Friday, May 29, 2015
DearBlackMan: Coffee & Jasmine
He does this as though it were not his job but his absolute pleasure to serve me. He switches between English and Xhosa with ease as though it were one language. He is not his job. He is a prince who chooses to be a servant. I walk away honoured, feeling as though no tip would ever be equivalent to such humanizing and dignifying service.
It was the same story when I once stopped two #DBM walking to their construction work. Rough hands that handle bricks and other dusty and heavy materials.
Dressed in his Orlando Pirates shirt with pride, I asked him to do something for me that was clearly unexpected and unusual. "Uxolo bhuti. Ndicela undisikele la-flower torho."
I asked him to snip a flower for me. The flower was jasmine and I had to have it.
The two men immediately fell into a sacred kind of silence. No one dared to say a word even though they had been chatting as they walked. He reached upwards where it was too high for me to reach. And with his calloused hardworking hands he reached the jasmine with trembling hands. Unsure how to pick it. Too honoured to ask why it is that I needed such a flower.
He broke off the smallest amount of jasmine imaginable, purely out of nervousness.
He turned around towards me to give me this prize. He held this little branch with both hands. Hands almost trembling.
The silence almost sacred. He hands it to me as though it had been his idea all along. He hands it to me as though it were a wedding ring and would I do him the honour of accepting it.
This is all without a word.
His friend too stood motionless. I thanked him and they walked away awestruck and unable to even ask me why I wanted the flower.
They walked away in complete silence. even I wondered what had just happened. I would have instructed him to break off a bigger branch but the moment had been far too sacred.
#DearBlackMan you are a man of great honour. You are not your job. You are a prince in servants clothing.
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