By Zulumathabo Zulu © 2017
The moral code, agnostic!
To tame, the egotistic!
The compass, is mechanical
To adhere, to polar magnets
Like amphibian, adaptive
Like nullifidian, resistive
Uninstructed, by the physical
To attain, the cosmic state
The moral code, we restate
Principles, like agnostic
To restrain, egotistic
Uncontested, like forensic
Uninstructed, by the urges
The Doctoral Expedition
We went on a number of expeditions to investigate the medicine plants that grow in the wild among the Basotho. This was a field work portion of the indigenous doctoral training in the knowledge disciplines of Bongaka (the doctoral knowledge of the Basotho). The doctoral expedition was led and proctored by the indefatigable erudite Nkgekge ya Bafokeng along with his doctoral graduate Ngaka ya Makotswana in the Free State Province of South Africa.
In spite of the many formidable expeditions I have successfully embarked upon in the past, this calibre of the expedition stands out as a bright spot in my experiences. Thokoza Makhosi!
I boast a number of experiential achievements in terms of my world expeditions such as the jungles of Cuba (las junglas de Cuba); the Namib desert of Namibia; the hunting expeditions of Matamong; the jungle and the Kalahari desert of Northern Botswana; tobogganing on the frigid mountain of ice in the deep freeze of Ottawa; walking upon and also driving the venerated Dodge Omni on the aweinspiring river of Ottawa when it was frozen; the white water rafting in the rapids of Riviere Rouge in the French-speaking province of Quebec where the raft capsized and dunked all of us after hitting a violent wave and the Sacred Assembly (thanks to the great Marie Frawley-Henry of the Assembly of First Nations) of the Anishinabe aboriginals at Georgian Bay in the legendary choppy waters that have sunk great ships in the mighty lake of Canada as recorded in the books A Woman in the Bush; A Goodbye To My Little Troubles and The Sacred Knowledge of the Desert: African Philosophical Transcendence.
This doctoral proctor, Nkgekge ya Bafokeng, is forever cherished and highly venerated by me for the kinds of incredible achievements that I have not seen before. Nkgekge ya Bafokeng has trained and convocated many doctoral experts and I am greatly honoured to count myself among his worthy students. This Nkgekge boasts many forms of doctoral knowledges like Bongaka (doctorate); Bonkgekge (multi-paradigm doctorate); Bongaka ba Mophato (doctorate of traditional surgeons) and Bongaka ba Methako (post-doctoral cross-paradigm research).
Nkgekge ya Bafokeng has penned hundreds of original and unpublished manuscripts on the various doctoral, medicinal, geomancic and metaphysical knowledge systems. Most of the indigenous doctors and surgeons I have come across are not in possession of written records or attestations of their knowledge systems as is the case with Nkgekge ya Bafokeng making him a rare exception in this case. As a matter of fact, his Methako (post-doctoral research) of the various doctoral traditions are recorded in his manuscripts. Many of these highly skilled and knowledgeable medicine men and medicine women who shared their doctoral knowledge with him have since passed on but their spirits come alive through the sacred pages in the manuscripts of Nkgekge ya Bafokeng as directed by the erudite ancestors.
I dare to assert that the value of these manuscripts is comparable to the ancient Egyptian manuscripts such as the Ebbers Medical Papyrus currently held at Leipzic University of Germany. If this is the case, then these metascientific manuscripts are the greatest treasure in the land of the ancestors because nobody has ever attained the status of such a trailblazer as a Native recorder of indigenous knowledge systems as is the case with Nkgekge ya Bafokeng.
The only other African native who is worthy of this accolade is the great Sol Plaatjie who recorded, with incredible fidelity, the events of the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 and the ruthless actions of land dispossession that came about via the British colonial authorities using the 1913 Land Act as an instrument of economic deprivation. One of the manuscripts of Sol Plaatjie is the actual war diary that is currently held at the University of Witwatersrand.
The Decline of Traditional Knowledge
This experience was a rare expedition but in the twilight of a knowledge system that is now on the ropes as a result of losing a strategic and moral compass in terms of continuity into the future for the survival benefit of posterity. For all intents and purposes, it is prudent to point out that this titanic system of knowledge is mortally wounded and losing much of its lifeblood from internal haemorrhaging unless salvaged by those who care about the value of the moral code of their erudite ancestors who have gone before.
The profession and the praxis of Bongaka are on the rapid path of decline with a high risk of extinction as is the case elsewhere in the land of the ancestors. This means the methods, the values and the ontologies of the knowledge will die along with the doctoral system.
The Basotho, like other Africans, assist and facilitate the demise of their own cultural knowledge systems when they trade in their rich indigenous knowledge in exchange for chasing gods not their own as shown in the doctoral dissertation of Dr. Sibusiso Bhengu tittled Chasing Gods Not Our Own. This fact was also confirmed to me by a venerated Mosotho mother who narrated the cruel fact that the Basotho were observed abandoning the sacrosanct ways of their erudite ancestors for Eurocentric modernity.
Ngaka, among the Basotho, is an equivalent of a PhD expert in a Western society. However, this erudite and epistemic tradition is declining at an extremely fast rate! At the current rates of decline, there will be no Bongaka to speak of at some future segment of the timeline in the terrestrial space.
I have never understood why the venerated Basotho, whom I care so much about, would throw in the towel and allow their sacred knowledge system to fall into disrepute and die a natural death without some kind of vigorous resistance and selfless investment in the knowledge domains of their ancestors? When this rare and valuable knowledge eventually exhales the last breath and bites the cruel dust, as foreshadowed by the solemn writing on the wall and confirmed by inexorable and inexcusable actions, then the Basotho will be sanitised like Anglicized parrots that mimic and regurgitate foreign forms of knowledge that are based upon the value systems and the ontic methods of those who seek to subjugate them to supplant their way of life and rob them of their natural resources. In this way, they will have engineered their own demise without any ancestral moral code to guide them. In this way, they are driving the nail through the coffin on their own volition.
The Advent of the ECC
Given the advent of the ECC (Euro-Christian Colonial) system, many Basotho now prefer a doctoral degree from a Western university than a doctoral degree from their own indigenous tertiary system known as Mophato which was dialectically designed for them by their erudite ancestors. This doctoral system of the Basotho was engineered using the methodologies, the ontologies, the epistemologies, the philosophies, the cosmologies, the linguistics and the axiologies that were grounded upon the value systems of the erudite ancients for the survival benefit of future generations.
Celebrando despues de sobrevivir en la jungla de Cuba (Celebrating After Surviving the jungle of Cuba).
How do you feel about losing the knowledge system that was designed for your survival benefit? How this must feel? How would it feel if you worked very hard for your beloved children and one day when you call them to give them a nice chest of inheritance and they spit on it and turn their back on everything you worked hard for? It would be the most hurtful disappointment!
The hyena clan is able to mount an impressive challenge upon the lion pride by fighting the hyena way as opposed to the lion way. The great buffalo is able to destroy the lion by engaging the lion the buffalo way and not the lion way. If these animals adopted the lion methods, they would be defeated before the fight began.
What are the methods and values of knowledge in your culture? How important is morality in terms of enhancing your survival experience? Get a journal and begin to record the indigenous knowledge of your people and share the experience on these blog pages. Siyabonga ka khulu! Thokoza Makhosi!