Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

The #ZumaMustFallMarch Fail

I am going to try and write my feelings out about my experience at, and around yesterday’s #ZumaMustFallMarch even though they are mixed, and confusing and emotional and probably even unfair to some extent. I am going to try and write them out and then think of a course of action for myself. I am desperate for a political path, voice and action.

Yesterday I woke up in a state of terrified paralysis. I had felt the creeping approach of the terror in the days preceding, ever since Facebook had publicised the event; the gathering, a picnic here in Cape Town, to protest against Zuma and his firing of Nhlanhla Nene. My first thoughts about that had been, people will laugh at us. We will be the laughing stock. Then there was going to be another march, an actual march, not a picnic. People asked, on Facebook and twitter, was this the real march? Was this instead of the picnic? Was this in place of the gathering to honour the Arch, Tutu? And every time I looked I noticed that the conversation here, in Cape Town, was very, particularly white. I should have known. I should have known, since I had marched with about 250 others against corruption, and, regardless of what anyone says, that had been a dismal failure. However, I had been intense and jealous about the magnificent, organic, dangerous student protests that I so badly wanted to be part of. Those student protests had given me hope, energy, a new commitment, and a view of the potential change we could engender. Maybe?

Here is an excerpt from an email I wrote to my best friend overseas yesterday.

I have woken up totally scared today. I am frozen with indecision. Do I march knowing that I do so alongside white racists who know not their own bullshit selves? Do I stay at home on this pseudo day of reconciliation and drink a healthy dose of denial with my tea? I feel like anything I do, or don’t do, has the potential to fuel a rage and hate and support an otherness. We live in a time of maximum suspicion and cynicism. We live in a time of separation and bitterness.

See, I did know. I knew. We walked the dogs and on the way I spoke to Big Friendly about my total indecision. Good people were going to be marching; people I care about, but all of them were white, and this made no sense. I believed in the cause of the march, of that there was no doubt, but I did doubt the efficacy of a march, particularly one on a public holiday, that meant that most people would have more of an issue getting into town, and it would be an added expense, and most people longed for a public holiday to be with their families. A march isn’t a jolly family outing on a public holiday, like a parade, or carnival.

Big Friendly said some amazing things, when I finally let him speak. He reminded me that it was just a march. He said it was part of the process, not an event. He was pretty clear that he was not going to attend. I wish I had had that same clarity.

I came home in a state. As the time of the gathering drew nearer I started panicking. Would I forgive myself if I didn’t make an effort and go? I spoke to my brother who was on his way to the march in Jozi. We had always been marching buddies in the 80s. I longed to be in Jozi. I decided to go.

And here is where it gets interesting. Stop reading if you don’t want to hear my own,  possibly self indulgent, navel gazing agony. I confess. I took an Uber into town. I knew that I wouldn’t find parking, because the people attending this march would be arriving in their vehicles, and not by public transport. I got out of the car outside parliament, already having shared my misgivings with the Zimbabwean Uber driver. It was clear. Everyone arriving and jostling for parking in their 4x4s was white. (I need to segue here and make it very clear, and double explain. Of course whites need to and must march, protest and be visible in their discontent, and of course, I am part of that. I am in fact white. But there is a deep and dangerous problem if it is only, or at least 95% white.)

I started walking up the road, and because I was on my own I picked up bits and pieces of conversation, and my pulse increased. “Did you speak to David? Did he say where we should meet?” Then,  “Ja, bru, dis amazing, dis ongelooflik, maar dis fokken warm, kom ons gaan koop ‘n paar Redbulls.” Then, “Hey move out the way, I wanna take a selfie here, outside the National Gallery.” Then, “I made a booking for lunch at 1245, do you think we’ll be done by then?” I saw a man on a designer bicycle with an expensive shower head taped to his forehead. I saw another man carrying one. His wife was trying to take a picture of him but he didn’t know where to hold it. It was obvious he had never seen the cartoons. I heard, “This is what South Africa should be like.” I thought, 97% white? I tweeted it. It got retweeted 50 times by black twitter. White twitter was enraged and critical, calling me negative. Why did I have to make it about race?

