Most fail to see the light BC shines

2009-09-18 13:42

RHETORIC is so simple, anyone can utter and mumble but clearly only a few can act.

This month is ­associated with Steve Biko’s ideas and the maintenance of the Black Consciousness (BC) ideology and it’s role in the pursuit of freedom for Africans, especially “black” Africans, and South Africa.

Black Consciousness ideas remain relevant if correctly conceptualised but few South Africans identify with them because they are ­alienated from their reality.

Unlike the ANC, BC parties could not take power as they were more a talk-oriented movement that concentrated on mental liberation. Black Consciousness is a solid and respectable idea but the reality is that it’s a luxury most people haven’t been exposed to or initiated ­into.

How do you teach a person with a growling tummy to embrace Biko’s ideas of mental liberation? How do you teach someone who’s mind has been reduced to township clutter to take pride in being black?

How do you encourage someone who lacks the intellectual, financial and social resources to shift their mindset when their reality leaves no room for positive change?

All people want their basic needs satisfied and want a sense of security before moving on to issues of self- actualisation. For many people Black Consciousness is only for intellectuals and liberals.

It would be great if everyone who upholds and believes in the ideals of BC were to find a practical method of assimilating Biko’s ideas into the daily existence of Africans.

Times have changed and a large number of people are concerned with what ideology can do for them to better their lives. In a way, some privileged Africans are guilty of capitalising on the weaknesses of those less fortunate. We don’t comprehend the magnitude of their reality and can’t work out feasible ways of assisting them.

Andile Mngxitama and his Blackwash counterparts have identified a role they think they can play but how will it change the lives of many Africans?

What practical ideas are they implementing? Apart from visiting people what do they do before returning to their modest townhouses to warm meals and the thought of going to work the next day?

Keletso Thobega


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