Tag Archive | truth

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.

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.

I am Single Because…

The man who is according to my very long and detailed fantasy list suppose to be cuddling with me at night went down the isle whilst I was busy grieving after being cheated on by a man who was not only all kinds of pathetic but still maintains his highly regarded occupation of being a skillful and discreet serial womaniser.

Another thing is the man who’s meant to be with me is sceptical about the whole of me. He has professionally friend-zoned me by insisting that the five year gap between us makes him too old to have anything intimate to do with me. He keeps referring to an ex of mine everytime things start to get cosy and an inch too magical between us. He asks irrelevant questions like how many guys I’ve gone down with, as if undermining or maybe weighing my womanhood and my ability to receive and give love.

I’m also single because the not so gentle man who wants to be with me is undoubtedly not my type. Type in this particular case implies his very dry and sexually centred sense of humour that gives me cringes and annoyance in equal measure. His dominating demeanour leaves me listening to stories of his success and achievements hundred percent of the time when the only thing I need is to be held and caressed in calming silent. He is undoubtedly not my type because a conversation only makes sense to him if after his acclaimed capabilities to explore the female body (body being an undertone in this instance) ends in nakedness and an orgasm.

In all honesty, I’m single because giving and receiving love has been reduced to dirty talk, nude pics and shagging the living life out of each other’s physicality. In all of this, the heart is sidelined, its attention desired but its whole affection unattended to. Getting a sex partner seems more important than getting to know a person. And here I stand, single because all I really want are little things that grow a person in remarkable ways. Like a pair of ears, that will have interest on the occurrences of my journey and shed light unto my challenges. A mouth and a tongue that will not just be happy to lock with my lips and tongue. But lips and tongue that will create words that will mould not only me but that which we’re trying to build.

So yes I know, I’m single because amongst many other things, I’m asking for far too much from a world of individuals who pride themselves about giving zero fucks and I’m very aware that this can’t be the world I signed up to. I’m unable to adapt and I could very well be slowly dying. Perhaps they are right, I should just get a highly educated psychologist and a good motivational read because times have changed and no one saw it fit to email me the newsletter.

Black People of KFC

“we are KFC”

Today, tomorrow, KFC; everyday is a good day to have KFC in a black household.

KFC is to black people what a discount is to Indian people.

The same way whites believe that Woolworths brings the best produced foods. We black people also believe that no chicken comes close to KFC.

“love is KFC”

 Some black people don’t even care what KFC stands for (and I won’t bore you with the expansion either) as long as the chicken tastes great.

The black middle class has KFC for lunch, on pay day.

In food courts, I have seen more KFC on black people’s tables than I’ve seen in any KFC outlet.

“cherish your KFC”

I’ve seen and learnt that KFC rules majority of black people’s households.

How has the black market taken advantage of their love for KFC? They are employed at every KFC and KFC is hardly if ever robbed at all.

If you hear them say ‘kentucky’, they are saying KFC in codes but it doesn’t mean they know what KFC stands for.

How many KFC outlets are black owned? Probably not enough but that’s not important to us as long as our monthly budget can accommodate KFC.

How many black people want to own KFC? (This is our posterity after all) probably not many BUT I can guarantee you that many want to purchase a bucket of KFC on pay day or wellfare payout day.

If you’ve never seen many black people happy at the same time in one place, you’ve never given a lot of black people in one venue KFC.

We black people like KFC so much we have our own imitation KFC version especially set aside and unleashed for delicate occasions like weddings and funerals.

If you’ve never seen black people queueing for hours for food they are paying for willingly, you’ve never been to a KFC outlet month end.

“we die for KFC”

And some black ladies say if he’s never taken you out to/bought you KFC, they have news for you.

KFC is the light at the end of every black person’s month.

“no weapon formed against KFC and black people shall prosper”

Black people can also be full of it some say KFC smells yuck when you’re finally loaded and pay day doesn’t mean much but smells great when your lips and pockets are equally dry as the undrinkable savanna.

