There’s a story I know. It’s about the earth and how it floats in space on the back of a turtle. I’ve heard this story many times, and each time someone tells the story, it changes. Sometimes the change is simply in the voice of the storyteller. Sometimes the change is in the details. Sometimes in the order of events. Other time’s it’s the dialogue or the response of the audience. But in all the telling of the tellers, the world never leaves the turtle’s back. And the turtle never swims away…

[The truth about stories: a Native Narrative]

There’s other hadithi I know, like how I discovered this series of stories a few days ago, that reminded me that around dis time last year, a manifesto of revolushunary intent was quite magically (re)born through the collective wisdom of warrior kings and queens, archived in dis world wide web that we find ourselves meeting in again en again, en practised in many villages en urban spaces..

These articles made me so happy, not because of why they were written (in direct response to the African Commission for Peoples and Human Rights denying ‘observer’ status to the Coalition of African Lesbians) or their content per se, but quite simply because there were so many of them (TEN!) coming from a place of (anti-oppressive) solidarity, which is where the I,Sista.In.Solidarity manifesto came from……

These articles triggered me to reflect much more on the tasks we have of harnessing the power of our intersecting interests and resources.

 It made me so happy to consider that it was inevitable that I would read these articles, coz I have to admit to stalking Pambazuka news for the latest on the shifting boundaries of our social movements…the bigger point is, I’m ever more grateful for bredrin en dadas around the world, and significantly, on the continent, who are speaking BACK and working on the necessary elements of truth, justice and peace, with big love.

Check these stories out, and if you are, like me, in the diaspora, consider how you/we could share more resources with our bredrin and dadas on the continent, what strengths can we harness over here to build solidarity not only with LGBTI movements in Afrika, but all progressive social movements? Where do we position ourselves as allies?

Consider what it means as we commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, for queer & trans women in Afrika, for the indigenus women & trans folk of Turtle Island….

Recently Indian writer and activist, Arundhati Roy spoke of the Indian state:

‘Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their minds. Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice, while communal killers, mass murderers, corporate scamsters, looters, rapists, and those who prey on the poorest of the poor, roam free.’

We say pity that 53 African nation states – and we really need to emphasise this because a few people are deciding about the validity of our lives – feel they have to silence the voices of their innocent citizens who ask for justice and the rights shared by their sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers while ‘communal killers, mass murderers, corporate and political scamsters, looters, rapists, and those who prey on the poorest of the poor, roam free’!
………..

  1. The day the African commission disavowed humanity  Fikile Vilakazi and Sibongile Ndashe

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68947

2.  African commission should reconsider decision on Coalition of African Lesbians

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68946

3. The fallacy of human rights at the African Commission

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68949

4.    Are we not human?

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68955

5. If not, why not?   Doublespeak  on LGBTI rights at the African Commission

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68956

6. Face Down   

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68948

 7. Sexual orientation under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68953

8. Where can we find refuge and justice?

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68957

9. Lesbians can no longer be silent  Rose Wanjiku

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68958

10.   Let this group find comfort and safety here  Asha Ramgobin

Statement at the 48th Session of the African Commission on Human And Peoples’ Rights

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/68960

  
[BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAMBAZUKA NEWS]

 

 ase……

real tox: between the lines…Afrikans (re)encounter di’ diaspora o…..

hapo si zamani sana,

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4bhqDNU7as&feature=related]

kulikuwa na dada tisa waliyoishi karibu na mlima ya Elgon

na hapo karibu na kijiji yao, kulikuwa na ndugu tisa pia……

hadithi? hadithi?

Last night was one of those unexpectedly beautiful ones, where I reasoned, ate, danced and reconnected with mo people that I love, respekt and admire so, that not only I need to get to know much betta, [http://www.apaa.ca/]

yesterday was betta than I expected, breaking bread and praying with growing families. I am grateful for working, living, and communing in such human positive spaces. I give thanks for the mentors, healers, peacemakers, farmers, cooks, families and friends gathering to re/build healthy, loving sustainable communities

[real tox: between the lines/ hadithi kama/riddle of the sphinx /a spiral/ healing/litany of survival/ haiku/]

http://www.blacklooks.org/2010/10/the-mask-hides-nothing



weeks been manifesting in sync with the autumn season: full of metamorphosis, deep lessons, storyboarding en mobilising resources for (hibernation en) mo’ arts/educashun en community work

