refugees. Some of the Newspapers used as the sources of these pieces of information are Deutschwelle of Germany, Pravda of Russia, The Conversation of America and the Mercatornet of Australia among others. The accounts given by the victims to these sources are presented as excerpts below:
Israel is introducing ‘open' detention centers to house the growing influx of African refugees who cross the Sinai border region. However the 'open' character of those centers has been called into question. The land is barren and unwelcoming. Looking down from Israel at the Nitzana border crossing into the Sinai, in Egypt, the earth is so dry it glows orange - it's unforgiving territory. This is the first sight for many of the 55,000 Africans who have escaped their homes to find freedom when they enter Israel illegally - 90 percent of them originally come from Eritrea and Sudan. An ominous steel fence - project ‘sand timer' - was finished in January this year when cameras, radar and motion detectors were added to it's arsenal, marking a firm line in the sand. According to government figures for the first half of this year,34 Africans tried to cross the border into Israel and were detained, compared with 9,570 last year before the fence was started. Of the 34, five tunneled under the new fence and were caught, the rest appealed to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to be allowed to enter.
Eritrean refugee Dawit Demoz,31, arrived through the same border before the fence was built at the end of 2009. Demoz had tried several ways to get out of Eritrea: he went to refugee camps in Ethiopia and Sudan and then tried to get to Europe from Libya. Eventually he paid smugglers $2,500 (1,800 euros) to get him to the Sinai border. In total, it took him 11 months to get to Israel.
He was smuggled to the border in an open-back truck with three Sudanese men and one Nigerian man hiding behind a heavy load. Once he reached the border he crossed into Israel on foot and was detained by the IDF in a military camp for two days. 'Two hours after we crossed another group were seen trying to cross the border and they were shot by the Egyptians and two or three of them died, Demoz told DW.' Egyptian soldiers have a shoot-to-kill policy if they see anyone enter the area illegally. Demoz says he is one of the lucky ones to make it from Eritrea He spent three months in Saharonim detention facility, initially in tents before being moved inside the building. He said the detainees ate twice a day, but many were on a hunger strike. Demoz said he was interrogated about why he came to Israel and told he had to say he came to work.
'I personally told them I came because I couldn't live in Eritrea, because it was very difficult with big human rights violations; so I escaped with the goal of finding freedom. I was told I needed to change my mind and I was made to wait outside for nine hours. When they called me back I said I hadn't changed my mind, do whatever you want and they released me, but it's written on my documents that I came to work.'
Demoz said he narrowly escaped torture in Eritrea and spoke about a man he had heard of who had been killed and whose family had been blackmailed. A man that was in Sinai for three months before us when we came, within three months he did not have any options, no chance to pay $25,000 - he had no phone number for anyone who could help him - he was killed. They had his family's telephone number so they phoned his family while beating a different refugee and they heard that he was being beaten and screaming - they were told to sell their whole home and all their possessions to come up with $30,000 and two weeks they told them he had already died. After three months in Saharonim, Demoz was taken to Beer Shiva and given a bus ticket to Tel Aviv.
Sara Robinson, a refugee campaigner from Amnesty International has seen bus loads of people arriving at Levinsky Park, in Tel Aviv. Refugees refer to Levinsky Park is "the hotel" where they eat and sleep amid the playground equipment. The bus would often be half-full of people coming from detention, the bus driver would either take them to the central bus station or he knew to drop them off in Levinsky Park. She said refugees called Levinsky Park, 'the hotel.' 'People would get off the bus holding a plastic bag which would have that extra shirt and a yellow piece of paper and they looked to the right and they looked to the left and they asked 'where's the UN? ', 'Where do I go? ' 'What do I do? ' Then they saw the sleeping bags and articles of clothing hidden under playground equipment in Levinsky Park and realized this was what was welcoming them. South Tel Aviv, where Levinsky Park sits, is a historically poor area. Tensions in the area have been compounded with the arrival of up to 20,000 homeless refugees.
Many of the refugees and migrants turn to crime because they are not legally allowed to work by the Israeli government and have no access to health care or welfare benefits. Tel Aviv police chief Yohanan Danino has called for migrants to be allowed to work to discourage petty crime caused by economic hardship. However, his appeal has so far fallen on deaf ears.
Former Interior Minister Eli Yishai has lashed out at refugees and migrants in the media saying, 'why should we provide them with jobs? ... Jobs would settle them here, they will make babies, and that offer will only result in hundreds of thousands more coming over here.' He said all migrants should be jailed until they are deported.
In September, Israel's Supreme Court overturned a law allowing the government to detain migrants and asylum seekers for up to three years without trial. The court ruled migrants, refugees and asylum seekers detained in the Ktziot and Saharonim prison and detention center should be released within 90 days and those that cross the border illegally can only be detained for one year in the future. The government has responded by passing an amended law to reduce the period of detention to one year and proposed the indefinite detention in 'open' detention centers without judicial review. That law is due to be passed on December 4.
Back near the Nitzana border, Sadot, an empty detention facility next to Saharonim, is ready to absorb the 1,700 refugees detained in Saharonim and due to be released in accordance with the court's 90-day deadline on December 15. When DW visited Sadot, the camp was surrounded by large wire fences, topped with barbed wire - it's status as an 'open' facility is questionable. Police stopped DW and asked that no photographs be taken from the public road outside the facility, despite journalists having the right to do so. The police officer who stopped DW said there was no way the facility would be open for the detainees to roam, in an area mainly populated by Jewish settlers. He said the 'open' aspect within the facility was a large road on the inside of the fence, but they couldn't leave the fenced area.
An Eritrean refugee who calls himself Mulugeta is speaking out for the first time since he arrived in Tel Aviv after surviving a torture camp in Sinai - one of hundreds of refugees who managed to pay his way out. Mulugeta is a quiet man. His voice is low and his eyes are sad, but he is pleasant as he forces a smile under his thin mustache. He works from dawn until dusk as a janitor. He lives in a men's shelter in Petach Tikva, just a short distance from Tel Aviv, and he prays for the safety of his daughters. It had taken nearly two weeks for Mulugeta to come forward but now he is ready. He is one of hundreds of refugees who managed to get out of a Bedouin torture camp in Sinai. The African Refugee Development Center (ARDC) in Tel Aviv reports that tens of thousands of refugees have come to Israel from Eritrea and Sudan. Those coming from torture camps in Sinai are more difficult to calculate. Arriving outside the compound where Mulugeta lives, Wuldu, a translator, leads us to a nearby bench where we can sit and talk. Mulugeta is from Eritrea. In 1987, at the age of 15, he entered the army and would go on to fight for freedom and for his country. Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1991. He is 40-years old now, and last year, in July, when his daughters turned 15 and 17, he decided he wanted to take them out of the country. He hoped for a better life and education for his girls; he had hoped to take them to Europe.
Mulugeta's wife, Lemlem, stayed behind to care for their six other children. Within days, they reached a North Sudanese camp. Hours later, after their arrival, he stated, soldiers came into the camp and traffickers followed. He was beaten, his legs were sliced and cut, and he, his two daughters and a group of other refugees were taken to Sinai. For 15 days, they crossed the desert, with little to no food or water. When they arrived at the camp, Mulugeta was forced to the ground, his face in the dirt while iron chains were roughly locked around his ankles and wrists. He was beaten over and again. He told me he watched another man next to him die from all the beatings and mal-nourishment. Many refugees from Eritrea or Sudan have similar stories to tell about their terrible experiences
Captives were often left lying in the dirt for days or weeks, he said. The traffickers used stones, chains, or branches from a tree to beat victims on their legs, back and even his head, Mulugeta explained. The pain was excruciating, but after a while, he admitted, he didn't even feel it, his body was numb and it all became a blur. He often went in and out of consciousness. Then I asked him, as tenderly as possible: 'Were you ever raped? ' Wuldu struggled translating the question. Mulugeta stared at the city lights for what seemed to be hours, though it was only a couple of minutes. Finally Wuldu turns to me exasperated. 'How can he talk about these things? What can he say? His concern is not for him. He worries for his daughters.' Mulugeta pulls out a tissue and begins to dab his eyes. His upper body bent over, he stumbles when he tries to speak. Wuldu continued waving his hands in the air. 'What could he do? He doesn't remember much about the beatings.' Mulugeta said if wanted to see his daughters, the traffickers would bring the girls to him and rape them in front of him. There was nothing he could do. They cried for him, but he was forced to watch as they screamed and were violated, stripped and beaten.
The traffickers demanded $30,000 for each of them. The translator explained that many people in Mulugeta's community in Eritrea raised the funds and gave them to his wife. When she sent money, the traffickers told him: 'If we let one of the girls go, we don't know if she will make it out, she might get taken by someone else, so you go - and send us the money.
Your daughters will be safe here.' Mulugeta arrived in Tel Aviv in November last year - forced to abandon his daughters. He was released after three months along with four others and brought to Israel where they were left out on the street. He says he is comfortable at the shelter. There are many men there who have gone through similar experiences. Wuldu expresses his admiration for Mulugeta. He often seeks his advice, his comfort and they pray. Mulugeta is grateful to the Israelis for giving him somewhere to say. 'I want to give thanks, ' he said. He has many sleepless nights. While his physical scars have healed and he has health care and food, he often remains reserved because his mind is always on his daughters and seeing them again. He has not heard from the traffickers since he left, though he believes his daughters are still alive.
Mulugeta believes if he can pay the money, maybe, the traffickers will set his daughters free. But both he and Wuldu acknowledged money often means nothing and people have often been punished after paying their debts. Many times, the traffickers demand more. Mulugeta is in touch with his wife and they are doing everything they can, he said.
