We Are Not A People Of Yesterday: A Memory Lost To Time

The ancestors say we were once wind surfers, roaming the earth, enjoying its bounty and healing ourselves with its knowledge. We lived in perpetual motion, transcending spoken words and feeding off the rhythmic vibrations that radiated from the echoing voices of young boys herding cattle, or from palms of mothers breast-feeding children and at times, from the backs of our fathers tilling the land. We spoke AFURA and kept our third eye open, listening to the heartbeat of AFU-RI-KA. We were travelers of land through water. We knew where we belonged. We always returned there. We were true to our past, comfortable in our present and eager for our future.

We took what we needed from the earth and paid homage to every foliage that gave us energy and shelter. Our eyes were acromic to skin tones and if you were a similar species we, of course approached you with caution, but once we felt your rhythmic vibrations it became a bussing affair. Universal truths of unhu and Maat governed our lives. Each of us knew that we were refugees on this planet. Some of us started communities based on principles of love, peace and respect. The winds became our satellite navigators and the Annunaki gave us sacred knowledge and the toll to start the first civilisation. We migrated from place to place setting up homes close to kinfolk. Our playfulness manifested in our enjoyment of music, poetry, storytelling, philosophy, sciences, spiritually, culture, arithmetic and art. Those of us who felt the magnetic pull to settle did so with blessings from AFU-RI-KA. Those who spoke to the earth with a single thought kept the vibrations paced in search of that open space Afu-ri-ka had reserved for them.

We chose a harmonic space nestled between three mountains with views of wild orchids hiding our totem carriers. We felt at peace with the earth, the sky and all that was in between. We build kinships with baobab trees, we learned from the fish how to swim and Shumba, the guardian of animal culture, permitted us to consume certain mammals. We brokered agreements with Oxen to plough the land by harnessing their strength. Dogs and cats extended their companionship and we drew up peace treaties with all our friends in the jungle. We meditated to the earth’s axial movements and at no fracture in space continuum did we claim to know what we did not know.

On a good summer day our elders recounted their escapades at the beginning of time and the fabrication of the singular thread in the tapestry that is Alpha and Omega. They could number every star in the heavens, the grains of sand on our virgin beaches and dunes, the number of rain droplets that have fertilised our land and those contained in our rivers and oceans. Watching the sunset resurrected age-old rituals of singing to the wind tracing our history and the wind singing back to us telling tales of our origins. We are not a people of yesterday. We were taught to uphold the principles of ubuntu. Morning mist air particles are not enough to trace the millions of our people who glided through these valleys gathering vitamins to feed children of Afu-ri-ka. We are not people of yesterday.

The drum carried our aspirations and fears. Through our cadence for equality and well-being, we chased away caducity that we knew could cause a hellish disturbance to our rhythmic vibrations. Some say we had never experienced these diluvia for eons. We frowned to teach our kinfolks to act wisely and we laughed to show honesty, transparency and friendliness. We cried to show our dolour and we remembered to tell the truth. Ours was a life of oblivion serenity filled with idealistic muttering, bickering and laughter. We relied on the wind to deposit news of the world on our domes. The wind spoke the truth.

Lefatshe was the first to hear it; a distant clash of vibrations that went straight for her Achilles’ heel. This rhythmic vibration conjured in Lefatshe’s mind a vision of an echeveria nestled amongst a colony of elephants. It spoke of cold places, dark passages and draconian thinking. Lefatshe lost her balance...$...$... ££££... £$...$$€€€€…$$$$.

Our great hearers and seers felt it but in different ways. Those close to Afu-ri-ka saw the future of this vibration and spoke the truth. They told us to be wary of strangers from the desert and the sea. We were told they were distant kinfolks, forged from the same source but different in behaviour. We were told to identify them by their skin, nose, hair, eyes and tongue. “Beware of the annihilators! Consumers of other beings, bent on spewing clones of self”. These words sounded foreign and questionable. “Beware the echovirus! It is their past time to unplug our rhythmic vibration from the source, calling each flibbertigibbet a being in itself different in every way”. Our third eye flickered. Some of us saw the insides of the eyelid – blank and devoid of neither truth nor lies but knowing the past nevertheless. Those who saw beyond the eyelid witnessed pillagers from the skies and sea slaughtering our seers and champions of Afu-ri-ka. They came holding firepower in their right hand and mind erasures in their left hand. They frolicked amongst us and took our kinship to satisfy their denied sustenance.

