Reflecting in order to heal

  • Posted on October 19, 2012

Tariq Mellet’s blog site “The Camissa People” and Charlene Maslomoney’s book, “I’m Not Done Yet: Allowing Possibilities” share a common vision. Both authors encourage their readers to call attention to self as individuals in relation to our common national South African identity construct.

Charlene Maslomoney is a writer, artist, alternative thinker, photographer and cancer survivor.  I’m Not Done Yet, Allowing Possibilities is her debut publication. Charlene’s book is a visionary work that tells her own personal story of survival, yet not only of survival, but of flourishing whilst at it. Some of my favourite passages in the book include, ‘Survival of the fittest varies in enormous worldly ways. For some it’s pumping oil or muscle with an external glance. For another it may be identity consciousnesses.’ I personally agree with the latter.

Mellet’s blog site “The Camissa People” is a watershed site that ‘... focus[es] more specifically on the multiple roots of people… The blog site helps us return… to seek out our roots or foundations as a people and encourages us to move away from the (narrow) race-terminology…’ that still plagues our country today.

What is the link between Mellet’s blog site and Maslomoney’s book?  For a while the answers was not clear to me. However, what I discovered over time is that both encourage us to move away from narrow, prejudiced race classification that is still defining the hostile cultural environments of South Africa, Africa and the world. We are undeniably a part of an integral system of inter-connectedness, in relation to our ecosystems, for it is the fragile thread that binds us together.

Both writers’ stories are personal narratives. In this way they succeed in transcending the conventional mode of how we see and feel about ourselves and how others see us now. The truth is that both are essentially looking back in an attempt to heal the deep wounds we face today. Mellet confidently abandons the obviously dominant, one-sided, skewed race-based conversations that inhabit our collective thinking. Instead he encourages the readers through his informed and well-researched knowledge of the Cape’s history and heritage to reflect on individual pasts.

Maslomoney shares experiences, insights, amazing images and facts about living with cancer ‘yet it is not about cancer. It is about a person and life,’ she says in the book. She gives the reader hope and trust in her effortless healing remedies she so humbly shares with us. She provides us with a list of blood types, nutritious traditional foods and detailed information on alternative living and loving ourselves. With careful devotion she gathered a library of information now at the disposal of many cancer survivors and their supporters as well as pioneers who so desperately seek a cure. Yet, a nagging question remains for me, will this personal account or record reach the mass audience or will it stay on someone’s coffee table, just for show?

Mellet’s many sources and stories convey real experiences of people who lived and loved and were shaped by many factors, most significantly decisions and the choices they made, limited as they may have been.  On his blog he introduces us to Anna Rugarli and her paper ‘Enslaved at the Cape’, an account of seven women who were ‘illegally detained as slaves’ after their arrival at the Cape and who made legal representation to the Guardian of Slaves at the Slave Office, seeking redress. They were: Fredrica whose Mother was from Madagascar and came here as a free person. Janna was promised her freedom. There was Lucy who was brought here from Madras. Marie from Ceylon represented her grandchildren, Betje and Grietje. Mina came from Batavia (Jakarta) and Marietjie was from Benga. These accounts give insight into the lives of slaves and the law that broke their spirits.

Maslomoney’s book gives Mellet’s stories a present-day context and vice versa.  Maslomoney writes, She mirrors Mellet’s historical fact, making it relevant today. Words and stories told ring through his ancestral stories, so mirroring the sentiments in Maslomoney’s book. Here are just a few words that Mellet’s blog and Maslomoney’s book share: ’self, poverty, diverse, divide, label, etc.,’ and there are many more examples. 

Cape Town was once called Camissa. In Khoe tongue it means ‘the place of sweet waters’, but as the City grew our indigenous selves were removed. The rivers that run from ‘Table Mountain’ to the sea have been lost under urban colonial infrastructure.  Following the establishment of Camissa Trust in 2010, the programme was initiated, its aim to reclaim Cape Town’s central city connection to the water, ensuring that the general public is able to enjoy the right to this water, and that the water remains in a good ecological state.

By establishing Camissa as his entry point Mellet gives us more clarity on the origins of our individual selves in relation to Cape Town specifically. His insistence on inclusivity flows through the stories he narrates as he defies the one-sided notions of who we are and where we come from.

He speaks of indigenous mariners and the Royal Navy, ‘Africans, Indians, Chinese, Arab, Moslem Gujarati and Malabar pilots, Indonesia, the Dejima Island, Japan, Portuguese and Dutch, Indo-Portuguese Christian community of Calcutta and Madras, etc.’ He continues to remind us of Sidis, Zanzibaris and Somalis – Freedmen of the Indian Ocean.

He relays stories that I would never have known had I not opened myself to the possibility that I could be whoever I need to be. This I could only comprehend once I searched through my archive (the memory of my past) and South Africa’s history (the memory of our nation). This realisation gave me the vision to see the gaps, largely based on the legacies of the past.

