On Christmas Day, but it could be any day: Abahlalibase Mjondolo (AbM) 5
Sat, 12/26/2009 – 20:08
Reading about what has happened at Kennedy Road Settlement in Durban
makes me wonder. More like wondering and wandering from society to
society, from places in history and geography. Has capitalism become the
greatest laundering scheme, the greatest organized gang?
Going back to some of the most predatory roots of capitalism, one finds
children split from their families by the slave hunters. That was the beginning
of the splitting of humanity. A splitting apart long before Chinua Achebe saw it
with the arrival of the colonizers in Things Fall Apart. In spite of the endless
onslaught, healing has been going on, more often than not unseen, unheard
of among the pharisaic promoters/distributors of pacifying rewards.
Healers are always close by if one can see/hear/feel them
Spirit, breath, pen is all it takes
Ayi Kwei Armah helps those without go to
Healers in forests, healers in deserts,
They are everywhere
Is it true, so goes one story,
That abahlali can turn up in your bank
Dry up your account?
Make the owner feel how it feels to be without money
In a land of honey
For the Richest of the richest
Who make money
Out of nothingest
Have decided to get rid of Abahlali
Before they desertify their bank accounts
For centuries the splitting went on
cooked in history books through
names always chosen by the same chefs:
Slavery, abolition, enlightenment, civilization
Capitalism, progress, Christianity,
Colonialism, apartheid, peace, development, competition, globalization, terror
some of these names were once sorted out by one of the greatest chefs of all,
under the name la grammaire des civilisations (later, in 1994, translated in
English as A History of Civilizations).
La grammaire des civilisations does not mention the splitting of humanity
despite the genocidal sequences of the 20th century whose names have not
been forgotten, but are fading fast…just like humanity:
Herrero, Armenians, Congo Free State, Nankin, Holocaust,
Hiroshima/Nagasaki, Indochina, Rwanda, DRCongo.
In the eastern part of DRCongo:
Violence, rape against women, babies
followed by unthinkable atrocities.
Committed just for the sake of might is right always.
And so, now, in the hearts, veins and brains of the land of Sobukwe, Biko,
Splitting of humanity has been taken to a new level
reminiscent of darker and darkest times
Germany in 1933? Kolyma/gulag tales?
Nankin? Kassinga? My Lai?
Hiroshima/Nagasaki by other means?
In the name of what?
In the name of the richest of the richest
At Kennedy Road/Durban
The answers came:
Showing the poorest of the poor
They are nothing unless they submit
To the most powerful, the most brutal
If they do not submit
They shall be silenced
Forever if necessary
Healing, once said S’bu Zikode,
Is more powerful than any lethal force.
Is the GAH (Gang against healing)
Trying to prove all of the AbahlalibaseMjondolo wrong
AbM is like a young baby, born in 2005
Being raped till it submits to might is right
Will the sun still rise?
We had been promised a new dawn
Has everything been inverted?
Will the sun still rise in the East?
Is the West willing to set?
Accelerated, from splitting to the next stage
With the help of the nuclear mentality
Reducing humanity to dust
Hoping that healers
Shall be pulverized in the process.
Where is the world headed for when
Apartheid has been relayed by former victims
To make it sweater on the
Richest of the Richest
and harsher on the
Poorest of the Poorest?
Questions cannot be silenced:
Could it be that splitting has now entered its most lethal phase
Gone beyond the point of no return
Saying no to Reconnecting with the Disconnected
As called for by Ayi Kwei Armah
In his Eloquence of the Scribes?
To answers coming
From the quiet ones
Keep listening to
The silenced ones
These words almost did not see the light of day
It moved out of sight on October 18 2009
Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, December 25, 2009
Jacques Depelchin is CAPES Fellow (2007-9) (Brasil) and Co-founder of Ota Benga Alliance for Peace, Healing and Dignity (www.otabenga.org). Among other works, he has authored Silences in African History: Between the Syndromes of Discovery and Abolition (Dar es Salaam: Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, 2005).
Abahlali baseMjondolo is the South African shackdwellers’ movement (http://www.abahlali.org/).
“On Christmas Day, but it could be any day: Abahlalibase Mjondolo (AbM) 5” first appeared on the Ota Benga site: http://otabenga.org/node/180. Thanks to Ota Benga, Abahlali baseMjondolo, Jacques Delpechin and Raj Patel for their ongoing work and collaborations.