Reconfiguring the Distorted…

Wangechi

When we last spoke I had wings where there were once shoulders; wings borne out of taking flight, soaring, and surfing the winds of itinerancy. My life has been fluid, like water, ebbing and flowing according to the calling of my heart. I obeyed and approached the fires that refined my passions. I have pricked my ears to listen, and I have prised my eyes open; I have been alert in order not to miss the divine appointments, and I have been abundantly rewarded, spirit and soul, with treasures that can never find expression here.

My ears have translated the sounds of all which call me from a place of passion, courage, hope and faith, without which all of this seems illusionary. The very palpable nature of the voices I hear root these otherwise ephemeral experiences. I have heard them. I have seen that which defies logic, that which goes beyond ones and zeros of this world; beyond rational. I have seen magic woven in my everyday existence. I have embraced what my eyes have seen without any doubt, and I have been abundantly nurtured.

My voice now strives to be heard, and I am called to the divine appointment of being an educator, a teacher, and an interlocutor. I heard and saw the calling with my third eye and ear – pricked, prised, sensitive, sensible and most sensuous. I am called to clear my throat chakra and speak in response to my passion. NOW. Poetry—the fluids that quench deserted thoughts; the echo that resounds generations past; the source of unbreakable resolve in my life—is calling me. It spoke through the heroic voice of former South African poet laureate Mazisi Kunene:

I possess a thousand thundering voices

With which I call you from the place of the sinking sun.

I call you form the shaking of branches

Where they dance with the tail of the wind.

You are the endless abundance

Singing with the lips of all generations.

You are like a trunk lush with branches in the lake

Whom the feller of woods felled in vain,

But sprouts with new buds in summer.

When it is loaded with fruit he comes again

And eats to saturation desiring to end its seasons;

But again and again the branches shoot forth with new seasons.

I am in a place of lack, of demoralisation, of defeat, and of hunger and thirst. I am in a place where those who speak to us from the place of the sinking sun are rapidly forgotten. The sun is sinking and setting upon us. We need its light. We need its warmth, its guidance, and its reassurance. I eat to saturation from the abundance left as our legacy.  With that abundance nurturing me as a teacher, educator, and interlocutor, I have accepted the calling and divine appointment to be possessed by those thousand thundering voices that I have heard, seen, and will now speak of.

My work in its entirety in is conversation with the endless abundance which sing with the lips of all generations: Keorapetse Kgositsile, Ilva McKay, Mongane Serote, Mazisi Kunene, Dennis Brutus, Barbara Masekela, Mandla Langa, James Matthew, and many others whose voices echo the politics of Solomon Mahlangu, Bantu Biko, Moses Kotane, Duma Nokwe. This is our history which has not found its rightful place in the post-94 curriculum, and which I have accepted the calling to take to the youth in ways whose nature can only be anointed. The forces of a truth whose time has come cannot be stopped.

I travelled the breadth of the United State of America unearthing and collecting—exhuming—to bring home, the work of our exiled fathers and mothers; the stench of their sweat and the haunting darkness of their blood which they spilled for us to take and respond to in our lifetimes. These voices call us and they must possess us. I am honoured to have had the opportunity to access these resources which I have now brought home, and urged to bring to you. This is a bountiful and anointed abundance, not a reckless one.

Without the clarity of our history we cannot have clarity of vision. However, we can never be defeated as a people, for like a trunk lush with branches in the lake, we will sprout with new buds in summer. No matter how big the sledgehammer it cannot orbit the sky. Our promise of abundance is surely coming. I am now putting forth this message. I want to teach poetry from exile to all youth who are willing to receive it. I call those in care of youth to share this with them; to invite me to share with them their beautiful history which will surely have them thinking differently about themselves. I call all educators and NGO directors to employ my services. For free; by divine appointment.

I am a PhD candidate in Literary Studies at the University of Cape Town, and have, in my ownership and potentially larger ownership of my people, endless books out-of-print and rare, footage of interviews I have conducted with prominent South African and American writers, multi-media resources, and 5 solid years of teaching experience from the University of Witswatersrand and UCT. I am the change I want to see in our teaching curriculums, and the time for it is NOW. Invite me for a chat on uhurumahlodi@gmail.com I await all of your response.

To heal, reconstruct, redefine, and reassert our greatness…

When I was in Oakland, California last year in October, I accepted the invitation to teach young students of the Oakland Art School. I was initially concerned by the age group as my teaching experience is with youth adults of 19 years old or older. However they were very receptive and responsive, fascinated by the histories of black South Africa and black America. This inspired me to engage with the youth from my own country, and open up channels for them to learn the extent of the struggle which our mothers and fathers found themselves broiled in.

When I was in Oakland, California last year in October, I accepted the invitation to teach young students of the Oakland Art School. I was initially concerned by the age group as my teaching experience is with young adults of 19 years old or older. However they were very receptive and responsive, fascinated by the histories and relationships of and between black South Africa and black America. This inspired me to engage with the youth from my own country, and open up channels for them to learn the extent of the struggle which our mothers and fathers found themselves embroiled in.

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Mantra for the Divine

Lupita black

I am with those whose time has come. Those unafraid to traverse a journey of their making, guided by courage, faith, hope, and passion. Those who listen intently to the whispers of their soul. Those who create.

I am with those whose period has come, in spite of patriarchy, racism and classism. Those who dance on the cracks of difference and laugh in the face of diversity. Those who plaster dividing lines with pure intentions of wholeness.

I am with those whose time is now. Those who wrestle the arms of time. Those who find value in creativity and collaboration. Those whose heartstrings compose songs of peace that ripple their effects to war-torn spirits.

I am with those who say yes. Yes to self and no to responding to the insecurities of others. Yes to tenderness and affection, to propelling the mission of love and light forward, and to their inner divinity.

I am with those who embrace sex. Sex of gender and sex of intercourse. Those who do not seek power or disempower in pre-determined labels of homo/hetero/trans/inter/cross, but embrace strength born out of gentleness.

I am with those who shun institution, dogma, and indoctrination. Those who suspect doctrines and uphold the spirit of thought and debate. Those who recognise the need for revisiting history. Those aware of the dangers of a single story.

I am with those whose time has come. Whose energy is aligned to the redefinition of self, family, marriage, friendship, spirituality, education, leadership—those whose energies are invested in the perpetual pursuit of their truth.

I am with those not defined by age, era, or moments. Those who respond to their duality and transcend life and death. Those whose concept of life is not flesh nor breath. Those whose fabric of being is multi-dimensional and receptive.

I am with the troubled and the content. I am with those who wage war with self, and strive for peace in time of war. I am with the robustly passionate, who drive the fire of resolve in every action.

I am with those who deplete the ego. Those who surrender to the callings of their higher selves. Those who find life in depleted selves. Those who create life from nothing. Those who triumphantly emerge out of fire.

Mantra

Behold, Head of a Lion

This morning I accepted Mandima’s invite/challenge to hike up Lion’s Head as part of my fitness and gym routine. It was fulfilling – lessons were learnt and perseverance was shared. My body is aching now, satisfactorily, and I’ll be heading to gym at sunset for an aerobics class. More vitality, more inspiration! Here are some pics of this morning:

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Thanks lady! I’m brimming with inspiration (while nursing sore muscles)