Archive for the ‘breaking down barriers (walls)’ Category

Musician Johnny Clegg

February 6, 2014

Interview with South African musician, Johnny Clegg


Ramaphosa’s ‘Christianity to the rescue’ call

March 7, 2013

Opinion: Ramaphosa’s ‘Christianity to the rescue’ call

06 Mar 2013 00:00 – Mpho Moshe Matheolane


From apartheid to the war on terror, religion has been used to further political agendas. Mpho Matheolane wonders what’s behind Ramaphosa’s God call.


Cyril Ramaphosa with President Jacob Zuma. (Gallo)

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A few days ago ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, while addressing a congregation at the Pentecostal Holiness Church’s centennial celebrations in Rustenburg, said Christians needed to “become the moral conscience of our country” and that “this country cares for the Lord” and recognised God’s importance and hegemony.

Strangely, he did not mention any other religion or faith-based groups whose belief system might be different from that of Christianity. In a phrase, the clarion call – at least, that is how I heard it – was “Christianity to the rescue.”

To be fair, Ramaphosa was addressing the issue of the horrid persistence of violence and rape that has marred the South African psyche and landscape – a landscape most of us wonder about with a certain sense of jadedness and fear of what new horrors might be presented on any given day of the week.

Still, I have to admit that I found it rather peculiar that someone like Ramaphosa would dish out such populist-sounding utterances without any circumspection of how it could or would possibly be interpreted.

Ramaphosa, in that brief moment, reminded me that not only has the personal become the political, but that the religious have long since been enveloped by the same distinction. Religion in a sense always was the facilitating agent for politics to entrench itself within the lives of human beings.

Religion continues to be the “opium for the masses” used to perpetuate the causes of politicians and meet their own ends – while sprouting convenient falsehoods of how it is ultimately the people that their actions aim to serve.

Granted, a lot has changed since the days of Pope Alexander IV – father of Cesare Borgias who is believed provided Niccolò Machiavelli with the inspiring and equally frightening archetype for his famous work The Prince. But political use of religion to further interests of the few still remains.

We should remember that it was George W Bush’s invocation of Christianity that formed part and parcel of the invasion of Iraq and the war on terror. Colonialism itself, along with apartheid, had religion as a source of misguided fortitude to persist with imposing an ideology that was clearly detrimental to those who fell under their subjugation.

Nowadays religious institutions and their leaders are no longer the all-powerful sources of authority. They have been replaced by politicians, often times with derision. But these politicians, for all the history that precedes them, have become as adept if not more so, in their chicanery as some of the religious leaders such as Alexander IV himself. Ramaphosa illustrated this point succinctly when he decided to draw on the spiritual beliefs of his audience in the attempt at getting his message across.

I am willing to believe that his intentions were probably sincere but given the undeniable fact of how the same Christian belief that he was invoking, is just as beset by the same troubles that it is expected to combat, I don’t see how its use in the form of political rhetoric helps in any tangible manner.

There have been reports of priests raping people and molesting children with very little perceivable consequence from the involved religious institutions. Religion, or rather Christianity, has mostly proven to be intolerant of anything that places it in a bad or heavily critical light. Do not get me wrong, I am well aware that there is a difference between religious institutions and agents, such as churches, priests and religious belief itself. But how do we say Christians need to become the moral conscience of South Africa when for example, a well-known South African gospel singer was recently arrested on the grounds of statutory rape and his court appearance was marked by incredible support for him from his fans and ridicule for his 15-year-old victim?

All I know right now is that our problems as a society cannot be easily wished away with the mere invocation of spiritual belief.




What do YOU think?


Seven Great Quotes from Nelson Mandela’s Auto-biography ‘Long Walk to Freedom’

December 13, 2012


Picture: Nelson  Mandela age 19

Article Title: Seven Great Quotes from Nelson Mandela’s Auto-biography ‘Long Walk to Freedom’
Shared by: Craig Lock

Key Words (Tags): Nelson Mandela, Inspirational Quotes, Inspiration, Inspirational books, Africa, Asia, China, Israel, Middle East, Palestine, Politics, South Africa, Tibet

(enough there now)

Web sites:

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at


(obsessive or WHAT!)
Publishing Guidelines
This article (as with all my articles) may be freely published, electronically or in print.
Seven Great Quotes from Nelson Mandela’s Auto-biography ‘Long Walk to Freedom’

Submitter’s Note:
I’m passing on these thoughts from this ícon of magnanimity…and am forever touched by and am eternally grateful for ‘Madiba’s’ (his clan name as most South Africans affectionately term the great man) immense generosity and nobility of spirit.

