Reverse Engineering The Mind of the Colonizer – Part I

By Zulumathabo Zulu © 2015

The architects of the colonial system are motivated by a desire to take what is not rightfully theirs. The end result is that the native of the land is left dispossessed, disinherited and disempowered. The native of the land is not able to become the master of her destiny as a result of losing ground.

When the architects of colonial rule build any kind of infrastructure in the colonized country, the design goal is not to develop that country but rather to use that infrastructure to transport the natural resources from the colonized country to the colonizing country. For this reason, the infrastructure in the colonized country exists as a Trojan hoarse.

Even after the end of colonial rule, the hidden motivation is to transport the natural resources to the former colonizing country. The relationship between the former colonizer and the former colonized is directed by the MSRM (master servant relationship model). They encourage the former colonized to remain a resource economy. Why is this? Because this is the most profitable relationship between the former colonizer and the former colonized in favour of the former colonizer.

Triangle Model - Helicopter, Caterpillar, Robot

The Triangle model showing three analysis perspectives from the book The Sacred Knowledge of the Desert: African Philosophical Transcendence.

A colonial behaviour requires some serious justification. The colonial architects use organized religion to justify their plundering behaviour. This gives them a moral just cause. They also use English education as a civilizing tool to transform and mesmerize the minds of the colonized. This gives them another moral just cause. In the case of South Africa, the champion of this benign form of colonization was Sir George Grey. He had successfully subdued the warring Maori people of New Zealand using the bible and the English education. The British Empire was so impressed with what Grey had achieved in New Zealand that they pleaded with him and recommended that he be appointed to South Africa’s Cape Colony as a Governor in order for him to duplicate the Maori success in South Africa.

For the colonizers, the church is not just a holy place of worship for the captive audience but it is also a military base where they store weapons of war to carry out surprise attacks against the unsuspecting resisters of colonization. This was the case when a missionary spied on and tracked the regiments of General Mbilini Dlamini ka Mswati on behalf of the British colonial authorities. The missionary eventually got within a striking distance and he shot General Mbilini. Mbilini later died from his gunshot wounds. The missionary was never arrested because he had carried out the mission of death against the African resisters in accordance with the command of the British Colonial Administration. The soldiers of General Mbilini launched a massive manhunt for the missionary. He was eventually tracked down, abducted and taken out of commission.

The Mind of the Colonizer

How does the mind of the colonizer actually work? On the one hand, you profess the Christian faith, the spirit of forgiveness and encourage the African natives to adopt the new faith. On the other hand, you store weapons of war inside church buildings and even shoot unsuspecting natives of the land from inside the church? This cowardly fact is the best kept secret.

In this article Reverse Engineering the Mind of the Colonizer, we have set out to unravel and unpack the mind of the colonizer. How does a predatory system of colonization really work? What is the mind of the colonizer? What are the mechanisms that enable a predatory behaviour of the colonizer against the colonized? How does the former colonized remain mesmerized and bamboozled by the magic of the former colonizer? How is it possible that the  colonizer, despite a brutal history of colonial conquest, was able to cast a hypnotic spell on the colonized so that the colonized almost always defers to and seeks the advice and guidance of the former colonizer in matters pertaining to development, economy, strategy, aesthetics and education?

The Reverse Engineering Tools

In order to reverse and get at the inner workings of the colonial mind, we need some cutting edge tools that will enable us to achieve this. The following is a list of tools that will prove productive in our task.

  1. Black Skin White Masks by Dr. Frantz Fanon (Psychiatrist)
  2. The Cress Theory of Color Confrontation by Dr. Cress Frances Welsing (Psychiatrist)
  3. Yurugu: An African-Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior by Dr. Marimba Ani (Anthropologist)
  4. Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics by Dr. Raymond A. Serway (Physicist).
  5. Solid State Chemistry
  6. Solid State Physics
  7. The Triangle Model
  8. Numerical Analysis

About the Reversing Tools

The above mentioned tools cover a wide gamut in terms of knowledge disciplines. They shall be discussed more deeply in another article. In this case it should suffice to say that these tools cover knowledge disciplines such as psychiatry, psycho-analysis, dialectical materialism, genetics, anthropology, physics, chemistry, modeling and numerical analysis. Drawing from these knowledge disciplines, it will be possible to present a clear understanding of the mind of the colonizer and its inner workings. This should assist the future generations to gain an instinctive grasp of why things are the way they are and how they can regain their ability to architect and direct their own destiny.

Access to the Brain

We have no direct access to the design knowledge of the brain. We have no direct access to the design documents of the brain. We were not there when the brain was designed. Given this lack of privileged access to the design knowledge of the brain, we have to find other inventive ways of gaining an epistemic access into the  inner workings of the mind to facilitate our understanding of the brain. This means we must generate our own reference knowledge with respect to the design of the brain structures.

Thus, the brain is a black box to us just like a flight recorder in a plane. The Canadian company xwave for whom I worked as a Senior Software Engineer was formerly known as Software Kinetics and one of their functions was to decode flight recorders. Software Kinetics decoded the flight recorder of the Swissair Flight 111. The Swissair Flight 111 plane was from the US John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York en route to Geneva, Switzerland when it tragically crashed into the Atlantic Ocean of Nova Scotia, Canada in September 1998 where 229 passengers perished. Our company decoded the flight recorder and reported to the aviation authorities in terms of what really happened in that fateful flight.

