Archive for the ‘forgiveness’ Category

The Night of the Storm: St James Church Massacre – Cape Town, South Africa, as relayed by Frank Retief

September 6, 2014

http://seedsofhatetobondsoflove.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/st-james-church-massacre-cape-town-south-africa-as-relayed-by-frank/

 

 

Africa

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A ‘Review’ of the Film: “CATCH A FIRE” and Sharing a few Thoughts on Forgiveness

December 7, 2013

SAflagNEWArticle Title: A ‘Review’ of the Film: “CATCH A FIRE” and Sharing a few Thoughts on Forgiveness

(written by Shawn Slovo and her producer sister, Robyn)
.
Submitted and shared by Craig Lock (in 2007)

Category/Tags (Key words): Films, South Africa, stories of South Africa. Catch a Fire, Gillian Slovo, Forgiveness, Reconciliation. Pursuit of peace

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Craig+Lock&sort=relevance&ie=UTF8&qid and

http://goo.gl/vTpjk and http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html

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

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com

www.peacepursuit.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.

http://religiousunity.wordpress.com

and his various other blogs at

http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track

(obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)

Publishing Guidelines

All my articles may be freely published

Submitter’s Note:

Like the writers, producers and directors of ‘Catch the Fire’ , I too love to write and share stories that matter a lot to me, in terms of my deepest values (“the artistic temprament”??). True stories from people’s lives in history, that are worth sharing with others, as they have great meaning regarding the universal human condition. So I write about ordinary people in exceptional circumstances and times, that hopefully uplift and impact others through certain people’s great generosity of spirit inherent in the human condition to overcome great obstacles or adversity in their lives! My stories are about the indomitable and unquenchable strength of the human spirit… and ‘Catch a Fire’ is a story that I would have loved to have written … but now that it’s been done by Shawn and Robyn Slovo far more personally, bigger and better than I could ever have done. I found the story of the film so moving, compelling and inspiring, just “impulsively” wanted to share with you and encourage you to see this uplifting and inspiring movie.
*

“Catch a Fire” is based on the story of Patrick Chamusso, the personal journey and transformation of an “ordinary” man: from a compliant oil refinery worker and family man, then after being arrested, tortured and deported to his birth country of Mozambique became a radicalised African National Congress guerrilla fighter code-named “Hotstuff” – a man fighting for the liberation of his people, and his country.

Eventually Patrick was arrested again and convicted as a terrorist; then served his long and harsh sentence on Robben Island in the chilly waters off Cape Town, until his release in 1991. Now Chamusso, aged 57, runs an orphanage with his wife, Connie, where they tend to Aids orphans in the dusty hills at White River near Kruger National Park. From their modest home the close couple care for 14 children. Already they have found foster homes for a further 90 under-privileged (and often malnourished) youngsters in the village, who visit their house daily for food, bible classes and the shiny bicycles donated by the film’s production company…all done with a great generosity of spirit.

But then, Patrick and his beloved wife, Conney have always tried to instil in others the importance of serving others through Christian love. They say that their current long battle against HIV is like our people’s long and hard struggle against apartheid.
*

I think it’s vitally important to understand the mind of a person. Another important message in the story is how good people can often do bad things and the reader gets inside the soul of a man, who wanted to do good and yet preserve the status quo of the ruling regime – to protect the institutions and history of the country. The plots interweave, the two men living on different sides of the fence – both who love their families and their country equally; it’s just that they have a completely different view of their country and visions for its future. The story not only shines a light on South Africa’s past, but tells us something about the present and how one man’s freedom fighter can be another’s terrorist. (It just depends upon ones perspective). So, by only looking to history, we always find something, a ray of hope to illuminate the present and the future.

History tells us that Patrick Chamusso, was the ‘good guy’, who finds himself so backed into a corner, that he finds no other way of expressing and achieving his political aspirations, other than through using force. And that is the mind-set we ‘ordinary people’ and especially world leaders are truly going to have to understand in order to “win this current ‘war against terror’“. And we are certainly not going to do it through force and invasions, by eliminating the ‘perpetrators of the state-sanctioned violence’and his family.

It’s also most importantly, a story of redemption: of a man trying to regain his humanity…and one eventually does!