I approached the crowd gathered in front of the Natural History Museum, searching for black faces. A group behind me started chanting “hamba Zuma hamba.” It was shrill. Women tried to find shade. I saw a black woman comforting her little girl who was crying. As I passed I heard her speak in a foreign accent. They were tourists, who had come to the company gardens on the wrong day. I couldn’t. I moved to the outskirts of the group as the speakers began. Some white guy, the organiser I presume, started warming up the crowd. The content of his speech was, enough is enough, and how amazing it was to see so many people from all walks of life. The cynic in me was, these people do not walk. I saw a couple I knew, and their baby. They were scurrying away. They had felt as uncomfortable as I was. We were embarrassed to be there.

I moved even further away and started crying. I was now back outside the gallery. I saw two more people I knew and burst into harder tears. They were just arriving. They had no idea what was happening to me. I decided to leave. I made my way back, moving in the opposite direction of the late comers still arriving. I was almost knocked over by a couple on their Vespa.

I bought water at a shop in Plein Street and sat outside and started tweeting. Young people were also already leaving the ‘march’. Their concentration for something like this was done. “I started the chant, did you hear?” said one girl in designer jeans to her mate who was scratching in her handbag for her phone. Two bearded boy hipsters came past on their skateboards. They were wearing matching black printed #ZumaMustFall t-shirts.

I waited outside the Kimberly Hotel for my Uber home. Morning drinkers mingled with ‘marchers’ at wooden tables on the pavement. Much more like the usual Cape Town CBD I know.

So, on reflection, what was my problem? Mainly, it was this. So many (not all, but a lot) of the white people I saw yesterday were gatvol and were marching for the first time ever. This was the march they chose to march. Not in solidarity with the poor, not against corruption, not for the environment, not for housing, or health or against poverty. Not ever before. And they were happy that there were so many white people there. They felt safe, and self righteous, and proud. And the amount of coloured and black people present (6% coloured and 0.5% black?) was very comfortable for all whites involved. And there was no understanding of the irony. I was told on twitter and Facebook that I should get over myself, and stop being negative, and that it was not about race, by white people. So, clearly, it is actually, 100% totally about race. And denying it is 100% the problem.

I have woken up in a different paralysis today. My instincts tell me to go into town and sign up and pay to become a legitimate and card carrying member of the ANC. Can change happen from within? Can I then justify my criticism of msholozi? Am I being naive and desperate, wanting to do anything to change my whining, complaining self into someone who acts? Am I ready to commit to this course of action and then suffer the shame of a party going to every length to justify even the most blatantly self serving and corrupt actions of number 1? Is this all about me? How can I better serve my beliefs and the people of this country?

What I do know is that this paralysis is terrible and terrifying and I need to shit or get off the pot. I am desperate for advice, engagement, discussion and action.

 

Previous

Things I love about…

Next

Refections on the racism inherent in ‘reasonable’ folk

25 Comments

  1. Thanks for this Megs. After 12 hours of fighting with just about everyone on Facebook and then telling myself to get off and go to bed cos i was just starting to be mean, i am just so completely frustrated and confused and still hopeful though. You know me. Because in amongst all the people telling me to stop being racist and making it all about race and hating on white people [Post a great blog by a friend of mine with similar wrestlings – Black people: Wow he gets it. White People: Why do you make everything about race, your friend sucks] there are those who are just excited that we are having the conversations, that we are daring to wrestle, that we are trying to listen and are hearing them. i feel so less interested in appeasing white people and keeping them happy on social media these days and more filled with life when someone of another race affirms that i may be taking the smallest of steps in the right direction.

    i am LOVING the unfollow button to keep the crud off my page and every now and then the BLOCK button when someone just gets ridiculously ridiculous beyond all the normal ridiculousness.

