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Showing posts from June, 2011

Revisiting black consciousness

While trying to make sense of the “new” South Africa, the born-free generation is constantly being accused of being ignorant of South Africa’s history. My mother always laments “Anazi nto nina...kudala kwasokolwa ngumntu omnyama” (You kids know nothing...black people have suffered for many years”). In spite of my ambivalence about being part of the born-free generation, I acutely relate to this accusation. So in trying to educate myself I recently revisited Steve Biko’s writing, I write what I like, which I came across in my 2nd year at university along with Franz Fanon’s Black Skins, White Masks, Du Bois and Satre, thanks to a course in African Philosophy. Before this, my knowledge of “Black” politics and the liberation struggle was what I had watched in Sarafina, read in The Long Walk to Freedom, heard in Letta Mbulu’s lyrics to Not yet uhuru and what I was taught at school (neutral history considering the gaps I discovered when I started reading outside the curriculum) and various…

growing up in a cul-de-sac

One of my favourite childhood memories is living in a house in a cul-de-sac. The cul-de-sac allowed my friends and I a different kind of interaction because it became our playground. We knew who lived where and we convinced our selves that we owned that corner of the world: our safe space where the rest of the world never came in. Our weekends were centered around a list of adventures that completed our childhood adventures—cricket matches, roller blades, flying kites, bike rides, climbing rocks and trees and this was all done without leaving our block.

What was significant about my friends and I was how we lived with our differences; a conglomeration of children with various experiences: some were Greek, Italian, South African (Xhosa, English and Afrikaans speaking) rich and poor, boys and girls, teenagers and toddlers. We didn't tolerate each other, we lived and played together. Being kids, it was easier because children are always assumed to be colour-blind. But we were aware …