Dear Zinyanya zabantsundu, Mangaliso Sobukwe, Oliver Tambo, Mlamli Makwetu, Bantubonke Biko, Rolihlahla Mandela and Thembisile Hani. My mind and heart think you are probably in a better place where there’s no pain and hunger. I imagine you at a peaceful and tranquil place with no freedom songs and political slogans.
Forgive me for disturbing you while you are at peace. I thought for a second let me make you understand the misery that we are in. Let me put it to you, that you’ve abandoned us. Having said all that, I am grateful to be alive to pen you this piece.
How I wish you were here with us to observe Human Rights Day and other days that you fought for. But as a positive man and cultures and customs believer, I believe that you’ve been watching us from above. While I am filled with gratitude for Human Rights Day, freedom, life and all that I have as a person, I am not at all happy in my country of birth. It is like there is a bad omen to be black in my country.
I write this because we are still not over you after 30 years of the so-called freedom in the country.
When you left, you left us with hope that one day we will enjoy the fruits of freedom. But we still nurse broken hearts and feelings from the sharks that you left us with. You said these are trained cadres that will not only take care of this country but its people too.
Zinyanya zam come down and see how they treat your country. I think you lied to us. Your promises were not real. All you left us with are sharks that are heartless.
Many still go to bed with empty stomachs. Millions are still unemployed. You never told us that freedom means self-enrichment for those in power. During your time was the struggle for freedom, you promised us heaven and earth. You told us education will be free. You promised free housing and employment.
Zinyanya zethu, black people are still nursing broken hearts and asking why us. Day in and day out, they are fed lies. I miss you wherever you are. I wish you were here to explain this to me in person. I know, I will never see you again but only in dreams as ancestors. Please be the trustworthy ancestors and speak to me. Velani emathongweni. Kutheni kunje?
Let me express how I am unimpressed with the ruling party, the African National Congress. That political party is in disarray. It has no knowledge of human rights. The same party has disbanded the women’s league and the youth league. We all have forgotten about the conference that we thought was a turning point for women rights in Beijing in 1995. After 28 years, women are still poor, they are raped, maimed, their rights are still not protected.
Violence hurts women and children more than their counterpart, men. Surely you are aware of that. Those who came after you must have told you. Where are the human rights?
Children’s rights have been trampled. In Limpopo, the Eastern Cape and many other areas, the children at schools, your children, are still using pit toilets. Those you called the future of the country are still schooling under trees. In Engcobo in the Eastern Cape naseMampondweni bridges that they built collapsed. In the Eastern Cape they build stadiums that are actually open fields.
When you were around we gave you praises. The country respected you. I must tell you it is no longer like that. I have heard many calling Rolihlahla a sellout. How so for a man who is praised everywhere in the world.
It is because your cadres are not doing what they are supposed to do. This country is broken. Your unbothered leaders always share images of them with stacks of money, while many are hungry. State-owned enterprises are collapsing and some have collapsed. Eskom, Transnet which became Prasa, SABS, SANRAL, the SA Post Office, the Road Accident Fund, Denel, South African Airways all gone. The healthcare and education system is in tatters. Are you aware that even nurses and soldiers can go to a protest now that we are free? Zinyanya kubi eMzantsi.
The less I tell you about the country’s economy, the better. I pay a lot for petrol and food. Those who were called to wake up and do for themselves are robbed of the little money they make at their small shops and stands. Zinyanya the new pandemic in the townships is extortion. As much as I don’t have proof, but the word all around is that even government officials are part of it. That includes your law enforcement officers.
On this one, there is no proof, but there are officers who have been arrested for extortion. There is no peace and security in your country.
There are days that I feel I can call you and play Joe Cocker’s song, Take me home. I don’t believe that this is my home. Traditional leaders have left the country. I say this because they have no say.
No one believes in them. Traditional leaders are undermined by all because of the sharks that you left us with. Black people’s beliefs, cultures and customs have been thrown out of the window. Schools don’t want to see amagqirha at their premises. You ought to be a Christian or something else other than igqirha.
I guess you also have questions for me. You must be asking; Is Ramaphosa still running the country? Yes, he is the man in front. He is continuing to make money at his Phala Phala farm. He even has stacks of money under the mattress. I am talking millions of rands. But he has no case to answer about it. He has been exonerated and cleared of any wrongdoing by his comrades and the new Public Protector. I truly have forgotten her name and I won’t bother to google it. She has shown her colours.
You know I never believed uFeleba, Kaiser Aah! Daliwong Matanzima when he said that freedom is not a sun, where every baboon can bask in. I was naive, and thought he just wanted to rule until Jesus came. But uFeleba was right. Freedom is for the chosen few, at least here.
Lastly, I want to tell you that even journalists have run out of courageous and feel good stories. I am tempted to say some are just in it to make it to government. If you have not heard, a lot of them have left us to join the government.
In my next piece to you I will expand on journalism and the public broadcaster. But you do not have to worry about it, it is still in the hands of your comrades.
The best thing this government has ever made is to change all the town and streets names after struggle heroes. Alice in the Eastern Cape is now Maqoma. Port Elizabeth Gqeberha.
But struggle heroes in South Africa are those that belonged to the ANC. Maybe there is a Steve Biko in some corners of the small town of Cacadu (Lady Frere) or in Malitswayi (Aliwal North). Kubi Please come to my sleep and give me answers. Why are we still in this misery? Mandime apho, ngomkhulu umbuliso. Please pass my greetings to Kalusha Solomon Mahlangu. Amandla!