Easy like sunshine/Own it like Summer

(Stay low/ keep firing)

1,306 notes

novaherself:

I hold you like I held Malcolm before he went away. Before Robben and Mecca laid claim to brilliant, roaring bonfires and hushed them to quiet embers. I remember you as the man who said “it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”, as the man who led Umkhonto weSizwe (mama le papa), as the man who said we must arm ourselves to take back our land and dignity, as the Black Pimpernel, the boxer, the lawyer, the one who survived on Madikizela’s devotion - when you were all fight and fire and flame - this is how I love you. 
Lala kahle, qhawe elihle Rolihlahla Mandela.
Because of you, Luthuli, Tambo, Hani, Sisulu, Biko, Mahlangu, Mashinini, Kathrada, Sobukwe and countless, countless others we are able to rightly walk free in this land of our ancestors. 
I didn’t think I would cry because the deification of your memory had fatigued me. But this morning, a little past midnight, I slowly collapsed into myself as I looked around me: I thought of my address, my parents’ tax brackets, my education, my flight to Cape Town in a few hours, my ability to choose the direction of my life and all the opportunities I have. Without you, without your brave peers, without my parents who fought too, without our people, without the tears and without the lifetimes and lifetimes of blood - I would surely be cleaning the house of some white family or teaching a Bantu Education syllabus to brown-skinned babies who would be forced to internalise the message that they were born to be servants. Without all of you, we would be born and die in the chains of servitude to evil, despicable people; prisoners in the only place we’ve ever known as home.
I cried when I thought of how you wore that Boks jersey and walked onto the rugby pitch in 1995. I cried when I thought of all the shuffling and shmiling you had to do to set them at ease after all they did was murder us, steal from us, rape us and plunder our resources for 300 years. I cried because you had to dance. I cried because you had to be the Magic Negro. I cried because CNN called FW de Klerk first this morning as if he hadn’t upheld the very system which equated us to animals. I cried because you did so much and yet for the majority, South Africa is still what it is. I cried because I have an amazingly privileged life. I cried because I so badly believed in a rainbow that does not exist. I cried because I choose to believe that being president was hard and you tried your best to make the best decisions. I cried because I don’t know how to process a world where you, as a man and an ideal, have to be spoken of in memoriam… 
It’s all so overwhelmingly complex. I should be in Houghton giving flowers to your memory and singing struggle songs with my kin but I’m writing this from a pretty hotel room in Cape Town, overlooking Table Mountain. This city makes me feel like I am the only one in mourning, there are hardly any brown people here. As we drove in this morning, Brenda Fassie’s tribute to you played and all the heaviness rose and fell and settled once more as I turned to my left and saw the terribly named Castle of Good Hope. History hurts.
Everything hurts but you lived and you loved and you tried.
Thank you for your life. Thank you for your spirit. Thank you for showing what it means to truly serve the people. Siyabonga, Dalibhunga. Rest In Power, eternally.
My Black President. 

(Today. Because, like Maya Angelou said: “He was ours and we were his/ We had him”. Happy Mandela Day.)

novaherself:

I hold you like I held Malcolm before he went away. Before Robben and Mecca laid claim to brilliant, roaring bonfires and hushed them to quiet embers. I remember you as the man who said “it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”, as the man who led Umkhonto weSizwe (mama le papa), as the man who said we must arm ourselves to take back our land and dignity, as the Black Pimpernel, the boxer, the lawyer, the one who survived on Madikizela’s devotion - when you were all fight and fire and flame - this is how I love you. 

Lala kahle, qhawe elihle Rolihlahla Mandela.

Because of you, Luthuli, Tambo, Hani, Sisulu, Biko, Mahlangu, Mashinini, Kathrada, Sobukwe and countless, countless others we are able to rightly walk free in this land of our ancestors. 

I didn’t think I would cry because the deification of your memory had fatigued me. But this morning, a little past midnight, I slowly collapsed into myself as I looked around me: I thought of my address, my parents’ tax brackets, my education, my flight to Cape Town in a few hours, my ability to choose the direction of my life and all the opportunities I have. Without you, without your brave peers, without my parents who fought too, without our people, without the tears and without the lifetimes and lifetimes of blood - I would surely be cleaning the house of some white family or teaching a Bantu Education syllabus to brown-skinned babies who would be forced to internalise the message that they were born to be servants. Without all of you, we would be born and die in the chains of servitude to evil, despicable people; prisoners in the only place we’ve ever known as home.

I cried when I thought of how you wore that Boks jersey and walked onto the rugby pitch in 1995. I cried when I thought of all the shuffling and shmiling you had to do to set them at ease after all they did was murder us, steal from us, rape us and plunder our resources for 300 years. I cried because you had to dance. I cried because you had to be the Magic Negro. I cried because CNN called FW de Klerk first this morning as if he hadn’t upheld the very system which equated us to animals. I cried because you did so much and yet for the majority, South Africa is still what it is. I cried because I have an amazingly privileged life. I cried because I so badly believed in a rainbow that does not exist. I cried because I choose to believe that being president was hard and you tried your best to make the best decisions. I cried because I don’t know how to process a world where you, as a man and an ideal, have to be spoken of in memoriam… 

It’s all so overwhelmingly complex. I should be in Houghton giving flowers to your memory and singing struggle songs with my kin but I’m writing this from a pretty hotel room in Cape Town, overlooking Table Mountain. This city makes me feel like I am the only one in mourning, there are hardly any brown people here. As we drove in this morning, Brenda Fassie’s tribute to you played and all the heaviness rose and fell and settled once more as I turned to my left and saw the terribly named Castle of Good Hope. History hurts.