We have much work to do.  For Maslomoney, Mellet and us to heal we need to know and understand what the cause of our pain is and to ease it. Maslomoney writes, ‘I began to take heed of all variables involved in living with a cancerous virus and hopefully containing it, shrinking it or more so diffusing it… given the awareness of how little I know in this exciting and promising speciality of medicine, I seek help for conditions that conventional western medicines have not been able to treat fairly and successfully… ‘ 

In much the same way, we need to find ways to equip our archives with relevant records and stories that have the capacity to teach us life’s lessons today and to heal the memory of our all-to-stigmatised past. Maslomoney’s book and Mellet’s blog succeed in their unique story telling approaches.

1. The Camissa People, http://camissapeople.blog.com/.
2. Maslomoney, Charlene I’m Not Done Yet Allowing Possibilities, 2012.
3. http://www.creativecapetown.net/design-in-the-central-city/public-space-for-public-life/

Lucy Campbell is an Archival Platform correspondent based in Cape Town

comments powered by Disqus
  • When students find themselves in a jam and need to leave their paper-writing to someone else, they often turn to our paper-writing service. We are, without hyperbole, one of the best paper-writing services on the internet. Why? Because we provide the most comprehensive paper help.

    paper writers

    By Dhiman Sarkar on 27/04/2013
  • Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day.

    It will always be interesting to read articles
    from other writers and use a little something from other websites.

    Take a look at my homepage; find managed service providers (Adelaida)

    By Adelaida on 21/02/2014
  • I really like it when individuals get together and share opinions.
    Great website, keep it up!

    my web site - Managed IT Services (Willard)

    By Willard on 21/02/2014
  • I every time used to study paragraph in news papers but now as
    I am a user of net so from now I am using net for articles or reviews,
    thanks to web.

    Stop by my blog post IT Support Service (Lina)

    By Lina on 26/02/2014
  • I create a comment each time I especially enjoy a post on a site or if I have something to contribute
    to the discussion. Usually it is a result of the fire communicated in
    the post I read. And on this article Reflecting in order to heal - Opinions - Archival Platform.
    I was actually excited enough to leave a comment wink I do have 2 questions for you if
    you usually do not mind. Is it only me or does it appear like a
    few of the remarks look like coming from brain dead
    visitors? tongue laugh And, if you are writing at additional sites, I’d like to follow you.
    Could you list all of your community sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

    Feel free to visit my web site :: New York City IT Services (Miranda)

    By Miranda on 26/02/2014
  • My partner and I stumbled over here from a different page and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to finding out about your web page yet again.

    Here is my blog post - 1 (Http://Crimeanrus.Com.Ua)

    By Hershel on 27/02/2014
  • First of all I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to
    ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing.
    I have had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there.
    I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to
    15 minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure
    out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips? Appreciate it!

    Visit my website ... 1 (Patrick)

    By Patrick on 28/02/2014
  • I really like looking through a post that will make men and women think.
    Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

    Here is my page italianisation

    By Alexandria on 29/03/2014
  • My brother suggested I might like this website.
    He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine
    just how much time I had spent for this information!

    Visit my blog post - watch or download for no good reason

    By Yasmin on 26/04/2014
  • It’s going to be ending of mine day, except before end I am reading this great
    piece of writing to increase my know-how.

    My site ... locke movie download

    By Hermine on 26/04/2014
  • Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be
    okay. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward
    to new updates.

    Look into my web page: download chef movie

    By Leonor on 27/04/2014
  • I have read so many content on the topic of the
    blogger lovers but this piece of writing
    is in fact a good post, keep it up.

    My website - watch walk of shame online

    By Ken on 28/04/2014
  • I do not comment, however after browsing through some of the responses on this page
    Reflecting in order to heal - Opinions - Archival Platform.
    I do have a couple of questions for you if it’s
    allright. Could it be simply me or do a few of these comments come across like they are coming from brain dead folks?
    tongue laugh And, if you are writing on other social sites, I’d like to keep up with you.
    Could you make a list of all of all your public sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin

    Here is my blog post [url=http://Bit.ly/TheQuietOnesDownload]watch
    the quiet ones online[/url]

    By Lida on 28/04/2014
  • Wow, this post is pleasant, my younger sister is analyzing
    such things, thus I am going to let know her.

    Also visit my homepage; [url=http://Bit.ly/TheQuietOnesDownload]download the
    quiet ones[/url]

    By Tabitha on 29/04/2014
  • I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also pay a quick visit this
    weblog on regular basis to obtain updated from latest news.

    Also visit my web-site :: Fastest Way to Lose Weight for Women - Proven Solution !


    By Lisette on 30/04/2014
  • Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article.
    Thanks for providing this info.

    Also visit my page ... watch brick mansions

    By Senaida on 30/04/2014
  • Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking the time and actual
    effort to generate a great article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

    My web-site :: Enduros Male Enhancement (aloconnection.net)

    By Kristian on 02/05/2014
  • I like it when folks come together and share opinions. Great
    blog, keep it up!

