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Vukulu Sizwe Maphindani

Vukulu Sizwe Maphindani is an author, aspiring avid reader, Publisher, social commentator and a philanthropist who consistently strives for the self-determination of Africans. He is the Founder and President of the Black Centric Forum Movement (A post Liberation Black Consciousness and Black nationalist Movement) and also a co-founder of the Black Imbizo dialogue platform.

African nationalism and expressing blackness in South Africa today

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In this article, I’m trying to address two distinct terms that are very close to my spirituality – African (Black) Nationalism and expressing blackness.

In understanding the concept of African Nationalism in South Africa, it is necessary to draw from the likes of Anton Lembede, AP Mda, Robert Sobukwe and Steve Biko.

And although the ANCYL (African National Congress Youth League) has previously served as a nucleus for African Nationalism in South Africa by hurling on the concept of Africanism which asserts that, in order to advance the struggle for freedom, Africans must first turn inward and reflect extensively by shedding their feelings of inferiority and redefining their self-image, rely on their own resources, unite and mobilize as a national group around their own leaders; one would argue that we are mentioning the Youth League simply because these earliest ministers of African Nationalism – Anton Lembede, AP Mda, Robert Sobukwe were preliminarily a part of the ANCYL until they left the Movement in 1959 to form the Pan African Congress (PAC) and by then, Anton Lembede, a sentimental figure in the expression of this remedying ideology was no more, after his earlier passing in 1947 due to alleged natural causes.

However, on its manifestations in present-day thought leadership development, it would be immaterial to associate the idea/spiritual base of Africanism to neither the ANC or the PAC or any political party for that matter because Politics have only served the dispersing doctrine of divide and conquer since the 1994 elections.

On the other hand, the ANC’s practice of Colourblind politics of equality resurfacing on non-racialism and non-sexism sloganeering serves the opposite of the African Nationalist ideals. Non-racialism or rainbow nation has only left black people as subservient beings under the plague of white supremacy because the origins of contemporary suffrage today can be traced back to the racially disenfranchising 1990-1993 team meeting in the form of CODESA negotiations where everything took place. Black leaders and reformers could argue for political inclusion on grounds that only persuaded liberal or moderate whites that nothing revolutionary or contrary to generally accepted political norms was being proposed. This was also evident as PW Botha, in 1987, after a meeting with Nelson Mandela advised that he was not in a position to meet with anyone with revolutionary ideals henceforth indirectly telling a story about a political figure Nelson Mandela was becoming.

All those compromises came at a great price. Prominent political figures like Chris Hani were assassinated in the process and many other unknown figures whose deaths might not be explained for atleast another 100 years and we cannot ignore that part of our reality today. So as a result of those compromises, the status quo is the order of the day and all that’s being done by the ANC today is nothing but “epoch-making statements” without a deliberate commitment to serving black people.

Towards the end of overt white racism in the late 1980s, the number of rights to which human beings were normatively entitled would increase partly as a result of the black protestors, orators, thought leaders and writer’s efforts. But the struggle for a conception of human rights that would outlaw all forms of racism is still a long and frustrating one. Above all, the ANC have also adopted Neo-liberalism or liberal equality whereas liberal equality means an equal right to acquire and protect private property and the ANC is living to see the realization of the promises they made in this regard, between 1990-1993 with the latter blatantly evident today with many events proving this supposed mythology, eg. protestors were killed in Marikana by black Policemen, whom under their political executives protected “White interests” in the expense of black lives.

As we fast forward to the country’s democratic era, black people today can’t even go to any professional environment without being demeaned because of the blackness of their Skin. The schooling system is even worse, our children can’t even wear their Afros and locks because it’s unprofessional – they must relax/straighten their natural hair in order to be considered more acceptable and professional which brings a great conversation around what blackness really means as previously understood differently by those who came before us.

Some believe that Blackness is not skin colour or biology; rather a social definition. They argue, that It is possible to look “white” physically and black socially just like Steve Biko and the BCM coined Black as a mental attitude and as a result created a hybrid political definition where Indians were also regarded as blacks instead of Asiatic, but I stand to defy this myth in defence of biological, cultural and genetic history.

Now talking about expressing blackness. Let’s first be clear about something. White people came to Africa on a mission to destroy Africa and the Blackman and woman. They stole our arts and sciences, our inventions, our spirituality, our history and civilization and everything that made us the rulers of the dark age as our civilization is the oldest in Human history. So, anything that they couldn’t make theirs terrified them much that they destroyed and demonized those. These include the Blackness of our skin hence they killed, raped, sold, molested, dehumanized, oppressed and repressed us. And that’s why they cannot stand our hair to this day hence in schools and corporations; Dreadlocks and Afros are regarded as unethical and unprofessional and that right there is demonization.

They demonize Black people’s hair because our hair represents our strength, it forms an antenna through which the spiritual force may descend. Hair is the receiver and transmitter of divine emanation, ­it makes you receptive to spiritual forces and it helps embrace, revitalizes and activate your highest order of Pineal gland in the form of Melanin under the double 666 Neutrons, therefore, reproducing biochemical substances and Spiritual frequencies.

So, by discouraging black people, particularly black women to hate themselves, that’s spiritual castration and defiling the Melanin Chemical. The point of entry to the spiritual world get lost and disconnected especially when society has pressured black women to wear Brazilian, Peruvian hair, weaves etc. And you can now see women on social media saying they are having a bad hair day when on their kinky hair. So, to express blackness you need to know and understand yourself because it is impossible to express something that you have no knowledge of. Whites have demystified blackness much that when we think black we think savages, death, drug dealers, criminals, inferiority etc.l definition. They argue, that It is possible to look “white” physically and black socially just like Steve Biko and the BCM coined Black as a mental attitude and as a result created a hybrid political definition where Indians were also regarded as black but that’s not really correct .

In conclusion, for Africans to liberate themselves, they must, by all means, shy away from cosmetic terminologies such as ‘The decolonization of Education”, the decolonization of mind etc. Because decolonization only means dealing with the colonial effects of our destructions. Things such as spiritual castration were far beyond economics and colonization so we must rid ourselves from colonial terminology. Be black and beautiful by all means, at all times!

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