As expected, Mbe Mbele never disappoints when coming to clearly articulating his thoughts. This time around he was sharing some of the content of his debut book, Crazy father and Other Very Short Lies which was published this year. Speaking at the 2016 Jozi Book Fair on September the 3rd, Mbele asserted that perhaps as the generation of this time, we ought to try and find ways of reflecting the times we live in, hence literature becomes of one of the most important avenues through which we can carry out this task. Since the session was rather interactive, members of the audience gave their input by citing the need for us Blacks to intensify the fight against the anti-black racism which has been in existence for the past 500 years. Mbele responds by arguing that although it is important to reflect on the work done by Bantu Biko, Robert Sobukwe, and Frantz Fanon. “We in fact have to recognise that they may have been unable to live in the very society they were advocating for, an example being Sobukwe who lived during a time where Wits University had majority of white students and a white dominated government as opposed to how today’s society is structured,” Mbele asserted, referring to Blacks being in ‘power.” The session was therapeutic since Blacks never hardly congregate to talk about their problems, Mbele was sadly cut shot due to time constraints, Mbele went on to indicate that his book can be purchased at Braamfontein Centre’s music store.
Saturday even got better with Professor Adam Habib covertly attempting to address an audience that largely comprised of Fallists. In the panel was Susan Boyseen, an academic from the University of Johannesburg together with Prof Habib who was chased out of the venue, the expressed discontent with his participation in the discussion framed as “Youth raising, #FeesMustFall: the Future of South African Universities” Habib was accused to be an extension of the oppressive system that went on to exclude many of the students who made up the Fees must Fall movement in late 2015 early 2016. It does not end there, once he was kicked out of the venue, the two panelists went on to make their presentations which were followed by a question and answer session which highlighted how much growth needs to happen for the decolonisation movement to begin yielding results. Here I refer to the fact that there are not many people willing to take the lead when coming to proving solutions as to how the utopia we envision ought to look like, in this space, two white women were allowed to address blacks on what the future a decolonised South Africa must look like. Ageism also became prevalent when one of the older audience members appeared to be insinuating that the decolonization movement currently led by the young has not been well thought out, you will also recall the debate at which Wanelisa Xaba (@Blak_terrorist) called out Nomboniso Gasa about the very same matter.
The direction being taken by the African National Congress (ANC) was also put under scrutiny, in the panel comprising of the daily Maverick’s s Ranjeni Munusamy, ENCA’s Justice Malala and scholar, Dr Dale McKinley, different opinions were shared. The highlight being that, the ANC has become corporatized and now serves the interests of the capital as opposed to being the movement of the people. Based on this assertion. Furthermore, McKinley went on to assert that nothing should be expected to change even if/when President Jacob Zuma relinquishes power because inherently the ANC had been long captured and although this was the case, it is likely that any measure will be put in place to try and retain power, as it was the case with Robert Mugabe’s ZANUPF. The critique against what McKinley was asserting came from one of the Pasma comrades who went on to argue that ANC in its 1912 inception never wanted to dismantle capital, it was seeking to be included and be side to side with the master as opposed to being for the people.
Saturday did not end as stressful as the event of the day described above made it to appear because Jazz came to play. The evening was made better by a collective from Moses Tiawa Molelekwa foundation whose compositions soothed many of our distressed blacks. The most shocker must have been the sound of BLKThoughtMusic who kinda debut their sound for the first time. To that larger audience, BlKThoughtMusic was being heard for the first time and they were rightfully received well. Kudos for great content and the observable effort put into assembling the performance to fit the times we have always lived in. The JBF2016 ended well bazalwane, looking forward to 2017 already.