But Eritreans, Sudanese and Ethiopians are still flooding through Israel. With few other places to go, Israel is a country where they are often stuck. And the government doesn't have enough laws or systems in place to care for the victims or help create a jobs for them. For many refugees from Eritrea and Sudan Levinsky Park in Tel Aviv is their only shelter Many of them live near Tel Aviv's Central Bus Station at Levinsky Park. One man said he didn't understand why journalists came because it never really helped their situation. Another told me he is glad to talk to photographers and if they are kind, he doesn't mind helping them. Still another man complained he only ever had a room when he is able to find work, but most nights, he sleeps in the park. To him, Israel is a rich place where people could help, but no one ever does, he says, they don't even stop to talk to him. ARDC Director Yohannes Bayu said they rely heavily on donations from the UNHCR. Those who manage to avoid being detained when they enter the country are usually picked up by non-profit organizations like the ARDC or the Hotline for Migrant Workers. The government has few shelters and it's up to the community to help men like Mulugeta find jobs and resources to survive. According to the a Human Rights Watch report in March of this year, '80 percent of Eritrean asylum seekers are granted some form of protection' and only since February has Israel begun to register claims. The ARDC itself can only hold around 50 people at any given time. Bayu says most progress to help give Africans refugee status is made through a long, tedious court process and usually only when there is a sympathetic judge. He believes Israel can do better. For now, Mulugeta said he wants to help the world by opening up and sharing his story. He wants to be a voice and maybe others will find freedom and not suffer. It is not easy, but Mulugeta explained, he tries to stay busy, lives on the hope he has for his daughters, and perhaps one day they'll be free.
An initiative in Tel Aviv has been caring for refugees from Sudan and Eritrea for one year now. Its commitment is in stark contrast to the government's refugee policy, which is pressuring immigrants to leave the country. Yigal Shtayim recalls very well the moment he decided to stop looking away. 'It all started when somebody died in Levinsky Park, ' he said. 'We didn't know exactly who he was, we just knew he was African and thought he was a refugee. In the end, we discovered he was a homeless guy from Ethiopia. It was a cold winter and although the man was ill, he was sleeping outside. The artist Shtayim, the grandson of German Holocaust survivors from Berlin, was appalled - and ashamed - that no one was taking care of this man. ‘Somebody dies, because no one takes care of him, ' he said. 'How can that happen in a prosperous country like Israel? ' Out of this shame and even more out of his anger towards the ignorance of some politicians and the prejudices of many fellow Israelis, Shtayim depicted the refugee situation on the Internet and asked others for help. Soon, the initiative 'Levinsky Soup' was founded. Initially, it simply provided food for refugees. In the meantime, activists also help supply clothing and support in dealing with authorities. They also want to help build up childcare. Shtayim's initiative has caught on.
'In a short period of time, we reached a great number of helpful people over the Internet, ' he said. Some helpers are there regularly, some for longer periods, some come just once - each volunteer does what he or she can. Every evening, Shtayim and his fellow campaigners provide refugees with a warm meal: a bowl of soup. 'The food is donated by two restaurants, ' he said. There are already some 50 men in line in front of the booth before the plates, cutlery and beverages are set out. At the beginning, we sometimes had over 800 refugees a day standing in line, now it's dropped to about 150.Now only a small number of refugees, who are mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, are fed here. According to Israel's immigration office, there are some 60,000 refugees in the country. Most of them already entered the country a decade ago and have meanwhile established themselves despite their predominantly illegal status. In the last three years, the number of incoming arrivals has increased to some 2,000 people per month.
The government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resolved to take action due to public sentiment for one, which has turned increasingly against the immigrants. But pragmatic reasons also play a role: there is simply not so much space in Israel. Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting last May that the 'phenomenon of illegal infiltrators' from Africa was extremely serious and threatening the security and identity of the Jewish state. If we don't stop their entry, the problem that currently stands at 60,000 could grow to 600,000, and that threatens our existence as a Jewish and democratic state, Netanyahu said.
Since the legislation, passed in January 2012, took effect, the number of immigrants has sunk rapidly. According to government figures, while 2,295 people crossed the border illegally in January 2012, only 36 got across in December. There are several reasons for this development. Last year, there were growing numbers of protests in Tel Aviv against illegal immigrants following a rape allegedly committed by a refugee from Eritrea. In May 2012, the tensions turned violent, with demonstrators smashing African shops and property, chanting 'Blacks out! '
Parliamentarian Miri Regev from the right-wing Likud Party last year called Sudanese refugees 'a cancer in our body' - though she later said her words had been misconstrued. But the claims that Israel was being flooded by refugees from Eritrea and Sudan came from all sides. There were calls to put an end to it and these sentiments did deter a number of potential refugees. Levinsky Soup celebrates its one-year anniversary One major move on the part of the government was constructing a new fence along the border to Egypt. Many refugees from Sudan had crossed into Israel across this border.
In addition, authorities have begun systematically pressuring 'infiltrators, ' as they have been officially called, to leave the country. Last summer, the so-called Prevention of Infiltration Law took effect, which punishes asylum seekers for irregularly crossing into Israel. New arrivals and their children can be imprisoned for three years or more while officials determine whether they meet the criteria for refugee status - and this even through Israel is a signatory party to the UN Refugee Convention. It stipulates that no signatory state may expel or return a refugee 'in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.' In February, advocacy groups made it known that Israel had quietly repatriated hundreds of South Sudanese immigrants in recent months via third-party states, claiming the departures had been voluntary. Israel claimed that South Sudan's independence made it safe for the refugees to return, but advocacy groups report that back home, they have to fear for their lives.
To add to the problems, the authorities have moved refugees out of detention centers into the Tel Aviv neighborhood Hatikva, where Shtayim's Levinsky Soup is active. Once they've arrived, the immigrants are left to their own devices. They receive no accommodation, no food, no medical aid or money - and are not allowed to work. Applications for asylum are useless. The authorities usually do not even accept them for processing. This is why Shtayim and his fellow campaigners see the need for their initiative. 'We're just Israeli citizens that care and we don't do this for any sort of personal advantage.' Donations are not possible, as the initiative does not have a bank account. 'It's better to buy a few kilos of rice, ' he said. 'Invest 50 Shekel (10 euros) and you can feed quite a number of people. That is wealth.'
Until this week, Israeli media didn't know about Prisoner X, who reportedly committed suicide at a high-security prison in 2010. Now, the media is asking if he was involved in the killing of Hamas' Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh. An espionage mystery has engulfed Israel, not a cinema thriller but a very real tale. The whole country is talking about Prisoner X, who was held in Ajalon Prison, near Ramla in central Israel, reportedly from February 2010 until his death in December that year. The prison is reportedly one of the most secure prisons in the country - it was originally built to house the killer of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. But on December 15,2010, 'Prisoner X' was found dead in his cell. He is said to have committed suicide. The public, however, was not informed until this Tuesday (12.02.2013) , and only when the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) broke the story. ABC found that 34-year-old Ben Zygier, who changed his name several times and held both Australian and Israeli passports, was an agent of Israel's secret service, Mossad. Some Israeli politicians were furious. A prisoner, who is being hidden, kills himself and no one knows about it. How is that compatible with the rule of law? ' Zehava Galon, the head of an opposition liberal party, Meretz, asked while addressing the Knesset - Israel's national assembly.
Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to stop the press from reporting on Prisoner X. The Israeli government managed to cover up the case for two years. And even once media organizations on the other side of the planet - along with social media networks - had begun discussing the prisoner's death, nothing appeared in the Israeli press. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called the country's top editors and asked them to cooperate by withholding publication of information about the case, Israeli left-leaning newspaper Haaretz subsequently reported. ‘We stirred up a weird situation here. The case was being reported abroad, everyone knew about it and yet reporting about it was still banned in Israel, ' the former head of Mossad, Danny Yatom, told daily paper Ma'ariv. Within a day of the revelation, this strangeness was recognized and the Israeli press were allowed to report on the story, Yatom added. On Wednesday (13.02.2013) , Israel confirmed the existence and death of the mysterious prisoner for the first time. He was an Israeli citizen who also had a foreign passport. He had a fake name for security reasons. No further details were provided by the government.
It was clear from the ABC report that Zygier emigrated from Australia to Israel at the age of 24. He served in the Israeli military and later married an Israeli citizen, with whom he had two children. There's no official information on when Ben Zygier was arrested or when he worked for Mossad - the precise nature of his work is shrouded in similar secrecy. Israeli media is speculating that he may have been involved in the killing of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, a senior member of Hamas, in the United Arab Emirates on January 19,2010. Zygier is believed to have been imprisoned in February 2010, shortly after the Dubai killing. The media has also posited that he could have cooperated with the authorities in Dubai - making him a double agent. The police in Dubai filmed a group of men, who are suspected to be Mossad agents, making their way to Al-Mabhouh's hotel room. A little later, the Hamas leader was found dead inside. The Dubai police later released the real or fake passports with which the suspected Israeli agents entered the country - among them were German, Australian and UK passports. Zygier also had an Australian passport. Does that mean that Mossad primarily recruits people with dual nationality? That is a pretty established secret service practice, Avi Primo, the former Ambassador of Israel to Germany, told DW.
It is clear that Zygier was arrested only a week after the events in Dubai and taken to Ajalon, a high-security prison.
Meanwhile, Dubai police head Dahi Khalfan denies that Zygier cooperated with his country's authorities. He doesn't say anything about whether Zygier was involved in the Al-Mabhouh case. 'No one knows what the truth is. It's all speculation, ' Avi Primor said. The real reasons for the imprisonment of Ben Zygier in February 2010, the circumstances of the supposed suicide, and the motivation behind withholding his identity all remain unclear. Well-known lawyer Avigdor Feldman met Zygier shortly before his death. They were negotiating an agreement with prosecutors, Feldman told Israel army broadcaster Galei Tzahal. Just a day after Feldman spoke with Zygier, however, the prisoner was found dead. In December 2010, Zygier's body was flown to Melbourne and buried in the Jewish cemetery there, according to ABC.
Organ trafficking is still a protected crime. Economic crises are creating a pool of desperate people who are willing to sell their kidneys for cash. Organ trafficking and illicit transplant surgeries have infiltrated global medical practice. But despite the evidence of widespread criminal networks and several limited prosecutions in countries including India, Kosovo, Turkey, Israel, South Africa and the US, it is still not treated with the seriousness it demands. Since the first report into the matter in 1990, there has been an alarming number of post-operative deaths of "transplant tour" recipients from botched surgeries, mismatched organs and high rates of fatal infections, including HIV and Hepatitis C contracted from sellers' organs. Living kidney sellers suffer from post-operative infections, weakness, depression, and some die from suicide, wasting, and kidney failure. Organs watch documented five deaths among 38 kidney sellers recruited from small villages in Moldova. Distressing stories lurk in the murky background of today's business of commercialised organ transplantation, conducted in a competitive global field that involves some 50 nations. The World Health Organisation estimates 10,000 black market operations happen each year.
