Today is Africa Day (May 24), an occasion of high Tartuffery, stuffed dashikis and the usual self-importance.
But rather than do the obvious and sound off about terrible ironies in the light of current events — an unsophisticated tack that has, like the poor Somali shopkeeper up the road, been done to death — I thought we’d muddle through the column with seemingly random thoughts, the odd insult and maybe a few questions until we reached a conclusion of sorts. Ready?
Anyone listening to the SABC this week would have heard the buffoonish cackle, “Africa Day — because Africa belongs to all of us.”
Which is true. Particularly if you’re an international petro-chemical company or mining house. God help the African who grazes his cattle on land rich in minerals or oil. Because Africa certainly doesn’t belong to him.
And it certainly doesn’t belong to the Zimbodians.
Did you know that, at an emergency meeting last month in response to the Zimbabwean crisis, civil society organisations declared today Stand Up For Zimbabwe Day?
It was their response to the Mugabe regime’s campaign of murder and terror — a campaign that appears to enjoy Pretoria’s approval.
Anyway, we have been invited to observe at least one minute of silence at noon today to show our solidarity with the very people we are hounding out of the country.
But moving on.
Yesterday SAFM ’s AM Live interviewed Musa Xulu, convener of the African Renaissance Conference.
The conference is part of the 10th African Renaissance Festival, which takes place in Durban today and tomorrow and the highlight of which is a concert today featuring Johnny Clegg.
What I found interesting was Xulu’s description of Clegg (as if such a thing were necessary), not as an African, but as a “person who has embraced African culture”.
It’s a small thing, and perhaps I’m making too much of it, but how can we ever begin to tackle xenophobia if, even at such a basic level of communication, our language is so concerned with this “otherness” of others?
There are many questions that we need to ask ourselves. Why does Aziz Pahad squeak? Who is responsible for Winnie Madikizela- Mandela’s millinery? And why can’t she pass a few old hats on to Frankenmanto, whose wigs seem to have been startled into open revolt?
But other questions are perhaps a little more pertinent: why do the ubuntu- crazed mobs chant Umshini Wam, the love song of Dancin’ Jacob Zuma, our next president, as they hound foreigners?
Speaking of which, can Kangaman really be that much worse than Thabo Mbeki? The call for special xenophobia courts — desperation, or what?
Does this stuff scare you as much as it does me?
Isn’t it depressing that Afro-pessimists are all so Colonel Blimpish? And why are they so boring? And why can’t there be such a thing as Afro-Buddhism? Show me a gorgeous Afro-Buddhist and I’ll happily let her rub my tummy. For luck, even.
But can Afro-Buddhism help people like the Freedom Front Plus’s Pieter Mulder? Last weekend, in Brussels, his party was welcomed into the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples’ Organisation — a move that the FF+, with no trace of irony, lists as one of its greatest achievements to date. As Mulder put it, “(UNPO) is an organisation that fights for the right of the world’s silent voices.”
Which may or may not be a good thing. But there are times when we, in fact, welcome a little silence.
And not necessarily just for the battered Zimbos.
From: The Times
10 ways to control your anger - Professional expert’s advice
I am really emotional and excitable person. I think that there are two types of anger: constructive anger and a destructive one. In order to understand the anger phenomenon I decided to investigate the nature of anger, reasons of its appearing, key factors and anger management.
What does it mean this anger? Anger is a strong indignation feeling of our emotional sphere that is attended by self-control losing. Anger is a signal of our state. Glands produce an array of hormones that have a great and deep effect on all our body. The main participants of this process are adrenaline and cortisol. They activate cardiovascular system and consequently all organs. Adrenalin causes fast heart beating, rising blood pressure. These rich oxygenated blood streams to the places are responsible for reaction. Thus some extra energy is released.
There are 4 basic ways of anger expressions:
1. Straight and immediately (verbally or nonverbally) to show your anger. It gives an opportunity to free from the negative emotions.
2. To express anger in an indirect way. In this case usually suffer persons that are weaker, not dangerous and those ones who “come to hand”, usually they are our family and close relatives. Thus we hurt our dear ones. One of the best ways is to express your anger to the person who is the source of this very anger. If it is impossible- better find some compromise.
3. Restraining anger you “drive” it deep inside. So, negative emotions store will provoke a big stress sooner or later.
4. You may foresee situation of anger feeling, try not to expand this feeling but get to know the reason, understand and solve it. A Roman philosopher Seneca said: “When you are feeling of ascending “volcano”- stand still, not doing anything- not speaking, not moving.”
Anger is a normal and natural human feeling, especially nowadays as life is really fast and we have a huge amount of information to accumulate (in comparison with our previous generations). The range of anger is rather wide: from a slight annoyance to impetuous fury. Anger can be quick and long, lasting for years in form of bitterness, vengeance or hate. Anger can lead to health issues like depression, high blood pressure, hearth diseases, stresses, alcohol dependence and obesity. If you are anger- express it. If you feel discomfort from these “negative splashes”- then we can give some techniques how to manage your emotional anger:
- 1. Take a deep and continuous breath. Count up to 50 or imagine your aggressor just naked, only in socks. This will help you to calm and smile.
- 2. Have a walk. Look at high sky. Continue to breathe deep and easily. So you appraise the situation and calm down.
- 3. Do some physical exercises. When you are angry- your body is very tensed and tough. If you stretch your muscles it will relax your body, as you will spill out all your negative energy into action. Your brains will get more oxygen and it assists to clear your thoughts.
- 4. Write down all your thoughts. Write down that you are mad and why. Avoid being rational, logical or laconic. Write on paper all you are feeling this moment. Try to write all in details. The function of this technique is to shift all your anger out of your head on paper.
- 5. Be grateful. Find someone to thank. Do you not forget about yourself. Thank that you have woken up today, thank that that the Sun is shining for you, that the sky is blue and the grass is green.
- 6. Prayer. Ask God to be with you during this anger moment and lead you.
- 7. Meditation. Close your eyes, look into solar plexus, and be all your anger, breathing deeply.
- 8. Change of places. Move yourself on your enemy’s place. And look at situation from his point of view. Better look at the situation from the ceiling. Focus on details, especially on funny and absurd ones. Strive to forgive your enemy as well as forgive truly yourself.
- 9. Go back to your childhood memories. Recollect state when you were angry. Hug this child and say: “All is ok. I am here. You are good child. I love you and I will not leave you.”
- 10. Your values. What is the most significant thing in your life? Who are the most important people in your life? What kind of person do you want to be? Think and accept that point that you are living your life, and you are living your values. There is a good man inside you that wants to help you. I wish you good luck!
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