Welkom Racist

On Sat 21 July 2013 I had a gig in Welkom in the Free State.

After my set that night, I drove back to my accommodation, Constatiakloof Guesthouse on Flamingo road.

I had Checked-In earlier at around 6pm so I knew how to get myself from the gig, back to where I was staying.

The event organiser had paid my bill when I checked in.

 

On the morning of Sunday 22 July at about 6:50, 2 staff members at Constantiakloof guesthouse watched me pack my bags in my car, as they sat in the sun. I was still in my pyjamas and gumboots and I had chosen to leave immediately after I woke.

 

As I was driving out, a 4X4 blocked my way in the entrance and out came a big Afrikaans man charging at me, hurling insults.

He was shouting, ‘You have come to do business on my property! You are seeing your clients on my property!’

As you can imagine, these allegations came as a bit of a shock initially…..but within a few minutes, I was mad as hell. as it registered in my head what this man was saying to me.

At this stage he was right up against my window and hurling insults and threatening to call the police. I told him to. please do call the police as I too felt that I was being verbally assaulted and needed back up.

 

His car was still blocking my way so my only option was to reverse and go with him to reception. As I get out my car, i am screaming at him, “How DARE YOU call me a prostitute?” Then he keeps saying, ‘Are you trying to be clever?’ and every time he said this, he would walk to his car and reach into the window.

At this stage I realised that this man could be dangerous.

He then asked me what business I do. I said I am in the business of making money. I find it EXTREMELY rude to be questioned about the nature of my job by some strange man I don’t know.

He then asked me, ‘Are you a call girl?’

At which point I lost it again, screaming and demanding to know

‘When you look at me, do you see a slut?’

‘When you see an African woman driving in her car and sleeping in a lodge, the only way that’s possible is if she is sleeping with men?’

 

It was my intention to smash everything in that reception……break everything in sight like a crazy black woman…..but I didn’t Mr Le Roux.

 

I then called the police and screamed at them for taking so long while this man violated me. It was in that irritation that I stormed out the reception got into my car and left.

 

I immediately started to find out ways in which I could deal with this case. I imagine many ordinary citizens experience this kind of treatment in the Free State. I wanted to see that I live in a country where ‘there is somewhere to go,’ when your rights have been violated in this manner.

 

By that evening, 22July, I had already sent an online complaint to the South African Human Rights Commission.

I also went on twitter to ask them the process and they said they would be in touch.

Indeed they were in touch, by Monday 23 July they had acknowledged receiving my complaint.

 

The Human Rights Commission was helpful till that point.

What followed was a long tedious process at intervals that could take up to months. The commission eventually got a response from Mr Le Roux in January this year- a clear indication that there has never been any real sense of urgency in the case.

In the letter, written in Afrikaan, Mr Le Roux admits that he ‘just asked me if i am a callgirl.’

 

I just want to know, in the Afrikaans Culture……..is that even an appropriate question? In my culture, that’s quite a barbaric question to ask. It is ill mannered, offensive and shows lack of respect. It is not a question you go about throwing around.

 

So maybe a time has come where compulsory programs are put in place to teach grown Afrikaans men that not all black women are whores, slut and callgirls…….

It’s time to RE-EDUCATE DIE BAAS!

 

Racism is not welcome in south Africa and a time has come for us to engage the root cause. Clearly racists are not even aware that they are being racist.

 

The Human Rights Commission initially claimed, that I don’t have a case…….

If I don’t have a case……

Black woman you have no voice.

White People Eyes…….

The worst injustice that colonisation did to us African people is not the blood spilt by our brothers and sisters, it is not the loss of our land.

The greatest injustice colonisation did to us, was the corrupting of our minds and teaching us to see ourselves through ‘white people’ eyes.

 

We have allowed our white master to conquer us…

for we are now a replica of him.

 

What used to be a powerful and proud nation,

which took pride in itself centuries ago,

has been reduced to a self loathing and imitating nation.

We have become a nation without an identity.

 

They taught us to see ourselves as poverty stricken.

They found us living on hills and valleys with lots of open space.

You must remember that they left Europe looking for more land.

So when they saw us living on abundant land,

it was an enviable position.

They wanted what we had.

 

They killed our nation for this land, and that’s when they started the international brainwash that Africans were poor…Africans needed aid.

 

African people have a symbiotic relationship with the land and animals. We were never poor. Our relationship with nature fed us. We had cattle. Our children had manners and they never went to bed hungry.

 

If anything, the white colonist is the one that brought poverty to Africa. The white colonist built these slums called cities that killed the spirits of our people and corrupted their minds.

Poverty and poor thinking came with those who call us poor, poverty stricken and in need of aid.

 

They taught us their way is better….their way is what has brought us to the current state. The current situation, where people, don’t have land…Where only a few elite, have access to wealth.

This is a system that came with foreigners.

 

In our times, when we governed ourselves, we lived on a system of sharing.