    If you and BF are free on the 30th Dec Val and i are hosting a day where in the morning we divide into groups and go and visit two of a bunch of places like slave lodge, district six museum etc etc and then reconvene early evening for dinner, sharing some stories of what happened during the day and then diving deeply into some led race conversation – not sure if it will be your kettle of tea or fish or whatever you put in kettles but we hope to be real and rough and raw and open and it would be great to have your voice there.

    Otherwise keep on – the voices of ‘stop making it all about…’ blah blah blah are so loud an deafening that it is SO helpful and hope-enducing to hear at least one other person fighting through and for the same things…

    love brett fish

  2. Gary

    I was in a different city to you but conflicted by the same. Went down, saw it was white and left, the march appeared to have disbanded when driving by.
    The easy view is that it was middle class, it was white, it was focused on a black, ANC President!
    Why did I go? Because SA is capable of so much more, because I have no other means to say to the ANC you’ve screwed up in your choice, because we need a leader who connects not collects. Like you I have thought that perhaps by joining the ANC at branch level I can/will make a meaningful difference. But branches are in a shambles, they’re not like the street committee days of old.
    Yesterday in my city the President addressed a hall that appeared half empty (and with a large number of kids making up those that attended). Nothing inspiring seems to have filtered out from what he said.
    The empty seats and the mainly white marchers must be seen together – as the mark of absence! The real question to me is where are the people? If this was a black vs white thing why is there no groundswell support for Mr Zuma? The black voice has focused on the expedience and racism of newly converted whites suddenly finding a voice when it hurt their pockets. Rightly so! But I don’t hear black voices saying you’re wrong, our main man is one of substance and standard.
    Perhaps our white angst and guilt and helplessness and heartbreak isn’t the main act, perhaps the main act is the deafening silence of those who are absent?

  3. Gary, thank you for your response. While I was reading it, and agreeing with it, I had a new idea and I am going to test it out here. Is it possible that we, as whites, have no real clue about what the black majority think or feel, and that they do their agreeing or disagreeing differently? I am desperate to understand, and am trying my hardest to listen and hear, but I need to accept that nobody, not even my friends, feel comfortable enough to tell me. Whites do a lot of talking, telling, sharing of opinions (me included). Maybe we are too busy talking to listen?

  4. niels

    The simple truth is this: Government is broken. It can no longer be plyfilla’d or duct-taped. People who voted for Zuma in 2009 must have known he was corrupt but they voted for him anyway.
    He can no longrr be made to feel welcome.
    Your continued criticism for any white protest, be it a desire to vote DA or march against a President that who is only putting South Africa first when it is for his own gain, smacks of a terminal case of white guilt. I don’t understand it and I never will.
    I agree that many people were way too white yesterday. I saw examples of extreme whiteness that made even me cringe.
    But those desperately white people were there for the same reason thehandful of not so white folk were there… To say Enough.

  5. niels

    One theme that keeps coming up that I just don’t get is that white people are all of a sudden upset about Zuma. The all of a suddenness started in about 2005 when allegation of Shabhir started emerging.

  6. I think you have it wrong. White people have been upset about Zuma for a long time, but this is the first time they have decided to do anything about it. That is interesting, don’t you think?

  7. I don’t feel guilt. I am completely aware of my white privilege, however. And, for the record, nobody voted for Zuma, he was chosen by the ANC as president. We vote for parties here, not presidents. That’s an American thing.

  8. Rain Morgan

    Hi Meg,
    Hope this comes across right – I’m an African – a white African – grew up in Namibia and up to the armpits involved in Africa stuff : dealing daily with Kenyans, Ugandans, Camaroonians, Ethiopians, Somalis, Tanzanians (you get the idea). Maybe I don’t have the appropriate module of ‘South African White Guilt’ (which may or may not be a good thing) – BUT here’s the point: guilt is a completely useless emotion – it solves nothing, serves no one and only tortures the ‘guiltee’ into paralysis. I cannot change who I am – with minor variations I’ve been white all my life – I cannot change that – so does it become an excuse to colour everything I say and do with the colour (or not) of my skin?
    No – I think not – but here’s a thought : someone tells a story of a comedienne who only had 2 people in the audience on show night. For a moment she felt outraged at the insult at having to play to a crowd of 2 – then she thought again – there’s no point in raging against those who did not turn up, she put on her best show EVER for the 2 people who did bother to turn up… and the next night was a sell-out – and the night after that and the night after that. Who was the performer: Ellen Degeneris.
    My last point is simply this: every time we allow the side-bar of race to enter a conversation, it immediately dilutes the original topic and this time the need for political reform is too important – let’s not let the race issue derail this.

