Decolonsing Knowledge for Africa’s Renewal

Editor Vuyisile Msila
2017, KR Publishing

In 2015 and 2016, students in SA stood up to demand not only a free education, but a decolonised, African-focused education. The call for the decolonisation of knowledge is the ultimate call for freedom.thumbnail_IMG_4827 (1)

It is the call for an African identity that affirms African values and beliefs and looks critically at Western hegemony. Featuring essays from some of the world’s leading minds on African perspectives, Decolonising Knowledge for Africa’s Renewal explores how to create a society that is devoid of colonialism and is ready for a renewed Africa. This book highlights the practical steps that need to be taken to decolonise knowledge and ultimately achieve an African Renaissance.

Essay: Chapter 8: Inventing Mythologies; Rationalising Conflict in a state formative African Polity, Kmt 3150–3200, pp. 129–143.

God In The Song of Birds

By Amon Saba Saakana
2016, Karnak House

This is Saakana’s third book of poetry; the first, Sun Song, was published in 1973 by the now deceased poetryophile, Paul Breman; the second, TONES & COLOURS, by this press in 1985. The poetry in this book was written in the UK in 1997-1999, and Trinidad & Tobago during the period of 2002-2011. thumbnail_IMG_4832The tone of the poetry is primarily narrative and impressionistic. Saakana records his confrontation with hilltop valleys, impressions of people & landscape, flora & fauna, truth & lie, all, as he says, “in the making of man.”  Yet the book is as much about the Pan-African world, as it is about the specifics of a community of spirit in Trinidad:
“Life has led me to points of crossing in the desert where knowledge grows like date palms in summer.”
A large part of the text is the celebration of woman in all her primordial strength as mother, wife, daughter & seeker of light, equilibrium in a world of unchanged manpower, violence, rape and abuse. Yet as mother, housemaker & lover she plays an epicentral role in Saakana’s poetic world.

Kmt’s Battle of the brothers and rules of royal succession in the history of African societies

Published in Cahier Caribéens d’Egyptologie, No. 17, 2013Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 11.59.58

The journal is published annually and is edited by Alain Anselin of Martinque. Contributors are from around the world and the focus is on egyptology with reinterpretations of data, new linguistic interventions, unravelling ancient mythology, and notions of state formation.  My contribution deals with a representation of Wsir (Osiris) and Sethek (Seth) who are mythologically represented as brothers, but are in fact clan adversaries for the control of trade routes, from inner Africa to the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

Global Reggae

Editor Carolyn Cooper
2012, Canoe Press

The languages of Jamaican popular music, both literal and metaphorical, are first imitated in pursuit of an undeniable “originality”. Over time, as the music is indigenized, the Jamaican model loses its authority to varying degrees. The revolutionary ethos of thumbnail_IMG_4826 (1)reggae music is translated into local languages that articulate the particular politics of new cultural contexts. Echoes of the Jamaican source gradually fade. But new hybrid sounds return to their Jamaican origins, engendering polyvocal, cross-cultural dialogue.
The contributors to this definitive volume lucidly articulate a cultural politics that acknowledges the far-reaching creativity of small-islanders with ancestral memories of continents of origin. The globalization of reggae music and its “wild child” dancehall is, indeed, an affirmation of the unquantifiable potential of the Jamaican people to reclaim identities and establish ties of affiliation that are not circumscribed by the Caribbean Sea: To the world!

Essay: Chapter 3: The impact of Jamaican music in Britain, pp. 49–68.


Predynastic Pottery Formations in Nubia/Kmt

Published in i-Medjat, No. 8, 2011
online journal edited by Alain Anselin, Martinque/Guadeloupe.Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 12.01.50

The article looks at the anteriority of black-topped pottery which migrated from Nubia to Kmt with its people.  It shows that pottery making itself has a far longer and more established tradition in Nubia and surrounding polities like Ethiopia and Niger.  The fundamental style and motif of the Nubian pottery became part of the Kmtan pottery style and the production of the colour black is shown to be the result of sound scientific principles.  Pottery motifs are also shown to have had models in basketry, natural lithic formations and also as a mode of communication.


Maat & Ekpe: Regulating Principles in Human Society

Published in i-Medjat, No. 4, 2010
online journal edited by Alain Anselin, Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 11.14.22Martinque/Guadeloupe.

Maat is the Kmtan neteret of order and law among other principles.  Ekpe also has the persona of order and law in traditional African Igbo society of Nigeria.  Where court or royal decisions are made to enforce their finality, the name of Ekpe is pronounced and her staff hits the ground with definitive authority.  Thus the veneration of women, despite colonialism and patriarchal contestations, shows continuity between the two principals despite five thousand years of separation, upholds  and emphasises the importance of the tradition


Colonialism and the Destruction of the Mind

By Amon Saba Saakana
1996, Karnak House


In the second volume of a trilogy on Caribbean literature, Saakana focuses on Roy Heath, the Caribbean’s most prolific and political novelist, within the context of the impact of colonialism on the ruptures of the mind. Following Fanon, the author delves deeply into psychoanalytic approaches to examine and reveal the extent to which colonialism has seriously impaired dispassionate thinking and social behaviour within the lower and middle classes in Guyana.

Following Diop, the author establishes a paradigm within the context of psychology, history and language within which Roy Heath’s work is probed and analysed: the novelist’s preoccupations with differences between the classes in terms of sexuality and social attitudes, Christianity, race and class. These serve to highlight the colonial inheritance of the Caribbean and to contrast it with the living traditions in Caribbean cultural realities. The work is multidisciplinary, utilising disciplines of psychoanalysis, anthropology, mythology, critical theories and feminism to bring a holistic and autonomous perspective to Caribbean societies.

Tones & Colours

by Amon Saba Saakana
1985, Karnak House


Tones & Colours was written between 1974 and 1976 in New York and London, and reflects the concept of a tribute to primarily other poets (the first section, Earth & Blood ) and musicians (the second section, Tones & Colours).

Thus the language of the poetry reflects the varying degrees of poetic/literary or musical influences that shape the context of the poetry.








Sun Song Sun Song

by Amon Saba Saakana/Sebastian Clarke

1985, Karnak House