Thursday, November 16, 2006


The sun is shining, the wilderness is amazing.
An African child is up again, to face another day. From above the mountain, Africa can be seen. It is a shining pearl. Love it or hate, it’s a cradle of mankind.

Please sit down. Let us talk about culture. Walk me through the valleys of culture and traditions. Tell me the great tales of humanity. Let us talk about humanity. Talking about culture is hard, isn’t it? Most people do not want to hear about your culture. They want theirs to dominate. Yours is primitive. Mostly dangerous is that more than few people care about culture nowadays. To them culture is a dead end. They look at me with a scorn when I dare mention the word. Whom can we blame? I promise to listen, every culture matters.

I can still hear those echoes; let us preserve our cultures and traditions. For real? Let us dance again to that lovely song. That song of heroism as we emerged from the cold river, in the coldest morning of the month. When we became men through teachings and discipline and not just a new year. I can still hear our women’s ululation. Who said we do not honor them? Wouldn’t they click our wounded groin if we showed no respect? Above all, are we not just like any other societies, where men and women should be allowed to mistakes sometimes? Why are we condemned then?

When are we going to spend the nights dancing while feeling the light from stars and the moon? What happened to that life, full of respect to cultures and traditions? That life which truly meant what it said and offered nothing but justice? Does it still practically mean it takes a village to raise a child? Do we still drink our “juice” using a calabash?

Here in North America, they have what they call “values”. I feel dumb that I am yet to understand what they mean by that. Do they mean what they say though? Nevertheless, I respect their opinion, even when they choose not to respect mine. Even when they choose to think from my home comes wars and diseases alone. When they choose to ignore the fact that I too bleed, sweat and die.

I choose to stand on top of the mountain and blow the trumpets of justice, love and all that counts. I honor the grain of wheat. It must die first in order to give a way to another life. What if you and I were also just like the grain of wheat? Who or what would you die for? Please tell me! You know what I would die for, don’t you?


scout said...

i think you would die for africa, jeff. i think you would die for your mother and father if there had to be a choice made. i think you would die for your culture, before your culture dies.

there are still 'culture vultures' all around, those who are willing to learn and respect. some are wanting to but do not realize their own 'conqueror mindset' for it is ingrained in them. but their words reflect this.

there are pockets , growin, of 'rainbow children' who have gatherings the world over. they are like hippies in a sense but have come to know their own tribal roots and the cultures of others.

there is an area of torusim that is fast growing called 'geo tourism' where they want to participate in community to learn culture and the enviornment.

you sit on native , the anscesotrs are strong and conncect you back to yours in africa. people do not realize the complexity and sophistication of indiegenous culture. it is so strong it is breathed, therefore there are no words like 'values'....things just are.

the sun and moon await us all....they are there for us to honour, and like a grain of wheat, for us to recognize life in every thing.

i become more like a grain of wheat everyday, willing to let the wind take me to the next place or stay on one spot of Mother Earth.

many hoichika, many thanks.

Jeff Msangi said...

Few words that can reflect from how you have just nailed down the path of culture is THAT IS DEEP.I wonder how many looks at things with such mind binoculars.
I guess there is a sense of being a human being that is eroded everyday as the gears are being shifted to the far angles.What I think I can be confident with is that culture is an alive stream.It will survive the test of time,come sun come rain.