The greatest enemy against achievement is negativity. And victory isn’t cheap; it’s accomplished through sweat, tears and braving betrayal from within
The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) is not an abstract lifeless thing. PAC is its members, cadres and leaders working and winning together. By their behaviour, conduct and attitude towards life, they determine the success, progress and destiny of the PAC and the prosperous and happy future of the African nation in Azania and of the African Continent as a whole.
There are certain principles of life that PAC members must remember and embrace. We must not miss our potential to change our country and the world for the better. People in the world can be divided into two classes. Those ‘who are great’ and those ‘who might have been great’. This is a fine line between those people who have fulfilled their potential and those who have failed.
Many people hold to a defeatist mentality; a passive and powerless philosophy. It is a defeated thinking which makes one believes that he or she has no control over his or her destiny. A person is rewarded in life according to what he or she believes about himself or herself. Man has ‘inner’ self that the wise call the soul or spirit; the engine of a human being. It controls his or her destiny. That, which is defeated produces defeat while that which is self-confident produces victory and success in whatever type of struggle it is playing an active role.
In life we must live for a purpose and for the African cause to triumph and restore our people to their full dignity and essential humanity. They have been dehumanized and land dispossessed for over 350 years. We must live to succeed. We must live to achieve great things for our people and for ourselves. We must work to live a rich legacy for the coming generations.
One of the worst enemies against achievement is negativity. It holds you well below your potential and demoralizes you. Victims of negativity have excuses such as ‘We can’t do it’, ‘it is hard’, ‘we will never make it’, and ‘it is impossible’. Negativity reflects inner defeat.
Victims of negativity are characterized by criticism of their own organization or its leaders. They act recklessly and unconstitutionally in the media in violation of organizations’ disciplinary code. They delight in discussing personalities than discussing ideas. They fulfill what philosophers long observed when they wrote ‘Small minds discuss personalities, but great minds discuss ideas.’
Negative forces always paint themselves as “knowing-it all” and blame their own failures on others. They have sharp tongues that sink ships. Their tongues spit poison and death. Their mouths are a well of untruths and a swamp of defeat. They love great things, but they are not prepared to serve, suffer and sacrifice for them.
They ‘cut corners’ and betray national issues for their parochial ambitions and self interests. To defeat the forces of negativity we need to have a vision and a clear mission of the cause we want to serve and advance. We need a dream that can breathe life into our existence, build our destiny and change the course of future generations for prosperity and happiness.
But of course, we must watch out. We need the will to stand firm because there are many volunteers that are determined to kill our dream or that of our organization. They specialize in cynicism, malicious gossip and dubious activities. However, when challenge knocks at their doors, they shrink and manifest timidity worse than that of a rabbit.
To mislead the less vigilant, they use the correct political jargon, but their social practice contradicts them and exposes them as charlatans. We must focus on our vision as laid down by Pan Africanist giants such as Sobukwe, Mothopeng, Nkrumah, Lumumba and Sekou Toure. PAC members must have the will to succeed and the will to serve people with distinction amidst confusion and conspiracies which border on political treachery and lunacy.
Those who want to bring radical changes that benefit the poor and the powerless must remember this. The ‘reasonable’ man adapts himself to the interests of others. The ‘unreasonable’ man and woman persist in adapting others to the fundamental interests of his own people. Therefore, as the philosopher George Bernard Shaw put it, ‘All progress depends on the unreasonable man and woman’.
This is true. Without ‘unreasonable’ men and women, there would never have been Sharpeville Uprising, Robben Island, Armed struggle against apartheid, Soweto Uprising, Persistence On The Pan African Road, demand for free education, equitable redistribution of land and demand for the release of former freedom fighters in South Africa such as the Azanian Peoples’ Liberation Army (APLA), and the call for the abolition of ‘Floor-crossing’ in Parliament.
The struggles of life demand over-comers, not those who capitulate to what the Bible describes as ‘a dog returns to its vomit, and a pig that is washed goes back to its wallowing in the mud’. Pan Africanists must be over-comers; they meet the challenges of life. Life is filled with good starters. But how many of them finish the race well? Or finish at all? We must not only start well. We must have the commitment and the iron determination to accomplish our mission and realize our vision. We must keep focus on our dream.
