Tag Archive | South africa

Xmas in the Hood

There’s no christmas tree or a chimney. You won’t find grandfather frost or any snow man. There’s no going from house to house singing christmas carols or the serving of mince pies as dessert. Its very anormal (and quite disturbing for some) seeing a house with christmas lights and decorations. And just so you know in the hood, we have absolutely no use for christmas crackers and there is also not a single drop of snow just an abundance of sunshine.

You will find presents, they are just not in a stocking under some christmas tree. If you’re hoping for a delicious taste of some good fresh roast turkey, forget it. There is however a variety of tasty meaty dishes. You also have the option to have all of our most favourable salads (mashed potatoes, coleslaw and a beetroot salad) in one plate to form part of our rare ‘seven colours’ meal.

There’s a tradition of love, sharing and ubuntu but how each of these is practised lies solely to the specifications and desires of each household. One thing’s for certain is most urban dwellers return to their ancestral villages to taste that rare embrace only found in each ones roots.

There’s pure smiles, great laughter, through-back stories, catch-up conversations and a real great feast. If you’ve never celebrated christmas in a South African kasi style, I’m sorry to be the bear of bad news but you don’t know life.

We celebrate christmas in a way that only we know how. The christmas trees, decorations and santa claus does not form part of our christmas, its just something we see western people do on western movies and fortunately we haven’t made it part of our traditional way of embracing christmas but that doesn’t mean the commercial world has stopped trying to enforce it unto our lifestyle.

In the hood christmas means an excuse for the kids (and everyone else) to get new clothes, be swagged up and connect with loved ones. Neighbours gather around a table and exchange not only gossip about whose lost a lot of weight but share delicious homemade soul food. Kids walk on the streets to show off their new clothes. ‘Bakers choice assorted’ and a glass of expensive juice is what you get if you go to the neighbours for whatever reason. You also get to be invited for ‘christmas’ by that very friendly neighbour you haven’t seen in a while. And for once, you get to have a well balanced meal.

Christmas is mostly celebrated because it brings families together and love is the main purpose of the day. Some families start the day with a morning church service and others dive straight into christmas lunch preparations. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to be merry.

So still on that christmas(y) note; merry christmas to you, I hope you eat, drink and be very merry.

2014 Chronicles: The Year of Drama.

Twenty years of freedom, much has changed and much still remains black and white like the monochromes which are really big and quite annoying (to a certain large extent) if you ask me this year.

After our rallying, staring at the votes being tallied, recovering from the shock of Gareth Cliff’s departure on national radio and ushering Lindiwe Mazibuko into her MBA journey, it was only appropriate to focus on things that were sidelined last year: booty. It comes with no surprise that the bum was in the leading front especially considering that ‘twerk’ found its way into the Oxford dictionary.

Besides the butt though, side chicks were also a very popular subject on #blacktwitter. Most if not all girls were declared side chicks by their tweets or avatars. We went on talking or trying to pin point side dishes but never really had a chance to dissect the subject of side chicks or their  undeniable and not fully understood or ‘accepted’ role. So the subject is still somewhat hanging.

Boitumelo ‘Boity’ Thulo did not only trend for her booty but she sadly trended for having worn the exact same dress as Mama Rebecca Malope, a gospel artist whose probably 30+ years her senior at the South African music awards. Fashion critics say Boity needs a stylist because even her Channel O music awards dress looked like something my mom would have bought at ‘Sales House’ donkey years ago. But that was all none of my business like the very Kermit who took our social media platforms by a hardcore truth which remains none of his business till this day.

Another unbelievable chronicle was that of Linda Sibiya, one of the greatest indigenous language radio jocks of my time being fired from the biggest radio station in Africa – Ukhozi FM without explanation or a send off party. No one was ready for this, it was one of those ‘now you hear me, now you don’t’ moments that leave nothing but unanswered questions behind.  

And then there were some background concert organisers failing to bring Nicki Minaj to South Africa. I’m not sure what’s the story there but it was an epic fail nonetheless.

Onto more serious chronicles; the death of the ‘legendary’ Eddie Zondi. It was a great loss for South African radio especially those who knew him and those who thought they knew him through the wonderful technology that is radio waves. May his soul find everlasting peace. And we’re glad that no loose cannon emerged from twitter claiming to have been carrying his child like it happened to Trevor Noah.

