Children of the sun

Katleho Mokhele

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Hearts of women who endured pain of parturition bleed.

Endorphin cannot muffle the pain brought to them

By your chicanery.

Their hearts bleed

They yelp and plead

Who planted this evil seed?

Beings of forefathers whom you consider misbegotten expostulate

Exaltation lives not in them any longer as they await

Your conciliatory gestures.

They try to lead

This rowdy stampede

What kind is this breed?

Voices of ancestors cry out to The Deity to interfere.

A deleterious conflagration be set on the recalcitrant

Demons incarnate, they curse.

Heavens forbid!

Your deeds are wicked indeed

How come you decide to recede?

Minds of yourselves think of your own culture as a Byzantine bygone.

Amity and blood ties fade as time elapses, as you deign

To accept destiny.

You were born in this Reed

And you knew no wicked deed

When will you realise your need?

Souls of yourselves run amok because you have the volition.

You believe you are on the horns of dilemma yet you choose

The soft option.

Tradition, modernity, you mid

Blasphemy you never hid

Why do you still take no heed?

Six Feet Under and

Fifteen Minutes to Death

Twenty-first Century

Dear Youth,

You are deviating from the righteous path. We warn you.

You are opposing your own roots. We need you.

You are our children. We love you.



The Nation Has Lost Its Pulchritude

Its Monicker Has Lost Its Reverence

This Is Who You Have Become.

_Katleho Mokhele_

Voter Fraud, African Continental Anthem

By Bongani Mwonzora

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“Not only was it solitary and scary, but also painful inside the bitter brutal cell at Robben Island, but it is an obligation of every young person of any nation, to bring down oppression and raise banners of freedom." - Barrack Obama Mandela funeral 2013.

Presidential elections in Africa to a larger extent are not necessary, except for their mandatory nature in fulfilling the democratic process. I enjoy witnessing the election processes take place, from the nominations, rallies, hope, energy and balloting. I enjoy more, the recent involvement of youth in the political landscape with glimmers of hope to carry the redemption banners of their nations after probably unseating long ruling old leaders and revolutionary parties. However, I ironically enjoy seeing these pro-democracy young leaders getting defeated by dictators in broad day light, them running to the courts to dispute the election, and losing, and then the most interesting part satirically- them declaring themselves winners in broad daylight. While this may seem prejudicial to the young black charismatics , this is day dreaming in futility.

I followed the Ugandan elections with Ssentamu Robert "Bobi Wine" Kyagulanyi on the spotlight, finally going to unseat Museveni who got in power when Bobi was only four. Ugandans were blanketed with a thick canvas of hope, others probably preparing pomp and fanfare for the inauguration. It was quite unequivocal that tyranny and dictatorship were finally going to vanquish from the nation of Uganda. Despite Bobi having been detained and on several scenarios his motorcade attacked, vehicles impounded and security men and supporters killed, their hope was on the ballot. They were filled with this 'suffer-to-win' spirit which I believe was a great gesture of resilience and strength.

The election day came, people voted and from the look of things Bobi was winning, I mean that's what sitting African presidents do - start with the areas in which you won to uplift your hopes then boom they do what they know best! I salute Bobi and fellow youth who have shown courage even in all adversities. Bobi is a generational lion. However, let this be known that it is very complicated if not impossible to unseat using the ballot someone who got in power using the gun.

African opposition politicians should not get into elections whose outcomes are predetermined only to cry foul after losing. The next steps are predictable, one goes to the courts and lose because they are captured. Boycotting will not help either. It should then be known that there's nothing such as a free and fair election, the problem even extended to the US.

One thing that opposition politicians and youth leaders should do if they hope to use the ballot to remove long time rulers is push forward reforms. The electoral commissions should be independent and more than one. There should be even playgrounds prior to the elections for instance, if Museveni is given 5 hours on the National TV of Uganda, then Bobi should also get those. The critical masses, International Organisations, AU, SADC, UN should be involved if there's little or no cooperation from either of the two.