    Also visit my web page ... tiny tower cheats

    By Michal on 04/05/2014
  • A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do think that
    you ought to write more about this topic, it might not be a taboo matter but usually people do not discuss these topics.
    To the next! Many thanks!!

    my webpage ... [url=https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AFlqIxWTgQpFVfpRw0qmUNmu_u_l72OPG_7Gj8tBF-k]candy crush saga cheats

    By Beryl on 04/05/2014
  • I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone
    to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own
    blog and would like to find out where u got this from.
    appreciate it

    Feel free to visit my homepage - alpha genix

    By Joie on 05/05/2014
  • There’s certainly a lot to find out about this subject.

    I like all the points you made.

    Feel free to surf to my page: campus life cheats no survey

    By Bess on 05/05/2014
  • This website really has all of the info I wanted concerning
    this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    Feel free to visit my web site; [url=https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kIGOXohZVewaZNhteb_16XMUnKU3d71byT8oE9HHb9I]real racing 3

    By Essie on 06/05/2014
  • wonderful submit, very informative. I ponder why the
    opposite experts of this sector don’t realize this.
    You should continue your writing. I am confident, you have
    a huge readers’ base already!

    My weblog hungry shark evolution cheats

    By Karissa on 06/05/2014
  • Having read this I believed it was extremely informative. I appreciate you spending some time and
    energy to put this information together. I once again
    find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    Feel free to visit my web page ... [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLTeR5kJ8K4]comptoir granite ou
    quartz ville de Quebec[/url]

    By Tonia on 07/05/2014
  • You really make it seem so easy with your
    presentation but I find this matter to be actually something
    that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

    My webpage ... demenagement martin

    By Klaudia on 07/05/2014
  • wonderful issues altogether, you just received a new
    reader. What might you suggest about your post that you just made a
    few days in the past? Any positive?

    Feel free to visit my web blog; Can Herpes Be Cured

    By Regena on 09/05/2014
  • Very good blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?

    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on
    everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like Wordpress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused ..

    Any recommendations? Appreciate it!

    Here is my website; https://Www.rebelmouse.Com

    By Eulalia on 10/05/2014
  • Appreciate the recommendation. Let me try it out.

    my web page: skintervention

    By Jackie on 11/05/2014
  • I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This piece of writing posted at this web page is in fact nice.

    Here is my web site; installation de systeme d alarme Sherbrooke

    By Lilly on 11/05/2014
  • Fine way of telling, and nice article to get information concerning my presentation focus, which i
    am going to present in institution of higher education.

    Also visit my homepage :: how to cure herpes

    By Christoper on 11/05/2014
  • Hi mates, its fantastic post concerning cultureand completely defined, keep it up all the

    Take a look at my blog :: https://rebelmouse.com/textyourwifeintobedreviewz

    By Keesha on 12/05/2014
  • I’d like to find out more? I’d love to find out more details.

    Here is my webpage: Is Visual Impact Muscle Building For Beginners

    By Audra on 12/05/2014
  • Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to mention that I have really enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts.
    In any case I’ll be subscribing on your feed and I’m
    hoping you write again very soon!

    Feel free to surf to my web page http://rebelmouse.com/thegabrielmethodreview

    By Loretta on 12/05/2014
  • Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on
    everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like Wordpress or go for a paid
    option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused ..
    Any ideas? Bless you!

    My web-site: https://rebelmouse.com/

    By Refugio on 13/05/2014
  • Thanks , I have recently been searching for info about this subject for
    a long time and yours is the best I have discovered so far.
    However, what concerning the conclusion? Are
    you positive in regards to the supply?

    Here is my website - Rebelmouse.Com

    By Bertha on 13/05/2014
  • Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you
    knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter
    updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some
    time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something
    like this. Please let me know if you run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward
    to your new updates.

    My web site https://rebelmouse.Com/workoutfinisherss

    By Toni on 13/05/2014
  • Excellent blog you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find high quality writing
    like yours these days. I really appreciate individuals like you!

    Take care!!

    My web site ... dragonvale hack

    By Edward on 13/05/2014
  • With FarmVille ribbons come huge sections of FarmVille experience points!
    With that information, we’ll understand that the position is likely to be anything lower-than the row

    Feel free to surf to my web blog [url=http://aldredcricketbats.co.uk/activity/p/50577/]candy crush
    cheats android phone[/url]

    By Shelley on 17/05/2014
  • Most, I do not know any information that is personal about them.

    Stop by my weblog - Installous iOS 7 [www.womansearch.eu]

    By Emerson on 17/05/2014
  • Obtain this version and set up it on your pc.

    Firmware update, gets cracked, firmware update, will get
    cracked, amazing. Right here you can conserve Apple iphone contacts
    through Apple iTunes software.

    Feel free to surf to my homepage ... installous
    cydia source ios 7 (http://www.eatsadate.com/2013/01/awesome-australia-at-marriott-manila.html)

    By Roseann on 19/05/2014