What is Afrikan Spirituality?

Afrikan spirituality is another term for Afrikand traditional religion. This is a religion that is based mainly on oral transmission. It is not written on paper but in peoples‟ hearts, minds, oral history, rituals, shrines and religious functions. It has no founders or reformers like Gautama the Buddha, Asoka, Christ, or Muhammad. It

is not the religion of one hero. It has no missionaries, or even the desire to propagate the religion, or to proselytise. However, the adherents are loyal worshippers and, probably because of this, Africans who have their roots in the indigenous religion, find it difficult to sever connection with it (Leo Frobenius, The Voice of Africa, Vol. 1, Hutchison, 1913)

We need to explain the word „traditional‟. This word means indigenous, that which is aboriginal or foundational, handed down from generation to generation, upheld and practised by Africans today. This is a heritage from the past, but treated not as a thing of the past but as that which connects the past with the present and the present with eternity. This is not a “fossil” religion, a thing of the past or a dead religion. It is a religion that is practised by living men and women.

Through modern changes, the traditional religion cannot remain intact but it is by no means extinct. The declared adherents of the indigenous religion are very conservative, resisting the influence of modernism heralded by the colonial era, including the introduction of Islam, Christianity, Western education and improved medical facilities. They cherish their tradition; they worship with sincerity because their worship is quite meaningful to them; they hold tenaciously to their covenant that binds them together.

We speak of religion in the singular. This is deliberate. We are not unconscious of the fact that Africa is a large continent with multitudes of nations who have complex cultures, innumerable languages and myriads of dialects. But in spite of all these differences, there are many basic similarities in the religious systems—everywhere there is the concept of God (called by different names); there is also the concept of divinities and/or spirits as well as beliefs in the ancestral cult. Every locality may and does have its own local deities, its own festivals, its own name or names for the Supreme Being, but in essence the pattern is the same. There is that noticeable “Africanness” in the whole pattern. Here I disagree with John Mbiti who chooses to

speak of the religion in the plural “because there are about one thousand African peoples (tribes), and each has its own religious system.

This is a religion that is based mainly on oral transmission. It is not written on paper but in peoples‟ hearts, minds, oral history, rituals, shrines and religious functions. It has no founders or reformers like Gautama the Buddha, Asoka, Christ, or Muhammad. It is not the religion of one hero. There is neither Jesus nor Jehovah, only Mvelinqangi. It does not need missionaries. Afrikans are loyal worshippers and, probably because of this, Africans who have their roots in the indigenous religion, find it difficult to sever connection with i 

. When God spoke to Tehuti, a conversation that resulted into the production of Corpus Hermeticum, it was all orally done. There was no exchange of written texts between the two. The Corpus Hermeticum was an anthology of all the oral conversations between God and Hermes.

. When God spoke to Adam and Eve, it was all orally done

. When God spoke to Moses, as the Bible tells us, rightly or wrongly, on top of Mount Sinai, it was all orally done, which resulted in the production of the Ten Commandments. Ten Commandments came from the mouth of God, again, orally not in a written form. (If I may pose a question: Why there is such a controversy around the source of the Ten Commandments?).

. When Jehovah instructed Moses to do a number of things, during the days of exodus, it was all orally done. There never was a written script that came from God to Moses. There never was a letter written and posted or addressed to Moses. All the instructions were orally done.

. When Ithongo speaks to a Sharman (Isangoma) it is all orally done. There is no written script

. When Izithunywa zethu zikhuluma nathi (guardian spirits)  they do so orally not in a written script. Just like as they usually do to me. They just tell me what to do. Or sometimes they urge me to go to Isanuse. And I respond accordingly

. When we dream, we are orally in conversation with our ancestors. For example, my father died in 1970 and my mother died in 2007. But they usually come to me or visit me through dreams and we talk a lot. They instruct me or advise me. My father’s mother, uMaDlamini, died before I was born, but she came to me through the dream. In a dream, she greeted me and asked if I could give her money. I responded and said to her: Ngisafunda anginayo imali. She then took out a penny (utiki) and put it down on the floor, and said: “Nansi ke eyakho imali”. She never introduced herself to me. In the next morning I explained this dream to all the elders in the kitchen, and they all said “Wow” ubuvakashelwe idlozi elikhulu, inzalabantu yalo muzi. Ubezokupha inhlanhla yemali”.

But let me tell you, those who do not believe in Afrikan spirituality would pooh-pooh this as trash.

. Oracle’s in ancient Afrika did their work orally not in a written form.

. In the Bible we learn a lot about dreaming and dreamers, what God said to this or that through dreams. Today we respect dreams so seriously because we took this tradition from, firstly our Biblical ancestors and from our forefathers. When King Shaka was going to be killed, he dreamt about it, in IsiZulu we say “Waboniswa”. Sonke siyaboniswa in different ways by our spiritual Angels. Uma wehlelwa yishwa noma yingozi noma uyadlula emhlabeni, the elders would say: ‘Bese kuvume idlozi’. This means Idlozi can be so powerful that it can protect you from any bad luck on earth. I know that when I say this there are some who would say ‘uyobona ke ayikho lento ayishoyo. And we need to embrace those people because that tells you the extent of the damage caused by colonialism, hence Ngugi Watiogo would say, we need to decolonise our minds. The imperialists brought in so many churches in Africa to colonize our minds. Today there are churches that spread the gospel that says ‘Amadlozi amaDimoni’, and we all know that what is a demon. Well let me not get into this.

. When Isangoma talks to you today, his or her Ithongo talks to him orally. There is no written script between Ithongo and Isangoma. When Isangoma talks to you (sikubhulela), it’s not Isangoma talking to you, but Ithongo is using him or her to utter the words in a form of a speech. So Isangoma becomes an instrument used by Ithongo to do the work. Vumani bo!!

. What is Ithongo? I have tried to explain and define this in my article that I posted on my website, which is worth visiting. But in a nutshell, Ithongo, in Afrikan hermeneutics terms, and in Afrikan epistemology, is the Source of knowledge and wisdom 

. Uma sithatha izinduku siphuma siyobhula, we do not expect Isangoma to deliver a written text to us, but we naturally expect him or her to talk to us orally or verbally. We still have to hear of a situation where an Isangoma would prepare a written script to his or her clients. That would be a miracle.

. I am not a Sangoma, but through my research I can dare say that Afrikan spirituality, unless otherwise argued by those who are shamans, emanates from Ithongo, and Ithongo is God Himself. Secondly, I would dare say that this is done to only chosen few, not everybody, and that to be a Sangoma means you have been chosen by God to live an elevated life, a life that is able to communicate with the spirits, and the spirits are nothing else but God’s angels. Amadlozi are God’s angels

. Pythagoras, a Greek who studied from ancient Egypt for more than 13 years, was a Sharman, and he used to talk in tongues. He was a highly learned Sharman.

. The greatest Sharman in our times is Credo Mutwa. Credo Mutwa is not only a Sharman but he is also an Author and an independent scholar of international repute. He is a living source of wisdom and knowledge of Afrikan spirituality. I have personally learnt a lot from him through his writings, and I revere him greatly. In fact, Credo Mutwa is an epitome of Afrikan spirituality.

Therefore, through PHINDELA RESEARCH FOUNDATION, we will share a lot of Afrikan wisdom, knowledge, hermeneutics, traditions, rituals, etc., as developed by the Kemets, for indeed we need to tap from our ancient innovations so as to develop a better future. For an example, Whites from all over the world have tapped a lot of wisdom from Credo Mutwa, but I doubt that we Afrikans have done that enough

Through this foundation we are all together going to go through a process of transformation. We are starting a journey back to our divine Source.

We will be presenting a series of seminars in which we will interactively engaging with each in a process of trying to know who exactly are we, where do we come from and where are we going to.

 May the spirit of King Kashta, the first king of the Kush kingdom, Osiris, Tehuti, Horus, Isis, Menesis, be with you all.




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                         An Abridged Company Profile

Mepho Publishers was founded in 2012 with the sole aim and philosophy to help up and coming authors to get their works, particularly family genealogies, published.

As a self-publishing company, MPG encourages new authors from the disadvantaged background to develop their researched works into family genealogy books, particularly stories that cannot be published by mainline big publishing houses.

Driven by this philosophy, to date MPG has published more than 10 books. A new avenue has developed which requires MPG to change Doctoral theses into personal books of value.

MPG is now getting able to convert books into eBooks, which is a fairly new version of book publishing in this country. This means we are now able to get our books into Amazon and Kindle for the convenience of our clients.

About Mr Bhengu

Mr Bhengu is a published author in his own right. He has, over the years written more than 8 books. More than that he is also an independent researcher and publisher. He has written many published academic papers, including papers delivered at various places, locally and abroad. Moreover, he is a Columnist with Bayede Newspaper based in KZN, specializing in Egyptology.
He is a former Member of Parliament, serving in both National Assembly, Cape Town and KZN Provincial Parliament in KwaZulu/Natal Province, and has served in many committees and capacities both in the public sector and in the private sector, including directorships.

He did his doctoral degree through Unisa on the possibilities of having an inclusive economic system driven by Ubuntu as an African metaphysics, in particular. 

Mr Bhengu, under the auspices of Phinndela Research Foundation, is currently researching the similarities between ancient Egyptian cosmology and the Nguni people of Southern Africa and the mystery around the nature of the Dogon tribe of Mali.

Books Published by Mepho Publishers:

1. The Dialectics of Cultural Economy, 2012

2. Cultural Paradigm, 2013

3. Pho, Nithi Makwenziwenjani?

4. The History of AmaNgcolosi, 2013

5. AMAZULU: Ancient Egyptian Origin, 2014

6. UBUNTU: The Philosophy and Practice, 2015

7. The Pain of Being a Woman, 2015

8. 8. AmaZulu: Bona’Bakhulu BaseKemet, 2016

9. The History of AmaNgcolosi, 2012


Under the auspices of Mepho Publishers, Mr Bhengu has recently established a very unique magazine called ‘Inqaba’ which will focus on Integral Afrikology. The magazine is scheduled to hit the streets in September this year, with very interesting but quality contribution analysts from all over the globe.

The magazine will be published quarterly at a very reasonable price. More details on this will be coming soon

Contact Details 

Cell: 27 83 3038723

Email: info.mepho@gmail.com or mjbhengu@iafrica.com

Website: http://www.mjbhengu.wordpress.com

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I have come to a stage where I seek no glory, no shining, no footlights, but I just want the clarity of the mind. I only want wisdom that can enable me to understand the nature and content of the Divine  Source,  from where I come from, and to where I will return, and possibly see the glory of God. 

Both my parents went back to the Divine Source, and no one ever came back to tell me his us life on the other side of eternity.



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Leligama elithi ‘ukusindiswa’ lisho izinto eziningi ezahlukene kubantu abaningi futhi abahlukene.

Bona’bakhulu baseKemet, okuyibo abasunguli nabakhi bodengezi lokuncinda lwaseAfrika, lapho, kunamanje sisancinda khona usikompilo kanye nenkolo yaseAfrika, babekutolika ukusindiswa ngokuthi umuntu lowo osuke esedlule ezigabeni eziningi ezibalulekile zomzabalazo wokubona ukukhanya kwaMvelinqangi. UMvelinqangi akabonwa kodwa ubona ukukhanya kwakhe kuphela. Ezinye zalezo zigaba kwakuba ukwazisa nokuqonda kahle ubudlelwane phakathi komoya nomphefumulo. Okwesibili, kwakuba ukuqonda kahle ukuthi yini ‘umoya’ kanye nokuthi yini ‘umphefumulo’. Okwesithathu, kwakuba ukuqonda nokwazi ngokuphelele ukuthi yini umsebenzi womzimba, nokuthi wakhiwe kanjani umzimba womuntu, ngoba inhloso enkulu kwakuba ukuthungatha indawo emzini womuntu lapho kuhleli khona umoya kanye nomphefumulo.

Okujulile kakhulu, kwakuba ukuqonda ubudlelwane phakathi kwengaphakathi lomuntu kanye nengaphandle lomuntu, ukuze ikholwa lazi futhi lizazi ukuthi lingubani, ngoba ngeke umkhonze uSomandla ube ungazazi wena ukuthi ungubani.

AbaseKemet ke babekholelwa yikuthi indlela eya eZulwini iqala ekwazini lezizinto ngoba phela ngeke ikholwa lakwazi ukukhonza uMvelinqangi libe lingazazi lona ukuthi lakhiwe kanjani, njengoba lisho iBhayibheli, ukuthi umuntu wakhiwe ngomfanekiso kaNkulunkulu. IBhayibheli lithi ukuqala kokuhlakanipha ukwazisa uNkulunkulu, abaseKemet bona bathi ukuqala kokuhlakanipha ukuzazi wena siqu sakho kuqala (Man, Know Thyself).

Isigaba esikhulu kuba yileso sokwazi ukuthi umphefumulo uphuma kanjani kumuntu, futhi uphuma uyephi, ngoba phela wona kawufi? Bese kuba yikuthi uhamba isikhathi esingakanani ukuya ekhaya eZulwini (journey back to the source), nokuthi ubuya nini ukuza emhlabeni, futhi ubuya kanjani? Lolulwazi lubalulekile hhayi kumuntu oyikholwa kuphela kodwa kunoma ubani oyisidalwa saMvelinqangi. Yingakho abaseKemet baqhamuka nesu lokulondoloza umzimba womuntu (to embalm or mummify) ukuthi ungaboli ngoba inkolo kwakungukuthi umphefumulo uzobuya uphindele lapho obukade ukhona (reincarnation).

Isigaba sokugcina kwakuba ukwazi ukuthi umphefumulo wakho udingani futhi uwuphakela kanjani lokho okudingayo. Okubalulekile kumaKemet kwakuba ukuhlanganisa umphefumulo nemvelo, ngoba imvelo yilapho kuhleli khona ubunkulunkulu (godliness). Yingakho nje oKhokho bethu babeyazisa futhi beyihlonipha kakhulu imvelo. Ngakho ke awukwazi ukuthi uthi uyikholwa ube ungenandaba nemvelo, ngoba imvelo ingumfanekiso kaNkulunkulu. Mhlampeni bokungaba yinto encomekayo ukuthi abefundisi bethu basifundise ngalokhu emaSontweni ethu, okunokuba silibale ukushaya okhehlegume.

Kodwa okugqamayo kulokhu yikuthi inkolo yaseKemet yayihlangene, ixhumene futhi ithungelwe ndawonye nazo zonke izinhla nezigaba zempilo yomuntu, okuyinto engasabonakali namhlanje. Lokhu kuhlukaniswa kwezinhla zempilo yomuntu (compartmentalizations) yinto yaseNtshonalanga. Akuyona yethu thina bohlanga.

Ngakolunye uhlangangothi, namhlanje sekuvamisile uzwe ikholwa lithi ‘ngisindisiwe’. Kuthanda ukudida lokhu, ngoba sekuvamisile ukuzwa ikholwa, kakhulukazi uma kuhlatshiwe lithi ‘hhayi mina ngeke ngiyidle lenyama ehlatshelwe amadlozi ngoba ngisindisiwe’. Uyezwa futhi selithi ‘hhayi mina angiwudli umuthi wesintu ngoba ngisindisiwe’. Uyalizwa futhi ikholwa selithi ‘hhayi mina ngeke ngiqome futhi ngeke ngilale nendoda ngoba ngisindisiwe’. EmaSontweni amaningi akube kusahlalwa phansi kucutshungulwe ukuthi sisho ukuthini ngokusindiswa, ngoba ngempela ngempela angiboni ukuthi ukusindiswa kusho ukuyeka nokubalekela futhi ubukele phansi usikompilo lemvelo yakho. Ukusindiswa okunjani lokhu okusenza sibukele phansi ubuthina njengoba sadalwa nguMdali? Uma kuyiqiniso ukuthi usikompilo lethu ladalwa nguMdali! Pho lesisenzo asisho yini ukuthi sibukela phansi ngisho uMdali wethu uqobo?

Loluhlobo lokusindiswa lwanamhlanje, uma uliqhathanisa nolwaseKemet, lunikezana inkinga. Mhlampeni singacela kubaholi bezamabandla basize basiphe ulwazi lalokusindiswa. Kuthatha kudide kakhulu uma usuthola imibiko eminingi njalo nje yokuthi uMfundisi mumbe wenze lokhu nalokhuya, okungahambisani, ezikhathini eziningi, nemithetho engu 42 yoBuntu (Maat) eyasungulwa yibo abakhulu baseKemet, engumgogodla wenkolo yaseAfrika.

Mhlampeni kuyadingeka ukuba kubekhona iKhomishani ezophenya kabanzi ukuthi lemfundisoze efundiswa abantu bakithi ayisibulali nje isizwe sakithi, thina beNguni, kakhulukazi isizwe sikaPhunga noMageba? Ngoba uma kutholakala ukuthi abantu bakithi bohlanga badliswa ushevu, kuncono uHulumeni angenelele, kakhulukazi iKhomishani le ebhekene namasiko esintu. Kwakona nje lokhu kokuthi abantu bakithi bafundiswe ukuthi abangawakhonzi amadlozi abo ngoba angamadimoni, yinto le enobungozi obujulile kumuntu ongumAfrika okungangoba enye yezimbangela le zokuba sibe yisizwe esintekenteke. Asikwazi ukwakha isizwe esiqotho nesihloniphekile uma singanamathele emasikweni ethu emvelo.

Lusho njalo ke udengezi lokuncinda!.


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29 August 2014

Mfuniselwa J. Bhengu
Founding Executive Director: Inqaba Foundation

The process of re-awakening and recovery has to be one of a historical deconstruction, consciousness raising and restatement by Africans tracing the origins and achievements of their civilizations with a view to developing new epistemologies of knowledge production based on African lived experiences in their global implications. The process must delve into the implications of this centuries old burden of domination that continues to bedevil the African personality and then on the basis of self-understanding, to organise ourselves to move forward in history. This must be based on our historical and cultural experiences throughout our history. (Prof. Dani Nabudere, of The Marcus-Garvey Pan-Afrikan Institute, Uganda)

Ubuntu is at the root of African philosophy and being. The African tree of knowledge stems from the Ubuntu philosophy. Ubuntu is a wellspring that flows within African existence and epistemology in which the two aspects Ubu and ntu constitute a wholeness and oneness (Prof. Ramose, South Africa)

Therefore, as Ben Okri (1997) teaches us that ‘Facing the lies of history is a basic human responsibility. It is unpleasant to do but liberating to accomplish. It liberates us all’, this is exactly what one is trying to do here.

It is a painful experience to see so many people, wittingly or unwittingly, bent on destroying the only remaining Africa’s golden hope – Ubuntu. Africans are the only race on planet earth who have been brutally oppressed by the forces of colonialism, and they were robbed of almost all their civilizational achievements. The only thing that was left intact was their inherent African philosophy of Ubuntu. We now witness, again, a steady but surely move, not only to bastardize Ubuntu, but in essence to reduce it into non-existence.

Over the years, one has been observing how some Africans (not all of them. I mean both black Africans and white Africans, academics included) have been distorting, firstly by failing to research how this philosophy was developed, secondly, the failure to know its real meaning, and thirdly, their deliberate cheapening of it simply because it is associated with Africans, or it is said to be of African origin. Some have vociferously argued, in high and respectable academic journals, that Ubuntu is universal (deliberately removing the notion that it is of African origin. It is universal, but it is of African origin). Some have written very strongly that it was developed after 1994 as a South African post-Apartheid philosophy for co-existence. Some have wrongly argued that it was founded by a few African elite during the South African days of the struggle. Some have turned it into a money-making ‘thing’, using the name ‘ubuntu’, for their cheap business motives. Some have developed their non-profit making organisations around its values n order to solicit funds for their capitalistic pockets. Some have even developed university post-graduate courses on Ubuntu, and feed into the minds of our children a distorted meaning of Ubuntu. Some have written so much on Ubuntu that they are now referred to as experts on Ubuntu, yet they so little of Ubuntu. There are those who openly admit that it is an African ‘thing’, and they are not prepared nor would bother themselves to know it.

It is, therefore, because of these reasons that I have decided to write this paper, and I am fully aware of the consequences. What is important for me is to be honest to my self and to my conscience. I don’t want to feed the world and my children with a half-baked African philosophy, nor do I want to do that in my mission of African knowledge production, as Nabudere warns us above. If I want to teach the world about the philosophy of Kant or Descartes, I must, first of all, study their linguistic and cultural epistemology, for it is here where lies the fundamentals and depth of their philosophy. There is no philosophy that is not embedded in its culture, and language is the conveyor belt one’s culture.

Linguistically, therefore, Ubuntu/Botho/Maat is found, mostly, in African languages such as isiZulu, isiXhosa, isiVenda, isiShona, Swahili, SeSotho, etc, etc. You cannot find a true meaning of Ubuntu in foreign languages such as English, Afrikaans, Latin, Greeks, etc. We usually tell the world that an English word for Ubuntu is ‘humanism or humanness’. To use these English words is just a way of trying to explain the phenomenon of Ubuntu. There is NO English equivalent word for Ubuntu. Finish and klaar.

This paper, therefore, strictly speaking, seeks to address what Ben Okri says above, that is, to explain the fundamental foundation or roots of Ubuntu philosophy as the ancient Zulus/Ngunis interpreted it int actionable natural laws. Secondly, the paper argues that without full understanding of the Zulu/Nguni aphorisms (Izaga and Laws), as a society we would be running a risk of rendering Ubuntu philosophy unimportant and ineffective. Lastly, the paper indirectly cautions self-proclaimed Ubuntu specialists to be careful not to stifle African regeneration and reawakening project by deliberately distorting and burying the real meaning of Ubuntu. Ubuntu is Ubuntu, nothing more nothing less.

Ancient Egyptian Mystery Teachings
In the mystery schools of ancient Kemet the purpose of life was understood to be about gaining awareness of our oneness with the creator. Education was the process of achieving this goal. Education defined in Latin means to ‘draw out from latent potential’ that which already pre-exists inside. The primary methods of teaching were said to focus on the development of character and the overcoming of basic character flaws. The 10 virtues that initiates were required to develop were:

• Control of thought
• Control of purpose
• Devotion to Purpose
• Faith in the Master’s ability to teach the truth
• Faith in one’s own ability to assimilate the truth
• Faith in one’s own ability to wield the truth
• Freedom from resentment under persecution
• Freedom from resentment under wrong
• Ability to distinguish the real from the unreal
• Ability to distinguish right from wrong

It is clear from a brief reflection on these principles that education was primarily an inner-oriented process. The process was comprehensive and involved the initiate gaining:

• Unity of self, unity of tribe and unity with nature
• Development of social responsibility
• Development of character
• Development of spiritual mastery/power

We are told that the ancient Zulus, i.e. the Bantus, inherited all their cultural and linguistic principles and values of Ubuntu from ancient Egypt (see Diop’s writings; Obenga’s writings; Molefi Kete Asante’s works on Kemet; MJ Bhengu’s AMAZULU: An Ancient Egyptian Origin, 2014; JK Ngubane: Conflict of Mind, 1979, etc.). For me the study of ancient Egyptology is like a return journey to my Source.

The Zulu/Nguni/Bantu Perspective
Let us look at the general principles which give meaning to Ubuntu and follows this with descriptions of how one Ubuntu-oriented community translated these into social action the primary sources for the principles are Izaga Philosophy, the Zulu’s understanding of Natural Law, Statutory Law in the Zulu State, Moral Law, Customs and other usages. It is important to remind ourselves that the Nguni/Zulu people originated from ancient Egypt.

Izaga, which are about a thousand in number, are aphorisims or wise sayings by Zulu-Nguni philosophers down the ages. In a pre-literate culture, these were passed from generation to generation in the effort to define the person in valid terms. The Zulus were not unique in developing a body of wise sayings. All Bantu-oriented cultures produced these. The exciting feature of all the productions is that they all project the same image of the person; they all define him in identical and interchangeable terms; they all focus on him as the source of all value, meaning and authority.

The Zulu/Nguni evaluation of the person has been handed down the generations through:

1. Umthetho wemvelo: The law of appearing (natural law) as expressed in instinct

2. Umthetho woBuntu: The Law of Being Human (Moral Law) which is stated in Izaga (aphorisms).

3. Umthetho weSintu: The Law of societies based on the teaching according to NTU (Universal Law) and is taught by customs in NTU-oriented communities

4. Umthetho weZwe: The Law of the Land (Statutory Law) which is made by each community to regulate relations between the person and his neighbours and between society and the person

5. Inkambo: Culture – the sum-total of values, custom discoveries and usages by which a community defines itself.

As stated above, Umthetho woBuntu was stated in Izaga which were wise sayings by Nguni/Zulu philosophers down the ages. They were produced, not so much to give religious instruction as to place at the disposal of the person rules to guide him in his search for more satisfying dimensions of being human.

