Thursday, November 5, 2015

Buccleuch Muslim Community Defeats Residents Association At High Court

Masjidul Khaleel in Buccleuch

"Over my dead body!"
A quote from one of the directors of a marginalized Buccleuch residents association. So certain were they that the Muslim residents of Buccleuch would never have a masjid of their own.
Today the residents were triumphant and victorious in proving that a community can never be dictated to by the whims and fancies of a mere handful. The battle was taken all the way to the High Court, and sanity prevailed. The masjid will open as planned and service the community as intended.

Well done to the community and the trustees of Masjidul Khaleel for putting up a good fight and never wavering in their commitment to have a place of worship in Buccleuch, just as every other religious denomination is catered for in this beautiful suburb .
Justice has prevailed and the sweet sound of democracy can now fill the homes of every Muslim resident of Buccleuch at least 5 times a day.

In other news, the Buccleuch Steering Committee (BSC) which is an all-inclusive body serving the interests of every resident within the suburb will continue to denounce and eradicate the scourge of elitism and bigotry so prevalent in associations who haven't yet embraced the spirit of Ubuntu more than 20 years into our new democracy.

The winds of change are sweeping across our universities, across our boardrooms, and across our suburbs.
Let us never find ourselves on the wrong side of history, for we will be judged and judged harshly.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Winterschool Diaries

            An evening with the legendary Pops Mohamed at this years VANSA Winterschool.

I came to Winterschool to rediscover my writing.
To find the reason why I enjoyed putting pen to thoughts.
I came to get unstuck.
To learn and experience and absorb.

I left with a better understanding of my journey.
I left with new-found bonds.
I left unstuck and deeply satisfied
But mostly I left with my senses invigorated and alive!

Let the story begin.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

America Expecting A Bumper Crop Of Terrorism

We've all read about or heard the claims that a great many terrorist organizations operating throughout the world are creations of the CIA.
I used to think that this was crazy conspiracy-talk, until I actually started reading up on the subject matter.

I'd go into the long and sordid history of the CIA and it's links to these organizations, including it's funding of the Taliban in Pakistan and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, but there are hundreds of online sources that would do a much better job of it including this one right here: Counterpunch

That the Middle East is an absolute quagmire of death, desperation and dollars and will remain so for as long as the West can profit from oil and arms to the region has been apparent for longer than the words 'Peace Treaty' have been bandied about. What is interesting though is how the fallout from the perfect shit-storm that's embattled the Middle East for so long is now being felt in the very heart of America.

I spoke to an Egyptian friend of mine not too long ago. He travels regularly back and forth between his home country and South Africa on business. On his last trip home he engaged a family member of his who happens to be very involved in the political situation in Egypt.
The Arab-Springs and the great hope that the Egyptian people had for democracy.
How they realized very quickly that the will of the people was really no match for political maneuverings between the Egyptian army and America.
How Sisi was chosen to be a proxy-leader long before the first bullet was even fired in Tahrir Square.
How revolutions are stage-managed to deliver a pre-determined outcome and the role the media plays in advancing hidden agendas.
Only a select handful of those in the know really do understand what the end game is about.
It truly was eye-opening for me to realize that activism and revolutions are really up against a foe a hundred-fold more powerful and prepared than the cause they think they're fighting.

With all this lobbying and stage-managing, it turns out that the one thing the West and in particular America never could control was it's own people in it's own backyard.

When American citizens commit acts of terror, both law enforcement and the media are galvanized into a frenzy of pigeon-holing either victim or suspect. They need to assign labels to better stage-manage public perception and the resultant reaction.
So black, minority, non-Caucasian or Muslim suspects of acts of terror will immediately be labeled 'terror suspects'.
White suspects will invariably be labeled 'sick', 'deranged', 'lone-gunman' or 'troubled individuals' with no mention of religion or ethnicity.
Read this piece from The Washington Post

Why this burning need to differentiate between American-Caucasian terror and American-non-Caucasian terror?
Well because the CIA, war lobby groups, the NRA and the White House are and always have been white institutions. By acknowledging white terrorism, they would need to acknowledge the terrorism within their ranks. While the immediate perception to those highlighting this bias in reporting would be one of racism, the underlying reality is actually a massive failure by white America and it's Board Of Directors to keep the leash on it's own.

How then do we make the link between American-led wars throughout the world and especially in the Middle East, and homegrown American terrorists plying their trade from within?
As my friend so aptly put it, once you create a culture of impunity against gross acts of violence by the state against another, you can't expect it's citizens to be law-abiding. More-so, if those acts were justified by virtue of an "Us-And-Them" mentality, as is the case with America and Arabs or America and Any-Other-Nation, then it really isn't a great leap to see how terrorism within America is between Whites and Blacks, or Whites and Minorities, or Whites and Muslims.

The chickens have come home to roost in cities across America, and until the leadership doesn't change it's war-rhetoric from "Us-And-Them", they shouldn't expect it's homegrown terrorists to.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Friends With Benefits

At some point I considered making this blog of mine anonymous.
Not just this post, but the entire blog.
But vanity prevailed, thank goodness. The same vanity which has me coming back each week just to see how many visitors have stumbled upon my writing, most by pure chance but certainly none by actually seeking out any writing of interest or quality content.

It is these stumblers that I address when I say that you have found the bunghole of the blogosphere right here.
I don't use that term 'Bunghole' lightly.
It has recently come to aptly describe my year, my most recent business venture, certain family relations and even friendships new and old.

I've finally closed chapters on friends and family that were open for far too long in the hope that I could re-write the endings. Sometimes the ending happened long before we even realized the story was over.
Some chapters were harder to close than others.
Words lingered, like the smell of camphor after death. But in those words I realized why closure was so important. Like waking up one morning and finding out that you've been adopted, or that your siblings are actually not your own blood and flesh. Or that your cat is actually a goldfish.
You linger and ponder and die.
Or you close the chapter, move on and live.
So I chose life.

