6 Jun 2023 ///

Why Every Month Is Africa Month

Happy Africa Month bo lovey! Yes, I said what I said, sweetpea because ‘round here EVERY MONTH IS AFRICA MONTH – well…if that’s even what you still want to call after all the babes’ name isn’t even ‘Africa’. Nope not at all, that identity is at most just some nickname conveniently bestowed upon us by the Romans during their heydays. And much like the story of the popular kid at school releasing the new terms and conditions within the burn book – it too became the new law.

So let’s run it back, waaaaay back. Like BC back.

“Hi, my name is Cush, sometimes known as Chushi or Cushitic and like many of my inhabitants I too have a much easier to pronounce name, Africa.
Surprised? I thought not.
See on my side of the world, names aren’t just pronouns made for summoning responses. They are a prophecy. A sneak peak into the future and one’s contribution to their community – the culture…tradition – regardless of the nicknames you choose or are cornered to go by. You can’t run away from origin, from destiny.
Cush, because the world stays getting high off my shit.“

Woooo chile, look… I’ve often wondered what the embodiment of our muva, the natal of humankind, the cradle – as per the scientific findings in her most southern region – Africa would have to say if ever given the chance. Would she be completely over our nonsense? How have we, and those that came before us, have traded her stability, her growth and future – for natural resources, for profit and plunder? I wonder if perhaps she’d be kind, soft, understanding with a wisdom and comprehension that precedes anything we’ve ever come across – that’s the sense one gets, being on this continent. That Africa’s ability to go forward, despite it all, is more powerful than can be spoken.

intombi yemfula

blacck joy

Once science realised that the oldest known hominids – what scientists decided to call our pre-evolved selves – dating an approximate of 3 million years ago, indeed lived, breathed and originated right here in Mzansi…uhm wouldn’t that just make us all African? Children of the great Cushitic? I think sometimes us South Africans forget that we live in the cradle of humankind. Technically speaking all nations as you see them today at one point nestled from the same bosoms and like a child – after years of trial, error, cultivation by your surroundings, the curiosity that comes with individualism, growth, evolution and finally exploration  – we left our mother’s side, some for something better, others not so much but all in an aim to make her even more prouder I believe. The dirty south is also ironically the place where the shiniest of jewels are found but you know what they say about diamonds  – pressure baby! Our mining history is a story for another day. 

It would take lifetimes of writing to fully encapsulate what Africa has given the world. I started looking further north before, then east, then west so as to not overwhelm myself. You know trying to follow the thread that stitches moments into eras into bigger pictures – because honey everything is connected! EVERYTHING! Now how can I talk Africa without noting the fact that our former and fellow queens have been pushing the #FREETHENIPPLE since well, hey before Suckerburg claimed beef against it let alone hashtags being a thing? Or how the girlies have been stunting stiletto nails but for less fashionable and surprisingly more functional reasons than we currently do; Queen Nenzima of the Mangbetu people of Congo was the first woman to be photographed with stiletto nails, but who knows how long the tradition has occurred on the continent? Cue today, and nail salons the world over continue to preserve it.

The indigenous ways of living with nature versus against nature were non-negotiable for our predecessors, who made sure to get a cosign from mother earth as they slowly evolved. Unlike the hustle and bustle of this reality and its harsh climatic consequences we now face; I wonder, how much of human-made climate change would be occurring if a whole host of choices hadn’t been made to extract all resources and habits on our planet? 

We see this in the North’s ancient and almost impossible to duplicate Architectural style. Egypt the mother of all architectural enigmas – buildings that damn near scrape the sky made of only natural products, surviving centuries of natural elements, housing bloodlines of royalty! Fast forward to today, with all this beautiful, strong machinery and advanced sciences, we still somehow find ourselves in the boardroom debating on how to properly execute green cities, sustainable living or dare I say it ways in which we can unfuck the ozone – the planet! Chile, it’s almost like a cha-cha dance, one step forward only to take two steps back. Except these steps each seem to take about a few centuries to develop only for us to be like oops – we already knew how to do this! I simply cannot make this shit up.


By God and Melanin

We’re literally using the same exact sciences developed from the math discovered, in the very same Egypt against ourselves. It’s starting to feel like a weird season of masterchef except I’m Gordon Ramsey yelling into the abyss – or at least at Shell because a couple of years ago (3000 BCE to be exact) someone miscalculated and jazzed up the formula all in the name of innovation. It’s true what they say, if it ain’t broke, aht aht aht

Kodwa hey, gotta love being human, more especially an earthing who happens to still reside in the natal – a little closer to the heart and on a really good day you may find yourself within earshot of her divine whispers. Yet somehow even though we live in an era of ‘appropriation’ when sharing and caring – ubuntu –  it comforts me knowing that there’s no form of development of one’s society untouched by our beloved muva. In all my travels, I still feel deeply connected to the truth of living. 

Teachings from the Eastern regions will brutally remind you of this, that ‘If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together’. A wake a call, much like their beloved coffee, reminding you that honey, you’re but a vessel trapped within this space and time, servicing the future. When did the credit become greater than the gift? The vessel greater than its contents? This Africa month I just wanted to remind you that our history – your history – has been captured and documented thoroughly. Worry not bo lovie. She’s been interpreted, translated and redefined in infinite ways like the living art she is. She divinely whispers to you in everything you do, and everywhere you go. You see her on the faces of strangers, new garments, buildings, ideologies, a taste of your favourite sweet chocolate and so much more. 

Lest you forget, humans are creatures of habit, and if you agree with me in saying that we’re all connected then well, how could I not see home when I look at you? 

How can I not say, Sawubona?  

Happy African Month, every month, ya’ll! Always remember, I am because we are.

Gone Looking for God

Mother Of All

Images by ThuthuKani Myeza @Only4Display

Written by: Thandiwe Magwaza

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