Penda Kujua is a journey. A journey that will take us from quarks to quasars, from the dawn of time to the distant future. We’ll explore galaxies and suns and worlds, surf the gravity waves of space-time, encounter beings that live in fire and ice, explore the planets of stars that never die, discover atoms as massive as suns and universes smaller than atoms.

Penda Kujua is also a story about us.

It’s the saga of how the hydrogen atom became alive and aware and found its way back to the stars; The titillating tale of how Homo sapiens, an animal of no significance became a God: one adventure with many defining moments. This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a simple set of rules:

  • Test ideas by experiment and observation
  • Build on those ideas that pass the test, reject the ones that fail
  • Follow the evidence wherever it leads. If you have no evidence, reserve judgment
  • Question everything
  • The most important rule of all: remember you could be wrong

Together, we’ll explore the cosmos as revealed by science, with occasional stopovers through historical happenings.

Why? You may ask. What is the significance of all this?

There’s just so much, admittedly, egoistic satisfaction in, no matter how trivial, knowing. One could almost conclude that the sweet-savoury mind-boggling flavour of being aware is rooted in our genome. However, there is a catch, knowledge only sets in more ignorance; Indeed, it’s been uttered by many great men that it is paradoxical, yet true to say that the more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations.

That leads to the second, perhaps the most cardinal reason: Our lives, particularly as Africans, are moulded by prejudices based on stereotypes instilled in us, either consciously or subconsciously, by cultures, nature, nurture, religion, sexuality etc. The superstitious dogma spewed forth by these arenas is by far our most formidable foe. The illusion of knowledge, not ignorance, is the greatest obstacle to discovery. It’s worth mentioning that there’s no shame in not knowing. The only shame is in pretending that we have all the answers.

So, if we continue to promote pious myths as absolute facts, our advancement would halt, and we’d be doomed to an ignorant future of senseless sadism, much like we see dominating our headlines today, from Cape to Cairo.

From the streets of Gotham to the solar pits of Apokolips, we will also highlight, at least partially but periodically, the intriguing urban legend of the greatest character our collective imagination as an intelligent species ever conjured: Batman.

Take my hand, let us walk through Inferno and Purgatorio, unravelling the riddles of reality, for a dopamine-fuelled ascension into Paradiso.

Call me Virgil

I’m Batman

Penda Kujua.