The definition of the person as a self-formed and self-defining value eliminated the need for him to worship anything outside of himself. He had chosen to enter this earth as an incarnation of his Uqobo (the real in him or value); he and he alone could tell his neighbours and the universe what it was he came to our planet to do. He told his story and in that way defined himself in everything he did. Society’s business was to give him the guidance which enabled him to realize the promise and the glory of being human; to attain Ubuntu.

The person and his neighbor defined themselves in the laws they made themselves; they described themselves also in their attitudes, behavior and achievements. The fact of being a self-defining value gave to the person the character of a source of all value and authority; it vested him with a sovereignty which enabled him to extend himself into power.

This affected the Zulus’ attitude to authority. Zulu culture and tradition attached great importance to the law and to authority. The Zulu educational system produced the personality which regarded collective sovereignty as sacred.

If the person was sacred because he was the self-defining cell of Uqobo, his extensions of himself into authority and value had to be treated with profoundest respect. This respect reflected Ubuntu’s regard for the person and its emphasis on his primacy.

When a Nguni citizen approached the assembly of his district or nome or nation, he left all arms at a distance. He dared not bring even a walking stick within the area where the assembly was in session. To bring anything which could be used as a weapon was an offence against the sovereignty of the community. For him to leave his walking a long way from the assembly was an act of homage to authority.

This respect for authority as the extension of the person gave a cohesiveness to Sub-Saharan societies which could not be destroyed even during the great migrations produced by the shifts in the positions of the earth’s poles.

The law was the vehicle through which authority was translated into action. The Zulus respected it as profoundly as they did its source. We thus see another pattern of extension: the person extended himself into authority and, through it, the law and virtuous conduct.

The finest compliment the Zulus still pay a person is to say one has been trained in the law (umuntu ofundiswe umthetho) or that one is wise in the understanding of the law (isihlakaniphi) esazi umthetho). At the other extreme, the Zulus express supreme contempt by saying that the person who was not taught the law is a non-person (akumuntu walutho). The person who does not know the law is considered an ignorant non-person (akwazi lutho lokhu).

Like most ancient Egyptians scriptures, Izaga concerned themselves with right conduct and ‘sins’ against the person. The Zulu understanding of the protean Ubuntu philosophy had no word for sin as understood by the Christians and many other religions. Sin, in other words, was not known among the Zulus. Their morality concerned itself mainly with the relations between persons. The ignorant human being did things which hurt his neighbor while the person who knew fulfilled himself by seeing to it that his neighbor made the best possible use of his life in the light of his environment, abilities and choices.

The Zulus regarded the person as an integral part of Uqobo (infinite reality). He was a cell or limb of the infinity and could not imagine a situation when the cell or limb of the infinity and could revolt or otherwise sin against the infinity of which he was an organ.

The following selection from Izaga demonstrates the extremes to which the Zulus went in creating the conditions in which the person could make the best possible use of his life:

• Umuntu ngumuntu (The person is human)

• Umuntu akalahlwa (There can be no situation when the human being can be said to be beyond redemption)

• Ubucubu obuhle obuhamba ngabubili (Bird strings are most beautiful in pairs. This means that highest virtue consists in the person identifying himself with his neighbor)

• Yisandla esigeza esinye (Only the hand washes another hand)

• Ihlonipha nalapho ingeyukwendela khona (The wise girl respects all persons, including those who belong to families into which she will not marry)

• Inkosi yinkosi ngabantu (The king rules by the grace of the people)

• Akuzinyane lemvubu elagwinya yingwenya kwacwaba iziziba (No crocodile ever swallowed a baby hippopotamus without the mother hippo muddying the water in defence of its young)

• Akukho qili lazikhotha emhlane (No person is so clever that he can lick his back)

• Umenziwa akakhohlwa, kukhohlwa umenzi (He who has been hurt never forgets; he who hurts forgets)

• Imbila yaswela umsila ngokulayezela (The rock-rabbit does not have a tail because it relied on other animals to bring it one)

• Ubudoda abukhulelwa (Age does not have a monopoly on wisdom)

• Ivila lidla ubuvila balo (A lazy person eats his laziness)

• Ungakhulumi ngobhejane kungekho sihlahla eduze (Do not talk about a rhinoceros when there is no tree in the neighbourhood)

• Iqaqa kalizizwa ukunuka (The polecat is not aware that it smells)

• Akundlovu yasindwa ngumboko wayo (The elephant does not feel that its trunk is heavy)

• Umazi wendlela ngumhambi wayo (He who travels along a given route knows it best)

• Isitha somuntu nguye uqobo lwakhe (The person’s real enemy is his own self)

• Akubanga labantu elingalodwana (That is not a distance or dimension of being human which exists by itself)

• Ibandla kalihlonyelwa (It is not permissible for anybody to bring weapons into a legislative or juridical assembly).
I have just taken or chosen very few of them. There are thousands upon thousands of these aphorisms, and we Zulus do struggle much in understanding them or missing what the other person is saying. This is very important to note, because this is exactly what happened when the Greeks came into ancient Egypt and tried to understand the indigenous language of the ancient Egyptians. Eventually, the Greeks never understood fully everything they tried to know about ancient Egypt because they are aliens in Kemet. They couldn’t internalize the ancient Egyptian indigenous language. On the other hand, the indigenous ancient Egyptians were very economical about their cultural and ontological background. Therefore, it could be that the knowledge we have right now about ancient Egypt is not a complete knowledge of ancient Egyptians. Even the name ‘Egypt’ itself is a Greek name. The best thing is to know the indigenous ancient Egyptian language, just like Obenga and Diop.

Izithakazelo (clan praise names)
Teachings like these gave uniqueness to African civilization. But African civilization was a cluster, a total of cultural experiences. Each experience translated into action a given interpretation of the Bantu evaluation of person. In a civilization based on the primacy of the person there sooner or later emerged people who modified or rejected the traditional interpretation. Primacy gave these the right to see the truth as it stood revealed to them.

In Zulu the ideal was expressed in isithakazelo (patronymic legends). Zulus used them as titles or formulae for expressing respect, appreciation and gratitude or for paying homage. Many tribes could trace their relations with others through their legends.

The Ubuntu system of education required that each child and, in particular, each girl, should be familiar with the wording of each patronymic legend. Each person educated in the culture of his nome or tribe was trained to identify and decode the marks by which outsiders defined themselves. Different families within each tribe/nome marked themselves differently or abstained from making any marks.

Thus a community of people bound together by their ideological commitment; by the system of values which gave meaning to their experience as a group. Customs, laws and other usages were the vehicles used to translate the ideology into action.

Each community was thus a highly organized and disciplined cluster of similarly committed persons who regarded each other as interdependent, mutually-fulfilling and self-defining values. It was a self-defining total of values. Cohesion within it was based on attitudes to the person.

These attitudes translated into action of the inner logic or principles or basic teachings which gave Ubuntu meaning. The evaluation of the person, Izaga and the inner logic together constituted an ideological cluster. The Ubuntu mind extended the evaluation into aphorisms and the latter into principles. The most important of the latter included the following:
• All phenomena originate from primordial substance or Uqobo (infinite reality or ultimate value).

• Perpetual evolution (ukuma njalo), i.e. growing forever into the future; it is the unending journey into eternity; it is the irreversible movement of the Law; it is the destiny of the person, all phenomena and the cosmic order.

• Imvelo (the cosmic order) has three pillars of being: The Law, the Environment and the Person. Umthetho wemvelo regulates the individualization of primordial substance into phenomena; it is the philosophy by which primordial substance defines itself to itself. The Law is the creative principle; the demiurge which gives value to phenomena; it is definitive value and does not change.

If the Law is a constituent part of primordial substance and if perpetual evolution is a quality of Uqobo. The Law, which does not change, also evolves; it metamorphoses into human philosophy, law, art, religion; it refracts itself through the human mind which translates it into the human experience; it guides and determines purpose. In this sense all human behavior is the refracted translation of the Law into action; so is thinking.​So is Ubuntu.

Whosoever has studied Egyptology would realize that these aphorisms and laws of Ubuntu emanate from ancient Egyptian principles of Maat (Ubuntu) and ancient Egyptian mystery schools. Ancient Zulus/Ngunis, then, had to translate and adapt them to their circumstances, conditions and daily living experiences. Hence, the argument that says whilst Ubuntu is universal, Africans live it. They actualize it.

It is my argument, therefore, that for any person on planet earth who seeks to know the essence of Ubuntu must, first of all, begin by studying and understanding the Zulu aphorisms and Ubuntu Natural Laws, even before we begin to theorize about it. If we don’t do this, we would be running a risk of thinking that we know Ubuntu yet we don’t know it.

[This paper will be upgraded constantly]

Bhengu, MJ., 2014: AMAZULU: Ancient Egyptian Origin, Africa Institute for Cultural Economy (AICE), Durban, South Africa

Diop, C. A., 1974: The African Origin of Civilisation: Myth and Reality,
Lawrence Hill Books, Chicago, Illinois.

Nabudere N., 2008: Towards an Afrikology of Knowledge Production and African Regeneration. The Marcus-Garvey Pan-Afrikan Institute, Uganda

Ramose, B. in his book: ‘African Philosophy through Ubuntu’, South Africa

Ben O., 1997., The Femished Road, London

JK Ngubane, 1979., Conflict of Mind, USA

JK Ngubane, Ushaba (unpublished and undated manuscript)

JK Ngubane, Ubuntu: The Philosophy and its Practice (undated and unpublished manuscript)

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                         ‘UBUNGOMA NOMSAMO’An African Universal Wisdom, Spirit and Knowledge ByMfuniselwa J Bhengu  (An independent Researcher, Author and Publisher)Durban, RSA: 20/05/2015 Introduction The author is not a Sangoma nor does he wish to be one, but is interested in knowing the intricacies of the spiritual world, particulaly Ithongo, and how does one become a Isangoma, and the whole concept of Ubungoma. It is an intricate world of African spirituality, which is usuall vaguely known to most of us the Living. One can only be interested to know these type of intricacies if one is mentally liberated and decolonised, for without that, one would be looking down upon his/her culture and himself. Ubungoma is part of our African culture and African spirituality. It is a spiritual institution that governs our African lives. For me, the word Umsamo is a collective word for Ithongo. The word Ithongo is used here collectively as an institution. Firstly, this is an Nguni term meaning a place in a Nguni hut where it is intrinsically believed that the ancestral spirits Ithongo or Amadlozi or Abaphansi or Izinyanya are seated. These words in our African settings are used interchangeably. In English they are called Ancestors or ancestral spirits. But in this paper I will stick to the word ‘Umsamo’, as an institution of Amadlozi. So I will use Umsamo referring to the ancestors collectively. Because Amathongo are just the same people who lived with us on earth, it is always believed that they, the gods, and all the cosmic forces must serve the interests of the living for their own peace and fulfillment. That is the reason why they are cared for, looked after and highly feared and respectred. They are feared because they can perform miracles; they have super powers over us who are living; they can kill and they heal. But more importantly, they can communicate with God on our behalf. However I would like, in this paper, to go beyond this definition, and try to give philosophical explanations of Umsamo, now as a concept and as a universal philosophy. The paper would further look at the epistemological and ontological levels of Umsamo as an African metaphysics.Umsamo as a Philosophical Concept and its Epistemology For me I see Umsamo as a cosmological, epistemological and ontological universal centre of African wisdom, metaphysics and natural Law of UBUNTU as it originated from NTU in ancient Egypt. In ancient Egypt, the Egyptian mystery schools, which produced Bona abakhulu BaseKhem organisation, was the essence and epitome of Umsamo, as I will explain below. It is clear that the ancient Egyptian mystery schools were a real source of wisdom and knowledge, for an organization like this would have not existed without them. There wouldn’t have been a phenomenon like Umsamo if there were Egyptian mystery schools Umsamo is the godly light; it is the godly law; it is the godly knowledge; it is the godly power that enables one to see beyond horizons. To be able to see beyond horizons means that one is now endowed with heavenly light and power to foresee and foretell. That power comes from God, Whom we AbeNguni call UMvelingqangi. Our ancestors are God’s angels. In ancient Egypt, Thoth Hermes could be regarded as the father of Umsamo, for all knowledge and wisdom that came from God was first transmitted to him, and then he would disseminate it to the angels, priests and entire world. That is why ancient Egyptian Mystery Schools, by Egyptian law, had to use most of Hermes’ divine books. All ancient Egyptian learning centres had to use one of Hermes’ books, for he was the only source of knowledge for use by mystery schools, from which spiritual institutions like what we call ‘Umsamo’, were established. To be a proper Sangoma you must go through a thorough a rigorous lengthy process of training, in order to know what Umsamo is, and how it functions. Unlike now, in ancient Egypt it used to take hundreds of years to be an accomplished Sangoma. Therefore, Umsamo, by origin, is an African spiritual phenomenon, and we have seen so many white shamans coming to Africa for training as Izangoma, and we haven’t seen or heard any African going to Europe to be trained as Isangoma.  Therefore, the essence of epistemology comes in here. Epistemology is crucial and fundamental because it helps us to know how we think. Without some means of understanding how we acquire knowledge, how we rely upon our senses, and how we develop concepts in our minds, we have no coherent path for our thinking. A sound epistemology is necessary for the existence of sound thinking and reasoning. Because of its origin, Umsamo is ontologically and cosmologically embedded in an African culture, which produces an African world-view. As a universal law, Umsamo is the law that is always in operation. We are able to see now, with eyes made clear by knowledge, that everything is governed by universal law; that the infinite number of laws are but manifestations of the zone great law; the Law that is THE ALL. There is nothing outside of Law; nothing that happens is contrary to it. There is a need for us to consider returning to the beliefs and practices of the ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptians believed that their genes, successfully passed down through the many generations, live on in each being born of their creation. All of our ancestors are gazing through our eyes. The ancients believed that by just saying their names we can call them forth, with all of their wisdom and knowledge. And indeed when we AbeNguni talk to our ancestors we call them by their names, even recite their panegyrics (izibongo). This is not only an example of similarities we have between AbeNguni and ancient Egyptians, but it is a critical example that we originate from ancient Egypt.  Thoth Hermes The following Hermetic axiom, taken from one of Thoth Hermes’ books, puts it so clearly the depth of what was being taught in the mystery schools:As is the inner, so is the outer; as is the great, so is the small; as it is above, so it is below; there is but One Life and Law; and he that worth it is One. Nothing is inner, nothing is outer; nothing is great, nothing is small; nothing is high, nothing is low.” Thoth Hermes of ancient Egypt – a god, had this to say in his Corpus Hemerticum, which served as a start of everything on Earth and in Heaven. All the ancient Egyptian wisdom emanated from God and first transmitted to Hermes, and then he would put it down in writing in all his books. Then his books were used in ancient Egyptian Mystery Schools. Therefore, Hermes is famously known by his maxim: “It is true, without falsehood, certain and very real: That which is on high is as that which is below; in order that the miracle of Unity may be very perpetual” (Thoth-Hermes, Emerald Table, 10, 490 BC).   What he meant here was that Heaven and Earth are equal, because if they are not equal, there will be no equilibrium; there will be no ‘miracle of Unity’ between the two spheres of life, i.e. earth and heaven. In this context, ancestors are just like us, except that they would have more advanced and enlightened life than us. But on other levels we are equal because there are things they would not or achieve without us, and there are things we cannot achieve without them. This condition was created purposely by God so that ‘the miracle of unity may be perpetual’. In his Biographia Antigua, Francis Barrett says this of Hermes…if God ever appeared in Man, he appeared in him, as is evident both from his books and his Pymander, in which works he has communicated the sum of the Abyss, and the divine knowledge to all posterity, by which he has demonstrated to himself to have been not only an inspired divine, but also a deep philosopher, obtaining wisdom from God and heavenly things, and not from Man. The Living live in a physical world and the Ancestors live in a spiritual world. This is the only difference between us and our Amadlozi. Therefore, Umsamo exists in a spiritual world. In ancient Egyptian mythology and belief, the material world and the cosmic or spiritual world were intertwined. The universe was composed of one nature, of which all things – people, creatures, gods, even ideas – were created. Actions and rituals practiced on earth had an effect on the celestial world and vice versa. Even today, rituals, practices, acts (good or bad) we perform, have an impact in heaven, and thus to our ancestors, and this signifies the ‘miracle of Unity’. The ancient Egyptians saw in nature the cosmos. The rejuvenation of the Nile floods and the rising and falling of the sun were representative of the balance and order of their universe. Therefore, at the spiritual level Umsamo is a symbol for the integration of self and soul. In dreams Umsamo can stand for the death, but it also contains rebirth. It symbolises the harmonious union of the human with the ‘higher self’ (God). In short, Umsamo is a spiritual institution between God and Man on Earth. This means that at a metaphysical level, Umsamo is a place of great spiritual significance. Within man, there are two aspects. There is his real inner and divine self. There is also the body and intellect which, at his present stage of evolution, consider himself to be a separate egoist entity. However, there comes a time when man realizes that he is not the body and intellect. His real existence is a state of being; a consciousness at one with the Universal consciousness. AbeNguni believe that a man must aspire to a spiritual state that shall reunite him ultimately with his Ancestors. To do so he must fulfill all the physical functions relevant to his physical being. Through this act of achievement, he can eventually experience a higher spiritual life in the ancestral world. Thus the good qualities attained in the physical world are carried over into the spiritual world. AbeNguni consider the spiritual part of life as an integral part of the physical aspect and not separated from it. The ancestors through living a heightened existence, are still the same people they were on earth. Paradise, according African thought, is not somewhere in the sky, it is in the underworld of the ancestors – kwabaphansi – thus a Man must aspire to a spiritual state that shall re-unite him ultimately with his ancestors. Hence, land is not simply regarded as a piece of real estate; it has a very deep religious significance. Land is perceived as an organism that sustains the bond between the Unborn, the Living and the Dead. What it means is that Man must embrace and practise Ubuntu if he/she hopes to get reunited with his ancestors. No one, particularly in an African belief and setting, can hope to have mercy and luck from his ancestors if he commits evil and inhumane deeds, hence if someone comitts such acts, AbeNguni would immediately relegate him to a state of being an animal. It has never been heard or reported anywhere in the world that somebody has been asked, either by a dream or through other communication channels, by his/her ancestors to committ heinous, injurious or inhumane act against anybody or on anything. Personally, at my age I have never heard of it. The question is: Why? Ancestors, I belive, are angels, and as such cannot degenerate to a level of an ordinary Man in the living world. As an angel, I would imagine, you would know the relationship between God – our Father – and the living Man. This is indicative of the depth of difference between us as living and the our departed ones. I have heard people saying: Our ancestors do not come back and tell us how are things that side; how do they live; how do they communicate with God; how do they eat; what do they eat, etc. Our ancestors are able to see us; they are able to visit us; they are able to talk to us; they are able to protect from a number of things or situations. Yet, we, the living ones, are unable to do these things. This is worth thinking about, but more importantly, it shows how vulnerable we are as we live this life on earth – we are in Darkness. We are blind. It is clear to me that we, the living, certainly do not know what is Ithongo. All what we have is a guess work due to some manifestations here and there. Ithongo Therefore, from the above explanation, it is must be clear that Ithongo (the universal spirit) is ALL that ever was, is, or ever shall be, conceivable or inconceivable. The Ithongo is all things, all things are of IT. The Ithongo is ALL the wisdom there is, all wisdom is of IT; but all wisdom conceivable is not the Ithongo. ALL substance, ALL power, ALL wisdom is of IT and IT is in them and manifest through them, but IT is also above them and beyond them, eternally unmanifest. Man who is of the Ithongo can never know the Ithongo while he is an ordinary Man. All he can know of IT are certain manifestations which come within the range of his perceptions. The pupil (student) in an Egyptian setting, at a training place for Izangoma, is generally taught that the manifestations are three in number. Namely:1. Universal Mind,2. Universal Force,3. Universal Substance or Matter. I don’t know if in our situations whether they are trained in the same fashion, same level and at the same depth. We know of people who are highly educated in our midst who have been called upon by their ancestors to go for training to become Izangomas. I personally know of people who never thought that they would ever be Isangoma in their lives but who have been surprised by their ancestors who just forced them to become Isangoma/shaman. In our communities out there, there is an emergence of many people who are becoming Izangoma, and it seems as if there is ever a wish from each ancestor to have his/her child to see the Light of God – to be elevated from our level of Darkness. Unfortunately, not all of these pupils actually become fully trained Izangomas. These are issues that govern our lives, as the Living, which we need to think about, rather than think otherwise. The Cosmic Ocean & Cycle In the beginning of a cosmic ocean and cycle, we are told that the Ithongo first manifested in all the many grades of mind, downward into all the grades of Matter. But at first both Mind and Matter were unindividualized. When, how, or why, only the Ithongo can know. Individuality began in the highest planes of Mind — those planes which touch on pure Spirit. Man is on a journey, the goal of which is union with the source of his being – the Ithongo. To reach that goal he must first pass through all experiences the Cosmos affords, and must shake off all accretions accumulated on his descent from individualized Spiritual Mind into grossest Matter. To do this, he is born and born again, for his physical body dies, as do his lower mental principles; only his higher mental principles which are akin with the Ithongo survive from age to age, retaining throughout the Cosmic Cycle the individuality bestowed upon them at its opening. Indeed this can be observed when an Isangoma informs you of the things that are happening behind your back or things that are still going to happen. Or things that your ancestors want you to do. Isangoma goes through what is called a trance, a kind of another level of mentally seeing things which a normal person cannot see. Principles of Man 1.The Physical Body (Umzimba).This has been explained above. 2.The Etheric Body (Isithunzi).This is merely the etheric counterpart of the physical body and not really a separate principle, normally. But in certain abnormal states it is partially separable from the physical body. It is the medium through which the Lower Mind (or Force) functions. 3.Lower Mind (Amandhla).That portion of the Mind which shows as Life-force and other forms of what we call Energy. 4.The Animal Mind (Uthiwesilo).The planes of Mind which manifest as passion, emotions and instincts. 5. Human Mind (Uthiwomuntu).The planes of Mind which manifest as human consciousness, intellect, higher emotions, etc. 6. Spiritual Mind (Uthiwethongo).The higher planes manifesting Spiritual consciousness. 7. Ithongo. (Amadlozi > ancestoral spirit)The Ray, or spark of Universal Spirit which informs all lower manifestations. Brotherhood of the Higher Ones of Egypt (Bonaabakhulu BaseKhem). As pointed above, the Brotherhood of the Higher Ones of Egypt organization was founded in Egypt during the reign of the Pharaoh Cheops or Kufu. Its founder being a Priest of Isis. It has as its objects the spreading of the Wisdom which comes from of Old among all races and tribes in Africa, and the study and practice by its members of that Science which depends on the power of Thought. Coincidentally the AbeNguni were also ruled by Pharaoh Kufu before they migrated to other parts of the world, particularly in Southern Africa. Understanding the dynamics of this organization is crucially important because it provides a window of beginning to know what was really happening in ancient Egyptian wisdom. These are the grades of the Brotherhood and some of the powers and functions they exercise:1. The Pupil (Ithwasa)The Pupil is one under probation which lasts from one to three hundred years. During this time he is under instruction by a Master and subjects himself to certain disciplines. If found worthy he enters the brotherhood as a Disciple, at the end of his period of probation. If unworthy he is dismissed back to the world. Understandably, those amongst us who are Izangoma would tell you that this is the case even today. But today Ithwasa would be trained for a very short time, probably less than one month. 2. The Disciple.The Disciple is an avowed member of the Brotherhood and subject to its disciplines. Under instruction he develops certain powers. “Mesmerism” is usually one of the earliest to develop. I don’t think AbeNguni do have this category. 3. The Brother.A full member of the Order with many developed powers, of which it is the only power of communication by Thought with those of equal or higher development, and what European Occultists term Astral Consciousness. AbeNguni certainly do not have this. 4. The Elder.An advanced Brother. 5. The Master.The Teacher of all lower grades. The Master has many developed powers (Clairvoyance and Clairaudience on the Etheric Planes … among many others). Mastership can be attained only by one who in a past life has reached Elder brotherhood. I would imagine AbeNguni do have this. Of these it is not permitted to speak save to say that they have attained Consciousness on the plane of the Real Self. Only one who has reached Mastership in a previous life can gain.  Traditional African Religion Traditional African religion is part of Umsamo. It is vital, basic, mysterious, and magical, and at the same time it knows how to exist and co-exist. It knows how to survive in the midst of religious adversity. Before the arrival of the missionaries the African society embraced its own system of morality, view of man and world-view as reflected in the culture’s code of behaviour and framework of moral evaluation. By contrast the missionary activists introduced into Africa a framework of thinking and scale of values, which reflected an ethos and milieu distinctive to the spirit and experience of the West. This is the religion (traditional African religion) that St Augustine referred to when he wrote: ‘That which is called the Christian religion existed amongst the ancients and never did not exist, from the beginning of the human race until Christ came in the flesh, at which time the true religion, which already existed, began to be called Christianity’ There are records to prove that there was one institution in the ancient world, which was universal, and whose method of instruction, and content of its theology, was expressed by symbol and myth. This is the institution of the Ancient Mysteries. All religious cults have their roots in the ancient Mysteries whose origin and foundations are traced to the teachings and doctrines of Hermes Trismegistus. Umsamo as a Decolonial Concept Unless otherwise argued, I see Umsamo as a transformative decolonial concept. At a time of African Renaissance I see the concept of Umsamo teaching us – Africans – who are we, in essence. Decoloniality ‘struggles to bring into intervening existence an-other interpretation that brings forward, on the one hand, a silenced view of the event and, on the other, shows the limits of imperial ideology disguised as the true (total) interpretation of the events’ in the making of the modern world. Decoloniality is distinguished from an imperial version of history through its push for shifting of geography of reason from the West as the epistemic locale from which the ‘world is described, conceptualized and ranked’ to the ex-colonized epistemic sites as legitimate points of departure in describing the construction of the modern world order. This is an alternative epistemology seeking to question the current Euro-American hegemonic epistemology founded on the tyranny of abstract universals (singular knowledge/one universal truth) and recover de-centred and suppressed knowledges from the Global South in general and Africa in particular. It also implies reading and interpreting the empire and the world from the margins and borders between hegemonic and dominant forms of knowledge. It is a subaltern epistemology in and of the Global South focused on unpacking how European modernity overshadowed other modernities, silences other knowledges and re-shaped the non-Western world into its present condition of mimicry and weakness. The reality is that Africa is still ensnared, entrapped, and woven within invisible colonial matrices of power. Africa is the last continent to ‘decolonize’—beginning in the 1960s. Colonialism is a vast and multi-faceted world historical process involving a vast and multi-faceted world historical process requires an equally vast and multi-faceted decolonization project that addresses these multiple and multi-layered range and forms of oppressions, before ‘ex-colonized’ people could be fully liberated and enjoy freedom. The project of decolonization must not be restricted to achievement of ‘juridical freedom’ because such freedom cannot be enjoyed without addressing mental, cultural, institutional, aesthetic, epistemological oppressions, etc. There is need for knowledge and power decolonization; ideological decolonization, linguistic decolonization, aesthetic decolonization, consciousness decolonization, gender and sexual decolonization, and many other invisible and visible forms that include what Ngugi wa Thiong’o terms ‘de-whitinisation.’   Our overarching theoretical and conceptual framework is a decolonial epistemic perspective that involves thinking from Africa and the Global South; taking full account of voices of the African subaltern groups; and thinking with and talking with rather than talking about and for the subaltern—collaborating with them in the process of becoming human. Endogenous
and indigenous knowledges have been pushed to the margins of society. Africa is today saddled with irrelevant knowledge that disempowers rather than empowers individuals and communities.It is high time our universities begin to stop poisoning African minds with research methodologies that inculcate knowledges of equilibrium. These are knowledges that do not question methodologies as well as the present asymmetrical world order. We need to embark on research methods and research methodologies that would encourage the emergence of another-thinking, another-logic and another-world view. Research methodologies are tools of gate-keeping.What is even more disturbing is that African children and youth begin a journey of alienation from their African world. What is at issue here is the pertinent question of how whiteness gained ontological density far above blackness. Coloniality of being is very important because it assists in investigating how African humanity was questioned as well as processes that contributed towards ‘objectification’/’thingification’/‘commodification’ of Africans. One of the continuing struggles in Africa is focused on resisting objectification.These three concepts enable a deeper understanding of the construction of current modern world that is today besieged by a plethora of crises.The current global crisis emanates from the reality of modernity which created ‘modern problems for which there are no modern solutions’. Western thinking operated as ‘abyssal thinking’ consisting of ‘a system of visible and invisible distinctions, the visible ones being the foundation of the invisible ones. Those people like Africans and others who experienced colonization: their realm was re-constituted by technologies of power and colonial matrices of power into an incomprehensible state of being. The possibility of co-presence or peaceful co-existence of those in the zone of being with those in the zone of non-being was rendered impossible. The end product of all this were colonial discourses and negative representations of black people as being characterized by a catalogue of deficits and series of lacks.Decoloniality arises from this context in which the humanity of black people is doubted and emerges as one way of telling the story of the modern world from the experiences of slavery, imperialism, and colonialism. It is not the only way of articulating the history of the construction of the modern world. What distinguishes it is its starting point, which is coloniality.Conclusion Therefore, the concept of Umsamo is as good as a decolonial institution in its philosophical, metaphysical and liberatory nature. Perhaps, re-embracing our ancient Egyptian value systems would help to usher in a real African Renaissance that would make us pure and authentic Africans. Ithongo does not oppress, but I guess it enriches you. Ithongo is good for anyone of us to have it. Only those who are mentally oppressed or still colonized who would look down upon Ithongo/Amadlozi/Umsamo. Such people would have to be liberated and have their minds decolonized. We know that these things, due to colonization, have been referred to as paganism, and that we should discard such knowledges. As explained above, Ubungoma is an African institution, and there is no way we can distance ourselves from it. You look down upon it, you look down yourself. ——————————————-ReferencesBhengu MJ., 2015, AmaZulu: Ancient Egyptian Origin, Durban, Mepho Publishers Bhengu M.J. 2006, Ubuntu: The Global Philosophy for Humankind, Lotsha Publications. Cape Town Breasted, J.H. (1944), Ancient Times: A History of the Early World, London Brooklyn, Lawrence H. & Charles S. (1998). The Star of Deep Beginnings: The Genesis of African Science and Technology Malcolm DMcK, 1938. “The Nguni”, section III. The Zulu, with an Introductory article on the Zulu. Cambridge, Deighton, Bell & Co., Ltd. Mbiti, J., 1989. African religion & philosophy: Heinemann Educational Publishers. Mulago, V., 1965. Theology and Identity: The Impact of Culture Upon Christian Thought Massey G. (1907), Ancient Egypt, The Light of the World Mutwa. V. C. (2003) Zulu Shaman: Dreams, Prophecies and Mysteries, Destiny Books, Rochester, New York. Nabudere N., 2008: Towards an Afrikology of Knowledge Production and African Regeneration. The Marcus-Garvey Pan-Afrikan Institute, Uganda Imhotep A. (2007), Bantu Cosmology & the Origins of Egyptian Civilization   Scott, W., 1924, Thoth’s Prophecy in Egypt, London Rutherford, W. (1984) Pythatgoras, Great Britain www.theworldhistory.blogspot.com