Decoding a flight recorder requires reverse engineering expertise. Re-engineering legacy systems also requires reverse engineering. I have decoded an encrypted system that contained a malicious code for a government agency. The idea of reverse engineering has always been of great interest to me.

In keeping with the metaphorical logic of a black box,  the mind of the colonizer is like a black box that does not reveal its inner workings. However, we have the superior skills of reversal to uncover and extract those inner workings so that for the first time we can report on the connection between the behaviour and the mind of the colonizer.

By understanding the conniving mind of the colonizer, we are in a better position to understand the current MSRM relations. This is important for us because it gives us the timeline and the historicity of the mind of the colonizer. This knowledge is extremely vital because history is the final arbiter of knowledge. History answers the why questions. Why did the African lose the land? How is the African expected to move on when he does not understand the impact of colonization on his psyche? How can the African move on when the fundamental questions of colonization have not been addressed yet in a fundamental way? How can the African understand and embrace the future when he is still fixated in the past?

The purpose of reverse engineering is to outline the main subsystems that underlie the cryptic system of the colonizing mindset and use graph theory in advanced mathematics to show how the subsystems are interconnected in terms of network, cardinality, arrangement and morphological analysis.

In our case, we are going to use the triangle model as a powerful tool of analysis as outlined in the books The Sacred Knowledge of the Desert and The Philosophy of the Triangle by this author.

In the case of the brain architecture, we are interested in the three subsystems namely (1) reptilian brain, (2) mammalian brain and (3) cortical brain. Our mission in this analytical article is to investigate, establish and isolate the brain system that dominates the mind of the colonizer. We shall later use this analytical knowledge to analyze others like The Mind of the Imperialist.

To Be Continued…

Ditema Tsa Basotho Writing System

By Zulumathabo Zulu © 2015

The Basotho people in the Eastern Free State have had a greatest impact on my philosophical thinking and worldview. These venerated people possess an amazing and unique knowledge of Ditema glyphs which was used as a writing system long before the advent of the Euro-Christian colonization. Elsewhere in this blog I discuss this concept in the articles Nahanotsebo – African Theory of Knowledge – Part I and Nahanotsebo – African Theory of Knowledge – Part II.

In this article, we introduce Ditema Tsa Basotho.

Ukukha_Intaba_Kancane

Ditema Tsa Basotho Sunrise artwork by Zulumathabo Zulu © 2015

When my mother died at a tender age of 12, I was forced to return to Naledi where I had been previously tended by the incredible Mangena family. I was assisted by the great Mannuku to reconnect with the Mangenas. In my book A Woman in the Bush I pay deserved tribute to the heroine Mannuku in the literary piece Mannuku wa Naledi. Manneheng was married to Mr. Mangena but at this time he had passed away. Manneheng then decided that I needed to be taken to Matamong in the Eastern Free State to start a new life.

I landed at Matamong in the Eastern Free State in 1973 where Abram Mlangeni and his wife Mmaketsa led a traditional African lifestyle. As the great matriarch of the house, Mmaketsa governed the affairs of the extended family assisted by other matriarchs and Mr. Mlangeni gave her an unqualified support. In my scholarly paper The Design Theory of Letanta I recall the following:

” In one of the hunting trips, Mr. Mlangeni dedicated the expedition to her (Mmaketsa). Whenever a game like nogwaja was caught, he skinned and cut the animal with a meticulous precision of a master craftsman. He peppered the meat with nice seasoning and roasted it on a naked fire. He watched the sizzling meat like a hawk while baile (the family dog) looked on with great anticipation. He always gave a piece of meat to baile whom he loved so dearly. Once the meat was ready, the fresh roast was delivered on a platter to both Nkgono and Mmangwane. In a matrilineal society such as Matamong, Nkgono, Mmangwane and Rakgadi are part of a ruling triumvirate. It’s these kinds of values and maxims that motivate and guide the behaviour of the design artisans. “

The Matamong village is a collectivist society. In another unpublished analysis paper The Cozumist we read the following:

“Matamong organizes its members around the concept of the collective. This makes Matamong a society that maximizes the survival experience of its members through an economic model that requires a collective cooperation of its members. The cultural artifact of this collective is confirmed through a system of letsema. Letsema is an economic solidarity whereby members of the collective rally around a particular family in order to bolster its survival efforts. Letsema is structurally matrilineal and governed by a triumvirate of Rakgadi, Mmangwane and Nkgono. The purpose of Letsema is to achieve osmotic balance, mitochondrial survival and economic prosperity within the collective organism of the village.”

Now that you have a good picture of the kind of the village we are dealing with, now let’s get to the heart of the matter.

For the first time I came across what was known as ditema. This was a system of visual symbols used to capture and record the feelings, the views and stories as expressed by the scribe of ditema. Usually, the scribe is a woman. The Basotho have always considered a woman to be the custodian of this writing system. Even though, the system is now practically dead but the tradition continues whereby females are still the scribes of the Basotho traditional systems.

When we attended the Makholokoe traditional council meeting at Tshiame near Harrismith under the leadership of Morena Paulos Moloi, the scribe was a woman. It was heart-warming to see that the tradition of females as scribes among the Basotho was still alive.

After my training as a software engineer in Canada, I designed a computer font that takes as an input the normal alphabet but transforms that into the ditema writing system. The artistic work earlier in this article models the sunrise surrounded by Ditema Tsa Basotho axiomatic statement which says the following:

Hongwatha thaba hanyane which translates into “To reduce a mountain in small scoops”. Essentially this is saying that if your path is beset by some mountainous adversity, you must not try to tackle it all at once. You must reduce the mountain by infinitesimal changes and eventually the mountain will disappear.