I don’t think Chamusso is a hero for taking up arms. I think he’s a hero for laying them down. Their story has a message of forgiveness and hope in the future – one that parallels the miracle of South Africa today. Now if only other countries could offer the kind of leadership South Africa produced at that precarious time in its blood-soaked history…and learn the lessons from the past, then the whole of Africa and even the entire world would be a far better and more peaceful place for all of us.

based on (and inspired by) a great interview with film director, Phillip Noyce and Russell Baillie, as published in the Weekend Herald, Auckland, New Zealand on 9th June 2007

* *

To end off, here are a few thoughts on forgiveness
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act – it is an
attitude of mind.”
– Martin Luther King

“The noblest revenge is to forgive.”
– Thomas Fuller, English author (1608-1661)

His (Mandela’s) ability to rise above his conditions, to stay positive and remain focussed. His dignity, humility and character. He is a model for everyone, especially his total lack of bitterness towards his former enemies. “There is no time to be bitter – there is work to be done.”

A tribute to the symbolic presence of dignity and strength. “Madiba’s’strength of will and character. (“He took Christianity to the market-place.”) Mandela embraced his enemies with love in a “Christ-like selflessness”, epitomising a “Divine Grace” in the human condition. He truly BELIEVED in his mission, never wavering in his convictions. One man’s commitment to a noble cause – what one man can do preaching reconciliation. “My mission is embracing the wounds of my country.” He gives pride to all black people. What men can do with a noble mission.
“If I don’t forgive my enemies, I deny my right to have power over them.”
– Martin Luther King or Robert Kennedy??

“One man can make a difference.”
– Robert Kennedy

*
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
– Martin Luther King, Jr (1929-1968, American Leader and Nobel Prize Winner, 1964)

“Violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.” So eulogised Robert Kennedy after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in April 1968.

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”
– John F Kennedy

About the submitter:
Craig is passionate about his former country, South Africa and writes about the “Beloved Country” in his novels. The story of ‘Catch a Fire’ has a lot of meaning to his life and shares important themes from his own writings. In his various writings Craig strives in some small way to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through “planting, then sowing ideas as ‘seeds of hope’”. He believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us. Craig’s new work ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: To attempt to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. “A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.”

The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Craig+Lock&sort=relevance&ie=UTF8&qid and

http://goo.gl/vTpjk and http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html

 
Craig’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at http://www.mandelamadiba.wordpress.com
http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track
(obsessive or WHAT!)

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

“Together, one mind, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope for a better and brighter future.”

THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED

PPS

“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask ‘why’? I dream of things that never were, and ask ‘why not’?”

~Robert F. Kennedy

“Few (of us) will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man (or woman) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (she or) he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
— the powerful and greatly inspiring words of Robert F. Kennedy (with my little insertions in brackets)

“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.”
– craig

rainbow (from photobuck)

“Somewhat of a Review” of the Film: ‘CATCH A FIRE’ and Sharing a few Personal Thoughts

October 12, 2012

“Somewhat of a Review” of the Film: ‘CATCH A FIRE’ and Sharing a few Personal Thoughts
(written by Shawn Slovo and her producer sister, Robyn)
Submitted and shared by Craig Lock
Category/Tags (Key words): Films, South Africa, stories of South Africa. Catch a Fire, Gillian Slovo, Forgiveness, Reconciliation. Pursuit of peace

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 and http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html
Craig’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com www.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com http://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.com http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)

Publishing Guidelines

All my articles may be freely published

Submitter’s Note:

Like the writers, producers and directors of ‘Catch the Fire’, I too love to write and share stories that matter a lot to me, in terms of my deepest values (“the artistic temprament”??). True stories from people’s lives in history, that are worth sharing with others, as they have great meaning regarding the universal human condition. So I write about ordinary people in exceptional circumstances and times, that hopefully uplift and impact others through certain people’s great generosity of spirit inherant in the human condition to overcome great obstacles or adversity in their lives! My stories are about the indominatable and unquenchable strength of the human spirit… and ‘Catch a Fire’ is a story that I would have loved to have written … but now that it’s been done by Shawn and Robyn Slovo far more personally, bigger and better than I could ever have done. I found the story of the film so moving, compelling and inspiring, just “impulsively” wanted to share with you and encourage you to see this uplifting and inspiring movie.
*
The Movie ‘CATCH A FIRE’

31 Oct 2006 – Source: United Methodist News Service

Hero of ‘Catch a Fire’ tells church about apartheid era.

