Sunday, October 30, 2011

Take your freedom and smoke it

Take your freedom and smoke it
You can take your freedom and smoke it
If your freedom means that I can only vote for your party
Where is that offer of freedom of choice
You can take your freedom and smoke it
Because you are not offering me a choice at all

Sometimes I like what Zuma is like
Sometimes I understand what Zille says
Sometimes I agree with what Malema represents
Yet if I cheer for Lindiwe
Do not tell me I am supporting a white party
If she does not get black support
How is it ever going to become a multiracial party
So if I am free let me support Lindiwe Mazibuko
Or you can take your freedom and smoke it
Because if I can’t choose I am not free anyway

First of all you do not own my freedom
My own grandfather died fighting for my own freedom
He died in the hands of a white government
My other grandfather’s brother was jailed for no reason
So he decided to give them a reason
Though the regime said a man of his colour could not be free
He gave himself the freedom to fight for his own freedom
Totally disregarding the powers that be even though it was really costly
So don’t you dare try to remote control my own freedom

My other grandfather’s house was raided by the apartheid government
They wanted to take all weapons from black people in case they were part of upoqo
My grandfather’s brother beaten bitterly for not complying with the white system
Am I now forced to comply with a new system?
I thought this was not a black system
I thought this was a rainbow nation
Where it no longer matters if I am black or white

I know you are going to tell me about economic freedom
I know the colour of poverty has been black for too long now
I am not proposing Desmond Tutu’s white tax
But the new government has been in charge for seventeen years
Surely by now there is no excuse to address poverty
So that poverty will no longer have a colour

Even Mandela was free of bitterness against the white man
So do not try to imprison me in your cell of hatred
I am free to love the white man who killed my grandfather
For fighting for black freedom
If you want to know why I stopped hating
I quickly learnt that hating is for the powerless
It deceives you with feelings of false power
Yet in truth the other man holds the remote control
Pressing whenever he wants to make you angry
And you live in His cell forever
And yet you never live
You never live
Freedom is the absence of hatred
It is the belief that you can do anything
You can vote for anyone you chose
Even if you find yourself in a system of bondage
You are powerful beyond measure
Because your freedom is within you
So you can take your freedom and smoke it

You can take your freedom and smoke it
If you want to imprison me in your system
Steve Biko’s blood is still speaking
Reminding me of the importance of a conscience
If I stop thinking and reasoning independently
Then I let his death be only in vain

O.R. Tambo’s voice is still speaking
Sisulu’s wisdom is still calling
Men we respected till the day of their death
Maybe we will never know true freedom
Till the day we mourn Stompie’s death
Till the day we apologise to all the families
Whose sons and daughters were necklaced
All in the name of freedom
All the shame and blood that bought us this freedom
Was not all glorious and pretty
On the day we quit covering it all up
Quit making excuses for what we suffered
Taking responsibilities for the pain we caused
If we will not
We can take our freedom and smoke it
It is not real until there is forgiveness and healing
It is not real until there is true forgiveness and healing

Then we can lay all our gold on Table Mountain
We can sprinkle it over a thousand hills
We can crown our children with it
When their mother’s minds are empowered
And no longer imprisoned and impoverished

I know the truth and reconciliation commission
Did not even scratch the surface
For all the atrocities done to our people
Secrets hidden in every corner of this nation
Where people died without being acknowledged
But maybe it will take every family
Having their own truth and reconciliation
One step closer to healing
If we do not take time to confess our pain and let it go
We can take our freedom and smoke it
There is no such thing as reconciliation without true justice
That is the kind of freedom I believe in
That is the kind of freedom I want to be called upon

by Siki Dlanga
29 Oct 2011


This poem has been waiting to be written but it was specifically pushed by the conversation I had on facebook when I congratulated Lindiwe Mazibuko on her becoming DA party leader in Parliament. Other fellow young blacks (mid 20's and early 30's) like myself also congratulated her however a brave black lady a bit older than us decided that we had lost the plot. Do we not remember what the whites did to blacks in the past, so how can we endorse a white party? I truly honour sis Thami for her open challenge. I myself know very little about the DA I could never speak extensively to defend the DA, having lived in Cape Town I have always been on the cautious side unsure if I could trust the DA or if the DA cared for me a black person in Cape Town. However when I saw Lindiwe rise perhaps because she is a young black woman I naturally wanted to support her and naturally thought let us watch and see. We need some change after all while others may argue that there is no change since Joe Seremane once occupied that very same post before. I must say that I was never convinced about Mr Seremane. I am certain that he is the additional reason why I never believed in the DA because I felt as though they were using him as a black face.
Which is quite insulting if you ask me. I was also mad at him for allowing that to be done to him. Perhaps my view was incorrect however I was not convinced at all, the whole thing to me seemed wrong. I am however convinced that Lindiwe knows what she wants and she is there to get it. Whether it will bring transformation or whatever else but what she certainly has done so far is stir the old black-white debate to the surface again, not that it is ever at rest. Her appointment is forcing questions of identity and transformation to be addressed in the nation's heart, either blatant resistance to the possibility of a happy co-existance of whites and blacks in this nation or a belief that perhaps we can live together and that party politics can cross racial lines. Once again I want to thank sis'Thami from facebook who thinks the ANC is the only party for black people in South Africa even at its worst. I thank her for her honesty because it is a necessary debate which many have spoken of time and time again. I myself have sold my soul to no party and I pray that it may remain so, because the day I sell my soul is the day I will lose all objectivity and for me that will be losing my very freedom. I am loyal to God and may that be so forever, thus far I have never voted for the DA. I don't know if I ever will or whether Lindiwe can inspire that or not. Like many have posted on facebook "now we will watch and see". All I know is that I am absolutely free individual, no one owns me but God and even Him I have freely given myself to Him because He has first freely given Himself to me. No party can ever achieve that.






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I write a lot. When it's necessary I draw. 
I have been called a Poet, a Writer, an Illustrator, a Banner of Freedom, a Word Magician, etc.
I am a Lover of Truth embodied in beauty.