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Baba Buntu is an Activist Scholar and Founding Director of eBukhosini Solutions; a community-based company in Johannesburg, specializing in Afrikan-Centered Education. As a Pan-Afrikan educator, writer, mentor and practitioner, Baba Buntu has more than 30 years of experience in conceptualizing and contributing to programs on social development, innovative entrepreneurship and cultural empowerment. He has founded a number of community interventions based on practical approaches to Black Consciousness and decolonial methods. With experience from working engagements in Afrika, the Caribbean and Europe, Buntu’s passion lies within people-centred development for practical empowerment of Afrikan youth, families and communities. He holds a Doctoral and a Master Degree in Philosophy of Education from UNISA.

Holistic lifestyle – letter to the aspiring vegan from Baba Buntu

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The following is a letter written by Baba Buntu in response to questions from a young, aspiring vegan. consciousness.co.za has been granted permission to publish it in hope that it can assist others who also might be considering a metabolic revolution. http://www.facebook.com/bababuntu


Entering a completely vegan lifestyle is not like you are just painting your house in a new color, and, 1-2-3 ready to go. You are embarking on a journey where you need to take time to learn, relearn (and relearn again!!!! And again!!!), take a break, continue, fall, get up again, fast and meditate, relearn some more and go ahead step by step. It’s a circle of learning curves where you aspire to continuously reach a higher level, but need to apply the right amount of patience as you monitor your energy levels carefully.


You say you want to stop wok’ing. Fine, but rather than just stopping cooked food in an instant, move gradually from more heavy vegetables to lighter vegetables (greens are on top and have the highest content of chlorophyll). Start adding raw salads to the cooked food. Then increase to half cooked, half raw etc. Move in rhythm. You need to see your development as a looooong piece of jazz music. You can’t just command the drums to play up the speed if the bass is not ready. You might have to take time to prepare the piano to play the right tune and it might take longer than you wish. Don’t get upset, appreciate and give thanks for your continuous willingness to try and not give up. Give yourself credit for the victories you make. Just know that you are in the middle of a beautiful piece of music, cleansing and adding more peaceful beauty to the world as you commence.


Yes, true. Soya is not something one should eat forever. But, the body is a highly sophisticated vehicle. You need to make your changes gradually. And as a start, soya is fine. AS you go along, you take note of which foods that are not the highest standard, and you start lessening them. Im repeating myself, but just emphasizing – the key is slow progress in upward direction.


You also need to think about your whole lifestyle. Your emotional needs. Your spiritual strength. What and who you surround yourself with. How you prepare for the battles of the day. How you deal with mental blockages and frustrations. Slowly, start opening up your chakras to new over-standings and realizations. Next time you go to Nigeria, cleanse in the rivers and see an Ifa priest. As you wait for your next trip to Nigeria, take salt baths, burn incense, call your Ancestors and DECIDE to be always stronger. Note your weaknesses, but don’t curse them. Know that they came into your being for a reason and many of them were not planted there with your permission. Note them, be aware of them and make a plan in which order you are going to deal with them. Take one – or a few – at a time. Thank them for the new understanding they brought into your life (remember, without them there would be certain things you wouldn’t have learnt, painful and confusing as they may be) and declare that they do not belong to you anymore… and release. Like Queen Afua says; Bless your dis-ease away. Toxics are not only in the meats and chickens, but might also be found (in abundance) in our relationships, in our self perceptions and our habits. The body is a temple, the mind is a board room. Time to cleanse the house.

Ok, I can see Im on the preacher stand now. Im gonna step down and leave you with a few suggestions and resources. You can find a lot of good information on the internet. Just accept that there is not just ONE way or ONE formula. Take time to read, make your own research and your own findings as your grow. Grasp every opportunity to learn, even from people you disagree with. They might have a lesson meant for just you.


(sorry, you might want exact measurements, but I don’t know, I go with the flow. So all I can say is “a bit of this” and “plenty of that”….)

Peanut sauce:

Mix unsweetened peanut butter with a bit of virgin olive oil, 100% tomato paste (or use fresh ones), celery salt and herbs/spices of your choice. I like to blend in raw ground nuts and a bit of coconut cream as well.


For hot meals you can steam vegetables lightly in hot water. 2-3 minutes at the most. This ensures that you keep all the good nutrients intact


You can make sauces and stews from different “bases” (main ingredient/flavor): Peanut butter, tomato paste, onion, pumpkin, avocado etc. Add fresh herbs.


Always make sure you eat some raw food with your meals and make sure they taste good too. You can experiment with a variety of dressings made with ingredients like lemon juice, olive oil, sesame oil and fresh herbs. Blend in some sesame seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, lin seeds (for digestion) and/or sunflower seeds (energy)


It is advisable to invest in a juicer. A good juicer should separate the juice from the pulp. Also, you will need a blender (one that cuts, blends and whips). These are great and necessary tools and will help you as you walk along the path. Feel free to experiment. Start with some basic recipes and elaborate by creativity, understanding and growth. With the juice you can make great drinkable breakfasts from both vegetables and fruits. With the blender you can cut and blend ingredients for salads and dishes.

Recommended tasty:

Cut (separately) raw peanuts, spinach, avocado and sun-dried tomatoes in the blender. Mix with a few selected fresh herbs and you have got yourself a tasty and filling salad. You can for instance eat steamed corn on the cob (or millies) with it.


Check books by Laila O. Afrika and Queen Afua.

Then some other resources:


– Spirituality (Queen Afua, see www.queenafuaonline.com) – Holistic living (L. Afrika, see www.drafrika.com) – Melanin (Frances C. Welsing – read interview on www.africawithin.com/welsing/welsing_interview.htm)

It’s essential to live holistically, which means that you need to check all aspects of your life/living – food, practices, thought patterns, emotional needs, habits, relationships – in short, your well being physically, spiritually and mentally. Check books at the office as well.


– Minerals, Vitamins, Carbohydrates, Fats, Proteins (search in books and on internet and cross reference with Q. Afua and L. Afrika)

Check resources (both the “common” ones you find in book stores and internet, and cross reference with Afrikan centred material. Don’t just search for ONE truth. Compare, take notes and test out the relevance and truthworthiness in what you read.

Also check the writings of Elijah Muhammad, who, although not a vegetarian, wrote some very authoritative books on health and nutrition, fasting and living.


Check these websites for information, resources and interesting discussion forums

www.blackvegetarians.org Man, just read the title – do I need to say more…? This is YOUR site!

www.blackherbals.com/ Great reference site

www.assatashakur.org/forum/archive/index.php/f-22.html Great discussion forum on Afrikan Holistic Health


(not necessarily Afrikan-centred and/or holistic. Pick and chose!)

vegetarian.allrecipes.com/ As they claim: “Real recipes from real people”

www.ivu.org/recipes/ International Vegetarian Union. Has many recipes. More than 60 from Afrika.

www.recipezaar.com/r/108/169 Many Afrikan vegetarian recipes

www.interlog.com/%7Ejohn13/recipes/ethiopia.htm Ethiopian vegetarian dishes


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