  9. Dear Rain,
    Thank you for your heartfelt response. However, I have no idea what you are talking about. I feel no guilt at all, as I explained above, only a deep sense of shame and embarrassment at the ignorant, self serving and ironic behaviour of most of the whites I saw at that march. And, as a footnote, I will never again tolerate or be polite to any white person telling me that it isn’t about race. It is. You just have no idea, regardless of how many dealings with Africans you have. And, to call the issue of race a side-bar is not only insulting but also demeaning. Yes, it is you I am talking about, you.
    PS. I think Ellen Degeneres is a shallow, moronic, fame seeking celebrity, and I can’t stand her.

  10. Jacqui

    Hi Megan I’m new to your blog. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and thoughts. So I ended up not going to the March after some internal wrestling. And I get what you are saying. I agree that race is key, but people have different understandings of race. Many offended whites seem to think the “race” part is that they are racist because they are calling for the recalling of a black president. They don’t think it’s JZ skin colour that’s the issue. They think his actions are inexcusable (which they are). So they don’t get the actual race issue which is this – from my humble perspective – that our society still has structural and systemic imbalances that benefit those already privileged at the expense of those already poor. Under Apartheid this system was designed to benefit the white skins to the detriment of the black skins. This continues today because 1. the government hasn’t been able to do is to bring equality into our economy. 2. White capital has sort to ensure this 3. Some black Elite have benefitted and therefore also entrench it, 4 and most of us average white people don’t see it or question it because white privilege feels so normal to us so we are happy for it to continue. Now calling for JZ to fall and not calling for the systems that keep black people poor to fall is the rub, this is where there’s a big disconnect between the white and black communities that have emerged to be pro JZmustfall and against JZmustfall. For any groundswell, united movement we as white people need to get to the point where we recognize the White Privilege system and we choose to pursue all that is required to dismantle this system. Until then the distrust and suspicion of black people will, rightly remain. That’s my two cents worth.

    Here’s to the ongoing journey and process of finding how we as privileged people live well in this complex society.

  11. goetz

    i feel you-i couldnt help myself but joke all the time about white south africa when being there to an extent that some people got angry with me – i felt the same but after a while i realised its that part of me that wants to simply deny that these are not all my friends-that most of them i do despise politically and personally-that some of them are my friends, others not- same as i would stand in any crowd in SA….and that just because i am closer to the 4×4 driving crowd in my daily life i do accept it more and therefore cringe much more- its like this if the person in front of you would have uttered similar comments about when is the taxi leaving to Masi or if they can still make the train to FishHoek you wouldnt have been upset-the lunch booking made you-why? because you book lunch yourself sometimes and there is this nagging thought with each lunch in the back of your mind that it is not right? that it is privilege? yeah, i get that- i have that sort of guilt being born on the right side of the fence too- but nothing will change if you hang on to that guilt and not try to change those AROUND you….you can obviously just hang out with like minded people and go protest only with people you get and you will feel comfy about – but then again it is the same reaction- you put yourself rather in front of a service protest because then you dont have to feel guilty about your privilege….fuck its tricky in SA- where i do come from people just focus on what they are protesting not where they come from , how they look like , what s their cultural background, their nationality oh and mostly not on their skin colour….but then we never had Apartheid and as the one speaker mentioned yesterday in front of all those white people- Apartheid is NOT gone, its still there and quite alive in all sorts ,forms and colours and in everybodys mind-like a horrible mould in the bathroom….and we all need to make a far bigger effort to get rid of it-and to help get a more equal society.It is unf. a very complex subject and you and i will have tons of discussions with white people where we will argue about privilege and awareness of it….thats the stressful thing- to stand there and say HEY -no -we are not equal yet-stop saying this and stop feeling like this-because denial is a problem. But on the other hand dont bash a protest that finally made those people get up , do also at least a tiny little bit to take a stand- so far it was mostly the white majority that didnt want to get involved at all. If this changes through “picnics” like this then we gain slowly also as society. Because as i said earlier if we dont focus on the goal but on the ones that have the same goal-nothing will be won- because the destruction of the country is going on , the racial division is carrying on and nothing will be gained at all. Belittling each other or putting yourself in morally better shoes doesnt really help the cause-nor does it actually help anyone- because the root of all problems is to think you are better than others, isnt it?

