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SHACK AT THE BASE OF THE PYRAMID OF BEAUTY

SHACK AT THE BASE OF THE PYRAMID OF BEAUTY

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Published by Kenneth Nkemnacho

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Published by: Kenneth Nkemnacho on Mar 10, 2011
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03/10/2011

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SHACK AT THE BASE OF THE PYRAMID OF BEAUTY 
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Kenneth Nkemnacho
In my last article ‘The lesson from my Soweto diary’, I talkedabout the importance of ‘thinking’ in obtaining your freedomfrom oppressors. ‘Shack at the base of the pyramid of beauty’is a continuation of my visit to South Africa.As I mentioned in my previous article, I am a great fan of South Africa for many reasons; the courage in fighting andconquering the evils of apartheid, the positive culture of thesoul as reflected in the symphony of their musical rhythmand myth, and Dr. Nelson Mandela’s exemplary life. My lovefor South African musical rhythm is immense; the rhythmimpresses new poetries in my logical mind.People who have visited South Africa always talk about thebeauty of Cape Town. I’ve never been to Cape Town. I was atSandton City, near Johannesburg, and I was very impressed.As a personal opinion, some major cities in South Africa canstand side by side, some of the big cities of Europe andAmerica, and that is the truth, the whole truth, and nothingbut the truth.
 
SHACK AT THE BASE OF THE PYRAMID OF BEAUTY 
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One day, while my colleagues and I were driving fromPretoria to Midrand, admiring this nation that is a pyramid of beauty, we were shocked by what we came across. From adistance, we could see that there was a town that lookedmore like one of the ghettoes in my home country; it was
Tembisa.
Tembisa was a complete contrast to the things wesaw in Sandton City or some parts of Pretoria orJohannesburg. Tembisa is a black township which wasestablished around 1957 when the apartheid regime tookover government. Tembisa is a Zulu word meaning, ‘
There ishope’ 
. We wondered and pondered asking ourselves life’sessential question, ‘How can there be a shack at the base of the pyramid of beauty?’Like most life’s essential questions, the answers are locatedin the unprintable part of a man’s anatomy. Tembisa is areflection of the ills and diseases of apartheid. Well, if weblame apartheid for creating ghettoes, who do we blame inKenya, Nigeria, Burundi, and all the rest of Africa wheredeprivation and neglect have become part of institutionalleaderships?Tembisa, a symbol of hope has come to manifestation. TheSouth Africa of today is free from apartheid. Thank God! But,one thing that people must realise is, freedom and hope aretwo dimensional; external and internal. When youroppressors set you free, it is your responsibility to setyourself free. The legendary Bob Marley said, ‘Emancipate
 
SHACK AT THE BASE OF THE PYRAMID OF BEAUTY 
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yourself from mental slavery…’ South Africa is free, but thepeople also have to set themselves free. I rememberdiscussing with some young people in an area calledCenturion about the relevance of embracing education as away of setting the mind free. One of them said, ‘it is yourperception that I have not acquired relevant education’.When I looked critically into her ideology, I knew she wascompletely wrong. Misunderstanding the immense conceptof perception can lead to a doom. We must realise that wemust call a spade a spade. In life, perception does not reducethe concreteness of objectivity. A society that makesobjectivity subjectivity is bound to face dire consequences. If we must be free, the freedom we give to ourselves muststand above that given by other people. No man can save youif you refuse to be saved. Jesus Christ came to die forhumanity, but accepting Him is a thing of choice. You cannever be freer than your choice.Back to Tembisa, my town of hope. I kept pondering on howmuch hope that has been given to those who need it. If thereis a scarcity of fish in
Bethsaida
meaning, ‘
House of fish’,
where is the Saviour to cause a multiplication?Tembisa is an example of most towns in Africa that havebeen neglected by those we have entrusted with leadership.Sorry, did I say ‘we
entrusted’ 
? Most African leaders actuallyentrust leadership to themselves. The people who occupy theTembisa of this world form the thickest part of the pyramid.

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