Digging Deeper

Posted on August 2, 2012
Photo credit: Lucy Campbell On examination to what is good for my health both mentally and physically, and what is not, has added more value to the way I live sooner rather than later. By all means I am not a health freak which by the way I cannot afford. One way or the other the gym does become an expensive pastime as we know it is mostly owned and maintained by flaunty rich white advertising companies anyway. Notwithstanding fake black moisturises, skin lighteners e.t.c manufactured by multi-nationals who sell these products to the very workers they exploit.

Simultaneously this shift enabled me to make a few adjustments to my social circles, like choosing who my close friends will be and who will not. Notwithstanding those I choose to work with, having the privilege, which should be every ones right to work for themselves and their families. This could be possible however in the light of all the empty promises government has made in support of this. A living nonetheless that was made thousands of years ago, yet does not get the acknowledgement and credit it deserves.

Now, albeit the suitable age of 53 I needed digging much deeper, more so beyond my own dominant notions of identification on the basis of my skin colour, class, Christianity, straight, gay e.t.c. After all I was born into this main frame of reference can you blame me? My transition from believing that which is 'acceptable' behaviour and dominant to all, to that practical realization of needing to allow the good in and phasing the bad out of my life was to permit love, health, care, honesty, kindness and spirituality in is what I needed to live. This turning point however has given me introspect as too how our natural state had been disturbed by lust, inhibiting that growth which needed a system to survive. I needed to try and maintain the balance in my relationship with myself and improve a quality of life with like minded people and others.

It is in my attempt at digging deeper that led me to a spirited neighbourhood of strong, active young and old mostly Cape Town and the Western Cape Aboriginal conversations. It is here that I discovered a network of mostly passionate Khoe Boesman supporters, healers, advocate's, workers, professionals, youth, writers and organisations that I knew little and nothing about, shame on me I thought. None the less I proceeded with great caution as I went along treading in blurred spaces in search of what I now know is the truth. It is this truth that led me to believe that I am on the right paths to discovering exactly that which I am searching for. It is in these spaces that I am beginning to find some of the answers to my questions. As always it is much more complex, and so it continues to be.

What further inspired me was the passing of a new found friend a few weeks ago who died of cancer. This opened my eyes to a bigger picture. As I searched I realised that the quality and value of Indigenous traditional healing practices and knowledge systems remains popular among mostly 'conscious' Indigenous peoples yet needs broader coverage to the communities who don't. Could this truth not have saved the lives of my father, my sister, my brother in law, my new found friend and many more lives, had I known sooner?, maybe, maybe not? Fact is a close friend of mine is currently living with cancer without administering devastating drugs like chemo for instance. Lately I have seen her healthier and happier than ever, knowing that the medical fraternity gave her a few months to live...

How is it possible that I ignored this invaluable information, yet it was there all the time? Have I been distracted from the truth by believing that endemics like cancer cannot be stopped and even cured should we make Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS)'s a lifestyle common in our everyday lives? Developing an Indigenous consciousness now is to survive the onslaught of science. It becomes scarier when you realise that the food we eat and the antibiotics we consume for a slight headache or backache might just is our biggest enemy in the long run. Usually when we least expect it.

During my many searches for information to further support my shift I came across a vibrant newspaper the Eland dated 28 June-11 July 2012. Exploring its many articles written by some passionate Khoe San writers, healers and leaders I found some answers. What got me even more determined in my search was an article I came across written by Evette Abrahams in response to Japanese organic farmer Fukuoka Masanobu 'when agricultural science seeks to solve a problem. It will say: The problem is an insect pest which is eating the crop. It will then seek to 'solve' the problem by eradicating that pest. As organic farming has pointed out for many decades, sometimes this one dimensional way of defining the problem creates more problems than it 'solves' She further brings to our attention the seriousness at the heart of the matter. 'We may notice that children seem to be getting more and more allergic, suffering from eczema even as babies and that childhood asthma rates are continually on the rise. In order to cure this we then go to doctor who define it as a single 'problem' and give medicine to cure it. While we are doing this, the pest we are hoping to get rid of has developed a resistance to the chemical insecticide and is flourishing in greater numbers than before' And that the truth is: 'Also we build up poison in the soil and in the water, from where it gets back into the crops... This is my reality in understanding the truth.

It has also become clearer to me that there is much confusion within the growing Aboriginal movement. Yet we should not be pessimistic when challenging the status quo. What we should be advocating for is to restore that which is possible, embrace that which is relevant, become accustomed to that which is necessary from other cultures, rebuild or produce that which is required through new things when unknown in our own cultures as Indigenous Aboriginal First People of South Africa and globally. And resist the culture of double standards. Last and not least we need to address the post traumatic stress associated with pre-apartheid's legacy of dispossession. This is what I have found to be the truth.

Lucy Campbell is an Archival Platform correspondent