Our unsuspicious nature got the better of us and we ignored our wind talkers and invited the visitors in. We let them study our way of life. We allowed them to present themselves to us as us. We had never experienced cultural sharing as we lived as one. The land was bountiful and we had more than we needed. The land was ours not through forceful claim but through blessings from the creator. Slowly but surely the pillagers rested and started sowing strange seeds to the winds. We were made to believe our existence was not based on the creator’s principles. “Here is salvation children of Afu-ri-ka! learn our words and way of life and you will receive everlasting happiness in the bosom of the creator”. We spoke to the creator from sunrise to sunset and most of us knew the creator was not in the habit of practicing an ordered life. This moment changed our lives forever. We, the descendants of Mutota, Kashta, Nzinga, Makeda, Shamba Bolongongo, Shabaka, Piye and Tiye failed to believe the vibration that rang so loud. We heard it, but we ignored the signs.

Those of us who remained oblivious to this meleé took the leucoderma culture and progressed away from the source. Those of us who truly listened to the wind heightened our rhythmic vibrations and attracted the pillagers who silenced us in parallel universes or through the minds of other Afu-ri-kans. Our destruction became their pre-occupation. We began to run away from our identities in fear of the pillagers. The heightened vibrations of our heroes reminded us of our place in history.

We remembered Behanzin, Hannibal, Menelek, Osei Tutu, and Taharqa. They remind us of the lineage we carry. We are not a people of yesterday. We remembered our home. We remembered Lefatshe and her vision, which brought us in contact with this treacherous vibration. We remembered Lefatshe for tuning into an alien frequency and not having the power to turn it off.

The strangers settled in our midst. Slowly and seductively they turned us away from our rhythmic vibrations and fed us malaise obliquity. We changed the way we spoke, the way we dressed, the food we ate, and the way we lived. The strategy was obiter dictum in face but malicious in intent. We became servants of our own existence. We lived in bondage in our homelands. Our heroes were slaughtered each time they attempted to communicate the ways of Afu-ri-ka. Our rhythmic vibration continued to flicker in the twilight. We are not a people without a glorious past. We are the catalysts that make the world a place of joy and colour.

Throughout our history as Afu-ri-kans we have consumed a millennia of foreign culture. It’s time we remembered our bond with Afu-ri-ka. Our heroes remind us of a glorious past but do not live long enough to deliver their message in its entirety.

It took a long stifled existence to find traces of our true voice. Many moons have passed and the old ways have become stories for tourists. Why have you forsaken us Afu-ri-ka? Do you not see the remnants of those who came from the sea and desert strangling us at a fast pace? Do you not weep for, Lumumba, Toure, Moshoeshoe, Nehanda, Nyerere, Tongogara, Garvey, Luthuli, Kenyatta, Kuti, Diop, Selassie, Machel, and Nkrumah? Do you not weep for our neighbours who were taken to strange lands to work as slaves? Do you not weep for our mothers and sisters who were raped and our fathers who were made to feel like little boys? Nowadays our history is told through songs and books. It has become an isolated samsara. We are seen as scallywags in our own back yard. We live in imposed poverty and subservient to daily education of culturally debilitating rituals.

We are not people of yesterday. Our pilgrimage back to the source is still held together by the wind. Some of us hear the whisperings. All of us will one day hear the uttering of Afu-ri-ka. Lefatshe will regain her balance...………

*Charles Nhamo Rupare’s position in the universe is at the place where music, entrepreneurship, energy, writing, travel and agriculture intersect. He currently resides in Johannesburg and works across the Afrikan and other parts of the world. He is currently working on his first fictional novel centered around the impact of witchcraft on Afrikan families.