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Why We Cheat Our Way to Success

shule

I don’t understand why people get so vexed by the high rate of cheating in exams or the increased illegal buying of certificates and diplomas in institutions of higher learning. When we take a keen look at the way we are brought up, the manner in which we are programmed to think, you automatically realize that cheating is the fruit of a rotten seed planted in our mentality from the time we are born.

Our society worships grades and idolizes certificates. We are brought up in an archaic system that measures your worth on how well you can cram information for exams and how many A’s can grace your diplomas. Consequently, students regrettably go to school to pass tests rather than learn since schools value high grades more than enriched minds. Those few who are lucky enough to enter the cut-throat competitive job market are necessitated to return to class to get more papers once they grasp the fact that professional institutions value your papers more than your performance.

For a long time, since we entered pre-school, a certain idea has been constantly hammered into our minds; the idea that if you fail in your exams, you will fail in life. The idea is the rotten seed that society, through people and institutions, constantly plants in our psyche and continually waters it as we grow up. By the time you get to university, the seed is a gigantic tree with roots extremely deep that you will do just about anything to pass those exams and accumulate those diplomas because of your internalized fear of failure.

If by chance you are not the kind of person who is gifted with a mind that can memorize and regurgitate dozens of pages of information, then you automatically result to the typical examination cheats and tricks; you artistically create those microscopic mwakenyas, which you then hide in undetectable and ungodly places, or hire those academic ‘research experts’ to design and write up your final projects, or better yet, you purchase those nicely branded glossy certificates from a briefcase office somewhere along River Road. If the desperation runs too deep in your spirit, you find yourself among those who result to more extreme endeavors like ‘bedding’ their professors and ‘sleeping’ their way to success once they penetrate the high-paying job market.

We live in a psychotic society that measures the credibility of a person by how well that person can memorize formulas and how fast he or she can accrue diplomas and certificates from institutions of higher education. It is a system so draconic that promotions are based on papers rather than performance and recognition centered on grades rather than understanding. Such an extreme atmosphere induces those involved to employ rough techniques just to beat they system. Cheating, stealing, buying and all kinds of monkey business become the order of the day. Truth be told, people will do just about anything to acquire that ‘A’ and that diploma from that recognized university.

I am in no way justifying the diabolical means that individuals result to so as to advance academically and professionally, rather merely trying to explain their actions. As some like to say, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” The ideals of a society are sometimes oppressive in nature; hence the society is in constant war with itself. Those who know a little about war or conflict will tell you that the modes of oppression used by the oppressor primarily determine the means of resistance utilized by the oppressed; that is, the more intense the oppression, the more extreme the means used to overcome that oppression. That is the nature of the game and you can be rest assured that this game of grades and papers is exceptionally extreme.

Until we refrain from the obsession with high grades and paper portfolios, and shun from the ridiculous habit of placing value on an individual based on his exam score or diploma level, then we will continue to raise kids and adults who will result to any means necessary to get those pleasant papers and genius grades.

__uThanDiLe©2015

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Posted by on February 6, 2015 in Culture, random thoughts

 

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Monkey In My Bathroom Mirror

seis Photo credit: Anzaa Makena (vervet monkeys)

My Gogo (grandmother) often says to me that unless I leave my mother’s house, I will grow up believing she cooks the best food in the world. I once looked at my mirror and saw a monkey staring back. Unsure of whether I was awake or in a trance, I blinked once and then once more. When I opened my eyes, there was not only the monkey but a meerkat had joined the peep show. They say mirrors are a reflection of the heart just like water in a stream; they show you things that the ordinary eye cannot see. I was anxious to know what these images meant, but I was in a fix. If I went to my elders, they would say I am deranged. If I went to my friends, they would jokingly say I need to stop smoking that herb and if I went to the preacher man, he would try an exorcism on my innocent soul. So I decided to visit a Sangoma to help me demystify my vision.