“I have learned to remember the words of my friend, Nelson Mandela, when he said, ‘We can never be free, unless we learn to forgive.'” Those are the words of Patrick Chamusso, a former prisoner on South Africa’s Robben Island with Mandela.

“Nelson Mandela told us to offer forgiveness. He even forgave the person who held him prisoner all those years at Robben Island.”

The movie depicts Chamusso’s transformation from an oil refinery worker to a freedom fighter. He was a foreman at the centrally located Secunda oil refinery, which was a symbol of South Africa’s self-sufficiency at a time when the world was instituting economic sanctions and protesting the country’s apartheid system. It was also a symbol of the wealth and riches of South Africa, earned in part from the exploitation of cheap black labor.

In his spare time, Chamusso coached a local boys’ soccer team. He was by no means a political man and would not have dreamed of becoming a member of Nelson Mandela’s freedom party, the African National Congress. That changed when Chamusso was arrested upon suspicion of sabotage of Secunda in 1980. He was beaten, tortured and mentally abused. When his wife, Precious was beaten and arrested, Chamusso was stunned into action. He left his family and joined the African National Congress in Mozambique, where he met Joe Slovo, the head of the congress’ military wing and later a cabinet member in Mandela’s first post-apartheid government.

In 1981, Chamusso attacked the Secunda refinery in a mission designed by Slovo. After the bombing, he was captured and arrested, held for nine months without trial and brutally tortured.

“I became angry to my God,” Chamusso said, as he recalled his detention. “I said, ‘Where are you?’ I am going to face the judge, and I know I’m going to die.’ But I didn’t. I was supposed to have the death sentence for what I did, but the judge gave me 24 years… It was God.”

Chamusso was imprisoned on Robben Island along with Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners. Chamusso said the only way he was able to survive prison was by praying. He served 10 years, received amnesty and was released in 1991.

‘We must forgive!’

“At first, I thought it wasn’t a good story, because I didn’t value myself as a human being,” Chamusso said. “The reason was the structure of apartheid in South Africa. It was directed at a black man. I couldn’t open a bank account in South Africa; because I must take a white man with me. I couldn’t buy a car without a white man. If there was a road block, they would pull me out of the car, search me and beat me in front of my children. But we said, ‘We forgive you people.’ Through forgiveness, you let go of the anger and put it down. You forget it!”

Chamusso said he gets upset when people compare what he did in South Africa to current acts of terrorism.
“I think anyone who compares this to terrorism doesn’t understand,” he said. “There is no comparison. We were trying to remove apartheid. Our policy was, ‘No one must die.’ We wanted to destroy apartheid, not kill people.”

“We must tell the truth, but we must also forgive,” he said.
Today Chamusso, his wife, Conney and their three children live in White River, a valley region north of Johannesburg. They have at least 80 orphans whom they have adopted and care for through their ministry called ‘Two Sisters’.

“I wake up every morning and say, ‘Lord, thank you. For my life’, thank you Lord for me still being alive’.”
‘Catch a Fire’ screenwriter Shawn Slovo, daughter of the late Joe Slovo: “I thought it was a good time to tell the story, because of the miracle of South Africa,” she said, explaining why she wrote the film.

The movie “about reconciliation is timely, because it has been a period of time that it seems like all hell has broken loose in the world.” “If you just browse the paper, you can see that violence has escalated around the globe. It all comes down to broken relationships. So as we make peace with God, it is possible for each one of us to make peace.”

31 Oct 2006 – Source: United Methodist News Service

* *
“I have learned to remember the words of my friend, Nelson Mandela, when he said, ‘We can never be free unless we learn to forgive.'” Those are the words of Patrick Chamusso, a former prisoner on South Africa’s Robben Island with Mandela.

He spoke and worshipped at Munger Place United Methodist Church, while visiting Dallas as part of a promotional tour for the movie “Catch a Fire,” which debuts in US cinemas this week. The movie tells the story of his life and his struggle as a freedom fighter in apartheid-era South Africa.

“Nelson Mandela told us to offer forgiveness,” said Chamusso, a member of White River Methodist Church north of Johannesburg, South Africa. “He even forgave the person who held him prisoner all those years at Robben Island.”

The Rev. Charles L Stovall, pastor of Munger Place Church, invited Chamusso and the movie’s cast and crew to the church, after learning they would be promoting the film in Dallas. Stovall represented the United Methodist Church on the Ecumenical Monitoring Team for South African’s first multi-racial election, an election that made Nelson Mandela South Africa’s first black president.
*
Stunned into action!

