My spirits were so deflated this morning when I woke up to #PearlThusiDay. I have spent a lot of this year of revelations, looking forward to Winnie Mandela Day. We have taken so many days for men to celebrate them, we have even taken imaginary easter bunnies and given them a day too. It seemed logical to me that SA was finally getting to a space where black consciousness was starting to come to the forefront. I was under the impression we were at place where we wanted to know our own stories and heroes. I thought we were ready to unpack our heroes. 26 September was a great opportunity for us to start somewhere. We know Winnie Mandela, we know that her journey has affected us ALL. Her fight and marketing of the ANC and the Mandela name is the reason we are where we are today. Many names have been forgotten and unsung but we know Winnie Mandela because we actually watched her walk through fire…..and unapologetically so.
So when I woke up this morning and SA twitter had turned 26 September to Pearl Thusi Day I was taken aback and quiet saddened. Indeed we should celebrate Pearl’s new job, it is always wonderful when a woman gets blessings because it inspires other women too. Pearl is making young girls realise that anything is possible. And we celebrate the swelling of her bank account. Indeed Well Done Pearl…but to take away the historical significance of this date and give it away to holiwood is really something quite, hard to swallow. You have just taken away a day where we could actually learn Winnie Mandelas truth….we have been inundated in bad PR about her ALL our lives. Finally we are in a position of power where we can force this day in our favour by unpacking a powerful woman and moment in our history. What do we do? We give it away to holiwood. Wow guys. Guys.
It is so sad to watch us erase our own stories and ignore our own greatness. None of us can deny the force and impact this woman has done for this country. The world over knows Winnie Mandela. We have this woman, right here in our backyard and we fail to pay homage? Wow.
Like most great people the mother of the nation has faced great opposition….and that is precisely how we know she is great. Winnie Mandela has faced violence on her and her family like no one else in this country. They repeatedly oppressed and abused her for all those 27 years and before. Some ran to exile but Winnie stayed. When freedom came, some moved to Sandton, mama Winnie stayed with her people in Soweto. This story needs to be unpacked, there is much more to this than Stompies murder and also much more to the real story behind that murder. We have never allowed mama Winnie to speak for herself so we cannot claim that we have concrete facts.
I am just sad I guess, that South Africans would rather give this day to an American TV show…than own up to their greatness.
Also, we are always speaking about being ‘woke’ lately….I would think being woke is part of freeing ourselves from white capital and imperialism. But when I see you celebrate someone getting a job from white people over celebrating a woman who freed you, I am shaken.
I thought we were at a place where freedom means building our own empires, but you don’t know how to do that. Last week we found out that there is a black owned bank……you did not celebrate but started to tear it down… because success to you is when the master gives us a bit of crumbs.
You are not ready to build your own things, you are waiting to for the fairy godmother America to realise your dreams.
I think what is even scarier to watch is that we saw that Trevor Noahs job did nothing to improve the conditions for black people in SA, surely we saw that it was just a job. His job. This too is a job for Pearl Thusi. We are not celebrating Winnie Mandela Day and giving it to Pearl who has impacted our struggle how exactly? Wow.
p.s: I don’t know if you noticed but Terry Pheto moved to LA and even changed her image…..it kinda looks to me like holliwood wants black actors with a bit of white blood in them. 🙂