The trade involves a network of human traffickers including mobile surgeons, brokers, patients, and sellers who meet for clandestine surgeries involving cut-throat deals that are enforced with violence, if needed. Many of the "kidney hunters" are former sellers, recruited by crime bosses into the tight web of transplant trafficking schemes. Sellers include poor nationals, new immigrants, global guest workers, or political and economic refugees recruited from abroad to serve the needs of transplant tourists in countries that tolerate or actively facilitate the illegal transplant trade. Until recently this all went unnoticed. There is considerable resistance among transplant professionals who see trafficking as relatively rare and which only takes place in third world countries. They were loathe to recognise the involvement of transplant trafficking schemes in the US as well as in South African hospitals - not to mention transplant tourism packages. Bioethicists argue endlessly about the "ethics" of what is actually a crime and a medical human rights abuse. In 2008, the climate of denial began to change when The Transplantation Society) and the International Society of Nephrology) , held a major summit which acknowledged organ trafficking as a reality. Moral pressure was then put on countries actively involved in organised and disorganised international schemes to recruit paid, living donors. Despite this, criminal networks of brokers and transplant trafficking schemes are still robust, exceedingly mobile, resilient, and generally one step ahead of the game.
Meanwhile, one economic or political crisis after another has also supplied the market with countless refugees that fall like ripe fruit into the hands of organ traffickers. The desperate, displaced and dispossessed can be found and recruited to sell a spare kidney in almost any nation. Human trafficking for organs is still generally seen as a victimless crime that benefits some very sick people at the expense of other, more invisible - or at least dispensable - people. And some prosecutors and judges treat it as such. In 2009, New Jersey federal agents arrested kidney trafficker Levy Izhak Rosenbaum as part of a larger police sting of corrupt politicians. Rosenbaum, a self-styled "matchmaker" as he described himself in taped conversations, was caught trying to arrange the private sale of a kidney from a donor in Israel to an undercover FBI agent for $160,000 (£100,000) .
The hospitals where the Rosenbaum operations were arranged were prestigious and despite it being illegal to trade organs in the US since 1984, many don't ask enough questions. Indeed, Rosenbaum claimed he was easily able to concoct cover stories. It's a lucrative business. Federal prosecutors couldn't believe that the trafficked organ sellers had been deceived or coerced into selling. Two years later Rosenbaum pleaded guilty to just three incidents of brokering kidneys for payment despite admitting to having been in the business for over a decade. At his trial, Rosenbaum had a powerful show of support from transplant patients who arrived to praise the trafficker, and beg for his mercy. Only one victim of kidney selling testified - a young black Israeli, Elahn Quick - who was recruited by traffickers to travel to a hospital in Minnesota to sell his kidney to a 70-year-old man. Quick testified that he agreed to the donation because he had been unemployed, alienated from his community, and hoped a meritorious act would improve his social standing. However, just before he was anaesthetised he asked his "minder" if he could get out of the deal. The operation went ahead. The judge, perhaps moved by Rosenbaum's supporters, concluded that deep down he was a good man, and that Quick had not been defrauded; he was paid what he was promised. "Everyone", she said, "got something out of this deal". Illegal, clandestine kidney transplants depend on criminal networks of human traffickers preying on the bodies of both the desperately sick and poor. Prosecutions of traffickers and their associates — brokers, kidney hunters, and enforcers — is inefficient. Brokers are the most visible players but easily replaceable. Arresting and prosecuting a few of them, as has been the case, won't deter others from taking their place. While culpable, kidney sellers and transplant tour recipients are also victims of recruitment, deception and varying degrees of coercion. They can provide information, but should be treated as victims unless, as happens in some cases, they go on to also become part of the trade. Legislation and prosecution must instead focus on transplant professionals — the surgeons, hospitals, and insurance companies - that claim immunity by saying either that they can't police the trade, or that they are not responsible for monitoring what goes on behind the scenes, or that they've been deceived.
Transplant professionals were implicated in the Netcare scandal in South Africa after the company entered into a plea bargain and accepted a $1.1m fine. The charges were related to 109 kidney transplants carried out between 2001-3. There were false declarations that donors were related and five operations in which the donors were minors, all against the company's own internal policy. One kidney specialist, Jeffrey Kallmeyer, accepted payments direct to his bank but later struck a plea bargain to avoid extradition from Canada. Organs Watch has many copies of letters that show how organised traffickers can be, how they keep schemes quiet and how they coach kidney sellers and transfer illicit payments. Professional medical sanctions against transplant surgeons who work with criminal organs trafficking networks are non-existent but could be very effective. They should lose their license to practice medicine and be prohibited from participating in transplant conferences. Regulation cannot come solely from within the transplant profession. Different laws and different jurisdictions make prosecutions of crimes that span international boundaries very difficult. The UN Global Initiative to Combat Human Trafficking must pay more specific attention to organ trafficking, while other initiatives, such as those in the European Union, are to be applauded if we are to beat this illegal trade once and for all.
Historical glimpses of language dilemma in Afro-Arabic literature
Those artists and writers who happen to write, craft or wright any work of literature or art in a language other than their own vernacular are often censored on their genuine aims. An often question to be asked in such situations is, what motivates the decisions of such artists? The answer to this question is as long as the rich literary histories of this experience. They start with exemplifying Joseph Conrad who did not write in his vernacular of Polish nativity - the Polish. He settled in England and embraced English as his language of work and art. His famous racist book The Heart of Darkness was written in English. Milan Kundera chose French rather than His mother tongue, the Czech. Elias Canetti, whose native language is the exuberant Ladino later, opted for scholastic German. Canetti made these choices when he lived in England and partially in Switzerland. But for others, the decision to give up their mother tongue was not a choice at all but a cultural subjection which accompanied a colonial stampede.
This condition of self choice was only a European literary experience. But for the case of the colonized worlds like the Americas and others, it was inescapable that the language of art has to be an outcome of colonial education. For example, the abundance of literature in French and English that came out of West and North Africa in the wake of Anglo-Saxon as well as Anglo-Francophone century of colonial hegemony in Africa are bare testimony: Frantz Fanon, Naquib Mafouz, Tayeb Saleh, Muammar Gaddaffi, Aime Cesaire, Assia Djebbar, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Camara Laye, and Léopold Sedar Senghor, to name just but a handful of them. Excuse me! Don't ask me what Muammar Gaddaffi wrote. He wrote a lot in Arabic. But one of his works in English is Escape to Hell; in fact a prophetic write-up. Go and read it.
Something flabbergasting about these literary and artistic shifting linguistic allegiances is that the Globalectics of it all tend to give favour to the language that is culturally dominating others on the international scene. Thus, despite the great diversity of reasons and justification for writing in a foreign language, the writer's choice is always redolent of political and economic statement. Logically it is a particular form of capitulation. This was precisely what prompted the Kenyan novelist Ngugi wa Thiong'o to abandon English and return to Kikuyu, his native tongue. Ngugi also argued in his essays Decolonizing the Mind that other African and Asian writers should follow suit and go back to vernacular writing, vernacular acting and even vernacular journalism.
Question; does creative expression in foreign or European languages always equal the rejection of personal culture and the embrace of an alien one?
Some of the answers to this question are inherent in the following brief literary exposition of an Arabic speaker in the Jewish world. The story is found in the work of the young novelist Sayed Kashua. The novel is entitled The Native Speaker. In this book Kashua raises question of language and self identity and the question of language and intellectual dilemma. Kashua is an Arab citizen of Israeli origin and a native speaker of Palestinian Arabic language. Kashua writes in Hebrew other than his vernacular Arabic. However, he is not the first to make such a wonderful intellectual leap. Anton Shammas, a Jew, also published in the Arabesque in 1986. But Kashua enjoys a unique position because his novels are more charged with social and political revelations than Shammas's. Kashua's literary angling shows that with the advent of the second intifada, the civil situation of Israel's Arab citizens has become more precarious and volatile than in the past.
The issue of which language owns the cultural value of novel or work of art is important to the understanding of the literary works of such writers like Kashua, Mafouz and others who have a different vernacular language but write in a foreign language. A protracted logic of this socratean inquest is that just as readers have a particular language as their own language may also claim some writers as their own. African readers for African writers and so forth. Even so a more commercial perspective of this premise is that in the whole world the Library shelves everywhere are organized by language, and so when one speaks of Arabic literature, the assumption is that it is a literature written in Arabic, about Arab characters. This means that a French writer who writes in Arabic only swells the volumes of Arabic literature not French literature. This is of course the larger theme of Kashua's work which has a concern that language in literature and identity in culture are intimately related.
However, a controversy comes in when we share the position of Chinua Achebe in his essay An African Image; Racism in The Conrad's Heart of Darkens that; the Christian Science Monitor, a paper more enlightened than most, once carried an interesting article written by its Education Editor on the serious psychological and learning problems faced by little children who speak one language at home and then go to school where something else is spoken. It was a wide-ranging article taking in Spanish-speaking children in America, the children of migrant Italian workers in Germany, the quadrilingual phenomenon in Malaysia, and so on. And all this while, the article speaks unequivocally about language. But then out of the blue sky comes this: That Africans speak and write in European languages because there is no language in Africa. Perhaps what Africa has is primitive dialects.
Language in literature is an intellectual puzzle not only to Africans but its glimpses of dilemma are prevalent in the class struggle. This is barely seen even in the life and cultural times of Frantz Kafka. Kafka is another world class writer who was once been caught in the imbroglio of linguistic and national crossfire. Indeed, as a Jewish inhabitant of Prague, Kafka often experienced horrendous levels of anti-Semitism from fellow citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This made Kafka one time to compromise himself into a sentimentality of self-abnegation by publicly declaring that he was not a Jew but instead a civilized German. On several occasions Kafka portrayed a literary lesson that sex with a Germany lady is more superior to having sex with a fellow Jewish lady. Although Kafka was a native speaker of Czech he always wrote in German, the language which to him was a connotation of the elite status or haute couture. A fellow European writer Max Brod, one time commented that life of Kafka was tormented by one agony throughout; this was Kafka's desperate desire to have sex with a German girl. Kafka is not alone. These are the same intellectual sentimentalities displayed by Leopold Sedar Senghor; Wole Soyinka and Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi. They echo the worlds of Kafka that European languages and values are to be treated with respect by non Europeans who in this case are Jews, Arabs, and Africans. Kafka often portrayed the despair of cultural clash. Setting non European protagonist onto a course that is against an anonymous and authoritarian system of world culture. Avery funny Exemplification is that, the Kafka hero fights for survival in spite of being convinced of failure. In Let it Be Morning, when the narrator realizes that he has stocked enough food and victuals to last him for a week and even a fortnight, he observes; the thought that I've saved my family, so to speak, gives me a sense of victory. I quickly curb the feeling.
