Credo Mutwa’s Plea for Africa
Full Forward to Linda Tucker’s Book, Mystery of the White Lions.
Plea for Africa – Credo Mutwa
A voice rises from the parched valleys of my ancient motherland, a lonely voice rises above the hills of eternal Africa, an appeal who do not care, to those who have no ears. A plea to those who choose to be nothing in the face of monstrous evil:
LEAVE THE LIONS OF TIMBAVATI ALONE. DO NOT DESTROY THE SACRED LIONS OF THE GODS OF AFRICA.
This is this book that Linda Tucker has written.
No one in their right minds would ever travel to India, and massacre the white Brahmin cows that roam the crowded streets of India’s cities. No one in their right minds would ever travel to Siam and there murder the rare White Elephants that we find in that country. But people come to my motherland, people come to South Africa to brutally murder the White Lions of Timbavati in the name of manliness and in the name of sport. The sacred icons of other races, nations and other countries in this world are respected, revered and protected. But the icons of Africa are massacred with cold impunity, sometimes with the connivance of some of Africa’s own children.
There is something that I have noticed over the last fifty years or so, and it is this. When a Third World country is given freedom, or when it, by some miracle, seizes the torch of liberty with both hands from former oppressors, that country is often robbed, ravaged and destroyed by greedy people in the name of capitalism and big business. That country is first and foremost blinded with false glory in the sports field, while its mineral as well as animal resources are being plundered shamelessly. There was a time when countries in South America were blinded by the name of Pele, the football champion and were blinded by glory in the football pitch and in the boxing ring. While Pele was riding high, adored and revered by millions of people in his country and other countries, the rain forests of the Amazon River were being plundered as never before. The jungles of the many islands in South East Asia were being denuded as never before. Exactly the same is happening in South Africa. Our country is being blinded is by transient glory in the sports field while its animal resources, its wildlife, is being obliterated and destroyed, sometimes by the very people who claim to be conservers of all things wild and wonderful.
While our champions win glory of the sports field are winning glory and gold medals for South Africa, horrendous atrocities are being committed on my country’s environment and my country’s wildlife. Deep in the Western Transvaal, there are savage mining operations in which an open-cast mine is devouring acres and acres of once fertile farmland. All who see this mining weep silent tears for a country that is being destroyed, and soon be turned into a desert.
While the flags of democracy were flying over South Africa, after its first democratic election years ago, there were satanic schemes afoot for mining coal close to the very important Vaal river, a river which receives water from Lesotu via the Katsa dam, a river which is the very life-line, the very iota of our industrialised nation. Consider it, my friends, here is a nation which is desperately hungry for water to feed its cities, towns and townships, and its burgeoning industries. Here is a nation which at great expense buys water from another nation to keep itself alive. The water from the Lesotu nation is pumped at great expense into the Vaal river, a river which is imprisoned behind the wall of the Vaal Dam. A Dam, whose water feeds the thirsty industries and the thirsty cities and townships of the republic of South Africa. A rumour reached our ears that a mighty mining organisation was planning to start open-cast mining for coal almost on the banks of the Vaal river. And there were even so-called experts who were bending over backwards to tell us that this mining would be done quite safely without contaminating our precious water resources. Groups of enlightened men and woman of all races in South Africa, amongst them my unworthy self, sent a petition to the powers that be protesting against this monstrous plan. For the moment, we understand the plan has been shelved. For the moment.
Another incident occurred before this one, where we were told that another mining conglomerate was planning to strip-mine titanium on the sandy shores of Lake St Lucia. Had the powers of capitalism carried on with their satanic plan, war would have occurred between two small tribes and the mighty Zulu nation, because there are two tribes in Natal, which see themselves as the guardians of Kwabele which is Zulu name for St Lucia, and which is regarded by people of all tribes as one of the shrines of the rapidly dying traditional African religion.
Our story tellers tell us that it was at Kwabele that the Great Earth mother arrived from the East in boat made of grass, a huge arc built of reeds, loaded with cattle, loaded with sheep and goats. It is said that the great mother arrived in the company of her son, and his two wives, bringing culture and knowledge, bringing the arts of music, and wood carving, and metal smelting to the people of ancient Zululand.
A respected friend of ours, Dr Ian Player, spearheaded a protest against this monstrous scheme, a scheme which would have devastated the fragile environment of this area, a scheme which would also have brought the sacred turtles, the skikaka, which breed upon the sands of St Lucia to the valleys of extinction. Again, through Dr Player’s efforts, and the efforts of the silent army of crusaders who are dedicated to fighting this sort of evil in South Africa, the diabolical scheme was shelved, for now.