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Mfuniselwa J. Bhengu



This paper seeks to trace the origin, nature and content of Bonaabakhulu baseKhem Brotherhood and how Mankanyezi, an African sage, who was an initiate of this organization, was trained in African wisdom. Again the paper will try to establish the connection between this organization and ancient Zulus 



In this great continent over which the sphinx still gazes, guarding the eternal mystery of life, may the flame within the hearts of its varied peoples be lit, so that once again from African soil may resound the old message ‘Thou art the light, let that light shine.’” (Harvest).


The story of the human race in Africa dates back to more than 50 000 years before the mythical creation of Adam in 4 240 BC. This story was written by Lord Khem (or Ham) popularly known as ThauThau-Harama(the Greek Thoth-Hermes) who was the scribe of the African builder Gods called Bonabakhulu baseKhemu(i.e. the ancient ones of Khem). 


The land of Khem (or Ta Shema), writes Bowen (1927), came to be known as ancient Ethiopia (African Atpu) to the Greeks. The names Ethiopia and Egypt (the African Hakaptah i.e. land of God Ptah) were named after the ancient African God Tapa (or Pata). His shrine is in the Sudan (i.e. land of the Blacks).


Long before the rise of ancient Egypt, Africa South of the Sahara had known two major civilizations in Punt or Tanutra (i.e. central and Southern Africa) and Ethiopia or Khem, which covered Southern Egypt, Eritrea, Abyssinia, the Sudan and surrounding territories.  


It was the Ethiopian Prince Mena who established Egypt by uniting lower and Upper Egypt in 5 619 B.C. Thus ancient Egypt is not the oldest state in Africa.


The earliest civilization was established by the gods of the First Time (Zep Tepi) from Punt or Tanutra who came to be known as Shamsu Hara (Greek Shemsu Hor i.e. followers of Horus).  The relics of the civilization established by the followers of Horus are still found at Maphungubwe, Zimbabwe, the Sudan, Yemen, modern Ethiopia, Egypt and Benin and the Area of the Great Lakes.


Lord Khem brought the religion of light (Karaism), which taught that the light (Kara), which was God, dwelt in the heart of every human being.  


To the sacred (or divine) rulers, he taught them to “Look for the light” (i.e. the divine spark) or the “God within” every individual. To the people he taught the motto that: “Thou art the Light, let the Light shine”.


The teachings of Lord Khem attracted students like Thales, Solon, Pythagoras and Plato – the Hermetic teachings – and passed them to the world as Greek philosophy or more specifically Pythagoreanism. The African religious philosophy of Light (Karaism) came to be known as Hermeticism and passed as Greek philosophy.


However, Hermeticism did not disappear from the face of traditional Africa. In his book entitled: “The Ruined Cities of Mashonaland,” Bent observed that the African founders of the Zimbabwe Temple practiced the religion of Light (Karaism) and this God of Light was also called UmbeNyambe or Zambe (i.e. the word of God). 


Indeed, our African continent is not a dark continent. Western scholars made the world to believe that, before colonization, Africa was a Dark Continent without a literary tradition. They also excised ancient Ethiopia and Egypt from Africa and made them part of the so-called near East to obliterate the African origins of ancient Ethiopian and Egyptian civilization.


As Harvest puts it: If we wish to penetrate into the mighty secrets of Africa of its peoples, of its meaning in god’s plan, we must make ourselves part of it, and seek the underlying unity….Let us look once more for the light so splendidly revealed in the teachings of Tehuti, also called Hermes.


The Secrets of Africa

In an article that appeared in The Theosophist magazine, on August 1927, entitled ‘The Ancient Religion in Africa’, written by Patrick Bowen, tells us that the ancient Africans were a profoundly spiritual people and extremely psychic. To them, like to traditional Africans today, the world of higher being was a reality. Bowen is better known for his work ‘Saying of the Ancient One’ which he published.


Mr. Bowen wrote: 

Many years ago, when I, a boy of ten or twelve years of age, I followed my father’s wagon through the wild Bushlands of the Northern Transvaal…I met and gained the friendship of many natives–principally Zulus–of the class known as Isanusi, a term popularly but improperly interpreted as “Witch-Doctor.  


Outside of the records of the ancient wisdom in Egypt, little is known of its diffusion in the rest of Africa. Some evidence of the continent-wide existence of the ancient doctrines and movement can be found from the following narrative. 


The most interesting of African mystery teachings came to us from Bowen through his book entitled: “The Saying of the Ancient One”. The fragments in this book are translations of chapters from the mystic writings of the African sage, Mehlo Moya (i.e. the spiritual eyes).


The Saying of the Ancient One was written in an archaic Bantu language called Isinzu.  According to MehloMoya, this Isinzu manuscript is a translation of some very ancient records found in a subterranean chamber in one of the ruined cities of Southern Africa, belonging to the Maphungubwe-Zimbabwe cultural complex. The original records were written in veiled symbols, akin to the Sabean script, on tablets of ivory or stone.


The African Sage, Mankanyezi, also told Patrick Bowen of a secret society to which he belonged: “Whose members are the guardian of the wisdom-which-comes-from-of-old; they are of many ranks, from learner to master, and Higher Ones whose names may not be spoken; and there is one member at least in every tribe and nation throughout this great land of Africa“. 


The Brotherhood is called, in the ancient Bantu speech, Bonabakhulu abaseKhem, that is, the Brotherhood of the Higher Ones of Egypt. (Khem, hence chemistry, was an ancient name of Egypt). It was founded by a Priest of Isis in the reign of Pharaoh Cheops, to spread The Wisdom which comes from of old among all races and tribes of Africa….


The grades of the Brotherhood are: 

(1) the Pupil,

(2) the Disciple

(3) the Brother

(4) the Elder

(5) the Master

(6) the Sangoma

(7) Abakhulu-Bantu, i.e. perfect men, for whom rebirth has ceased, who dwell on earth in physical form by their own will, and can retain will and can retain or relinquish that form as they choose.


Mr. Bowen seems to have been recognized early in life for some special qualities by members of those who were among Initiates of the Ancient Brotherhood of Wisdom living among the Zulus and the descendants of the old Bantu race of South and South East of Africa.


Who was Mankanyezi?


He further explains his African experience: Many years ago, when I, a boy of ten or twelve years of age, followed my father’s wagon through the wild Bushlands of the Northern Transvaal, Portuguese East Africa and Mashonaland, I met and gained the friendship of many Natives—principally Zulus—of the class known as Isanusi, a term, popularly but improperly interpreted as “Witch Doctor”. Why those men, who with Europeans and even with their own people are always intensely reserved, should have favoured me with their confidence is something I do not, even now, clearly understand, yet they certainly did so. I recall a conversation with one of their number, by name, Mankanyezi (The Starry One), with whom I was particularly intimate, which impressed me deeply; so much so that I have never forgotten it. My father had declared his intention of placing me in care of a Missionary, in order that I might receive some education, and learn white men’s ways. I repeated his words to Mankanyezi, who shook his head doubtfully on hearing them and said:

“Your teachers are doubtless learned men. But why do they strive to force their beliefs on us without first learning what our beliefs are? Not one of them, not even Sobantu, knows anything of our real belief. They think that we worship the spirits of our ancestors; that we believe our spirits, when we die, enter the bodies of animals. They, without proof or without enquiry, condemn us, the Isanusi, as deluders of our more ignorant brethren; or else they declare us to be wicked wizards having dealings with evil spirits. To show how ignorant they are, I shall tell you what we teach the Common Man (ordinary Native). We teach that he has a body; that within that body is a soul; and within the soul is a spark or portion of something we call Itongo, which the Common Man interprets as the Universal Spirit of the Tribe. We teach that after death the soul (Idhloziafter hovering for a space near the body departs to a place called Esilweni (Place of Beasts). This is a very different thing, as you can see, from entering the body of a beast. In Esilweni, the soul assumes a shape, part beast and part human. This is its true shape, for man’s nature is very like that of the beast, save for that spark of something higher, of which Common Man knows but little. For a period which is long or short, according to the strength of the animal nature, the soul remains in Esilweni, but at last it throws aside its beast-like shape and moves onward to a place of rest. There it sleeps till a time comes when it dreams that something to do or to learn awaits it on earth, then it awakes and returns, through the Place of Beasts, to earth and is born again as a child. Again and again-does the soul travel through the body, through the Place of Beasts, to its rest, dreams its dream and returns to the body; till at last the Man becomes true Man, and his soul when he dies goes straight to its rest, and thence, after a space, having ceased to dream of earth, moves on and becomes one with that from which it came—the Itongo. Then does the Man know that instead of being but himself, apart, he is truly all the tribe and the tribe is he. This is what we teach, I say, for this is the utmost the Common Man is capable of comprehending; indeed many have only a vague comprehension, even of this much. But the belief of us, Wiser Ones, is something far wider and greater, though similar. It is far too wide and great for Common Man’s comprehension—or for yours, at present. But I may say this much, that we know that the Itongo is not the mere Spirit of the Tribe, but is the Spirit within and above all men—even all things; and that at the end, all men being one in Spirit, all are brothers in the flesh”.


Mankanyezi, continues Bowen, was a pure Zulu, of the royal blood. What his age might have been, it is not knownbut certainly he was at least seventy’. He was a tall, lean man, light chocolate in colour, of a distinctly Jewish cast of countenance, without a trace of the Negroid, with the exception of his snow-white hair which was frizzled. Both by the natives and by the few white hunters who knew him he was regarded as a powerful magician, but only once did I get a glimpse of this side of his character.


A year or two subsequent to the talk above quoted, (writes Bowen)  in company with a famous Boer hunter named Sarel Du Pont, I met Mankanyezi near the Limpopo River, and he gave us a direction to the Great Lakes of the North, and said: “Much farther, I think. You will ere you again see this river visit the Great Lake of the North (Lake Nyassa). To the eastward of that lake, you will visit the springs of another river, and there you will meet one of my elder brothers”.


“Indeed”, said Du Pont, “if it should happen that we go so far, which is not our intention, how are we to know this brother of yours? I suppose he is not your brother in reality, but merely one in the Spirit, as you say all men are?”Mankanyezi replied:


He is, as you say, not my brother in the flesh. I call him my elder brother because he is an Elder in the Family (Society) to which I belong, whose members are the guardians of the Wisdom-which-comes-from-of-old. There are many of us—one at least in every tribe and nation—throughout this great land. We are of many ranks, from the learner to the Master, and to those Higher Ones whose names may not be spoken, I am a common Brother; he of whom I speak is my Elder.


Sarel Du Pont“But”, I asked in some surprise, “how can you know this man, seeing you have often told me you have never travelled beyond the Zambezi?. Mankanyezi“I know him, because I have often seen him, though not in the flesh. Often have we spoken together. Do you think the mind of Man can travel only in the flesh? Do you think thought is limited by the power of the body? See this, and try to understand”.


As he spoke he pointed to a lizard which basked in the sun, near by. Fixing his eyes upon it, he extended his hand, palm upward, towards it, and began to breathe slowly and regularly. In a few seconds, the beady eyes of the little reptile turned towards him. It took a little run forward, then stopped, its sides expanding and contracting, rhythmically. After a few seconds’ further pause, it again darted forward and settled itself upon the old man’s open palm. He let it rest for a minute, then slid it gently among the leaves where it quickly concealed itself. He looked at us and smiled gently. “That is witchcraft perhaps you will say”, he said, “perhaps I sent an evil spirit to call the lizard to me. Or perhaps it is itself an evil spirit which serves me. If I tell you that my mind went out and entered its brain and our two minds became one, you will not believe. Some day, perhaps, you will understand”.


Over a year later, near the source of the Rovuma River, to the east of Lake Nyassa, we put up at a Native village, and there met an old man (a Masai—not a Zulu) who greeted us as friends of his brother, Mankanyezi. From careful enquiries made by my companion, it became certain that this man and Mankanyezi could never have met. The one had certainly never been south of the Zambezi, and equally certainly the other had never been north of the river. Yet there was no question of their intimate knowledge of each other, a knowledge which could not have been gained second hand, for a thousand miles separated their dwelling places, and the tribes had no point of contact whatsoever.


Continues Bowen: About the time of Dr. Jameson’s Raid on the Transvaal, I entered the service of the B.S.A. Co. (Chartered Company), and since then down to 1924, I was almost continually employed by one or other of the Colonial Administrations from the Equator to the Cape, always in some capacity which brought me in intimate contact with the Natives. Of the existence of the Society, mentioned by Mankanyezi, I received constant assurances, and once came in close touch with certain of its higher ranks. Some years after the Boer War, I was engaged in work on behalf of the Natal Government, in a certain large Native Reserve, in the course of which I was astonished to find occupying a remote, inaccessible valley, a small community of people—perhaps less than a hundred of all ages and both sexes—who were certainly not Zulus, nor, in fact, of an African Race I had ever seen. Had it not been for the fact that they lived the life of the Natives, and identified themselves in all respects with their Bantu neighbours, I should have said that they were members of some Southern European Race. In colour they varied a good deal, from the brown of a high caste Hindu to pure white. Their features were of pure European type, more uniformly classical indeed than is usual among Europeans.


Who was Mandhlalanga?


Continues Bowen: The chief of this little community bore the Zulu name of Mandhla-langa (Strength of the Sun). He was a man of striking appearance, well over six feet in height, slight of figure, with wavy, snow-white hair, olive complexion and features which, with the exception of the cheek bones which were rather prominent, were almost pure Greek in type. Among the Zulus, he bore the reputation of being a supernatural being.


Mandhlalanga, continues Bowen, is a master, or teacher in the Brotherhood mentioned by Mankanyezi. He has travelled in Europe, Asia and America. He speaks English and other European languages perfectly, but his talks with me were conducted in the secret Bantu tongue, which to the ordinary Native has been dead for ages, and of the continued existence of which few Europeans are aware. In the following quotations, the reader must realize that many obscurities are probably due to the difficulty of rendering in English the exact shades of meaning.


From the first, Mandhlalanga was extremely friendly towards me, and showed a desire to win my confidence. He gave me invaluable aid in the work upon which I was engaged, and that, eventually, I completed it successfully was largely owing to him. As regards himself, he remained for a time rather reserved, however. He and his people, he gave me to understand were Berbers, or rather Khabyles (he pronounced the name Kha-beel-ya, the “Kh” he pronounced as a guttural), from North Africa. But what they were doing five thousand miles from their native habitat, or why they chose to identify themselves with the Zulus, he did not explain. [Berbers were the original black Africans of North Africa]


Time, however, brought about a change in his attitude. One day I was speaking of the inexplicable manner in which news of distant happenings spreads among the Natives, when suddenly he said:

Thought is speedier than the electric spark and needs no wires for its conveyance. All it requires is a brain to despatch it and another to receive it. Would you believe if I told you that I and others of the Brotherhood to which I belong can transmit our thoughts one to the other, no matter how far apart our bodies may be? [This still remains a mystery to the author]


Continues Bowen: This was a rather startling statement, but I recalled what I had learned from Mankanyezi. I replied, “Yes, I think I might believe that, but I should be more sure if you explained how it is done”.


Mandhlalanga’s response: “To attempt to explain our science to you”, he said, smiling, “would be rather like trying to explain the differential calculus to a child who is ignorant of simple addition. However, I am satisfied that you have a mind unclouded by the average European’s prejudices and preconceptions, so, if you will, I will take you as a pupil and teach you the simple addition of our lore. Whether you ever reach knowledge of the differential calculus, will depend entirely on yourself. I can teach, but I cannot guarantee that you can learn”.


Bowen: After some consideration I agreed to become Mandhlalanga’s pupil, and for a year continued under his instruction. Then circumstances arose which led to my abandoning my studies and quitting this portion of the country. I never again encountered my teacher, nor for some considerable time afterwards did I ever receive a communication from him. With another of his fellows, however, whom I met at that period, I have several times been in contact, and have received from him communications at infrequent, though regular intervals. The sum of the information I gained from Mandhlalanga, during that year, is not very large, and I am so far from clear concerning its exact significance that I shall make no attempt at explaining it. I shall content myself here with certain extracts from the copious notes I made of his discourses at the time they were delivered and allow the reader to interpret them as he sees fit.


Ithongo and its Explanations


Mandhlalanga explains the concept of Itongo as follows:

The Itongo (Universal Spirit) is ALL that ever was, is, or ever shall be, conceivable or inconceivable. The Itongo is ALL things, all things are of IT; but the sum of all things is not the ItongoThe Itongo is ALL the power there is, all power is of it; but all power, perceivable or conceivable, is not the ItongoThe Itongo is ALL the wisdom there is, all wisdom is of IT; but all wisdom conceivable is not the ItongoALL substance, ALL power, ALL wisdom is of IT, and IT is in them and manifest through them, but IT is also above them and beyond them, eternally unmanifest.


Man who is of the Itongo can never know the Itongo while he is man. All he can know of IT are certain manifestations which come within the range of his perceptions.

The pupil is generally taught that the manifestations are three in number. Namely:

1.    Universal Mind.

2.    Universal Force.

3.  Universal Substance or Matter.


[The pupil would be like a student at a university institution level]


What is Force?: What we call Force is not a separate manifestation. It is simply certain of the lowest, or grosser grades of Mind. Force is simply that portion of Mind which endows Matter with Form. It is that portion of mind which transmits the idea of Form to the higher grades where Consciousness dwells. Let the pupil think and he must see that this is so. Colour, size, shape, what are they? Simply light vibrations which when passed on to the Consciousness give the idea of Form. And what is vibration? It is Force. Heat, cold, hardness, softness, varieties of taste and smell are all vibrations, and therefore also Force. If you make Force a separate manifestation, then also must you make those planes of Mind which transfer the ideas of passion or emotion separate manifestations.


