Shannon Hope’s Perspective Augmenting TED Talk

Video

I’ve been meaning to share this on here for a while now.

I wish I could make everyone I care for watch this piece which is part talk, part song, about her life, her journey, her fears, her weaknesses and her triumphs.

A testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a reminder to us that hope exists in the darkest of spaces.

LOVE!

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the foreign exchange – so what if it is

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These lyrics so beautifully outline what’s happening in South Africa and across the globe right now with our beloved Mandela’s ailing health and inevitable transition into peace.

South Africans need to unite and not see this as the end of anything, but the beginning of a very new era, an era where we can all hold up the legacy Madiba so long and diligently worked to uphold. A legacy of respect, equality, humanity, tolerance, empowerment, compassion and kindness.

The legacy of love.

“People running scared amongst these changed times
Recession, depression, unemployed and blind
Everybody needs a mental healing, yes they do
They do
Now’s the time to raise your voice and lift your hand
Show your love to every woman, every man
Nobody believes things will get better
But I do”

mj

i am an african – thabo mbeki

Today marks the 71st birthday of our former president Thabo Mbeki.

He made this speech nearly 17 years ago to this day, in Cape Town on behalf of the African National Congress, during his time as vice-president to Nelson Mandela.

Still relevant. Profound and intrinsically filled with hope and faith in the African Renaissance.

____________________________

I am an African.

I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land.

My body has frozen in our frosts and in our latter day snows. It has thawed in the warmth of our sunshine and melted in the heat of the midday sun. The crack and the rumble of the summer thunders, lashed by startling lightening, have been a cause both of trembling and of hope.

The fragrances of nature have been as pleasant to us as the sight of the wild blooms of the citizens of the veld.

The dramatic shapes of the Drakensberg, the soil-coloured waters of the Lekoa, iGqili noThukela, and the sands of the Kgalagadi, have all been panels of the set on the natural stage on which we act out the foolish deeds of the theatre of our day.

At times, and in fear, I have wondered whether I should concede equal citizenship of our country to the leopard and the lion, the elephant and the springbok, the hyena, the black mamba and the pestilential mosquito.

A human presence among all these, a feature on the face of our native land thus defined, I know that none dare challenge me when I say – I am an African!

I owe my being to the Khoi and the San whose desolate souls haunt the great expanses of the beautiful Cape – they who fell victim to the most merciless genocide our native land has ever seen, they who were the first to lose their lives in the struggle to defend our freedom and dependence and they who, as a people, perished in the result.

Today, as a country, we keep an audible silence about these ancestors of the generations that live, fearful to admit the horror of a former deed, seeking to obliterate from our memories a cruel occurrence which, in its remembering, should teach us not and never to be inhuman again.

I am formed of the migrants who left Europe to find a new home on our native land. Whatever their own actions, they remain still, part of me.

In my veins courses the blood of the Malay slaves who came from the East. Their proud dignity informs my bearing, their culture a part of my essence. The stripes they bore on their bodies from the lash of the slave master are a reminder embossed on my consciousness of what should not be done.

I am the grandchild of the warrior men and women that Hintsa and Sekhukhune led, the patriots that Cetshwayo and Mphephu took to battle, the soldiers Moshoeshoe and Ngungunyane taught never to dishonour the cause of freedom.

My mind and my knowledge of myself is formed by the victories that are the jewels in our African crown, the victories we earned from Isandhlwana to Khartoum, as Ethiopians and as the Ashanti of Ghana, as the Berbers of the desert.

I am the grandchild who lays fresh flowers on the Boer graves at St Helena and the Bahamas, who sees in the mind’s eye and suffers the suffering of a simple peasant folk, death, concentration camps, destroyed homesteads, a dream in ruins.

I am the child of Nongqause. I am he who made it possible to trade in the world markets in diamonds, in gold, in the same food for which my stomach yearns.

I come of those who were transported from India and China, whose being resided in the fact, solely, that they were able to provide physical labour, who taught me that we could both be at home and be foreign, who taught me that human existence itself demanded that freedom was a necessary condition for that human existence.

Being part of all these people, and in the knowledge that none dare contest that assertion, I shall claim that – I am an African.

I have seen our country torn asunder as these, all of whom are my people, engaged one another in a titanic battle, the one redress a wrong that had been caused by one to another and the other, to defend the indefensible.

I have seen what happens when one person has superiority of force over another, when the stronger appropriate to themselves the prerogative even to annul the injunction that God created all men and women in His image.

I know what if signifies when race and colour are used to determine who is human and who, sub-human.

I have seen the destruction of all sense of self-esteem, the consequent striving to be what one is not, simply to acquire some of the benefits which those who had improved themselves as masters had ensured that they enjoy.

I have experience of the situation in which race and colour is used to enrich some and impoverish the rest.

I have seen the corruption of minds and souls in the pursuit of an ignoble effort to perpetrate a veritable crime against humanity.

I have seen concrete expression of the denial of the dignity of a human being emanating from the conscious, systemic and systematic oppressive and repressive activities of other human beings.

There the victims parade with no mask to hide the brutish reality – the beggars, the prostitutes, the street children, those who seek solace in substance abuse, those who have to steal to assuage hunger, those who have to lose their sanity because to be sane is to invite pain.

Perhaps the worst among these, who are my people, are those who have learnt to kill for a wage. To these the extent of death is directly proportional to their personal welfare.

And so, like pawns in the service of demented souls, they kill in furtherance of the political violence in KwaZulu-Natal. They murder the innocent in the taxi wars.

They kill slowly or quickly in order to make profits from the illegal trade in narcotics. They are available for hire when husband wants to murder wife and wife, husband.

Among us prowl the products of our immoral and amoral past – killers who have no sense of the worth of human life, rapists who have absolute disdain for the women of our country, animals who would seek to benefit from the vulnerability of the children, the disabled and the old, the rapacious who brook no obstacle in their quest for self-enrichment.

All this I know and know to be true because I am an African!

Because of that, I am also able to state this fundamental truth that I am born of a people who are heroes and heroines.

I am born of a people who would not tolerate oppression.

I am of a nation that would not allow that fear of death, torture, imprisonment, exile or persecution should result in the perpetuation of injustice.

The great masses who are our mother and father will not permit that the behaviour of the few results in the description of our country and people as barbaric.

Patient because history is on their side, these masses do not despair because today the weather is bad. Nor do they turn triumphalist when, tomorrow, the sun shines.

Whatever the circumstances they have lived through and because of that experience, they are determined to define for themselves who they are and who they should be.

We are assembled here today to mark their victory in acquiring and exercising their right to formulate their own definition of what it means to be African.

The constitution whose adoption we celebrate constitutes and unequivocal statement that we refuse to accept that our Africanness shall be defined by our race, colour, gender of historical origins.

It is a firm assertion made by ourselves that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.

It gives concrete expression to the sentiment we share as Africans, and will defend to the death, that the people shall govern.

It recognises the fact that the dignity of the individual is both an objective which society must pursue, and is a goal which cannot be separated from the material well-being of that individual.

It seeks to create the situation in which all our people shall be free from fear, including the fear of the oppression of one national group by another, the fear of the disempowerment of one social echelon by another, the fear of the use of state power to deny anybody their fundamental human rights and the fear of tyranny.

It aims to open the doors so that those who were disadvantaged can assume their place in society as equals with their fellow human beings without regard to colour, race, gender, age or geographic dispersal.

It provides the opportunity to enable each one and all to state their views, promote them, strive for their implementation in the process of governance without fear that a contrary view will be met with repression.

It creates a law-governed society which shall be inimical to arbitrary rule.

It enables the resolution of conflicts by peaceful means rather than resort to force.

It rejoices in the diversity of our people and creates the space for all of us voluntarily to define ourselves as one people.

As an African, this is an achievement of which I am proud, proud without reservation and proud without any feeling of conceit.

Our sense of elevation at this moment also derives from the fact that this magnificent product is the unique creation of African hands and African minds.

Bit it is also constitutes a tribute to our loss of vanity that we could, despite the temptation to treat ourselves as an exceptional fragment of humanity, draw on the accumulated experience and wisdom of all humankind, to define for ourselves what we want to be.

Together with the best in the world, we too are prone to pettiness, petulance, selfishness and short-sightedness.

But it seems to have happened that we looked at ourselves and said the time had come that we make a super-human effort to be other than human, to respond to the call to create for ourselves a glorious future, to remind ourselves of the Latin saying: Gloria est consequenda – Glory must be sought after!

Today it feels good to be an African.

It feels good that I can stand here as a South African and as a foot soldier of a titanic African army, the African National Congress, to say to all the parties represented here, to the millions who made an input into the processes we are concluding, to our outstanding compatriots who have presided over the birth of our founding document, to the negotiators who pitted their wits one against the other, to the unseen stars who shone unseen as the management and administration of the Constitutional Assembly, the advisers, experts and publicists, to the mass communication media, to our friends across the globe – congratulations and well done!

I am an African.

I am born of the peoples of the continent of Africa.

The pain of the violent conflict that the peoples of Liberia, Somalia, the Sudan, Burundi and Algeria is a pain I also bear.

The dismal shame of poverty, suffering and human degradation of my continent is a blight that we share.

The blight on our happiness that derives from this and from our drift to the periphery of the ordering of human affairs leaves us in a persistent shadow of despair.

This is a savage road to which nobody should be condemned.

This thing that we have done today, in this small corner of a great continent that has contributed so decisively to the evolution of humanity says that Africa reaffirms that she is continuing her rise from the ashes.

Whatever the setbacks of the moment, nothing can stop us now!

Whatever the difficulties, Africa shall be at peace!

However improbable it may sound to the sceptics, Africa will prosper!

Whoever we may be, whatever our immediate interest, however much we carry baggage from our past, however much we have been caught by the fashion of cynicism and loss of faith in the capacity of the people, let us err today and say – nothing can stop us now!

Thank you.

mj

star tissue

the enzyme of truth cut through ruses of raw reality;
unblemished, my layers, once shed without resistance;

return to me, oh prodigal existence of the rational mind;
magnified bruises of doubt and indiscretion, stain flesh untainted by consequence;

psyche runs fluid, into a river of drowning daydreams;
heart marked for life, scarred totem in honour of our whispers;
to heal, the sting must multiply;
to grow, the screams must amplify.

mj

national child protection week – working together to protect children.

National Child Protection Week (CPW) is commemorated in the country annually to raise awareness of the rights of children as articulated in the Children’s Act of 2005. The campaign that began in 1997 also aims to mobilise all sectors of society to ensure the care and protection of children. The campaign is led by the Minister of Social Development; however it is incumbent on all of us to play a role in protecting children and creating a safe and secure environment for them.

This year the CPW will be commemorated from 27 May to 2 June 2013. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Working Together to Protect Children”. The campaign will be launched on 27 May 2013 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban, followed by the opening of an Orphans, Vulnerable Children and Youth Conference on the same day.

On 27 May the message of protecting vulnerable children will be brought to life by a symbolic mass awareness campaign which involves ships sounding their horns, followed by police and emergency vehicle blaring their sirens, and taxi drivers and the public hooting in solidarity.

At the same time, the public will be encouraged to brandish umbrellas and blow whistles. The umbrella symbolises protection and the giving of shelter and whistle blowing is synonymous with sounding an alarm.

The focus of the CPW 2013 will furthermore be on sensitising communities and families about children’s rights, including children with disabilities throughout the country. 

National Child Protection Week (CPW) is commemorated in the country annually to raise awareness of the rights of children as articulated in the Children’s Act of 2005. The campaign that began in 1997 also aims to mobilise all sectors of society to ensure the care and protection of children. The campaign is led by the Minister of Social Development; however it is incumbent on all of us to play a role in protecting children and creating a safe and secure environment for them.

The campaign which began in 1997 also aims to mobilise all sectors of society and communities in the effort of ensuring care and protection for children.
 
Despite this, many of South Africa’s children are still in danger.  
 
Research shows that more than 100 cases of child abuse are reported every week. 
 
And nearly 50,000 cases of crimes against children (under 18) were reported between 2011 and 2012.

http://cdnbakmi.kaltura.com/p/1054541/sp/105454100/serveFlavor/entryId/1_jitc7cyw/flavorId/1_p2ryx3av/name/a.3gp

(via SA gov and enca)

Over a hundred kids are reported to be abused in South Africa. Daily.

It is our responsibility as the now generation to not only work together to PROTECT our kids, but also to HEAL those who we have failed.

mj

a eulogy to wrong love

the angels mourn today, a heart laid down to sleep;
cherubim grieve, seraphim seethe, the memories were never theirs to keep;

celestial union turned burnt out nova, wandering across lost galaxies,
purpose of formation yet unseen though felt in empty chest cavities;

womb to tomb the silver thread links spirits through existence,
gardens grew from concrete graves,
where the hopes of a legion of long-last loves met saccharine death untimely;

here lies the legend, the one who got away, the fallacy of dreamt up desires, that never got to dance in the cold, green light of day.

MJ

(Inspired by this excerpt from C.S Lewis’ book Four Loves)

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

mj

maafa – the african holocaust

“You are not an African because you’re born in Africa. You are an African because Africa is born in you. ”

– Marimba Anu

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=a5SU-a_o3_I&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Da5SU-a_o3_I

Slave ship

Slave ship

africa's cry for liberation

africa’s cry for liberation

our struggles

our struggles

our hopes

our hopes

our HEART.

our HEART.

mj