The ditema writing system is the work of art like many other African indigenous writing scripts.

To be continued…

Dimakatso Discourse – Part I

By Zulumathabo Zulu © 2015

 

Dimakatso Discourse – Part 1

Dimakatso Discourse – Part 2

Dimakatso Discourse – Part 3

Dimakatso Discourse – Part 4

Dimakatso Discourse – Part 5

Dimakatso Discourse – Part 6

Dimakatso Discourse – Part 7

Dimakatso Discourse – Part 8

 

Enter Dimakatso discourse with the creator. She comes from a rural town. She finds herself in the dazzling street lights of the Gauteng metropolis. She is trying to cut her teeth in the military sector as a soldier. The military organization is a highly stratified society and in many ways sexist and racist. This is a military organization during the pre-1994 political dispensation. As a Black woman, her challenge is to overcome the systemic barriers of gender and race in order to make her mark. Dimakatso decides that in order to make her mark, she needs some design improvements from her creator. This conversation with the creator is already in progress:

The Creator: What exactly is the problem?

Dimakatso: Your Holiness! I hereby bow before you to motivate my request. Thank you for granting me this opportunity to address you. I am a woman in a patriarchal society. As if that is not bad enough, I am also a Black woman in a society that is fixated with racial ethnicity.

The Creator: Are you suggesting that as a creator I made a mistake by giving you a Black skin colour and somehow you are disadvantaged as a result of my design decisions?

Dimakatso: The Black skin colour is beautiful and as a matter of fact I am proud of my Blackness. I wouldn’t trade this for another colour. Nonetheless, even though I have an equal opportunity like other humans to architect my own destiny, there are these systemic  variables that are outside my control. I am constrained by social constructs that are designed by man to frustrate my ability as a human to be the master of my own destiny. I want to change that and for that I need the ability to transcend these variables.

The Creator: What are these systemic variables that are preventing you from getting ahead?

Dimakatso: The social construct of gender is one variable that I have no control over. It is the chauvinist society that constrains me as a woman through the mechanisms that stream my role in society. Race is another variable that I have no control over. Another variable is the lack of economic access to the opportunity to become the architect of my own fortune. The objective existence of these constructs of race, gender and lack of access is disempowering to say the least.

The Creator: How can I help?

Dimakatso: I need some transcendental powers to overcome the triangular challenge of these social constructs.

The Creator: Others are struggling with the same challenges and many have managed to make a breakthrough on their own efforts which means that given enough effort, time and the right mindset you can also overcome your constraints. Why do you want to be treated differently?

Dimakatso: I don’t want to be treated any better than others. It would be unfair to receive a preferential treatment while others have overcome the same barriers on their own efforts without assistance from the creator. I respect that and salute those exceptional individuals.

The Creator (interjecting): Moreover, if others are able to do it on their own and you are not then by assisting you I would be promoting mediocrity. I can’t promote mediocre performance. You have to demonstrate through your exceptional performance that you have what it takes to defeat those barriers you are talking about and it’s only when you demonstrate a flawless execution with respect to your efforts that I can perhaps consider intervention in the exceptional case where the problem might be a design shortcoming. You have to demonstrate a design flaw.

Dimakatso: When the great mongoose approached you, you gave her a molecular ability to transcend a snake bite. Definitely these are design improvements that imparted transcendental powers and gave the mongoose a survival advantage. I could use some of those transcendental powers.

The Creator: You are not facing a risk of a venomous bite as a result of your gender, race and lack of access, are you? Why should I treat your case as an urgent matter?

Dimakatso: I am not in an immediate danger of that. However, I need a change in my brain chemistry. I need to enhance my serotonin levels so that I can command  mood stabilization when tested beyond measure. I think I have a good mindset in terms of not allowing adversity to cloud my judgement but my lower levels of serotonin pose a real danger with respect to my ability to transcend and think correctly about adversity.

The Creator: You are a very wise woman. I agree that no matter how good is your mindset, if the serotonin levels are low then you are at risk of being degraded by adversity which can inhibit a survival maximizing behaviour. From now on, I will enhance your raphe nuclei neurons so that the flow of 5-HT is increased. Despite the intensity of adversity that befalls you, you will always maintain a level headed mindset with an ability to recover from setback.

Afterwards

After her conversation with the creator, Dimakatso entered the military academy with a more robust mindset. Her sleep patterns improved tremendously since the pineal gland which manufactures melatonin for inducing sleep also functioned in a more robust fashion. Melatonin levels require high levels of serotonin as a precondition. If the individual gets enough sunlight which induces more serotonin then it means that they will have better sleep patterns.

It does not end here. The individual must also have good recovery from setback. When befallen by adverse conditions, they can’t be brooding over that. They must shake off negative mood states because failure to do so will trigger another neurotransmitter known as epinephrine which blocks the molecular action of serotonin. This is where mindset is critical to a positive mood state.

Boosted by these new improvements in her brain chemistry, Dimakatso was ready to face the world like a victor and not a victim.

To be continued…

Celebrating Indomitable Women in August – Part I

By Zulumathabo Zulu © 2015

August is women’s month in South Africa. This day has its roots in more than 20,000 women who marched to the Union Buildings of the then apartheid seat of government of Prime Minister Johannes Gerhardus Strijdom on August 9, 1956. The purpose of the march was to hand in a signed petition seeking the abolishment of the oppressive pass laws.