In the beginning of a Cosmic Cycle the Itongo first manifested in all the many grades of mind, downward into all the grades of Matter. But at first both Mind and Matter were unindividualizedWhen, how, or why, only the Itongo can know. Individuality began in the highest planes of Mind—those planes which touch on pure Spirit. Understanding of what occurred is best gained by the following conception. Think of the Cosmos, just before individuality began, as a vast, amorphous ocean of Mind and Matter, its surface ripples and upper reaches, those planes of Mind which touch on Spirit; growing denser and denser, downward till matter, in Etheric form, is reached: downward till Ether becomes Gas, which may be likened to the mineral-charged lower strata of the ocean; downward till gases become liquids (muddy water); finally into solids (thick mud).


The beginning of individuality in this Cosmic Ocean may be likened to the starting of myriads of tiny “whirlpools” among the ripples of the surface (the Spiritualized Mind). These “whirlpools” under the force of a growing flood-tide, extended deeper and deeper, till at last all strata were involved in the swirl. Thus we have Individuality set up, extending from Spiritual Mind to the Physical Plane. The “whirlpool” on the surface represents the birth of the Soul. Its extension to the muddy depths represents the Soul’s descent into matter. In matter the Soul has reached the aphelion of its cycle, and now it begins its long, slow return journey. By the process of evolution it climbs slowly upward, from mineral to plant, from plant to animal, from animal to man; through all grades and states of human development, shaking off, slowly and painfully as it climbs, the gross accretions gathered during its descent; up through the lower mind to the higher, it climbs, till at last, its cycle complete, it merges with its source, the Itongoand ceases to be Individual, being one with the ALL, explains Mandhalanga.


On Man and his Destiny

Mandhlalanga discoursed thus:

Man is an individual, having in him, as has everything on the physical plane, all the attributes of the Cosmic Ocean of which he is an individualized portion. He has reached on his upward journey the stage of personal consciousness. I speak of Man in general. There are undeveloped men whose personal consciousness is but rudimentary as there are others who have transcended personality and know their real Selves—that immortal portion first individualized from the lofty planes of the Spiritual Mind.


Man is on a journey, the goal of which is union with the source of his being—the ItongoTo reach that goal he must first pass through all experience the Cosmos affords, and must shake off all accretions accumulated on his descent from individualized Spiritual Mind into grossest Matter. To do this, he is born and born again, for his physical body dies, as do his lower mental principles; only his higher mental principles which are akin with the Itongo survive individuality bestowed upon them at its opening.


The Principles of Man


(1) The Physical body (Umzimba). 



This is merely the etheric counterpart of the physical body, and not really a separate principle, normally. But in certain abnormal states it is partially separable from the physical body. It is the medium through which the Lower Mind (or Force) functions.


(2) The Etheric Body (Isitunzi).

That portion of the Mind which shows as Life-force and other forms of what we call Energy.


(4) The Animal Mind (Utiwesilo).

The planes of Mind which manifest as passions, emotions, and instincts.


(5) Human Mind (Utiwomuntu).

The planes of Mind which manifest as human consciousness, Intellect, higher emotions, etc.


(6) Spiritual Mind (Utiwetongo).

The higher planes manifesting Spiritual Consciousness.


(7) Itongo

The Ray, or spark of Universal Spirit which informs all lower manifestations.


My teacher (referring to Mandhlalangagave the following account of the Brotherhood in which he holds the rank of Master:

We call our Brotherhood, Bonaabakulu abaseKhemuusing the ancient Bantu speech which is the mother-tongue of the most widespread group of languages in the Continent. The name may be tendered in English as The Brotherhood of the Higher Ones of Egypt.


The Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in the reign of the Pharaoh Cheops; its founder being a priest of Isis. It has as its objects the spreading of the Wisdom which comes from of Old among all races and tribes in Africa, and the study and practice by its members of what we call Ukwazikwesithabangowhich means that science which depends on the power of thought. It is the only true science there is.


The following are the grades of the Brotherhood and some of the powers and functions they exercise.

(1) The Pupil.

The Pupil is one under probation which lasts from one to three years. During this time he is under instruction by a Master and subjects himself to certain disciplines. If found worthy he enters the Brotherhood as a Disciple, at the end of his period of probation. If unworthy he is dismissed back to the world.


(2) The Disciple.

The Disciple is an avowed member of the Brotherhood and subject to its disciplines. Under instruction he develops certain powers. That which in English is called “Mesmerism”, is usually one of the earliest to develop.


(3) The Brother.

A full member of the Order with many developed powers, of which I may mention, only, power of communication by thought with those of equal or higher development, and what European occultists term astral consciousness.


(4) The Elder. 

An advanced Brother.


(5) The Master. 

The teacher of all lower grades. The Master has many developed powers (clairvoyance and clairaudience on the Etheric Plane, and control in a certain degree of Master, among many others). Mastership can be attained only by one who in a past life has reached Elder brotherhood.


(6) Those who know (Isangoma).

Of these it is not permitted to speak save to say they have attained consciousness on the Plane of the Real Self. Only one who has reached Mastership in a previous life can gain Isangomanship.


Besides the above, we have lay Disciples and lay Brothers. They are men who are prevented by circumstances from becoming vowed to the Brotherhood. They are subject only to self-imposed disciplines and receive but such teaching as can be given from afar. We have many lay Disciples, not merely in Africa but in Asia, Europe and America. Lay Brothers, however, are but few, for without direct instruction from a Master few can reach this grade without incurring grave dangers. We constantly warn all unavowedDisciples against the danger of attempting to attain a brother’s powers, unaided by the direct instruction of a Master.


Let it not be thought that our Isangoma, elevated though they be, represent the supreme development possible to Man on the Physical Plane. It is not so. There are others, not of any Brotherhood, save the Brotherhood of All. We call them Abakhulubantu (that is, Supreme Ones, or Perfect Men). These are men for whom the necessity for rebirth has ceased. They dwell on earth in physical form by their own will, and can retain or relinquish that form as they choose. I speak of them but to assure the Pupil of their existence. Few, below the Grade of Master, have ever seen one in the flesh, though all, from Disciple upward, may meet them in the spirit.”


Of the occult powers wielded by Mandhlalanga and his fellow Master, I saw several examples, but of these I do not feel at liberty to speak here. The reader has had, already, sufficient food for thought. I shall conclude with a rather cryptic quotation from Mandhlalanga on The Source of the Brothers’ Power. Mandhlalanga had this to say: 

Of the source of the power we wield, the Pupil can learn but little until he attains Discipleship. But let him ponder this much. I have likened Individuality to whirlpools in the Cosmic Ocean. But all that Ocean has not been cast into individuality. Between the “whirlpools”, myriad though they be, stretch wide, smooth spaces, identical with them in composition. Now it can well be conceived that a “whirlpool” by setting up minor vibrations within itself may send out ripples through the smooth spaces which will strike upon and affect in some degree other “whirlpools”. All the “whirlpools” are constantly doing this. Now suppose a “whirlpool” to have gained power to control its internal vibrations and to send them pulsating through the Ocean towards whatever objective it desires, can you not see that it may produce upon that objective whatever effect it desires? Now think of the “whirlpool” as being a Man. Is it not clear that by getting full control of the vibrations of his higher planes, he may despatch through the Cosmic Ocean of which he is a part, ripples of various kinds and intensities, which, according to their nature and strength, will produce effects on all strata, from the highest, which is of course the most sensitive, even down to the “slime” and “mud” of the depths. 


There is abundant evidence that The Saying of the Ancient One came from ancient African wisdom tradition embodied in the Great Sphinx – the Mighty Altar that guards the Holy Land where the Nahar (Greek Nile) River meets the Mediterranean sea. Records still exist of great antiquity, preserved and partly disclosed, which contain ancient African wisdom.


Connection Between Bonaabakhulu BaseKhemu Brotherhood and AmaZulu


Bonaabakhulu basekhemu Brotherhood’ actually refers to the Zulu ancestors who were born and bred, lived and some died in ancient Egypt and some were dispersed throughout the whole world. They lived under and the reign of King Khufu of ancient Egypt. They served King Khufu


It is clear from the writings that the AmaZulu are the descendants of Horus Kings, and acquired their Khemetic and Gnostic philosophy from God Ptah (Hermes), through ancient Egyptian Mystery schools. That is why the ancient Zulu priests would conduct their affairs and always acknowledge their source of knowledge to Bonaabakhulu basekhemu’, meaning the Khemetic Mystery school priests of ancient Egypt, who were of Zulu/Bantu extraction.


The African brotherhood (Bonaabakhulu Abasekhemu) is considered the oldest and predate any treaceablelineage of every other religious tradition on earth today. It goes back to approximately 3900 BCE. The next closest tradition in terms of age would be Vedic tradition, which based on the Rig Veda, could be traced back to about 1500 BCE, and even the Vedic tradition would appear also to owe some of its spiritual science to Kamit or Nsemi. The earliest written parts of the Bible would have been written 1000 BCE, based on a tradition dating back to about 2000 BCE. Moses lived about 1300 BCE during AKHENATEN time. The Bonaabakhulu Abasekhemu Brotherhood of AmaZulu, South Africa trace their origin to a priest of Isis during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu of the 3rd dynasty (3900 BCE) and builder of the Great Pyramids. 


The genes of the South African Bonaabakhulu Abasekhemu Brotherhood are found in every tribe and nation throughout the great African continent, and indeed beyond. The Bonaabakhulu Abasekhemu Brotherhood are of the oldest group with traceable origin, and the fact that the name can be easily re-written in Kikongoas “Children of our ancestors, our father Creator” means that they strongly related not only to the KongoBantu people but also to the original man, Adam. 

Southern African records, which were destroyed by the Portuguese and others, revealed that the forebears of the builders of Maphungubwe and Great Zimbabwe, simply called The Builders, left behind them a family of Wise Ones who acted as teachers and priests.


The universalism of African culture and religion was highlighted by Theodore Besterman in his collected “Papers on the Paranormal (New York: Garrett 1968 p. 103). Besterman provides abundant evidence of the philosophy of reincarnation and the transmigration of souls in Africa. 


Ancient African wisdom survived the Roman, Arab and European plunder, slave trade and colonialism and remained to inform medieval African civilizations in Western, Central and Southern Africa.


The greatest exponent of the African doctrine of Divine Light (Kara) was the African Sage, Plotinus (204-270 AD). Plotinus, whose philosophy was misrepresented as neoplatonism, described the Divine Light (Kara) as the One Good or the Beauty and represented the spirit or word (Khem) of God (Ptah) upon the Chaos (Nun) created the universes and all animate and inanimate things. 


In other words, the motive force of all living and non-living things is the Word or Spirit of the Unknown and Unknowable God.


The Teachings of Bonaabakhulu baseKhem Brotherhod

The following were taught at mystery schools of ancient Egypt:

1. The interaction of the negative (Nut/Ntu) and positive (Ra) produced the triune principle ThauThaumaatkara (gr. Thaumturgewhich created twelve macrocosmic gods through a process of transformations and adaptations.  These celestial bodies constitute the macrocosmic universe. The macrocosmos replicated itself and produced the microcosmos which is structurally and substantially the same.  This relationship is embodied in the law of analogy which says “As Above, so Below”. According to this law, the macro-microcosmic order and all animate and inanimate things within it evolved from the One or the Good, and the mother thereof is the moon (Ma/Maia) and the father thereof is the sun (Ra), in short, Mara or Maria.


2. The ancient pillar (Zindj-ka-Fura) contains the totality of being which we must unpack in order to understand the nature of reality.


The Ancient Pillar consists of the following:


Kabachat/Mundu (ether)

= Manu (water)

Aakhet (fire)

Rastau (earth)

Amenti (air)


3. Both the Cube (Kaba) and ancient pillar (Zindj-ka-Fura) consists of four elements (water, fire, earth and air) and the fifth element (ether or quintessence) called Mundu or Kabachat.  The fifth element comprises:

Ka+ba+ chat = Kabachat

u + ndu = Mundu

u + ntu = Muntu

M + u + nhu = Munhu

o + tho = Motho

Mind  + thought + word = Higher Self

Spirit + soul+ reason   Higher Self


4The quintessential quality of the human personality is called Ubuntu, UbunduBotho etc. This ethereal (or quintessential) quality of the human personality is also shared by the word, or intelligence of the Unknown and Unknowable God ThauThaumaatkara or Usarmaatra: Usara + maat + ra               Usarmaatra

Mena maat + ra              Menmaatra

Nuba  maat + ra             Nubmaatra

ThauThau + maat + kara   ThauThaumaatkara

Ka + ba  chat                   Kabachat

M + u + ndu                          Mundu

M + u + ntu                         = Muntu

M + u + nhu                        Munhu

M + u thu                         Muthu

M + o + tho                          


5The inner human personality (i.e. divine spark, God within or indwelling spirit) is consubstantial with the universal word or intelligence of the Unknown and Unknowable God. 


Hence, the African Sage, ThauThau-Harama (Greek: Thoth-Hermes), said that the deceased are immortal gods and the living are mortal gods.


He proclaimed that the human being is the greatest miracle (magnum miraculum Homo Est). The adage was the foundational principle of African humanism which was adopted, adapted and distorted by European renascent philosophers.


6. Both theology and science are based on time, space and matter. Time flows from, and it is linked to, being, becoming and passing away.  Time, not being is recorded in calendars which relates to physical rather than the spiritual reality which inform them.


7All the western calendars are adaptations of the ancient African zodiac of Dandura (the Greek Dendera)which is substantially the same with the zodiac of Matendere which was found near Great Zimbabwe and taken to Cape Town Museum.  


The Danduran Zodiac comprises:

•        The Great Mother (Hathara)

•        The Great Bull (Hara)

•        The four cardinal gods or points (Kheru)

•        The seven cows (Het-heru)

•        The twelve divisions of heaven (Bemben) called zodiac (Bakare)

•        The twenty four divisions of heaven (24 hours) of the day

•        The thirty-six deacons divided into three ten days months (10 X 3 = 30)

•        The twelve divisions of heaven multiplied by 12 months of 30 days each (12 X 30 = 360 days)

•        The number 360 represents a circle or revolution called IAO (or Jah i.e. the beginning and the end) which reproduces five elements on five successive days.  These five days are called the birth days of the gods. 


These gods are:

1.     Usara (gr. Osiris)

2.     Sethe (gr. Set/Sutech/Satanuka)

3.     Usasi (gr. Isis)

4.     Naphta (gr. Nephtys).


Thus, the zodiacs of Dandura and Matendere give us a year of 365 days.


The IAO (or JahAbaraka or Abakara (Greek Abraxas) manifested itself as the lion or Leo (pard) known as the king (Fura or Kapha) of Ethiopia (African Atpu).  The King Kapha (Greek Caephus) became the prototype sacred (or divine) king of Ancient Africa (both Ethiopia and Egypt).  The concept Kara(or Raka) found expression in the Charaoh (Greek Chirho) monogram.


8The Karaite theology is embodied in the Sphinx (or Iynx) symbol also known as the Bemben (Latin. Bambino) stone, which represents the primal god’s child. The Sphinx is the only earthly symbol of the African Mystery God (IHVH) popularly known as Jah(u) or Jehovah.


Al-Karibuyan) which comprise:

•       P = God (Cube or ancient pillar)

•       Four Beasts before the throne of God which symbolize:

o       The four winds

o       The four cardinal points

o       The four rudders of heaven

o       The four gods which preside over the four quarters of the world


The Book of the African Sage ThauThau-Harama (Greek: Thoth-Hermes) which deals with God and celestial matters was adapted by the Essenes (a branch of the Great Kara Brotherhood) and renamed the Ethiopian Book of Enoch


9. The Bull of Heaven (IAO or Jah) divided itself into fourteen parts corresponding to the seven Pleiades stars and the seven outer planets which culminated into the universal word of intelligence called ThauThau-Harama (Greek Thoth-Hermes) who created the cube (Kaba) or ancient pillar (Zindj-ka-Fura) which reproduces all earthly life.


10. The fourteen parts of the One or the Good, plus the universal word or intelligence, constitute the fifteen descending lunar gods and their fifteen ascending lunar counterparts. Together these gods (15 + 15 = 30) constitute thirty (30) days of the lunar months.  In other words the thirty (30) lunar days determine the relationship of God, time and the human being.


The thirty (30) days of the lunar months correspond to the twelve divisions of heaven and add up to (30 x 12 = 360) days of the year. This annual cycle generated five gods on five successive days bringing the total number of a year to three hundred and sixty five. The number 360 represents evolution and involution (i.e. the beginning and the end). The number 5 (five) represents five constitutive principles of the ultimate reality.


 The Ultimate Reality

We have said God is unknown and unknowable. The first manifestation of God took the form of ten primal principles of being which culminated in the Great Mother (Hathara). 


The Great Mother (Hathara) generated the son (Hara or Kara) who came to be known as Karana (or Harana). 


The son (Karana or Harana) is symbolized by the three stars of the Orion (Urhana) belt also known as UsarmaatraNedemba (or Nedomba), Makolobeng, Luonde (i.e. the place of the pigs). 


The son was the triune principle which became the foundation of the law of generation which says in a right-angled triangle, the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides.


The Law of Squares






a2                +          b2             =         c2

Usara2        +          maat2      =         Ra2

Nuba2        +          maat2      =         Ra2

Mena2        +          maat2      =         Ra2

Usara2        +          Usasi2     =         Hara2

Osiris2        +          Isis2         =         Horus2

Harana2     +          Mara2      =         Kara2

Mind2         +          soul2        =        word2

Spirit2         +          soul2        =        reason2

32                 +          42                    52

9                   +          16             =        25

25                 s25                      =       s25

                                                =       5


In this law of squares, the number 25 represents the 25 divisions of heaven and the number 5 represents the five constitutive principles of being.


The number five (5) represents the ether or quintessence and the four elements. Therefore, we talk about five elements. But the fifth element is a triune element comprising mind, thought and word or spirit, soul and reason. It therefore follows from this that the numbers 5 and 7 are substantially the same and are both vehicles of primal life.


Perhaps one needs to explain who was Hermes since he features quite a lot in this paper.


Who was Hermes?

The ancient Ethiopian founders of ancient Egypt introduced a theosophy (i.e. Divine wisdom) and sciences, which came to be attributed to the ancient Ethiopian (or black African) sage – Harama or (Thoth-Hemes). In other words the Hermetic philosophy and sciences, which were taught in dynastic Egypt came from Khem or ancient Ethiopia’.

He was an Ethiopian (black African) sage. Hermes Trismegistus, who the Greeks called Hermenubis or Thoth-Hermes, and was known to the Romans as Mercurius, while the Arabs and Jews called him Idris and Enoch who is the “Father of World Religions” wrote thousands of books, which are found in his collected work called “Corpus Hermeticum” which was found in his tomb by archaeologists. Forty (42) of these books later became a compulsory study for all those who entered the Order for priesthood. That was in the year 10 490 BC. Hermes developed what is now called the Hermetic Philosophy and Science.


There is much confusion in ancient and modern learned circles about who Hermes actually was. Scholars of mythology said he was just a myth, as was Mercury, his equivalent to the Romans. His Egyptian equivalent, say some scholars, was the Egyptian god “Thoth.” The god Thoth or Hermes, was the moon god, who was the god of time and of its divisions. He was the measurer and the god of measurements. He was also the conductor of the dead, and god of human Intelligence, to whom are attributed all the productions of human Art. To the pagan Egyptians, all the literature of Egypt is attributed to Hermes. All the writings that relate to the different sciences, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and music of the Egyptians were called by the Greeks “The Hermetic Books.”
  In Greek mythology, Hermes was known as the son of Zeus and Maia. He was the god who invented dice, music, geometry, the interpretation of dreams, measures and weights, the arts, letters, etc. He was also regarded as the patron of public treaties, as the guardian of roads and writing. Thoth to the Egyptians was considered a great king, a teacher of mankind, who had left books of magic and mystery behind him. Numerous books of such a sort once existed in Egypt. Clement of Alexandria claimed he knew of 42 so-called Hermetic fragments which could be found in the works of StobaeusCyrillusSuides and Lactantus.
 The Hermetic Books fall into two groups: The first deals with Astrology, Alchemy, etc.; while the others are dialogues describing the soul’s regeneration in terms like the Cabala. This is the blasphemous doctrine that man can reach perfection through his own efforts by journeying through the higher spheres of knowledge, then after death, become God. Tradition says the Egyptian mysteries were a key to a complete knowledge of the Universe and man. And this so-called knowledge was preserved in these Hermetic books which were believed for centuries to be written by Hermes Trismegistus. These books were universally accepted among the doctors of occultism as authentic books of Hermes until the early 17th century, when they were proven to be a fraud. They had actually been written as late as the second and third centuries AD, by a succession of anonymous Greeks living in Egypt.
  However, even though these Hermetic Books were not directly from Hermes, as the occultists said, there are still some interesting facts to learn about who Hermes was, this legendary god of wisdom. To start, we need to take a deeper look at the other gods of the Orient who were the Eastern equivalent to the Western god Hermes. They were known in history as Nebo (Nabu) and Eel. Alexander Hislop, who spent years tracing down ancient gods to Babylonian origin, has some very interesting facts compiled from the ancient past in his book The Two Babylons. In this book Hislop states the following: 


 If Ninus was Nimrod, who was the historical Eel? He must have been Cush; for Cush begetNimrod (Gen. 10:8), and Cush is generally represented as having been a ringleader in the great apostacy. But again, Cush, as the son of Ham was Hermes or Mercury; for Hermes is just an Egyptian synonym for the “son of Ham.” Now, Hermes was the great original prophet of idolatry; for he was recognized by the ancient Egyptians as the author of their religious rites, and theinterpreter of the gods.”
 To the occultist, tradition says the Egyptian Mysteries were a key to a complete knowledge of the Universe and of man. But the truth is, Egypt received its knowledge of the ancient Mysteries from Babylonia. In the traditions of the ancient writers, Ninus is said to be the son of Eel who Gesenius the ancient scribe identifies as Nebo, the Babylonian prophetic god. And Hyginus, another ancient scribe, shows that Nebo was Mercury. And, Hyginus tells how a similar legend was written about the confusion of tongues as stated in the Bible. Hyginus is quoted by Hislop:
  “For many ages men lived under the government of Jove (evidently not the Roman Jupiter, but Jehovah of the Hebrews), without cities and without laws, and all speaking one language. But, after that Mercury interpreted the speeches of men (whence an interpreter is called Hermeneutes), the same individual distributed the nations, then discord began.”
  Now the ancient Egyptians often named places, cities, and towns after their chief gods. A mount called Nebo east of Jordan over against Jericho, in Moab, part of the Abarim range, with a top called Pisgah, is where our Lord told Moses to view the land which he couldn’t enter because of his transgression. The word “Nebo” means height.
 The word “Baal” means Lord, but the name “Eel” means “The Confounder”. The ancients often got the two names Baal and Eel mixed up as do modern scholars today. The Scriptures themselves show that Baal and Eel were two distinct gods with two distinct names. In Jeremiah 50:2; 51:44 we read: “Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish and conceal not; say, Babylon is taken, Eel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces, her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.” “And I will punish Eel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up: and the nations shall not flow together any more unto him: yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall.”
 Now, Eel the Confounder or, in other words, the god of confusion, was himself to be confounded by the destruction of Babylon, the origin of all pagan religions. Today, the city of Babylon is just as it was predicted to be, and now is a symbol of religious confusion throughout the world which will, in these last closing days, unite under one banner.
 To the Romans the god Eel, who actually was Nimrod’s father Cush, was worshipped as Janus, the two faced god, the god of gods. 


Ancient Egypt was founded by Hermes (of Ancient Ethiopia)

The name of Cush is also ‘Khus‘ for ‘sh‘ frequently passes in into s; and Khus. Nebo and Eel are synonymous. And the symbol of this god (the club) is called the hammer in Scripture.


The word Her is synonymous with Ham, or Khem – the burnt one. This name formed a foundation for covertly identifying Ham with the Sun, and so deifying the Patriarch after whose name the land of Egypt was called. The Scriptures themselves state that Egypt was founded by Ham. “Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the Land of Ham.” “Her is the name of Horus, who is identified with the Sun, which shows the real etymology of the name to be from the verb to which I have traced it. 