A Sangoma is a diviner; a prophet of some sort; a healer; a visionary who can see things that ordinary people cannot see. A Sangoma is more often a woman, a very old one, with a dreadful appearance and mystical voice that will frighten your spirit to death. My Gogo told me that a Sangoma can smell death from a mile away; she can also see evil spirits just like a cat. According to tradition, evil spirits like to inhabit the bodies of rats. Rats move around stealthily and freely; they cause diseases and chew down your most valued possessions. In our Afrikan culture, if you have rats in your house, you are deemed poor or cursed or both. That is why most households will have a cat which they believe will chase away the evil spirits of death, disease and poverty. I have two cats, each presently nursing three kittens. I think I am well protected; but I am also a graduate with a degree in a scientific field. I am your enigmatic highly educated African with a heightened belief in indigenous spirituality. The westerner just calls it uninformed superstition.

The white Man has somehow managed to convince our people that everything we believe in is sheer savage superstition; spirituality is an abode of the civilized. That is why that Man has made it clear to us that God and His angels are indeed light like Snow while the Devil is dark like Coal. It does not need any guesswork to conclude who are the children of the crucifix and who are the bastards of lucifer. This god-look-alike Man has made it his mission to turn our dark savage souls into spiritual sanctuaries by any means necessary. That is why he has thoroughly enslaved and colonized our people. Now our people have become more fanatical than the colonial missionaries when it comes converting the dark souls of their brothers.

I am a mystery even to my own self. I am at the front seat during the Sunday sermon, I am awed at the science behind the work of Surgeons and I acknowledge the power of a Sangoma.

The Sangoma I visited had a battalion of cats patrolling her frazzled yard. When I recited to her my ordeal, she laughed mockingly just like the monkey in the mirror. “Young man, why do you want to crack the tired ribs of an old woman?” Her breathing sounded like a distant echo. My imaginary mind imagined how her rib cage must be ruggedly held together by bushy cobwebs and her lungs coated with layers of dark dust and grey ash. My Gogo says a Sangoma cannot be arrested by death. Anytime death comes knocking at her tiny congested hut, she welcomes him with a concoction of hot water spiced with mint and tangawizi. The concoction has an effect similar to that of Cannabis. Upon gulping down the drink, Death slowly turns drowsy and the Sangoma seduces him to her mahogany warped bed. After two half-moons, Death heads back to hell with his face all lit up but no soul in his hand; nothing to prove he has done any work while visiting earth. Sangomas are the custodians of the earth. They are as old as time itself: Inkulu nkulu. Not even the insatiable tummy of death has a grip on them.

“Only a fisherman knows where a fish lays its eggs. Now go!”

That was all the Sangoma said to me. She is the typical elder speaking in parables and sayings that don’t make any sense to a young educated graduate. If she only knew the kind of nonsense they teach us in school these days, she would have given me a chemical equation to balance or an algebra question to solve. They don’t teach us to solve parables in college. They don’t show us how to unravel sayings in secondary school. Yet, a Sangoma and a Gogo are the finest teachers you can find anywhere; they show you where to look but not what to see. They leave the seeing to you.

So here I was trailing and watching monkeys and meerkats from can’t see in the morning to can’t see at night, trying to figure out why they appeared as my reflection. I was as observant as an owl yet saw nothing to report about, until one day I sighted something unbelievable. I saw a meerkat, as harmless as it is, jolting a sleeping rattle snake. Anytime the rattle snake would rattle its tale, the meerkat would just sit back and watch keenly. When the snake went silent, the meerkat would disturb it again just to hear the rattling. I too was fascinated by the rattle snake’s rattling tail. It sounds exactly like a shekere or Kanyamba. If you have ever put beads or hard seeds inside a calabash and then shaken it, then you know what a rattle snake tails sound like. Monkeys are even more fascinating. I had come to observe that wherever monkeys were, other animals would parade around. The monkey is indeed the maestro of the wild; it knows where to find the sweetest leaves and fruits, the purest water and the most succulent roots. If you are around a monkey, you will probably never grow hungry or become angry. Just watching monkeys and meerkats will make your ribs crack and lungs cough.

When I think about it, my Gogo has compared me to a monkey on several occasions, saying that I like jumping from tree to tree; always curios to know something about everything. My professor says it’s quite a task for me to keep a single trail of thought; I diverge more than a chameleon’s camouflage. My friends always smile when I walk into the room or open my mouth to speak; they are sure I will say something cheeky. I am learning to take life a little more serious while still holding on to the belief that comedy is a funny way of being serious. Nonetheless, until such a time as then, anytime I see these two fascinating animals staring back in my mirror every morning, I’m just gonna continue looking, seeing and learning about the many things that I don’t know I don’t know. I also hope one of these days you too will find some strange creature staring back at you in your bathroom mirror; my Sangoma is in need of more clients and more laughter to clear her dusty lungs…..