After it all has been written and disagreed upon; there is a KFC story inside every black person.

“glory be to KFC”

Observations. Life. Critical and Sensible Experiences

YOU HAVE TO EXPERIENCE LIFE, MAKE OBSERVATIONS, AND ASK QUESTIONS. Dante Smith.

OBSERVATIONS
The toilet is a room for thought when you don’t have your own personal space.

Its all fun and dreams when you’re sweet sixteen living under your parent’s wing. But reality invades your life, hard-work introduces itself and life begins without your consent.

People are likely to choose money over time and they spend most of their lifetime chasing money. That’s why we have a nation of people who do not have time for other equally or more important responsibilities.

Winning is such a great feeling. If winning is not in your reality, keep it in your brain. Just keep winning.

Courage is everything.

Constant encounter of disappointment is discouraging and very damaging to one’s esteem. Too many disappointments make one lower their standards and expectations.

Laziness is concealed discouragement.

Loud mouths are slackers.

Parents find it difficult to accept when their children have different views to that of their own. Especially where religion is concerned.

Creativity never expires it matures and grows exponentially when nurtured.

New media is prestige and comes with dire consequences when misused.

IF YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY THIS GAME OF LIFE YOU NEED TO APPRECIATE EVERY MOMENT. Kanye West.

LIFE
Every generation sees the flaws of another.

Everyday has its own plans no matter how strategic you plan.

Money is strength, it makes situations lighter.

Life changing growth results after intense suffering.

When one gets initiated into adulthood, challenges get really tough.

People tend to have more opinions over other people’s situations.

You will suffer greatly for your desires. But when you don’t have basic needs you suffer the worst form of affliction.

You get paid for what you’re good at but greatly rewarded for what you’re passionate about.

When you’re young nobody tells you that anguish is when you’ve given your all to achieving something but still remain JUST not good enough.

Child headed households are due to misfortunes and faults of the parents.

People will always want what they don’t have.

I BROKE INTO SHAKESPEARE’S TOMB AND STOLE HIS REMAINS, GRINDED THE BONES, SMOKED IT, THEN GOT IN THE GAME. Nasir Jones.

CRITICAL and SENSIBLE EXPERIENCES
Annoyed is when you’re living under your parents wing and experiencing a restricted level of yourself.

Sleepy is the condition you get after you’ve spend your bedtime credit social media networking.

Happiness is the totality of your effort coming into fruition.

Constipation is when you want to move out of your parent’s house but money disagreeing with you.

Confusion is when you don’t get what you want and have to work with what you don’t have in order to create what you like.

Freedom is when you do what you’ve never thought you’d do and amazingly exceptional at it.

Peace is when you allow only one hopeful thought to occupy your mind without any physical distraction.

Finally, I am Ready to Vote…Again

“The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty unsexy ways, every day.” David Foster Wallace.

I am part of a fairly large proportion of young South Africans, who did not only misunderstood (some still misunderstand) the concept behind voting but also despised the whole process completely. After digesting the words of Sir David Foster Wallace, I realised the heroine I needed to be for my descendants.

When the voter registration dates drew closer, conversations about voting enormously increased. As it was the case study of many young South Africans, the moment I heard anything synonymous with voting, I shunned my ears and hopped into Twitter where something to laugh about and forget your reality is bound.

Now that I think about it, there is nothing increasingly annoying than a corrupt official telling you about your right to vote when the only thing they are in point of fact concerned about is who you vote for, with their party having to be your first priority, of course.

I always thought to myself, what is the point of this entirely unbeneficial (bearing in mind that I’m like everyone else and I tend to sometimes forget the good moments a person brought through one mistake) process. The reality of the appalling percentage of corrupt state officials and malice in my country completely clouded my judgement and nearly deprived me of a beautiful tale I could through pen, paper and interwebs, foretell my generations.