The Petition and Solidarity

The petition, signed by women of all races, was presented to the Prime Minister’s office but he was not there to receive the women. Women tell us that the Prime Minister got too scared of woman power that he decided to hide. It is not clear whether he hid under the table or some place else.

The attention-grabbing part of this march is that it was the Black mamas and the White mamas (along with others) who had united in a single purpose to advance the emancipation cause of the African women.

We need this kind of solidarity spirit in the 21st Century as we celebrate August as the women’s month. We must take a page from the past. Imagine an emancipation struggle where people of all races, culture or creed get together to expedite the emancipation of a particular oppressed group.

The New Year and Women

Another historical note about August is that it is the beginning of the New Year according to the Basotho calendar. The Basotho calendar begins in August (not January) and ends in July (not December). The current calendar of January-December is a colonial calendar based on European seasons. The Africans have their own indigenous calendar that celebrates in accordance with their seasons and cosmology.

One of the ceremonies that open the New Year of Phato in the Basotho calendar is Mokete wa Lewa meaning the ceremony of strategic reflection. This is an effective intellectual ceremony; a ceremony that is focused on the the discourse about strategy and pattern recognition. It is incredible that the Basotho dedicate a ceremony towards strategy as part of their cosmology in the ushering of the New Year. This underscores the important power of strategic thinking and transdisciplinary knowledge. This means the African natives must ceremonially transcend operational details of mundane life in order to reflect on the big picture and thus leverage a helicopter view of where they need to focus their vision as a people.

When I participated in the past celebrations of Selemo Sa Basotho (The New Year of Basotho) at Thokoza in the Gauteng province under the auspices of the Mara Community Organization, I was transported to another world. The traditional women and men with their ceremonial attire put together an unforgettable convivial sight with amazing dances, presentations and demonstrations of the actual seeds of what they would normally plant in their fields. This year’s big celebration is taking place on August 29 at Thokoza near Germiston. I encourage you to make plans to get there.

This ground-breaking month of August presents an opportunity for a new beginning whereby a renewal of commitment to build a more inclusive and equal society also celebrates the women of the land. It so happens that the Basotho are a matrilineal society whereby women like Rakgadi, Mmangwane and Nkgono are acknowledged as the moral and intellectual leaders of that society. Another important leader of that society is a male known as Malome. The noteworthy fact is that Malome enjoys a higher status because he comes from the maternal side.

Today we are far from making women feel like leaders of society. The patriarchal systems of organized religion, systemic neo-colonization and economic stranglehold have dealt a tragic blow to what was a matrilineal society. Today there are separatist tendencies among the emancipation activists. Hopefully, these writings should inspire us to strive towards the great struggle for the equal emancipation of all peoples of society.

This is the power of women. When they cohere as a united force, there is no state power that can stand in the way. This explains why modern state, corporate and institutional power uses subliminal techniques to subdue them because women are too strong and cannot be subdued directly.

Powerful Women in History

Let’s learn from the past like the great legend of Sankofa. History pages record powerful women who stood up to imperialist armies like the supreme Queen Candace of Nubia who repulsed Alexander the Great when he attempted to overrun Nubia. This historical account is omitted from the Erocentric pages of history. As documented in the book The Sacred Knowledge of the Desert, Alexander the Great was forced to retreat. Africa boasts the longest history of female rulers and represents a historically and culturally rich place for any research on female rulers such as Makeda (Queen of Sheba), Nehanda and many others.

Queen Candance Amanirenas of Nubia

The royal artifact of Queen Candace of Nubia

When Augustus Caesar of the Roman Empire attempted to make Nubia into a province of Rome, his invasion was repulsed by another female military general Queen Candace Amanirenas. This historical account is confirmed by a Greek historian Strabo who adds that the Romans had never seen such a powerful woman who was capable of fighting and defeating the Roman army. Eventually, Rome was forced to agree to a treaty that satisfied the demands of the supreme Queen Candace Amanirenas. The Nubian soldiers even took the bust of Augustus Caesar and buried it in Nubia as a sign of their military prowess. This bust was to be later discovered by a British archaeologist Professor John Garstang in 1910 in the present day Sudan.

Emperor Augustine Caesar

The bust of Augustius Caesar at British Museaum

The interesting fact about this Nubian Queen who defeated the armies of Rome is that Augustus Caesar was forced to pay tribute to the gods of Nubia something unheard of in the history of the Roman Empire and a case where Eurocentric historians are missing in action. The most eminent scholar Cheikh Anta Diop brings this account to us. The University of Senegal has since been renamed Cheikh Anta Diop University in honour of Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop; a well deserved honour. Fortunately for us, Greek historians like Strabo and the great legend Cheikh Anta Diop have recorded this important part of history for us. This goes to show the indefatigable power of the African female rulers as reported by those who have gone before us.

Here in South Africa, the colonial army was shocked to be confronted by a female military General Manthatisi in the Eastern Free State province in the 1800s. One of South Africa’s submarines which belongs to the Navy is named in honour of the indomitable Manthatisi.