Kafka is the narrator in this juncture. The root cause of Kafka's resentment is his alienation. In a similar tempo, the comparative facts prevail that in negotiating for his place within Israel, Kashua in his Native speaker portrayed that he must often make a choice between silence and speech. This is why in an interview with Ha'aretz in 2004, Kashua said that to write in Arabic the way I speak it in a Palestinian-Israeli dialect is not possible. Only literary Arabic is used for writing and I don't know it well enough. The Arabic books that I read are in Hebrew translation.
This condition of Kashua is not new it is familiar to other writers from the Middle East and North Africa.These regions have had their vernacular languages considered proper languages but instead are mistakenly referred to as dialects. But anyway, writing in the foreign language is not as simple as writing in a native language for Africans, Jews, Indians and Arabs. A foreign language has to be learned in schools and mastering it is a skill that requires some practice. Even if foreign languages has given the world; Taha Hussein, Adonis, Naquib Mahfouz, Hanan Al-Shaykh, Ghassan Kanafani, Mazizi Kunene and many other brilliant writers, the reality is that it comes with a veneration of some form. In some sense has deprived Arab, African and Asian countries off a heritage of national literatures in vernacular languages. Writers like Driss Chraïbi in Morocco, Rachid Mimouni in Algeria, Amin Maalouf in Lebanon, Ahdaf Soueif in Egypt, and Sayed Kashua in Israel are people who could conceivably have written their novels in their native vernaculars but instead they have turned to French, English, and Hebrew as a mode of expression. Phenomenon that Ngugi wa Thiong'o describes as linguistic Darwinism.
A scholarly investigation into origin of all these will take us back to Achebe's An African Image; Racism in The Conrad's Heart of Darkens in which Achebe content that; Conrad did not originate the image of Africa which we find in his book. It was and is the dominant image of Africa in the Western imagination and Conrad merely brought the peculiar gifts of his own mind to bear on it. For reasons which can certainly use close psychological inquiry the West seems to suffer deep anxieties about the precariousness of its civilization and to have a need for constant reassurance by comparison with Africa. If Europe, advancing in civilization, could cast a backward glance periodically at Africa trapped in primordial barbarity it could say with faith and feeling: There go I but for the grace of God. Africa is to Europe as the picture is to Dorian Gray - a carrier onto whom the master unloads his physical and moral deformities so that he may go forward, erect and immaculate. Consequently Africa is something to be avoided just as the picture has to be hidden away to safeguard the man's jeopardous integrity. Keep away from Africa, or else! Mr. Kurtz of Heart of Darkness should have heeded that warning and the prowling horror in his heart would have kept its place, chained to its lair. But he foolishly exposed himself to the wild irresistible allure of the jungle and lo! The darkness found him out.
More lessons will come out if we link Achebe's beat in this essay to a further empirical observation that, given the region sizes, geopolitical importance, cultural and historical wealth of North Africa and the Arab world. The western world still have a distorted and misaligned picture mostly perpetrated by their Press.The conventional mind sets in the West are that the Arab world and Africa are not only the places where nothing ever happens, where life is not lived, where writers are not born, where language is in short supply, or where impressions are not formed. But as Samuel Shimon explains, authors in North Africa and the Arab world must also tally with preconceived ideas in order to be of any interest to Western publishers. The western publishers want afro-Arabic writers to explore the subjects that reflect matters like African, Islam or Arab women talking about domestic violence. These facts are not far in content and depth from Achebe's again in his An African Image; Racism in The Conrad's Heart of Darkens in which Achebe points out that; Conrad is book the Heart of Darkness projects the image of Africa as the other world, as the antithesis of Europe and therefore a spectacular antagonist of civilization, a place where man's vaunted intelligence and refinement are finally mocked by triumphant bestiality. The book opens on the River Thames, tranquil, resting, peacefully 'at the decline of day after ages of good service done to the race that peopled its banks.' But the actual story will take place on the River Congo, the very antithesis of the Thames. The River Congo is quite decidedly not a River Emeritus. It has rendered no service and enjoys no old-age pension. We are told that 'Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world.
Perhaps to surmise and justify the conditions of North African and Arabic literature being communicated in the European languages we have again to revisit Franz Kafka and His friend secret disciple Vladimir Nabokov. Kafka was a German-language writer of novels and short stories. He was regarded by critics as one of the most influential European authors of the last century. Kafka strongly influenced genres such as existentialism and Surrealism. Most of his works, such as Die Verwandlung whose English version is The Metamorphosis, Der Process or The Trial, and Das Schloss The Castle, are all filled with the themes and archetypes of racial and cultural alienation. Physical and psychological brutality like Dostoyevsky's parent child conflict in the Brothers Kamazov blended to produce classical characterization on human binding vices like terrifying quests, labyrinths of evil bureaucracy, and mystical transformations that leave the poor ignobled and the rich ennobled. Kafka was born into a middle-class and German-speaking Jewish family in Prague. Prague was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Throughout Kafka's lifetime most of the population of Prague spoke Czech. However, this was tangible division between Czech and German speaking citizens. But both the language groups had an effect of strengthening the respective national identities. The Jewish community often found itself in between the two sentiments, naturally raising questions about a place to which one belongs. Kafka himself was fluent in both languages. Just the same way present day Africans and Arabs in the Euro-phone and an Afro-phone or Arabo-phone language. But uniquely Kafka considered German his mother tongue. Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre are among the writers influenced by Kafka's works that were written in the foreign languages. This eminence of Kafka has made the term Kafkaesque to enter the English language usage as a description of surreal situations like those in Kafka's writings.
Another historical Benchmark under this dilemma is Vladimir Nabokov. He is a Russo- American writer, who substantially wrote in English but not in Russian. However his first writings were in Russian. But he came to his greatest literary distinction when he wrote in the English language. Due to this achievement Nabokov's literary creativity and intellectual muscle he has been equated by European literary chauvinists to Conrad. But consciously, Nabokov viewed this as a dubious comparison, as Conrad composed in French and English. Scholarship on this has a version that; Nabokov disdained the comparison for aesthetic but not intellectual reasons, lamenting to the critic, Edmund Wilson, that "I am too old to change conradically." This comment was viewed by John Updike as a jest of genius. Nabokov gained both fame and notoriety with his English written novels, Lolita, Pale Fire, Ada and the Vane sisters. But like Achebe Nabokov encountered with a lot of deficiencies inherent in the English language. He reacted to this linguistic void of the English language that; I have been forced to invent a simple little terminology of my own, explain its application to English verse forms, and indulge in certain rather copious details of classification before even tackling the limited object of these notes to my translation of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, an object that boils down to very little—in comparison to the forced preliminaries—namely, to a few things that the non-Russian student of Russian literature must know in regard to Russian prosody in general and to Eugene Onegin in particular.
Chinua Achebe An African Image; Racism in The Conrad's Heart of Darkens
CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN
THIS YEAR 2013; IS THE YEAR OF GREAT DEATHS
This year alone world society has lost more that ten great intellectual and political leaders. They have been lost to death in a deeply wounding manner. Human society has indeed been robbed. It is so sad. Three of the leaders have been Nobel laureates and the rest are leaders of intellectual, moral, political and spiritual stature in their respective capacities.
It began without any stampede in early part of the year some where March when Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian and Francis Davis Imbuga a Kenyan, both succumbed to early deaths caused by stroke. Rendering not only the citizens of world of literature, but also African society as well as global intellectual communities to the most desperate bereavement. Thereafter, within short while of the subsequent days, The Venezuelans president and Marxist intellectual, Hugo Chavez also succumbed to death caused by throat cancer. Even though the Pravda, the daily circulating paper of Russia contended that Chavez was poisoned; it is dismissible as only a Russian stand attributed to ideological hangover, because the Pravda also made similar allegations in relation to deaths of Yasser Arafat, Pablo Neruda and Frantz Omar Fanon, but it did not go a head to establish the factuality of this very allegations.
What we know is that human life is in most cases contested for by the three spiritual forces of fortune, fate and death. As decried William Shakespeare in his Romeo and Juliet. This time round in the year 2013, the angel of death has dominantly reigned with its untimely consequences in form of fangled early death of our leaders. Herman Melville will remain classical in his concern in the Moby Dick about death that; O death! O death! Why are you untimely?
Sadder is when the Al shabab terrorists killed the Ghanaian born global literary citizen Kofi Owonor. Kofi Owonor the poet and author of This world my brother was among the people killed in Nairobi during the terrorist attack at the Westgate mall. Of course he had come to Kenya to celebrate in literary festival organised by a society of publishers in Nairobi. This is an eventuality of some month ago. In September 2013, the Irish born literary Nobel prize poet; Heaney Seamus died. He died prematurely when the world society most needed his service to literature and his literary service to human society.
A couple of some weeks ago again the world loosed two prominent artists, political leaders, human rights crusaders and intellectuals. These are none other than Doris May Lessing and Tabuley Rosseuru. Lessing was a white African living in London, literature Nobel laureate and a feminist as well as an anti apartheid crusader. She is known for her firm stand against communist utopia, championing for the courses against dehumanizing human behaviors like racisms, but mostly Lessing is known for her great literary works like; the grass is singing, Golden Note book, Dann and Mara as well as so many other works. Whereas Tabuley was an African Congolese, a musician, a businessman, once a husband to Africa's most beautiful songstress Bellia Belle. He was the composer and the vocalist of African Rumba music. His song Bina Mudan which we in Africa always pronounce as Simbukinya was actually an artistic and cultural bombshell. Tabuley has been a politician, who enjoyed a gubernatorial position of the city of Kinshasa for ten years (two terms) .