I will not for a second lie to you, this has been an extremely too long a contemplation process, especially that 2013 has been an unfriendly son of the soil type of a year to me. Living through all kinds of villain engineered forces; from being a statistic of severe depression, undergoing the excruciating throb of unemployment, abuse and crime – to such a high degree that at some point I was left bag-less – minutes before my important presentation, where my whole life, including every legal document a citizen needs to have and two cell-phones (not contactable too) gone in a split second, being worried about being a victim of fraud, to being alive and hating South Africa and the criminals, who are in all ways my brothers and sisters. I have finally decided that I will vote.

I will, with pride and maybe a bit of sunburn or perhaps some wet clothes, on a date still yet to be announced, be shuffling forward in a queue which by the grace of politicians, will move in a speed of light, to cast my vote. For with a better understanding, I am now ready to do so.

Ready does not in any form imply that I believe for a second that there is one political party affiliated individual with ideas, vigour and prowess to overcome the atrocious state of malevolence and detestation we South Africans find ourselves in. It just simply means that I am ready to face the stones and hardships of being a proud and active citizen.

I will vote for I have realised a privilege behind marking an X near somebody whom I’m naïve enough to believe that they will bring change in a split second – that’s how we’re taught to think in this country. Either way, it does not take away from the fact that voting is a significant part of being a citizen in my country. As I know it, voting does not deliver instant change, if any change at all, but it gives the voter a new perspective, a new hope, a new drive and a new understanding.

I remember the first time I voted. It was a different experience. I had anticipated it, called my then boyfriend and he advised me on whom to vote for, not a very political opinion I must say. But I enjoyed it, the fact that I was finally a citizen whose activities were going to be counted. There was a level of excitement that I cannot put into words. All I remember is a smile in my heart that blossomed unto my face and the mounting joy when I actually did the process. It was inspiring. The mysterious X letter holds the victory of my forefathers, those who’s strength, persistence and will-power lives through the supremacy of expressing who you are and what you stand for as an individual. As I stood in the ballot box, I realised that voting ignites the love and belief one has for their country.

I will vote, as a sign of respect and salutation to my forefathers. It is my way of crafting them a gift card, acknowledging and thanking them for taking care of the land and the world which belongs to us. It is my promise that I am willing and will do everything I can to make this world a better place which as the poet once recited, belongs to our descendants. I want my generations to draw inspiration from me, the same way I’m drawing inspiration from the heroes and heroines who are my forefathers/mothers.

Through my vote I will continue the struggle, as our beloved Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela said; the long walk continues. Oh Nelson Mandela that is one man capable of a grand entrance and an outstanding departure, God bless him; may his soul rest in peace. I hope for the devious deeds of politics and politicians, we do not encounter any; ‘do it for Mandela’ type of political canvassing campaigns.

Before this whole thing starts to get boring, I would like for my compatriots, who’ve not yet registered to vote, to chew on Coretta Scott-King’s words; freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation. That is what we have not taught young people, or older ones for that matter. You do not finally win a state of freedom that is protected forever. It doesn’t work that way.

My fellow youngsters, I would like all of you to contemplate about the kind of nation you want your future generations to look back to. And always remind yourselves to take part in your own country and be proud of where you come from so that your generations will be proud that they stem from your withins. If however, you plan not to vote, bear this in mind; if you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote. By David Foster Wallace.

Hand Shaking

When you’re at university, after a non ending process of trying to meet a series of deadlines and working under pressure inducing constraints, you can by all means decide how you want to greet people. Through all those preferred methods, handshakes are the least used by South African students. Hugs are the new crossover maneuver of the previously ‘hello and hand wave’ gesture.

The corporate world however is a whole new ball game. In this place, people extend their hands everywhere you go. Whether it is to open or seal a deal, a simple greeting or an act of kindness. The hand gripping encounter is probably the first gesture after eye contact. This is their lingo.

