Day 16: “Small Things”

This day of Reconciliation
Renamed from Dingane’s Day,
(A day that celebrates the defeat of amaZulu
By Afrikaners,
Who believed this victory 
Was ordained by God
And made it a Public Holiday)
In an attempt to show progress
Under the guise of forgiveness
(Because the TRC supposedly erased the 400  years of violence, death and trauma in 1995)
Reminds me of how we are always expected
To sacrifice for peace
To kill ourselves for peace

Because we once welcomed you
Accommodated you.
(Perhaps our greatest mistake)
And you fought us
Killed us to prove your delusions of grandeur

Let’s forget that we were oppressed
For the sake of peace
Let’s get over Apartheid
For peace.
For peace, for peace, for peace
For peace in this damn land
Where we’re still foreigners
While your lives continue as usual.

You mistook Mandela’s democracy
As assimilation into Whiteness and White Culture
And so we assimilated
Believing we were integrating
And whenever we fought to be ourselves,
we were told to be grateful
For our parents never had these opportunities.
So we learnt to be ourselves in secret
Spoke our languages alone
Shared our music between ourselves.

Everyday we had to explain ourselves
Our hair, our clothes, why we were always in groups
Or why we were different from the black people you “knew”
Because you were taught that black people can only be servants
And so you believed that that was all we could be.
Like how dare you?!

Like…
How dare you call him a kaffir,
Then get surprised when he knocks you the fuck out?
What makes it OK to make elderly women drink your urine?
For you to pee on them for your entertainment?
To disassociate yourselves from so-called racists
Because you want to be able to do racist shit with no labels.
Compare us to dogs in TV adverts
Then call us backward for not loving animals as much as you do.
For not going green
When our lives were in harmony with nature
Before your arrival.

Listen up!
And listen well.
We don’t all want a seat at your table.
A table that WE built.
We’re building our own tables
We will still use our languages and bend yours to fit us
Watch this space.

We are rediscovering ourselves
Healing
Celebrating ourselves
Redefining ourselves
(And even then you cry foul
Because you just have to be everywhere
And in everything.
Wanting what’s left of us.
You stay colonising.)
The olive branch is on fire.

Watch us heal
Watch us grow
Watch us prosper,
Despite you.

 

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