TEACHING-LEARNING: A swollen epiphany bursting like a blister, painfully free

…cancel out the noise, focus all your energy, no one else can see your race, run without a doubt in your legs, heart, mind or spirit.

Truth is consistent, transparent and open for all to see and celebrate. Jesse Owens competed so effectively that he bent the perception of being black around the world inside out. Nazi leaders preferred to loose to a melinated man over Jewish persons. Have we an idea of what history says about the real race we’re in? Only until one chooses a purpose will there be a race to be part of running for. That’s a championship—not the noise, leave the noise, walk away from it and its gossips. This is something I’ve struggled with and many students are faced with the same issue on a deeper level. Studentship is a lifelong thing.

Had to scratch my sack to nip the bud

A student expressed his challenges with English early this week. He said, he’s struggling to grasp the discussions and material because English is not his native language. I asked him how many languages he could speak and write, he said two. I asked him “Which race are you in?” He couldn’t grasp my question but rumbles around how if he was taught in his native language he would grasp all the concepts effectively. I was waiting for him to talk about Ngugi as many tend to do so in this argument, yet neglect Chabani Manganyi. I was waiting for him to argue around socialism and nationalist popcorn, yet neglect Stalin and decaying Cuba if not ‘The Invention of Africa’. Until I realized that many of the “revolutionary” thematics are not only found in English but Das Capital itself is an excellently complex book(series) to read.

How many PhDs do you have to write before you’re right?

How then did Anta Diop write three PhD theses before his work was finally accepted? How then did Frantz Fanon write two PhD theses before he graduated? How then did Chinweizu write a thesis, have it be rejected and only accepted once it was published as “The West and the Rest of Us”? How then did Flora Nwapa write Efuru with such foresight that contemporary ideas of feminism and femininity sound like toddlers confused over which bridge to burn? How then did Sol Plaatje manage to become such a compelling voice for the Dutch, English and Tswana people, culture, struggles and opportunities? How on earth did the Arabs manage to control petroleum resources on a global scale without the lingual conflict within themselves? How could Alice Kinloch end up asking wether South African diamonds are worth their cost and catalyticaly influence our narrative today (who’s the real “mother of our nation”–if real is a thing, and if one “mother” is appropriate)? I suspect that many of these examples are quite frankly the exception and not the rule.

Don’t package blister juice, sell it painfully bitter

This young man had no knowledge of my thoughts, and spanning line of questioning building up—crumbling his position. Each of these people had a race to run, they didn’t care about how— only the why motivated their behavior. When Ghana had a crisis of entitlement in its student community, Nigeria and Kenya was plagued with student and staff protests the problem was their sense of agency— as leaders—not the “ leaders on ballots”. I said to him, eventually, stop your nonsense. “All you must do is eat, work and gym. You’ll socialize on weekends and all that. However, you must commit to your own race and run it like no other. Just don’t think about it anymore, just do it. Don’t explain it anymore, just show up.” He burst with laughter like a swollen epiphany bursting like a blister, painfully free.

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