To be continued…

The Cosmos of Mophatho

By Zulumathabo Zulu © 2015

When they arrive here
A white ochre they wear
The colour of the moon
To sanctify beauty of the moon
To show stages of learning
Teachings of the ancestors
Must permeate
To confer healing knowledge
To know about them
To celebrate philosophical strategy
To show their cosmic beginnings

When they depart from here
A red ochre they wear
The colour of the sun
To attest to the convocation
When they reach the village
There is ululating
The Mophato graduates
To know about them
The genesis in the cosmos
To revere strategy of the buffalo

Contextual Commentary

When the sacred triangle of Sefalaboho (Venus), Tosa (Jupiter) and Kgwedi (Moon) brightened the night sky, Mophato exploded with ancestral chronicles and poetic renditions as a tribute to the cosmos around the fire. The throbbing sequences of the Basotho calabash instrument Lekodulo ignited a trancelike state. The instrument also evoked memories of Mamkgorong. The African griots and their students were justifiably entranced by the cosmic phenomenon. One particular narrative celebrated Botodi (the mongoose clan) for having converted their weaknesses into virtues. Thus, said the griot, the new generation must trade their blunted minds for sharp minds. This narrative was about using the moral code to defeat chaos as a mark of respect to the transcendental attributes of the indomitable mongoose. Hereafter, the wisdom keepers reassured the initiates that the future belonged to them for as long as they trusted their instincts and allowed themselves to be directed by the teachings of the erudite ancestors.

 

View this Youtube video: Lesotho: Basotho Women performing a traditional Basotho Song and Dance credit to Lesotho Pretoria.

Mahodimo a Mophato

By Zulumathabo Zulu © 2015

Haba fihla teng
Baapara letsoku le lesweu
Mmala wa kgwedi
Hohalaletsa botle ba kgwedi
Hosupa makgatha a thuto
Ditaolo tsa baholo
Diya thopothela
Horesiela ditaola
Hotseba ka bona
Hoketeka nahanosene lewa
Hosupa qaleho dinaleding
Holokoloha ditlamong

Haba tloha teng
Baapara letsoku le lekgubedu
Mmala wa letsatsi
Hopaka phetho ya mophato
Haba fihla motseng
Hoya didietswa
Mathejane le makolwane
Hotseba ka bona
Qaleho mokgubung wa kganare
Hoketeka lewa la nare
Holokoloha ditlamong

Contextual Commentary

Ha kganya ya kgutlotharo ya Sefalabohoho, Tosa le Kgwedi di kgantshetsa mahodimo, Mophato wa fetoha seqhomane ka ditaba le dithothokiso tsa barutuwa le bakwetlisi hoananela mahodimo ba potapotile mollo. Bokgeleke ba lethathama ka seletsa sa Basotho sa Lekodulo ba chesa ditlhase tsa boemo ba semoya. Seletsa hape sa hopotsa ka Mamkgorong. Bakwetlisi le baithuti baile ba lokelwa ke boemo ba semoya ka baka la ketsahalo ena mahodimong. Engwe kwetliso ene ereneketsa botodi ka hofetolela mefokolo ho semelo sa mankgonthe. Ya ba mokwetlisi o laya baithuti ka hore ba lahle dikelello tse botswa hofumana tse nchoncho. Kwetliso ena ene e toboketsa hohlola bobe ka botle le hojwentsha hlompho ho phahamelo ya dimelo tsa leloko la botodi le bonkgonthe ba teng. Yaba diqhweleqhwele, dikwakwariri le bakwetlisi ba kgothaletsa baithuti hore bokamoso ke babona hafeela ba mamela semoya ho boteng ba bona hape ba tataiseha ditaolong tsa baholo ba boqhweleqhwele.

 

Hlola Youtube video: Lesotho: Basotho Women performing a traditional Basotho Song and Dance. Releboha Lesotho Pretoria.

The African Cosmic Knowledge – Part I

By Zulumathabo Zulu © 2015

In the book The Sacred Knowledge of the Desert: African Philosophical Transcendence and the scholarly paper Basotho Origin of Mathematics, it is reported that the Basotho, like other Africans, trace their genesis to the cosmos.

The planet earth is referred to as Lefatshe meaning the subset of the cosmos. This gives us an insight with respect to how and why they named the earth in this fashion. They were looking at the planet from the cosmic superset. This is a cosmocentric view of the universe using numerical logic of the Basotho.

To help you to appreciate this cosmocentricity, let’s take a look at the current views of the universe. For the longest time, Europe held a geocentric view that Europe was the center and the universe revolved around it. In the Dark Ages, Copernicus came along and revolutionized the thinking when he proposed a paradigm shifting heliocentric view which made the sun the center of the universe.

The heliocentric view does not give us a complete picture. The Basotho provide a cosmocentric explanation of the universe. They command an impressive knowledge of the starry universe. Of particular interest to us are the stars that are not visible to the naked eye such as the star systems of Tosamasiu (Sirius) and the Tosa (Jupiter) star system.

Both Tosamasiu and Tosa are visible to a naked eye but have orbiting satellite systems that are not visible to a naked eye. Tosamasiu refers to the ternary star system such as Sirius A, B and C respectively. Peomaha or Peo Ya Mahaha refers to the sacred seed named for the invisible star of Sirius B. The seed is Mabele (sorghum), a sacred crop among the Basotho. Lebeleha or Mabeleha refers to another invisible star of Sirius C. Lebeleha means the one who gives birth according to the seed of Mabele. The naming of star systems uses the female principle as is the case in the philosophical constructs of the Basotho.

Tosa refers to Jupiter. Tosa, like Tosamasiu is visible to a naked eye. However, the Sesotho axiom “Hobona Tosa le madinyana a yona” meaning Tosa and her youngs refers to the moons of Tosa. These moons are not visible to a naked eye. The light of Tosa is too protective to reveal its moons.