Then, secondly, ‘Mes‘ is from Mesheh for, without the last radical, which is omissible. Mesh, ‘to draw forth.’ 
 What all this means is “Mes” was used by the ancient Egyptians to show the genealogy of the name applied. This will explain the Egyptian names of Kings of Egypt such as Rameses, which means “The Son of Ra,” who was the Egyptian Sun-god, whose incarnation was “Osiris.” Hence, “Hermes” or “Her-Mes” means “The Son of Her,” or Ham, who was Cush. “And the sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, and Phutand Canaan.”
  Now it was really Cush who was worshipped as Hermes, Eel, Nebo, Mercury, etc., that was generally represented by the ancients as their god who was the author of Astrology, Magic, Spiritualism, etc. 


Hermes”In all the old manuscripts and records which contain the legend of the craft, mention is made of Hermes as one of the founders of masonry”. There are two persons of the name of Hermes mentioned in sacred history. The first is the divine Hermes called by the Romans Mercury. Among the Egyptians he was known as Thoth. Diodorus Siculus describes him as the secretary of Osiris; he is commonly supposed to have been the son of Mizaim, and some say he was the same as Osiris. 
The second was Hermes Trismegistus or Thrice Great, who was a celebrated Egyptian legislator, priest, and philosopher, who lived in the reign of Ninus, about the year 2670 (BC). He is said to have written thirty six books on theology and philosophy, and six upon medicine, all of which are lost. There are many traditions of him; one of which, related by Eusebius, is that he introduced hieroglyphics into Egypt. This Hermes Trismegistus, although the reality of his existence is doubtful, was claimed by the alchemists as the founder of their art, whence it is called the Hermetic science, and whence we get in masonry, Hermetic degrees. And whence we get in Masonry, Hermetic rites and Hermetic degrees. The legend of the craft in the old constitutions refer to Nimrod who was first to teach the arts of masonry! Now here lies a key to understanding the mysterious rituals of Freemasonry. Just as the women who worshipped Thammuz were led to weep for the god because in the myth all the images wept for him, so does the Freemason mimic the myths of the Sun-godsduring their Hermetic Rituals. Just as the Roman Catholic is taught to mimic the death of Jesus Christ during Holy Week, so does Freemasonry imitate most of the myths of Baal worship. Here from their own publications we will learn the real purposes and goals of the leaders of Freemasonry.




It is clear from this that the history and nature of Bonaabakhulu baseKhem Brotherhood originated from ancient Egypt, and that it trained those carefully selected few to become Izangoma. You start as a Ithwasa and graduate into becoming a Sangoma. A Sangoma should be fully possessed with Itongo spirit. In Zulu we say: Ungenwe yithongo or idhlozi.


Secondly, clearly there is a connection amongst the ancient Zulus, ancient Ethiopians (Nubians) ofancient Sudan or Nubia, Hermes, Pharaoh Khufuetc (see my article ‘Beyond UMnguni – Our PrimvalFather’, 2015 by Bhengu).

If we are to believe what Bowen says about Mankanyezi’s origin and race, then we are, logically speaking, influenced to believe the argument that says the AbeNguni/Zulus originate from ancient Egypt, and they actively participated in the civilization of ancient Egypt.




Books and Articles


Besterman, T., 1968, Papers on the Paranormal, New York 


Bhengu M.J., 2014., AmaZulu: Ancient Egyptian Origin, second edition, Mepho Publishers, Durban. 


See also Bhengu’s article ‘Beyond UMnguni – Our Primeval Father (2015), published in Bhengu’sblog (www.jbhengu@wordpress.com)


Bowen P.G., (n.d.The Sayings of the Ancient One, Rider & Co, Paternoster House, Paternoster Row, London EC4).


Joseph H. and Cranston S.L., 1977., Reincarnation – The Phoenix Fire Mystery Julian Press/ Crown Publishers Inc. New York 1977 p. 190-191).


 Mutwa. V. C. (2003) Zulu Shaman: Dreams, Prophecies and Mysteries, Destiny Books, Rochester, New York

National Geographic: Culture RecordThe Zulu Nation in South Africa Record.  Ethnologue Language  Family Tree Record National Geographic: Culture RecordThe Zulu Nation in South Africa Record.  Ethnologue Language Family Tree Record    


Nabudere N., 2008: Towards an Afrikology of Knowledge Production and African Regeneration. The Marcus-Garvey Pan-Afrikan Institute, Uganda.


Ngubane J.K. 1979. The Conflicts of Mind, Book in Focus, USA, New York       


The Quantum Vision of Simon Kimbangu, 1921.








       Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 3, No. 2. (Spring 1969) © World       Wisdom, Inc.


The Bible

Psalms 105:23, 27


Isaiah 46:1, 


Jeremiah 50:23.


Romans 1:23, 24



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Bat Centre, Durban: Institute of Afrikology
10 February 2015

Mfuniselwa J. Bhengu
Founding Director: Africa Institute for Cultural Economy

Let us throw the light of who were the first occupants of Africa.

Ethiopia in the form of Nubia and Kemet (Egypt) existed thousands of years before there was a Greece or Rome.

Africans were the first Human Beings to occupy the world; Africans were the first Human Beings to occupy Africa; and Africans were the first Human Beings to occupy Southern Africa; and the scientific study of human languages has concluded that the first bricks in the structure of all languages in the world are traceable to an African language. Africa is the Mother of Humankind.

The 160 000-year-old fossils, the oldest ever Homo sapiens and excavated in a remote region of Ethiopia, appear to prove that the continent was the cradle of humanity, the scientists said.

This is the definitive answer to whether humans evolved from Africa or not (Dr Berhane Asfaw, news conference in Addis Ababa, 12 June 2003).

Ethiopia, according to scientists, is the Garden of Eden. The whole history of human evolution is there. The African fossils are now the world’s oldest near modern humans.

Between 60,000 years and 100,000 years ago, the Human Race began to move out of Africa, to all parts of the world. Remember that at that time there were land bridges linking Africa and the rest of the world. The first people to populate these regions were Africans. Fossils or pictures of African Ancestors were found all over, particularly in Southern Europe.

As the original Africans spread to other parts of the world, to different climates and atmospheres, they changed skin colours, hair-textures, size and shape of lips, etc. DNA studies show that the appearance of what is called `White’ people first became noticeable about 7,000 to 8,000 years ago.

The story of the human race in Africa dates back to more than 40 000 years before the mythical creation of Adam in 4 240 BC. This story was written by Lord Khem (or Ham) popularly known as ThauThau-Harama (the Greek Thoth-Hermes) who was the scribe of the African builder Gods called Bonabakhulu abaseKhemu (i.e. the ancient ones of Khem).

The Ethiopians were the first of all men. They did not come from outside into their land as immigrants from abroad. They sprang from the soil itself, hence we refer to ourselves as sons and daughters of the soil. It is clear then, that the region which was near the sun was the first to bring forth living creatures. From this we can deduce that it is, then true that Africans came out of the reeds (Bona abavela emhlangeni. Hence the Zulus, salute their king ‘Wena wohlanga’).

You cannot understand the rise of Ancient Egypt without the influence of people from the interior of Africa, from down South, especially Nubia and Ancient Ethiopia.

That is why in his poem, The Continent Within Us, Dr Davidson Nicol, the Sierra Leonese scholar, makes this remarkable definition of Africa:
We have looked across a vast continent and
Dared to call it ours. You are not a country, Africa
You are a concept which we all
Fashion in our minds, each to each…

Only those within who know their circumscribed
Plot, and till it well with steady plough
Can from that vast harvest then look up
To the vast blue sky inside of the enameled bowl of sky,
Which covers you and say, “This is my Africa”, meaning
“I am content and I am happy. I am my fulfilled, within,
Without and roundabout”.

In these lines, Dr Nicol teaches us that Africa is a protean value ‘which we fashion in our minds, each to each’. The profound respect for the primacy of the person conveyed in these lines is emphasized by Dr Nicol’s insistence that each of us fashions the meaning we give to Africa. Each definition is a cultural brick in the vast edifice we call African civilization. The language of each of Africa’s many peoples, like their Nu-oriented value. Each of Africa’s cultural experiences is a precious translation into action of the assessment of the person which makes all of us ‘the children of one household… a people with a common destiny’.

What he says is that Africa is ours. Africa is within us. Africa is not just a continent, but it is a concept. Africa informs and influences our thinking as Africans. Our culture is African. Our epistemology and ontology are African. It is Africa first, then something else can follow. It is where we are rooted as a people. Africa is our Alpha and Omega. Africa is in our veins. Our blood is African and Africa is our blood. That is why we are prepared to die for Africa, and Africa is prepared to die for us. That is why we usually say: Africa for Africans, Africans of humanity. Long Live Africa!!!

Foreigners have tried to reinvent Africa, but they have failed. They tried to colonize it, but they have failed. They tried to destroy it, but they have failed. They failed because the Garden of Eden is here in Africa. They failed because we are the cradle of the humankind. They failed because we are the children of NTU. They failed because we are imbued with the spirit of Ubuntu – which means there is an element of godliness in us. We are the personification of GOD, as Hermes Trismegistus of ancient Egypt teaches us.

The NU-oriented African does not go about boasting of the antiquity of his civilization or shouting from mountain-tops about the supremacy of his race. He knows that he walked this earth when ‘stones cried when pinched’ (amatshe esancinzwa akhale). His mission then, was to ‘pass over the sky…fetter with bonds the darkness and the worm which hideth therein…and live forever, the lord of years and the prince of eternity’.

The land of Khem came to be known as ancient Ethiopia (African Atpu) to the Greeks. The names Ethiopia and Egypt (the African Hakaptah i.e. land of God Ptah) were named after the ancient African God Tapa (or Pata). His shrine is in the Sudan (i.e. land of the Blacks).

Long before the rise of ancient Egypt, Africa South of the Sahara had known two major civilizations in Punt (i.e. central and Southern Africa) and Ethiopia or Khem, which covered Southern Egypt, Eritrea, Abyssinia, the Sudan and surrounding territories.

It was the Ethiopian Prince Mena who established Egypt by uniting Lower and Upper Egypt in 5 619 BC, which means that ancient Egypt is not the oldest state in Africa.

The earliest civilization was established by the gods of the First Time (Zep Tepi) from Punt or Tanutra who came to be known as Shamsu Hara (Greek Shemsu Hor i.e. followers of Horus). The relics of the civilization established by the followers of Horus are still found at Maphungubwe, Zimbabwe, the Sudan, Yemen, modern Ethiopia, Egypt and Benin and the Area of the Great Lakes.

Aristotle reported that the Egyptians gave the world the study of geometry and mathematics.

The theft of the African legacy by the Greeks led to the erroneous world opinion that the African continent has made no contribution to civilization, and that its people are naturally backward. This is the misrepresentation that has become the basis of race prejudice, which has affected all people of colour.

For centuries the world has been misled about the original source of the Arts and Sciences; for centuries Socrates, Plato and Aristotle have been falsely idolized as models of intellectual greatness; and for centuries the African continent has been called the Dark Continent, because Europe coveted the honor of transmitting to the world, the Arts and Sciences.

Heliopolis, where the Heliopolitan Cosmology was Born.

It was Heliopolis that came to inspire Plato in his writings by plagiarizing the Egyptian texts “to the extent that he went so far as to reproduce sentences from the Egyptian texts without citing where the material came from, as when he wrote: ‘that which became has become; that which becomes is in the process of becoming’”. According to Diop, Plato’s biographer Olympiodorus states that: “Plato went to Egypt precisely in order to be initiated in (Egyptian) theology and geometry”. It is this history and the philosophy developed by Africans in antiquity that was denied by Europe, the denial of which became the basis of the ‘othering’ of the African.

Africa was not only viewed as a dark continent but also seen as “a land of despotic civilizations with no legacy of those democratic principles that have been so clear to the West’s self image”. This colonial encounter has led to what Mudimbe calls the “invention of Africa” as opposed to the Africans’ Africa, with the negative characterization based on the Aristotelian paradigms of a chain of binary oppositions that seek to affirm the duality of Western hegemony. Aristotelian categorization of Africa is “the systematic and systemic manufacturing of a continent” labeling it on the basis of “superiority versus inferiority, civilized versus uncivilized, pre-logical versus logical, mythical versus scientific among other epithets”. Such philosophical prejudices against Africans have continued to be circulated and recycled by many other European scholars in this modern day without stopping to check the facts.

As a result of the colonial misfortune much of what constitutes contemporary Africa both metaphysically and epistemologically is, though arguably, to a large extent a product of the European gaze. As the gazing subject the European enjoyed the privilege of seeing its ‘Other’, the African, without being seen for some time and in the process took this opportunity to define the African as its negative Other. As a result much of what goes into defining African cosmology is what was developed from the privileged position of the outsider. This misrepresentation of the African at various levels did not only end with the Westerners but a few African protégées. It is with this in mind that a number of philosophers and other Afrocentric scholars are calling for the Africanization of knowledge.

Africanization of knowledge is basically a call to place the African worldview at the centre of analysis and recognition that there are different pyramids for the construction of knowledge none of which should be regarded as inferior for knowledge is basically a cultural construct and hence boasts of its own cultural regalia. When one culture considers another as the product of its analysis, it would always be ‘one cultural perspective’ since culture is the window through which every man makes sense of the world. If this is anything to go by, then it is not difficult to realize that when the Europeans write about Africa, their perspective is always a product of their culture

The Challenge of Re-Awakening
What is critically important is for us to realize that our African civilization has been raped; plundered, despoiled and dehistorized. Such reawakening must enable us to go beyond all the limitations that Africans have been subjected to throughout these thousand centuries of years.

The process of re-awakening and recovery has to be one of a historical deconstruction, consciousness raizing and restatement by Africans tracing the origins and achievements of their civilizations with a view to developing new epistemologies of knowledge production based on African lived experiences in their global implications.

The process must delve into the implications of this domination that continues to bedevil the African personality and then on the basis of self-understanding, to organize ourselves to move forward in history.

Therefore, we were here in Africa before anybody else. We were in Europe before anybody else, hence the title of the book: ‘They were here before Columbus’.

Long Live Africa!!!

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East African Community Regional Conference: Development, Growth and Power of the GDP: An African Philosophical Grounding.


Kampala, Uganda: 21 – 24 August 2014

Mfuniselwa Bhengu
Founding Director: Africa Institute for Cultural Economy

Beating the West at its own game, argues Ashis Nandy (1983), is the preferred means of handling the feelings of selfhatred in the modernized nonWest, there is also the West constructed by the savage outsider who is neither willing to be a player nor a counter player’. The on-going struggle among Africans to overhaul and re-engineer the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) methodology, is a struggle to beat the West at its game. Unlike ‘the banditkings who robbed, maimed, killed and colonized’, and further, ‘faced and expected to faceother civilizations with their versions of middle kingdoms and barbarians; the pure and the impure; the kafirs and the moshreks’ (Nandy, 1982, Hoppers, 2008), Africans are waging a sophisticated revolution, and this conference bears the testimony to that.

Nkrumah (1963 : xvi) was even more emphatic when he said that “Imperialism is still a most powerful force to be reckoned with in Africa. It controls our economies. It operates on a world-wide scale in combinations of many different kinds: economic, political, cultural, educational, military; and through intelligence and information services. It is creating client states, which it manipulates from the distance. It will distort and play upon, as it is already doing, the latent fears of burgeoning nationalism and independence. It will, as it is already doing, fan the fires of sectional interests, of personal greed and ambition among leaders and contesting aspirants to power”. Since imperialism still controls our economies in Africa, we are, therefore, challenged to confront it until it is defeated.

Economic Development Challenges in Africa
Whilst trapped within the colonial economic paradigm, Africa is slowly but surely making some strides in some certain services such as extending education, health, agriculture, politics, governance, democracy, etc., but the level of economic growth is still very minimal. The problem is how to sustain that minimal growth. There is a close relationship between policies that make growth more inclusive and policies that are likely to sustain growth.

Writing in The Thinker magazine, Vol.60/2014 – Quarter 2, Trevor Manuel (former South African Minister of Finance) argues that there have been steady improvements in the last twenty years. On the other hand the World Bank says the number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa living on less than $1,25 a day fell by about ten percentage points between 2001 and 2012. This small growth suggests that Africa is facing many challenges.

The extraction of minerals is not an end in itself, rather it is an important means to an end. This means a country has to be able to exploit its present comparative advantages to generate the resources to invest in new capabilities and skills to be able to move up the value chain. Secondly, African countries must be able to attract foreign investments into the natural resource sectors, but this must not translate into the exploitation of the African people, but it must improve the well-being of the people. African natural resources are not there to satisfy the needs of the foreign investors.

The 54 African countries in our continent need to consider the importance of integrated regional economies and encourage intra-African trade. As of today, many countries in a region export similar products and hence trade between countries on the continent is limited. As countries move up the value chain and diversify, there will be a more organic demand for trade across regions.

One of the challenges that Africa can and must construct is that of its Regional Economic Communities. In spite of their long existence through the Lagos Plan and the Abuja Treaty, with notable exceptions, these have not developed as was intended. The aim of all of this was designed to promote economic, social and cultural development, as well as African economic integration, as a means to increase self-sufficiency.

Intra-African Trade
Africa still accounts for a very small percentage of global trade. In terms of the trade share in global goods, it accounts for only 1,8% of imports and 3,6% of exports. The share of trade between African countries has declined from 22,4% in 1997 to around 12% in 2011 (African Centre for Economic Transformation. 2014 African Transformation Report: Growth with Depth). Whilst this decline can be attributed to the rapid increase of African trade with the rest of the world, argues Sinethemba Zonke (2014), African countries haven’t been able to take advantage of high growth rates by expanding with each other.

The level of intra-regional trade in Asia has played a substantial role in creating sustainable economic growth. Intra-regional trade has varied across Africa’s regional economic communities (REC’s), with trade blocks accounting for a greater percentage of continental trade. This highlights the important role RECs have played in bringing African markets closer together.

A common critique of Africa’s recent growth, argues Zonke, spurt is that it has been limited to a number of mineral and primary commodities which have been exported to regions outside the continent. Even within the category of primary and mineral commodities, African countries trade little with each other. This exposes an uncomfortable truth about Africa, in that its still stuck in the colonial mode, with its raw material only extracted to meet the needs of foreign markets.

The structure of African economies, with their reliance on primary commodities exports, has left the region extremely vulnerable to external global shocks. Africa’s growth in the past decade has been closely linked to China’s economic boom. With a slowdown in the Asian economy, demand for Africa’s commodities may begin tapering.

Presently Africa’s fractured into 51 diverse markets, argues Zonke, with populations of fewer than 10 million people. The gross domestic products of some of these national fall below the revenues of certain Fortune 500 companies.

Therefore, regional integration is imperative for expanding trade across the continent. By integrating, Africa would be able to unlock its full market potential.

An African Perspective of African Economic Development
Let us get the wisdom from our political forefathers, and this is what Nkrumah said in 1963: “Since our inception, we have raised as a cardinal policy, the total emancipation of Africa from colonialism in all its forms. To this we have added the objective of the political union of African states as the securest safeguard of our hard-won freedom and the soundest foundation for our individual, no less than our common, economic, social and cultural advancement”.

Nkrumah’s ‘Africa Must Unite’ remains a classic of its time, contains analyses of Africa’s position in the world economy., much of which would not look out of place today. It is either unity or poverty.

Five decades later, in spite of the development of several regional trading blocs on the continent, the dream of African economic unity and increasing strength within the world economy, seems a very long way away. Africa’s share of the world trade has declined over this period from 4% to 2% while the continent’s share of world GDP has also declined from 2,1% to 1,7%. These developments come at a time when not only is there increasing evidence that neo-colonialism has not been overcome but that neo-liberal economics has made a considerable contribution to keeping neo-colonialism alive. The challenge of African unity is also a challenge to the failed neo-liberal economics of the last three and a half decades.

The bulk of Africa’s exports are raw materials. Moreover, the hare of primary commodities in African exports is increasing: from 72 to 78% over the first eleven years of this century, argues Peter Lawrence in The Thinker magazine (Vol. 60/2014pg 36). Conversely, the share of manufacturing goods in total trade dropped from 21 to 16% while oil, the most important export, increased its share of trade value from 51 to 57% over the same period. While Europe and the US are still the main consumers its share of Africa’s export consumption from just under 5% in 2000 to almost 29% in 2011. Manufacturing as a proportion of GDP was only more than 15% in three countries, as compared with seven in 2000. Manufacturing was the key and this could start with the processing of the hitherto only exported raw materials. As Nkrumah noted: “In a country whose output of cocoa is the largest in the world, there was not a single chocolate factory (1963, 26-27)

Even now Ghana processes very little of its cocoa output with a small market and the dominance of the major multinationals in the global market.

It is by now a truism that decolonization meant for African countries that they became politically independent but remained economically dependent on their former colonizers.

The East African Community of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda attempted such a path with an industrial strategy that aimed to distribute industrial projects throughout the community. However, the context in which this kind of intra-African cooperation was taking place was in a world structured North-South rather than South-South, which is to say that the international corporations which supplied the industrial physical capital had their own strategies.

The population of liberated continental Africa is now around one billion and in real terms, that is, taking inflation into account, there has been little change in real continental GDP and a substantial decline in per capita income, given the more than threefold increase in population. The EU population is over 500 million with a GDP per capita of $33, 000 and a total GDP 13 times greater than that of Africa, and the market is dominated by very few large corporates. On the basis of these calculations African integration and unity is just as an imperative

It is, therefore, very prudent for the Friedrick-Ebert Stiftung together with the EAC to call for a conference of this nature to begin to do something along the lines of seeking an alternative, inclusive and broad-based economic model, not for Africa only, but for the entire globe.

We are, therefore, here today, in Uganda, to search for an alternative GDP methodology.

The complexity of the current global economy has to do with certain fundamental disjunctures between economy, culture, and politics that we have only begun to theorize.

The Berlin Conference of 1884–1885 legitimised the creeping European economic and political dominance in Africa and obstructed the normal historical thrust and continuity of African societies, whether in cultural developments, economic growth, or state-building. With an unquestioned belief in their own self-righteousness and the depravity of Africans, Europeans were determined to change indigenous institutions and behavior and thus saw themselves as agents of civilization. This meant that Africans had to be taught different values, goals, and modes of behavior. This was a deliberate destruction of African cultural values and customs. This was probably the greatest legacy Europeans left in Africa. The deliberate destruction of African cultural values resulted in the seperation of African culture and imposed-economics. European economism is embedded in European culture, whilst Africa economincs, since it was imposed on Africans, remains seperated from their culture (see Bhengu’s writings: Africa Institute for Cultural Economy, 2013 – 2014). Such a vaccuum definitely creates problems for Africans. Prof Herbert Vilakazi (2005), Karl Polanyi (1944), George Ayitteyi (2005) Adedeji (1982), Nkrumah (1963), Huntington (1966) elaborate more on this point.

As a result, Africans had to abandon a lot of their values, including their ways of doing trade and business, and they were forced to do trade and business in European-cultural ways, rather than in their own local African ways. This change created problems for African economy, since European values of doing business are not compatible to African values. Hence, people want to emancipate themselves not just from poverty and shrinking opportunities, but from governance systems that do not allow them meaningful voice and responsibility. This conference is about developing our own economic utopia for EAC.

For Africa to have a real economic emancipation, it has to have her own economic philosophy developed within an African idiom.

Aristotle argued that man was not an economic being but a social being. Man’s economy was, as a rule, submerged in social relations. Man’s approach was sociological. For him, community, self-sufficiency and justice were focal concepts.

Prof. Adebayo Adedeji, former Secretary for African Economic Community (AEC), argued that Africa continues to be in search of a development paradigm that would rid it of abject poverty, the bug of disease and the quagmire of ignorance after over four decades of such endeavours. In pursuit of that goal a series of theories and concepts of development have been advanced, and tried to no avail. Most of them have been grounded in Western political and development traditions that failed to take cognizance of Africa’s cultural and historical background.

Adedeji’s advocacy of holistic human development is based on the general concept that society can only develop with the mobilization of its people: hence Africa would need to set in motion a process that puts the individual at the very centre of a development effort that is both human and humane, without necessarily softening the discipline that goes with development and enhances the human personality.

Such a development process, argues Adedeji (1982), should not alienate the African from his society and culture but rather develop his self-confidence and identify his interest with those of his society, thereby strengthening his capacity. This is exactly what the modern economics do to an African, and the challenge for us all is how do we embed the modern economics into our African culture and society.

Huntington (1996) argued very directly that ‘for an African civilization to have universal power, it would have to have a strong African-oriented economic philosophy, rooted in an African idiom. We believe that Africa has a relatively strong universal power, but still economically weak’.