In the film, Chamusso is portrayed by Derek Luke, who starred in ‘Antwone Fisher’, ‘Friday Night Lights’ and ‘Glory Road’.
The movie depicts Chamusso’s transformation from an oil refinery worker to a freedom fighter. He was a foreman at the centrally located Secunda oil refinery, which was a symbol of South Africa’s self-sufficiency at a time when the world was instituting economic sanctions and protesting the country’s apartheid system. It was also a symbol of the wealth and riches of South Africa, earned in part from the exploitation of cheap black labor.

In his spare time, Chamusso coached a local boys’ soccer team. He was by no means a political man and would not have dreamed of becoming a member of Nelson Mandela’s freedom party, the African National Congress.

That changed when Chamusso was arrested upon suspicion of sabotage of Secunda in 1980. He was beaten, tortured and mentally abused. When his wife, Precious – played by South African television actress Bonnie Henna – was beaten and arrested, Chamusso was stunned into action. He left his family and joined the African National Congress in Mozambique, where he met Joe Slovo, the head of the congress’s military wing and later a cabinet member in Mandela’s first post-apartheid government.

In 1981, Chamusso attacked the Secunda refinery in a mission designed by Slovo. After the bombing, he was captured and arrested, held for nine months without trial and brutally tortured.

“I became angry to my God,” Chamusso said, as he recalled his detention. “I said, ‘Where are you?’ I am going to face the judge, and I know I’m going to die.’ But I didn’t. I was supposed to have the death sentence for what I did, but the judge gave me 24 years… It was God.”

Chamusso was imprisoned on Robben Island, where fellow Methodist layman, Nelson Mandela was incarcerated. Chamusso said the only way he was able to survive prison was by praying. He served 10 years, received amnesty and was released in 1991, one year after Mandela was released and three years before the country’s first Democratic Election.

‘We must forgive!’

During an October 15 fellowship luncheon at Munger Place, Chamusso told the congregation he was glad the film was done while he was still alive.

“At first, I thought it wasn’t a good story, because I didn’t value myself as a human being,” Chamusso said. “The reason was the structure of apartheid in South Africa. It was directed at a black man. I couldn’t open a bank account in South Africa, because I must take a white man with me. I couldn’t buy a car without a white man. If there was a road block, they would pull me out of the car, search me and beat me in front of my children. But we said, ‘We forgive you people’. Through forgiveness, you let go of the anger and put it down. You forget it!”

Chamusso said he gets upset when people compare what he did in South Africa to current acts of terrorism.

“I think anyone who compares this to terrorism doesn’t understand,” he said. “There is no comparison. We were trying to remove apartheid. Our policy was, ‘No one must die’. We wanted to destroy apartheid, not kill.”

“The people in South Africa are going to be surprised when they see this movie. I was at the men’s breakfast at the Methodist Church; there were whites there, who wanted to know what was happening during apartheid. When people tell them about the people who have disappeared and were tortured, some say, ‘Oh, this is exaggerated.’ But that’s why we want to tell them, because they don’t know the truth.

We must tell the truth, but we must also forgive,” he said.

“And you shall know the truth…
and the truth shall set you free.”
*
Today Chamusso, his wife, Conney and their three children live in White River, a valley region north of Johannesburg. They have at least 80 orphans, whom they have adopted and care for through their ministry called ‘Two Sisters’.

“I wake up every morning and say, ‘Lord, thank you. For my life. Thank you, Lord for me still being alive.'”
*
Also attending the Munger Place United Methodist Church service was ‘Catch a Fire’ screenwriter Shawn Slovo, daughter of the late Joe Slovo. “I thought it was a good time to tell the story, because of the miracle of South Africa,” she said, explaining why she wrote the film.

The movie “about reconciliation is timely; because it has been a period of time that it seems like all hell has broken loose in the world,” Stovall said. “If you just browse the paper, you can see that violence has escalated around the globe. It all comes down to broken relationships. So as we make peace with God, it is possible for us to have peace.”

31 Oct 2006

“While we will not forget the brutality of apartheid, we will not want Robben Island to be a monument of our hardship and suffering. We would want it to be a triumph of the human spirit against the forces of evil. A triumph of wisdom and largeness of spirit against small minds and pettiness;
a triumph of courage and determination over human frailty and weakness; a triumph of the New South Africa over the old.”

