THE BLOG

I Did Not Wear Black On Black Monday. If I Did, This Is What It Would Be For...

Lord have mercy on me if I ever wear black and did nothing to act toward making good the destruction and terrorism wrought on the people of this country.

04/04/2017 13:38 SAST | Updated 04/04/2017 13:39 SAST
SIPHIWE SIBEKO1 / Reuters
Members of the mining community walk near crosses placed at a hill known as the "Hill of Horror", where 43 miners died during clashes with police last year, during a strike at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine in Rustenburg, 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, May 14, 2013. South African workers of world No. 3 platinum producer Lonmin launched a wildcat strike on Tuesday, halting all of the company's mine operations and reigniting fears of deadly unrest that rocked the industry last year. The platinum belt towns of Rustenburg and Marikana, which saw violent strikes at Lonmin and other platinum producers last year, are a flashpoint of labour strife with tensions running high over looming job cuts and wage talks.

If I had to wear black it wouldn't be for Zuma. He disqualified himself long ago.

If I had to wear black it would be for Tafelberg.

For the mothers on the Cape Flats.

It would be for Marikana.

For Napolean Webster.

If I had to wear black it would be for free decolonial education.

I would wear black to mourn the death of a thousand dreams of young ones that will never see that matric certificate.

If I had to wear black it would be for East London, and potholes and bad service delivery.

I would wear black for Buffalo Flats, joblessness, and gangsterism.

If I had to wear black it would be for the heartless perpetuation of a neo-colonial system that continues to oppress the most vulnerable in our society.

For Esidimeni.

I would wear black for the landless masses.

I would wear it for my coloured people, who still don't know whether there is space for them in South Africa.

I would wear black to cry for those who think we should get over it.

I would wear black only if it meant that we understood our president is merely a brief and periodic symptom of a centuries-old disease.

If I did wear black it would be for many other reasons, not for Zuma.

And before I wear black, I will remember my brothers and sisters who wear it on their skin everyday. I will remember what that means for them when they apply for jobs, and school. What it means on the trains in the townships and in the workplace.

Lord have mercy on me if I ever wear black and did nothing else to act toward making good the destruction and terrorism wrought on the people of this country. Lord help me turn this keyboard courage into action that costs me more than putting on another colour t-shirt for the day.