But the fundamental challenge we are faced with, firstly, is that we need to find out why is it that Africa is still economically weak? Secondly, if we want to achieve a ‘universal power’ we need to have a relevant consciousness. The question is: Do we have such a consciousness? Thirdly, has the time not come for Africa to have her own pan-African economic philosophy?. We need to deliberate on these questions until we come to a solution.

What I would like to emphasize is the fact that it is wrong for Western modern economy to separate economics from culture. In our African situation, it is highly advisable to embed the economy in an African culture.

We need to ask ourselves these questions:
Why is it that the Eurocentric capitalism has failed to thrive in an African setting? We would like to know how does the East African Community view this situation?

Why is it that it is only the Third World countries that have a dual economy syndrome? What is the situation in East African Community regarding dual economy syndrome? Is there a regional plan to address this?

This failure to reconcile indigenous economic relations with exogenous economic values has led to a situation of two economies, i.e. the First Economy and the Second Economy. Does East African Community experience this problem?. By First economy we mean the white man’s colonial economy, and by Second Economy we mean an African indigenous economy, as we find them in Spaza shops, taxis, etc.

The ascendancy of Western neo-liberal economics, simultaneously with colonialism, on the African continent, African ethics and economic relations were dislocated and put almost into non-existence. African countries and Africans in general, were forced to embrace Western capitalism holus bolus, and as such, a vacuum was created in the African economic system.

For me, this is a clash of two civilizations, and our challenge is to reconcile these two civilizations. Therefore, the constitutive rules of the Bretton Woods conference of 1944 have to be overhauled, including, the GDP methodology, but what is GDP?

The Bretton Woods Legacy & GDP
According to Lorenzo Fioramonti (2013) the GDP measures the value of goods and services produced every three months, and can be represented by the following formula:
GDP = Consumption + Investment + Government spending + eXports – iMports.

Since the creation of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the 1930s and further reinforced in 1944, economists who are familiar with GDP methodology have emphasized that the GDP is a measure of economic activity, not economic well-being. It is a formula used to determine the size and scope of a country’s economy, created by adding together the total amount of money earned or spent on goods and services produced by citizens of the country.

The use of GDP globally as a measure of economic progress was further strengthened as a result of the Bretton Woods Conference held at New Hamshire, USA, in 1944, a response to the Second World War, since there was a great deal of economic instability in a number of countries caused by unstable currency exchange rates and discriminatory trade practices that discouraged international trade. In order to avoid a recurrence of such instability, leaders of the 44 allied nations who gathered in Bretton Woods, resolved to create a process for international co-operation on trade and currency exchange and to “speed economic progress everywhere, aid political stability and foster peace” and improving economic well-being.
The key outcomes, then, were the establishment of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD—now part of the World Bank). The IMF was created as a forum for collaborative management of international monetary exchange and for stabilization of the exchange rates of countries’ currencies.
The World Bank was established to provide investment funds for infrastructure reconstruction and development in war-torn areas and less developed nations in areas such as Latin America. In theory, the governing structures of these institutions were supposed to provide an equal voice to all member countries. In practice, because of its political and economic strength following, the Second World War, the US dominated both institutions. As a result, the US dollar, economy, and economic policies became the de facto standards against which other countries were compared.

Therefore, over a long time of economic growth – measured by GDP – it has become the sine qua non for economic progress. Today GDP and economic growth in general is regularly referred to by leading economists, politicians, top-level decision-makers, and the media as though it represents overall progress.

Criticisms of the GDP and Need for Transformation
Every country, particularly, in Africa, has what is known as an “underground economy,” which is defined as transactions between two parties that are not reported to the government. In South Africa, this underground economy is referred to as the “Second Economy”. As the government has no real means of tracking these dealings, they are not included in the calculations, and this missing information is one of many limitations of GDP. In some areas of the world, the underground economy makes up a large part of the amount of gross domestic product that a country generates. Oftentimes, with the lack of information regarding a country’s underground economy, many places technically have a higher GDP than what is reported.

GDP doesn’t account for quality of goods: Consumers may buy cheap, low-quality, short-lived products repeatedly instead of buying more expensive, longer-lasting goods. Over time, consumers could spend more replacing cheap goods than they would have if they had bought higher-quality goods in the first place, and GDP would grow as a result of waste and inefficiency.

While the GDP can be a good indication of how well a country is doing financially, there are several limitations of the GDP. One of the most important limitation is that the number usually provided by the GDP does not take into account the citizens’ quality of life, or how producing the products and services that make up the GDP impacts on the environment, and, therefore, the resources, of the country. This number also does not factor in financial transactions that are not reported to the government, making the reported GDP often lower than what it is in reality.

The current GDP formula fails, for example, to measure life expectancy, infant and maternal mortality, education, literacy, public health, etc.

A high GDP does not necessarily indicate a sound economy, since GDP does not measure the long-term sustainability of visible growth. A country, for example, may have a very low savings rate and/or misdirected investments; and thus will show an artificially high GDP number. Then the question is: What’s the point of measuring growth if we can’t tell whether that growth is sustainable over the long or even medium term?

The current GDP measures everything except that which makes life worthwhile.”

There is a significant agreement that the GDP provides a distorted view of trends in economic performance.

The problem lies in the conventional assumption that GDP growth is equivalent to progress and national wellbeing. GDP does not measure standard of living or societal wellbeing, as an index of economic output. The GDP mainly measures a country’s economy and is used as a measure for economic growth patterns. It does not capture the societal value of government services, which contribute to societal welfare, as well as issues affecting the wellbeing of citizens such as air pollution, or leisure.

The Way Forward
The time has come that the GDP measurements are revised, transformed and made relevant to our African setting. We need a GDP that will look into the performance of both the First economy and the Second economy.
We need a GDP that will look into the informal economy. We need GDP measures that will measure economic activity and changes in community capital—natural, social, human, and even the extent to which development is using up the principle of community capital rather than living off its interest.

Right now, the GDP methodology works against the values of our African metaphysics and cosmology, particularly Ubuntu philosophy. It is divisive, in that it caters only for the ‘developed’ countries, but not for the under-developing countries. The GDP methodology right now is not inclusive and not collective, which means it is still informed by its Western perspective of individualism, as against African perspective of collectivism.
Therefore, to determine an alternative GDP methodology, that will take into account the African setting, requires a thorough research, where we would reconcile the two perspectives, and then come up with something new and unique – something that will be globally acceptable.

Africa would need to come up with her own GDP methodology strategy of measuring her own economy. An African-oriented GDP must be able to measure the underground economy. It must be able to measure our second economy. Without measuring the second economy, the current GDP methodology does not give us the true picture of our African economy

Our African-oriented GDP methodology will have to talk to our African metaphysics, our norms and our values. It must clearly tell us, Africans, why the current economic model is not embedded in our peoples’ culture, so that we would know where exactly lies the problems of economic growth?. It must clearly tell us why do we have, in Africa, a dual economy syndrome – a phenomenon that is not found in developed countries?

Therefore, the time has come for the GDP measurement system to shift emphasis from measuring economic production to measuring people ́s well-being, and we need this urgently. Measuring people’s well-being, will be the birth of another human future. A future based on inclusion, not exclusion; on reclaiming the commons, not their enclosure; on freely sharing the earth’s resources, not monopolizing and privatizing them.

Ubuntu Paradigm
With this new stream, argues Catherine Odora Hoppers (2008, Kelvin Conference Centre, University of Glasgow), there is a growing maturity of dialogue that is not the result of a paradigm shift, but is the shift itself. Thus, from the ignorance and depreciating ideology along with social theories that claimed ‘terra nullius’ as a convenient rationalization for colonization and ill treatment, there is a need for honest need for those knowledge systems themselves, not just the recognition that they exist. The knowledge paradigms of the future are beginning by reaching out to those excluded, epistemologically disenfranchised, to move together towards a new synthesis, that recognizes the existence of indigenous knowledge systems.

In this synthesis, ‘empowerment’, which is usually more about resuming power (because power is never voluntarily relinquished), it is recognized that shifting of power without a clear shift of paradigms of understanding that makes new propositions about the use of that power in a new dispensation leads to vicarious abuse of power by whoever is holding it – old or new. Our new synthesis must be anchored on Ubuntu/Maat (Asante, M.K., 1990; Ramose, M. B., 1996)

Africa and the world are slowly beginning to recognize the value and potential of Ubuntu, as the root of African philosophy and being. It is the wellspring that flows within African existence and epistemology in which the two aspects Ubu and Ntu constitute a wholeness and oneness. Thus Ubuntu expresses the oneness of a being human, and thus cannot be fragmented because it is continuous and always in motion.

As a creative being, umuntu (a human person) is a maker of his/her world, which constantly emerges and constantly changes. In his/her existence, umuntu is the creator of politics, religion, economics and law. Through these creative activities, umuntu gains experience, knowledge and a philosophy of life based on truth. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) phenomenon was created by a simply human being in the early 1930s in the United States of America (USA).

Therefore, Ubuntu guides the thinking and actions of Africans, and must therefore be found in their lived historical experiences and not from philosophical abstractions that have very little meaning in actual life. This is where African philosophy differs remarkably from Western philosophies.
Therefore in his existence and being, umuntu strives to create conditions for his/her existence with other beings for, as the Zulu proverb says: “umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu”, which literary means: “a person is a person through other persons.” This belief therefore prescribes Ubuntu as “being with others.” The Sotho people say ‘motho ke motho ka batho’. To achieve this togetherness, reconciliation with those “others” becomes a continuous necessity of being (Bhengu, 2006)

Ubuntu, unlike the GDP methodology, is inclusive in nature as it considers all members of the community (organisation) as one entity aiming at achieving one purpose. There have been assertions that the ultimate success of any organisation operating in an African environment is premised on this Ubuntu framework, and it is a widely accepted belief that it is high time that this concept be given a meaningful chance. It is within this context that the current GDP mechanism has to be overhauled and reengineered so that it could talk to our African settings.

Ubuntu Economic Constitutive Rules
In our search for an inclusive economic model, as we are doing here in Uganda today, we need to remember that an African is not a rugged individual, but a person within a community.

Ubuntu, which is the art of being human, teaches us concepts such as: respect, trust, compassion, sharing, caring and, above all, how to promote the good of a community and all its members. This notion refers to the principle of communalism, or living collectively, with the objective to ensure that no one falls too far behind anyone else. Collectivism associated with harmony and cooperation means working for the benefit of the whole, based on a long-term vision, rather than the benefit of constantly changing individuals. Unlike capitalism, an economy of any given country must serve the people of that country equally. This means that the economy of the East African Community must benefit everybody: urban or rural; black and white. It means there must be one single economy, not a double economy. We can, then, pose a question: Does the present GDP methodology work within this context or within another context.

Ubuntu can positively contribute to the socio-economic development of our post-colonial Africa and even give her a competitive edge in the world markets. This should particularly be so within economic and business enterprises whereby the Western based techniques of economics alone have been and remain inadequate to overcome the performance challenges. Hence if such techniques are not strategically fused with the innovative African practices and processes anchored in Ubuntu value system, they would only help to achieve competitive parity as opposed to competitive advantage.

The following constitutive rules, can hardly be measured by the GDP, but an Ubuntu-inspired GDP can easily measure them, thus fulfilling what is lacking in the present GDP methodology – that of measuring the well being of a society, rather than economic activities alone:
An action is good if it preserves the totality, fullness and the harmonious life of a human person; but an action is bad if it has a more or less decided tendency to break into and narrow the totality and fullness of humanism (Ubuntu) and its content.

A restriction on individual’s economic activity places severe constraints on the economic welfare of the whole society. If the individual prospered, so too did his extended family and the community.

An individual could prosper so long as his pursuit of prosperity does not harm or conflict with the interests of the community. The society’s interests are paramount. Unless an individual’s pursuit of prosperity conflicted with society’s interests, the chief or king had no authority to interfere with it.

Securing of the maximum satisfaction of the constantly rising material and cultural requirements of the whole of society through the continuous expansion and perfection of Ubuntu and higher techniques;

Any maximum profit must be equal to a maximum satisfaction of the material and cultural requirements of society;

Any maximum profit must be equal to an unbroken expansion of production, and

Any maximum profit must be equal to an unbroken process of perfecting production on the basis of higher techniques.

Ubuntu Business Management Principles
The move to dilute the hegemonic dominant economic paradigm is on in a big way, and our African scholars have made a stride in developing Ubuntu-oriented business management principles that aim at effecting the ease with which to infuse Ubuntu into the present unsatisfactory economy:
The principle of morality, which believes that no institution can attain its highest potential without touching its moral base.

The principle of interdependence, which believes that the task of wealth creation in a world of want and poverty requires the collective co-operation of all the stakeholders in the enterprising community.

The principle of the spirit of man, which believes that a man is entitled to unconditional respect and dignity, and organizations must work in harmony with him in the spirit of service and harmony. Organisations that fail to do this, cease to exist.

The principle of totality, which believes that the essence of collective participation in the creation of enterprising communities in Africa is crucial, because the building of a world-class organisation requires everyone in the organisation.

Therefore, in developing the East African Community utopia, it would be advisable, as Huntington (1996) warns us, to place everything we are doing and thinking, within an African idiom, and Ubuntu serves that purpose fully. Remember that Africa is a civilization without a universal power, but for Africa to attain that level of being a universal power, among other universal powers, Africa needs to have its own African-oriented economic philosophy – inspired by its own African economic humanism. To achieve this, we need a solid consciousness similar to the one promoted by King Senzangakhona’s court poet, when he said:
O Menzi, scion of Jama,
A cord of destiny let us weave,
That to universes beyond the reach of spirit-forms
We may ascend.

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Researched and Written
Mfuniselwa Bhengu

The paper seeks to trace and prove that Abantu/AbeNguni/AmaZulu originated from ancient Egypt, and that they migrated with all their wares to, firstly, Eastern Africa and then to Southern Africa, and that their culture, epistemology, ontology and languages are of ancient Egyptian origin, and that during their process of exodus very few changes on these took place.

However, secondly, ancient Egypt’s African affinity is important to recognize in part because it (along with the other native African civilizations of course) helps refute the white supremacist contention that Africans cannot construct civilization without European help, as Mandela has explained in his autobiography. It facilitates the combating of anti-Black racism, and simultaneously promotes African renaissance project. Therefore, we must not misrepresent it as a non-African.

Thirdly, but more principally, the paper argues that Abantu/AbeNguni/AmaZulu originated from the Great Lakes region of Africa and migrated to ancient Egypt, and from there they migrated towards the East Africa, Central and West Africa, and finally, some of them under the leadership of uMnguni, went towards the present Southern Africa, and finally reached the present South Africa, and KwaZulu province.

In his autobiography, The Long Walk to Freedom (1994), the former South African President Nelson Mandela recounts that he had fantasized about visiting the ruins of ancient Egypt, which he calls “the cradle of African civilization”. To quote Mandela’s statement on why this was so significant to him:
This was not amateur archaeological interest; it is important for African nationalists to be armed with evidence to dispute the fictitious claims of whites that Africans are without a civilized past that compares with that of the West. In a single morning, I discovered that Egyptians created great works of art and architecture when whites were still living in caves.

As much as ancient Egypt may have helped fuel the fire of Mandela’s passion to liberate South Africans from the oppression of apartheid, few non-black people even recognize that it was an African civilization to begin with.

Before we begin to explore whether or not the ancient Egyptians were Africans/Abantu, let us look at how ancient Egypt itself was constructed.

The Construction of the Ancient Egypt
In his essay entitled the ‘Nile Genesis: An Introduction to the Opus of Gerald Massey Charles S. Finch III (2006), paying tribute to Massey forcefully, argues that the world’s cultures were Kamite in origin.

With respect to the aboriginal Britons, the Celts, Massey carefully dissected their language, religion, and customs to detail their Kamite origins. Along these lines, Massey was echoing the work of the British investigators Godfrey Higgins, author of Anacalypsis, and Duncan McRitchie, author of Ancient and Moderns Britons, who also wrote extensively about the pre-historic Black presence in the British Isles. Massey reproduced an extensive comparative glossary showing the common identity of hundreds of Egyptian and Celtic-British words. His derivation of the English word ‘mother’ is instructive: Our word Mother is not derived from the Sanskrit Ma, to fashion, but from the Egyptian name of the mother as Mut. Mut means mother, the Emaner, the mouth…Mut the chamber, place, womb…AR (e.g.) is the child, or the likeness, the type of a fulfilled period, the thing made. Thus MUT-AR is the place, the gestator, the founder and emaner of the child.

In the second volume, Massey conducted a searching examination of the Hebrew legends of the Old Testament and in revealing their Afro-Egyptian or Kamite origins, inaugurated a seismic shift in Hebraic and Old Testament studies. Of especial importance is the remarkable chapter The Egyptian Origin of the Jews Traced from the Monuments. His research convinced him that the Five Books of Moses represented Egyptian astronomical allegories that had been literalized, historicized, and humanized. The Book of Exodus especially seemed to abound with Kamite astronomical types that were reconfigured to form Hebrew ‘history.’ As Massey writes: The Hebrew Books of the Genesis, Exodus, Numbers Joshua, and Judges are invaluable as a virgin mine of mythology; they are of utmost importance as an aid in recovering the primeval types of Egyptian thought…For the Hebrews, who collected and preserved so much, have explained nothing. There is evidence enough to prove that the types are Egyptian and the people brought them out of Egypt must have been more or less Egyptian in race, and of a religion that was Egyptian of the earliest and oldest kind.

Undoubtedly there is some very slight historic nucleus in the Hebrew narrative, but it has been so mixed with myth that it is far easier to recover the celestial allegory with the aids of its correlatives than it is to restore the human history.

Massey proceeded to show the connection between the Egyptian astro-mythical types and all the important Old Testament patriarchs. However, there really was an exodus from Egypt; in fact, there were at least two (possibly three) alluded to in historical testimony, but, according to Massey, none of them had anything to do with a foreign race of shepherds enslaved for more than 400 years in Egypt then led out of it by a messianic prophet. The latter years of Egypt’s 18th dynasty (14th century BC) witnessed unprecedented religious ferment as indicated by the so-called ‘Amarna Heresy,’ launched by Amenhotep IV, better known as Akhenaton. This period of religious upheaval saw the patriarchal status quo represented by Amon-Ra shaken to its foundation by the upsurge of the Sethian solar deity Aton – the sole and exclusive god – championed first by Queen Tiye, wife of Amenhotep III, then more vigorously by her son Akhenaton. Though solar, by virtue of his Sethian character, Aton represented the ancient Mother-and-Son religious system dating back to pre-dynastic times. In the end, the Atonian religion was overthrown and Amon-Ra restored, leading in the ensuing 120 years to one, possibly two, exodes out of Egypt by religious dissenters who had retained their allegiance to Mother-worship.

Massey connects Moses to the Egyptian lion-god Ma-Shu, though another possible etymology is derivable from Mu (‘pool’) Sha (‘reeds’) for Mu-Sha, ‘pool of reeds,’ the place where the infant Moses was found. The name Moses is not Hebrew in origin and pharaoh’s daughter is made to say that she gives the foundling infant this name because ‘I drew him from the water. The Egyptian word sah means ‘to draw from,’ so that Mu-Sah, an additional etymology, would mean ‘to draw from the (pool of) water’. The only identifiable historical figure in Massey’s view that can be linked to the Biblical Moses is Osarsiph, an Egyptian priest of Ra mentioned by the Jewish apologist Josephus in his polemic against the Egyptian historian Apion entitled Against Apion. Osarsiph, according to this report (which Josephus recounts but vehemently repudiates), became a dissenter from the established priestly religion and organized a large group of disaffected people in Egypt, inciting them to rebellion then subsequently leading them out of Egypt into Canaan. Apion claimed (after Josephus) that Osarsiph the Egyptian subsequently changed his name to Moses. Sigmund Freud in Moses and Monotheism, though himself Jewish and having read Josephus’ Against Apion, clearly takes the side of Apion by asserting that Moses must have been an Egyptian priest who took the part of the downtrodden in Egypt, led them into Sinai, taught them the worship of one god, and gave them their laws. The date of the Exodus remains a contentious issue though the weight of opinion favors the reign of Mereneptah (1230 – 1215 BC) as the time period for this seminal event. If so, Osarsiph would have lived 100 years after Akhenaton, the king who instituted the brief period of pharaonic monotheism in Egypt under the aegis of Aton. That being said, Massey forcefully set forth the argument that the Hebrews, originally the worshippers of the divine Mother and Son who later renounced them for the all-exclusive Father, brought their religion and language out of Africa, their original home.

Massey categorically dismissed the assertions of the Aryanist German Egyptologists Bunsen and Brugsch postulating an Asian origin for Egyptian civilization. Massey asked, in refutation of the Asian theory, why did the Egyptians themselves look southward to Africa as their birthplace and refer to it as Ta-neter, ‘the land of the gods?’ Moreover, numerous Egyptian customs were unmistakably African in character, from the practice of tracing ancestry through the maternal line to the ceremonial dying of bodies with red ochre. Massey even derived an Egyptian etymology for the Roman word Africa from the Egyptian af-rui-ka which literally means ‘to turn toward the opening of the Ka.’ The Ka is the energetic double of every person and ‘opening of the Ka’ refers to a womb or birthplace. Africa would be, for the Egyptians, ‘the birthplace.’ Parenthetically, it is worth noting that another Egyptian name for the African lands south of Egypt was Ta-Kenset, which means ‘placenta land.’ In any event, the issue for Massey was plain and the common ethno-cultural identity of Egypt and the rest of Africa provided the framework for his study into human beginnings (Charles S. Finch III, 2006).

On several occasions Herodotus, who was an eyewitness on all what was happening in ancient Egypt, insists on the Negro character of the Egyptians and even uses this for indirect demonstrations, and he observed that:
“It is certain that the natives of the country are black…” {The History of Herodotus, translated by George Rawlinson. New York. Tudor, 1928, p. 8

Despite their physical and genetic variability, we have some justification for grouping all the different kinds of African people into one distinct ethnicity. They were Mbuti Pygmies, Nilotes, Bantus, and Ethiopians (Cavalli-Sforza, L.L., 1988). These groups were divided into
(1) Western Bantu;
(2) Central Bantu;
(3) Highland Bantu, and
(4) Southern Tanzania Bantu*.

As reflected below, it is reported that this cluster formed part of the ancient Egyptians. This cluster included peoples who are physically different from one another. All of these variable people are more closely related to one another, and this supports the classification of Africans into one ethnicity.

With this out of the way, the question is: How do we determine whether or not AmaZulu were part of the ancient Egyptians that fell within this African cluster?

The race of and origins of the ancient Egyptians have been a source of considerable debate. Scholars in the late and early 20th centuries rejected any considerations of the Egyptians as black Africans by defining the Egyptians either as non-Africans or as members of a separate brown (as opposed to a black) race, or a mixture of lighter-skinned peoples with black Africans. Afrocentric scholars have countered this Eurocentric and often racist perspective by characterizing the Egyptians as black and African.

The Bible, which is the living word of God and an authoritative source of historical record indicates that the ancient Egypt ancestry originated in the Southern part of Egypt which is next to Nubian and Cush (Ethiopia) to which even today in modern Egypt the farther south you travel the darker the population becomes (see Ezekiel 29:14). In general, the inhabitants of Upper Egypt and Nubia had the greatest biological affinity to people of the Sahara and more southerly areas.

The peopling of ancient Egypt is well illustrated by the internationally well-renown Senegalese scholar, Professor Cheik A. Diop, in his essay entitled annex to Chapter 1: Report of the symposium on The Peopling of Ancient Egypt and the Deciphering of the Meroitic Script. To date no scholar, factually or scientifically, has proven him wrong. He forcefully argued the following:
* that Egypt was an African country,
* that Egypt’s civilization can be understood properly only by reference to its southern links and origins,
* that humanity evolved first from Africa,
* that Africa was well-grounded in sciences and philosophy long before Greece,
* that Greeks, in comparison to Egyptians were children,
* that all the major world religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam can be traced back to the religious systems and/or philosophies of Ancient Egypt,
* that there is a classical, solid basis for an African philosophy.

In ancient times, the whole of Egypt was a province of Ethiopia (the new name for Abyssinia), like the Republic of Sudan, was ruled by African race who maintained that they were a privileged class society based upon colour. To them, all black-skinned Africans are “Bantu”. To these they felt superior. Both the Sudan and the new Ethiopia had adopted the “Brotherhood Front” (see Walker, 2006), hence the ‘Bonaabakhulu baseKhem Brotherhood of Man’ (see Bhengu, 2014).

