I won’t introduce myself because you and I are well acquainted. We have spent far too many nights on the same sponge in my family’s small house; I greet you.
In 1948 you showed up at my family doorstep in Camps Bay. You stood smiling as my family was hurled out of a place they called home, and forced to Guguletu a black township I now call home 15km from the city of Cape Town.
I have spent many years of my life with you. I’ve known you in ways most intimate. And while our “friendship” left me with bruises that I can still feel when I touch my most intimate parts, I am grateful for these scars, because I use them as a reference when I find myself tempted to give up on the cause I’ve committed myself to. And that is to seek educational opportunities for children in my community through the township experiences I offer visitors.
I touch my scars and am reminded of what I left behind, what I will never return to. You also encourage me to fight harder, because I see myself in the eyes of children in Guguletu who struggle to get a meal; and have no chance of ever being freed from the chains of inhuman conditions that they’ve come to accept as their fate.
But I refused to accept you as my fate and I refuse to accept you as anyone else’s fate. I see you walking around in my township, your head held high, I see you making yourself comfortable in the homes of my friends and family and on those days when you feel daring, even gathering the audacity to knock on my door.
You take away so much. Your cruelty leaves one numb, helpless, defeated. But you failed dismally to reduce me to that.
Children in the townships deserve better; and I have vowed to make history of your frequency.Tweet