Responding to Norwegian Aftenposten newspaper article:
My aunt ‘Mabatho/ Mother of The People, if, on a good day, you were to call on her unannounced in the morning, you’d find her shabbily dressed in a tattered nightdress. Her eyes will be red; face as radiant as sunset orange in the Free State veld, though. She will give you this warm hug, kiss you reassuringly on the forehead, saying softly, “Ngwanake/ My child, they were here again. Ohhh, I am so tired …”
From time to time, our family ancestral spirits visit my aunt. She says they are ever so angry and bitter at the world. They want to burn the world down for the evil on it, the evil that destroyed my aunt’s life forever. She will fight with them all night, preventing them from unleashing their wrath out on the world.
In retrospect, my aunt says her own anger and bitterness towards those who grossly abused her is not so much in their abhorrent acts, but in that they did not kill her in the process. When you are dead and gone, you don’t hear, you don’t see, you don’t feel; when you are dead, you live above morons.
In a botched (White) farm robbery in the Free State in the 1970s, my aunt, then working as a domestic maid on the farm, was severely beaten up and successively raped by 6 men, 2 Whites, and 4 Blacks. When it was understood that the police were on the way, the two Whites turned against their Black colleagues, and shot them dead on the spot. The former denied abusing my aunt, claiming that they had in fact come to defend the farm as they had earlier on received a tip-off about the impending robbery. “How can decent, God fearing boerefolk have sex with a dirty kaffir woman? We beat her up a bit to teach her a lesson never to collaborate with other kaffir criminals who come to rob our farms. We had to execute these four criminals here because their original intention was to come and kill the people of the farm. Self-defence, you see?” they said to the police. My aunt was arrested, and served 3 years in jail. It’s said the two Whites went to war in Rhodesia, and never came back.
My aunt’s ordeal was too much to bear for her husband. One day, the man decided to hug a goods train moving towards him at high speed. Pieces of his body were picked up and placed in a plastic bag as if it was meat to be fed to crocodiles.
Despite the way-out traumas in her life, without any professional help forthcoming, my aunt went on to raise her three children to decent adulthood. She makes a living of some sorts selling umqumbothi, as well as some special traditional tobacco.
This true story will make most sense, and will be familiar, to those who have felt in their flesh and bones, Apartheid in the pre-1994 South Africa, as well as other forms of institutionalized forms of racism against Black people anywhere else in the world.
When Black/ African people yell, weep and cry, laugh, sing and dance demanding recognition and respect for their feelings, as well as their sense of integrity and honour, we are doing this in the face of real injustices that have been perpetrated on and against, and upon, us for generations. It is basely moronic for some arrogant and apparently incompetently incompetent White intellectuals, academics, philosophers, and artists to want to define for us Black people how to respond to all forms of racism directed towards us, both as a global collective, and/ or as individuals wherever we may be in the world at any one time.
Africans riding on the victim role card? My foot! I, WE Black people, demand to be allowed to deal with the consequences of the historical and current racist injustices upon our own beings on our own terms. No outsider has the power, neither the right, to decide or force the healing, or lack of it, in my soul, our souls.
So, you want to joke about my skin colour? That as either an overt, subtle, or both, way and tool to reinforce, feed and sustain the stereotyping that, among others, because I am Black and African I am, and/ or shall be, intellectually and culturally inferior to White, Yellow, Green, Purple, Maroon, and other colours of the spectrum people? Your foot, then! Dignity knows no skin colour.
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
June 08, 2014