Sometimes you have to close the chapter on business ventures too.
You bite the bullet, lift your socks and move on.
You pen the final chapter and acknowledge the lessons and experiences; and you're all the wiser for it. I've learned that I have an insane appetite for risk and adventure. That I have no fear of starting from the bottom. That I have an enormous amount of faith in myself and my abilities. And mostly I learned that I have the most amazing support structure in my wife and kids. They see me as some kind of Superhero who can never fail them, and so I don my Superhero costume each day to prove them right.
And each night I come home to tell them about my adventurous day and watch their eyes light up, and in that moment I feel like the guy who can beat Hulk or Superman.

In closing all these chapters, I've found an inner peace that's allowed me to appreciate the stories yet unwritten.
The friendships I have, both old and new.
People who just get me, and who I would take a bullet for. Not in the head, and not one made of lead either. Maybe a jelly-baby bullet. Or a cupcake bullet. But a bullet nonetheless.
The kind of friends I'd like to grow old with some day.
The kind who would have chapter upon chapter dedicated to them in my book of life.
The kind of friends who are in my inner circle.
The ones who's only benefit is making life worth living.

Here's to bunghole friends everywhere.
The kind who will pull you out of one, and if they can't, they'll get right in there with you and make it bearable.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Why? The Beloved Country

It's been too long since I last came to dip my toes in the pool of thoughts that is my blog.
Since then, so much has happened and so much is still happening.

I read a headline just the other day that said "South Africa Up In Flames!"
Well yes we've been having some issues with fires lately, but our firemen are world-class and our mountains are resilient. My international visitors to the blog (yes both of you) will be glad to know that Signal Hill and Table Mountain are just fine, thank you very much.... and through it all, we as a nation continued braaing. (That's Barbecue for my European crowd.. both of you).

The same probably can't be said for the foreigners who call South Africa 'Home'. It's been a frightening and distressing time for many Somalians, Zimbabweans and other foreign nationals living within our borders. For the first time our brothers living in the capital of Nigeria, Hillbrow, are looking at each other going "What drugs are these people on?"
I drove through Hillbrow the other day and this guy shouted into my window "My friend, ged auwt of my cowntree!"
He called me his friend.
But then he also told me to 'ged auwt of his cowntree'.
I was about to correct his pronunciation but he looked at least twice my size. Also he said it so threateningly I was almost convinced that I had gone too far down the N1 and instead of taking Rivonia offramp like I intended, maybe I had taken the Lagos offramp.
The chain he wore around his neck convinced me that he didn't give two f@#ks about the price of gold.
Like my Indian friend who's cooking convinces me that he doesn't give two f@#ks about the price of oil.

I have a deep love and respect for the treasure chest that is Africa, but an even deeper love and admiration for the Pandora's Box that is South Africa.
Africa has always been regarded as this beautiful continent beset with evils and riddled with war-zones. The next piece I write will certainly discuss this further, suffice to say that I have traveled enough across the globe to know that the suffering of Africa's people and the pillage of her resources were carried out by the very colonialists who now mock her sorry state.

Yet this melting-pot of all the planets evils and good and crime and beauty and madness and awesomeness still welcomes the world to her shores with open arms.
People across every continent know South Africans for their warmth, their generosity, their spirit and their fine spirits. We are like the grandmother to the world, always embracing and never closing our doors.

For those unfamiliar with one of the most brilliant political documents to ever have been penned, The Freedom Charter, I quote a line from said document which reads
We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know:
that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people;
The complete document can be found here

I wish more people would take the time to read this document, and by more people I mean specifically those who are committing xenophobia without even knowing how to spell it.

The first rule about committing any act, legal or illegal, should firmly be :

#If you can't spell it, you can't do it!

If you can't spell Hijacking, you have no right being a Hijacker.
If you can't spell Polygamist, you have no right being one.
If you can't spell Corruption, then Corruption is not for you.
If you can't spell Statue, you shouldn't attempt to demolish one.
The same applies to Xenophobia.

I've decided to vastly increase my political knowledge this year, in the hope that I can better understand the socio-economic issues facing my fellow countrymen. I have become increasingly critical of all political parties and their manifestos. I have an allegiance to one political party simply because I firmly believe that their manifesto and Bill Of Rights is inherently a sound document which speaks to my ethos and beliefs. The Bill Of Rights can be found here
But I am critical of my party as well.
Extremely so.
For blind faith ultimately leaves everyone blind.

While I understand that my country is burning, I am also aware that there are very many within this beautiful land I call Home who's passion and commitment to making South Africa work burns even fiercer. I have seen and engaged with the youth who have such an amazing belief in the future of South Africa, that I am left with no option but to encourage and support that dream and vision.
And while crime and poverty and corruption and every other societal ill known to man seems to grow like a cancer amongst us, my faith and conviction will never allow me to throw my hands in the air and give up.

As William Wallace so famously said in Braveheart,

"Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!"

There are many scourges that we need to rid our country of, and the divide between those who see it purely as criminal and those who see it as a socio-economic problem is so vast. I'm really trying to understand it from both perspectives.
Sometimes it's like reading the Kama Sutra in the dark.
You know what's in there, and you know that it's damn exciting, but the darkness prevents you from actually seeing anything.
We know the problems we face, and we're intelligent enough as a nation to understand them, but the solutions evade us. I think we as a nation need to start looking at our problems through the eyes of someone sitting in the dark, trying to read the Kama Sutra.
Focus so intently on seeing the bigger picture, that nothing else really matters.

Until then, I will continue my political education and corrupt it with as much sexual innuendo as I possibly can. Only because these are two topics I am passionate about.