That dream is the vision of a rejuvenated Africa and a country where no one will sleep in a cemetery as has been happening in some parts of ‘New South Africa’ for many years now. We must focus on a vision where no one lives in shacks, which often catch fire resulting in burning our people to death. We must create a nation where our people have skills and employment is not scarce for them. We must build a nation where all children of the poor shall received free education and can create jobs for themselves. Yes, where the minority shall not oppress the majority economically and dominate them technologically. Yes, where the people of this country shall not buy their water from the rich to whom it has been sold through the privatization of strategic state assets.
To accomplish the PAC mission and realize our Pan African vision, we need resources in the form of more members and supporters, finance, time, skills and commitment. Vision stands on three legs, African Nationalism, Socialism and Democracy. We need to have hundreds of trained and ideologically clear cadres to be the core and cornerstone of the Azanian Revolution.
Our victory for great things will not come cheap. It will be accomplished through our own sweat, sometimes tears and betrayal from within. The results of hard work and perseverance in struggle however, are sweet fruits of success, victory, prosperity and happiness for our people. We must intensify our work ethic. The secret of success in life is hard work. We must return the culture of hard work to our people, starting with us as individuals. Hard work is one of our African traditional values. There are many things that we can do without money.
We must learn and practice the principle of self-reliance seriously. Money from other sources comes with strings attached and destroys the genuine liberation of the African people, as is so obvious in Azania since 1994. If we are waiting for money to come not from us, but from ‘good Samaritans’ then we shall wait until horses grow horns.
Victory for great things does not come easily. It requires a lot of patience to turn things to our peoples’ advantage. Patience is not passive or weak thing; It is tenacious, courageous, focused, holds on against the tide, against intimidating circumstances and against false accusations. Indeed, against all fearful odds.
Over-comers are doers. They know that the noble struggle for economic and social emancipation of the African people is not a dinner party or for ‘summer soldiers’ but for true sons and daughters of Africa that historical necessity has called upon to contend under the scorching sun of stern realities of life with its vicissitudes.
Sowing and reaping are the law of life. We can’t reap if we do not sow. We must have a clear message and take it to the people day and night. Over-comers refuse to raise the flag of surrender. They refuse to quit, negotiate with failure or compromise the fundamental interests of the majority poor. Their purpose in life is bigger than themselves. They know that after every sunset there is a sunrise. Ours is the sunrise clause not the ‘sunset clause’ of appeasing the powerful at the expense of the powerless and dispossessed.
Our African ancestors have taught us that there is only one way to eat an elephant. It must be bite by bite. Progress is a process. Many people want progress without a process. They want glory without work, victory without fighting. They want to walk to their destiny without the journey. Of course, we can’t progress if we allow digression or regression in our noble cause.
Let us take an oath to build on what we have. We shall acquire what we do not have as we move forward with our struggle for economic liberation and social emancipation of the poor and powerless, vast land dispossessed African majority in our country.
We have lost very important political battles because of reckless actions of certain leaders. We have let down millions of our people and those who respect, love and have hope and confidence in our political mission. A divided army cannot win battles. But of course, true revolutions can succeed only on principled revolutionary unity in struggle. The Azanian Revolution from Sobukwe, Leballo, Mothopeng ,Masemola to Sabelo Phama and Zeblon ‘Ojuku’ Mokoena; was never about ‘leadership’. It was about service sacrifice and suffering for the criminally economically oppressed Africans of this country and the overthrow of colonialism.
We have lost important battles. But we have not lost the war. Land dispossession of the African people must be resolved. African land was stolen through guns. Those who claim they came to ‘civilize’ Africans in Africa must be told that ‘Civilized people do not steal other people’s land, let alone at gunpoint’.
The ‘Rainbow Nation’ and its ‘miracle’ are a fake and a myth respectively . Our country, has been sold to imperialism for 30 pieces of silver by new managers of ‘New South Africa.’ The dispossessed and the workers must pick up the pieces and prepare themselves for the bitter coming liberation struggle and victory for repossession of the land of their ancestors and African control of its riches.
African Workers must look forward to the day when they will dig the platinum in Marikana and gold and diamonds in other mines for themselves and their people. Africans have dug these minerals for Europeans for centuries and they still wallow in the quagmire of poverty. This must change. Azania must be free. As an African proverb puts it, ‘An ant-hill that is destined to be a giant-hill will ultimately come one, no matter how many times it is destroyed by elephants.’
Shango Lashu! Tiko ra Hina! Fatshe la rona! Umhlaba Wethu! The land is ours!
* Dr. Pheko is a writer of several books such as TOWARDS AFRICAS’
AUTHENTIC LIBERATION. He is a former Member of Parliament in South Africa