But that is not all. There was another scheme in the pipe-line, in the literal sense of the word. There was a scheme to mine magnetite in the Northern Transvaal and to pipe it as a sludge through huge pipes from the Northern Transvaal to the shores of Mozambique, where probably the mineral would have been loaded aboard tankers and carted away from South Africa to unknown destinations. But again, the Sword of Light was raised over this ridiculous scheme, and it was silently folded away by the powers that be and put back into the cupboard of darkness.
But, but, the devastation of South Africa’s wildlife goes on a pace, and I understand much to my sorry, that there is not a single White Lion left in the wild. And I ask myself: Did we win our freedom for this? This quiet devastation of our countries most sacred animals? Did we, by joining the ranks of the democratic countries of the world, also join those people who see it as their task to denude this planet of all life? I want to join Ms. Linda Tucker’s appeal. I say: Please. Leave South Africa’s White Lions alone. Let them breed once more. Let them walk tall in the wilderness which is their mother. I say to all of you who read this book: Africa is a country full of mysteries that must be investigated and explored. I say to all those who will turn these pages: Africa is a country that is still the dark continent of the Victorian era. Africa is still the Great Unknown. Archaeology, anthropology and paleanthropolopy have not even scratched the surface of my Motherland. Africa is crying out for exploration, for investigation – not for destruction. Africa is crying out to be understood, not to be bombed into damnation. Africa is weeping to be loved, not for the dogs of AIDS, ebola and other demonic diseases to be launched at Her. Africa is crying out for salvation and not for obliteration.
A lot has been written about the ancient civilisations of meso-America and South America. A lot has been written about the ancient civilisations of South East Asia and of India. But very little is known about Africa. The country which is Mother to all these civilisations. Very little has ever been discovered about my country, Africa, the Mother of humanity. There is not a single civilisation on this Earth that did not have its roots in the deep earth of Africa. There is not a single religion whether extant or extinct that did not come from Africa. But Africa is being deliberately and coldbloodedly destroyed. Africa is disrespected and despised. She is seen on the surface, and contemptuous eyes refuse to peer through that surface.
Here, in Africa, are stories that are crying out to be told, stories that people like myself are now too old and too tired to tell. Here in Africa are mysteries that need to be unravelled so that the people of this country, this continent may survive. If a nation knows nothing about its past, that nation can never reach the mountains of its future. If a nation knows nothing about its yesterday, that nation will never inherit tomorrow.
And the people of Africa perish in their millions not knowing who they are, what they were, and who they probably should have been had the future’s doors been open to them. There is overwhelming evidence of the fact that the people of Africa were once one of the greatest nations in the world, that the black people of Africa were the founders of many of the world’s oldest civilisations – which today do not credit them for being their founders.
A fallacy is maintained that it was a man called Christopher Columbus who discovered America. And yet there is evidence of the fact that Black people from West Africa reached and colonised the shores of Central America, South America and North America, before this Christopher Columbus was even heard of.
In my travels to many parts of the American continent; in my travels amongst the native American tribes of North America; in my travels to peoples of central America and South America, I came across many linguistic, religious, cultural, as well as other links between these people and the people of Africa. I found evidence of the fact that the native American people were intimately interlinked with my people, even with fairy tales that old women and old men of the Black and well as the White race still tell, or used to tell, to their grandchildren. I found children’s stories involving the African jackal which were word for word the same as native American stories involving the Coyote. I found battle-filled customs which were the same amongst the native American people as amongst Africans. I found that certain names for certain things were the same in Africa as in America, and I found to my great astonishment that just as there are red-skinned gods in the mythologies of certain Africa tribes, so there were black-skinned gods in the mythologies of certain native American people. I found dozens of sculptures in clay, stone, gold and even bronze in central and South America which represented Africans. I even saw sculptures some of monstrous size made of stone which showed African people so accurately detailed that one could tell exactly which part of Africa the person portrayed in stone had actually come from. The world was once one. The continents of this Earth were once part of one nation, one culture.
There are mysteries in Africa that have to be probed, and one of them is this. African story tellers have again and again spoken about a great underground river known as the Lulungwa Mangakatsi, the great river of the underworld. A river which is said to flow from the North of Africa right down to the Southern point of this great continent. Many skeptics hearing stories of this river dismiss it simply as a tribal myth not worthy of consideration at all. But a number of years ago, before the great upheavals which have changed the face of Africa politically took place, scientists in the country once known as Rhodesia made a strange experiment for some reason which one cannot understand now. They poured a special dye into a deep pool in one of the great caves known as Chinhoyi. And some weeks later, traces of this dye were detected in the Transvaal hundreds of miles from the Chinhoyi caves in a deep pool of water, a deep hole in the rocks named by the Afrikaaner people as Die Wondergat. This, to me, was proof of the existence of this great river that flows under the African continent, the Lulungwa Mangakasi a river that is said to lead both into the future as well as the past.