Peo ya Mahaha, as previously mentioned, is not visible to a naked eye. Mabeleha is not visible to a naked eye. The moons of Tosa Madinyane a Tosa are also not visible to a naked eye. How do the Basotho know of the invisible star systems without a technological instrument of any kind? How could they have accumulated this sophisticated astronomical knowledge without being assisted by a telescope of some kind? This confirms that the Basotho correctly know about the cosmos as a result of their genealogical connection to the cosmos. As the sons and daughters of the cosmos, they possess this astronomical knowledge without technological instruments because this knowledge is already part of their sacred mythology.

To put things in historical perspective, the Italian astronomer, mathematician and scientist Galileo discovered the moons of Jupiter in 1610 using a telescope he had built himself. We are not sure of the optical resolution of his telescope considering that it was comprised by a convex objective lens and a concave eye piece. The optical lenses at the time suffered from impurities as opposed to modern optical lenses. The optical range of this telescope is reported between 9x and 30x. Which optical range did he use when he discovered the moons? Perhaps someone can reply to this?

The Basotho have ceremonially observed Tosa for millennia. This means that the African natives have known and worshiped Jupiter for thousands of years.

As a matter of fact, another African ethnic group known as Dogon in the West African country of Mali also trace their genesis to the cosmos. They even state that the African ancestors visited our planet earth more than 5000 years ago to update them about the cosmos. The Makhalanga of Botswana, just north of South Africa also trace their genesis to the cosmos. The Makhalanga people are known as the people of the sun. The Zulu people of South Africa are known as the people of the heavens. The Zulu indigenous doctoral system of knowledge is associated with the moon. They refer to a doctoral calling as Ubunyanga meaning the sacred medicine knowledge of the moon. Among the Zulu people, there is an ethnic group known as Mlangeni meaning the people of the sun or those of the sun in reference to their cosmic genesis. The Makhalanga and the Mlangeni are related.

As I mull over this cosmic genesis, the questions that course through my veins include: What does it mean to trace our genesis to the cosmos? How should we conduct ourselves in accordance with this sacred genesis? What kind of existential thinking should guide our way of life?

The Meaning of Cosmic Genesis

The genesis is about our origins. The genesis is about our erudite foremothers and forefathers. We learn from Africa’s sacred legends, ancient sacred manuscripts and other sacred artifacts that our ancestors came out of the stars. They came into existence from Mokgubu wa Kganare (the galactic core) of the heavens. Popelo ya Kganare (the cosmic womb) delivered them. This cosmic genesis is about the revered cosmos. The cosmos is the centre of our genesis. This genesis is special and sacred because it is guided by the order of the heavens. The star systems are the cosmic principles that direct the thoughts, the logic and the behaviour. The thoughts, the logic and the behaviour of the erudite ancestors are encapsulated in symbolic knowledge systems so that we can refer to them as symbolic thoughts, symbolic logic and symbolic behaviour.

The Symbolic Thought

Symbolic thought is about trans-disciplinary thinking. Symbolic thought is about strategic thinking. Symbolic thought is about the vision and the direction. Symbolic thought is about the compass. Why so?

In ordinary life, people think, care and worry about their material existence i.e. the food on the table, the shelter over one’s head and the comfort of earthly living. These are legitimate goals but cannot be the main core of our existence. However, the philosophy of science has injected itself into this lifestyle of literal and mundane existence.

Western philosophy of science is premised on a philosophy known as Materialism. This is the same philosophy that was advanced by Karl Marx into what is known as Dialectical Materialism. Essentially, a materialist philosophy says that there is only one basis of the universe and that is matter. The philosophy goes on to define matter as the material that occupies space and has mass. In a place or space where the scientists don’t find matter, they refer to that space as vacuum space.

The Basotho, like other Africans, transcend this materialist thought by engaging in symbolic thought. Symbolic thought says that a literal existence cannot be the source of the principles that we live by. We need to transcend this material thought by using symbolic thought. This thinking is a radical departure from the Western philosophy of science because the scientific thought is about the literal thought. Western science is about providing a literal account of the phenomenon and selling this mindset to the rest of humanity so that we analyze our existence at a material level since matter is the basis of existence. When you go to a Western trained medical practitioner and tell them about your condition, they will provide a narrow technical solution in a form of tablet in order to solve the medical condition. In this case, they are applying another version of philosophy known as reductionism. The purpose of reductionism is to reduce the problem to a small isolated case that can be solved by a small technical solution. . If they are unable to solve the problem then they escalate the solution to a surgical procedure whereby they surgically remove the offending part of the body.

Symbolic thought seeks to correct these invasive materialist and reductionist methods by teaching us that the material is about the operational details of existence which is a small part of our existence. It’s the symbolic thought that must direct our problem solving behaviour.

An example of this materialist approach is the way they teach mathematics in schools. They spend the majority of time teaching and practicing computation like solving for x.

From a materialist point of view, this style of mathematics teaching is the correct way of doing it. However, from a symbolic point of view this is not the right way of teaching mathematics. Computation is only a small part of mathematics. Mathematics is mostly about relations, patterns and logic and less about computation. In fact, computation should be relegated to a machine in order to allow humans to do what they do best which is pattern recognition. A super computer fails dismally in pattern recognition. So why train people in something that they are not good at when you could be teaching them something that they are going to excel in?

To read more about this philosophical approach with respect to the teaching of mathematics as practiced by the erudite African ancestors, you should read the books Sesotho Dictionary of Mathematics, The Sacred Knowledge of the Desert, and African Origin of Mathematics in which I outline a relational method of computation.