Most disastrous is the currently trial-some moment for the world community as they all commissarriate the death of Nelson Mandela.Mandella died early decemder 2013 at his home in the Johannesburg city of South Africa. The death of Mandela is an open sore to the society. It is a window for social, political, intellectual and family abyss in Africa. It is indeed a sad moment. But what can we do? For it has already happened. We can only swim in the consolation inherent the wisdom of the Babukusu people found in the western part of Kenya that; Mis-brewed wine behooves volunteer carousers. And truly, I have personally joined the world community to commit a poetical kamikaze in volunteering to drink this sour wine of humanity.May god give us and our leaders in their diverse capacities long live. Amen.
CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT
AFRICAN LITERATURE WITHOUT POETRY IS LIKE LOVE WITHOUT VAGINAL SEX
What is Mr. Literature?
Teacher! Our literature teacher is madam calypso
Student retort in callousness minus wily craft
Ok, what is literature? Now and again in Naipaul
A chauvinistic class teacher would ask
To her ambivalent students
Then a spray of answers;
Opposite of algebra
No, opposite of geometry
Uhm! Opposite of calculus
No, a school minus mathematical front
Or education without Asian and Arabic fibre
But to me literature without poetry
Is like love and love and love without vaginal sex.
A class teacher would continue to pose;
What is literature?
A ray of response kameth forth:
An afternoon lesson,
A lesson without mwakenya,
Kenyan students knoweth their sin
Sex hunting technology,
Time for male nap and female siesta,
In for sexually academic freedom and libidinous leeway,
Time for male sexual architecture and hips-beauty magnification,
Aesthetics of words, erotic letters and sexual scent of numbers
Time for boys and girls to couple into chick pairing and then whopsy!
But to me literature without poetry is like love without vaginal sex.
A sage would ask beyond mundane walls and foolish books
What is the balls-bearing skullduggery called madam literature?
By moving the vaginal center beyond boundary of virginal thighs
Concupiscent wet Girls and nuptially crepuscular dry boys
Whose wet vaginal mire and projectile testicular beckons
Are lovely wet and harpoon sharp in dual respect
Before female knowledge and male reason
Domain of claim both in black sex and white thought
But to me literature without poetry is like sugar without tea
Ahaaa! Noo! I have goofed like a black buffoon
Literature without poetry is like love without vaginal sex.
Apex of female life and sagacious wisdom
Will take you to the sheroine vagina that begat heroine greatness
But after a plethora of he sex in the sheeness of black -cum- white;
He Big Money? No!
She Beautiful Women? No!
They University educations? No!
They Comely Looks? No!
He Snobbish Race? No!
Ok, what Then?
A male line of poetry is an entire land mark of female greatness
But to me literature without poetry is like love without vaginal sex.
What meaneth thou you mangy god?
Useless son and daughter of black Zinjathropus
What I meaneth is God's command; pliz put sex in love
One line of Okoli made P'Bitek permanent testicles
One line of falconer made Beats permanent Achebenizer
One line on knowledge made Alexander Pope a permanent Pyrene spring
One line of ‘If' made Rudyard Kipling a permanent indo- black man's burden
One line on lit. Desertry made Taban Makitiyong Reneket L o Liyong a ‘Liyong'
But to me literature without sex is like love and love without vaginal sex.
Boys and girls; you post-boys and you post-girls
Your male dicks and female boobs are too first in sense
They wholesome take to cosmetic music whose folly is folly of f*ck
Go back to arduous poetry where your weird mothers and sage others came
Read Schiller, Pushkin, Shakespeare, Hugo, Cervantes, Soyinka and Tagore
But don't and don't have a dream of Doris Lessing to taste their testicles
She can't make six hundred sixty six concubines of David the psalteristic Jewish rex
But to me literature without poetry is like love without vaginal sex.
Drama is a she love messenger of literature
Orature the fairy tale-tellish grandmother of literature
Cyborature, wallorature and streetorature the he urban harmless literary thugs
But Prose and novel; sterile penis and virginal vagina of literary Globalectics
But to me, literature without poetry is like love without vaginal sex.
Chapter twenty nine
WORRYING OVER BROKEN ENGLISH IN AFRICA, IS MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
This year has had plethora of public worries in Africa over broken English among the young people and school children. It first started in the mid of the last months in Nigeria, when the Nigerian government officials displayed public worry over the dying English and the strongly emerging slang known as pidgin English in Nigerian public offices and learning institutions. The same situation has also been encountered in Kenya, when in march 2014, Proffessor Jacob Kaimenyi, the minister of education otherwise known as cabinet secretary of education declared upsurge of broken English among high school students and university students a national disaster. However, the minister was making this announcement while speaking in broken English, with heavy mother tongue interference and insouciant execution of defective syntax redolent of a certain strong African linguistic sub-cultural disposition.
There is a more strong linguistic case of broken English in South Africa, which even crystallized into an accepted national language known as Afrikaans. But this South African case did not cause any brouhaha in the media nor attract international concern because the people who were breaking the English were Europeans of non British descend, but not Africans. Thus Afrikaans is not slang like the Kenyan sheng and the Nigerian pidgin or the Liberian krio, but instead is an acceptable European language spoken by Europeans in the diaspora. As of today, the there are books, bibles and software as well as dictionaries written in Afrikaans. This is a moot situation that Europeans have a cultural leeway to break a European language. May be this is a cultural reserve not available to African speakers of any European language. I can similarly enjoy some support from those of you who have ever gone to Germany, am sure you saw how Germans dealt with English as non serious language, treating it like a dialect. No German speaks grammatically correct English. And to my surprise they are not worried.
The point is that Africans must not and should never be worried of a dying colonialism like in this case the conventional experience of unstoppable death of British English language in Africa. Let the United Kingdom itself struggle to keep its culture relevant in the global quarters. But not African governments to worry over standard of English language. This is not cultural duty of Africa. Correct concerns would have been about the best ways and means of giving African indigenous languages universal recognition in the sense of global cultural presence. African languages like Kiswahili, Zulu, Yoruba, Mandiko, Gikuyu, Luhya, Luganda, Dholuo, Chaka and very many others deserve political support locally as well as internationally because they are vehicles that carry African culture and civilization.
I personally as an African am very shy to speak to another fellow African in English or even to any person who is not British. I find it more dignifying to speak any local language even if it is broken or if the worst comes to the worst, then I can use slang, like blend of broken English and the local language. To me this is linguistic indicators of having a decolonized mind. It is also my hypothesis that the young people who are speaking broken English in African schools and institutions are merely cultural overtures of Africans extricating themselves from imperial ploys of linguistic Darwinism.
There is no any research finding which shows that Africans cannot develop unless they speak English of grammatical standards like those of the United Kingdom and North America. If anything; letting of English to thrive as a lingua franca in Africa, will only make the western world to derive economic benefits out of this but not Africa to benefit. Let Africans cherish their culture like the way the Japanese and the Chinese have done, then other things will follow.
WHY AFRICAN MEN HAVE GOOD DAUGHTERS THAN SONS
I have been reading the old copy of Saturday Nation, a week end edition of the daily nation in Kenya. It was published some weeks ago. It has some enticing feature stories that have made me to reflect on a certain family value in Africa. The three feature stories I have been reading are; Lupita Nyong'o stellar performance in the movie,12 years a slave, in which she emerged a top American actor, attracting in the same course the most coveted Oscar prize, I have also read in the same paper the shooting literature star of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, an American based Nigerian writress, who had had her last book Americana win the American Booker Prize, and lastly, I have also ready a very captivating account of Wanjiku wa Ngugi's spellbinding debutante in her book, the fall of saints. Wanjiku account was written by Proffessor Evans Mwangi a Thiong'o literary scholar based in Newyork. Mwangi being a Ngugi wa Thiongi'o, scholar wrote this article because Wanjiku wa Ngugi is also a daughter to the world famous Kenyan novelist, Ngugi Njogu wa Thiongi'o.
In each of the three above cases, emanates a significant observation that the fathers to the respective ladies are great men in their respective capacity, and that the ladies mentioned are now obvious heirs to the family names, family intellectual domain and family selling point respectively.
Lupita is heir to proffessor Peter Anyang Nyong'o, Adichie is an heir to the African literary heritage of proffessor Chinua Achebe, and While Wanjiku is a promising successor to Proffessor Thiongi'o.
These are actually a crystallization of strange unfolding that time has now challenged old mindset among African societies. The mindset in which Africans have not been counting girls as children.This family value has been there up to today. If an African man tells you that I don't have a family it means that he is expressing three connotations; he is not married, he is married but he does not have a children, or he is married but his wife have only been bearing him girls, because if anything; an African man is only responsible for siring sons, daughters are a mistake of the wife.
This typology of family civilization got to its peak in the mid of last year, when the Luo council of elders, hailing from Siaya County of Kenya, where Baraka Obama is rooted, expressed their open puzzle over Baraka Obama as per why he can't take his time to have sons. They are now organizing a delegation that will go to America to counsel President Obama over the matter that he needs to re-organize his posterity strategy other than thinking in terms of Sasha and Malia.
What I mean is that Africans don't believe if at all family interests can be carried forward through a daughter. They don't believe if a girl can be an intellectual or command any wisdom that can go places. But realities from a historical experience that great African men don't sire great sons but instead they sire great daughters must make this society of male chauvinists to have a mental paradigm shift in relation to child valuation and recognition. To accept a social déjàvu that daughters have a big capacity to carry forward the family name than the previously mistaken notion that they are only sons who can do this.
Facts on the ground range from the case of Julius Nyerere, Kwameh Nkrumah, Malcolm X, Frantz Fanon, Richard Wright, Tom Mboya, Masinde Muliro, Nelson Mandela, Mutula Kilonzo, and Francis Imbuga just to mention a few African heroes. Justification of this list showing Africa's reversal of Prospero complex abodes in the facts that; Susan Nyerere is currently the most outspoken in the Nyerere family. Similarly, Nkrumah's daughter is currently a politician in Ghanaian parliament and very promising politically. Betty Shabazz X was recently reported to have put Louis Farrakhan on the spot over the murder plot of her father the late Malcolm X.Mireille Fanon Mendes is the director of human rights activist organization known as Frantz Fanon foundation. This is the organization which recently recognized Mumia Abu-Jamal with a prestigious prize. Mumia Abu-Jamal is an African-American writer and journalist, author of six human rights focussed books and hundreds of similar spirited columns and articles. He has spent the last three decades on racially biased Pennsylvania's death row. And now general population in America and in the world knows that Mumia Abu-Jamal was wrongfully convicted and sentenced for the murder of Philadelphia Police man, Daniel Faulkner. His demand for a neutral trial and unconditional freedom is enmassely supported by heads of state, Nobel laureates, human rights organizations, scholars, religious leaders, artists and bioethical scientists. All this is nothing other than universal singing of the tune in the poetic writings of Frantz Omar Fanon entitled Facts of blackness, through his daughter Mireille.
