Article by : Palesa Hloele

CapeTown- the Cape Town International Convention Centre auditorium was filled to capacity with people from all corners of Africa who had gathered to attend the much anticipated annual memorial lecture, which is in its fifth year. The Slabbert "Steve" Mzuvukile memorial lecture themed Decolonising religion and culture, was hosted by the African hidden Voices.

Due to the nature of the lecture and the theme, likeminded individuals from locally and internationally were present for the lecture. The lecture has for the past four years been hosted by the Dr S.B Radebe Foundation, however this year the baton was passed on to the African Hidden Voices because of its mandate of bringing forward the hidden truths of Africa to the people.

Prominent figures attended the event; the delegation from Amahlubi Kingship, representation from the Amaxhosa Kingship Ikumkani Zwelonke Sigcau, Prince Thulani Zulu from the Zulu Kingdom of Inkosi Zwelithini Zulu, Professor Ditalamane Hebie from Burkina Faso, Kayemb Uriel Nawej from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Veli Mbele, President of The African Transformation Movement popularly known as ATM, Vuyolwethu Zungula amongst others.

The lecture was encompassed by four key note speakers, Dr Prophet Uzwilezwe Radebe founder and leader of The Revelation Church of God, Founder of the Dr S.B Radebe Foundation, Founder and chairperson of Inkululeko Yesizwe Foundation and Founder of The African Hidden Voicesm, Kayemb Uriel Nawej author of White Poison, Mzwanele Manyi member of African Transformation Movement (ATM) and former Pastor Xola Skhosana.

The lecture saw advocates for the subject matter, glee in hope and receiving new found strength to soldier on in their resolution to resurrect former Africa, when Dr Prophet Uzwilezwe Radebe opened the platform for them to speak about their African truth. "People come to my church and are confused by what they see; they see this prophet who makes no reference to the bible, a church that has Imbongi (traditional poet) and other traditional symbolism. This confuses them."

How can you claim to be a prophet yet you are heavily reliant on the bible, a book that was written by scholars. Are you not supposed to be spiritual? These were the words of the Prophet during the Prophets key note speech directed at the so called Christian prophets. The auditorium that seats more than 1500 people vibrated as each key note speaker gave their speech on the subject matter. One such speaker was world acclaimed author and very popular to those who have turned their backs on the fabricated truths of foreign of religions Kayemb Uriel Nawej.

Nawej is the author of the controversial anti-Christian book, White Poison which he describes as the book that brought him a lot of enemies and fewer friends. The book is very unapologetic in its resolution about the falsified information found in the bible. The book boldly states that the bible was the endorser of slavery, brutality towards black people and the striping of African identity and dignity. "Although I acquired many enemies because of the book, I never seized I spoke about the African truth."

Nawej further went on to say that colonisation damaged Africans. Today Africans have been brain washed into believing that Christianity was/is a religion created to save them, yet people like Nawej object to the claim and firmly believe that Christianity was/is a religion designed to strip Africans of off their power, dignity and pride. Africa is the only continent where its people will give their children the name of their oppressors "You will never hear of a Jew that carries the name Adolf" yet in Africa there are black people who are named after Leopold II a Belgian King who killed millions of Africans. "When you kneel before these foreign religions what do you think your ancestors feel? What do you think they think? These foreign religions are the very religions that oppressed, incarcerated and killed them. They look at you and curse you because you are embracing their murderers."

White Poison is a must read for those who have always had un-answered questions about the Christian religion. Nawej went further to give a brief history lesson about the Roman Catholics and their involvement in slavery “Slavery was endorsed by the Catholic.” The history lesson was a revelation to many who had previously never diverged themselves into religious research. It also immerged that the bible was translated multiple times and in the process, many truths or facts were distorted and or omitted to suit the agenda of the Roman Catholic of oppressing and acquiring ultimate power.

“When I showed Jesus the door, my congregation followed him out the door."" Xola Skhosana formally known as Pastor Skhosana narrates his discovery of the truths about the religion he had dedicated 30 years of his life to. "I am making a transition from a pastor of a church to a person who advocates for African truths, it has been a difficult transition. " Skhosana also admits that the transition is very lonely and cold; however it remains the proudest moment of his life "I will die happy". Christianity to a minority of black people can be assimilated to the relationship that of a husband/wife were either has dedicated their entire life to the marriage, only to discover that the marriage has been built on lies, deceit and disloyalty. Although Xola Skhosana dedicated a substantial amount of years to a religion which he deems as false. Skhosana sees his discovery as a blessing "I looked at the lies and turned my back on the lies."

During a closed meeting which was held the day prior to the lecture, keynote speakers met to discuss a convergence that will help escalate the African massage to a broader African audience. "A prophet may have the gift to heal, teach, preach but the primary role of a prophet is to guide. A Prophet is a Guider." These were the words of Dr Prophet Uzwilezwe during the exclusive meeting. Skhosana says that he mediated on the words shared by the prophet and has come to the resolution that he too wants to guided, guided by Dr Prophet Uzwilezwe Radebe.

Africa will always remain the testing ground for nations that want to test its ideologies, dogmas and theories unless Africa stands up and seek their truths. According Mzwanele Manyi a member of the Political party African Transformation Movement (ATM) decolonisation has three legs, social, economic and political. “Political power is shallow without the economy" Manyi says that the lecture must "bring us to the centre to the centre of gravity, to say no further." The evolution of culture should not be allowed to eradicate who Africans are. Manyi was absolute in his resolution that, before anything is done Africa needs to be decolonised economically.

While Chief Fezile Ndevu who was representing Ikumkani uZwelonke Sgcau posed a very profound question "where did it all go wrong?" the boundaries separating Africans are not relevant for Africans. In Zambia, there are Xhosa's who are pure in their practices even in their dialect. "The King says he has come to answer the question, where did it go wrong?" The lecture was a conduit for talks of Africa being in need of new form liberation because politics has failed to liberate Africa, "a liberation that will speak to us." The question that was first posed was, "where did we go wrong? It all went wrong with us therefore we need to fix it amongst us."

Dr Prophet Uzwilezwe (The Voice Of The Nation) Radebe emulates the giants that have walked before him, prophets who were absolute in their resolution of Africanism; it is therefore no surprise to the well-educated African person on African dogmas and traditions that Dr Prophet Uzwilezwe advocates for Africanism. The growth of the memorial lecture will always be credited to the person who inspired it, Mr Slabbert "Steve" Mzuvukile Mbiza, a man who was steadfast in his resolution in a better Africa an Africa that must present equal and fair opportunities for all. It is through Steve's hard-headedness that today the hidden voices of Africa are able to come together and forge paths that lead back to indigenous Africa.