Craig’s brand new e-book A Tribute to Nelson Mandela (Madiba) is already available at


1. The nature of freedom

“A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity…. For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others

2. Inequality

“A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but it’s lowest ones…”

3. The importance of majority rule

“Majority rule and internal peace are like the two sides of a single coin, and white South Africa simply has to accept that there will never be peace and stability in this country until the principle is fully applied.” – from a letter Mandela wrote to Pieter W. Botha, while still in prison.

What if this concept was true in Israel-Palestine, too??!!!

4. The power of music

“The curious beauty of African music is that it uplifts even as it tells a sad tale. You may be poor, you may have only a ramshackle house, you may have lost your job, but that song gives you hope… [African music] can ignite the political resolve of those who might otherwise be indifferent to politics.”

Music is very powerful

5. The beauty of a stolen land

“From Durban I drove south along the coast past Port Shepstone and Port St. Johns, small and lovely colonial towns that dotted the shimmering beaches fronting the Indian Ocean. While mesmerized by the beauty of the area, I was constantly rebuked by the buildings and streets that bear the names of white imperialists who suppressed the very people whose names belonged there.”

6. Newspapers

“Although I read a variety of newspapers from around the country, newspapers are only a poor shadow of reality; their information is important to a freedom fighter not because it reveals the truth, but because it discloses the biases and perceptions of both those who produce the paper and those who read it.”

7. Violence

“A freedom fighter learns the hard way that it is the oppressor who defines the nature of the struggle, and the oppressed is often left no recourse but to use methods that mirror those of the oppressor. At a certain point, one can only fight fire with fire.”

from Nelson Mandela’s Auto-biography ‘Long Walk to Freedom’

Thank you, Madiba for everything you have done, for the immense sacrifices you have made in your personal life in pursuit of a free and democratic, a better New South Africa for all its diverse inhabitants
Shared by Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer, Incorrigible Encourager and People-builder”)

‘Many tiny (yet significant) steps by many órdinary’ (what’s that!) people will ultimately reach their destination, their unique destinies.’

‘The seemingly impossible journey of a thousand miles on the long march to peace starts with a single tiny step.’
– craig

‘Education is`the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.’
– Nelson Mandela

About the submitter:
Craig believes in (and loves) sharing information and insights to try to make a difference in the world: to help and especially encourage people along life’s magical journey … and that brings him the greatest joy.

Craig’s brand new e-book A Tribute to Nelson Mandela (Madiba) is already available at

The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at:

His latest novels ‘The Awakened Spirit’ and ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bonds of Love’, based on some true and inspiring stories of the unquenchable, the indomitable human spirit, that lies within each one of us. Stories of ‘Endless Possibilities, Far and Unlimited (Grand) Horizons’ and these books are already available at
The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at and

(obsessive or WHAT!)
“Together, one mind, one soul, one small stepMANdela (first trip to London 1962) at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, empower, encourage and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials. Change YOUR world and you help change THE world.”

“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.”

(Anita Roddick, Founder of the Bodyshop  

Madiba (his clan name as most South Africans affectionately term the great man) on his first visit visit to London in 1962

WALLS: “Man is a great wall builder…”

November 3, 2012


“Man is a great wall builder
The Berlin Wall
The Wailing Wall of Jerusalem
But the wall most impregnable
Has a moat
flowing with fright
around his heart
A wall without windows for the spirit to breeze through
without a door for love to walk in.”

– OSWALD MTSHALI, Soweto (South African) poet
from the compelling book, ‘My Traitor’s Heart’ by Rian Malan (published by Vintage 1990)

“Let us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls.
Rather than borders, let us look at distant horizons together…
in the common spirit of the value and dignity of a shared personhood as citizens of planet earth.
We here in far-off New Zealand share the common bond of humanity:
the pain, the sadness, suffering and joy inherant in the human condition…
no matter where in the world you may live.”

– craig (after 911 and Asian tsunami Dec 2004)

“Instead of the limits of borders (of countries and of our minds), let us and our leaders expand our sense of possibility…
and together let’s look at building bridges to distant horizons, far and great.
Lord, help us all lift our eyes a little higher.”

The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” (including ‘Endless Possibilities, Far and Great Horizons’) are available at: : and


All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children-


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