  12. I think my 2 cents worth is the same as yours Jacqui.

  13. You go Goetz. Happy for you, whatever you are talking about.

  14. Adrian Galley

    Dear Megan,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. What intrigues me is how a protest over a commonly shared issue exposes our irreconcilable differences. Our population not homogenous; it is composed of those who continue to reap unearned privilege and those who continue to suffer unnecessary deprivation. This is the unfortunate reality with which we need to reconcile ourselves if we are to progress. When we finally grow up, we will allow for the possibility that when we agree on one issue, we are not compelled to agree on every other issue; our priorities are different. Yesterday was a public holiday, a fact that amplified our different responses to the call to march. Many people on the lower end of the spectrum stood to collect “time and a half”(or is it “double time”?) by choosing to work instead; those lattes were being served to the privileged by those without much choice. Public transport on a public holiday is pretty non-existent, and apartheid demographics ensure that the price of an Uber from Khayelitsha is prohibitive (R220.29 from Khayelitsha Hospital to Artscape today – yesterday would also have had ‘surge’ pricing to contend with). I’m not surprised the faces in the crowd were predominantly white, but allowing the discussion to degenerate into an “us” and “them” situation plays right into the hands of the Tsotsi at the Top.

  15. I agree with everything you say Adrian, but you lost me here. “I’m not surprised the faces in the crowd were predominantly white, but allowing the discussion to degenerate into an “us” and “them” situation plays right into the hands of the Tsotsi at the Top.” Are you suggesting that I am allowing the discussion to degenerate into an “us” and “them” in my post?

  16. Dakin

    I think having an Intelligensia Set in South Africa is massively important. I got into a lot of trouble on Facebook when I posted about whiteness and privilege. It is one of the most unfortunate–and most telling–facts of ZA society that when we share dreadful stories, we need to know the race of the perpetrator and victim to be able to judge how we feel.

    So I’m right there with you.

    But here’s the plus side of what happened over the last seven days: an entire segment of the armchair activists in ZA finally got pushed hard and far enough to do more than just Moan. It must have been a hard push for people who are exactly as privileged as you suggest, to decide that the world, even in its 4×4 luxury, is getting untenable. This is no small feat. When the Arab Spring and especially Taksim Square in Turkey happened, I said under my breath to myself, “This will never happen in South Africa because no matter how bad it gets, the middle and upper class are actually quite insulated and still, relative to the world’s 99%, very well off.”

    But then the president went one step too far. He broke the cashmere’s back. And people said enough. Not only did they say so, the actually got off their pleathered asses and did something. This is no small feat and no easy thing.

    But protest has been tasted. And that energy needs to be maintained.

    So as part of the ZA Intelligensia, our job is to continue to provoke (for good) and to keep the energy boiling. Next time there is a township protest in service delivery, let’s makes sure we get all of our newly minted protestor friends from Sea Point and Constantia to come with us into Gugs. Because fear has been broken, lethargy has been broken, ignorance is breaking.

    As your Big Friendly told you about the march — it’s one event within a process. But it is a necessary first step. As much as your and my minds would rather have our first step being something different, something more plural and less one-note, WE GOT SOMETHING. And that fact should be cherished and then pushed further along the continuum only a few can see.

