The Fatalism of Dichotomies is a collection of 8 essays written by Onkarabetse M. Mokgatle**, a Motswana writer with roots in South Africa too. The collection of pieces is framed to be objective, in that it endeavours to explore the New Black Conscious through the scrutiny of some of humanity’s most prevailing dilemmas.
Where is My Generation’s Voice and What’s My Generation’s Voice?!
“In my school career I’ve barely learnt anything I could not reach myself but there is a moment in which I learnt a great lesson of life. A principle so electric and true it is the basis of life. I cannot remember whether it was during my senior year or what but it wasn’t even during lesson time. Our English teacher said: Everything must be done in moderation. Even moderation itself must be done in moderation. And I’ve tried to my utmost best to live by these words. As I was writing these essays, I struggled a lot; from what subject matters to discuss, how to discuss and whether or not what I had written was too little or too much. What was always clear was that I wanted to take juxtaposed parallel and try to reconcile them even if it was to fail. That is to say, my intention was always to take opposing sides and try to link them, not make them the same but show how they might be oppositions but it didn’t mean they were not serving the same purpose. Ultimately whether I have succeeded or not is up to you as the reader but I personally like to believe I have both succeeded and failed. This partially because some will say I failed and some will say I succeeded. But more importantly, because I know I have failed and succeeded. This I know…
You see, our generation is one that has the luxury of free thinking yet we lack it even more so. We are the generation that is in principle, without limitation to what we can achieve yet it seems that if we are not careful our only achievement will be social media protests threads. I understand and have first hand experience the power of social media. We are the generation that is at least on paper held equal to other races (our oppressors) and we fraternize with them. And the danger of that is simply that they are now human beings to us. They are personal. But we are also very aware of the transgressions of their past. Their treatment of our ancestors, parents and of us… but they are not in history books. They are a people with whom we share personal experiences. And that causes an insurmountable dilemma. We are tasked with continuing the age-old fight for the liberties of our people but in the same breath we are now powerful in ways our predecessors could barely fathom. There also exists, as this is in perpetuity of the space-time continuum, a generation disconnect. Our predecessors fought their wars on the streets and we fight ours on the internet. Both forms of duelling are necessary, what we must be careful of is that neither outweighs the other. That we know when it is time to take to the streets– know when it is time to mobilise. And this is the great failure, at least in my view, of my generation.
The aphorism I shared, is for the betterment of self. It places above all else moderation, even the moderation of moderation. We must be careful not to over or under-do. We must also know and this is the one most people fail to realise when it is time to under-do and overdo. Such that, we control the equilibrium; because we know when, where, what, why and how to act. Failure to attribute this we shall fail the dreams of our ancestors, which to not downplay our plight in today’s world, we are their living-breathing dreams and aspirations.”
**Onkarabetse M. Mokgatle is a Motswana writer from Mmankgodi with roots in Potchefstroom & Mafikeng in South Africa as well. He has been an avid writer since his pre-teens, but his love for literature dates back to his mastery of nursery rhymes at just 5 years old. He pursued his writing skills via various forms all through his teenage years, eventually moving into facilitating and nurturing other talents in his early 20’s. He eventually took a 2-year hiatus from writing which ended in 2019, when he rekindled his love affair with writing through a series of brilliant ideas. In 2020, these ideas would go on to grow into ambitious multimedia projects originating from Africans, For Africans.