I am sitting here on the banks of the Tugela River and I have just cast my fishing rod in its mighty waters to try and catch something. Real men used to catch their own food and feed their families I am told. My friends are standing by the braai telling stories of their adventures but I know some are lying about their exploits. I wish I had a good story to tell about my heritage but even in my friends I see all the flaws that have made us forget who we are.
Thandeka is from these parts, a once proud Zulu girl who is now tainted with all things fake and modern. She has fake hair, fake lips, fake accent and indeed a fake personality. She lives for the selfie moment and her ambitions are now limited to which man will pay for her next amusement. Her beautiful rich traditions handed to her from generation to generation have become a source of embarrassment to her as keeping in touch with her culture has people calling her backward. Worse, her fear of missing out has left her doing questionable things to stay relevant. I look at Tebogo, a Pedi boy born and raised in Limpopo and all he can talk about is money and his next sexual context. Never mind HIV and abuse of women for who cares as long as women must open their legs to him. I look at Faith who is eating her first piece of meat, it smells so good and I just shake my head with pity. She is yet another statistic waiting for SASSA to acknowledge her as she like so many of my sisters were left with a child to fend for by yet another deadbeat. But I am dying to ask her what she was thinking having a child with a man who was not working at the time and had already cheated on her a few times. And then there is Nelisa, a woman who can aggressively pursue another man’s husband is capable of killing and a man who breaks up his marriage for a fling is not worth of being called a man. Rodney is her man and he is not even ashamed anymore to hang out with us even though to him we are kids. I can’t blame him though; it’s no longer embarrassing to be a sugardaddy with them being called Blessers now. They must be so holy! And then there is Cobus, he is South African but only barely. One of 8 million Afrikaners and he is told you can’t study in your language, you can’t have statues of your ancestors, not a road or town should be named after your history, you can’t own a single piece of land in future BUT you must pay tax so the black child can go to school, have medical aid and we can employ police to protect that child, build RDP houses, school, hospitals etc. His parents were tortured, raped and murdered on their farm in Witbank. The school they opened was closed down because without them to keep it running no one cared. This is my future as a South African and yet I beat the drums of heritage so loud like I even know it.
We talk about UBUNTU with such pride but why can’t you tell your brother that not paying maintenance for his child is wrong? Why can’t you tell him that him cheating on his wife or girlfriend is wrong? Why do you allow him to shout at men who do this to you yet when he does it to other women you keep quiet? Why do you not tell your friend that her sleeping with a married man for money is disgusting and ruins so many people in the process? Why do you men not tell each other that killing, stealing, abuse all lead to our own demise but who am I kidding, let’s go eat meat and drink because we are very good at that. There is no fish in this river so I stop. We can blame the government on this because they are the ones who make fish right! Lintle seems to be dancing so nice, she is only 16 but her dance moves are so adult and sexual but who cares its just dancing… i should join them.
There is dust rising and I see a car drive towards us. I need to pee. From behind the bush I hear a woman’s voice shout, “Take their phones Mthobisi”… we are being robbed! But wait, why am I surprised with all the criminals we have from politicians to policemen, women to children. Why am I surprised when they rape, kill, mug, necklace, embezzle etc. But it is not them I pity the most, no; it is my child in Asthandiles womb, for 20 years from now this will be her heritage. This is what he will celebrate on this day, and I pray with everything in me that it’s a he because there is nothing more dangerous than being a woman in this country…. Ndingum Xhosa mna!
I want to be a South African I can be proud of…
Happy Heritage Day
Hey guys. Happy Heritage Day. Today between 12 and 2pm on Twitter kindly search the hashtag #AskZuluGirl or look for the handle @PlanetAttract so we can have an interactive chat. There will be prizes to be won sponsored by Playgirl for those that ask the best question so will be worthwhile. Besides when last did we all get to chat… let’s get to know each other and what’s happening behind the scenes because a lot has been happening with Thandeka and Python behind the scenes as well as Lesedi and Mthobisi. ..