iNJEJE yamaNGUNI declares this year of 2016, a year of restoration of dignity to the indigenous African people in which the council will venture to intensify and expand its advocacy so that if fulfills its divine mandate of being the voice of the indigenous African people. This will include issues affecting African academics, professionals, entrepreneurs, workers, public servants and essentially the marginalized indigenous African majority whose grievances have been suppressed and ignored by the very politicians our people voted for in the hope of finally experiencing, the liberation that their forefathers died for.
Dr. Hendrick John Clarke taught us well when he said “History is a clock that tells a people their historical time of the day. It is a compass that people use to locate themselves on the map of human geography. A people’s history tells them where they have been, where they are now, more importantly, where they still must go.”
In carefully studying the history of the Nguni people, particularly as written and told by indigenous Africans, we realize that there are 7 Fundamental Pillars which make-up the foundations of a nation’s dignity, especially in the African context. The 7 Fundamental Pillars of Dignity are the following;
1) Recognition of Monarchs and Traditional leadership institutions – Contrary to the belief of a minority, Monarchs and Traditional leadership institutions are the legitimate and indigenous form of governance structure which the indigenous majority regard as their own, particularly because it is intertwined with their culture and way of life. It is an institution that predates all colonial governance structures because it was established by the people for the people, hence it is the only structure that has been able to withstand an onslaught from malevolent settler thieves who arrived with a prejudiced belief that their race was superior to the indigenous people. It is a fundamental imperative to our council that this indigenous institution be respected and afforded the neccesary resources to serve its people, as the continued campaign to undermine that which is of us will result in the people of whom the indigenous institution belongs, explore methods of which to defend that which is theirs.
2) Land Ownership and Access to Land – Our history is clear as to how it happened that our land is today in the hands of the descendants of malevolent settler thieves. No nation can ever have dignity without land, this is evident today by the material conditions which victims of colonialism, imperialism and apartheid still endure due to the lack of land and access to land whilst the beneficiaries of these criminal systems still enjoy unsubtle opulence. The issue of land in South Africa has been on the minds of millions of indigenous African people for centuries, some with no place to bury their dead while being surrounded by luxurious golf courses and palatial hotels. This will change, we want our land back or we die fighting for it.
3) Economic Participation – The Nguni nations in their accurate history have always traded with one another and had among its people a community of traders of whom even traded with the malevolent settler thieves from Europe and some from the east. Our people were a self-sufficient people, hardly in want and prided themselves in Ubuntu, which was never some ideology as the uncultured minority seeks to propagate but it is a cornerstone of African culture and way of life. It is ubuntu which gave Africans the ability to survive the attempted annihilation of us by the aliens. Today, politicians have worked tirelessly to convince us that we reside in freedom, they have tried to convince us that indeed the life the majority of indigenous African people find themselves, is the life that their forefathers fought, bled and died for way before Dr. Seme dreamt of the South African Native Congress. Fortunately, the lived experiences of our people expose these flimsy attempts as the fraud they are, as our people remain at the periphery of the economy, with no ownership, management or control whatsoever. Meaningful economic transformation can never be reduced to a favour from politicians or government, it is what indigenous African people deserve and on this particular pillar, our advocacy shall know no bounds.
4) Education & Indigenous Knowledge Systems – Our education system has failed our indigenous African people tremendously precisely because of the lack of a deeper understanding of the ‘purpose’ of education on the part of the Bantu education graduated politicians. The lack of quality educators is primarily because of a lack of a quality education system whose skeleton will be indigenous knowledge systems which will assist the African youth to not just be an educated person but an educated knowledgeable African person. The fact that we still lack a Nguni technical language in which the African youth may be able to study mathematics and science is but a core ingredient in this disastrous state of education affairs. Africans such as King Cetshwayo kaMpande King Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo, Dr. Chiekh Anta Diop, Dr. Pixley ka Isaka Seme, Sefako Makgatho, Sol Plaatjie, Dr. Muziwakhe Lembede, Mangaliso Sobukwe and many others demonstrated the epitome of what an educated and knowledgeable African is capable of achieving for his people.
5) Cultural Sovereignty – Every nation has its own culture or that which can be regarded as its culture. Every nation has its own traditions and activities which is intertwined with their way of life. For some it may be surfing, bungy jumping and shark swimming however for the most of us our culture includes the sacrificing of cattle to our ancestors, it includes the attendance of virgins to Umkhosi woMhlanga, it includes the attendance of young Nguni men to Umkhosi woSelwa, it includes the nation descending on Umkhosi weLembe and many others. Like all others, we too as indigenous African people demand our culture in its Nguni diversity to be respected. Like all nations, we too have the divine duty to our ancestors, ourselves and future descendants to defend and protect our cultural sovereignty till our divine souls depart from our bodies. We continue to frown upon the fact that our current constitution said to be the best in the world – by those who enjoy the best of life at our expense – grants aliens the right to question polygamous marriages yet withholds the right to question gay marriages. African epistemology exposes rather clearly the make-up of African culture, to which all this and more will be the subject of great advocacy on the part of our council.
