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Kopano Matlwa

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE


So last time i wrote i was a teeny weenie bit angry, but i’m over all that now (managed to get myself summoned to court for refusing to pay for a traffic fine) but other than that things are pretty much back to normal :) he he!

We had the annual JD Baqwa Memorial Lecture at Forest Hill residence, UCT, yesterday and it really was quite an inspiring evening. the guest speaker was Prof Makgoba Vice Chancellor of University of KZN and he spoke about knowledge, identity and culture in Africa. There was a lot that was said last night, all very inspiring and motivational, but what really stuck was a quote Prof Makgoba read about what was said by America when Harvard was started many years ago. Ag, i can’t remember it word for word, but it sort of went ‘ when we decide to create a university of our own, a univeristy that represents america and all that it believes in, we want it to be created from a seed that is our own, not from a shrub from England, a stem from france or a leaf from Germany, but a seed that is ours that we nurture and let grow.’ and I realised at that moment that that is what is wrong with us (ok, not wrong but lacking) we are constantly attempting to take a leave from America and a stem from europe and plant them in our soil and hope that they will grow and flourish, but ofcourse they wont, they are alien plants that do not understand our soil, our sun and our water and if we want to have a plant of our own we need to create our own seeds. We need to feed them, and nurture them, with patience and faith that because they are ours and are made up of the minerals and nurtients that we understand, they will grow and will blossom and flourish in their own time.

It breaks my little heart, it really does. We so busy trying to imitate this and copy that, that only heaven knows what will be left of us in the future. Where are our seeds? And why is nobody attempting to create them. This is our land, our country, our people, if we do not save ourselves Africa, who will?


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Alex Smith</a>
    Alex Smith
    August 6th, 2007 @07:54 #

    I think we're human first and of continents second. But if we have to get down to origins then I'm with the theory that we are all 'Out of Africa's Eden'. Let's just be human as we go about creating. Immitation is an invaluable evolutionary skill (employed by every person at all stages in life, not to mention some of the world's greatest thinkers and artists), inspiration is too, we need both. As for our seeds, they are everywhere -- forgive my eternal optimism, but Kapano, as I see it, you are seed, I am seed, this website and its people are seeds, and we're all working on Africa's eden.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Sarah</a>
    August 7th, 2007 @12:56 #

    The irony, if you have ever been to Harvard, is that, from the outside, it looks very European indeed. In my experience, some of our departments are heavily influenced by American intellectual tradition and concerns.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Kopano</a>
    August 8th, 2007 @16:31 #

    Ok... i think I can live with that Alex.


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