– Ahmed Kathrada (who was imprisoned for 26 years. Prisoner No: 468/64)

To end off, here are a few thoughts on forgiveness…
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act – it is an attitude of mind.”
– Martin Luther King

“The noblest revenge is to forgive.”
– Thomas Fuller, English author (1608-1661)

His (Mandela’s) ability to rise above his conditions, to stay positive and remain focussed. His dignity, humility and character. He is a model for everyone, especially his total lack of bitterness towards his former enemies. “There is no time to be bitter – there is work to be done.”

A tribute to the symbolic presence of dignity and strength. “Madiba’s’strength of will and character. (“He took Christianity to the market-place.”) Mandela embraced his enemies with love in a “Christ-like selflessness”, epitomising a “Divine Grace” in the human condition. He truly BELIEVED in his mission, never wavering in his convictions. One man’s commitment to a noble cause – what one man can do preaching reconciliation. “My mission is embracing the wounds of my country.” He gives pride to all black people. What men can do with a noble mission.
“If I don’t forgive my enemies, I deny my right to have power over them.”
– Martin Luther King or Robert Kennedy??

“One man can make a difference.”
– Robert Kennedy

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
– Martin Luther King, Jr (1929-1968, American Black Leader, Nobel Prize Winner, 1964)

“Violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.” So eulogised Robert Kennedy after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in April 1968.

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”
– John F Kennedy

“Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tide and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
– Teilhard De Chardin

About the submitter:
Craig is passionate about his former country, South Africa and writes about the “Beloved Country” in his novels. The story of ‘Catch a Fire’ has a lot of meaning to his life and shares important themes from his own writings. In his various writings Craig strives in some small way to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through “planting, then sowing ideas as ‘seeds of hope’”. He believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us. Craig’s new work ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: To attempt to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. “A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.”
The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

“Together, one mind, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope for a better and brighter future.”

THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED

PPS

“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask ‘why’? I dream of things that never were, and ask ‘why not’?”

~Robert F. Kennedy

“Few (of us) will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man (or woman) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (she or) he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
— the powerful and greatly inspiring words of Robert F. Kennedy (with my little insertions in brackets)

“Lord,

Help lift our eyes a little higher”

.

.

A ‘Review’ of the Film: “CATCH A FIRE” and Sharing a few Thoughts on Forgiveness

October 12, 2012

Article Title: A ‘Review’ of the Film: “CATCH A FIRE” and Sharing a few Thoughts on Forgiveness

(written by Shawn Slovo and her producer sister, Robyn)
.
Submitted and shared by Craig Lock

Category/Tags (Key words): Films, South Africa, stories of South Africa. Catch a Fire, Gillian Slovo, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Pursuit of peace

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 and http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html
Craig’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.wordpress.comwww.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com www.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com http://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.com http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com + so many others I can’t keep track (obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)

Publishing Guidelines

All my articles may be freely published

Submitter’s Note:

Like the writers, producers and directors of ‘Catch the Fire’ , I too love to write and share stories that matter a lot to me, in terms of my deepest values (“the artistic temprament”??). True stories from people’s lives in history, that are worth sharing with others, as they have great meaning regarding the universal human condition. So I write about ordinary people in exceptional circumstances and times, that hopefully uplift and impact others through certain people’s great generosity of spirit inherent in the human condition to overcome great obstacles or adversity in their lives! My stories are about the indomitable and unquenchable strength of the human spirit… and ‘Catch a Fire’ is a story that I would have loved to have written … but now that it’s been done by Shawn and Robyn Slovo far more personally, bigger and better than I could ever have done. I found the story of the film so moving, compelling and inspiring, just “impulsively” wanted to share with you and encourage you to see this uplifting and inspiring movie.
*

“Catch a Fire” is based on the story of Patrick Chamusso, the personal journey and transformation of an “ordinary” man: from a compliant oil refinery worker and family man, then after being arrested, tortured and deported to his birth country of Mozambique became a radicalised African National Congress guerrilla fighter code-named “Hotstuff” – a man fighting for the liberation of his people, and his country.