If you go to the land of the Basuto people, the ancient mountain …….. in the heart of South Africa, you will hear story tellers talking in whispers of reverence about a faraway county, a country known as Ntswama-tfatfi, the land of the little Sun Hawk. The story tellers tell us that this was a sacred land in a forgotten part of the world, a land of strange pointed mountains made by the hand of man, a land of fearsome animals chiselled out of rock, animals which at certain times used to stand up and prowl through the land. It is said that this land of Ntswama-tfatfi was cut in two by a great river, the river of Nile in whose depths the great gods were born. It does not take a stretch of the imagination to realise what land the story tellers are talking about. It is the land of Cemu – the land which came from the stars. It is the land of eternal knowledge. A land in which gods walked as human beings upon the dusty planes of Cemu. You know it as the land of Egypt. You know it as the land of the Sphinx. And the man-made mountains can only be the pyramids of that incredible country.
When anthropologists came upon stories such as this, they often disbelieved them, squashed them and suppressed them. But the stories did not die. They were kept by priests and priestesses of the Basuto people. And they were shared with initiates and adepts, who sought what is called the “Seven Great Truths” of Africa.
But there is more, much more. Beyond the land of Cam, beyond the land of …Zati, our story tellers speak of another land. The land of Amariri. The land of the shining spheres. The land of the red people. A land whose people became so clever, so powerful and wise that even the gods were afraid and jealous of them. And destroyed them.
But beyond Amariri, is another land, the land which is said to have laid amongst the stars itself, a land which had so many stars in its skies that the darkness never fell. That is the land of Makarabeti. The land of very, very black people. That is the land we are told was our mother. The land from whose womb the first Africans who were said to have been as black as ebony with yellow eyes had been born. The great mystery of Africa reaches out to the stars. The great mystery which is Africa reaches out to the galaxies. African story tellers describe twelve difference races of manlike creatures , which they believe dwell amongst the stars. Even the Khoisan people possess incredible knowledge about the moon. They tell you that there are mountains of the moon, lakes and rivers, but which have no water. They say that the moon was once a beautiful country which made God angry, so that God asked for the Sun to roast all living things from the moon’s surface.
When you listen to stories told by people in the deep green forests of Africa, you sometimes wonder exactly where you are. There are stories that you find in Africa which make modern science fiction writers look like village idiots. I could tell you more, but I shall not take up your time.
All I am saying is this. Let this young woman’s plea for the preservation of the White Lions of Timbavati be heeded by this world.
In the past two hundred years or so, the human race has lost much which is of importance in Africa. And it continues losing much. But what is most terrible, what is most pathetic is that it does not realise what it has lost. One day, in the dark valleys of the future, people will try to turn back, people will try to investigate, to look into the past of African humankind with wide open eyes, but they will find very little because much has been obliterated.
When an animal is killed in Africa, that animal takes a large slice of African knowledge into oblivion with it. Because most of the knowledge that Africans possess is intimately intertwined with the animal life as well as the plant life of this continent.
When, in a western country such as America, an elderly person breathes his or her last upon the stinking dead of old age home, the death of that elderly person is a mere whisper, a silent farewell to a cruel and uncaring world. But in Africa, the death of an elderly person is the death of a living library book, because in every Africa village, old people are story tellers, those who carry the bibles of Africa in their hearts. Thousands of old men and woman died in the senseless wars that have torn Africa apart in the last 60 years or so, and in their dying these people take away many stories into the darkness with them.
I pray and hope that the readers of this book by Ms. Linda Tucker will take it to their hearts, and themselves investigate many things that she here reveals. Because the diamond that you have found yourself, the diamond that you discovered in the red rubble of Africa, is ever more precious to you than the polished one that you find in the market place in Dar es Salaam. The truth that you discover yourself is more indelible that a truth written to you, or for you, by someone else’s pen. Take this book to your heart, and let it guide you to even greater truths about Africa than have been here revealed.
(Sings). Shalom. Shalom. Shalom. Adonai e Alohem.
For Peace our Highest Lord. For Peace amongst all human being. For Peace amongst all Tribes. For Peace to the four-footed animals. For Peace to the bird on the wing.
**The Plea was first published, with Credo Mutwa’s permission, in the Forward of Linda Tucker’s book: Mystery of the White Lions (2001), available from Amazon.com