While they taught us how to sit at the table, and eat with a knife and fork, we abandoned the practise of our children eating communally out of one dish.

 A practice, in our culture, designed to teach children to share; so that they could grow up and be adults that care.

The concept of My plate, My food, My house, My, My, Mine is not a language we knew. In our culture selfish tendencies were frowned upon.

 

However we have learnt to see ourselves through white people eyes and frown down upon our own traditions. We label them backwards and outdated. And indirectly we make them inferior to the ways of the white.

 

Everything that they shunned about us, we have learnt to shun. We have learnt to hate our traditions and culture. We have learned to view the African things we do with contempt and disgust.

We are embarrassed of amaSiko ethu and feel much more comfortable in spiritual beliefs and practises that we were taught by them. We no longer trust izinyanya zethu because they too are outdated, dirty or witchcraft.

We have learnt to see ourselves through white people eyes.

 

We walk like them, talk like them and even think like them. We have learnt to place animals over human value. We are quick to save Rhinos and feel sorry for slaughtered sheep than we are to feel bad about girls being abducted in Nigeria, about miners losing lives. We don’t care about black people anymore. We don’t care about ourselves anymore because through white people eyes we are slaves with no value.

 

I keep asking myself….why have we placed so much value on White People Eyes again?

‘Khwezi’ is back to haunt us

‘Khwezi’ is Back to haunt us

Yesterday’s newspapers reported that ‘Khwezi,’ the young woman who accused President Jacob Zuma of rape……has come back home to South Africa.

 

What I found provocative and upsetting was when I saw a tweet from one of our male, youth leaders, referring to the article, saying,

 ‘There is no story here.’

 

What do you mean ‘There is no story here?’

A woman says she has been raped and it’s not a big deal to you?

Isn’t this the problem with society? That our men do not take rape seriously?

If our men took rape seriously, then we would not have such high rape statistics….Rape would not be such a norm in South Africa.

Men who do not take Rape seriously turn into rapists.

 

The Khwezi tragedy happened very quickly.

Wether or not justice was served in Khwezi’s case is what it is, but it does NOT take away from her hurt and trauma.

What happened to Khwezi was extremely traumatic…and public

 

Sadly it also started a trend in SA.

A trend in which most women, who say that they have been raped are usually not believed.

 

A rape has to be gruesome and ugly to be believed. Rape is seemingly impossible inside our homes. And apparently is not something done by important men in suits.

As of late, when a woman says she has been raped the immediate reaction is that the man is innocent and the woman has an agenda.

 

This situation and approach must be extremely frightening for women who have been raped… and MOST welcome by rapists.

 

How we address rape in this country has given rapists permission to continue on their raping sprees. We have shown rapists that rape is not a serious crime and you can go on to achieve greater heights even after a woman has accused you of rape.

 

I highly doubt a sane woman would Cry Rape just to fulfil her own agendas. Rape is not an easy crime to fake.

This notion that we women sit there and conspire to destroy men by telling fake rape stories is keeping raped women prisoners.

 

We have not created a safe environment in which a woman can tell her story without being judged and without her feeling like we are raping her all over again.

 

How do we expect people to come out about rape, if our 1st reaction is to doubt them?

How do we expect people to heal when we don’t give them a chance to express themselves?

How do we expect to confront Rape, if we are pretending that it does not exist?

 

So actually…..Khwezi coming back home IS a big deal….because she reminds us of how we banished her to a foreign land when she said a man had forced himself upon her…….not only that, but we went ahead and made the same man our president.

 

Khwezi….sister….to you and all the women you represent….

I am ashamed and I apologise that I am that soceity that did not stand up for you.

 

Khwezi is back and we are confronted by Khwezi’s tears……..and the silent tears of all the other Khwezis who we walk with, talk with, and laugh with every day. Every woman that know’s Khwezi’s story.

The woman who has been brutally violated and has tears raging inside of her.

There are women who have to deal with the careless words that men utter.

 

There are women who have been raped….and dismissed.

And they are MANY.

TODAY……an ode to my sibling

We will never know

How long we have

So I need to tell you

TODAY

 

I love you

I cannot imagine my life

Without you

I want to thank you

Especially

 for our conflict

4 it is through it

That my spirit has grown the most

 

For the shared joy

My most sacred moment have

Been spent in your presence

 

TODAY

I want to say

I love you

For being an imperfectly beautiful

flower in my garden.

SMALL EYES

SMALL EYES (a poem for Swaziland)

Sun kissed in Swaziland

my skin turned chocolate

I was hyponitised

but mostly…..

I had small eyes

 

I heard the melodic tongues

of a gentle people

I was embraced by a kingdom of valleys

 An unapologetic people

in ancient time homes

living in a loving land

And mostly….

I had small eyes

 

When its people showed their treasures

Their treasures made me happy

They made me love

Their treasures gave me

Small eyes