Let’s not forget the biggest beef since the west-side and the east-side saga; the Cassper Nyovest and AKA rival, remembering that we don’t quite know how it really started but the gun blazing subtweets and punchlines are definitely noticeable and a game changer (or a dosage of annoyance).

Another drama this year was that of our girl Bonang B* Matheba and Poppy coconut Ntshongwana, ladies we know a smack down happened there and hairs were pulled we just wish someone had caught it on camera for our eyes to witness. However we’re so glad that y’all sealed that deal with a selfie. Y’all deserve a crown.

Speaking of crowns, Thuli Mandonsela did not only gain momentum in the social scenes but she became famous and a role model. She now has a few awards under her pile of investigations. Congratulations Thuli.

I hope for as long as we live, we won’t forgot Judge Thokozile Masipa who unexpectedly gave us a lesson on law. She failed dismally because we’re still in the dark about ‘dolus eventualis’ and why Oscar Pistorius is a culpable homicidis and not a murderer. Anyway, we know one thing; Reeva Steenkamp is dead because Oscar Pistorius shot her four times in a toilet cubicle. What a bustard!

Mbulaeni Mulaudzi. Rest in peace champion.

Oscar Pistorius unlike Shrien Dewani, finally going to jail where he rightfully belongs. The sad part is rumours of him getting ‘special’ treatment which somehow is not a surprise in this country of ours where money can speak louder than any words in most given scenarios.

EFF stirring the ship of havoc in parliament, I can’t really tell whether this was the beginning of change or the commencement of a joke that is now our parliament or perhaps validation that we’re indeed a banana republic. Either way I now totally get where Baleka Mbete’s phuza face stems from. The nearest shebeen would be anyone’s first stop after calling grown ass people who refuse to obey into order.

By the way, ‘Black Twitter News’ is still going strong if you’re interested on something new.

In all the adventures that Julius Malema is to embark on, I hope he doesn’t forget that Fikile Mbalula is ‘Mr Miyagi’ to him. Speaking of Mbalula, I hope he gets the social butterfly of the year award at the feather awards.

Anyway…

I don’t have the updates about the boycotting of woolworths which turned into the boycotting of pick ‘n pay, many South Africans, who are convoluted like me, don’t really understand the theory behind the two boycotts and aren’t even bothered about studying it either for they happily continue flooding the stores especially this time of the year.

Ebola, I’ve got no words for this culprit the same way I have no words for TB Joshua and his church of all nations.

The death of Senzo Meyiwa (may his soul rest in peace). That was sad and created an amphitheatre of speculations, finger pointing, tantrum throwing and tons of swearing. The cherry on top was as created by social media platformist’s #notsenzosdad and the #samfie. Social media platformists, especially #blacktwitterists and #blackfacebookers went buck wild.

#Bringbackbhekicele sources haven’t yet confirmed whether social platformists are bored of Piyega’s blank stares which are always accompanied by a residing hairline or they are just fed up with her inability to be proactive. Either way, its christmas on the 25th and each of you is liable to a gift which you are to purchase with your hard earned peanuts.

Steve Hofmeyr claiming that ‘blacks’ were the architects of apartheid. I really can’t say if he’s smoking something bad, needs to un-Steve himself, or its just his brain cells deteriorating. Anyway, that twar (which somehow landed in court) with our adopted #blacktwitter news anchor ‘Chester Missing’ was unnecessary Steve and will never un-Steve your boer racist ass.  

Gareth Cliff saying Senzo Meyiwa didn’t deserve a state funeral. We acknowledge and most importantly appreciate the practise of freedom of speech but not when we’re still in practice of our freedom to moan. Locate your chill Gareth please.

We usually throw tantrums, especially in January when we realise that we were not only generous with food but with the money to send kids back to school on that aunt who only comes to visit once in ten years as well. The ANCYL did us some marvel by throwing chairs, whether this was to determine the chairman or express dissatisfaction, its still not clear.

Kelly Khumalo, did some of y’all expect her to hibernate after Senzo Meyiwa’s death even though she has a sizzling single? You might not like her but ‘asinne’ is a dope track.

The come back of the secretly anticipated #GenerationsLegacy. What a confusing first episode, I guess its true what they say, anticipation is the bearer of the greatest disappointment. The second episode was much better so for that reason, we shall drink to hopefully more exciting episodes.

2014 chronicles are not chronicle enough if Eskom remains unmentioned. Let me just say this, Eskom you really, really suck but I kinda like the load shedding in shopping centres simple because it represents a good projection on my bank balance, until your projected 13% increase on electricity tariffs kicks in of course.