And equally enough, those of you who have delved into posthumous family conditions of Richard Wright must have appreciated stellar performance of proffessor Julia Wright in respect to the genetic legacy of her father. Dr. Susan Mboya is currently living in South Africa and she is serving the society in the same tandem her late father Tom Mboya discharged anti-colonial service to the people of Kenya, Africa and world in general.Masinde Muliro has Mrs. Namwalie Muliro and Mutula Kilonzo has Kethi Kilonzo. The point is that, just like all of other heroes in Africa, these two great politicians have their daughters; Namwalie and Kethi as the heirs to their political legacy.
This phenomenon is not unique to Africa. But it is a universal genetic condition. The study of genetics has a concept that inferior genes of the mother are passed through an X chromosomes in XY to the sons, while superior genes of the father are passed through an X chromosome of the XX to the daughters.
Just but to wind up my story I want also to counsel The Luo council of elders that president Obama, their son who lives in America does not have misplaced values in projecting his posterity through Sasia and Malia. Personally I am aware that as per now there is no any African boy at age of Sasha Obama that has ever read Yann Martel's Life of Mr. Pi. But in stark contrast the international media reported Sasha Obama to have vividly read this book until she commented to Baraka Obama that, ‘daddy, this is a very good book'. And of course this is how an intellectual is made.
Chapter thirty one
WHY ARE EAST AFRICAN GRADUATES NOT MARYING THEIR ACADEMIC EQUALS?
This essay is based on the observation research that had been carried out by a social research firm in Eldoret, Kenya, in the preceding six moths, which has been concluded on 30th January 2014.I the writer of this essay was among the lead team that carried out this study.We unobtrusively observed two thousand University graduates from east African states of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Burundi plus a few form some parts of Congo.Our target population of two thousand graduates was used under the guiding assumptions that it would help the study to arrive at water tight social conclusions.Our problem of focus was that; why are male graduates in east Africa not marrying fellow graduates but instead go for marital partners who have substantially lower education qualification and even academic achievement.
The conditions of serendipity was also encountered and taken care of, when we also deviated from the natural social settings and charted with our digital social media friends who were approximately two thousand as well.They were digital social friends from Facebook and twitter digital social platforms. We posted a thread in question form that; if you were marrying today, would you marry a girl you graduated with the same year? Eighty percent of the responses to this thread was no, only twenty percent was yes.
The actual situations in an empirical experience is that male graduates prefer marrying ladies who stopped schooling in high school, and male high school or diploma college graduates prefer marrying ladies who don't have clear high school education.And male primary school leavers prefer marrying ladies with inferior social positions like those who come from poorer families or from different tribal communities that are geographically, economically or culturally disadvantaged.
And in case where a male graduate dares to marry a fellow graduate, the dominantly observed social behaviour in this juncture is that; the boy will go for the girl in a different school or faculty that is perceived to be inferior within the university academic climate.Like a student of medicine or law will go for a girl doing education or any University course perceived to be inferior.But the observation produces insignificant cases of where a medicine student daring to marry a fellow medicine student.The minor cases of where a medicine student dares to marry a fellow medic will only take place in a social fabric that the male student at fifth year level will go for a girl in first year.Still there is a social tilt.
When we asked for reasons in a non-obtrusive manner from our unsuspecting respondents.We got both positive reasons and negative reasons.The positive reasons our respondents gave are that in most cases girls who don't make it to the university happen to be more beautiful or their physique is more sexually appealling than those ladies who make it to the university.when we projected this type of reasoning, we also found that ladies who are in schools like education, journalism or any other school perceived inferior in the cultures of the University are again more beautiful and more socially enticing than the girls doing University courses like law, medicine or engineering.One of the respondents made a socially outlying remark by saying that girls at the polytechnic or certificate colleges are usually light in the skin, sexy in character and blessed with big or pronounced bossoms than ladies at the university.
When we asked the negative reasons, our respondents argued that ladies from the university are not controllable, neither are they prepared to be controlled come even the marriage. Further argument for these behaviour by male graduates is that the University ladies are sexually exhausted, As they usually stay with a man in the hostel or in the cube during the four or the five years of their live at the University. Some even live with different men interchangeably, after which they divorce those many on the graduation day.Another response is that University ladies have a proclivity towards social hangout behaviours like smoking, pinching or revving in the wine spree and loving the pocket but not the owner of the pocket.
This social phenomenon have imperative concerns that there is high level of genetic mismatch through marriages in east Africa or any other part of the world which east Africa can be socially generalizable to in such particular socialization.Graduate ladies are often forced to marry as second wives, or marry non graduate husbands or stay as a single mother but playing a mistress somewhere, a social behviour described as mpango wa kando or chips funga in the the east African Kiswahili parlance. Such social encounters have a long term consequences of fettering the genetic potential of the family in terms of academics.When we conform to a warning by an eminent American psychologist that; ninety percent of academic brilliance is contained in the genes but not influenced by environment we then obviously concur with the findings of this study that if a graduate marries a graduate there is a guarantee for academic performance among the offspring, but where a graduate marries a non graduate, academic performance among the offspring is either mediocrous or probabilistic.The findings of this study also fall in technical tune and intellectual tandem with the observations of Lee Kuan Yeow in his book; From the third world to the first world in which he pointed out that; failure by the male graduates from Universities in Singapore to marry the fellow female graduates was an impeachment to development as the ultimate consequence of these social behaviours is unnecessary inhibition of good genetics at a macroeconomic level.
The conclusive position of this study is that University leaderships in Africa, with a particular focus on east Africa, must inspire new University culture that has a turnaround effect on this behavioural status quo.The reality is that male graduates behave like this out of a dominance syndrome not out of anything technically worthwhile.Kindly, let our graduates change their marriage behaviour so that we can substantially protect our genetic advantages.
Lee Kuan Yeow; From Third World to the First World
Alexander K Opicho, is a social researcher at Sanctuary Research agencies in Eldoret, Kenya.He is also a lecturer for Research Methods in Governance.
CHAPTER THIRTY TWO
VLADIMIR PUTIN IS A GLOBAL FACT, IT IS OBAMA WHO IS A WEAKNESS
Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya; firstname.lastname@example.org)
In response to the United States versus European Union deliberations on Ukrainian- Russian stalemate that were concluded on 25th may 2014 at Brussels, in which President Barrack Obama looked at the Putin's political behaviour in global set up of the postmodern era as a weakness, I beg to take my position within my capacity as global citizen, to go contrary to this stand of Barrack Obama by positing that President Vladimir Putin is a fact of global urgency, but instead it is Obama who suffers from universal class intellectual deficiency often observed as insensitive rhetoric but branded as unmatched eloquence.
Firstly, let me give the sequential enumerations of facts which validate my position and hence this discourse. Barely the facts are; Ethnicity, Islam, terrorism, Guantanamo prison, Sino-African relations, Arab-springs, politics and human psychology and American political culture as state and an international citizen.
President Obama has always refused and rejected his ethnic connexion with Africa, he always refer to Africa as the land of ancestors. This is a stand that has most irritated Africans. Both in Africa and in the diaspora. Obama never learned a simple pre-industrial wisdom that every man needs ethnic identity for positive reasons. Because as per now Obama still stands as a Kenyan and as well as an American. This connotes a political fact that he is neither a complete Kenyan nor an absolute American in terms of political emotionalism. The empirical position of all these abode in the fact that there are a thousand and one Americans who feel politically belittled to be led by a first generation African American. Thus, a leadership fact has to be indentified in this juncture by inferring that, their voter consciousness as Americans is not fit to be crystallized as emotional resource to be enjoyed by Obama politics. In a sharp contrast Vladimir Putin has acquired substantial political strengths from positive recognition of Russian ethnicity. Putin recognizes Estonia, Crimea, Georgia, Serbia, Moldova and all small and poor lands around Russia in terms of ethnic connection to Russia. He calls these lands as the dear burial grounds in which Russian military heroes were buried. In a comparison, America has a lot of racial connection with Africa, but president Obama has earnestly worn blinkers on this. He only looks at Africa skeptically as a land of injured civilization in which terrorists abode. He has been wrong. African folk wisdom has a lesson that, you may not need your tribe in peace, only to need it in war.
Why did president Obama masquerade as a Muslim when he was vying for his first term? Moslems feel that he duped them only to turn around and kill their leaders. In Islam it is a heinous sin to pose as a Muslim when you are not one. President Obama mobilized the plotting which had to occasion the killings of Muammar Gadaffi and Osama Bin Laden. These two incidents fuelled high strength in anti-American feelings among the societies of the Arab world. Reasons are that both Gadaffi and Bin Laden deserved fair trial the same way Henry Kissinger was not tried when he perpetrated macabarous mass killing in Vietnamcong war. Muslim community least expected financial and ideological funding of the political hullabaloo known as the Arab Spring, through which heroic Moslem leaders were killed, to come from Obama government. But the contrary was surprisingly a fact. The meaning of this is that, in this tussle of show of mental mighty between Putin and Obama, All African and Arab states are behind Putin, China is behind Putin. Maybe it is Tanzanian and Ghanaian presidents who are in Obama camp, but not the Moslems in Tanzanians and Intellectuals in Ghana. The perceived rationale for this positioning inter alias is that the Number of North African Moslems in Guantanamo prison is the highest of all the detained terrorist suspects.