__uThandDiLe©2015

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Culture, random thoughts

 

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Linguistic Refugees

The reason why I’m vexed by these kenyans who speak in miraculously mystical

foreign accents, in addition to their incessant refusal to speak the local languages, is coz

of the value of language to a people. Language is the train that transports a culture

from one generation to another. I am convinced that neither French nor English

nor Arabic can adequately support the weight of African cultures.

I will be radical enough to say that to even entertain the notion that a twenty-six lettered

Latin-rooted alphabet can bear the weight of the grandeur of African culture is

to demean the greatness & creativity to the Most High. Trying to collapse the totality of Afrikan

culture into an alien language is synonymous to trynna fit the Nile river into

a water jug. Impossible. Please don’t get me wrong, I believe all languages are unique in their own

way, and borrowing a thing or two is well and good. My contention is the wholesale importation of an

alien language to the extent of permitting it to suffocate the indigenous one. You have to remember that

a language carries a culture; you realize once you start speaking english, then you start dressing english

and thinking english, and acting english. You become a ridiculous carbon copy of those whose language

you consume without restriction. they made us forfeit our gods n we became spiritual bastards. they made

us forfeit our indigenous regalia n we became fashion clowns. let us not voluntarily forfeit our tongues

for we will become pitiable cultural refugees. Let us not desecrate our unique linguistic altars. There is no

glory or inherent pride in mimicking hamburger & coca cola cultures. #soulvibez #rebeljivez

uThanDiLe©2015

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Chalk to Ink

teacg

If you take me to school & teach me how to knit numbers & words,
I will not find any interest in welding swords or guns.
Teach me to write rhymes & to multiply figures
so that I don’t end up using knives or pulling triggers.

_uThanDiLe©2014

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Culture, random thoughts

 

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Submerged in Cattle Dung

Baw08NmCUAAF3p8

learning to unlearn,.,…

overcome cognitive dissonance….

redefinin this young man…..

aint no simple task…

moist mango seed submerged in cattle dung….

heat depleting the protective skin till tha seed is free to emerge….

rizin up

swayin side 2 side as if to dance with tha wind

n kiss tha sun…..

learnin 2 unlearn

n relearn….

i am tha moist mango seed

submerged in cattle dung.

__uThanDiLe©2014 

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Wololo

Them schools
ain’t no longer teachin tha right kinda truth
lads flauntin their IQ
quotin paris perfumed facts regurgitated from
outdated fantasy toddler books
systems vomitin knowledge saturated souls
culturally dilute
spiritually confused
like bugs emerging from underground cocoons
worshipin deities that look nothing like they do
bleachin skin with all types of liquids
trynna escape their God-given hue….

***
Re-write them textbooks
Re-fuse them half truths
Re-volutionize them wololo schools
Re-duce graduatin any more fools.

__uThanDiLe©2014

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Poetry & Spoken WOrd

 

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Tales, Truth & Story books

Personaly i gots a problem with school. We go there to supposedly learn this thing called tha truth, but in reality, we be gettin fed with a huge chunk of bull. Peeps b flauntin their high IQ and quotin fabricated facts regagitated from fantasy filled storybooks. Take a closer look,…people b graduating more culturaly dilute n spiritually confused than bugs emergin from cobweb cocoons. We b worshipin deities who luk nothin lyk we do, sistaz b bleachin themselves with all kinds of liquids, tryna escape from their god-inspired hue. Others b so rhythmicaly delusional they r convinced tha devil lives within rap n reggae tunes. And the copies, oh people hav perfected tha art of aping, fakin n celeb overatin ; cant tell tha difference between real life n showbiz, coz they b addicted 2 academic pills that make them bliv that everythin they read in holy testaments or see on tha flat screen tv is tha absolute real thing……although it could be, coz if enough people bliv in a lie then it dont matter wat tha truth is. That truth is that truth depends on you!!

Personally, love is tha only truth worth searching for, finding and receiving. All else is makebelieve.

 

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