I was in bed on Saturday morning when I read my brother’s blog titled “Black man you’re on your own”. He is a great writer on any day now just imagine the scene. Fair enough you are not a black man but you are still black. You are sick of something that has suddenly come upon you of which you have no explanation for and then you read those words. Black man you’re on your own is not the sort of thing you want to hear then especially when you do not even have fancy things like medical aid. I read it and it was a convincing argument and a continuation of an article he had written which addressed the inequalities between blacks and whites in South Africa.
I read his article, agreed and understood the argument he presented us with but completely disliked his conclusion which was his title. I thought if that is how we are all to live then that is not living at all. Much more I was in trouble if what I was facing was serious. I decided that was simply not the way to lead our lives. Black man you are on your own what in the world happened to Ubuntu? Was that not originally our philosophy which we never borrowed from anyone? Was that not the philosophy to win the nation with? Ubuntu rings true to us because it is us. I had already sent sms’ to my friends and before long it felt as though South Africa scrambled to assist me. I received help from Black, Coloured, English and Afrikaans people within an hour all doing whatever they can to figure out what was wrong. While this was happening I thought to myself; “now this is real life and black woman you are certainly not on your own”.
Let us say that I live in a complete bubble. A very happy bubble where everyone loves one another but you know what at some stage that bubble did not exist, not even remotely, the bubble was created. You, stop yourself while you are going on your usual negative flow of thought patterns about other people. You start the bubble in your own head. This means that the happy bubble can spread and it can become a national happy bubble where everyone scrambles to assist one another regardless of colour. We bleed the same blood and die the same death after all. We breathe the same air and live under the same sky even if one is driving in a fancy car and the other catches trains to work we are all living the same lives. We sleep the same sleep even if one sleeps in a leaking shack and the other in a mansion. It is not acceptable but no one can purchase you peace whether you live in a mansion or in a shack. This is what we should be pushing, our sameness and not our difference all the time. If we see our sameness the one who has will be compelled to share with their brother who does not have. Where will our selfishness and self-gratification take us? Does it make us any happier?
I want justice. I want true justice because what I see is that what is often pushing us is not a real sense of injustice but greed, discontentment, rage. We are always wanting, always demanding, never happy. True justice will wait until we are all on the same page and we are not putting guilt trips on one another to get what we want. I am not suggesting that we wait until the day white people decide to be nice to us, I mean truly nice and give and share their wealth because they are heart wrenched by the greed and evils of their ancestors towards us.
I do not want to wait for that day because what are the chances that day will come because you can see how tightly our white people clutch on to their toys. You saw it when the old Bishop said the dirty word of “white tax”. Like a father in the house says “share” and then a war breaks out and there is crying and fighting. Maturity in white people will show itself when they do not need to be told to share but do it freely because that is what mature people do. Believe me there are white people doing that right now. There may be 5 of them in the country but they are there doing it. Maturity in blacks will show itself in not demanding and accusing the whole time and learning to be grateful. Seriously, people were a lot more grateful and happy in apartheid days than now and there was a lot more to be unhappy about and ungrateful for. We must hold our ground not as victims but as victors in our minds. Victors are secure but we are insecure so whose fault is that really?
The government should be able to lead in such a way that it does not create victims out of its people. I want to shake the stench of the past off me already. It is not even the fact that I need to afford basics like medical aid but that I want our minds to be free from the past. All of us. If we do not recreate a new way of seeing one another in a different light as fellow human beings first then we have failed to reverse the effects of the past. We can talk about reclaiming our land and whatever else but if the land in our minds is still as though it were still governed by the British and apartheid government, then our democratic government has given us nothing of real value. The greatest gift we can ever have back is our sense of self.
I want Ubuntu back because that is richer than anything ever given or taken away from any people. I want back what is truly ours ten times better than when we lost it. I want it back not because it has been forced out of reluctant hands but because it leaves everyone empowered or else this freedom is only for the few who can get their hands on the pie. I want true justice.
As for black and white, as my brother wrote “Black man you are on your own, white man you are on your own”. I would like to say that Black man, White man; you are on your own because you refuse to be part of the rainbow. You look rather bland and boring outside of those beautiful colours anyway, it must be pretty cold there no wonder you are so full of hatred. When you are done proving your point and being selfish and unwilling to share, you have a spot reserved specially for you. While you think like that you are like a child that has been punished from playing with others because they would not share. You are not a child anymore, mature quickly.
In Nelson Mandela’s famous words; South Africa belong to all who live in it black or white, echoed by Thabo Mbeki in his famous I am an African. If we do not hold to these words then my article is invalid.
by Siki Dlanga
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