I hope Cassper Nyovest and Amanda Du Pont’s kiss seals the deal for much longer than the Mamphele Ramphele and Helen Zille kiss. Speaking of which, compatriots, where is Agang?

 

***For general enquiries sake, the above chronicles are in anything BUT chronological order of occurrence because when things happen in my country, there’s everything but chronological order.

The Month-end Township Prayer

I’ve never lived in any renowned township or any fully fledged township either. But I have visited one if not two well recognised townships of my beloved rainbow nation.

With my observing techniques, I can without a doubt tell you that month end is a big deal in townships, not only because the thieves are out in numbers or because a group of females paying a visit to the neighbour’s house across the road is a suspected secret stokvel meeting but the mood on the streets is on a level of a different kind.

There are very short mini-skirts here, beers passing from one hand to the next there and a neighbours kid knocking on a door asking for their mother’s long overdue ‘parcel’ over there.

The jukebox is playing all the songs with a heavy bass line, inducing dance moves from the little kids playing on the streets. The spaza shop that is slowly turning into a tavern is opened for twenty four hours and by dawn, you’re bound to hear some off-tune gospel hymns sang by the now very drunk citizens.

Kombi’s are working overtime (read speeding) and giving very little if any damn at all about the potholes, your groceries spilling out of grocery bags or your head bumping the kombi’s roof everytime the kombi makes contact with a speed hump.

Gossip ring leaders are camping outside their mother’s houses scanning every passerby, their outfit, what they’re carrying and have a feast out of their personal story or just create one if there isn’t any.

Loan sharks are on every corner making sure no one crosses their line.

However, everything that happens in townships, even the ones who struggle to be townships, is the prayer of most if not all township dwellers.

This prayer is either prayed internally or in pure action, never out loud;

Our month end who is at the end of the week, hallowed be thy weekend, thy drunkenness come, thy will be done on Friday immediately after work. Give us the long queues, including our beloved KFC and forgive us Edgars for your bills will remain in arrears. Our kids shall knock on doors of those who owe us ‘parcels’. Lead us not into mashonisa’s den but deliver us at the nearest shebeen. For yours is the hangover on Sunday, skipping church and trying to catch up on sleep. The realisation come and thy weekend vanished with our money. Roads lead to ‘Pep loan’ (Capfin) for partying to ‘towner‘ has left us forgetting about our kid’s overdue school fees. We regret you for now and we shall eat bread with no butter until next month end come. Amen.

This prayer is another form of a ‘sad black story’ (there are many of those in townships of South Africa); many talents are never nurtured, too much time is wasted on nothing, skills are neglected, opportunities are missed and many (sometimes unnecessary) debts are created due to a variety of things including inferiority complex and a lack in desire to seek relevant information. Hence we solely rely on a singular source of income that is not only dissatisfactory but never enough to sustain even an average living standard. This is a pit hole we need to rise above from at a much more faster rate than we’re doing right now.

Dear Halloween

I’m not hundred percent aware if you know this fact but I have not the slightest clue as to how you made your way into my life and your intentions with me thereof. Either way, I think if you have plans of staying in my life, you better introduce yourself anew.

Looking from a very far distance, I can tell that the hood isn’t really your cuppa tea. I say this because I’ve never really seen you there and the ‘hood people’ don’t really know you or your purpose – if you have one that is. In fact they seem not to give a cent about you and the fact that you exist in some supposedly creepy dress-up party. And that’s really the business of this address.

I want to enquire about your guts, because by the looks of your eeriness, you seem to have a bus full of those.

I was rather taken by an unsettling spookiness when an email about you was on my work email address from my superiors telling me to make an effort to dress up for your I-don’t-really-see-the-need do. Darling me! I thought to my self.

Where did halloween come from that I’m now suddenly reminded to dress up for by the same people who didn’t bother to remind me about buying charcoal for braai day, dressing up for heritage day or even reminded my indian colleagues to dress up for their ‘diwali’.

I’m definitely not being told to dress up in some demonic looking outfit when there’s no pay cheque to match or a cake for that matter. Because amongst many other things this could put my life inside the gun line and I could end up enduring the life threatening eye of disapproval from my very born-again-christian mother who might in the process arrange me some counselling sessions with the pastor.

