By: Candice Morrow
As Black South Africa we’ve been called a lot of things by all nations of the world depending on their stance on apartheid and freedom fighting. Many have called us shameful names which sent ripples across the people and stirred anger which encouraged these men and women to fight even harder for the freedom of their people, the future of their children. These were the times when bigot Europeans in their lack of compassion associated Africans with everything they considered acrid. When the Africans were drenched in sweat working their fields and rearing their children on African land conned from the very acrid men and women. Let me remind you that while these women burned over the coal stoves in their Baas’s kitchens their Baas’s and their sons were out hunting their men and sons like wild animals chasing them out of their own country.
And there, in these God forsaken times in South Africa the benevolent Kings, Emperors and Commander Generals leading other African countries came together, opened their borders, homes and lands to house their fellow Africans. Let me remind those who are busying themselves with killing Ethiopians that our former President Nelson Mandela was taken in by then Emperor Haile Selassie before his imprisonment and was taught by the Ethiopian government about politics, how to fight and by Selassie himself on spirituality which was a fundamental belief of the emperor’s. There are the Congolese, the Kenyans, Ugandans, Zimbabweans, Malawians and a host of other countries which gave members of Umkhonto wesizwe land to live in, train their soldiers and armed them with weaponry in our times of dire need. How then do we repay such grave debts?
How many of us owe the preservation of our grandparent’s lives to these fellow Africans? Are the Xenophobic attacks the price they have to pay for setting foot in a country they consider their brother country? There have been complaints and reports of criminal activities surrounding these brothers and sisters and while we are against such, I ask myself; are they then to blame for the weak hand of our own justice system and the incompetence of our police and intelligence services? Is every African a criminal in the South African mind? Today we have Grammy award winning musicians because they played a big hand in keeping those artists alive. Bra Hugh, Mam’ Miriam, Mam’ Dorothy, Bra Sipho, what of political giants such as Anton Lembede, Oliver Tambo and Govan Mbeki?
While many have been opening letters to fellow South Africans in a bid to teach them how to be African, the same hands have closed their fists and their mouths in these times when they should be speaking out louder against Xenophobia in South Africa. Where are they who lashed out at the women who don Brazilian weaves, those who condemn parents of children who speak more English than African languages? Where are they now those who were constantly traipsing all these streets of social platforms tweeting with their red pens when African blood is flowing on the streets of our country? Where is the fight? Where are the voices raising African consciousness?
It’s a sad day in South Africa when I look back at the times when a man from the nearby village spent thirty years at Robben Island only returning home to die, when I think of the weeks my grandfather had to spend raising us without our mothers or grandmother because they were gathered in city halls or in bus rides to Bisho to march for our rights. It’s a sad day when I look back at all the sacrifices made by those African countries and our forefathers and learn that it looks like it was as good as in vain.