6) Youth Empowerment & Women Development – The history of the Nguni nations teaches us the primary role that the youth and women played in the sustenance, development and prosperity of the nation. The youth of any nation have ideas, energy, vision, passion and sense of purpose that is dynamic, innovative and intelligent. It is in the empowerment of the youth that the prosperity of any nation resides, to which when coupled with the support of liberated African women, whose voice is not treated as inferior, whose advice and ideas are recognized with dignity, the future of that nation is one of perpetual glory. This pillar is a cornerstone to our councils existence.
7) The African Working Class – Throughout history, African people have based all their activity on Ubuntu, it formed the very basis of their perspective and how they viewed themselves and others. Due to the systemic destruction of the self-sufficiency of the indigenous Africans, our people gradually found themselves entrenched in poverty which resulted in a surge of employment seekers. This granted the imperial capitalists an opportunity to exploit and abuse the African people. With the little which the African worker gets, they sustain large families whom are all dependent on them. The culture of exploitation, physical abuse and thereafter sexual violations against African women became endemic and entrenched in tbe psyche of those who employ our people hence till today we find so many reports of such. Our council recognizes the African working class as a pillar of the foundations that make-up the dignity of our nation because it is in them that a majority of our people depend.
INJEJE will thus be launching its 2016 PROGRAM OF ACTION in the coming months that will detail our campaigns and planned programmes that will be inspired by the 7 Fundamental Pillars of Dignity.
We are deeply saddened at the incarceration of His Majesty, AH ZWELIBANZI, Kumkani Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo of the AbaThembu Nation. This has opened up wounds of the past wherein the colonial government incarcerated our Monarchs and Traditional leadership for exercising their divine duties. We are also astounded at the decision taken by the Constitutional Court which will have disastrous consequences in the future, particularly since the roles and powers of Monarchs and Traditional leadership still remains vague. The campaign to delegitimize indigenous African institutions seems to be supported even at the highest court of the land and the incarceration of AH ZWELIBANZI is but a tip of the iceburg.
INJEJE condemns the KZN Provincial Government’s Social Cohesion committee for being a biased and anti-African committee whose only purpose is to be used by MEC Ravi Pillay as a mechanism in which to stifle and suppress issues which affect his Indian community. Our council has had engagements with this committee and has withdrawn its participation as it has become apparent that the only purpose of engagement on the provincial governments part and particularly that of MEC Ravi Pillay, is political management rather than to genuinely deal with the issues themselves. MEC Ravi Pillay is on public record where he assured the public that their much celebrated Social Cohesion report will be released for public scrutiny at the end of November 2015, yet to date it has never been released which is further evidence of the lack of appreciation of issues raised by our people. The indian community have never voted for an African government and they shall never, yet MEC Pillay has the audacity to use the government voted for exclusively by Africans to suppress genuine African concerns. The committee’s inaction to comments by Penny Sparrow about indigenous Africans further demonstrates the irrelevance of this committee to the indigenous African people. The position of the provincial government was best articulated by the KZN Premier Senzo Mchunu when conducting a radio interview on Lotus FM late last year where he rallied the Indian community against all African people who are raising issues of exploitation, physical abuse and sexual violations that are committed primarily by Indian employers. The Premier further dismissed the issues raised by categorizing them as ‘generalisations’, all this and much more demonstrated an unspeakable lack of wisdom and knowledge on the part of the premier, although our nguni culture forbids us from debating with elders, it does however grant us the right to shake our heads in pity.
The uneven economic distribution in municipalities, particularly in the Ethekwini Municipality is one that is an affront to African business people. The municipalities awarding of the IRPTN’s GO! Durban Phase 1 to white owned companies exclusively is a clear demonstration by the municipalities EXCO that they have no interest whatsoever in pioneering meaningful economic transformation. We are also fully aware of the unofficial business which specific politicians and officials in the Ethekwini Municipality – whose names are known to us – conduct with certain white owned companies. INJEJE is currently lobbying African owned companies with the necessary capacity to formulate their own consortium so as to also via for Phase 2 of the project of which our council will vehemently advocate on their behalf. In the event that Phase 2 is again awarded to non-African owned companies exclusively, we shall have no choice but to begin exposing each politician and official whose unofficial dealings are a hindrance to the advancement of the African people. Under no circumstances will African business growth be suppressed whilst officials such as Thami Manyathi and others, continue to have a prejudiced belief that the only true business person is one that is non-African. This blatant anti-African stance by the municipality will be ferociously challenged of which our campaign on this regard will be clearly presented in our 2016 PROGRAM OF ACTION.
As the great Sefako Makgatho said “We ask no special favors from the government. This is the land of our fathers.”
This year the Zulu nation celebrates 200 years of nguni unity as forged by Emperor Shaka kaSenzangakhona and our forefathers. The unity which our forefathers forged has survived successive oppressive and imposing governments and other challenges and still today, the descendants of Emperor Shaka kaSenzangakhona continue with the vision the great Emperor pioneered. It is with great sadness that we contemplate the state of his people, made to be symbols of poverty, treated as inferior and reduced to mere existence in their own land. The blood, sweat and tears of our great ancestors all reduced to nothing as their descendants willow in hunger, disease and decadence in a land where they were once free. 2016 will be no means be a year in which we shall allow our people to be fooled by empty promises, high sounding phrases and slogans that have no material impact in the lives of our people.
This is the year where the indigenous African will remember who they truly are because idlozi lidiniwe!
For more info;
iNduna & National Spokesperson
Phumlani kaDoto Mfeka
Mob: +2771 269 2792