China is all over Africa today; African schools are teaching Chinese languages with passion more than they do with English language. The University of Nairobi in Kenya, has established the most prestigious Kungu Fu tze institute. Students in this institute are more self-confident and hopeful than those in schools of English and literature. China has designed a special business city for Africans, known as the chocolate city. Africans are more dignified in this city than their counterparts in Chicago.Negroes in Chicago of today still taste a vestigial pepper of negative racism on daily basis. All these conditions have graduated into appalling status from George Bush high school to Barrack Obama state University. These at times confirm the Russian Joke that Barrack Obama is an avatar of George Bush without a Nobel Prize. A political condition not evident during the Reagan and Clinton administration. Obama did not benchmark the shrewd equation of Vladimir Putin; good politics is equal to putting people at center stage.
Psychology of politics has a theory that being eloquent is not a connotation of political effectiveness. It may be sheer rhetoric. This is not a necessary variable for effective policy formulation and implementation. History of politics also has a testimony in confirmation of the same. The French society goofed when it fell victim of Napoleon eloquence, same to the Germans when they became emotional captives of Adolf Hitler due to the razor sharp garrulousness of Adolf Hitler, which he adopted when selling Nazi values to German voters. In Africa Tanzania is the poorest country without hope of initiating any development this century. And all this is a preposterous protégé of utopian communalism planted through eloquent tools of prosaic socialism wielded by the articulate Julius Nyerere. The American society has also gone into annals of history to have collectively failed in its political choices as a national society by succumbing to rhetorical but policy insensitive conference management knack of the one Barrack Obama. These have happened in a capitalist conduit in which capitalism is killed by its success, just the same way which ignorance is never murdered but at most commits suicide.
CHAPTER THIRTY THREE
RUSSIA MUST SPARE UKRAINE SOME PEACE FOR THE SAKE OF TARAS SHEVCHENKO'S DREAM ABOUT UKRAINIAN LITERATURE AND STATEHOOD
Let me climb the intellectual bandwagon of Chamara Sumanapala of the Sunday Nation in Sirilanka, to recognize a world literary fact that Taras Shevchenko was the grandfather of literature that paid wholesome tribute to Ukrainian nationalism. In this juncture it has to be argued that it is ideological shrewdness that has taken Russia to Crimean province of Ukraine but nothing like justifiable law and constitutionalism. Let it also be my opportune time for paying tribute to Taras Shevchenko, as at the same time I pay my homage to Ukrainian literature which is also a cultural symbol of Ukrainian statehood. Just like most of the European gurus of literature and art of his time, Taras Shevchenko received little formal education. The same way Shakespeare and Pushkin as well as Alexander Sholenystisn happened to receive education that was clearly less than what is received by many children around the world today.
Like Lucanos the Greek writer who wrote the biblical gospel according to saint Luke, Taras Shevchenko was Born to parents who were serfs. Taras himself began his life being a slave. He was 24 years a serf. He spent only one fourth of his relatively short life of 47 years as a free man. The same way Miguel Cervantes and Victor Marie Hugo had substantial part of their lives in prison. Nevertheless, this largely self-educated former serf became the headmaster, the guru and fountain of Ukrainian cultural consciousness through his paradigmatic literature written basically in the indigenous Ukrainian language. He was a prototype in this capacity given that no any other writer had made neither intellectual nor even cultural stretch in this direction by that time.
And thus in current Ukraine of today, Taras Shevchenko is a national hero of literature and collective nationalism. But due to the prevailing political tension between Ukraine and Russia, his Bicentenary on March 9,2014 was marred by hoi polloi of dishonesty ideology and sludge of degenerative politics. For many us who derive pleasure from literature and diverse literary civilizations we join the community of Ukrainians to remember Taras Shevchenko the exemplary of patriotism, Taras Shevchenko the poet as well cultural symbol of complete state of Ukraine.
There is always some common historical experience among the childhood conditions of great writers. In the same childhood version as Wright, Fydor, Achebe, Nkrumah, Ousmane and many others, Shevchenko was born on March 9,1814 in Moryntsi, a small village in Central Ukraine. His parents were serfs and therefore Taras was a serf by birth. At the age of eight, he received some lessons from the local Precentor or person who facilitated worshippers at the Church and was introduced to Ukrainian literature, the same way Malcolm X and Richard Wright learned to read and write while in prison. His childhood was miserable as the family was poor. Hard work and acute poverty ate up the lives of the family, and Tara's mother died so soon when he was nine. His father remarried and the stepmother treated Taras very badly in a neurotic manner. Two years later, Taras's father also passed away. Just in the same economic dint poverty ate up Karl Marx until the disease known us typhus killed her wife Jenny Westphelian Marx.
The 19th century Russian Empire was largely feudal, Saint Petersburg being the exception, just like the current Moscow. It was the door and the window to the West. Shevchenko's timely and lucky break in life came when his erratic landlord left for Saint Petersburg, taking his treasured serf with him. Since, Taras had shown some merit and knack as a painter, his landlord sent him to informally learn painting with a master. It was fashionable and couth for a landlord to have a court painter in those days of Europe. However, sorrow had to build the bridges in that through his teacher, Shevchenko met other famous artists. Impressed by the artistic and literary merit of the young and honesty serf, they decided to raise money to buy his freedom out of serfdom. In 1838, Taras Shevchenko became a free man, a free Ukrainian and Free European.
As it goes the classical Marxist adage; freedom gives birth to creativity. It happened only two years later, Taras Shevchenko's collection of poetry, Kobzar, was published, giving him instant fame like the Achebean bush fire in the harmattan wind. A kobzar is a Ukrainian string instrument and a bard who plays it is also known as a Kobzar. Taras Shevchenko also enjoyed some literary epiphany by coming to be known as Kobzar after the publication of his collection.
He was dutifully speaking of the plight of his people in his language, not only through music, but even poetry. However, there were unfair and censuring restrictions in publishing books in Ukrainian. But lucky enough, the book had to be published outside Russia.
Shevchenko continued to write and paint without verve. Showing considerable merit in both. In 1845, he wrote ‘My Testament' which is perhaps his oeuvre and best known work. In his poem, he begs the reader to bury him in his native Ukraine after he dies. Not in Russia. His immense love for the land of his birth is epitomized in these verses. Later, he wrote another memorable and compelling piece, ‘The Dream', which expresses his dream of a day when all the serfs are free. When Ukraine will be free from Russia. Sadly, Taras Shevchenko came to his demise just a week before this dream was realized in 1861.
Chamara Sumanapala wrote in the Sirilanka Sunday Nation of 16 march 2014 that, Taras lived a free man until 1847 when he was arrested for being a member of a secret organization, Brotherhood of St Cyril and Methodius. He was imprisoned in Saint Petersburg and later banished as a private with the Russian military to Orenburg garrison. He was not to be allowed to read and paint, but his overseers hardly enforced this edict. After Czar Nicholas II died in 1855, he received a pardon in 1857, but was initially not allowed to return to Saint Petersburg. He was however, allowed to return to his native Ukraine. He returned to Saint Petersburg and died there on March 10,1861, a day after his 47th birthday. Originally buried there, his remains were brought to Ukraine and buried in Kaniv, in a place now known as Taras Hill. The site became a symbol of Ukrainian nationalism. In 1978, an engineer named Oleksa Hirnyk burned himself in protest to what he called the suppression of Ukrainian history, language and culture by the Soviet authorities.
CHAPTER THIRTY FOUR
LITERATURE CAN THRIVE WITHOUT PROFESSORS BUT PROFESSORS CANNOT THRIVE WITHOUT LITERATURE
In response to a sardonic essay written in the recent Saturday Nation by Proffessor Ekara Kabaji, wryly disregarding the position of Kwani in the global literary movement within and without Kenya, I beg to be permitted a leeway to observe that any literature, orature, music, drama, cyborature, prisonorature, wallorature, streetorature, sculptor or painting can effortlessly thrive and off course it has been thriving without professors of literature, but the reverse is not possible as a professor of literature cannot be when literature is not there. Facts in support of this position are bare and readily available in the history of world literature, why they may not be seen is perhaps the blurring effects from tor like protuberant irrelevance of professors of literature in a given literary civilization.
A starting point is that literature exists as a people's subculture, it can be written or not written like the case of orature which survive as an educative and aesthetic value stored in the collective memory of the given people. The people to be pillars of this collectivity of the memory are not differentiated by academic ranking for superlativity of any reason, but they are simply a people of that place, that community, that time, that heritage, that era and that collective experience. Writing it down is an option, but novels and other written matter is not a sine qua non for existence of literature in such situations. This is not a bolekaja of literature as Proffessor Ekara Kabaji would readily put, but it is a stretch towards realism that it is only people's condition that creates literature. Poverty, slavery, colonialism, sex, marriage, circumcision, migration, or any other conditions experienced as collective experience of the people is stored or even stowed away in the collective memory of the people as their literature. Literature does not come from idealistic imagination of an educated person.
Historical experience of written literature informs us that the good novels, prose, drama and poetry were written before human society had people known as professors of literature. I want you my dear reader and You-Tube audience to reflect on the Cantos of Dante Alighieri in Italy, novels of Geoffrey Chaucer in England, Herman Melville and his Moby Dick in Americas, poetry of Omar khwarisim in Persia, Homeric epics of Odyssey in Greece and the Makonde sculptures of Africa and finally link your reflections to Romesh Tulsi who grafted the Indian epic poetry of Ramayana and Mahabharata. At least you must realize that in those days literature was good, full of charm, very aesthetic and superbly entertaining. This leads to a re-justification that, weapon of theory is not useful in literature. University taught theories of literature have helped not in the growth of literature as compared to the role played by folk culture.
Keen observation will lead you dear reader, down to revelations that; professors of literature squarely depend on the thespic work of the people who are not substantially educated to make a living. Let me share with you the story about Dr. Tom Odhiambo who went to University of Witwasterand in South Africa for post graduate studies in literature only to do his Doctoral research on books of David G Maillu. Maillu is a Kenyan writer, he did not finish his second year of secondary school education but he has been successfully writing poetry and prose for the past three decades. His successful romantic work is After 4.30, probably sarcasm against Kenyan office capitalism, while his eclectic, philosophical and scholarly work is the Broken Drum. Maillu has many other works on his name. But the point is that Dr. Odhiambo now teaches at University of Nairobi in the capacity of senior lecturer in Literature. What makes him to put food on the table is the effort of un-educated person in the name of David Maillu. Dr.Odhiambo himself has not written any book we can mention him for, apart from regular literary journalism he is often involved in on the platforms of the Literary discourse in the Kenyan Saturday Nation which are in turn regular Harangues and ripostes among literature teachers at the University of Nairobi, the likes of Dr Siundu, Proffessor wanjala Chris and Evans Mwangi just but to mention by not being oblivious to professors; Indangasi and Shitanda.