An interesting archaeological discovery was made in South Africa in a place called Blombos just outside Cape Town which confirmed that the African natives in South Africa were the originators of symbolic thought. This archaeological discovery is extremely important because it rewrites the pages of history by restating that it is not the Europeans, as previously recorded in Eurocentric pages of history but rather the Africans who originated symbolic thought. The African natives beat the European record of symbolic thought by more than 30,000 years. These kinds of numbers are staggering! It is a serious business and a paradigm shift which the Africans must take a page from. The rest of the world has already accepted this archaeological record but the Africans are still not aware or at least not living according to this profound and paradigm shifting discovery.

What does symbolic thinking mean and how does it compare with other forms of behaviour? Suppose that we need to feed our family. Using a materialist or literal thinking behaviour, we think of the quickest, cheapest and most convenient way of doing this. This means heading to a grocery store where we can conveniently do the shopping, check out and come home to eat together with our kids and other members of the family. In this case, the means of getting the food is the end.

Using symbolic thinking, we would solve the puzzle differently. We would ask ourselves about the sustainable ways of feeding our family. Some of the questions will revolve around: Who are the food producers? Who controls food production? Who must control food production? By implication, who controls our economic destiny? Who must control our economic destiny i.e. someone else or us?

To be continued…

 

Nahanotsebo – African Theory of Knowledge – Part II

By Zulumathabo Zulu © 2015

Nahanotsebo – African Theory of Knowledge – Part I

In the previous article Nahanotsebo – African Theory of Knowledge – Part I, we discussed the idea as per the historical version of the English colonizers that when they arrived in South Africa, our African ancestors did not know how to read and write. They were taught reading and writing by the English colonizers and missionaries and what they are referring to is the alphabet i.e. a,b,c…z. We pointed out that nothing could be further from the truth because the African natives in South Africa possessed a writing tradition known as Ditema Tsa Basotho. It is just that Ditema Tsa Basotho is innovatively different from the writing of the alphabet. In fact, Ditema Tsa Basotho is a logosyllabric system of writing and not an alphabetic system something that requires its own devoted article.

In that article, we mentioned that the English were bragging about something that did not belong to them; the writing system is the Latin alphabet brought to England by the Roman invaders under the Romanship of the great Emperor Septimius Severus. The interesting fact is that Emperor Severus was an African born in Africa and had risen through the ranks to command the army of Rome and eventually ascended to the highest office as an Emperor. So, not only did the Romans invade England but they also taught the English how to read and write because the English did not have a writing system since they had not invented a writing script. Thus by extension, the English were taught how to read and write by the Africans.

In the same article, we had outlined three concepts namely (1) acquiring knowledge, (2) sourcing knowledge and (3) rehearsing knowledge. We referred to the source of
knowledge which needed to be preserved. We mentioned the access to knowledge as the critical thing to preserve. In the preservation of knowledge, we outlined two concepts namely (1) the source and (2) rehearsal of knowledge. Now, we proceed with the rehearsal of knowledge.

Rehearsal of Knowledge

In this article, we focus attention on the rehearsal of knowledge. To benefit from the rehearsal of knowledge, we need three things namely (1) practice of knowledge, rehearsal of knowledge and frequency of language use.

Ketsahatso ya Tsebo (Practice of Knowledge)

The Sesotho construct Ketsahatso means to bring something into existence by application. Hoetsahatsa; an infinitive which initiates the existence of something by virtue of consistent practice. This is a goal oriented frequency of language use. This frequency preserves the language through usage. You may be a practitioner in any knowledge domain but the frequency of language use by application is extremely important as a strategic part of knowledge preservation. This is also good for the lexis, syntax and morphology of language.

The vital part of language preservation is access to the land. Through technological innovations, the lexis and morphology of language grow. The syntax of language is usually stable whereas the lexis and morphology must adapt to the requirements of politics, economics and technology.

Indigenous technological practices like pottery, metallurgy, agriculture and others nurture the growth and sophistication of language. If you deny access to the land that also spells demise to the language. If a traditional surgeon goes and digs medicine plants, a police force will prevent and even throw her in jail for trespassing. This is traumatic enough to discourage her from practicing her cultural knowledge. That prohibition will be passed on to the next generation; a tragic case of colonial conquest.

Kwetliso ya Tsebo (Rehearsal of Knowledge)

Knowledge must be kept alive. The best system for keeping knowledge alive is oral tradition. Oral tradition is dynamic and is the most adaptable cultural practice. You must rehearse the knowledge. This is where oral tradition succeeds over a literary tradition.

Oral tradition trumps writing in terms of the substance of knowledge. Writing platforms like Facebook allow you to write what you want and feel like sharing. The problem is that most of the Facebook pages are filled with trivialities. Conversely, oral tradition does not permit for trivialities.

In a literary tradition, you can write something down and shelve the writing. It will collect dust. In an oral tradition, you deliver a narrative and every time you make the rendition, the narrative comes alive.

Human brain likes rehearsal. This is because rehearsal tells the brain that the narrative is extremely important. Thus, the narrative strengthens and creates new synaptic connections and new neural pathways. If anything, you must rehearse the narrative because it is good for your brain.

Midiso ya Tsebo (Production of Knowledge)

Midiso refers to the nursery and birthing of new knowledge. This epistemic concept comes from the fact that Basotho always associate breastfeeding with knowledge acquisition. The axiom “Haba saenyanya, ke lefela la mafela” meaning if they did not acquire knowledge through breastfeeding, it is all in vain. It is interesting to note that breastfeeding is a powerful case of analogical reasoning because breastfeeding is a special case of gradual and gentle introduction to knowledge.