It is of paramount importance that observers from each political party that contested should be found at each hierarchical stage of vote counting till announcement of results for the avoidance of doubt.

If processes like these are not followed, opposition politicians and youths should forget and smile about unseating dictators. Issues of contested legitimacy will always be rampant.

Yes, everyone from Seoul, Amsterdam and Glasgow; Papua Guinea, Buenos Aires and Washington DC knows this- that popularity can win elections, but this is inapplicable to Africa at present. Perceived popularity is not equal to power. It's just mere populism. There's that process of turning the people into votes and secure the votes till announcement. Otherwise the tale will remain the same- that of voter fraud and manipulation. We need to act fast!

The savanna billionaires

By Thabolwethu T Maphosa

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From a very tender age I've been fascinated by nature and the events which take place within each and every ecosystem within her. In my fascination I began to realise that in nature there is a well of lessons to draw from. Determined to learn I picked out one of my favourite African predators and studied it. The wild dog is undeniably top ranking in the Savanna hunting hierarchy with a success rate of 85%. This is mind blowing considering that it is not the fastest nor the strongest of African predators. How does this hunting mogul do it? What sets it at par from other known and celebrated predators like the lion, cheetah, leopard to name a few? Its success secret lies in some basic principles it possesses and follows.

In a pack of wild dogs there is one top ranking alpha male who usually leads the chase and chooses the prey. In scattering the group of targets he singles out the most ideal, locks on the chosen quarry and his team follows his lead with trust and confidence. This proper leadership structure in wild dogs ensures order and gives them a basic central aim. Although the alpha male is top ranking it is hard to tell him apart from his subordinates because of the strong sense of community the pack has. This perhaps might be a good lesson in the human space as it shows us that true winning leadership depends less on superiority but more on community which is centred on trust and confidence. We are inclined to follow those who have our best interest in mind and not the toxic egocentric exploitative bosses. This mindset is evident in the event of a successful kill by the wild dogs, they eat together at the same time and not in a hierarchical fashion as lions do.

By comparison a cheetah is way faster than the dog with a top speed of about 110km per hour compared to the latter's 64km per hour. In a chase a cheetah can run up to 64km per hour but for only about 274m before it tires. Which means if its quarry is able to duck and turn it can run scot free from the demoralised sprinter, giving the poor cheetah a hunting success rate of around 40 to 50%. Mr Lycaon pictus(wild dog) on the other hand though slower is able by endurance to keep up a pace of 48km per hour for an astonishing 5km. They tire their prey by running relentlessly after it and through discipline avoid being disturbed by any other darting and tempting quarry in the vicinity. They fix their eyes on the prize and make a run for it. The battle for greatness and worthwhile achievement does not belong to the faster but to the slow and steady. Too much speed and you will tire and give up but a steady safe consistent pace then you are guaranteed to run for longer and stay in the game until your dreams are fulfilled. Many a time we are obsessed about the end goal and we forget that between our dreams and our present state there is a space and that space is called the process. So the man who is more obsessed about the chase more than the prey tires his target and wins the race.

The king of the jungle weighs in at about 189kg, equipped with muscle and raw fierceness he is the largest land predator in Africa affording him the name 'king of the jungle'. But his strength does not correlate with hunting success as he has a disappointing success rate of 30%.

Although the kings are strong they are easily distracted. Bearing in mind that after each kill the meal is eaten in a hierarchical way the guys at the lowest rung of the pride are left with the crumbs and this happens irrespective of their effort in the hunt. This means even though lions hunt as a group they are less motivated because the spoils are enjoyed mostly by the top lions. In contrast the dogs kill as a family and they eat as a family. This gives us another winning strategy to use in our businesses: do it to serve others. People who start service based businesses and value their employees and customers more than profits always win and make more profits as a by product of their service. The dogs have a greater cause for their mission than their individual selves, the whole pack is responsible for feeding the puppies at the den. So for our life dreams to be full of meaning and purpose let us make sure that they are coupled with serving others and making the world a better place.