    Never stop expecting the best. Never stop asking more of us. But stop every now and again and see the good that underlies a man wearing a shower because he is a racist.

    I wish us all good luck.

  17. Mark Tromp

    I suppose if the crowd went crazy and burnt some shit they would’ve been taken more seriously . Not everyone feels this great urge to dedicate our lives to anyone else but our families 🙂

  18. I was wondering how long it would take for someone to be so completely out there they would turn themselves into a circle in two sentences and an emoji.

  19. Kim

    Megan this resonated so much for me.
    I went out on a limb yesterday after being inundated with requests on whatsapp, facebook to join hashtag.
    I think it was that and the lack of respect even for a disrespect president: the photoshopped penis-head, shower head, degrading posts in the form of bad jokes that eventually flipped my switch.
    My status update last night was attacked by friends, distant friends and family and I think at the ‘family’ part I eventually and reluctantly took it down.
    It’s not that I was afraid to handle the personal attacks of opinion from my white friends for the very same sentiment I share with you,. It was that my point was either missed or that my friends were exercising ego and self righteousness in their first walk. Exactly as you described it. A pride of look at us and what we pulled off – with no thought of the fact this was NOT South Africa, a white dominated cause.
    My main aim was that I did not support the name used: when we slam and personalise our anger to a human and not their deed, I get uncomfortable. Not to say I don’t do it, I think we all do at some point but I know it’s wrong, it’s part of my upbringing to respect life and criticism the deed.
    I’ve left a statement up that ensures I’ve kept it as ‘my opinion’ but I’m not a very proud human at the moment for what happened yesterday with an entitled, white, middle to upper income bracket group marching with banners on a cause that I feel needed the very same entitled, white, middle to upper class educated brains to mastermind into something the world can respect. I feel we fell very short of that and rather portrayed ourselves (me white) as a pathetic bunch of amateur marchers tweeting and boasting at just being able to pull it off.

  20. Kim

    … Excuse the spelling … Sent before spellcheck and predictive text hijacked my message ??

  21. Thank you Kim. Thank you. You make me remember that I am not alone, and so, you are not alone either.

  22. Adrian Galley

    Hi Megan;
    I’m referring to the discussions across social media that have resorted to an “othering”, which I don’t believe takes us forward at all. I certainly didn’t detect that in your posting, but some of the commentary reminded me of a particularly vicious quip: “Gross embarrassing whites marching …” I’m afraid that many of my good friends were among that gross mass of whites.

  23. I get you Adrian. My good friends were marching too. So did I. We got it wrong.

  24. Tam

    Dear Megan,

    I continue to follow your blog from afar, and have decided to comment on this post as it has touched me deeply.

    My response is of a personal nature, to what I found to be a deeply felt and truthful, intimate and hard-eyed look at an event I could only view through the prism of Fakebook and Online Media.
    I thank you for so being open, and frank and for imploring that WE begin to have deeper conversations, and feel that your post has afforded me the space in which to do so, because I left, so I fear my opinion has little resonance, and I no longer feel entitled to make my voice heard.

    It is a complex thing, watching from a far. My view is, of course, curated, and being so distant I feel the expression of my opinion to be justified only to a limited exchange of Facebook link sharing of articles and posts that make sense to my political, ideological and humanitarian core. And, as with every potentially volatile event that has happened in South Africa since I officially “left” 6 years ago, leading to a culling of those exposed “friends” ( who like cockroaches found crawling around a room once the lights are switched on) I delete in a now monotonous rally of #UnfriendTheRacists. The dissonance has grown more subtle over the years, to a point where in the past few months I have deleted people who didn’t support the Student Protests, but who supported #Zuma Must Fall.

    Of course it was a failure. We’ve been failing for 20 years to effect true transformation. Because fuuuuuckkk man Capitalism, built on the back of ethnic economic slavery feels good.