[real tox: we’re, in the spaces between, writing biomythdramas, shooting interviews with POCstars, revising the storyboard of the feature length documentary (from 32 stories to 9ish core characters ), organising fundraisers for a queer/trans youth arts collective to be implemented in May 2011 in East Afrika….big tings a gwaan en the fiya this time is divine]

the drama of the q_t werd is  (un)expected, deep/rooted in pan/afrikan tapestries, familiar/yet masked/with many faces/many acknowledge truthis/ over-rated yet

the stories we’re retelling in dub are the real tox we been having, and the real struggles we been facing in building solidarity among our communities/revolushunary village style

The folks in the  q_t werd are the tapestry of our quest to reclaim our ancestral memories en resituate global voices: afrikan/ queer/ trans/people of colour/ middle class/ poor/ en working class/youth/diversely-abled/artists/healers/farmers/mamas/babas/bredrin en dadas in solidarity/people we know……

you don’t need a weatherwomban to know which way the wind blows…the fiya en wota  dis’ time, on dis here earth of ours, is divine….

hadithi? Hadithi?

Hadithi njoo.

Giza ya?………Sahani ya?……..Nipe mji……..

Betwixt en between the lines are our true (true) stories, retold in (a video diary of) the ‘Q[/t]’ werd….

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/may/22/football-south-africa-world-cup

we’ve said it before, in other places, and [most  symbolically] here….

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dr3uvUU4roc&feature=related]

we’re doing the best we can with what we got to entertain, and re-educate not only ourselves but others, in the practice of freedom.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/06/16/mb-truth-reconciliation-event-winnipeg.html

 

http://archives.cbc.ca/society/education/topics/692/

(re)building coalitions

 and (re)building solidarity with our people…

hadithi? hadithi?

nipe mji…….

 

 

[re/posted]scribbles from the den

When the idea was first hatched to put forward South Africa’s candidacy for the 2010 World Cup, it seemed a far-fetched dream. And when FIFA actually awarded the tournament to South Africa, it was, in the view of many, a gamble destined to fail. However, after six years of turmoil, controversy and acrimony later, South Africa is finally set for the 2010 World Cup tournament.

For the next month, (legitimate) concerns about the financial toll of the tournament on South Africa’s economy, the absence of concrete benefits for large swathes of the South African population, or about FIFA’s stifling rules will be put on the backburner as the world enjoys the beautiful game.

Dori Moreno

Dori Moreno is one of those unapologetically afflicted by ‘World Cup Fever’:

I have been waiting for the World Cup to arrive ever since the announcement was made that it would be hosted in South Africa. It’s difficult to get excited about something happening so far into the future. But now, the World Cup is upon us, and in just 2 more sleeps, South Africa will face Mexico in the kick off game of the 2010 World Cup. And South Africa has woken up and is alive with energy, passion and enthusiasm.

 ‘Today, the Bafana Bafana team took to the streets of Sandton, Johannesburg in an open top bus. South African fans came out en masse to celebrate and get a glimpse of their national team. The vibe was indescribable and when the Soweto Marimba Youth League played the national anthem, I confess to being moved to tears from the sheer emotion and energy of the event.


‘I think even the die-hard pessimists out there will struggle not to get caught up in the positive energy that will carry us all on a cloud for the next month. To everyone out there, I say, ENJOY! To all the visitors to our awesome country, feel it, live it and fall in love. It’s time for AFRICA!!!!’

Jeanette Verster’s Photography

And talking about the June 9 ‘United We Stand for Bafana Bafana’ parade organised in Sandton to encourage South Africans to show their support for their national team, Jeanette Verster publishes a colorful picture essay that vividly captures the national excitement.

Brand South Africa Blog

Brand South Africa Blog hopes that the unity and patriotism demonstrated in the run-up to the World Cup will last long after the tournament:

‘The past few months have been an incredible sight. Road works, bridges being built and the most spectacular, the giant eye which watches over all of us from the entrance to the V&A Waterfront. To say I feel proud would really be an understatement, although true. Undeniably through all of this is the tangible feeling of patriotism, excitement and unified spirit in the air.

‘Flags, Zakumi’s (official World Cup mascot), soccer jerseys everywhere makes me feel that we can unite as a country, evident in the progress made.

‘*** I love SA ***

‘The feeling I hope for South Africa is that we stay this way long past the end game is played. Everyone is watching and can see that through working together and progress, we can be pushed into another league and be part of a set of countries people all of the world would like to visit sometime in their life.

‘So, Bafana, we are behind you 150%, make us proud and do your best.

‘Visitors to South Africa, our country is beautiful, take the opportunity to visit places off the beaten track you’ll be pleasantly surprised and p.s. don’t forget to shop!’

