Tag Archive: african

The first paragraph that stood out for me strongly in this book about Robert Sobukwe and resonated completely, was this one which spoke into my validification as an African [or as my mate, Nkosi, would put it, “Afrikan”].

From Chapter 13 of ‘Robert Sobuke: How Can Man Die Better’ by Benjamin Pogrund:

‘And on his attitude to whites he spoke with passion: “I know I have been accused of being anti-white, not only by the government, but also by others. But there is not one who can quote any statement of mine that bears that out. When I say “Africa for the Africans” I have always made clear that by African I mean those, of any colour, who accept Africa as their home. Colour does not mean anything to me.” 

Not only was this a re-statement of his known position but, as we went on talking, what emerged was that he had thought further into some of the practicalities of applying Africanist thinking.’ [page 204]


i like these words – not because i need anyone else to tell me i am African or that it is okay for me to think that – that is something i just know and feel to the core of my being. But it is great to hear that someone who seems to be very much respected amongst many black communities, thought the same way.

[For the next post extract from this book looking at ‘Enemy Thoughts’, click here]


One of the most moving times of the whole weekend was actually right near the beginning, when after arriving at Robben Island, and dropping our stuff off at our rooms, we met together for introductions.

We had to go around the room and introduce ourselves and say why we were there. i had the task of following my incredibly gifted wife who has such a powerful way with words that she immediately won over the room with her talk of being the salt Elisha threw into the poisoned water in 2 Kings 2 which immediately purified the water which had caused death and miscarriages until that moment. And how she wants to be used in the same way, in this country, where waters have been polluted and poisoned…

i decided to just speak from the heart and in a diverse room of passionate people, spoke about how i see myself as African and this was an opportunity to dig deeper into the story of my country that i care so much about. Seeing my new friend Nkosi nodding, as if to say, ‘Yes, you are African. You are one of us.’ and just generally feeling a sense of love and acceptance in that small circle of people was such a powerful and moving moment for me.

i am NOT European. i was born here and have lived here for the majority of my life and this is my home and my land.

i am African. despite what some may say because of the colour of my skin.

i am African. and i wear it proudly.

a phrase i heard on the weekend, which i love and am going to adopt, is the title, ‘Man of the soil’ and that is what i am.

i am African. deal with it.


[For part iii of our Journey to Robben Islans looking at the spirit of the island, click here]

hm, after the richness of 23 which i could have explored a lot more and in greater depth, i found 24 a bit more of a dig. nice poetic vibe and all, but not a lot jumping out at me and so maybe this is one where a bunch of you can chime in with your suggestions…

i guess the one thing that stood out is the beginning which reads – ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.’ [vs. 1-2]

this kinda reminds me of something i have been saying, or at least writing, a lot lately, especially in the welcome letters to people who come and visit the simple way – be still and know that He is God – take a moment to remember that this story is all about Him. we do like to make it all about us, but it’s not. and the same goes for the planet. kind of like the idea of colonisation – the white man arrives [it’s always ‘the blasted white man’] and moves into land that clearly has other people living on it and proudly declares that ‘we have discovered this land’. now a huge focus all around the world in recentish times [lets go with decades] has been that, “no, in fact this is not your land, we the native Americans/Africans/Australasians were here before you and what right have you to come and take our land and claim it as your own.” important point and really needs to be examined and worked out and repentance/restoration/reconciliation needs to happen for sure… however, that is not the complete truth as ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it…’ And so even before the native peoples were on that particular piece of land, there is Someone who is making a previous ownership claim.

and so this becomes a stewardship question. whoever you are, this story is not about you, it is the story of God and you have been invited to become an active part of that story. wherever you are is not land that actually belongs to you but to God and He has invited you to look after it well, in such a way that it exists in good shape for generations to come.

we have a lot of work to do. and i guess 24 did have something in it…

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