    My 6 years of extended travel has been difficult mostly in that I do not know how to articulate my feelings about South Africa to strangers and friends abroad. In some countries, I have altered my accent and simply said, I’m from London, my mother is South African, WHY? I feel shame. I feel the dearth of not knowing how to live with my privilege.
    And when I returned to SA in March this past year, I knew that if I was to live there again, I would only be a part of the problem, because I feel unfit and inept at being a part of the solution.

    I was 9 years old in 1994. I remember my Father and I learning the new Anthem together in those bottleneck traffic mornings on the way to school. I remember my Mother embracing an older black domestic worker, still in her uniform and doek, the two of them enclosed in a state of mutual weeping, tears rolling down their faces as they compared thumb to thumb, brown to white, the indelible ink marking of our country’s triumph. I remember, knowing that at 10 that I didn’t believe in God, but I did know Mandela existed so I prayed to him every night, kneeling as my Catholic Scottish Immigrant Granny had taught me, ending my midnight mass of HailMadibas’s with singing not the Lord’s Prayer but Nkosi Sikilele (I was a weird kid)

    My generation was blessed with the most glorious childhood. What was it? Was it something in the kool-aid? Like a lekker cold Fanta Orange on a hot summers day which is drunk all all too quickly? I remember being the first year of Matriculants in Joburg to have voted for a black man, a Mr Dikobo as our HeadBoy, while at another prestigious school across the man-made forest, they voted for their first black HeadGirl, a Ms Lesoko Seabe, who I would befriend and love as a sister at Drama School a year later. We thought we were doing well, while we continued to have our panties and hockey culottes, laundered and pressed by women other than our mothers. Paid to be our mothers.

    I feel like we were sold a dream. We were kids given an electric model train kit but we never unpacked it, we never assembled it. As spoilt kids who receive too many presents are wont to do. And now it sits, dusty and outdated, and we cannot play with it anymore. Am I whining like a spoilt brat? Perhaps. The truth is we never transformed ourselves as a society, we have continued to allow the psychological and economic, and geographical scars to divide us. ( A few months ago I revealed to an American friend that I was 16 before I went into the inner city of Joburg. 16. He looked like he was going to vomit. He said, “What kind of hideous psychological scarring that must be, to be taught to fear your home.”)

    Not just black and white, but white and white, and black and black too.

    When I left in 2009 it was for selfish, youthful, adventure-hungry, swashbuckling reasons, but the reason now, that I don’t want to return, is because unlike the majority of white South Africans living in London (hideous conglomerations of permanently drunk Okes and Chicks who live, as they did in SA, in their own unassimilated communities, whitewashed and separate, in Wimbledon and Clapham and Fulham, South West of arguably the most diverse city on the World) Unlike these fuckers, who make me cringe when I hear them on the tube or see them in their Springbok Jerseys on Rugby Saturdays – I will not return because “the country is going to the dogs” I will not return yet, because I don’t want to live around 80% of White South Africans anymore. Who cannot and will not see that Zuma, is not the problem. He is a symptom, like the final stages of terminal cancer, ugly yes and unforgiving, but not the cause, not the origin of the rot that set in because as a society WE refused to change both the system of economic enslavement and to change ourselves.

    The good news is that there is a global shift. There is change happening all over the world. The days may get dark in the years to come, because globally huge shit is going down. I may myself flee London now because of how the fucking Tories are dismantling the beauty piece by piece. But its also not a coincidence that Corbyn and Sanders popped up in the same year. And people slowly, slowly, are waking up. Change needs to happen everywhere. And maybe the dawn will come. If Climate change doesn’t destroy us all first.

    I know I’m preaching to the choir. You and your readers are, of course, not part of the problem, you are part of the solution. You are having the conversation, asking questions, making a difference in whichever way you can. I just thought I would add the conversation. Take the opportunity to vent.

    Much love from Thailand.

    PS. Forgive me if this is an incoherent ramble of a comment, I have recently been discharged from hospital, and am on quite a lot of medication, bedridden, alone and talking to myself and the internet. My mind will not shut up. So good night, dear Void.

    Tamarin xxx

  25. Dear Tamarin, your post. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén