During America’s Underground Railroad era (1800-1865), Africans escaping slavery in the south knew through ‘map-songs’ that in order to Steal Away to Jesus, they’d have to Wade in the Water (to throw hunting dogs off their scent) and Follow the Drinking Gourd to freedom (“Jesus”). The Drinking Gourd was an African reference to one of the most ancient navigational settings between heaven and earth – the ‘Big Dipper’ constellation that pointed to the North Star and direction of their escape. Though there is considerable irony in African ancestral memory being masqueraded as Christian worship songs and the like, such survival tactics through traditional oral-aesthetic strategies had become necessary since the horrific Atlantic crossing when enslavers had disabled the capacity of the captives’ communication infrastructure by destroying their musical instruments.
‘A LUTA CONTINUA’ (in English: the struggle continues) was the rallying cry of Africans fighting against Portuguese colonial rule in Mozambique. It originated during the armed struggle led by Dr. Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane, first president of the FRELIMO Liberation Front in the war for independence, who said, “We fight together, and together we rebuild and we recreate our country, producing a new reality – a New Mozambique, United and Freed. The struggle continues!” Following Mondlane’s assassination in 1969, Africans continued to rally around this slogan under the successive leadership of Samora Machel who went on to become the first president of an independent Mozambique in 1975. A luta continua is the unofficial national motto of Mozambique where the colonial language of Portuguese remains official.
A Luta Continua is the title of a song popularized by South African singer and activist, Zenzile Miriam Makeba – who is fondly referred to as Mama Africa. The song was written for Makeba by her daughter Bongi – from “Sibongile” (meaning “we are grateful”) – after she attended Mozambique’s 1975 independence ceremony.
By the late 1950s Makeba had achieved musical fame in South Africa, and her appearance in the 1959 documentary film Come Back, Africa attracted the interest of Harry Belafonte and others in America. Her singing and recording career reached new levels of success in the United States, where she introduced Xhosa and Zulu songs to Western audiences. Makeba’s activism included support of Kenya’s independence from British colonial rule, whereafter she and Belafonte became VIP performers at the Independence Day celebrations at the invitation of President Jomo Kenyatta.
Makeba was the only performer at the meeting in Addis Ababa that led to the formation of the Organization for African Unity. She also testified before the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid, asking for economic sanctions and an arms embargo against South Africa’s National Party government. This activity, along with the increasingly political content of her music caused the apartheid government in South Africa to revoke Makeba’s passport and ban her music, whereafter she lived in exile for 3 decades. In 1964 she married trumpeter Hugh Masekela, a fellow South African in exile and protégé of Harry Belafonte. Masekela wrote the protest song Makeba performed entitled Soweto Blues about the 1976 uprising in Soweto.
The 1960s saw Makeba’s involvement with Civil Rights, anti-apartheid, Black Consciousness, and Black Power movements grow. She married Black nationalist Stokely Carmichael [Kwame Toure] in 1968 (divorced 1979) who relocated with her to Guinea in West Africa. Encouraged by Nelson Mandela who had just been released from his 27-year imprisonment by South Africa’s apartheid regime, Mama Africa returned and performed in her home country for the first time since her exile in 1991.
Known fondly as “Aunty Dorothy,” Dorothy Masuka is often credited with composing one of Miriam Makeba’s most well-renowned songs entitled Pata Pata. The two songstresses were contemporaries, Masuka being born in neighboring Zimbabwe [then Rhodesia] in 1935, about three years later than Makeba, before emigrating to South Africa at the age of 12. Masuka spoke of the spiritual sources of her musical inspiration that often came in dreams from an early age, one of whom was her maternal grandmother, a sangoma [a respected traditional healer]. From the start of her career, Masuka endeared herself to a wide audience but the political content of her compositions such as Lumumba (of Congo) and Dr. Malan (an anti-apartheid song) led to her exile following the apartheid government’s ban over her recordings. Masuka continued to campaign through song for African liberation during her exile in Malawi and Tanzania, inspiring many including Makeba. Her work entitled Mzilikazi paid tribute to one of Emperor Shaka Zulu‘s greatest warriors who founded the Ndebele people of Zimbabwe and South Africa.
❤ Mamas, Aunties & Sista-Queens who hold up half the sky… Thank You… Sibongile ❤
“Our Father which art in Heaven…” So begins the Lord’s Prayer [Matthew 6:9-13 KJV], depicted here in hieroglyphs from the middle-Egyptian era [-2100 BCE]. “…Amen” – the ending of the prayer which means “so be it” – further invokes the ancient deity Amun who was worshipped in two major temples located in Uaset on the east bank of Africa’s northward-flowing Nile River. God Amun, Goddess Mut, and Montu (son of the Annunciation) have the historical distinction of being the highly popular Triad of Thebes [‘Thebes’ being the Greek term for Uaset]. Ipet Isut – meaning “the most selected of places” – nowadays referred to as the Karnak Temple, is the Triad’s Northern sanctuary. Ipet Resyt – meaning “the Southern sanctuary” – nowadays referred to as the Luxor Temple, is the site of the Annunciation from Amun to Mut regarding Montu, the Divine Son She is destined to bear [click picture on the left for link @ 1:17:20].
“A house has the character of the man who lives in it” ~ This proverb from Ipet Resyt provides insight into religions which were later derived from such ancient Mysteries to the extent that latter-day belief systems did indeed assume the egoic character, cultural biases, and imperialistic agendas of Africa’s foreign patriarchal conquerors. As such, this prophetic proverb understates what would inevitably become Africa’s subsequent experiencing of the “religiously-justified” Euro-patriarchal ravaging of Her spiritual, natural, human, and cultural resources through slavery [1619-], colonialism [1884-] and apartheid [1948-]; desecrating the Nile Valley Temple of the World (per God Djehuti) and beyond, while deploying derivative religious texts to usurp God Amun‘s spiritual standing as Founding Father. His standing lives on in the emancipatory leadership of Africa’s latter-day fathers who have refused to be contained within the characteristically deceptive dictates of a predatory, yet parasitic, alien house. The false matrix. Below are words representing the resistance, wisdom & sovereign character of some of these African patriarchs:
- “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land.” [Jomo Kenyatta – Kenya]
- “The term Greek philosophy is a misnomer, for there is no such philosophy in existence. Ancient Egyptians had developed a very complex religious system, called the Mysteries, which was also the first system of salvation. As such, it regarded the human body as a prison house of the soul, which could be liberated from its bodily impediments through the disciplines of the Arts and Sciences, and advanced from the level of a mortal to that of a God.” [George G.M. James – Guyana]
- “We have dared to be free. Let us dare to be so by ourselves and for ourselves.” [Jean-Jacques Dessalines – Haiti]
- “I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me” … “If by their fruits we shall know them, they must first grow the fruits” … “The independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked-up with the total liberation of the African Continent.” [Kwame Nkrumah – Ghana]
- “The cruelties of property and privilege are always more ferocious than the revenges of poverty and oppression.” [C.L.R. James – Trinidad]
- “Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it” … “I am black; I am in total fusion with the world, in sympathetic affinity with the earth, losing my id in the heart of the cosmos – and the white man, however intelligent he may be, is incapable of understanding Louis Armstrong or songs from the Congo. I am black, not because of a curse, but because my skin has been able to capture all the cosmic effluvia. I am truly a drop of sun under the earth” … “In the World through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself”… “Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that USA became a monster in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions.” [Frantz Fanon – Martinique]
- ”Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most – that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” [Haile Selassie – Ethiopia]
- “In ancient times “African” and “Ethiopian” meant the same thing: A Black” … “no matter what the factual data were, all the books written about Blacks by their conquerors reflected the conquerors viewpoints” … “It appears that from time immemorial, stark greed, the desire for wealth, has overridden all humane considerations. Greed has served as a kind of anesthesia, deadening humane sentiments and breaking the bonds of affection that relates man to man.” [Chancellor Williams – USA]
- “Whoever is in control of the hell in your life is your devil” … “Racists will always call you a racist when you identify their racism. To love yourself, now is a form of racism. We are the only people who are criticized for loving ourselves; and white people think when you love yourself you hate them. No, when I love myself they become irrelevant to me” … “Every single thing that touches your life, religious, socially and politically, must be an instrument of your liberation or you must throw it into the trashcan of history” … “After the rise and decline of Greek civilization and the Roman destruction of Carthage, they made one area of the conquered territories into a province which they called Africa… At first the word applied only to the Roman colonies of North Africa. There was a time when all dark-skinned people were called “Ethiopians.” [John Henrik Clarke – USA]
- “Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening” … “One of the most difficult things is not to change society, but to change yourself” … “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others” … “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies” … “I never lose. I either win or learn” … “Fools multiply when wise men are silent” … “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears” … “Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world” … “Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” [Nelson Mandela – South Africa]
- “African unity and solidarity are no longer dreams. They must be expressed in decisions.” [Patrice Lumumba – Congo]
- “Decisions made in Washington are more important to us than those made here in Dar-es-Salaam. So, maybe my people should be allowed to vote in American presidential elections” … “In Tanganyika we believe that only evil, Godless men would make the color of a man’s skin the criteria for granting him civil rights” … “In Tanzania, it was more than one hundred tribal units which lost their freedom; it was one nation that regained it” … “African nationalism is meaningless, dangerous, anachronistic, if it is not, at the same time, pan-Africanism.” [Julius Nyerere – Tanzania]
- “While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas” … “Imperialism is a system of exploitation that occurs not only in the brutal form of those who come with guns to conquer territory. Imperialism often occurs in more subtle forms: a loan, food aid, blackmail. We are fighting this system that allows a handful of men on Earth to rule all of humanity” … “The revolution and women’s liberation go together. We do not talk of women’s emancipation as an act of charity or out of a surge of human compassion. It is a basic necessity for the revolution to triumph. Women hold up the other half of the sky” … “Debt is a cleverly managed reconquest of Africa” … “It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future.” [Thomas Sankara – Burkina Faso]
- “If the choice were made, one for us to lose our sovereignty and become a member of the Commonwealth or remain with our sovereignty and lose the membership of the Commonwealth, I would say let the Commonwealth go.” [Robert Mugabe – Zimbabwe]
- “My father didn’t know his real name. My father got his name from his grandfather and he got his name from his grandfather and he got it from the slave master” … “You can’t hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree. You can’t hate Africa and not hate yourself” … “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses” … “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time” … “I just don’t believe that when people are being unjustly oppressed that they should let someone else set rules for them by which they can come out from under that oppression” … “I believe in the brotherhood of all men, but I don’t believe in wasting brotherhood on anyone who doesn’t want to practice it with me. Brotherhood is a two-way street.” [Malcolm X – USA]
- “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line… One ever feels his two-ness – an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” [W.E.B. DuBois – USA]
- “[The] association of wealth with whites and poverty with blacks is not accidental. It is the nature of the imperialist relationship that enriches the metropolis at the expense of the colony i.e. it makes the whites richer and the blacks poorer” … “In reconstructing African civilizations, the concern is to indicate that African social life had meaning and value, and that the African past is one with which the black man in the Americas can identify with pride” … “The black intellectual, the black academic, must attach himself to the activity of the black masses” … “Beauty is in the very existence of black people.” [Walter Rodney – Guyana]
- “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” … “What to the Slave is the 4th of July?” … “You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man” … “The soul that is within me no man can degrade” … “[on equal rights of women…] It was hers before she comprehended it. It is inscribed upon all the powers and facilities of her soul, and no custom, law or usage can ever destroy it.” [Frederick Douglass – USA]
- “Power which establishes a state is violence; the power which maintains it is violence; the power which eventually overthrows it is violence” … “Westerners have aggressive problem-solving minds; Africans experience people.” [Kenneth Kaunda – Zambia]
- “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge & controversy” … “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” … “A riot is the language of the unheard” … “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” … “Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.” [Martin Luther King Jr. – USA]
- “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots” … “I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there” … “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds” … “If we as a people realized the greatness from which we came we would be less likely to disrespect ourselves” … “The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of greatness.” [Marcus Garvey – Jamaica]
- “A Luta Continua!” [Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane – Mozambique]
On May 25th (“5/25”) 2020, two recorded events made headlines in Africa’s northern Diaspora. Both were horrific in the degree to which they were racially-charged and played out from the standpoint of white privilege and callousness against black lives. One was a blatant attempt to provoke a potentially dangerous police-confrontation against an innocent bird-watcher (Christian Cooper) in New York’s Central Park; and the other which demonstrated that very potential when George Floyd lived his final 8m:46s under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. Unfortunately, such horrific occurrences as these are not uncommon, and the long list of African victims goes back to the era of slavery whose evils live on and play out in toxic ways from that unexorcised and overly-policed space which nonetheless claims to be the land and home of the free and brave. Officially commemorated as Memorial Day, May 25th (in 2020) – the date of these occurrences and America’s unofficial start of summer – is, perhaps ironically, also observed as African Liberation Day… Read More
Mother’s Day 1996 saw the unveiling of artist Nijel Binns’ 16-foot-tall bronze Mother of Humanity® monument [*]. It was built as a symbol of hope following the civil unrest, conflagration and riots in reaction to the televised beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles law enforcement officers in 1992. Since May 11th 1996, the MOH monument has been on permanent exhibit at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee – a civic center located at 10950 Central Avenue in Watts, California.
Binns says that his artistry in general is driven and informed by a need to conscientiously maintain and preserve the legacy of traditions “begun long ago in ancient Egypt.” As with its ancient African forbearers, the Mother of Humanity® monument uplifts and informs humanity through the principles symbolically portrayed in her design:
Reverence and respect for Mother Africa as the cradle of civilization is promoted by the symbolic outline of the continent of Africa that is contained within the shape of the Mother of Humanity® monument.
Humanity’s ascension towards a higher consciousness through inner vision is symbolized by the dot on her forehead which represents the pea-sized pineal gland located in the center of the human brain. This gland is responsible for the production of melanin, the substance that gives skin its color. Often called the “first [or] third eye” the outer marking on the forehead was symbolic in ancient cultures of higher spiritual light from within.
The feather in her right hand promotes peace, speaks truth, and guides with balance and righteous reciprocity – a constitution of divine order represented in ancient Egypt by Goddess Ma’at who wore the feather as her symbolic crown. Among the rituals associated with this feather was the weighing of the heart in the halls of judgment. If one lived a righteous life, their heart in one scale would be as light as Ma’at’s feather in the other scale of balance and justice.
The bared right breast symbolically acknowledges the sovereign and natural resources of all mothers; of Africa as humanity’s original mother, and continent where the sacred Nile River represents Maziwa Mkuu – the Milky Way on earth as in heaven. Mother Africa has nourished all nations on earth, often through the external exploitation of her sovereign resources – be they human, natural, spiritual, or cultural…
The Mother of Humanity® monument’s left foot stepping forward symbolizes her having the heart and the courage to take strong, righteous, and fearless action. In the ancient Kemetic tradition, statues were crafted with the left foot going forward in alignment with the heart which is located on the body’s left side. Thus the symbolism is to stamp out chaos and evil [“Set” in Kemetic mythology] by marching – left foot forward in concert with the heart – as a warrior of truth and righteousness [Ma’at] throughout the world.
[*NB: The Mother of Humanity® name, images, and related indicia are registered trademarks of Nijart International, LLC. All rights reserved. CLICK on the picture of Nijel Binns to learn more about him as an artist.] HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, 2021 ❤ ❤ ❤
Sheba – aka “Saba… Bilquis… Makeda… Shulamite… Queen of the South… & Queen of Heaven” – is a legendary and consequential African figure in Judeo-Christian, Islamic and Ethiopic texts which, along with cinematic portrayals of Sheba, have been curated by the patriarchal overseers and caretakers of religious mythologies. Yet, perhaps in the theological drive to assure Euro-matriarchs of the legitimacy of their crowns of racist conquest, biblical constructions of the “Queen of the South” displace the natal context which nonetheless validates Sheba’s significance as a personified symbol of Africa as “South” in relationship to its “North.” Of this organic space-time MA’ATrix God Djehuti asked: “Art thou not aware that Egypt is the image of heaven, or rather, that it is the projection below of the order of things above? If the truth must be told, this land [Africa’s Nile Valley] is indeed THE TEMPLE OF THE WORLD.”
Once upon an African space-time…
THE ANNUNCIATION. Inscribed within the walls of the throat area of Ipet-Resyt – the southern sanctuary of God Amun and Goddess Mut in Uaset, now called the Luxor Temple [Thebes] – is the depiction from 1350 BCE of Amun telling his beloved about the divine child and savior-figure she is to bear. The holy trinity they become with son Montu was celebrated in Opet, the annual days-long fertility festival which was staged between Ipet-Isut – their northern sanctuary, now called the Karnak Temple – and Ipet-Resyt. Opet coincided with the annual Lion’s Gate portal opening over African soil and the subsequent inundation of the sacred Nile River, which in itself represents the “Queen of the South” rising from humanity’s birthplace to bless dependent civilizations with the bounty of her ascension and northward flow.
This organic relationship between South and North had become more deeply enshrined in Kemet’s constitution when Pharaoh Menes aka Narmer unified Upper (South) and Lower (North) Egypt to begin the Early Dynastic Period in 3100 BCE. Called Sema Tawy, this unification was symbolized as a human trachea rising from the heart chakra being entwined by papyrus (North) & lotus (South). The Double Crown worn by pharaohs – called pschent or sekhemty (meaning the ‘Two Powerful Ones’) was in direct allegiance to this Heaven-ordained constitution. The South was represented by the white Hedjet crown, and the North was represented by the red Deshret. Menefer (now Memphis) was the capital of the unified kingdom during this period, and Ptah was the recognized deity.
By 2240 BCE when Amun had become the venerated deity, Uaset (now Thebes) had superseded Memphis as the capital of ancient Egypt. Ipet-Resyt and Ipet-Isut, the temples of worship for Amun and Mut, reiterated Sema Tawy’s eternal South-North bond within their very designations; corresponding locations; rituals during the annual festival of Opet; and ANNUNCIATION in the throat area of the southern sanctuary. The ‘expectant’ stomach area of Ipet-Resyt architecturally depicts this temple as symbolizing humanity’s womb, and thus Goddess Mut as the matriarchal “Queen of the South” (SemaTawy lotus) with powers of birth and resurrection. “We came from the beginning of the Nile where God Hapi dwells, at the foothills of The Mountains of the Moon” [Hunefer Papyrus, 1275 BCE]
A GAME OF THRONES. Djehuti nevertheless prophesied a time when this Nile Valley “TEMPLE OF THE WORLD” would become “filled with strangers” and “widowed of the Gods.” As he lamented: “To thee I cry, O most sacred River, to thee I announce the coming doom!… Egypt, once the holy land beloved of the Gods and full of devotion for their worship, will become the instrument of perversion, the school of impiety...”
Though it’s not clear what point in time Djehuti’s fore-warnings specifically indicated, the impact of colonialism in Africa may be seen as an outcome of his prophecy. Britain played a significant role in the predatory exploration, exploitation and colonizing of humanity’s sacred womb [lotus/South] and Nile Valley Temple during Europe’s craven “Scramble for Africa” through ‘divide-and-rule’ parasitic arrangements following the 1884 Berlin Conference. The source of the White Nile is still named after Africa’s Victorian-era adversary (aka the grandmother of Europe) whose record 63-year rule [1837-1901] has been surpassed only by her great-great granddaughter, Britain’s current Queen Elizabeth II who has reigned since 1952 when a vast majority of the African continent was still under European colonial rule.
Sheba, Africa’s “Queen of the South” had become a female figure of consequence in the Judeo-Christian house of books, but constructed and weaponized to be used as a reprogramming tool to complete Europe’s colonization of African space-time following centuries of chattel slavery. The Gregorian calendar had created a global space-time reset around a Roman Catholic Annunciation (via ‘Angel Gabriel’ to ‘Virgin Mary’). Appropriated from Ipet-Resyt in the “Temple of the World” following Judeo-Christian interpretations of ancient Egyptian Mysteries, the imperialist Euro-patriarchal narrative that was now reconstructed around the birth & crucifixion of one named ‘Jesus’ seemed designed to make “all roads lead to Rome.” Ironic then that Italy was unable to colonize Ethiopia, making this Africa’s oldest independent country.
The Queen of Sheba is first mentioned in I Kings 10:1-13 and II Chronicles 9:1-12 in the Old Testament [OT], when she travels to Jerusalem to visit Solomon (c. 965-931 BCE) – Israel’s king who had 700 wives “of royal birth” plus 300 concubines! Sheba comes to test the wisdom for which Solomon was famed. The OT book, Song of Songs, provides a different treatment of this visit in which Sheba, as the female protagonist, is referred to as the Shulamite – a term indicating that she was highly educated. The Shulamite doesn’t hesitate to put the Israelite king’s excess of creature comforts on blast (SoS 3:7-11), even as she seeks her own true beloved. Yet translations of this book have been overly exercised about her self-identifying as “black” [SoS 1:5-6]:
- “I am black and beautiful…” [Catholic NRSV]
- “I am black but lovely…” [NAS Bible 1977]
- “I am black, but comely…” [AKJV; ASV; Webster & Darby Bible; JPS Tanakh 1917; ERV]
- “I am dark but beautiful…” [NLT]
- “I am dark, but lovely…” [NKJV 2000; WEB; NETB; NHEB]
- “I am very dark, but lovely…” [ESV]
- “Dark am I, and comely…” [Young’s Literal Translation]
- “Daughters of Jerusalem, I am dark like the tents of Kedar, yet lovely like the curtains of Solomon…” [HCSB]
- “I am dark, O ye daughters of Jerusalem… desirable as the booths of Kedar, as the tents of Solomon…” [Jubilee Bible 2000]
Disavowing the Shulamite’s sense of her own sovereign value which they then try to attach to a fellow-white patriarch, biblical commentators have served up a similar range of misogynoir:
- The word “black” does not necessarily mean that the skin is black, but rather sunburnt, dark brown… the livid or swarthy appearance of one who has suffered long from famine and wretchedness. There is certainly no reason to take the word as an argument for the bride being Pharaoh’s daughter… She has been living in the fields, and is browned with the ruddy health of a country life… The country maiden feels the greatness of the honor, that she is chosen of the king… [Pulpit Commentary]
- …she was “black” in herself through original sin and actual transgression; in her own eyes, through indwelling sin, and many infirmities, spots, and blemishes in life; and in the eyes of the world, through afflictions, persecutions, and reproaches…: “but comely” in the eyes of Christ, called by him his “fair one”, the “fairest among women”, and even “all fair” through his comeliness put upon her, the imputation of his righteousness to her; through the beauties of his holiness upon her; through the sanctifying influences of his Spirit… being in a church state, walking in Gospel order… “desirable”(y) to Christ, and to his people. [Gill’s Exposition…]
SHEBA’S TRIBULATION. Zulu Sofola, the late Nigerian playwright and dramatist, once noted: “As a race, the most painful part of our experience with the western world is the ‘de-womanization’ of women of African descent. It is true that to successfully destroy a people, its female component must be first destroyed. The female gender is the center of life, the magnet that holds the social cosmos intact and alive. Destroy her and you destroy life itself.”
In the New Testament [NT], the “Queen of the South” is called by One who claims to be greater than Solomon (Matthew 12:42 & Luke 11:31) to bear witness during the Judgment. Then amidst the alarming scenes portraying this time of Judgment – including a 7-Year Tribulation period – in the Book of Revelation, Sheba is referred to as the “Queen of Heaven” [Rev. 12]… or is she now “Virgin Mary” in the apocalyptic fever of unexamined/unrepentant Gregorian guilt? Beyond the Bible, the narrative of Sheba subsequently made its way to the pages of the Quran (“Bilquis & Suleiman”), then to the work known as the Kebra Negast (“Glory of the Kings”).
Written in 14th century Ethiopia, the Kebra Negast provides an account of the visit between Makeda (Sheba) and biblical King Solomon (son of King David) which, according to the book, resulted in the birth of a son named Menelik. Credited with bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia, Menelik inaugurated the Solomonic Dynasty in the 10th century BCE which lasted up until the coup d’état against then leader Emperor Haile Selassie I in1974 CE. To this day, Emperor Haile Selassie [d. 8/27/75] – born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael – is hailed by Rastafarians throughout the world as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah according to their own biblical reasonings.
During his life, Selassie followed the teachings of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church which include observance of the ancestral calendar that is a sabbatical 7-year period in arrears of the upstart Gregorian calendar. Saba (“7” in Swahili – also see sabbath), is a variant of “Sheba.” According to expert scholars, the critical difference between the two religious calendars has to do with their divergent calculations and understanding regarding THE ANNUNCIATION originally recorded in the throat area of Ipet-Resyt [click picture for video: link @ 1:17:20]. Perhaps tensions between these conflicting timelines is Revelation’s 7-year Great Tribulation? Perhaps Africa’s spiritual roads will yet lead humanity out of bondage from subjection to false, alienating controlling narratives and back to holistic consciousness of the organic and sovereign MA’ATrix of the Temple of the World? Amun… Blessed Be ❤ ❤ ❤
Per-Ankh were learning centers attached to the temples of ancient Egypt where, under the leadership of god Djehuti, knowledge was considered organic and sacred. The hieroglyph for per-Ankh (an open square over the ankh “key of life” symbol) spells out its meaning as “House of Life.” It was at these houses of life in Kemetic temples where scribes learned to preserve and disseminate knowledge through the sacred craft of hieroglyphics (meaning ’holy writing’) created by Djehuti. Run by Priests or Servants of creator god Amun-Re, the per-Ankh was where Djehuti’s writings were housed and where sacred knowledge (representing his vast understanding of the universe) would initiate seekers into higher levels of consciousness. Djehuti characterized their ancient African homeland as the Temple of the World, which spoke volumes about the sacredness of the Life, Love, and Light that arose from humanity’s cradle. This erstwhile dwelling place of the gods in the ancient Nile Valley became the original theater within which the archetypes and mythoforms that continue to play out on the human stage were constituted.
Djehuti, who himself is a template of the Magician archetype of divine masculinity was represented in the divine feminine by Goddess Seshat. Among her many attributes, Seshat held the prestigious title of Foremost of the Per-Ankh and was regarded throughout ancient Egypt as Goddess of Wisdom, Writing, Mathematics, Astronomy, Astrology, as well as Goddess of Architects and Builders. This 13th century BCE relief of Seshat comes from the back of the throne of a seated statue of Ramesses II in Ipet Resyt, the “southern sanctuary” of God Amun-Re and Goddess Mut. Known today as Luxor Temple, the architecture of Ipet Resyt was designed as if to resemble a human figure lying in repose on her back. Given the Annunciation account on the walls within the ‘throat’ area of this Temple where God Amun tells his beloved that she will bear the sacred child who is humanity’s Savior, it is fair to interpret the raised ‘stomach’ area as an architectural depiction of her womb with child. This sacred prophecy was ritualized in the Feast of Opet, a festival celebrating the Nile floodwater’s annual restoration of Egypt’s fertility with a grand procession from Ipet Isut (the “most select place” and northern sanctuary of Amun/Mut – now Karnak). Statues of Amun-Re, Mut, and son Montu were borne in barques from Ipet Isut to Ipet Resyt in this holy fertility rite and days-long public festival.
Similar to this annual Feast of Opet that was staged between the southern and northern sanctuaries of God/dess consorts Amun-Re/Mut was the ‘Beautiful Feast of the Reunion’ (Hab Nefer en Sekhen) between Goddess Hathor and consort Heru. The name Hathor [Hwt-Hr], meaning ‘mansion of Heru,’ became fully illumined through the annual fertility rituals surrounding her conjugal visit and Reunion Feast with Heru. This visit entailed Hathor’s enshrined icon being sailed upstream on the Nile River from Dendera (her Temple) to Edfu, accompanied by a mixed cadre including priests of the goddess, largely numbered by musicians and other creatives. Much celebration accompanied Hathor’s arrival in Edfu, including offerings of myrrh, aromatics, and systrums (Hathor’s sacred instrument) as well as hymns encouraging her to unite with “He of Dappled Plumage” – Heru. Harvest-related elements included offerings to the divine ancestors; the ritual harpooning of a red hippopotamus representing enemies of the state (aka Set); and the release of four geese (Hathor’s sacred bird) on the second day of the feast to bear the news that Heru had received the Double Crown.
The Double Crown, called pschent or sekhemty (the ‘Two Powerful Ones’) was worn by ancient Egyptian leaders to symbolize the unification between South/Upper and North/Lower kingdoms. The white Hedjet and red Deshret crowns represented South and North respectively. From the Double Crown’s symbolism, one may extrapolate the ‘Two Powerful Ones’ as representing a productive unification between the Divine Feminine and Masculine, as symbolized in the ankh. Indeed, following the close of the Edfu festivities, Hathor would travel back to Dendera to symbolically give birth to her child with Heru who came to be celebrated as God Ihy, portrayed as a naked systrum player, or alternatively as Heru-Sema-Tawy.
Sema (“Speak/Say!” in Swahili) means ‘to unify,’ & Tawy means ‘the Lands.’ Ancient Egypt’s Early Dynastic Period [c3150-2613 BCE] began with the unification of South/Upper and North/Lower Egypt under Pharaoh Menes aka Narmer in 3100BCE. This unification was further symbolized as a human trachea rising from the heart chakra entwined with the lotus (South) and papyrus (North). The Double Crown therefore represented a leader’s consciousness of and willingness to uphold the constitutionality of that arrangement during their rule. Narmer‘s was the first of 30 successive dynasties which ruled and maintained civil order through a centralized government from the unified ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. During this period of time, Ptah was the revered deity.
Ma’at – who represents Divine order, truth, balance, morality, judgement, justice, reciprocity and reparations – is the Goddess of the ancient Constitution that came in with the South-North union. Ma’at’s Principles from the Papyrus of Ani (1250 BCE) represent humanity’s oldest source of moral instruction, predating the Judeo-Christian 10 Commandments and forming the basis by which souls of the departed are weighed against her feather in the Halls of Judgment. In the mythology of Auset, Ausar, and their posthumously-conceived son Heru, it was Ma’at who decreed Heru as the rightful heir to the throne of ancient Egypt after Heru’s several battles to depose Set. Set had originally usurped the throne following his jealousy-fueled murder and mutilation of Egypt’s popularly acclaimed King Ausar.
As God of the desert, chaos, disorder, violence & foreign oppressors, Set represents the very forces of darkness Ma’at counteracts in both our personal and societal constitutions. Sema-Tawy represents the social constitution of Djehuti’s Temple of the World – a South-North pact which was thrown into chaos and darkness within the African context via Set’s enterprises of slavery, colonialism, apartheid, etc. But Set had also been consumed with jealousy over how brilliantly the union of Ausar and Auset became reflected in their popular rule over the heaven-on-earth kingdom of ancient Egypt. The constitution of their uniquely divine relationship was the archetypal model for Sema-Tawy, the South-North pact of the Temple of the World which further triggered the “god of chaos…”
This triggering is echoed in America’s current grappling with existential questions surrounding its own history, South-North dynamics, collective identity, and desire to still be regarded as the world’s beacon of light and democracy. And yet again, Ma’at is caught in the constitutional contendings or crosshairs of “Heru” versus “Set” within this American theater of Africa’s northern hemisphere – a riveting production of “Egypt on the Potomac” to borrow from Dr. Anthony T. Browder. Several thought-provoking proverbs from Ipet Resyt [Amun-Re and Mut’s southern sanctuary] come to mind under the present circumstances, including: “A phenomenon always arises from the interaction of complementarity. If you want something, look for the complement that will elicit it. Set causes Heru. Heru redeems Set.”
America’s tkhn-replica known as the Washington Monument (built 1848-1884 by enslaved Africans) is barely understood by most as an architectural representation of the 14th piece of Ausar’s mutilated body which Auset was unable to find on her search-and-recovery mission through the “diaspora” created by Set’s bloody coup of heaven-on-earth. At times acting as a literal lightning rod, this tkhn-replica stands at the crossroads of a geographic crucifix: US Capitol to the east; Lincoln Memorial to the west; Jefferson Memorial to the south; and White House to the north. What also fascinates me is the symbolism of the National Museum of African American History & Culture, which opened in 2016 and now stands by the side of this tkhn, as if to testify to… what? All roads lead to reconstitution of that which was divinely-ordained?
What light might the per-Ankh shed from its Temple of the World into Africa’s South-North global space-timeline? Perhaps Goddess Seshat is the designated beacon of light as Foremost of the per-Ankh… She of 7 Points… Opener of Heaven’s Door… her attributes echoed in America’s Statue of Liberty. Much to the surprise of many, this colossal iconic symbol which stands in the New York Harbor was built to commemorate the end of American slavery in the northern hemisphere of African space-time. Clearly much got buried in the Euro-patriarchal translation of Lady Liberty’s signification and presentation which brings into question the sincerity of the original intent. As with the strategic use of ancient Egyptian iconography by the image industry in yet another American power center, hearts and minds become manipulated and shaped by the agendas of those who wield power through the predatory use of resources from Africa’s Temple of the World. But perhaps such agendas via the industry’s manufactured and manipulative controlling narratives are how “Set causes Heru,” per the proverb?
The script must flip back to its original sacred intent as the Goddess of the South rises from Ipet Resyt, &/or when we as individual embodiments of the per-Ankh awaken to our higher free-quencies of life, love & light. Amun… UbuNtu… Blessed Be ❤ ❤ ❤
Earth Wind & Fire (EWF) is undoubtedly one of the greatest bands of all time, as their claim to three of the four natural elements suggest they should be! Hits like In the Stone provide EWF fans an Afrofuturistic portal through which to access and interpret some of the Mysteries of ancient Egypt, the “gift of the Nile.” Djehuti – god of communication/writing, magic and wisdom – recognized Africa as god’s chosen land where the northward flow of the Nile gave rise to sacred Mysteries, mythologies and the architectures that arose along its river-banks. He referred to this psycho-geographic mirror of heaven-on-earth (known locally as Maziwa Mkuu – “the Great Milk” or Milky Way) as the Temple of the World. At Uaset on the river’s east bank, Ipet Resyt – the “southern sanctuary” of god/dess consorts Amun-Mut – was constructed to resemble the human form. It was at such temples where ancient Mysteries were housed as sacred knowledge for chosen initiates. Inscribed within the stone walls of this temple’s ‘throat area’ is the pre-Christian Annunciation [1350BCE] from Amun to his beloved about the divine child and savior-figure she would bear.
Well-versed in such ancient Theogony, some of which he himself is said to have authored, Djehuti understood EWF as base elements that separately defined each of humanity’s precursors to the current Age of the Bearer of Water – the 4th element which is swayed by the moon and, like Earth is organically associated with the Divine Feminine [Mut]. The current Age of Aquarius is defined by this being the constellation the sun moved into on the spring equinox in its 26,000-year journey through all 12 zodiac houses. Each successive grand age (approximately 2 millennia per sign) is heavily influenced by the sign’s element:
EARTH is the element which defined the Age of Taurus between c4400-2200 BCE, a time period traversing the Bronze Age which followed the previous Age of Gemini and supported the evolution of material culture around the world. Characterized by some as humanity’s Age of Growth, this was the grand age when the Sun was in the fixed sign of Taurus [Ausar – The Bull of Eternity]. Ancient Egypt’s Early Dynastic Period [c3150-2613 BCE] began with the Unification of Upper (south) & Lower (north) Egypt under Pharaoh Menes aka Narmer in 3100BCE. Called Sema Tawy, this unification was symbolized as a human trachea arising from the heart-chakra entwined with the papyrus (north) & lotus (south). Narmer‘s was the first of 30 successive dynasties which ruled and maintained civil order through a centralized government from the capital of Memphis. Ptah – god of craftsmen and sculptors who was venerated during this period – was heralded by Apis, the sacred bull-deity of ancient Egypt who was also the symbol of the Pharaohs of these times. By 2400BCE the basic formulation of the myth regarding Ausar-Auset, and their posthumously-conceived son Heru’s further contendings against Set (murderous throne-usurping god of foreigners, plague and chaos) was in place – a universal archetypal narrative which has survived from the Pyramid Texts to this day in derivative religious forms and “good-versus-evil” scripts and schemes that have been executed for better or worse around the world. Technological advances during this Age of Growth included the invention of hieroglyphs [Djehuti] & manufacturing of papyrus/paper which helped facilitate record-keeping, communication, etc. Furthermore, the Old Kingdom Period [c2613-2181BCE] saw two of the greatest architectural Wonders and Mysteries ever erected – the Giza Pyramids and the Great Sphinx which connect earth organically to heavenly powers. Seen another way, EARTH is the English language anagram for HEART… an ages-old Mystery mapped out from humanity’s womb and written in African stone… which “Set” violated.
FIRE is the element which defined the years that led from c2200 BCE [following a chaotic transition between Egypt’s Old & Middle Kingdoms] to the beginning of the Common Era. This was the period when the Sun relocated from Taurus in its ongoing precession to arise in Aries [Amun The Ram] – leader of the Zodiac, and the cardinal sign which begins the Spring season in the northern hemisphere. Uaset [Thebes/Luxor] had superseded Memphis as the ancient Egyptian capital by 2240BCE. Amun, now the venerated deity, was worshipped in two main temples where the Gemini bonds formalized during the Age of Taurus continued to be upheld and ritualized at Amun-Mut‘s Ipet Isut [northern sanctuary – Karnak] and Ipet Resyt [southern sanctuary – Luxor]. Ipet-Resyt is where eternal truths (including those held in the ‘throat area’) – such as ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is within you’ & ‘Know Thy Self’ – are written in stone. The Age of Aries is thus characterized by some as the Age of Law because this is when humanity’s first codes of justice and moral instruction were recorded. Notable also were the Negative Confessions upon which Judeo-Christianity’s Ten Commandments were later formulated from the Papyrus of Ani source, recorded c1275-1250BCE during the prosperous New Kingdom era. Also known as the Declarations of Innocence, this recitation in the Halls of Judgment of 42 uncommitted sins facilitated the transition of the soul between their earthly incarnation and the afterlife. The soul was weighed in the scales against the feather of Ma’at, goddess of Truth, Balance, Divine Order, Reciprocity & Justice [Libra]. The Age of Aries additionally saw the rise of Akhenaten, whose reputation became that of ‘the heretic king’ after his unwelcome cultural reforms, including the self-centered monotheistic cult of Aten-worship he instituted & oversaw from Amarna [1353-1336BCE]. Aten’s successor, his son who renamed himself from Tut’Ankh’Aten (‘living image of Aten’) to Tut’Ankh’Amun (‘living image of Amun’) restored ancient Egypt’s cultural traditions around Amun & returned its worship center to Uaset before his death at age 19 in 1324BCE.
WATER is the element which has defined the Common Era (Gregorian calendar) years to date during which the Sun transitioned to arise in Aries’ mutable neighbor Pisces, and usher in what some have defined as the Age of Faith. The evolution of transportation empowered the global reach and agendas of major patriarchal religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc… Though core tenets of their holy books were in agreement with each other – often representing derivative text from ancient Egyptian sources – several interfaith and intra-faith wars broke out during this period, due in part to extremist cult elements that developed. Africa’s experience during the Piscean Age of Faith – which began with the Greco-Roman construction of a Gregorian timeline around the life of Jesus (savior-figure of Judeo-Christianity) – has been a major revelation of the enduring myth written in ancient Egypt during the Age of Taurus. Ausar-Auset-Heru were the original holy trinity whose very being was tested by Set – god of foreign invaders, plague and chaos. Jealous of their Heaven-on-Earth glory in ancient Egypt, Set murdered & mutilated King Ausar, scattering his 14 separated body parts into a wilderness where Queen Auset was forced to conduct her search-and-recovery mission as Set illegitimately assumed the Egyptian throne. The “wilderness” is allegorical to Africa’s experience of chattel slavery [1619-]; the colonial rape and reconstruction of Africa [1884-]; apartheid [1948-] etc. All at the hands of foreign invaders [“Set”] who justified such acts and their accompanying atrocities in the name of the god(s) of their “faith.” In the ancient mythology, Auset mummified the 13 pieces she was able to recover of her husband, while relying on divine intervention to posthumously conceive their son Heru, despite Ausar’s missing 14th piece, symbolized as the tkhn. Christianity translated this episode into its account of the “Immaculate Conception,” replacing Heru with “Jesus” as the avenging son and savior (notwithstanding the crucifixion) who restores Heaven-on-Earth’s rightful rule. “White Man’s Burden… Manifest Destiny… American Exceptionalism… Trumpism…” = samples of the Age of Faith’s cult-like justifications and controlling narratives that continue to be extolled & policed by certain factions.
AIR is the element which will define the next 2,000+ years as humanity decides what the narrative and legacy of this new Age of Aquarius should be(come) during the sun’s rising and sojourn prior to travelling from the Aquarius constellation to the next – presumably Capricorn. What’s fascinating to me is that the sun’s own path of enlightenment is a reverse journey through the western zodiac which is sequenced as Aries ruling the 1st house… Taurus the 2nd, Gemini the 3rd etc. through to the 12th and final house of Pisces. As Sankofa from the ancient African wisdom of the Akan suggests, perhaps there was something forgotten, lost, or stolen from a previous era which is absolutely necessary for humanity’s holistic forward movement? 2019 – Africa’s “Year of Return” – marked the end of 400 prophetic “wilderness” years [via Set] in the northern hemisphere. One might view this as an initiation period in which the south-north bonds [UbuNtu] that were avowed in ancient Egypt during the aforementioned Ages of Ausar [Taurus] & Amun [Aries] following Egypt’s pre-Dynastic Age of Gemini are once again affirmed. Some have referred to 2019 as the “Year of the Divine Feminine” and 2020 as the “Year of the Divine Masculine,” while envisioning 2021 as the reunification “Year of Divine Twins” [Gemini]. Aquarius, the fixed air sign in western astrology, is symbolized as the water-bearer of the zodiac. Divine Twins who’ve spent lifetimes journeying towards reunification through self-reflection now offer their enriched cups to each other & say to the emotional water element within, “Be still, and know that I ❤ AM GOD” [Psalm 46]. Air, the element Gemini & Aquarius both represent, is the oral-aesthetic energy which reveals itself in Kemet’s south-north/lotus-papyrus unification symbol as well as the annunciation in the ‘throat area’ of Ipet Resyt [southern sanctuary – Luxor]. Perhaps this Age of Aqua/New Earth will be a Revelation ~ the ancient Promise of True.Love.Written.In.The.Stone [EWF] Blessed Be ❤ ❤ ❤
Following 2019 – the “Year of Return” marking the 400th anniversary since enslaved Africans first set foot in the Americas at Jamestown, VA in 1619 – 2020 has evolved as an iconoclastic year, following the horrific murder-by-police of George Floyd in the Twin City of Minneapolis, MN on African Liberation Day (May 25th). Ironic. Altars to the Confederacy, Christopher Columbus, and other self-congratulatory symbols of Euro-patriarchal oppression continue to be torn down in public spaces as the human collective grapples with repairing from the adverse impact of twin pandemics in 2020, both of which have claimed significant numbers of lives. Ironic? Yes, in that the most recent of these pandemics is identified by a term – “Corona” – which otherwise refers astronomically to the glow emitting from the sun and other stars, or anatomically to a person’s crown. The other pandemic – racism – has acted historically and virally through predatory patterns of invasion, exploitation, and control of the land and resources (human, spiritual, cultural…) of indigenous sovereigns in service to an elite-run matrix and its self-serving narratives.
You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument, Caroline Randall Williams wrote powerfully from the embodied perspective and sovereignty of her “rape-colored skin.” Sovereignty resides in diverse bodies and experiences despite centuries-old aggressive parasitic Euro-patriarchal agendas to consolidate the “shine” or sovereignty of others around its hegemonic presence, as Ezra Aharone exposes in a list of historic examples:
The European world of nationhood is seemingly based on democracy, but it was not built in democracy… Consider their motives and psychology behind the likes of the Magna Carta of 1215; the Westphalian Sovereignty Accord of 1648; Chattel Slavery; American Exceptionalism; the Treaty of Paris 1783; Manifest Destiny; the Berlin Colonial Congress of 1884; the White Man’s Burden; and Globalism of today… (The Sovereign Psyche, 2016).
Manifest Destiny – a core justification for white territorial expansion in north America between the War of 1812 and the Civil War of the 1860’s – was later rebranded American Exceptionalism as US-style democracy was promoted abroad. Its three basic programs hold that: (1) White people and their institutions have special virtues; (2) The United States has a mission to redeem and remake the world in its own image; and (3) Accomplishing this goal is America’s duty to god – hence its Manifest Destiny… euphemistically referred to as the White Man’s Burden. In contrast:
UbuNtu – a core guiding tenet of Bantu who comprised 40% of the enslaved African population in America (mainly from Congo and Angola) – is a unity-conscious philosophy evident in cultural retention and expression throughout the African Diaspora which Desmond Tutu describes thus: Africans believe in something that is difficult to render in English. We call it ubuntu… It means the essence of being human. You know when it is there and when it is absent. It speaks about humaneness, gentleness, hospitality, putting yourself out on behalf of others, being vulnerable. It embraces compassion and toughness. It recognizes that my humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.
Divine Twins – a term that’s come into popular use by those who look towards a prophetic Age of Aquarius to emerge from the outgoing Piscean Age – refers to the notion of advanced souls which have been split into two embodiments (masculine-feminine) in order for God/Love to experience separate and sovereign His-and-Her earthly incarnations before their journey back to each other. This Divine Twin Journey is said to be what fuels the ascension of unity-consciousness [UbuNtu] in humanity and Mama Earth at large, thus overriding institutionalized, homo-social white-man’s-burden dogmas of the Piscean Age such as salvation-at-the-cross. Lack of authentic sovereign agency has led most of humankind into profound states of disorientation and alienation from Source & Self, particularly when experienced systemically as racism, slavery, apartheid, colonialism, pedophilia, misogyny, etc. in the soulless false matrix.
It may come as a surprise to some active proponents of the concept of Divine Twins to learn that theirs is a journey back-to-the-future… for humanity’s sake. Sankofa is a reminder to Africans from the Akan of Ghana, meaning: In order to move forward, you must reach back to reclaim that which may have been lost, forgotten, or stolen. In other words, unity-consciousness (the overriding purpose of the Divine Twin Journey) would return us to the baseline of UbuNtu – that which a hegemonic elite, in fulfilling their “burden,” targeted for erasure from Africans specifically and humanity by extension, by imposing matrix agendas through division, conquest, trauma, (re)programming of timelines, and inventing of controlling narratives – which then required enforcement by policed-states throughout his predatory/parasitic system.
It’s interesting to me that proponents of the New Age who argue against the ‘matrix’ nevertheless do not acknowledge the targeting of black sovereignty that is at the karmic core of the system’s structure. Age of Aquarius advocates instead tend to speak from a westernized perspective rather than a familiarity with African culture and symbology, particularly as practiced in ancient Egypt [Kmt] from where Mysteries of the S/Hero’s Journey are said to have been originally formulated as a universal paradigm. Colonization of these Mysteries – e.g. Greco-Roman calendars & planetary nomenclatures – are used by most tarot readers in tandem with western astrology’s forecasting of daily-weekly-monthly planetary shifts and their ‘political’ alignments, hence ‘impacts’ in human affairs, such as the rare conjunction of December 21st [winter solstice northern hemisphere] between Jupiter & Saturn [Amun & Heru in Kmt], nicknamed the “Bethlehem/Christmas Star.” An occasional eavesdropper, I take from westernized narratives only what resonates with my understanding of more ancient sovereign advice: Popular beliefs on essential matters must be examined in order to discover the original thought [Ipet Resyt proverb]. The tarot is such an example:
In the tarot deck, the most impactful of the 78-cards are the 22 Major Arcana aka Trump cards – for better or worse. (The remaining 56 Minor Arcana cards cover ups-&-downs in daily life on the human plane: #1 – #10 corresponding to identically-numbered cards in the Major Arcana plane.) The Major Arcana cards range from #0 or The Fool card representing the vulnerable, untested truth-seeker at the start of their journey into The World (#21 card) – representing completion of the S/Hero’s Journey in which the truth-seeker has successfully overcome obstacles & challenges, often by adversarial forces. Between these two cards lies the hidden prophecy of the Divine Twins, who show up as:
The Magician – #1 card (Djehuti in Kmt) – representing the Divine Masculine, is armed with tools and his electrifying energy which initiates change through manifestation from the ether into beingness. Tools of The Magician include symbols for each of the 4 elemental archetypes symbolized by their Suits, namely: Pentacles – aka Earth – representing the archetype of King [Ausar]; Swords – aka Air/Wind …the Warrior [Heru] archetype; Wands – aka Fire …the Magician; and Cups – aka Water …the Lover [Amun]. In Kemetic Mysteries, each archetype has a Divine Feminine counterpart [Ref: Khmunu – Ogdoad of Hermopolis], as well as a shadow side [Set] that must be overcome during the Divine Masculine’s Hero Journey. The fully-integrated Lover (‘The Hidden One’ who also embodies the other archetypes as Emperor – #4 card) is the “water-bearer” partner/usher of the Age of Aquarius/New Earth. And it is the union of The Lovers [#6 card] against which The Devil [#15 card: 1+5 = ‘#6’] acts as adversary, to prevent New Earth/The World [#21 card] from becoming, because The Lovers/Divine Twins ultimate union would mean Babylon.Has.Fallen… New.Earth.Is.Risen.
The High Priestess – #2 card (Seshat in Kmt – aka ‘the veiled Auset’) – representing the Divine Feminine Twin counterpart – plays a mirroring role to The Magician [As Above, so Below… As Within, so Without…]. If he’s in his shadow-energy as trickster, for instance, The High Priestess – in her truth [Ma’at] and unique role and being as Twin – mirrors that back to him in a way that acts to transmute his energy to a higher free-quency. Conversely, the Divine Masculine does the same for her. The Divine Feminine also anchors a complementary magnetic energy field which physically draws the Divine Counterparts towards each other and simultaneously towards their higher electro-magnetic, unity-conscious free-quency [UbuNtu] of New Earth. As their mission of Love aligns and advances, the Magnum Opus which their conjoined soul is co-creating as Divine Twins is literally the biblical Song of Songs in which the Shulamite’s soul presents throughout as seeking for and calling to her Divine Masculine & God of Revelation…
CALL: Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices [SoS 8:14] RESPONSE: Behold, I come quickly; hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown [Rev 3:11]
As proverbs written ‘in the stone’ of Ipet Resyt state: “If the Master teaches what is error, the disciple’s submission is slavery. If he teaches truth, this submission is ennoblement… The kingdom of heaven is within you. Whosoever shall know Herself shall find it.”
Beyond The Devil [#15] and The Tower [#16], the Heavenly Realm is presented in the last 5 cards of the Major Arcana as: #17 – The Star; #18 – The Moon; #19 – The Sun; #20 – Judgement; & #21 – The World. During the Underground Railroad period, enslaved Africans in the south knew to follow the North Star [#17] via ‘the Drinking Gourd’ …exit the matrix …and advance towards the entry-portal to New Earth. What will follow from this iconoclastic year of review and judgement? #The World… ❤ #UbuNtu… ❤ #Age of the Water-Bearer… ❤ Amun…
‘Nakumbuka‘ means ‘I remember’ in Kiswahili. November 11th has been recognized as ‘Nakumbuka Day’ by the Pan-African Associations of America since 1994 when the first ceremony was held at San Diego State University in California. It was set aside as a day to remember the African victims of the European enslavers, colonizers and agents of genocide whose horrendous acts created a bloody trail of devastation and left families on the continent unable to lay their grief to rest after several hundred years. It has been estimated that the Middle Passage claimed upwards of 60 million African lives, not counting the huge losses on plantations in Europe, the Caribbean, North-, Central-, and South-America. In seeking free labor to build its empires, European and American Capitalism’s emergence crippled a continent and its descendants socially, culturally and economically during the timelines of African slavery, colonialism, and now neo-colonialism.Historically, 11/11 marks the end of 20th-century hostilities during World War 1 between two main Western blocks: the Central Powers [Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey…] vs. the Allied Powers [Britain, France, Russia, Italy, the United States…]. Their truce, an Armistice with Germany, formally went into effect on 11/11/11: the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 [100+ years ago]. In 1954, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in the US, although 11/11 is observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states as Remembrance Day – aka Poppy Day – honoring veterans who died [8 million+] in this so-called War to End All Wars. WW2 followed in 1939 after “Germany, angry over war reparations imposed by rivals and eager for revenge, eventually turned to Adolf Hitler.”
Symbolically, the number 11 holds the dual vibration of Twins [Gemini], whose relationship acts as a barometer on the scales of Truth, Justice, & Balance [Libra] within this New Age we are said to have entered of Aquarius – the 11th House of the Zodiac. Helena Blavatsky and her disciple, Alice Bailey are credited with founding the so-called ‘New World Religion’ which, since its unofficial start on 11/11/11, has gained many New Age adherents. In The Externalisation of the Hierarchy , Bailey prefaced her New Age spiritual advocacy with an extensive critique of the [Europatriarchal] World Wars: “Intense nationalism… [a] separative outlook… [and] selfish interests have controlled the reasons for which every nation has entered this war…” [p. 373-]
Spiritually, 11/11 allows a sacred moment for grief over the harsh realities of war… lives lost which are formally given global remembrance from western stages. We ritually observe these post-war programs …our hearts made gentle through words, tears, bouquets, wreaths and lapel poppies, many worn in solidarity by non-European officials. Lest we forget, 40,000 African American troops of the 92nd and 93rd divisions saw battle during WW1 under French command. This distinction tends to be under-acknowledged in the self-indulgent discourse-of-power and narrative of a human community made ‘global’ through Europe’s wars, takeovers, and controlling narratives. Hopes for equal recognition in combat are marginalized alongside cries from slavery’s descendants for Reparations from the neo-colonial ‘matrix,’ as the intensely Eurocentric Poppy-Day program runs its annual sequel. Meanwhile, the spiritual free-quency of MA’AT-consciousness – Truth, Divine Order, Harmony, Balance, Justice, Reciprocity, UbuNtu… – will only be detained for so long as another casualty of war. At some point Africa’s cultural immune system has to recover from the induced state of sleep paralysis to reclaim its own narrative and sovereignty…
“MA’AT, who links universal to terrestrial, the divine with the human is incomprehensible to the cerebral intelligence… Peace is the fruit of activity, not of sleep… The key to all problems is the problem of consciousness… If you search for the laws of harmony, you will find knowledge… The best and shortest road toward knowledge of truth is nature… If the Master teaches what is error, the disciple’s submission is slavery. If he teaches truth, this submission is ennoblement… The kingdom of Heaven is already within you; if you understand yourself you will find it… The body is the house of the God/dess. That is why it is said, ‘Wo/Man know thyself’… By knowing one reaches belief. By doing one gains conviction. When you know, dare… You will free yourself when you learn to be neutral and follow the instructions of your heart without letting things perturb you. This is the way of MA’AT…”
This selection of proverbs are from God/dess Amun/Mut’s Luxor Temple [pictured right], located on the east bank of Africa’s Nile River in Uaset. It is known as Ipet-Resyt, meaning “The Southern Sanctuary” which is connected via an Avenue of Sphinxes to the Ipet-Sut – “The Most Selected of Places” in Karnak, both dedicated to the worship of Amun-Re and His Godhood with Divine Feminine Consort, Mut. Per-ankh – “Houses of Life” were designated as spaces for education in such Khemetic temples because knowledge was considered sacred… a divine mystery of the balance between masculine and feminine co-creatives/Twins. Bound to nature and the cosmos for all time, these proverbial teachings are written in the stone [EWF] of Luxor Temple’s walls. “People need images. Lacking them they invent idols. Better then to found the images on realities that lead the true seeker to the source.” Resembling the human form in repose, the Luxor Temple’s unique design itself appears symbolically dedicated to resurrection and reparation of the sovereignty of truth, life & unity-consciousness… an architectural ‘body’ on Mother Africa’s Earth, poised as if to awaken and rise to Her Heavenly Twin.
In pop culture, this awakening is thematic to The Fifth Dimension’s 1969 ‘Age of Aquarius’ – prophetic anthem of a New Age which many believe dawned 42 years later, on November 11th, 2011 [11/11/11]. ‘42‘ is a number that is sacred to MA’AT, Goddess who serves to protect the world from chaos. [In today’s world this ‘chaos’ has occurred within the policed-state of an elite cabal’s Victorian/neo-colonial/false 3D matrix of control and mass-manipulation.] The Principles of Ma’at predate the ’10 Commandments’ as humanity’s oldest written sources of moral & spiritual instruction. Recorded in the Khemetic funerary Book of Going Forth by Day AKA Book of the Dead, these were based on 42 declarations made by Ani in the Hall of Judgment of his having lived in accordance with MA’AT’s principles, such as: “I have not done iniquity; I have not stolen; I have not made any to suffer pain; I have done no murder nor bid anyone to slay on my behalf; I have not spoken lies; I have not caused the shedding of tears; I have not dealt deceitfully; I have not lusted nor defiled the wife of any man; I have not caused terror; I have not done that which is abominable; I have not stopped my ears against the words of Right and Truth; I have not stirred up strife; I have not wronged the people; I have done no harm nor have I done evil; I have not worked treason; I have never fouled the water; I have not spoken scornfully; I have not behaved with arrogance…” [Papyrus of Ani – c.1250BCE]
“We’re in the feminine aspect now… That’s where society is… Men have gone as far as they can, right? …I learn from women a lot quicker than I do from men. …At a certain point, you’re supposed to know what it means to be a man, but now what do you know about what it means to be a woman? Do you know how to listen? Most men don’t know how to listen.” [Prince, 2014]
MA’AT‘s consort is DJEHUTI, the Magician archetype of the Divine masculine with whom the Goddess creates the Balance & Harmony needed to prevent the universe from falling into chaos and disorder. Symbolized by her hallmark feather, the Truth MA’AT has found in her aspect as AUSET [proverbial ‘True Seeker’ and wife of Khemet’s beloved King AUSAR who was mutilated when SET – god of chaos and disorder – usurped his throne] is key to humanity’s awakening and ascension to Heaven-on-Earth. During her seeking, AUSET hears the cries of the downtrodden, children, her beloved [now god of the afterlife]… and responds with compassion and wisdom as she awakens, ascends, dances, re-members… #11/11… #UbuNtu… #Auset/Ausar… #Hathor/Heru… #Ma’at/Djehuti… #Mut/Amun [#Uaset/Sah]… #Nakumbuka… ❤
The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born, Ayi Kwei Armah’s debut novel (published in 1968), owes its title to the misspelled inscription on a bus in Ghana where the story is set. It opens during the final months in 1965 of President Kwame Nkrumah’s rule as Ghana’s first post-colonial president, and closes with the coup that ousted him on February 24th, 1966. This period in Ghana’s history is filled with rampant poverty; overdependence on foreign capital and goods; corruption & bribery as the order of business; and other ills that have plagued Africa’s countries which followed Ghana into independence – all without the needed systemic changes that would mitigate the stagnation and disillusionment of Africans who’d only become inevitably ensnared in parasitic neo-colonial arrangements. Immersing his characters in putrid filth, rottenness, dirt, and scatological imagery as he airs out Ghana’s post-independence laundry through story, Armah leads the reader to the judgment on the novel’s final page – the misspelled bus inscription that becomes its title.
The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born was widely praised but also criticized, most notably by Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, who writes: Armah is clearly an alienated writer complete with all the symptoms. Unfortunately, Ghana is not a modern existentialist country. It is just a Western African state struggling to become a nation. So there is enormous distance between Armah and Ghana.… A man is never more defeated than when he is running away from himself.
AUSAR [Osiris] ~ The ‘Beautyful’ One
In his preface to a new edition of the novel published by Per Ankh, Ayi Kwei Armah himself makes note of the criticism his novel received: “Much of it focused on [my] perceived artistry. There was a tendency …to contrast this supposed authorial virtuosity with the novel’s subject matter, rather inaccurately summed up as the pervasive negativity of the human condition in Africa. This bias didn’t surprise me, and I assumed it would take little time for some careful scholar to balance it by zooming in on the conceptual content of the title, which I think expresses the meaning of the text as accurately as any title can. It is a matter of some bafflement to me, therefore, that to date, as far as I know, no critical assessment has actually gone to that thematic core: the provenance of the concept and image of the beautyful ones. The phrase ‘The Beautiful One’ is ancient, at least 5,000 years old. To professional Egyptologists, it is a praise name for a central figure in Ancient Egyptian culture, the dismembered and remembered Osiris, a sorrowful reminder of our human vulnerability to division, fragmentation and degeneration, and at the same time a symbol of our equally human capacity for unity, cooperative action, and creative regeneration…
By the time I wrote the novel my impressions of Osiris, though still relatively disorganized, had evolved to the point where I was ready to recognize the image as a powerful artistic icon. Here, in mythic form, was the essence of active, innovative human intelligence acting as a prime motive force for social management. I have yet to come across an earlier, or more attractive image for the urge to positive social change.”
NEFERTITI ~ ‘The Beautiful Woman Has Come’
For conceptual context, Armah could well have used another renowned ancient Egyptian figure whose name means “the beautiful woman has come.” Queen Nefertiti, alongside her husband Pharaoh Akhenaten, established the monotheistic cult of Aten-worship – a ‘new world order’ in 14th century BCE which Akhenaten led from his worship center of Amarna. Egyptian artwork during Aten’s Amarna Period was also radically different from its predecessors. The imposed reforms of traditional culture and spirituality resulted in Aten’s legacy becoming that of Egypt’s despised ‘heretic king.’ Aten’s son and eventual successor, Tut’Ankh’Amun (formerly Tut’Ankh’Aten – meaning “the living image of Aten”) restored ancient Egypt’s cultural traditions around Amun and returned its worship center to Uaset (Gr. ‘Thebes’) during his reign. Hence his name change to Tut’Ankh’Amun.
The Nefertiti Bust – believed to have been crafted in 1345 BCE by Thutmose because it was found in his workshop in Amarna by German Ludwig Borchardt’s archaeological team in 1912 – has become one of the most copied works and iconic symbols of feminine beauty, which most associate with Egypt. Kept at various German locations since its “discovery,” the Nefertiti Bust is currently on display at the original pre-WW2 display site of Neues Museum in Berlin. Germany, like most former colonial powers which have profited greatly off their stolen African artefacts, continues to resist Egyptian demands (since 1924) for the repatriation of Egypt’s Mona Lisa, as it were – the bust of Egypt’s ‘beautiful woman…’ Nefertiti.
In relation to Armah’s musings on Osiris/Ausar‘s symbolic relevance to Africa-writ-large, in ancient Egypt a true Queen [Auset] was said to be “She who sees Set and Heru.” Set – god of foreign oppression, chaos, violence, perversion, illness… – who usurped Egypt’s Heaven-on-Earth throne through murdering and dismembering Ausar, and then scattering his pieces [African diaspora] is evident from the predatory Eurocentric divide-&-conquer playbook which creates the parasitic matrix systems humanity experiences as slavery, (neo)colonialism, apartheid… through misappropriation & predatory control of Africa’s sovereign resources. Heru – Ausar & Auset’s posthumously-conceived son who avenges his father by defeating Set & restoring Heaven-on-Earth – is apparent in the post-Amarna role of regeneration Tut’Ankh’Amun played out of his allegiance to Amun, not Aten… #Sankofa.
FATHIA HALIM RITZK NKRUMAH ~ A ‘Beautyful’ First Lady of Ghana
The links between Egypt and Ghana go further than a background concept in Ayi Kwei Armah’s mythologically-based authorial imaginings. Fathia Halim Ritzk – a Coptic Egyptian who’d taught French prior to taking a job at a bank in Cairo – became First Lady of a newly independent Ghana when she married Kwame Nkrumah on New Year’s Eve 1957-58. According to published reports, Nkrumah – who succeeded Queen Elizabeth II on March 7, 1957 as ruler of Ghana – had set out to find himself a Christian wife from Egypt through his friend, Alhaji Saleh Said Sinare – one of the first Ghanaians to study in Egypt. Fathia was chosen out of five finalists. Despite her mother’s refusal to bless their union, Fathia’s marriage to Nkrumah took place at Christianborg Castle upon her arrival in Accra, Ghana. Unmoved by Nkrumah’s pan-African vision & bona-fides, Fathia’s mother – whose son had left Egypt with an English wife – had been reluctant to see another of her five children marrying a foreigner and leaving the country. Fathia returned to Cairo with their 3 children after the military coup d’état that ousted Nkrumah on February 24, 1966. Nkrumah died in 1972 in Bucharest, Romania. Fathia died in Cairo in 2007. Both husband and wife lie buried side by side at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in Ghana.
BRANFORD MARSALIS ~ ‘The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born’
Titled after Ayi Kwei Armah’s book, The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born is also a 1991 jazz album by Branford Marsalis (tenor and soprano sax player) who leads a trio with Jeff “Tain” Watts and Robert Hurst. The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born is the 2nd track on the album which peaked at #3 on the Top Jazz Albums chart. Wynton Marsalis, Branford’s trumpet-playing brother, makes a guest appearance on the album’s 4th track, Cain and Abel. Hailing from New Orleans Louisiana, the Marsalis brothers are world-renowned members of their multi-generational ‘First Family of Jazz.’ Wynton is often quoted as saying: “The bloodlines of all important modern American music can be traced to Congo Square.”
Congo Square in New Orleans is a cultural and spiritual intersection which, like nearby Angola… was named after countries of origin of Louisiana’s predominant enslaved African population. Custodians of BaNtu oral-aesthetic traditions navigated this foreign space in ways that generated musical conversations (jazz, rhythm-&-blues, etc.). Guided by UbuNtu – the unity-conscious cultural philosophy which says “I am, because we are…” – African oral-aesthetic traditions became one of the greatest civilizing forces in America. BaNtu aesthetic quality or beauty – called KuNtu – is judged by how well cultural expression meets its art-for-life’s-sake cultural mandate towards the collective. In contrast to Manifest Destiny &/or American Exceptionalism which were used to justify the enterprises of slavery, colonialism, apartheid, etc. – the so-called “white man’s burden” – UbuNtu has endured as a counteractive Africa-centered guiding & humanizing force.
PRINCE ~ ‘The Beautiful Ones’
In a scene from his 1984 movie, Purple Rain, Prince delivered an unforgettable performance of a song titled The Beautiful Ones. Apparently the artist had already settled on the same as a title for his biography which he’d begun working on with writer and lifelong fan, Dan Piepenbring. Through the telling of Prince’s story, it seems the greater vision was for the co-written project to inspire and help cultivate a society of beautiful ones… be a “handbook for the brilliant community”… a how-to guide for black -musicians, -creatives, -collective ownership, -freedom… an authentic voice against racism, elitism, etc. & for positive social reform. An ancient proverb from Ipet-Sut (the “southern sanctuary” and temple of Amun~Mut) says: “When the governing class isn’t chosen for quality it is chosen for material wealth: this always means decadence, the lowest stage a society can reach.“ A fragmented version of Prince’s The Beautiful Ones was posthumously published and released exactly a year ago – on October 29th, 2019. So much has evolved on the community’s global streets since then…
Perhaps, as Ayi Kwei Armah suggests, a resurrected Ausar is rising out of the Babylonian ashes of a false ‘elite’ matrix through the collective ascension of a previously fragmented/degenerated human consciousness – and, like the proverbial phoenix of old… The Beautyful Ones Are Now Being Reborn… #Sankofa ❤ #UbuNtu
Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki, the second president of South Africa [June 1999 – September 2008], delivered this self-penned speech entitled “I Am an African” on May 8th, 1996. During this time Mbeki was serving as Vice President of South Africa under Nelson Mandela’s post-Apartheid Presidency. The occasion was the passing of the new Constitution of South Africa. VP Mbeki’s speech, delivered on behalf of the African National Congress, captured the political mood of the moment in South Africa:
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 lightning, 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 the 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 of 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 independence and they who, as a people, perished in the result.
Today, as a country, we keep an inaudible and 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 Ashanti of Ghana, as Berbers of the desert.
I am the grandchild who lays fresh flowers on the Boer graves at St Helena, The Bahamas, and the Vrouemonument, 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 Nongqawuse. I am he who made it possible to trade in the world markets in diamonds, in gold, in the same food for which our stomachs yearn.
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 of these people, and in the knowledge that none dares 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 to 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 it 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 imposed 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 as a result of 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, of torture, of imprisonment, of 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 an unequivocal statement that we refuse to accept that our African-ness shall be defined by our race, our colour, our gender or our 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 regards to colour, to race, to gender, to age or to geographic dispersal.
It provides the opportunity to enable each one and all to state their views, to promote them, to 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.
But it 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, to 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, the experts and the 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, and of Somalia, of the Sudan, of 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. 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!
Thank you very much.