I don’t want to lie the I-will-penetrate through work via her wardrobe and straight into her life method proved that your guts are sprinkled with an overdose of confidence but truth remains, you’re not my cuppa tea especially because you have no solid roots that I can associate with.

Just so you know, I outgrew horror movies a dinosaur years ago and I find dress up occasions with an outfit you-will-never-use-again time consuming and financially unsound. As such, my understanding of your relevance (that’s if you’re even relevant) is peaking at zero-point-zero. Why are oversized off-ish, not so spooky and cut into almost creative shapes pumpkins the centre of your celebration? Wait…*palm hand*.

In a sweet, natural and very short format; halloween, what is your claim to fame? And why are you at my workplace over-working people’s imagination on unearthly outfits?

I am Not Ready to Forgive Oscar Pistorius

I can recall the first time I truly felt the spark and connection towards the treasure that soon became our heroic ‘blade-runner’; Oscar Pistorius. He ran like a beast. He made the race tracks seem like they were engineered solely for his fulfilment. He was the spectator’s inspiration. Our very own African dream.

Oscar without knowing, made watching the paralympics a proud moment for most if not all South Africans. I and many of my compatriots were very proud of him.

The 14 of February 2013 was a shock that due to twitter became a subject of comedy. I couldn’t believe it. Because Oscar could do no wrong even that murmur of him complaining about his blades, I couldn’t take that serious.

How could a harmless looking fellow be a woman killer? My head is struggling to make sense.

I didn’t know Reeva (I will never know her) or even heard of her before. There were pictures. She was beautiful and there was a sense of calmness visible through her face. Her pictures revealed a well thought-out, humble and loving soul. A woman more worthier than taking her last breath in a toilet cubicle.

The Oscar trial revealed quite disturbing news about our heroic blade-runner; a gun enthusiast, a bully and an anger fuelled man. This was a beast. A beast that out of God knows what, shot and killed a woman that ‘wish-fully’, had dreams to nurture and love him for the rest of his life.

The way I had felt about Oscar Pistorius the double amputee runner took a complete turn when I met Oscar Pistorius the culpable homicide convict. The passion was gone. The inspiration had disappeared and I could no longer look at him with adoration. I had been deceived, betrayed and convoluted. But most critically, I had overworked my imagination trying to make some sense of the situation in my head.

At some point, I thought Oscar would take time out of his then messy schedule and apologise. The same way he took time out to remember his twitter password to write inspirational words. But this time he would apologise to us, the people who never knew Reeva but loved and supported him; the people he unknowingly deceived and traumatised. But I hope he will see the need and clarify to us someday.

In my mind and heart, I can’t forgive Oscar Pistorius because besides the fact that he killed someone who had no means to escape the shots and then oddly screamed like a woman, his side of the story infuriates me more than it should put things into perspective. Secondly, Oscar is proving to be a lousy bugger that sees absolutely no business in ‘veritas’ and makes very little if any attempt at all to acknowledge his flaws.

Even though I pity him at this stage, I cannot picture Oscar running like he can, flying our South African flag high and passionately singing our South African national anthem in a certain paralympic game. My mind won’t allow it. And I’m ready to allow my mind to allow it.

Why I Don’t Like English

I dislike english because I feel she is a complex being for a girl who already has a complicated situation.

I met english at the tender age of 10 (or is it 12?) before then I don’t quite remember any memories of our meetings if there were ever any. She was happily delivered to me via books and sentences I didn’t get why were not crafted in a language I can understand when they were specifically drafted with me in mind.

Anyway, if you must know, I speak ‘partly broken’ english and I absolutely have no vision of improving it even though I day dream of a sexy blue eyed, brown haired and broad shouldered British english speaking close friend that my future promises to deliver when my eyes are closed.

English, besides the fact that she introduced and built a mansion in my territory without my consent, lovely english my dear friend is a bad adopted relative.

Firstly, she doesn’t know her place. She wants to be noticed even on occasions where she absolutely has no business attending. Like when I have to explain to my grandmother who doesn’t understand english the process of sending a fax. I mean I can happily do this in my IsiZulu but no english wants to be there, sticking her english self out, confusing the heck out of my grandmother and rendering my illustrations invalid.

Secondly, english is disrespectful. Everytime I try to have a decent conversation with someone of english descent and all eyes are on me because I’m making some profound point, she without informing me, sleeps away from my tongue and I’m left with the unfortunate journey of searching my messy brain archive for the word I wanted to actually utter because the one in my head doesn’t quite fit the conversation and if it does, it will make me sound like a group of students on a presentation they know not enough about. So I stare into nothingness leaving everyone in that awkwardly annoying suspense like they’re viewing a non-stop buffering youtube video.