Methodologies Employed by the Anthropologists
The method traditionally favored by physical anthropologists for determining human population relationships from skeletal remains is craniometry, the measurement of skulls’ dimensions and facial features. The more similar certain populations’ craniometric measurements are, the more closely related the populations are considered. Generally speaking, the highest quality craniometric studies use comprehensive lists of variables covering the entire skull instead of fixating on a small number of features.

As early as 1923, the white anatomist Sir Grafton Elliot Smith reported that the thousands of Egyptian mummies he examined at Cairo’s Egyptian Museum frequently had features such as “poorly developed” brows, bulging occiputs, small but relatively broad noses, and slight projections of the jaws, all common African characteristics. Slightly over a decade later, Barnard (1935) observed that most Egyptian crania resembled those of Sudanese. Nutter (1958), Keita (1990), and Godde (2009), and too many other anatomists, archeologists, anthropologists, historians, too many to mention here, have all replicated this result of Sudanese/Nubian affinity for ancient Egyptians.

Possibly the oldest evidence for a sedentary civilization along the Nile River has been excavated not in Egypt proper but in central Sudan near the modern capital of Khartoum. This culture, dubbed the Khartoum Mesolithic, is considered to have constructed permanent or at least semi-permanent settlements because it left behind the oldest pottery ever found in Africa, dating as far back as 8200 BC.

According to Thompson (2001), South African Bantu peoples (e.g. Xhosa, Zulu, Basotho, and Tswana) considered cattle their most prized possessions, and some even had vast vocabularies with at least fifty-seven words describing cow markings alone. One Basotho proverb says that “cattle are the bank of a Mosotho”. Comparable cattle-herding economies are found among Nilotic peoples such as the Dinka and Nuer of South Sudan and the Maasai and Samburu of Kenya. Ehret (1996) traces this popularity of cattle among Africans to prehistoric Sudanese herders who first domesticated the animals between 10,000 and 6000 B.C.

It is interesting to note that the popularity of cattle among Africans date to prehistoric Sudanese, and that they were the first to domesticate them, because this fits in very well with the popularity of cattle among AbeNguni/AmaZulu. Secondly, one must take into account the fact that the ancestors of Mnguni were among the ancient Sudanese/Nubians in the Upper ancient Egypt or Southern Egypt.

Bantus and their Source
Abantu (or ‘Bantu’ as it was used by colonialists) is the Zulu word for people. It is the plural of the word ‘umuntu’, meaning ‘person’, and is based on the stem ‘–ntu’ plus the plural prefix ‘aba’.

It is a term used in two ways in archaeology, history and anthropology: (1) it named a major linguistic group in Africa, and more locally, to identify the sizeable group of Nguni language spoken by many Africans in sub-Saharan Africa, and (2) it identifies those Bantu-speakers who spoke that group of closely related languages which linguists divide into four categories: Nguni, Sotho-Tswana, Venda and Tsonga-speakers.

According to Sir Wallis A. Budge, as mentioned somewhere in this article, the most highly respected “Papyrus of Hunefer” found in Egypt and the Nile River and amongst the indigenous Africans’, “Book of the Coming Forth by Day and Night” kept on reporting that that the ancient Egyptians clearly stated that: “We came from the beginning of the Nile where the God Hapi dwells, at the foothills of the Mountain of the Moon. (Kilimanjaro – between Kenya and Tanzania, or Rwenzori in Uganda”. This area is around the Great Lakes region and Central Africa.

Among the African cluster mentioned above, the author is particularly interested in the group called ‘Bantus’ or Abantu in IsiNguni. The word ‘Bantu’, according to Bleek (1862, A Comparative Grammar of South African Languages), means ‘people’ in many Bantu languages, along with similar sounding cognates. In this book he hypothesized that a vast number of languages located across central, southern, eastern, and western Africa shared so many characteristics that they must be part of a single language group. Perhaps the most salient was the organization of many parts of speech in concordance with a set of noun categories, by means of inflected prefixes. Thus in isiZulu, a paradigmatic case for Bleek, the noun root -ntu is found in nouns such as umuntu (person), abantu (people), ubuntu, etc.

The Bantu-speaking people consists of more than 100 million Negriod people who live in southern and central Africa, ranging from Nigeria and Uganda to South Africa, and who speak about 700 languages, including many dialects. The consist of the following ethnic groups: Luhya, Baganda of Uganda, Zimbabweans of Zimbabwe, Nyarwanda of Rwanda, Rundi of Burundi, Kikuyu of Kenya, Nigerians, and AmaZulu of Zulu Kingdom, AmaXhosa, from KwaXhosa, the Ndebeles from Ndebele, Swazis from Swaziland, Basotho from Sotho, the BaPedi from Pedi, Vendas from kwaVenda, Tanzanians, Mozambicans, Congoleses, Zambians, Malawians, Tsongas, Akamba, Meru, Embu, Taita, Giryama, Chagga, Yao, Segeju, Zaramo in Tanzania, as well as many other smaller groups, etc. All these Bantus claim a southerly migration from Egypt after having left the Great Lakes and Central Africa.

The words Abantu, Vanhu, Basotho, etc., are in plurals. They all mean black people collectively. The words Kintu, Kuntu, Muntu, Munhu, Buntu and Hunhu also mean black people and their culture collectively. The name Egypt is used by Europeans for Kemet. It is a corruption of Hi-ka-pta, the name of one of the temples at Memphis in Kemet or KMT, which is a corruption of Hi-ka-pta, which means Temple-of-the-Ka-of-Ptah. Hikapta became Aiguptos in Greek. It was Anglicized to Egypt by the English (see Browder, 1992).

As Finch (1995), quoted by Dr Chivaura of Zimbabwe, points out that: The peopling of the Nile Valley from the Africa’s Great Lakes region must have occurred over and again in waves. The population wave from the Great Lakes directly ancestral to the to the historical Nile Valley peoples, probably began to settle north of the second cataract no later than 15, 000 years ago. This settlement did not preempt later migrations, of course the people of Africa are indeed one.

The principles their ancestors produced can be found in The Book of Coming Forth by Day, so-called The Egyptian Book of the Dead by Europeans. James Wasserman’s The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day (1994) is an example.

The KiSwahili-Bantu Research Unit (2008) reports in its article ‘The Bantu in Ancient Egypt’ that for the first time ever the set of hieroglyphics leaves an indelible print which traces the existence of the Bantu people during ancient out the word ‘Batu’ in keeping with the current original word ‘Bantu’. The origin of the Bantu people is a controversial issue and has been deeply debated. Alfred M’Imanyara, a Kenyan scholar, in his book ‘Restatement of Bantu Origin and Meru History’ provides the evidence for a southerly migration from Egypt of the Bantu people. The evidence is also based on linguistic, historical scientific and cultural studies done by Cheik Anta Diop.

Akwa Antony Appiah et al in Afrikana (1999), also argue that linguistic patterns suggest that from they migrated along two distinct routes beginning around 1000 B.C.E. One group Western Bantu Group. The Eastern Group Bantu Group expanded to the east and southeast….By the time the Eastern Bantu reached Urewe in the Great Lakes Region during the last millennium B.C.E., words for iron working were widespread. From Urewe the Eastern Bantu spread rapidly to the south and farther to the east, reaching the east coast by the second century B.C.E 1999; 176 – 178)

According to Dom Pedro V (1912), in his work “The Quantum Vision of Simon Kimbangu”, argues that the African brotherhood (Bonaabakhulu Abasekhemu) is considered the oldest and predate any traceable lineage of every other religious tradition on earth today. It goes back to approximately 3, 900 B.C.E. The next closest tradition in terms of age would be Vedic tradition, which based on the Rig Veda, could be traced back to about 1500 BCE, and even the Vedic tradition would appear also to owe some of its spiritual science to Kamit. The earliest written parts of the Bible would have been written around 1000 B.C.E, based on a tradition dating back to about 2000 B.C.E. Moses lived about 1300 B.C.E. during AKHENATEN time. The Bonabakhulu Abasekhemu Brotherhood of the Zulu, South Africa traces its origin to a priest of Isis during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu of the 3rd dynasty (3,900 B.C.E.) and builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The Ethiopians were the first of all men. They did not come from outside into their land as immigrants from abroad, but were natives of it and so justly bear the name of “autochthones” (i.e. sprung from the soil itself: sons and daughters of the soil) is connected by practically all men; furthermore, that those who dwell beneath the noon-day sun were, in all likelihood, the first to be generated by the earth, is clear to all. It is clear then, that the region which was near the sun was the first to bring forth living creatures (Walker, 2006). From this we can deduce that it is, then true that Africans came out of the reeds (Bona abavela emHlangeni. Hence the Zulus, salute their king ‘Wena woHlanga’).

Ancient Egypt​
Ancient Egypt was divided into Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt, and out of all the cluster groups that migrated from the Great Lakes region and Central Africa, they mostly occupied the Upper Egypt (Southern Egypt) rather than north Egypt. It is here where one finds the concentration of the Nubians or popularly known as Sudanese. It is here where the Bantus and other groups lived, including the ancestors of Mnguni. This does not mean that northern Egypt was not occupied by these Africans. For example, Cairo, the present city of present Egypt, was within the boundaries of the Upper Egypt.

Referring to Imhotep, as an African ancestor, Bauval (2013) says the earliest migration into Egypt was from the southwest by black-skinned peoples, from the Sahara carrying the rudiments and ingredients of civilization – domesticated cattle, sophisticated religious ceremonies, astronomy, and even perhaps an early primitive form of stone building and large-stone sculpting. These newcomers entered the Nile Valley in the 4th millennium B.C. and as the evidence strongly suggests, kick-started what modern scholars call Egyptian civilization.

These migrations included Nubian and Nilotic expansions from the Upper Nile; Bantu expansions from West Africa and Southern Africa.

To the south of KeMeT (near present-day Sudan and South Sudan), Nubian culture (formerly Kemetian colonies), established the newly independent Kingdom of Kush. Also, near the Upper Nile, neighboring Nilotic speaking cultures (including relatives of present-day Maasai, Alur, and Luo), later embarked on a series of long term migrations towards the African Great Lakes, eventually reaching parts of present day Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania by the 18th Century C.E.

In the interior of Africa another major expansion was beginning around the time of Ramses III. Bantu migrations that spread from West Africa (possibly originating near present-day Cameroon and Nigeria), eventually reached the African Great Lakes region and Southern Africa over the course of three thousand years.

The Bantu migration was one of the most important events in pre-history and reshaped the cultural landscape of Africa. Today, Bantu languages include Swahilli (spoken largely in East Africa), Zulu and Xhosa (spoken in present-day South Africa). These diverse Bantu speaking cultures are thought to have descended from a mixture of early West African migrants and indigenous populations of East Africa and Southern Africa.

It can, then, be safely concluded that the AbeNguni came out of this group and they were led by Mnguni. Secondly, it can be concluded that the ancestors of Mnguni were part of this group – a mixture of Bantus who came from ancient Upper Egypt (Sudan/Nubia), Great Lakes, Central and West Africa.

Migration from Ancient Egypt to East, Central, West and Southern Africa
The reasons for emphasizing the indigenous Southern African origin of the ancient Egyptians, is because of the message based upon an historical message taken from the most highly respected “Papyrus of Hunefer” found in Egypt and the Nile River and amongst the indigenous Africans’, “Book of the Coming Forth by Day and Night”. In it, the Egyptians clearly state: “We came from the beginning of the Nile where the God Hapi dwells, at the foothills of the Mountain of the Moon, i.e. Kilimanjaro – between Kenya and Tanzania, or Rwenzori in Uganda. This is in the Great Lakes region.

According to Asar Imhotep of Mocha-Versity Institute of Philosophy and Research (September 6, 2009), citing the late Jordan Ngubane’s work, Conflict of Minds (1979), the story of the migration of AmaZulu (plural) proves that the Bantu people were an aboriginal African people of the Upper Nile – Sudanic and Nubian origins. When the Nguni-Bantu migrated from the Sudan into what is now South Africa and Natal, the populations began to increase in a pocketed area between the Indian Ocean and the Mountains of Drakensberg.

A nomarch during the second half of the 15th century by the name of Malandela nursed the ambition that one day he might have a son who would lead his people to the heavens (Zulu) and restore order in Natal. Sometime later one of his wives gave birth to a son. Malandela was convinced that it was going to be that son who restored order in KwaZulu. To ensure that the boy lived and achieved as expected, Malandela gave him the name Zulu. It must be understood that in African societies a person is given a name that is in association with his or her destiny. A person is required to live up to their name in a literal sense. It is this philosophy and social custom that translated into experience for King Malandela in regards to the naming of his son Zulu ka Malandela Zulu. The son, Zulu, was supposed to take his people beyond the heavens and establish a new order.

In ancient Egypt a person is born with their name of destiny (birth name) and to keep record of who he/she belonged to, they would attach the name of the father (his name of destiny) to the son’s name. So the Pharaohs would claim descent from the God Ra and is why you would see in the name “sa Ra” to denote “son of Ra.” Here the Egyptian sa corresponds to the Bantu ka (sa = ka) as they both mean son or child. In KiKongo the ka is rendered kia and can be seen in the name of our esteemed scholar from the Kongo Dr. Kimbwadende kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau. Here this name is very telling for Kimbwadende is his initiation name. Kia Bunseki lets us know he is the son of Bunseki. Bunseki is not his name, it is his father’s. So hopefully, we can better understand the Zulu naming convention in relation to the name Zulu ka Malandela (Imhotep, 2009)

Ancient Egypt and Sudan (Walker, 2006) were once the most densely populated parts of Africa. People living elsewhere in Africa are in fact partly of distant Nile Valley origins. Al-Masudi, as quoted by Walker (2006), the highly regarded Arab geographer of the tenth century AD, wrote of a great migration of Africans, possibly from the region of Kush, and said ‘when the descendants of Noah spread across the earth, the sons of Kush, the son of Canaan, travelled toward the west and crossed the Nile. There they separated: Some of them, the Nubians and the Beja and Zanj, turned to the rightward, between the east and the west; but the others, very numerous, marched toward the setting sun’…

This suggests that many peoples in western and eastern Africa are in fact migrants of Kushite origins. The Negroid Kushites were spread over a vast area of central Sahara and northern Sahil from Fezzan to Nubia. They facilitated the diffusion of Nubian culture into central Africa and influenced the history of the regions since they founded, or at least provided dynasties for, Kanem and certain Hausa states (Walker, 2006).

Reasons for Migration
The most cogent reasons for such massive exodus from Sahara to the rest of the world was, firstly, drought. People found themselves in famine due to drought, which killed even their cattle. They could not live in area that was killing their cattle, since cattle was part of their lives, just it is the case even today.

Secondly, it was the fall of the Old Kingdom during the First Intermediate Period, which was plagued by wars. During this period nomarchs organized raids on other regions to plunder food. Peasants were forced to arm themselves. Everything was plundered, destroyed. The entire Egypt was attacked by many foeign forces, such as the Roman Empire, the Arabs, etc. The middle classes, by contra, lived in the relative safety of their walled residences (Gumede, 1990, Walker, 2006, Bhengu, 2014). But all this happened when the majority of the population had migrated, in waves, from ancient Egypt towards various directions.

Eventually, the ancient Egypt was suppressed and colonized. Today it is ruled, controlled and owned by Arabs. Sudan (Nubia) today is divided into north and south Sudan. Indigenous people who remained behind are no longer in control, except perhaps in South Sudan.

Migration Towards Southern Africa: AbeNguni [The Ngoni People]
According to Dr M.V. Gumede (Traditional Healers, 1990), as the deserts encroached, the animals died and left only white skeletons dotted on the landscape. The people had to move on for their survival. The Sahara civilization was already very advanced in 2500 B.C. when it probably reached its peak (Bryant, 1963). This means by the time the African exodus took place, Africans left behind a very advanced African civilization.

When the Sahara dried up, continued Dr Gumede (1990), the Africans packed their wares in canoes and papyrus boats ‘behla ngesilulu’ (this is the Zulu term for these boats). Canoes were carved from a large tree trunk or built of reeds, or made of ox-hide.

What is a Nguni?
Nguni is the collective name for a major group of Bantu-speaking peoples belonging to the Negroid racial group of Africa who lived at an area between the Drankesberg and the Indian Ocean and along a broad belt from Swaziland through Natal southwards into the Transkei and Ciskei. The Northern Ngunis comprise the Swazi, Zulu, and Ndebele peoples of the Highveld; on the Southern Ngunis include the Xhosa, Thembu, Bomvana, Mpondo and Mpondomise (Howcroft, P. unpublished South African Encyclopedia)

Our preserved historical knowledge informs us that our primeval father, uMnguni, and his people came down the river Nile from Upper Africa using canoes and boats (Behla ngesilulu phakathi kwamaNgisi namaQadasi) to Southern Africa around or between 16th – 17th century. It is reported that Mnguni had 4 (four) descendants: UXhosa, USwazi, UNdebele, and Luzumane. UXhosa became the founder of AmaXhosa; uSwazi became the founder of AmaSwazi; uNdebele became the founder of the AmaNdebele; and Luzumane, the direct ancestor of Zulu. The Zulu Kingdom was named after Zulu.

Research reveals that the Nguni group is divided into the Zunda and the Tekela sub-groups. The Zulu and Xhosa are the two largest written languages from the Zunda group of which a third written language, while Zimbabwean Ndebele is found in Zimbabwe. Under the Tekela sub-group fall Swazi (isiSwati), Northern Transvaal Ndebele (isiNdebele), and the Bhaca of the Transkei; the difference between the two groups rests, among other things, on the use of the ‘z’ sound by the Zunda, and the use of the ‘t’ sound in its stead by the Tekela, e.g. Zulu is the written language of the Northern Nguni of KwaZulu-Natal, the eastern Free State and southern Gauteng and southern Mpumalanga provinces. The Manala and Ndzundza Ndebele speak a Zulu dialect that is also influenced by Northern Sotho. The Nguni languages contain characteristic ‘click sounds’. Their hlonipha (respect) terms, especially, contain many clicks signifying derivation from intermarriage with San and Khoi women.

It is important that we know who were his ancestors, and where they originated from. There are unsubstantiated reports that UMnguni’s ancestor was NTU, but it is not clear nor stated in any credible literature or material where did Ntu come from. Further to this confusion, there are no elderly people in one’s range that elaborate on this. All what is provided is that Mnguni was part of the Bantu group that migrated from Great Lakes and Central Africa to ancient Egypt and lived in the Upper Egypt as Nubians/Sudans. This group eventually migrated towards the southern and eastern parts of the continent, and eventually headed towards Southern Africa.

Briant (1963) reports that this group, which became known as AbeNguni, separated from each other, and they took different directions. Some went towards the Indian Ocean, some went towards the west, etc. For example, the Xhosas, under the leadership of uXhosa, went towards the mouth of uMzimvubu river.

One of Malandela’s sons was called Zulu which means Heaven. Zulu’s wives travelled with him towards the Drankesberg Mountains, and from there they moved towards a fresh area south of the Mkhumbane River. Eventually the whole area became known as KwaZulu or Place of Heaven.

IsiZulu Language
Imhotep (2009), a well-renowned linguist with a specialisation in ancient Egyptian language, says by examining this convention in the Zulu (and other African languages)

‘I assume that the initial H in HRW is actually closer to an SH sound. When I listen to Zulu speakers talk, some words that have an H in it is pronounced with a SH sound. For instance, the Zulu word UKUHLANGANA which means “meeting” is pronounced UKU-SHLAN-GAN. The final A is not pronounced or is not really audible to the foreign speaker when said in conversational speed. It reminds me of French in a way. We see this happen in another Zulu word KAHLE which means “well” (as in to be well or I hear well). KAHLE is pronounced GA-SHE (with a G as in GEKO) when spoken. What seems to be at play is that when the H is preceded by a vowel, the H becomes SH. We see this convention in other Bantu languages as well. For example, in the Luhya dialect of Maragoli, the word ‘Abaluhya’ or ‘Avaluhya’ is pronounced as ABA-ROO-SHIA, which means “the people of the North,” “the people of the higher place,” or simply “northerners.” Their oral history states that they came from Misri (Egypt) and migrated to what is now called Kenya’.

This convention isn’t always the case however. For instance, the Zulu word UKUKHULUMA is pronounced UKU-KHU-LUM: again the final A is faint. It seems that the H retains its sound when preceded by a hard consonant. We see this at play in the Zulu word UKHONA meaning “is there.” The H retains its sound value (as in the word chord). When the H is preceded by another H, the H sounds like an English H. So the Zulu transposition of the English word HOTEL is EHHOTELA (EH-HO-TELA). When you say ZASEHOTEL (at the hotel) however, the H sound is not pronounced like SH but as a regular H (Imhotep, 2009).

According to Ngubane (1979) the word Sudic comes from Su, a variant of Nu, which is the root word for person in most Sub-Saharan African languages. In terms of origin, the rootword is related to Nu, the ancient Egyptian word for primordial substance. The ancients believed that people evolved from primordial substance through a creator-god. The person was “created” so that he should “appear in glory” on earth.

In the migrations up and down the continent, the differently placed Africans developed variants of nu and gave it the following forms: du, nho, -ni, ntfu, -ntu, -now, -nwu, -so, -su, -tho, -thu, and –tu. This consensus of nu produced the following nouns for ‘person’ among peoples in widely different parts of Africa, as follows:

Language ​​​​Word for Person
Hausa (Nigeria)​​​ mtum
Ibo​​​​​ nmadu
Yoruba​​​​​ eniya
Swazi​​​​​​ muntfu
Sotho​​​​​​ motho
Xhosa ​​​​​ umntu
Zulu​​​​​​ umuntu
Swahili utu

In Zulu umuntu means ‘the person’. If we break down the word into its components, we have: The article u- meaning the.

The Xhosas, continues Ngubane (1979) still refer to black humanity as umzi ka Ntu like the other Nguni communities, and the ancient Zulus believed that the cosmic order was an infinity; that such it was a unity, and that the environment in which the person really existed. If the primordial substance was infinite, there could not be anything which existed outside of it; all phenomenon, he and his environment were therefore inseperable, complementary.

This relationship gave rise to the following derivatives from Ntu:
Ulutho: The nameless something; a substance,
Uluntu: The vital force,
Umuntu: The personification of Ntu; the person
Isintu:​ Humanity
Ubuntu: The art of being human; virtue – a very shallow definition of Ubuntu.

The above shows how we can speak of nu- or ntu- oriented cultures, which together form the unity known as African civilization.

Ubuntu Philosophy and its Connection to Ancient Egypt
Since Egyptian antiquity is to African culture, therefore, we have to connect Ubuntu to ancient Egypt. According to Walter Scott, who was an editor of the Hermetica, those Greek writings which contain religious and/or philosophical teachings ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus’ of ancient Egypt, had this to say regarding what the ancient Egyptians call ‘Maat’, and what the AbeNguni/AmaZulu call ‘Ubuntu’:

The divine mind (Ubuntu) is wholly of like nature with eternity. It is motionless in itself, but though stable, is yet self-moving; it is holy, and incorruptible, and everlasting, and has all attributes yet higher, if higher there be, that can be assigned to the eternal life of the supreme God, that life which stands fast in absolute reality. It is wholly filled with all things imperceptible to sense, and with all-embracing knowledge; it is, so to speak, consubstantial with God.

The source of Ubuntu principles are the principles of Maat, not vice versa, and the literature is rich in this, that the ancient Bantus/Zulus inherited all their cultural, philosophical and linguistic principles and values of Ubuntu from ancient Egypt (see Diop’s writings; Obenga’s writings; Molefi Kete Asante’s works; Ngubane, Khoza; Ramose; etc.)

The 42 constitutive rules of Maat, reveals very close similarities with the constitutive rules of Ubuntu, and we believe this is not an accident if one takes into consideration the linguistic relationships of African languages, particularly that of KMT. The ancient Kemets believed that the cosmic mind is all kinds of knowledge of sensible things. The (merely) human mind is dependent on the retentiveness of man’s memory, that is, on his remembrance of all his past experiences. The divine mind, according to the Bible, descends in the scale of being as far as man, but no farther; for the supreme God willed that the divine mind should be only within a being, lest it should be put to shame by mingling with the lower animals.

Umuntu (man), in an African ontology, is endowed with the divine attributes: intellect, wisdom, justice, rationale, creativity, compassion, love, etc. that make him to be distinctly different from other created beings. He is instantly conferred with power of dominion over all creatures. Umuntu, therefore, consists of the: spirit, soul and body. This is a three-fold principle of Muntu (man). This is the universal level of Ubntu.

