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Jeff Ramsay

In our last episode we left off with the Banyayi Kingdom enjoying peace and relative prosperity when, c. 1826, the Mwali priests warned the Nichasike Mambo Chilisamhulu II of a pending invasion of the "Barwa baKari".

To the south-west of Chilisamhulu's court the charismatic Bangwato Kgosi Kgari aKhama aMathiba had, in response to raids by the Bafokeng bagaPatsa or Makololo of Kgosi Sebetwane, assembled under his leadership a formidable coalition of merafe, including the Babirwa of Malema, Bakaa of Lebelwane, Bakwena faction of Segokotlo (regent to Sechele), Baseleka of Kobe, Batalaote of Matsoga, and Batlokwa of Leshage. From their base in the Khutswe hills Kgari's followers had begun to press upon the borders of the Mambo's kingdom.

The Bo-Kgari invasion, which culminated in a decisive battle at Matopos, was an important turning point. Its significance, however, must be placed in the context of the broader history of beneficial and seemingly largely peaceful contact between the Bakalanga and various other communities in the region.

In tracing the history of the pre-colonial Bakalanga kingdoms of the Balilima and Banyayi this series has attempted to establish the interrelationships that have long existed between the ancestors of modern Bakalanga with those of other communities such as Batswana, Bapedi and Bavenda, as well as various linguistically related Vashona groups. Indeed, as we have seen, members of various modern ethno-linguistic communities often share ancestors, whose common genealogies can still be traced.

Besides blood ties there is a long history of trade, cross-migration and shared culture. In this respect it is notable that the battle between the followers of Kgari and Chilisamhulu is one of the few known examples of pre-colonial era armed conflict between Bakalanga and Batswana. By contrast both Setswana and Ikalanga traditions recall numerous internal conflicts.

Finally, it is notable that the conflict between Kgosi Kgari and Mambo Chilisamhulu is remembered as a mutual tragedy rather than a triumph for its victor.
For generations the Bangwato mourned the passing Kgari who, in the 1871 words of John Mackenzie was remembered as: "The chief whose name is most cherished among the Bamangwato. Brave in the field, wise in the council, kind to his vassals, Khari was all that the Bechuanas desire their chief to be."

In Ikalanga accounts of the Royal House the battle of the Matopos is remembered as the beginning of the end. For in the battles wake Chilisamhulu and his lieutenant, Tombale offended their protector Mwali. As a result the kingdom was left vulnerable. The story as recorded by Kumile, begins:

"Ngobe Barwa baKari bakabebva bakatasela muxango yabaNyayi begwa nabo. Bakatapa n'ombe dzabaNyayi, bakayrnda nadzo kuxango yabo. Ngono bakati bebona kuti batapa n'ombe dzaMambo, bakadzixanganya nedzabo,bakabe dzihisa bakadzibakila pedlo neChibale, muxango yaMambo Nichasike. Bakazwikanya bamasimba beti: "Akuna ungadzitapa tilipo iswi beni badzo.

"Ngono Barwa bakati bachakalingadla maxwe, kukati Mwali kakubona ikoku kukaunhwisa zwogwadza chose, katuma hosan dzidze, kati: 'Indani, munobudza Chilisamhulu.'

"Ngono hosanna dzaMwali dzikayenda kunoleba kuna Mambo kuti: 'Barwa bawobakila n'ombe dzabo muxango iyo. Oku wuti, bakazwimisila paladza xango iyo. Ngono dusa ngwa inobhayana nabo, Barwa baKari, inodzitapa n'ombe dzabo dzose, itapilanye nedzedu dzabakadla. Ngono ngwa yaBanyayi inoti yadzitapa yabuya nadzo, iwe Chilisamhulu udzitole uwodzilesi kundili, ndowoha nkikukobela dzibe dzidzo, imi nditola dzangu dzabake badla. Iwe, ndokupa masimba unowobakunda ukadzidla dzose n'ombe dzabo, nedzedu dzabakadla; dzowobuya dzose dzedu nedzabo."

Translation: "Kgari's followers came to raid in the Banyayi country, fighting with them. They captured Banyayi cattle and went with them to their own country. When the saw that they had raided the cattle of the King (Mambo), they mixed them with their own and brought them and built kraals for them at Chibale, in the country of King Nichasike. They were self-confident, saying: "No one can raid them with us their owners present.

"Mwali saw the Kgari's followers keeping watch and eating madila. This hurt him very much so he sent for his priests and said: 'Go tell Chilisamhulu.

"Then Mwali's priests went to tell the King: "Kgari's people have built for their cattle in your country. This means they are determined to destroy you country. So you must raise up an army and go and fight with them, so that it can raid all their cattle together with those of ours that have been raided.

"Then after the Banyayi army has raided them and returned with them, you, Chilisamhulu, must take them and bring them to me (Mwali) and I shall come to share out yours to you, taking mine that were driven away by them. You, I give you strength to go and conquer them and drive away all their cattle….

"So then the King, when he heard this, that Kgari's people had come to build for their cattle in his country, he sent out an army led by Tombale, the hero of heroes."

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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