Everything hurts but you lived and you loved and you tried.

Thank you for your life. Thank you for your spirit. Thank you for showing what it means to truly serve the people. Siyabonga, Dalibhunga. Rest In Power, eternally.

My Black President. 

(Today. Because, like Maya Angelou said: “He was ours and we were his/ We had him”. Happy Mandela Day.)

Filed under Nova Masango AGirlCalledNova Mandela Day Nelson Mandela Apartheid I Been Thinking I Been Thinking

32 notes

South Africa, just in case I don’t say it often enough, you break my heart.

I was listening to Kaya FM on the morning of Wednesday,16 July and they interviewed Zenzile Khoisan, a vocal Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) investigator, regarding his opinion on Eugene de Kock being denied parole from his 212 year life sentence. He says that he wouldn’t mind if de Kock was let out for a few hours, to walk around and take in the Joburg air (without letting him get too close to black people or weapons, of course) and rather throw in a few more deserving people in his place. Even with the dark humour, he makes a salient point.

Khoisan states that “at the height of his murderous frolic, Eugene de Kock was just a police captain” and that “there was no legal justification in the country’s or police’s constitution for Vlakplaas to exist yet millions of Rands were authorised at the highest structures of state security - so, how is it that only a captain was arrested?” We’ve grown so comfortable with projecting our anger onto that one, jailed figure, that it becomes easy to forget that Apartheid was not a man, or many men, it was a STATE and SOCIETY (women, children, and all races included in its reinforcement.) It was a heinous crime committed by the white Afrikaner government against millions of South Africa’s black majority so, where are the numerous people who authorised its existence and why have they not been prosecuted?

Although there is solace in knowing that one of the men on the ground, de Kock, is likely to rot in jail, what about the many officials who held meetings, allocated weaponry, shook hands in agreement with tortures and murders, who eventually took their government pensions, cashed them in for plane tickets and property, now living large in Australia and the UK with blood on their hands? The opium of impunity is so strong that some didn’t even bother with all of that hassle. Some of my own, older friends have mentioned that the security industry is rife with former Apartheid operatives who have found their new calling in that old mission of “protecting” people. Khoisan even states that one of the men who ambushed the ‘Gugulethu 7’ (with one young man being riddled with 18 bullets between head & neck) is now a security head at the Grand West Casino. Killers walk free and participate seamlessly in society.

The inconclusive nature of the TRC has planted the seed of impunity even among the highest levels of governance, Khoisan says, and I agree very strongly, that “FW de Klerk has a lot to tell us. What we have now is only half the story. He never answered for the Transkei and Boipatong Massacres. He should be in jail.” Indeed. We could even ask why the IFP’s Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi is not in prison for all the massacres he was responsible for, also while being funded by conservative groups in Germany.

Those who are reading this and fondly recall FW de Klerk as the man who shared the Nobel Prize with President Nelson Mandela, miraculously uniting black and white - it’s important to understand that FW de Klerk IS Apartheid. As a president of the Nationalist Party and of that regime, he embodied and sanctioned everything that it was. I still believe that he was awarded that prize as a larger working of this manufactured “forgiveness/rainbow nation” narrative that everyone so desperately wants to believe about South Africa, even though the lack of justice violates us daily. FW de Klerk is a perfect example of why just the thought of the TRC makes me tear up. He gets to swagger about as a free man with millions of deaths to his name (even as a National Party member) and occasionally make appearances in the news haughtily criticising the current government.

And of course, I’m a bad South African for expressing this. You’re a bad South African for agreeing and Zenzile Khoisan is a bad South African for going on radio and brazenly making his statements. Do you know why? Because “forgiveness, you guys!” Mandela was the magic Jesus who so loved the beloved country that he went to prison for 27 years so that any time a black person wants to speak honestly of their lived reality & question the status quo, someone has to do a little “sssssh! Forgiveness, you guys!” song and dance to shame us all into silence. I mean, what’s a rainbow nation without some smiling, dancing, compliant, apathetic natives?

Listen, as important as forgiveness is, it also is a personal project. Justice, however, ought to be a national imperative that should provide redress on the overwhelming matters of structural inequality prevalent in South Africa. The crime statistics and violence being so high in this country owes largely to our bloody history and continued collective trauma of the majority. We are so far from healing, it hurts.

Filed under Mandela Day FW de Klerk TRC Apartheid I Been Thinking I Been Thinking Nova Masango AGirlCalledNova

3 notes

pharaohneatmess asked: You inspire me to slay.

Amen. That’s a good thing. I’m glad :)