Eventually Patrick was arrested again and convicted as a terrorist; then served his long and harsh sentence on Robben Island in the chilly waters off Cape Town, until his release in 1991. Now Chamusso, aged 57, runs an orphanage with his wife, Connie, where they tend to Aids orphans in the dusty hills at White River near Kruger National Park. From their modest home the close couple care for 14 children. Already they have found foster homes for a further 90 under-privileged (and often malnourished) youngsters in the village, who visit their house daily for food, bible classes and the shiny bicycles donated by the film’s production company…all done with a great generosity of spirit.

But then, Patrick and his beloved wife, Conney have always tried to instil in others the importance of serving others through Christian love. They say that their current long battle against HIV is like our people’s long and hard struggle against apartheid.
*

I think it’s vitally important to understand the mind of a person. Another important message in the story is how good people can often do bad things and the reader gets inside the soul of a man, who wanted to do good and yet preserve the status quo of the ruling regime – to protect the institutions and history of the country. The plots interweave, the two men living on different sides of the fence – both who love their families and their country equally; it’s just that they have a completely different view of their country and visions for its future. The story not only shines a light on South Africa’s past, but tells us something about the present and how one man’s freedom fighter can be another’s terrorist. (It just depends upon ones perspective). So, by only looking to history, we always find something, a ray of hope to illuminate the present and the future.

History tells us that Patrick Chamusso, was the ‘good guy’, who finds himself so backed into a corner, that he finds no other way of expressing and achieving his political aspirations, other than through using force. And that is the mindset we ‘ordinary people’and especially world leaders are truly going to have to understand in order to “win this current ‘war against terror'”. And we are certainly not going to do it through force and invasions, by eliminating the ‘perpertrators of the state-sanctioned violence’and hisfamily.

It’s also most importantly, a story of redemption: of a man trying to regain his humanity…and one eventually does!

I don’t think Chamusso is a hero for taking up arms. I think he’s a hero for laying them down. Their story has a message of forgiveness and hope in the future – one that parallels the miracle of South Africa today. Now if only other countries could offer the kind of leadership South Africa produced at that precarious time in its blood-soaked history…and learn the lessons from the past, then the whole of Africa and even the entire world would be a far better and more peaceful place for all of us.

based on (and inspired by) a great interview with film director, Phillip Noyce and Russell Baillie, as published in the Weekend Herald, Auckland, New Zealand on 9th June 2007

* *

To end off, here are a few thoughts on forgiveness
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act – it is an
attitude of mind.”
– Martin Luther King

“The noblest revenge is to forgive.”
– Thomas Fuller, English author (1608-1661)

His (Mandela’s) ability to rise above his conditions, to stay positive and remain focussed. His dignity, humility and character. He is a model for everyone, especially his total lack of bitterness towards his former enemies. “There is no time to be bitter – there is work to be done.”

A tribute to the symbolic presence of dignity and strength. “Madiba’s’strength of will and character. (“He took Christianity to the market-place.”) Mandela embraced his enemies with love in a “Christ-like selflessness”, epitomising a “Divine Grace” in the uman condition. He truly BELIEVED in his mission, never wavering in his convictions. One man’s commitment to a noble cause – what one man can do preaching reconciliation. “My mission is embracing the wounds of my country.” He gives pride to all black people. What men can do with a noble mission.
“If I don’t forgive my enemies, I deny my right to have power over them.”
– Martin Luther King or Robert Kennedy??

“One man can make a difference.”
– Robert Kennedy

*
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
– Martin Luther King, Jr (1929-1968, American Leader and Nobel Prize Winner, 1964)

“Violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.” So eulogised Robert Kennedy after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr in April 1968.

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the opression or persecution of others.”
– John F Kennedy

About the submitter:
Craig is passionate about his former country, South Africa and writes about the “Beloved Country” in his novels. The story of ‘Catch a Fire’ has a lot of meaning to his life and shares important themes from his own writings. In his various writings Craig strives in some small way to break down social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through “planting, then sowing ideas as ‘seeds of hope’”. He believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us. Craig’s new work ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: To attempt to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. “A passionate story of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love.”

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

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

“Together, one mind, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds, the hope for a better and brighter future.”

THESE THOUGHTS MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED

PPS

“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask ‘why’? I dream of things that never were, and ask ‘why not’?”

~Robert F. Kennedy

“Few (of us) will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man (or woman) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (she or) he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
— the powerful and greatly inspiring words of Robert F. Kennedy (with my little insertions in brackets)

“Lord,

Help lift our eyes a little higher”

.


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