No study has yet been done to establish the role of university professors on growth of African literature. One is overdue. Results may be positive role on negative role, myself I contemplate negative role. Especially when I reflect on how the African literati reacted on the publication of Amos Tutuola's book The Palm Wine Drinkard. The reactions were more disparaging than appreciative. Taban Lo Liyong reacted to this book by calling Amos Tutuola the son of Zinjathropus as well as taking a self styled intellectual responsibility in form of writing a more schooled version of this book; Taking Wisdom up the Palm Tree. Nigerians of Igbo (Tutuola being a Yoruba) nation cowed from being associated with the book as it had shamefully broken English, broken grammar etc. Wole Soyinka had a blemished stand, but it is only Achebe who came out forthrightly to appreciate the book in its efforts to Africanize English for the purpose of African literature. Courtesy of Igbo wisdom. But in a nutshell, what had happened is that Amos Tutuola had taken a plunge to contribute towards written literature in Africa.
One more contemplated result from the research about professors and African literature can be that apart from their role of criticism, professors write very boring books. A ready point of reference is deliberate and reasonless obscurantism taken Wole Soyinka in all of his books, Soyinka's books are difficult to understand, sombre, without humour and not capable to entertain an average reader. In fact Wole Soyinka has been writing for himself but not for the people. No common man can quote Soyinka the way Achebe's Things Fall Apart is quoted. Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart when he had not began his graduate studies. However, he did not escape the obvious mistake of professors to become obscure in the Anthills of the Savanna, the book he wrote when he had become a proffessor. This is on a sharp contrast to entertaining effectiveness, simplicity and thematic diversity of Captain Elechi Amadi, Amadi who studied chemistry but not literature. He does not have a second degree, but his books from the Concubine, The great Ponds, and Sunset in the Biafra and Isibiru are as spellbinding as their counterparts in Russia.
Kenyan scenario has Ngugi wa Thiongio, he displayed eminence in his first two books; Weep not Child and The River Between. These ones he wrote when he was not yet educated, as he was still an undergraduate student at Makerere University. But later on Ngugi became a victim of prosaic socialism, an ideology that warped his literary imagination only to put him in a paradoxical situation as an African communist who works in America as an English teacher at Irvine University. His other outcrops are misuse of Mau Mau as a literary springboard and campaigning for use of Kikuyu dialect of the Gema languages to become literary Lingua Franca in Kenya. Such efforts of Ngugi are only a disservice to Kenyan literature in particular and African literature collectively. Ngugi having been a student of Caribbean literature has failed to borrow from global literary behaviour of Vitian S. Naipaul. Ngugi's position also contrasts sharply with Meja Mwangi whose urban folksy literature swollen with diversity in themes has remained spellbinding entertainers.
The world's literary thirsty has never failed to get palatable quenching from the works of Harriet Bechetor Stowe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Shakespeare, Alice Munro, Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda, John Steinbeck, Garcia Guarbriel Marguez, Salman Rushdie, Lenrie Peters, Cyprian Ekwenzi, Nikolai Gogol, I mean the list is as long as the road from Kaduna to Cape town. Contribution of these writers to global literature has been and is still critical. Literature could not be without them. Surprisingly, most of them are not trained in literature; they don't have a diploma or a degree in literature, but some have won literature Nobel Prize and other prizes. Alfred Nobel himself the author of a classical novella, The Nemesis, does not have University education in literature. What else can we say apart from acceding to the truth that literature can blossom without professors, the Vis-à-vis an obvious and stark impossibility.
CHAPTER THIERTY THREE
Literary value in Africa's benchmarking of Gabriel Garcia marguez's magical realism
Given the apparent magical surrealism that the month of April is the month of fate and death of writers, artists, dramatists, philosophers and poets, a phenomenon which readily gets support from the cases of untimely and early April deaths of Max Weber, Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare, Francis Imbuga, and Chinua Achebe, then wisdom of the moment behooves me to adjure away the fateful month by allowing me to mourn Gabriel Jose de la Concordia García Márquez by expressing my feelings of grieve through the following dirge of elegy:
You lived alone in the solitude
Of pure hundred years in Colombia
Roaming in Amacondo with a Spanish tongue
Carrying the bones of your grandmother in a sisal sag
On your poverty written Colombian back,
Gadabouting to make love in times of cholera,
On none other than your bitter-sweet memories
Of your melancholic whore the daughter of Castro,
Your cowardice made you to fear your momentous life
In this glorious and poetic time of April 2014,
Only to succumb to untimely black death
That similarly dimunitized your cultural ancestor;
Miguel de Cervantes, a quixotic Spaniard,
You were to write to the colonel for your life,
Before eating the cockerel you had ear-marked
For Olympic cockfight, the hope of the oppressed,
Come back from death, you dear Marquez
To tell me more stories fanaticism to surrealism,
From Tarzanic Africa the fabulous land
An avatar of evil gods that are impish propre
Only Vitian Naipaul and Salman Rushdie are not enough,
For both of them are so naïve to tell the African stories,
I will miss you a lot the rest of my life, my dear Garbo,
But I will ever carry your living soul, my dear Garcia,
Soul of your literature and poetry in a Maasai kioondo
On my broad African shoulders during my journey of art,
When coming to America to look for your culture
That gave you versatile tongue and quill of a pen,
Both I will take as your memento and crystallize them
Into my future thespic umbrella of orature and literature.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, an eminent Latin American and most widely acclaimed author, died untimely at his home in Mexico City on Thursday,17th April 2014. The 1982 literature Nobel laureate, whose reputation drew comparisons to Mark Twain of adventures of Huckleberry Finny and Charles Dickens of hard Times, was 87 of age. Already a luminous legend in his well used lifetime, Latin American writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez was perceived as not only one of the most consequential writers of the 20th and 21ist centuries, but also the sterling performing Spanish-language author since the world's experience of Miguel de Cervantes, the Spanish Jail bird and Author of Don Quixote who lived in the 17th century.
Like very many other writers from the politically and economically poor parts of the world, in the likes of J M Coatze, Wole Soyinka, Nadine Gordimer, Doris May Lessing, Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda, V S Naipaul, and Rabidranathe Tagore, Marguez won the literature Nobel prize in addition to the previous countless awards for his magically fabulous novels, gripping short stories, farcical screenplays, incisive journalistic contributions and spellbinding essays. But due to postmodern global thespic civilization the Nobel Prize is recognized as most important of his prizes in the sense that, he received in 1982, as the first Colombian author to achieve such literary eminence. The eminence of his work in literature communicated in Spanish are towered by none other than the Bible, especially in its Homeric style which Moses used when writing the book of Genesis and the fictitious drama of Job.
Just like Ngugi, Achebe, Soyinka, and Ousmane Marquez is not the first born. He is the youngest of siblings. He was born on March 6,1927 in the Colombian village of Aracataca, on the Caribbean coast. His literary bravado was displayed in his book, Love in the Times of Cholera.
In which he narrated how his parents met and got married. Marguez did not grow up with his father and mother, but instead he grew up with his grandparents. He often felt lonely as a child.
Environment of aunts and grandmother did not fill the psychological void of father and mother. This social phenomenon of inadequate parenthood is also seen catapulting Richard Wright, Charles Dickens, and Barrack Obama to literary excellence. Obama recounted the same experience in his Dreams from my father.
Poverty determines convenience or hardship of marriage. This is mirrored by Garcia Marquez in his marriage to Mercedes Barcha. An early childhood play-mate and neighbour in 1958. In appreciation of his marriage, Marquez later wrote in his memoirs that it is women who maintain the world, whereas we men tend to plunge it into disarray with all our historic brutality. This was a connotation of his grandmother in particular who played an important role during the times of childhood. The grandmother introduced him to the beauty of orature by telling him fabulous stories about ghosts and dead relatives haunting the cellar and attic, a social experience which exactly produced Chinua Achebe, Okot P'Bitek, Mazizi Kunene, Margaret Ogola and very many other writers of the third world.
Little Gabo as his affectionate pseudonym for literature goes, was a voracious bookworm, who like his ideological master Karl Marx read King Lear of Shakespeare at the age of sixteen. He fondly devoured the works of Spanish authors, obviously Miguel de Cervantes, as well as other European heavyweights like; Edward Hemingway, Faulkner and Frantz Kafka.
Good writers usually drop out of school and at most writers who win the Nobel Prize. This formative virtue of writers is evinced in Alice Munro, Doris Lessing, Nadine Gordimer, John Steinbeck, William Shakespeare, Sembene Ousmane, Octavio Paz as well as Gabriel Garcia Marquez. After dropping out of law school, Garcia Marquez decided instead to embark on a call of his passion as a journalist. The career he perfectly did by regularly criticizing Colombian as well as ideological failures of the then foreign politics. In a nutshell he was a literary crusader against poverty. This is of course the obvious hall marker of leftist political orientation.
Garcia Marquez's sensational breakthrough occurred in 1967 with the break-away publication of his oeuvre; One Hundred Years of Solitude which the New York Times Book Review meritoriously elevated as 'the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race. The position similarly taken by Salman Rushdie. Marquez often shared out that this novel carried him above emotional tantrums on its publication. He was keen on this as his manner of speech was always devoid of la di da. So humble and suave that his genius can only be appreciated not from the booming media outlets about his death, but by reading all of his works and especially his Literature Noble price acceptance speech delivered in 1982.
Comments about Essays On Literature by alexander opicho
New Freedom Poems
- Freedom, Charles Hice
- Emancipation, Vinaya Joseph
- Freedom, Reagan A. Latumbo
- Freedom, The Man Craves, Samuel Eyitayo
- What Is Freedom, Kumarmani Mahakul
- Great Freedom Of Thoughts., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
- 'Kiss Of Love', Marine Drive, Kochi, Denvor fernandez
- Drum Of Freedom, Md. Asadullah
- Freedom, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- Freedom Fighters, George Egba
- carpe diem