African Pride: A Matter of Identity

photo.jpg?width=350By Jupiter Punungwe | Personally I am non-spiritual. I do not believe in anything claimed to be supernatural.

However a lot of people do. When they recount simple factual events, they often tag their beliefs along. As a result oral history in whatever form is often gathers are huge shrouded in myth and spirituality. It is not something unique to African culture.

Recently I have made it clear that I am proud of my African identity. To that end I have been discussing African people whose exploits are recounted in mythical terms.

You may have guessed right already. It wasn't long before I was accused of worshipping ancestors. The insinuation was that by talking about my ancestors I was associating with some form of evil. To be seen as good I had to dissociate myself from my ancestors.

Still, I won't be good enough until I start singing praises to the ancestors of others. What utter hogwash. Oops! Let me apologise to pigs for insulting them.

There are many histories shrouded in myth, mystery and spirituality. The very same people who call me evil for recounting African myth and mystery, turn around and start calling those other myths good entertainment.

Have they ever condemned stories of King Arthur the and Knights of the Round Table? Don't they watch movies about a god who throws his hammer to make thunderbolts? Don't they watch movies about children with magical powers fighting all sorts of wizards and monsters? We even know about super strong men who swing huge boulders on chains, like pieces of confetti. Not to mention loving a mythical thief, Robin Hood.

Every day those myths are rammed down our throats as entertainment. They reinforce the identity and pride of the people who own them.

What about our own pride and identity? We are told to condemn our ancestors as evil witches and sorcerers and not talk about them. How are we going to boost our identity and pride?

If I may ask what do you make of ancestors who killed their sons in sacrifice? What do you make of a man who turned sticks into snakes, lit bushes from afar? Is that not wizardry and sorcery of the highest order?

If we can praise a man who parted a sea, why should we condemn a man who parted rock like Nehoreka?

The very moment that I writing this, there is a law of return that allows the children of Abraham to return to the land of their fathers. Do Walter Magaya, Makandindiwa, Ezekiel Guti and the like qualify to go and live in Israel based on that law? They do not. They are not the descendants of the ancestor I mentioned above.

If they try to go and live in Israel today, Benjamin Netanyau will kick them out like a dirty mongrels. They are not the descendants of Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Israel and David. They are the descendants of Nehoreka, Nkalange, Chaminuka, Muguni, Nyatsimba Mutota, Makate and the like.

While others are busy reinforcing their ancestry and claiming rights based on that, they are busy insulting and denigrating theirs. Can't they see they are giving away their identity and rights?

The right of return law claims land based on ancestry. Now tell me, if ancestry gives some the right to land, does it not mean condemning your own ancestry gives away the right to your own land?

I am proud to be a Sena, Zimbabwean African. I make no apologies for talking about my ancestors whether mythical or not. Case closed.
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