Sunday, May 30, 2010

ANC Youth League President Julius Malema Vows to Keep Fighting

Malema vows to keep fighting

Herald Reporter

AFRICAN National Congress Youth League president Cde Julius Malema has vowed to continue fighting for the emancipation of black Africans.

Cde Malema said he would not be discouraged by imperialist media that were trying to divide Africans.

In a BBC interview on Monday, Cde Malema defended his decision to kick out a BBC journalist, Mark Fisher, from the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg recently for rudely interrupting him when addressing journalists and Youth League members after his trip to Zimbabwe.

An ANC Youth League delegation visited Zimbabwe in April this year and held meetings with their Zanu-PF counterparts and held rallies around the country.

According to reports, Fisher interjected several times as Cde Malema narrated how the ANC had worked with Zanu-PF during the liberation struggles of both countries and why the ANC had nothing to do with the British and American-sponsored MDC-T party.

Cde Malema called Fisher a "bastard" and "an agent", kicking him out of a Press conference at Luthuli House in Johannesburg, the ANC headquarters.

The Youth League president said he felt let down by those he had relied on after the ANC criticised his stance against the BBC journalist. He said he had "learnt something" from the incident but would never make any apologies for standing for his own people and fighting for the redistribution of the means of production in Africa.

He defended Zimbabwe’s land reform programme, but said violence should never be part of land redistribution.

"One of the things I have learnt is never rely on any individual who is in politics," Cde Malema told the BBC correspondent.

Asked if he felt betrayed by South African and ANC president Cde Jacob Zuma, Cde Malema stressed his loyalty, adding that Cde Zuma "whipped the youth into line whenever he saw anything wrong".

Cde Malema dismissed the BBC and Britain’s purported knowledge of Cde Nelson Mandela, who spent three decades fighting against apartheid and white supremacy in South Africa.

"You know nothing about Nelson Mandela," he said.

"We will tell you about Mandela, not the other way round. You can’t tell us anything about that man and his struggle to free black people in South Africa.

"Nothing has changed. We are just continuing with the vibrancy of the ANC party."

When the BBC reporter said Cde Malema was facing criticism from sections of the country, he responded: "Is everybody supporting Zuma? Is everybody supporting Helen Zille (of the right- wing Democratic Alliance party), the beautiful queen of yours? No!"

He responded saying that the BBC represented the wishes of the imperialists (Britain and Western powers) and could not be expected to work for the good of the downtrodden blacks in Africa. "You represent imperialists, Britain, the country that got us into the mess that we are in, in the first place."

The BBC reporter responded saying that "President Zuma says we should stop blaming apartheid."

Cde Malema dismissed this notion: "No, it doesn’t mean that the apartheid legacy doesn’t exist"

"The apartheid legacy still exists."

He added: "There are racial divisions in this country (South Africa)."

If you say you are not going to change the property relations and structurein this country, they will remain the same as during apartheid andthat's unacceptable," Cde Malema added.The 29 - year-old firebrand youth leader also said he would not stopsinging the revolutionary "Dubula ibhunu" song."

He said whites inSouth Africa had crudely translated it into meaning "Kill the Boer" inorder to challenge its existence.Cde Malema added that South Africa's economy remained racially divided andthat socio-economic and political relations in that country were"racialised"."I am fighting for the emancipation of blacks and Africans inparticular, politically, socially and economically," he said.

"There are racial divisions in this country and the economy continues togrow but the gap between the haves and have-nots continues to grow. It'sracialised."

He said President Mugabe and Zanu-PF's land reform policy was "very good" as it sought to redress the imbalance created by colonialism."In South Africa we must use the democratic means to redistribute theland. We've got a majority in parliament to make legislation that willgive us power to expropriate land with compensation."

Proudly African!

Editorial From the Zimbabwe Herald

I AM a proud African of Zimbabwean decent. There is something in me that cannot be swept away by the storms of life or pleasures of the world.

It is that something that made me walk with my head held high across the borders, even when there was no sugar on the shelves.

What kept me going is the knowledge that my identity is not tied to the challenges that I go through.

I believe it is the same thing that made Kunta Kinte, a slave in chains, to categorically state, "I am Kunta Kinte of the Mandingo tribe," in the movie Roots.

