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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.

The war in your mind

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Most Afrikan Women and Men find themselves “thinking too much”. We think so deep, so hard and so much that, in our secret chambers, we are often convinced about our absolute insanity. Yet, the norm is to present yourself as if nothing really bothers you that much (apart from corruption, price levels and the poor choices of TV programs available). Your head keeps spinning and you wonder “what would people say if they knew half of what’s happening in my mind?”. And the few times you might have attempted to share your inner horrors, you probably ended up regretting, or everything came out wrong.

Afrikan Daughter. Afrikan Son. You’re not crazy. What is crazy is that you come from a lot and have to process a lot – and yet, your default reaction to a 1000 years of invalidated self-annihilation should be the “mute-position”?

So there’s a war in our heads, which is not supposed to be spoken about unless you very drunk, very high or can channel it into an obsession with business, politics or a hot partner. EVERYbody is on a deep level existential nightmare trip, yet NObody is supposed to know about yours? Do you know how much energy your are wasting just to keep your mind on shut-down? Keeping up appearance is extremely hard work. No wonder Brothers go deaf when they are confronted “What ARE you thinking about?” and Sisters demonstrate a dramatic I-will-kill-you gaze when asked “So what are you REALLY saying?” No wonder alcohol is a must, ganja is a medical aid, sex is relief and violence is necessary. The cross of Blackness is just too much to bear in a sober state.

But, you might have forgotten your royal descent – as a Daughter or Son of ancients who knew no limit to power. There is a difference between “thinking a lot” and “reflecting progressively”. The former makes your thoughts just spin and go in circles, in a never-ending mix of deja-vu and wtf. The latter has direction, can prioritise, develops an agenda and is followed up with an action plan. Since Black reality has already superimposed on you a schizophrenic element of being (you know that you experience most situations twice – through your own eyes and through everyone else’s) – you can sharpen your ability to see yourself from without. In a progressive way (remember to switch off the “Self-murder” button!). Study your patterns. Demand to understand your fears and inhibitions. Recognize the history that amputated you, but also the one that made you inherit an arsenal of enablement.

The war in your mind is real. And you are not serving the purpose of your being by just acknowledging that. Being at war doesnt automatically make you are warrior. Positioning yourself with an action plan to end the war does. You need to push some steps further. Some radical, painful, difficult, break-new-ground kinda steps. You will play a very minimal role in Afrika’s fight for liberation when you are still so busy incarcerating your self.

Mama Afrika calls on you to awaken a militantly brave sense of grounded and purpose-filled self-reflection. If you don’t you will be an accomplice in your own destruction and your autopsy report shall read “Participated willingly in self-extermination due to fear of own mind and agreement to render own self-recovery impossible”. In the words of Q-Tip: “…now why you wanna go and do that….”

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