Constitutionally Speaking

Even as the excitement builds up, there is anger just beneath the surface over a number of (FIFA-inspired?) decisions which do not benefit South Africans. One such issue is the apparent blanket ban on public gatherings in many municipalities for the duration of the World Cup. Constitutionally Speaking argues that:



‘If this is true, it would mean that parts of South Africa are now effectively functioning under a state of emergency in which the right to freedom of assembly and protest have been suspended. This would be both illegal and unconstitutional. Other reports have suggested that such orders were indeed given, but that the police are now backtracking – probably because the police have realised that they are breaking the law and that the order, in fact, constitutes a grave breach of the law and the Constitution.

‘It is a sad day indeed when the police itself become a threat to our democracy and our rights because Fifa and the government want us all to behave and shut up for the next month and to forget about our democratic rights.’

Scribbles from the Den (and betwixt en between the lines: a video diary of the ‘Q[/t]’ werd)

Scribbles from the Den takes us back 20 years to a memorable World Cup game which is now part of the football folklore and which credited to have changed the World Football Order in favor of African countries:

‘Exactly 20 years ago on June 8, 1990 at the Giuseppe Maezza Stadium in Milan, Italy, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, “a humble team with an insignificant past” to quote the Miami Herald, defeated Argentina, the star-studded defending World Champions led by Diego Armando Maradona, in a thrilling Italia ’90 World Cup opening game that came to be known as the “Miracle of Milan”…



‘The victory over Argentina was merely the beginning of Cameroon’s Cinderella story which came to an end only after England ousted the Lions in an epic quarterfinal game that is also part of World Cup folklore. Cameroon’s brilliant run in Italia ’90 in general, and its historic win over Argentina in particular reverberated around the world and changed the Football World Order forever…

‘The aftershocks from that memorable Friday afternoon at the Giuseppe Maezza Stadium would be felt years later first with FIFA increasing the number of African teams taking part in the World Cup from two to five, then with the “browning” of European leagues which opened their doors to players from the continent and in the process unearthed African football prodigies such as “King” George Weah of Liberia, Same Eto’o of Cameroon and Didier Drogba of Cote d’Ivoire.’

Up Station Mountain Club

As the football fiesta goes on in South Africa, Charles Taku, a lead counsel at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, wonders whether Africa has any reason to celebrate as many states turn 50:

‘Africa is sick; very sick indeed. It is safe to state that at 50, there is nothing to celebrate. Rather than celebrate, Africa should be engaged in a moment of soul searching to find out where we went wrong and to generate ideas about how to resolve the myriad problems afflicting the continent…



‘There is no gainsaying that Africa is a victim of its colonial heritage. It is also true that many African problems are self inflicted. For that reason, according to Peter Schwab, Africa is its own worst enemy.

‘As Africa enters the second half of the century, there is a compelling need for it to eschew all pretensions to celebration and to use the opportunity of the moment to search for viable solutions to its plethora of problems. Our collective failure enjoins us to do a lot of soul searching at this point of our history rather than celebrate a failed past in anticipation of a bleaker future. Africa and the black race in general need to take their destiny into their own hands once again. Time has come for all black people of this world to invoke the spirits of Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, CLR James, the Osagyefo Mwalimu and others whose mere mention of name give us the inspiration, courage and hope to start all over again, in seeking a path of glory they once laid out for us.

The time to build and improve on what they started for our collective survival in a mercilessly competitive world is now. Waiting for dictators that preside over the destiny of most of the continent at present to pave that path to glory is simply foolhardy, if not suicidal.”



Kumekucha

Kumekucha explains how he believes the ruling elite plan to rig the August Referendum for the proposed new Kenyan Constitution:

‘Folks I am afraid that I have more bad news for you concerning the new constitution most of us are yearning for. Let me start by confessing that for a person with my years of experience I was rather naïve to believe that those who own Kenya would ever allow for an electoral system that they did not have any control over. The truth is that the so called “tamper-proof” electoral roll has already been tampered with and non-existent voters introduced. And since it is NOT the same electoral roll that we will go to the general elections with, the only conclusion is that the intention is to rig the August 4th Referendum.

‘The game plan by the powerful owners of Kenya is for the NO camp to catch up with the YES majority so that the difference is around 20% or less. What will then happen is that NO will win with a very slim majority. Enough to deny most Kenyans what they are yearning for so much that they can no longer sleep too well. Those wh o have read the document and realize the sweeping changes it will bring into the country and the deadly blow it will deal to impunity.

‘What really scares me is that so far these powerful forces have been able to get things done through the NSIS and have even influenced the judiciary to make certain bizarre rulings. To me that is evidence enough that they are quite capable of going ahead with their well laid plan even as the president tires himself crisscrossing the country campaigning for a new constitution.’


BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAMBAZUKA NEWS

* Dibussi Tande blogs at Scribbles from the Den.