Culture As A Weapon [footnotes]

In Liberator 8.1, we published an article titled "Culture As A Weapon" by Gugulethu Neo Bodibe. Regrettably, we did not have the space to publish the footnotes alongside the article in the magazine. Therefore, the footnotes to that article follow below.

[1] The word 'Mogolo' is a Setswana word that means elder. It is in this context used to show the significance of elders in African culture. The significance here is to show respect to an elder not only for his age but also for the moral responsibility, guidance and wisdom that come with that elderliness. I have since stopped writing in English and went home to the universality of my mother-tongue, firstly to make a contribution to the resuscitation and development to my indigenous language and secondly as an act of allegiance with the majority of the South African peoples’ culture and struggle for various freedoms which I firmly believe cannot, indeed will not, be delivered through colonially inherited tongues and cultures! One of the strongest features of this paper, indeed any of my writings translated into English, is the continual use of African proverbs in accord with the writings of various people (namely African writers, philosophers, artists etc) to supplement and assist my own writing. I insist on these citations from Africa because they are rich in offering insight into the deep wells of wisdom that Africans possess and because Africa is the continent of my people (even those in the Diaspora); a people with whom I share a history. This history is one of the same mission and struggle, defeats and victories, hopes and dreams. Mmadi (the reader), will notice that I use words from the Setswana language, the language of my immediate nationality and culture otherwise known as ethnicity, in a predominantly English piece. This is because I wish to show the approach of Africans in relation to their literature and orature (oral literature) as the two sustain one another. The use of English in some places stunts or totally fails to portray the spirit carried in the African language that the word/s may come from. Certain uses of some words in our cultures have nuances and implications, for example I may want to illustrate how in my culture we deal with respect for the elders and therefore I will be compelled to use a specific proverb or form of language that will necessarily be understood by the speakers of that language and others related to it better than any English speaker would.

[2] Molefi Kete Asante. See City Press, 14 March 2004

[3) Micere Githae Mugo. African Culture in Education for Sustainable Development pg 224, paper presented in Malegapuru William Makgoba (ed), 'African Renaissance' 1999, Mafube Publishing/Tafelberg Publishing

[4) a Setswana proverb that in this context is to be understood as: '‘people will rule and lead themselves (astray) in the absence of a (good) leader'

[5) Ngugi wa Thiongo. 'Decolonising the Mind' pg 98, 1987, ZPH

[6) Setswana proverb: 'a task becomes easier when people are united in its doing.'

[7) Pitika Ntuli. The Missing Link between Culture and Education: Are We Still Chasing Gods that Are not Our Own? Pg 184, paper presented in Malegapuru William Makgoba (ed), 'African Renaissance' 1999, Mafube Publishing/Tafelberg Publishing

[8) Molefi Kete Asante. 'Afrocentricity: The Theory of Social Change' (revised and expanded) pg 54-55, 2003, African American Images

[9) Lesiba Teffo. 'Moral Renewal And African Experiences,' paper presented in Malegapuru William Makgoba (ed), 'African Renaissance' 1999, Mafube Publishing/Tafelberg Publishing

[10) Ngugi wa Thiongo. 'Moving the Centre' pg43, James Currey/Heinemann

[11) Pitika Ntuli. The Missing Link between Culture and Education: Are We Still Chasing Gods that Are not Our Own? Pg 184, paper presented in Malegapuru William Makgoba (ed), 'African Renaissance' 1999, Mafube Publishing/Tafelberg Publishing

[12) A Setswana proverb: 'A person attains their personhood through other people.'

[13) Mbulelo Mzamane. paper presented in Malegapuru William Makgoba (ed), 'African Renaissance' 1999, Mafube Publishing/ Tafelberg Publishing