I see people especially youngsters fail to understand the meaning of heritage. Let us define and examine it with a simple language from Oxford dictionary of current English; “it is property that is or may be inherited; an inheritance”. Meaning our heritage is what has been passed to us by our antecedents. It is what is passed from one generation to another. Heritage can also be defined as legacy. So if we celebrate heritage we therefore celebrate life of our ancestors. Life given to us by them.
Our ancestors were then Traditional Spiritualists who embraced tradition, culture and values and practiced customs and rituals. So if you distanced yourself from that and or against it, then we shouldn’t be celebrating our African heritage with you because you have rejected what you were supposed to inherit. African heritage is not only about cultures but about traditional beliefs as well, and there is traditional philosophy behind everything in tradition. Our ancestors were organic intellectuals and philosophers. So there was spiritual philosophy behind everything, from language to clothing, from spirituality to customs and rituals, from land to chiefdom, from education to arts, from science to medicine, fromm names to surnames and clan names, and so forth. Everything was referred to as the gift from the ancestors and uNkulunkulu the Great Spirit, hence heritage.
Lonto ithi ukuba wena uzosinxibela imibhaco okanye naluphi na uhlobo lwesihombo sakwantu, ube ungakholwa kwinkolo kaNtu, emva koko uthi you are celebrating your heritage, chith’utyiwe ukhe phantsi isitya sizele.
And if you converted from INkolo kaNtu to any other religion including Judaism, Christianity, Baha’i, Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Sikhism or whatever, we are not going to celebrate our African heritage with you. Because those religions are not part of our heritage, and Christianity was forced through physical and psychological slavery to devastate our cultures and beliefs “Heritage”, and we are not celebrating slavery here, remember. Our ancestors were brutally murdered because they refused to go to church; they refused to give land and cattle for the bible, but anyway, the mission of demolishing African cultures and stealing land was a success. So it’s a must to agree that our heritage was stolen, and part of it relegated to a dustbin by Europeans and Mental Enslaved Africans.
African Traditional Spirituality plays an enormous role in African heritage. It is a religion of Black African people if I may put it that way. That means “we do not separate our colour from our religion. The white man doesn’t. The white man never has separated Christianity from white, nor has he separated white man from Christianity. When you hear the white man bragging; “I’m a Christian” he is bragging about being a white man. Then you have the negro/black man. When he is bragging about being a Christian, he is bragging about being a white man or he wants to be white, and usually those negroes who brag like that, I think you have to agree, in their songs and things they sing in church, they show they have a greater desire to be white than anything else” (Malcom X, Black Man’s History speech).
Let us talk about clan names and why we should not consider celebrating our heritage with you if you don’t believe in ancestors. Let us first deal with the significance behind clan names. It is to thank, praise and worship, that’s ancestral worship. Remember your clan names are your ancestor’s names. For an example: Bhala, Mchenge, Sukude, Madiba, Maduna, Khwetshube, Bhele, Cirha, Dlamini, you name them, those are the ancestors, your roots and heritage. That is why “I think” white people do not have clan names because they don’t believe in dead people as they claim. So if you also on that page, of not believing in ancestors, then you might as well not praise them, because you can’t claim to be Mchenge but you do not believe in Mchenge himself. Hayi kaloku ayihambi kanjalo, umvuma umphika uMchenge ngoku. Ngumvubo wamanqina kaloku lowo.Yibacalanye ubeyimpuku okanye ubeyintaka.
Ancestral Worship/African Traditional Spirituality/ Inkolo KaNtu and Christianity cannot go together, that is against our African Heritage. As you cannot take both Christianity and Buddhism. Ngukhomba-khomba nonondwayiza kaloku abo. Ifane ke neNkolo Kantu neChristianity, azidibani. African spirituality and Jews and/or Greeks religion are like a snake and the frog. It is water and paraffin. Let us clear that confusion and eradicate it to pigs and dogs. I see a lot of folks mix the two, they posses confusion. For example a white man has nothing to do with ancestors, reason being, he is a Christian. That is why they insulted and referred to ancestors as demons because they don’t believe in them, and unfortunately slaves digested that. I don’t blame them, when you are enslaved sometimes you lose or lack common sense and cognizance and take whatever is said by the master as truth and light.
Written By Siyabonga UGqoboz’imbawula Ngcai
(Mental Slavery and Mental Liberation).