Another thing which english does that turns my beautifully brown african skin from navy to almost charcoal grey with anger is directions. Even though I haven’t established it, I’m quite not the greatest when it comes to explaining and describing situations and circumstances in english but I hope I’ve established that I’m not to blame for that.

English always succeeds in making me sound like I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to directions. Good thing I don’t say up when I mean down but I definitely say left when I mean right. And I sometimes say isle when I mean passage. My mind always sees it but english fails to own it in my tongue and translate it with my mouth.

English is unreliable and just plain conniving but people still don’t boycott her. She has a whole range of multiple affixes that when given the chance, enjoy a good but unnecessary laugh out of my english learning Africans. In fact affixations take the cup of joyfully confusing me and my people.

Although me and english are still in a tug of war about seeing eye to eye when it comes to daily use, I continue to write in english because (though I say so myself) its the only time I do english some justice and she doesn’t embarrass me that much. And yes, that’s about the only time where I adhere to not only understandable but acceptable english standards.

Very Intelligent Opinion. I Just Wish You Had a Pay-cheque to Match

This is my imaginary viewpoint everytime a social media platformist makes an unsolicited but philosophical and well structured comment about an issue that is anything but of concern to them.

Social media platformists, in case you’re quite busy with your business to know, are not philanthropists. Most of them just want to look good at the very delicate expense of your data or the neighbour’s wifi in some rare cases, solely because they choose to focus on things they have no business focusing on.

We watch them go from ‘eggs’ to ‘fam’ and finally graduate to *drum roll* bastards! Unfortunately and fortunately this happens every day but its none of our business until they end-up, for some silly odd reason, on our ‘mentions’. And when that annoying error happens, critical decisions need to be made.

As you might have noticed in your own life, there is a gap of intense emotions before every critical decision, unless you’re the I’ll go-with-the-flow because I have no sense of direction kind of person. Otherwise its only natural that there’s a critical decision for every mention/status that leaves your heart bumping in a slightly higher or worse still, lower rate. During this gap of emotions, there’s deep thought followed by, in shuffle order, a moment of wanting to be a ninja and rip the other person’s being into pieces or a moment of wanting to be plain cool and let it all go like Mandela.

Example:

first online mistake, making people think you're weak and incapable

online suicide: making people believe you’re weak and incapable

I'm trying to be nice, reserved while keeping the 140 characters in check.

I’m trying to be nice, reserved while keeping the 140 characters in check.

judgement day delivered

judgement day delivered

I'm fuming internally

I’m fuming internally

The strange yet accepted phenomenon about social media is that even though you are very aware that you don’t know me, never met me or never seen me or a picture that resembles me without the prestige artification of photo-shop. You still somehow, out of your hectic schedule, find time to be consumed by emotions and impose on me your misguided and misinformed opinion. The nerve to question my secretly kept unless you know me constituents!

I am not quite certain if this information has ever been exposed in close proximity of social media platformists’ territory but nobody wants to be imposed or judged more especially by people who know very little to nothing about their being. However it seems more and more social media beings seek the need to tell people they do not know what is worthy and what is the understood and acceptable standard of going about their lives.

Here is something for the consumption of your data: there is absolutely nothing wrong with constructive criticism, especially if the person at the receiving end values your thoughts which are tweets that are opinions. Its always a great deed to engage one’s self in nation building. However, imposing, judging and over analysing matters that add zero value to your gas exchange processing is uncalled for and quite time consuming if you asked me.

On the other very far end, perhaps you should spend your time dissecting tweets because hey, the thoughts of their engineers are important to you. They influence your daily routines and who/what you really are. I’ve secretly thought about it, the prestige, value and impact mere tweets have on some people. But I was also worried, maybe we are an obscured generation whose not responsible for what they read or can’t even choose what influences to sponge on. Therefore our only source of information becomes our peers’ ideologies. So we feel some sort of entitlement to their thoughts because in some important way, they represent who we are.

After all has been said and nothing done, everyone should utilise social media freely and whilst practising our freedom of social media, if its not too late, can we let this, social media rudeness which is more often portrayed as sarcasm as the standard every ‘tweep’ should live by go and channel our energies into bringing unemployment to extinction.