The dogs have big round ears which have two basic functions, the first is to increase their scope of hearing and the other is for the dog to cool itself during a run. Their hearing prowess comes in handy as most of their prey has a camouflage which renders it invisible in the thickets. They hear twice the frequencies humans hear and they can pick up ambient sounds 25 meters away. So as much as the quarry can hide, any slight movement and the wild dog will pounce on it. The winners in life have a keen sense of hearing(metaphorically), they are good listeners.

They are able to sit down with others and listen to the ambient noise of their succes stories and pick up strategies that they can use in their own journeys. They are able to keep quiet and listen to the sounds that croon in the depths of their souls giving them a central life aim and sense of

direction. Maybe sometimes to win we might as well try to close our eyes and open our ears, for if we listen deep enough we might get rid of the ignorance that plagues our society.

If in nature the obscure wild dog triumphs over the celebrated lions, cheetahs and leopards it means that every person in any given space has the right to greatness if they can master the principles used by the wild dogs. If one has a chief aim in life it will prevent her from being disturbed by the dazzling short term gains. If we will learn to endure the process rather than rushing it maybe we might be able to keep on fighting for things to be better. In learning to work with others cooperatively we might get more things done and get farther in life. Maybe in having a strong self leadership which has other people's best interests in mind we might be able to influence more people and make theirs lives better and make fortunes as a by product. The tactics of the Savanna Billionaires can be a winning formula in our different walks of life, let's try and see where they will leave us at.

Thabolwethu T Maphosa



How to write about Zimbabwe

By Bongani Mwonzora

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How to write about Zimbabwe

When you land your foot on the airport or across the boarders, the ambience of the dark chocolate skins gleaming in the sun blinds you. The warmth of the savanna climate immediately strikes you; so do the mosquitoes. The poverty that detractors attribute to Zimbabwe is more of an implicit problem than an explicit one, yet despite all of this Zimbabweans have not fallen as a people!

You meet the hungry street pauper, singing hymns and choruses on the pavements imploring you to shed off even the lightest feather. Yet on the same streets you find flamboyant Mercedes Benz and Range Rovers to just make a loud statement. How classy a country it is! Yet despite the classes, each citizen has found his niche and thrives there.

There is something about the streets of the capital- Harare, something like a mysterious aura that endows the residents with a certain pronounced degree of self-assertion. They don’t look broke, they look all classy in the designer stylish cargo pants, dungarees and scorched jeans, but the fact is that the majority of them are. These clothes are imported from The Europe and USA, but through the ‘bales.’ They are pre-owned. The lovely part is that Zimbabweans don’t like to make explicit their poverty.

The problem is that Zimbabwe has been marred by lack of a voice. The proverbial ‘buzz’ of a country. This is because of the absence of grassroots storytelling. The truth about the matter is Zimbabwe, as well as Africa is not a bush. It is a sovereign nation with pride in its own style. When you pen the story of Zimbabwe you use words like ‘exchange rate, twabam, Mbare, Eco Cash, dem loot.’ Mbare is a famous market in Zimbabwe with a lot of Small to Medium enterprises and lots of underground informal activities. ‘Dem loot’ is a Zimbabwean slogan against corruption or against looting. The genesis of this trending hashtags is attributed to the firebrand investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono.

You ask a small kid in elementary school what the sum of six and five is. “It’s eleven in real life”, they tell you, “but thirteen with ecocash.” People are so obsessed with the exchange rate between the Zimbabwean bond notes and the US dollar. Paradoxically, Zimbabwe has high literacy rates towering above an astounding 90%. Isn’t that amazing?

You also might not leave very influential names- names such that if you say negative things about, you face the wrath of the Zimbabwean especially on Twitter and Instagram.

Names like ‘Winky D’, ‘Jah Prayzah’, Prophet Passion Java and the late socialite Genius ‘Ginimbi’ Kadungure- leave them or don’t say anything negative about them.

