Text: Xola Skosana
Photograph: Supplied

We have been extracted from our natural environment and rendered defenceless to all kinds of onslaughts, including diseases we never knew existed due to our fortitude and resilience. We used to leave next to open fields and breathe clean air, we ate food that came out of our own gardens and fresh meat that did not stay months on end in refrigerators.

How can we protect ourselves from sickness when we have no control over what we eat and what we drink? They monopolize everything, including seedlings that we need to plant organic fruit and vegetables.

Our lives have been disrupted and uprooted, our environment has been contaminated. Our languages, our cultures and our religions, the very pillars of human existence, have suffered obscurity and decay.

We are now subjected to a daily near death existence. It smacks of the notorious population control measures of yesteryear. If tuberculosis doesn't kill you, sugar diabetes will, if high blood pressure doesn't kill you, let alone the likelihood of contracting HIV and AIDS and die of opportunistic diseases, a myriad of stress induced diseases are waiting for you in every turn.

You may be lucky enough and escape the above, still a house on fire, a knife or a bullet may end your life if you stay in the Townships of South Africa. We're in the middle of a biological warfare and we don't even know it.

Take a leaf from the plant kingdom to appreciate the trouble we're in. A slight imbalance caused in the ecosystem can destabilize life and render every living organisms vulnerable, sometimes to a point of extinction.

We now have alien plants that cause severe erosion and drought to what used to be fertile soil. We have plants from Australia, from the UK taking vast areas of Land. Our own indigenous plants now suffer because of this intrusion. Plants from the Northern hemisphere are of a different nature to plants that are in their natural environment in the Southern hemisphere.

This phenomenon mirrors Black existence. Some of the diseases that kill us and kill our cattle today, those who still have cattle, did not exist in this continent 400 years ago. We are becoming a weak species. If we don't fight back, we are going to be reduced further into hewers of wood and drawers of water.

Until we have the Land, our natural environment, until we have access to all its resources, until we own that which is beneath and above the sea, we will remain defenceless against the biological warfare waged against us by aliens!