The Africans’ concept of “God-the-Creator” tallies with the ancient Egyptian (Pharaonic) Thought. This is not surprising – considering that “Pharaonic philosophy constitutes the first moment in contemporary Africa’s long philosophical tradition” (Obenga, 1989: 319). The philosophical concepts that crystallised in the Northern tip of Africa (Kemet/Egypt) were energized from the African Heartland.

Clearly, the Creator-God, Ntu, is at the centre of all works of creation, whether they are stars, the moon, the sun, the atom, human beings, etc. He has eternal abode and existence in his creation; and can thus be defined as an infinite, dynamic Life-Force, that has the capability and power of creation, innovation and transformation of Matter into whatever it wills to create.

It is this concept of internalization and universalization of “NTU” that makes us to understand the commonness of the beginning that all creatures share. It enables us to comprehend God’s existence and abode in human beings in his “Image and likeness”. His presence in us forms the basis for a divine “humanness” (Ubuntu) in all members of the human race.

The internalization and universalization of -NTU-, therefore, is very important, for example, you if think about the construction of the following Nguni words: Isi-Ntu; Ki-Ntu; Ku-Ntu; Umzi ka-Ntu; Umu-Ntu; Ubu-Ntu; Ulu-Ntu; Ha-Ntu; Aba–Ntu, Etc

The concept, Creator-God, (Ntu) enables Africans to trace and understand the origin of the philosophical concept of Ubuntu, which is an element that is present in all human beings. Therefore, u-Ntu + u-Mu = uBu-Ntu. The word Muntu simply means “God-Man”, whose abstract noun is uBuntu. This element is found within all members of the human race, but more pronounced in the Bantus.

Mudimbe (1981), as he quotes Kagame, says Bantu ontology in its reality and significance expresses itself through the complementarity and connection existing between these four categories, all of them created from the same root, Ntu, which refers to being but also, simultaneously, to the idea of force. Kagame insists that the Bantu equivalent of to be is strictly and only a copula. It does not express the notion of existence and therefore cannot translate the Cartesian cognito. It is by enunciating muntu, kintu, etc., that I am signifying an essence or something in which the notion of existence is not necessarily present.

When essence (Ntu) is perfected by the degree of existing, it becomes part of the existing. The existing cannot be used as a synonym of being there, since in Bantu languages, the verb to be cannot signify to exist. The opposite of the existing is nothing. In analyzing the cultural elements, one must conclude that the nothing exists and it is the entity which is at the basis of the multiple. One being is distinct from another, because there is the nothing between them (Kagame, 1971:601 – 603).

Mulago (1965), as quoted by Mudimbe (1981) specifies the fact that ntu cannot simple be translated into being. Ntu and being are not coextensive insofar as the ntu categories only subsume created beings and not the original source of God. Ntu is the fundamental and referential basic being-force which dynamically manifests itself in all existing beings, differentiating them but also linking them in an ontological hierarchy:

The being is fundamentally one and all the existing beings are ontologically attached together. Above, transcendent, is God, Nyamuzinda, the beginning and end of all being; Imana, source of all life, of all happiness. Between God and members of the family and the old national heroes, all the armies of disincarnated souls. Below humans are all the other beings, who, basically, are only means placed at human’s disposition to develop her or his ntu, being, life. (Mulago, 1965: 155).

In sum, the Ntu is somehow a sign of a universal similitude. Its presence in beings brings them to life and attests to both their individual value and to the measure of their integration in the dialectic of vital energy. Ntu is both a uniting and a differentiating vital norm which explains the powers of vital inequality in terms of difference between beings. It is a sign that God, father of all beings has put a stamp on the universe, thus making it transparent in a hierarchy of sympathy.

In an African setting everything is knitted together, and I will now deal with the Bantu/Zulu religion.

The Bantu/AbeNguni/Zulu Religion and its Connection to Ancient Egypt
Perhaps it is better to start from the beginning, so that there is a better understanding of what exactly are we talking about here, and to do I will ride again on the shoulders of Massey’s rich research on ancient Egypt, as reflected by Finch III (2006).

It is important to note that the Christian crucified figure, argues Massey, was always depicted as a lamb until the 7th century. Here, the Savior, the Lamb, harkens back to the Age of Aries, the Ram, the Zodiacal ruler from 2,277 BC to 119 BC, when the sun rose at the spring equinox with the constellation Aries sitting on the eastern horizon. Though Jesus Christ incarnated as the avatar of the Age of Pisces, the Two Fishes, that began 119 BC, the imagery of the previous Aries Ram Age maintained itself in the reference to the Christ as ‘the Lamb of God.’ Christ as a crucified man was a relatively late figure in Christian iconography. In the Appendix to Ancient Egypt, Massey listed more than 200 direct parallels between the Jesus legend and the cycle of Osiris/Horus. The earthly Jesus is congruent to Horus; Jesus the Christ corresponds to Osiris, the resurrected god.

There were a number of Christian and quasi-Christian cults struggling for survival in the early centuries AD. In Massey’s view, the Gnostics especially represented a type of Christianity in which the Egyptian originals were consciously preserved and did not center around the false human history of a mythical savior. The Gnostic Christ was a type of the Deified Man that lies dormant in every human soul and the attainment to which was the aim of Egyptian soul science whose guide map was the Book of the Dead, more properly called the Book of the Coming Forth by Day. Outside the Gospels, there is no authentic reference to the man Jesus and his supposed history as portrayed by the Gospels by any contemporary commentator until the 2nd century. The Theosophical scholar GRS Mead, a learned authority in the field of Christian origins, wrote: It has always been an unfailing source of astonishment to the historical investigator of Christian beginnings, that there is not one single word from the pen of any Pagan writer of the first century of our era, which can in any fashion be referred to the marvelous story recounted by the Gospel writers. The very existence of Jesus seems to be unknown (Italics added).

According to Mead, a man named Yahushua (Joshua) Ben Pandera (Jesus is Greek for Yahushua) did live more than century before the Gospel Jesus was supposed to have been born. Yahushua was an Essene sage who was raised among the Therapeuts (‘healers’) of Egypt where he became a master of healing and ‘wonderworking.’ Sometime around 73 BC, he traveled through Palestine, healing, teaching, and performing myriad ‘wonders.’ Because of his ‘magical’ practices, he was arrested, tried, and hanged by Jewish magistrates in the city of Lydda on the eve of Passover in 70 BC. If there was a historical Jesus, Yahushua Ben Pandera was him. Beginning late in the 2nd century BC, there arose a heightened and widespread anticipation of the appearance of a ‘world savior,’ and it seems that the life and work of Yahushua the Essene provided the germ around which the vast soteriology (‘savior mythology’) of the ancient world, specifically that of Egypt, coalesced. The system of the Essenes – called Therapeuts in Egypt – prefigured Christianity that evolved directly from it (Finch III, 2006).

In his book Ancient Egypt (2006) Simmon Cox argues that many historians have pointed out the similarity between the Osirian myth and that of the books of the New Testament. The story of the suffering of Osiris in human form, God’s (Geb’s) own son, who is resurrected (if only for a short time), bears a striking similarity to the Gospels. Itwould therefore seem that the central themes of the stories of Jesus Christ were already present in Egyptian religion over 2,000 years of before Jesus was born (Simmon Cox, 2006: 174)

The worship of Isis and Serapis – a form of Osiris – was lifted bodily out of Egypt and transplanted to Rome where, for nearly four centuries the cult, particularly that of Isis, rivaled those of Jupiter and Mithra. Isis was especially popular in her aspect of Mother with Child, i.e., Isis with the Infant Horus, and both she and Horus were consistently depicted with black coloring and Ethiopic features. Surviving Roman frescoes in Pompeii represent her priests as Ethiopian and Roman legions carried her image and worship to the farthest reaches of barbarian Europe. When late in the 5th century Christianity began to penetrate these regions, wherever the missionaries found the image complex of Isis holding the Child Horus, they turned it into the Black Madonna and Child. More than 1500 years after Christianization, these sacred sites of the Black Madonna and Child remain the holiest shrines of Catholic Europe.

Just like the ancient Egyptian religion, So, the African traditional religion is an off spring of the ancient Egyptian religion. It has become a collective system of profound thought, lived rather than deliberated upon, clearly see the superiority over the solitary labor of a licensed thinker amid a literate civilization. This silent philosophy can be described by means of a rigorous application of five major scholastic grids: formal logic, ontology, theodicy, cosmology, and ethics (Kagame, 1971). We say God is essence because HE is Ntu. He is the Supreme Being since He does not belong to the category of beings and on the other hand the qualifier Supreme places him above beings in the same line on Ntu. We call him the Preexisting One, an attribute that fits the Existing Eternal (Kagame, 1971). AbeNguni/AmaZulu call Him uMvelinqangi.

We are dealing with an African ‘implicit philosophy’ that is dynamic – dynamic because the subject lives in accordance to a cosmic dynamism. Ntu is the fundamental and referential basic being-force which dynamically manifests itself in all existing beings, differentiating them but also linking them in an ontological hierarchy. The being is fundamentally one all the existing beings are ontologically attached. Above, transcendant, is God, the beginning and end of all beings; source of all life, of all happiness. Between God and humans are intermediaries, all the ascendants, the ancestors, the dead members of the family and the old national heroes, all the armies of disincarnated souls. Below humans are all the other beings, who basically, are only means placed at human’s disposition to develop her or his ntu, being, life (Mulago 1965, in Mudibe, 1994).

An African (Mbiti, 1989) does not have to look for God outside, above or beyond his own creation. He sees and feels ‘ntu’s finger and presence and the indivisible unity between the Creator, man and other created beings (nature). Hence we say: ‘I’m one with the nature’. This concept, Creator-God, (ntu) enables us to trace and understand the origin of the philosophical concept of Ubuntu, which is an element that is present in all human beings. Therefore, u-ntu + umu-ntu = ubu-ntu. The word muntu simply means “God-Man”, whose abstract noun is Ubuntu. God + Man = Supreme Goodness (ubuntu). This element, the Supreme Goodness, is found within all members of the human race.

God, continues Mbiti, is the great kings above all kings and cannot be compared in majesty. He is above all majesties and divinities. He dwells everywhere. Thus He is omnipotent because He is able to do all things and nothing can be done nor created apart from Him. He is behind all achievements. He alone can speak and accomplish his words. Therefore, there is no room for failure. He is Absolute, all wise Omniscient, all seeing, and all Knowing. He knows all things and so no secrets are hid from Him.

In the private and public life of the African religious rites, beliefs, and rituals are considered an integral part of life. Life then is never complete unless it is seen always in its entirety. Religious beliefs are found in everyday life and no distinction is made between the sacred and the secular. The sacred and the secular are merged in the total persona for the individual African. Life is not divided into compartments or divisions. Thus there are no special times for worship, for everyday and every hour is worship time.

In connecting African traditional region to ancient Egypt, it seems proper to ride on the broad shoulders of Ahmed Osman (Christianity: An Ancient Egyptian Religion, 1934) work, for he connects the two beautifully.

To begin with, Osman (1934) contends that the roots of Christian belief spring not from Judaea but from ancient Egypt. He compares the chronology of the Old Testament and its factual content with ancient Egyptian records to show that the major characters of the Hebrew scriptures – including Solomon, David, Moses, and Joshua–are based on Egyptian historical figures. He further suggests that not only were these personalities and the stories associated with them cultivated on the banks of the Nile, but the major tenets of Christian belief – the One God, the Trinity, the hierarchy of heaven, life after death, and the virgin birth – are all Egyptian in origin.

With the help of modern archaeological findings, Osman (1934) shows that Christianity survived as an Egyptian mystery cult until the fourth century A.D., when the Romans embarked on a mission of suppression and persecution. In A.D. 391 the Roman-appointed Bishop Theophilus who led a mob into the Serapeum quarter of Alexandria and burned the Alexandrian library, destroying all records of the true Egyptian roots of Christianity. The Romans’ version of Christianity, manufactured to maintain political power, claimed that Christianity originated in Judaea. Osman restores Egypt to its rightful place in the history of Christianity.

God is in the centre of African religions. God here is not necessarily the Christian God. Every human person strives to be godly for in God everything is perfect. Life during living is spent in satisfying the laws of nature, respecting the social mores and the divine ones as well; and the honouring elders, respecting and worshipping the spirits and the gods. Life after death is spent in promoting the health and future of the progeny still left on earth.

Traditional African religion is vital, basic, mysterious, and magical, and at the same time it knows how to exist and co-exist. It knows how to survive in the midst of religious adversity. Godliness is a state postulated in philosophy, or postulated by religious imperialists, but absent in reality. Before the arrival of the missionaries the African society embraced its own system of morality, view of man and world-view as reflected in the culture’s code of behaviour and framework of moral evaluation. By contrast the missionary activists introduced into Africa a framework of thinking and scale of values, which reflected an ethos and milieu distinctive to the spirit and experience of the West.

This is the religion (traditional African religion) that St Augustine referred to when he wrote: ‘That which is called the Christian religion existed amongst the ancients and never did not exist, from the beginning of the human race until Christ came in the flesh, at which time the true religion, which already existed, began to be called Christianity’

There are records to prove that there was one institution in the ancient world, which was universal, and whose method of instruction, and content of its theology, was expressed by symbol and myth. This is the institution of the Ancient Mysteries, which was found in all parts of the world. All religious cults have their roots in the ancient Mysteries whose origin and foundations are traced to the teachings and doctrines of Hermes Trismegistos – an African Ethiopian sage.

The present version of Christianity, as practiced in our contemporary age, demands not ‘knowledge’ but ‘faith’. ‘It is this that demarcates the fundamental difference, between the Church and the old Osirian religion as well as the early form of Christianity known as ‘Gnosticism’ (Bauval, 1999).

Africans had or owned religions before the advent of Christianity (orthodox or reformed) and Islam. Christianity has brought us blinkered bigots. As far as we are concerned, everybody has his shrine guardian, every family has a shrine, every clan or tribe has its major shrine.

When we speak of African Traditional Religion, we mean the indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the Africans. It is the religion which resulted from the sustaining faith held by the forebears of the present Africans, and which is being practised today in various forms and various shades and intensities by a very large number of Africans, including individuals who claim to be Muslims or Christians.

We need to explain the word ‘traditional’, and in this I am relying on Awolalu (1976), who in his article ‘What is African Traditional Religion?’ in Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 10, No. 2. (Spring, 1976) (www.studiesincomparativereligion.com), argues that this word means indigenous, that which is aboriginal or foundational, handed down from generation to generation, upheld and practised by Africans today. This is a heritage from the past, but treated not as a thing of the past but as that which connects the past with the present and the present with eternity. This is not a “fossil” religion, a thing of the past or a dead religion. It is a religion that is practized by living men and women.

Awolalu (1976) argues that eminent African scholars, like Professor E. Bolaji Idown and Professor John Mbiti, have emphasized the fact that the world of the Africans is a theocratic one, ruled and governed by the decree of the Supreme Being.

The Supreme Being is given different names by different groups of people. When we examine the names, we gain a greater insight into the peoples’ concept of God, as they are descriptive of His character and attributes. For example, among the Yoruba, He is called Olodumare. By meaning and connotation, this name signifies that the Supreme Being is unique, that His majesty is superlative, that He is unchanging and ever reliable. He is also called Olorun (the owner of Heaven). Eleda (the Creator) by the same people. The Edo call Him Osanobuwa, and this means “God who is the Source and Sustainer of the World”. The Ibo call Him Chükwu, that is the Great Chi or the Great Source of life and of being. The Nupe call Him Soko, the Great One; He who dwells in Heaven; and they also designate him Tso-Ci meaning the Owner of us, the One to whom we belong. The Ewe-speaking people speak of Him as Nana Buluku (Ancient of Days), and this suggests His eternity. In Ghana, He is called Onyame, the Great and Shining One who is high and above all. The AmaZulu call him UMvelinqangi, amaXhosa call him UTixo, etc, etc.

Awolalu (1976) argues, again, that African Traditional Religion cannot easily be studied by non-Africans. The best interpreter of African Religion is the African with a disciplined mind and the requisite technical tools. And we agree with Professor Idowu that the purpose of the study should be to discover what Africans actually know, actually believe, and actually think about Deity and the supersensible world. There is a whole world of difference between this and what any investigators, at home or from abroad, prescribe through preconceived notions that Africans should know, believe and think. It is also to find out how their beliefs have inspired their worldviews and moulded cultures in general.

Lastly, the ancient Egyptian Maat concept gave birth to Africa’s Ubuntu concept. According to Dr Mathole Motshekga of Kara Heritage Institute, in his paper entitled The History of the African Renaissance and its possible influence on Modern Society – an Abstract Version, delivered at the Seminar held at the Goethe Institute in Johannesburg, on 29-31 October 1999: 23) says: The ancient Ethiopian founders of ancient Egypt introduced a theosophy (i.e. Divine wisdom) and sciences, which came to be attributed to the ancient Ethiopian (or black African) sage – Harama or (Thoth-Hemes). In other words the Hermetic philosophy and sciences, which were taught in dynastic Egypt came from Khem or ancient Ethiopia.

But who is Thoth Hermes?. He was an Ethiopian (black African) sage. Hermes Trismegistus, who the Greeks called Hermenubis or Thoth-Hermes, and was known to the Romans as Mercurius, while the Arabs and Jews called him Idris and Enoch who is the “Father of World Religions” wrote thousands of books, which are found in his collected work called “Corpus Hermeticum” which was found in his tomb by archaeologists. Forty (42) of these books later became a compulsory study for all those who entered the Order for priesthood. That was in the year 10 490 BC. Hermes developed what is now called the Hermetic Philosophy and Science. He is described as the “The Greatest Great and “Master of Masters”. As indicated below, of importance is that it was Hermes, through his book, the Corpus Hermeticum, who explained and revealed the source, meaning and nature of Maat/Ubuntu. Motshekga (1999) says Thoth-Hermes taught the world about what he called the “Supreme Goodness” (/Ma’at/Ubuntu), and he emphasized that the “quality and dignity of the human personality” which is the concept of Maa’t/uBuntu, is essential for the “balance” in the human society or universe. He also developed the “Three-fold Principle” (Triad) i.e. God + Man + Supreme Goodness (uBuntu), which is keeping the balance and the inclusiveness of the whole universe (1999; 46)

On the other hand, whilst Hermes referred to Ma’at/Ubuntu as the ‘Divine Mind’, Pythagoras referred to it as the ‘Divine Breath’ which unites men with gods at one extreme and with brute creation at the other. It was this Divine Breath that is the unifier of the Cosmos.

In his great work, Robert Bauval, the (Secret Chamber, 1999: 94-95) argues that the ancient texts proclaim that: Great is the Ma’at, enduring is its effectiveness, for it has not been changed since the Time of Orisis (i.e. the First Time…). Ma’at was the personification of law, order, rule, truth, right, righteousness, canon, justice, straightness, integrity, uprightness and of the highest conception of physical and moral law known to the Egyptians (my emphasis).

Perhaps (for Bauval, 1999) the best way to perceive Ma’at is for it to be the combination of all these ethics, which are encapsulated in the principle of ‘Divine Truth’. Ma’at is the ‘code of practice’ of the gods to which a human being must adhere in his earthly existence in order to progress towards a god-like state. Ma’at is that divine microchip within our hearts that tells us what is right or wrong, and guides us through life in accordance with the Divine Will.

In the Bible, for example, a similar concept and system of cosmic order and divine law is encapsulated in the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai. They are supposedly the righteous tenets that an individual must abide by in order to gain approval from God and, eventually, access to heavenly immortality.

The AmaZulu, who strongly believe in traditional African religion, refer to this as umthetho wesintu (the law of nature). It is, also, logical to argue here that the traditional African religion is based on the principles and values of the old Osirian religion as well as the early form of Christianity known as ‘Gnosticism – not the contemporary form of Christianity.

It is clear from the above, that an African traditional religion is knitted together with African philosophy, for our ancient African philosophers wouldn’t allow a compartmentalized life. In short, there is no vacuum in an African life.

The Relevance of Decalogues (Ten Commandments)
There is a very serious biblical question which is ever asked: “Who wrote the Decalogues?. Nobody has come up with a satisfying answer so far.

As with almost every other belief about the Bible, religious conservatives, liberals, historians, secularists, etc. have very different beliefs about the author(s) of the Pentateuch — the first five books of the Hebrew Scripture (a.k.a. Old Testament). In particular, they have different beliefs about the source and authorship of the Decalogue.

There are three basic beliefs about the origin of the Decalogue as follows:
(1) They were written and/or dictated by God at Mount Sinai, circa 1450 BCE.
(2) They were written by three Hebrew authors (or groups of authors) between 922 and 622 B.C.E. based upon ancient Hebrew myths and legends.
(3) Their original source was in Pagan documents written by Hittites or Egyptians which were plagiarized and added to by ancient Hebrew writers.

Part of the ancient Egyptian religion’s Book of the Dead (a.k.a. the Papyrus of Ani) bears an amazing resemblance to the Ten Commandments. They involve prohibition of adultery, murder, theft, lying, cursing God, false witness, abandonment of parents. 8 Since the Book of the Dead predates the date attributed to the Jewish Exodus from Egypt, and since the Ten Commandments postdate the Exodus, it would appear that the Book was the source of the Decalogue rather than the opposite. Of course, the similarities between the two might have been coincidental. If an ethical person of any era and any religion were asked to compose a minimal set of moral behaviors, they might well come up with a similar selection of commands. More details.

Thus, many religious liberals and secularists assume that the Hebrew Scripture’s Ten Commandments were based on documents written by the Hittites, Egyptians, or some similar neighboring Pagan group.” http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_10ck.htm

Interestingly, if the Ten Commandments bear resemblance to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which serves as an ancient Egyptian ‘bible’, yet there is a nexus between the Ten Commandments and the traditional African religion, it is then suffice to argue that there is one source of the Decalogue. But what is important to the researcher is the resemblance of the African traditional religion to the Papyrus of Ani.

According to The Emperor Diocletian, A.D. 302, in The Closing of the Western Mind by Charles Freeman, the ancient Egyptian view was that

The immortal gods in their providence have so designed things that good and true principles have been established by the wisdom and deliberations of eminent, wise and upright men. It is wrong to oppose these principles, or desert the ancient religion for some new one, for it is the height of criminality to try and revise doctrines that were settled once and for all by the ancients, and whose position is fixed and acknowledged.

A careful reading of the Ten Commandments reveals a clear nexus between the principles and values of Maat/Ubuntu and Ten Commandments. Unfortunately one cannot go through each of these in details. For example, commandments 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 are very relevant in terms of their emphasis on the need for good neighbourliness, and the reader is invited to do a comparative analysis on these principles and commandments. There is always an emphasis in the community that one needs to stay in harmony with one’s neighbor – perhaps due to the connectedness often found in Nguni communities, particularly in rural areas.

The principles of Maat, the principles of Ubuntu and Ten Commandments have so much in common that one cannot help not to believe the argument that says Christianity is nothing else but the duplication of the Osirian religion, which was founded on the natural laws. The religion of the pagans is an epitome of the traditional African religion

Throughout this research, there is a clear evidence of a black prehistoric people that developed a high knowledge of astronomy and methods of cattle domestication and breeding, and began a cult with complex rituals related to the stars and seasonal rhythms of the rainfalls in the open Sahara. These people also developed the social sophistication and knowledge to move huge stones, shape or sculpt them. The evidence is overwhelming that they sprang up from the reeds at the mouth of the Nile Valley (Great Lakes), at the very time and place of the origin of the pharaonic civilization. An intellectual and spiritual bridge was thus created whereby the knowledge acquired by these prehistoric black-African forefathers could legitimately be transmitted into the Nile Valley.

With all the evidence and clues that one has investigated in this article, one has reached a point where we must, at least for now, pause and unanimously say ‘all Africans, be they on the mother continent or in the West among the diaspora of African Americans and Afro-Europeans, should be proud of such illustrious ancestors. And that, indeed, AbeNguni/AmaZulu came from ancient Upper Egypt, with all their wares, cultures, traditions and customs.

One must admit that a of good information is lost in oral history, yet there are so few still living persons with such information, and even if they are still living, they are not well known or readily available.

This project is a humble contribution to the question of traditional, black African epistemology and ontology, particularly the Abantu/AbeNguni/AmaZulu, and a proof of their relevance with regard to the civilization which Africa is in the process of forging, which cannot be solid and viable except in proportion as it remains faithful to ancestral traditions and as it manages to be judicious in its contact with the civilizations of other peoples.

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