Finally, you talk about the political landscape and problems of contested legitimacy, which commenced after the 2018 disputed presidential elections. The political polarisation in Zimbabwe is not something you can leave out, lest Zimbabwean commoners will doubt the authenticity of your research.

You might not NEED winter clothes for the next 10 YEARS!

Shingai Choto, CEO of Mugshot Zimbabwe

The Corona virus pandemic has shown us what a global crisis looks like, but the thing is we really weren’t adequately prepared for it. Yet another severe global crisis is steadily approaching and with this one we may not have much time, BUT we are able to prevent it if we start working NOW!! The global crisis I am talking about is Climate Change which is happening right now as you are reading this. The key questions to really think about are:

* Must we change?

* Can we change?

* Will we change?

We are spewing 152 tons of man made global warming pollution into the thin shell of our atmosphere every 24 hours, as if it’s an open sewer. And we wonder why 19 of the 20 hottest years in record occurred since the year 2001. The hottest of all these has been the last 5 years. So in the next 10 years we may not need winter clothes if we don’t change.

More than 90% of all the extra heat energy trapped by our atmosphere is going to the oceans. This is disrupting the water cycle. Hence the extreme precipitation events leading to record flooding, which has been occurring all over the world. Just take a moment and think about. Tamil Nadu, India (December 2, 2015) the floods that happened then. Floods in Florida, Miami Beach on the 29th of September, 2015. Maybe I’m hitting too far from home. On the 4th of March, 2019, Cyclone Idai hit causing damage worth 2.2 billion dollars. 1 303 fatalities. This is no coincidence!!! Open your eyes before it’s too late. Climate Change is likely to lead to food and water shortages, more pandemic diseases and many more natural disasters across the globe. You and I clearly have work to do. So the question comes again.

* Must we change? Resounding YES!

* Can we change? Yes, because WE are and have the solutions.

Why don’t we start small by Re-using, Recycling and Reducing the carbon foot print as we work towards preventing the climate change global crisis.

The AfriCAN Message

Denver Musamirapamwe, Young Award-winning debater and Leo Member




I Affirm, I do have the resources. I have each and every spec l need to achieve self-sustainability. The wildlife in upper-crust is flourishing and so is each and every creature that is breathing the last particle of my fresh air. In full access of every mineral I need to generate funds to make sure each and every family reaches a state of self-actualisation. From the diamond hub of Botswana down south, extended to the oil that flows in my cherished Nigeria. With the innovative two-legged creatures in each and every spot of my industrialised parts, running from the east to the west. Promising radical transformations in all the aspects of me that I am not proud of. So without significant absentia of properties needed to acquire greatness, what is my problem? Is it the annual criticism I face from my brothers and sisters floating around me? Is it the absentia of the same properties that my fellow brothers and sisters find mutual? ‘You are backward Africa!’ ‘You lack the future Africa!’ I question whether these insults are mere lies, or some- what an indirect blow of factuality to my crusty skin. I begin to wonder why my brothers come to me to extract my precious minerals. I am marveled when l see my children, my Africans running away from me. If only they released.

Of course, there is a validated reason behind this metaphoric small insight of factual truth. Dear African, embrace your skin and cherish the benefits of it. Dear student, embrace your Zimbabwe, cherish your nation and bring home what you want from abroad. Dear African parent, stop cultivating the forsaken mentality that academics is the only formula to your child’s future. Dear leaders of states, revise your will to corrupt ways and create a better place for the leader and child of tomorrow. Dear Africa fight for self-dependence and you can sustain multitudes on your own. Dear reader, it’s in you and you alone. Innovate, motivate and prospect to the brighter Africa! It’s not today when we will achieve greatness. Neither is it talking about yesterday that will clear the problems of today. But, it is the planning and acting of tomorrow that will make the future of Africa bright. Versus the rest- Europe, America, Asia… we have one message from each and every African - Africa moves, Africa grows and definitely Africa improves.