It is also that something that made a British war plane pilot, during the Second World War, write "If I die think this only of me, that there is a corner of some foreign field that is forever England."

What he meant was that wherever his remains were to be interred, in the event that the plane was brought down, that place would be England.

I believe that this something is what Delanyo Adadevoh calls a positive self image.

What he means is that as Africans we should take pride in who we are.

We are worth much more than the famines, the droughts, the wars and the floods that the Western media focus on.

We are a people known for our warmth, hospitality and have a history of organised traditional leadership and governance structures.

I believe that until and unless we Africans take pride in who we are, and have a shared vision, the development and integration of the continent will remain a pipe dream.

I, however, suppose that the collective positive identity is learned from culture. In simple terms culture is the way of life of a people. It includes their beliefs, norms and values, behavior patterns, language and arts. Culture changes and therefore it is particular to a given time.

It is said that culture provides one with an identity; right perception of self in relation to others; lenses with which we perceive and interpret things; standards by which we use to evaluate life; and conditions the way we prioritise things.

Ali Mazrui observed that Africa has experienced rapid Westernisation in the post-colonial period.

This implies that the basis of our identity as a people has been compromised in the global village where we interact with various cultures and subcultures.

Some of these sub cultures have taken root in the mind such that they form the basis on which we socialise our children and shape their lives and ours.

Let us take for instance the Hollywood culture that is promoted through the movies and television. This popular culture has cut across most barriers common in the traditional African way of life.

Things that were seen as taboo in the traditional context just spring up on the screen as the family sits together to watch TV.

This implies that the myth around some of these sacred issues has been shattered for better or for worse.

In the past, parents used very simple ways of telling children what to do and not do. I remember that we were told that if you sit on the road you would get boils.

They knew that if the child sits on the road he/she risked being run over by a car. As children we held elders in high esteem, we saw them as people of integrity and therefore we obeyed without questioning.

This is not so with the children of today they are living in a world of experimentation and justifications. The education system demands empirical evidence.

What has also made it difficult is that some adults of today are not men and women of their word. Anyway that is the dilemma that we find ourselves in and this I suppose is a topic on its own.

Judging by the success of the movie industry, I can safely say that the Hollywood culture is playing a big role in bringing up children. I say this because the television is seen as a source of entertainment and relaxation.

The television influences fashion, behavioural patterns and conditions the way we see ourselves in relation to others, the way we see things and evaluate whether they are good or bad.

Our indigenous languages are facing extinction as English has become the language spoken in school, business and even in homes.

This means that culture has changed drastically as language carries cultural values and norms. In this regard it is possible that our great great grandchildren will not be African.

When I say African I am not speaking of colour because what makes us Africans is far beneath the skin. It is not tangible, I believe, but can be discerned.

I am not saying all that is African is good. I am aware of the negative practices, beliefs and attitudes such as gender discrimination that have taken us backwards.

I also add my voice and say that all those negative practices done in the name of culture should be discarded.

I am talking about those things that define us as a people such as the values of ubuntu or hunhu.

There is a wealth of indigenous knowledge on natural cures, environmental conservation and management, conflict resolution as well as building and maintaining social relations.

I am sure each one of us can add to this list.

It is those things that were we have a competitive advantage over other Continents and therefore need to focus on and develop a brand.

Unfortunately modernisation has created a gap between traditional and modern systems.

In my opinion the people who spend most of the time in urban areas have no time and patience to learn from the rural folk.

People are just busy bodies.

There are also greater chances of the educated elite also perceiving all these traditional ways as primitive.

This means that we as a people have not gone back to our roots to try and tap into and develop the existing indigenous systems and structures.

As a result they have remained very basic.

It is therefore not surprising that as Africans, as the old adage says, we have thrown away the baby with the bath water.

A positive self-image starts from knowing our true identity starting as individuals and then collectively we can rebrand our communities, our nations and then our Continent. As Africans we therefore need to visit the beliefs that we have about Africa.

The Shona people say "Huru inokudzwa newayo" loosely translated to mean people prop up their own.

This means that it is you and me that should believe in ourselves so that AFRICA can realise its potential.

Egpha Jokomo is an aspiring writer and motivational speaker.

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