Conflict between the African and the whiteman …their different attitudes towards the land


AFRICA and the West are opposite worlds.
Their differences lie in their divergent philosophies life.
These philosophies translate into religious, economic, social, political, ethical, moral and aesthetic antagonisms, where the whiteman endeavours to force the African to abandon his worldview and embrace that of the whiteman.
Take religion for example.
The conflict of views as to what constitutes heaven or paradise between the African and the whiteman is, intrinsically, related to their different attitudes towards the earth or land.
The earth or land is a friendly and benevolent world to the African.
The earth and land to the whiteman are hostile environments from which to escape into a sky heaven.
So, the whiteman is here on earth to destroy and subdue it and everything on it, above it, and beneath it, rather than to build it and be friendly and benevolent towards it and everything on it, in it, or above it.
This explains why the whiteman has created, and is still creating, world wars on earth to destroy man, women and children, and raze to the ground, the world’s flora and fauna without shame or qualms.
That also explains why the whiteman has polluted and continues to pollute with impunity the rivers and the air that man and all creatures of the land or earth breathe, in order to live and survive for all time.
That explains why the whiteman has kidnapped and killed and still kills the African who refuses to be subdued by him and sing:
“This world is not my home
I am just a-passing through
My treasures are hidden
Somewhere beyond the blue
And I can’t feel at home
In this world anymore”
But the African who cherishes his land has throughout the centuries refused to succumb to the whiteman’s worldview.
He vows to defend his land and protect his land or earth from the whiteman and all enemies of his land and the earth by any means necessary, and sings:
“Simudzai mureza wedu weZimbabwe
Yakazvarwa nomoto weChimurenga
Neropa zhinji ramagamba
Tiidzivirire kumhandu dzose
Ngaikomborerwe nyika yeZimbabwe
Tarisai Zimbabwe nyika yakashongedzwa
Namakomo, nehova, zvinoyevedza
Mvura ngainaye, ruzhinji rugutswe
Ngaikomborerwe nyika yeZimbabwe
Mwari ropafadzai nyika yeZimbabwe
Nyika yamadzitateguru edu tose
Kubva Zambezi kusvika Limpopo
Navatungamiri vave nenduramo
Ngaikomborerwe nyika ye Zimbabwe”
And where the whiteman would like the African to sing of treasures stocked somewhere in a place in the sky called heaven, the African of principle sings in defiance:
“Nyika yedu yeZimbabwe
Ndimo mataka zvarirwa.
VanaMai naBaba ndimo mavari.
Tinoda Zimbabwe neupfumi hwayo hwose.
Simuka Zimbabwe!”
This African attitude towards his land or earth, as Mazisi Kunene explains, is captured in African dance whose steps are directed firmly to the ground as an expression of the African’s union with his land or earth.
The stamping of the ground with one’s feet or a staff is a sacred act of celebrating this union.
One leaps into the air only to come down on the earth with emphatic power and impact.
The Zulus, as Mazisi Kunene says, call the echoes of the earth in response to the impact of the stamping of the ground in African dance, izigi zomhlaba or mutinhimira wepasi, in Shona.
Again, as Mazisi Kunene explains, the most sacred of African dances are those that combine a sense of cosmic time, characterised by slow movements, and a simultaneous downbeat.
The dances are known as ‘ihubo labadala’ or ‘inkondlo’ in Zulu or ‘ngondo’ in Shona.
They are led by the oldest members of the community who are considered closer to the ancestors.
A serious study of African folklore, therefore, shows that the oral stories and dances that African ancestors told or performed are not merely for children’s entertainment around the fire after meals at night, as the whiteman and deluded Africans who follow him would like the world to believe.
The stories that African ancestors told and the dances that they danced are inexhaustible sources of philosophy whose, political, social, moral, ethical and economic principles are invaluable for the organisation of African society and its development and protection of the African environment and land.
The preservation and education of African people in the stories, dances and oral traditions of their ancestors, in schools and universities, should also not be considered as a mere academic exercise for the offering of Certificates and Diplomas.
In them are embodied a timeless set of values which by their ethical authority supersede the whims of temporal political power.
They are an important source of the fundamental laws of African humanity which Mazisi Kunene has called ‘umthetho womuntu’ which have governed African societies and brought peace and development that have made Africa, the cradle of human civilisation.
Their preservation and teaching in schools and universities in Zimbabwe and throughout Africa should, no doubt, go a long way in restoring Africa to its former intellectual, economic and social greatness, on the world’s human development scene.


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