I’m fairly new to the corporate/real world. I’m trying to learn as much as I can and adapting pretty quickly. I’m not a health freak nor am I picky (okay maybe I’m lying). But it cannot be further from the truth that I’m not fond of a variety of things and neither am I easily impressed.

The handshake is the least of my favourite gestures. I do not like the idea of locking my hands with somebody else’s hands who’ve been everywhere except in the presence of tap water and soap. As a result, a series of flashbacks play in my head before the handshake. This one of…let’s call him Pete suddenly comes into mind.

FADE IN:

After suffocating his entirety for the sake of fitness and avoiding a premature heart attack on a machine called the treadmill, Pete placed his index finger on one of the buttons on the machine, and the thing’s speed lowered to a halt. He looked around as if hoping to find something or maybe land his eyes on somebody familiar. I guess he remembered the importance of all the signs that sit on each wall at the gym, reminding each member to bring a towel and a bottle of water with them. Nonetheless, Pete had no towel nor a water bottle. With his broad shoulders held high as one whose just got an employee of the month certificate, headed for the men’s restroom.

As he emerged from the ablution you could tell that he tried to wipe out the sweat running its own marathon on his face with those cheap single ply, white flecks releasing toilet papers. He took fast, brisk, uneven steps, with a few unnecessary glances on his runners. His journey reach its destination at the weights section where he picked up two adjustable dumbbells weighing 12lb each, and began working out his sculpted masculine arms. After counting from one to ten for more than enough, he threw the damn heaviness of the weights down.

I watched him bemused. His well kept body which had huge, well trimmed rock like muscles emerging from his calf and arms bewildered me. The gait and jolliness he walked in was unseen before by my eyes. As I sat on the table after my workout, pretending to be interested in one of those healthy lifestyle magazines. I wondered what his next move would be.

I read a sentence on the magazine and looked up in Pete’s direction. O holly Mary mother of Jesus! Pete was doing the deed. Starring at himself. Sitting on his haunches. An adventure seemingly enjoyable or maybe necessary to the doer but yet so gross to the spectator. Sometimes it is inevitable but most of the time it is an induced action. He toyed. Pleasured his being and cared not about his vicinity, a public place. I really didn’t want to look, but you know the eye (sigh).

He fiddled. Not the kind of fiddling you do when you’re agitated and sometimes nervous, but the one where the index finger takes a deep inspection journey inside the nostril. And to increase the excitement of this journey, he was squating close to one of those ‘you’ve lost weight’ lying bastards called mirrors at the gym.

I guess he figured his finger had done enough expert work. He drew the finger out and in slow motion, rubbed his hands together as one whose very cold. After a good minute, he stood up. Straightened himself and walked. His steps were drawing closer and closer to where I sat. I felt goose bumps, the kind you feel when walking outside at night and hear slow moving steps behind you. I wanted to run to the ladies but I felt stuck, so I had only one choice; to bury myself on a magazine as if the article I was reading was anything short of world class facts on belly flattening.

He took a seat on a table DIRECTLY opposite me. My eyes longed to peep at him but my mind posed a question, what if he’s looking at you too? Dang! I needed to do something, fast. He beat me to it. He stood up, came straight to my table and flipped through magazines that sat on the table. I looked at him. He looked at me. Eyes locked. He smiled. An awkward smile. He extended his hand, as if to receive my hand so they could grasp and do the up and down movement like blood relatives before the inventions of hugs.

I looked at his thick, short fingers. My mind replayed the inspection process. I don’t do handshakes. I explained. He folded his hand to form a fist. I succumbed. He told me a name I can’t remember today. The meet and greet was done. He went back to the magazines and picked out one with two big, gym slaves gentlemen on the cover and went back to his seat. As he sat, the plastic chair made crackling noise. I looked into the magazine. My mind replayed the classic index finger investigator scenario. The magazine in my hands suddenly felt dirty. I put it down and stood. Recollected my self. Took my belongings and walked out of the gym.

FADE TO BLACK