There are many ways of producing knowledge. Exploration generates new knowledge. Experimentation creates new knowledge. Critique of knowledge creates new knowledge. Technological innovation creates new knowledge. Looking at the same knowledge from a new paradigm creates new knowledge. Whatever the avenue of knowledge pursuit, there is always an opportunity to produce new knowledge.

To be continued…

Never To Be Expunged

By Zulumathabo Zulu © 2015

I had gained some ground
The winnings inbound
Basking in the sun
Like master of my destiny
For too long in a doldrum
Now, like fresh curriculum
First time in the black
but fortune began to reverse
Swayed like transverse

When winds began to erase
Defeat began to encase
Disregard for compass
Now, like dirty pampers
I should have ceased
I should have heeded
Like a slow cooker
Small changes undetected

Winnings now afar
Defeat now ajar
Overruled by urges
Now shamed on the edges
My fortunes expunged
Like catapulted
Now to meta-analyze
Hereby, to synthesize
Never to be expunged
Like catapulted

Contextual Commentary

When the desert flower over-indulged in the falling rain, she became like dazed by excessive rain. A fixated experience with respect to an array of parched grounds in which she had no part in choosing, played a cruel game with her mind. This over-animated her to overrun the right balance in accordance with the rain. She needed to arrest her internal urges and enlighten her naivety. Instead, she was hijacked by natural urges and blinded by a translucent screen of naivety. Going forward, she has resolved to take a page from the school of self-regulation. This boot camp training in self-regulation skills will ensure that she reigns in on the natural urges associated with the psycho-emotional deprivation of the desert experience. In this way, the beautiful desert flower of the great Kalahari will regain her strength to be a master of her destiny and an architect of her fortune. A self-regulation skill is a prerequisite towards enhancing her survival experience.

A Tribute To African Unity

By Zulumathabo Zulu © 2015

With more than two-thirds of the African population under 30, we are definitely the continent of the future. The Agenda 2063 as a 50 year strategy is visionary. As the indefatigable strategist and leader of the African Union, Dr. Nkosazana Zuma is leading the African continent in the right direction and ensuring that, as people, we invest where it counts most which is youth and women.

A crash course on Agenda 2063 for those who care to know. The founding of the OAU (Organisation of African Unity) was ratified on May 25, 1963 by African signatory governments in the Ethipian capital of Addis Ababa. The architect of African unity was the perpetual legend and visionary Nkwame Nkrumah. It was under the OAU that the majority of African countries became emancipated from colonial chains.

In 2001, during the 38th anniversary of the OAU, the AU (African Union) was established in place of the OAU but inclusive of the original goals of greater African continental unity, solidarity and economic integration. The regional integration initiatives like the RECs (regional economic communities) are the mechanisms of implementing the economic integration and unity of the African continent. Africa has an impressive array of RECs as follows:

  1. SADC (Southern African Development Community)
  2. COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa)
  3. ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States)
  4. ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States)
  5. IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development)
  6. EAC (East African Community)
  7. UMA (Union du Maghreb Arabe) and
  8. CEN-SAD (Community of Sahel-Saharan States).

The African Union, under the indefatigable leadership of the strategic architect Dr. Nkosazana Zuma, has steered the African continent in the right direction by focusing on the futuristic goal of a prosperous Africa by 2063.

Instead of just celebrating, the Africans reasoned that OAU achieved liberation in its 50th anniversary in 2013 and what kind of legacy should the African Union strategize for in the next 50 years? They decided that since two-thirds of Africa’s population was under 30 then we need to invest in our youth and women so that we can become prosperous. This means the greatest asset of Africa is its people.

This makes logical and scientific sense. Technology is touted as the greatest thing since toasted bread but it cannot replace human talent and brain. For example, a computer sucks when it comes to comprehending and manipulating natural language despite all the billions of dollars spent on artificial intelligence. In fact a modern super computer is outperformed by an under 5 year old when it comes to the command  of natural language. A human will always trump technological gadgets. It is humans who can enhance technology which in turn can be instrumental in enhancing output.

Thus the Africans need to develop a strategic mindset. We need to pursue education, economy and culture not at an operational level but rather at a strategic level. This means we must embrace metascience above science, trans-disciplinary education above education and metaculture above culture. This will give us the necessary intellectual tools and the right strategic mindset to architect the best and most suitable education systems, economic systems and preserve our indigenous African culture that serves us and our future generations without oppressing anyone on the basis of ethnicity, gender, religiosity or any kind of classification.

Let us follow the African Union Anthem as we reflect on the above philosophical thinking:

Let us all unite and celebrate together
The victories won for our liberation
Let us dedicate ourselves to rise together
To defend our liberty and unity
O Sons and Daughters of Africa
Flesh of the Sun and Flesh of the Sky
Let us make Africa the Tree of Life
Let us all unite and sing together
To uphold the bonds that frame our destiny
Let us dedicate ourselves to fight together
For lasting peace and justice on earth
O Sons and Daughters of Africa
Flesh of the Sun and Flesh of the Sky
Let us make Africa the Tree of Life
Let us all unite and toil together
To give the best we have to Africa
The cradle of mankind and fount of culture
Our pride and hope at break of dawn.
O Sons and Daughters of Africa
Flesh of the Sun and Flesh of the Sky
Let us make Africa the Tree of Life