Words, Visions, Dreams, Voices of an African Woman Expressed by Thulisa Qangule

Welcome to the Great South African Puppet Show featuring Mannequins and Muppets …

Here’s some painful news about South Africa that many choose to turn a blind eye to…

Apartheid, in many realms,spheres and sectors,has not disappeared. It has simply morphed itself and taken a different face,a different approach-hoping to not be identifiable.

I will start with the South African Private Sector,which is where I’ve spent a decade working-HARD-and with just about NOTHING to show, especially in comparison to the white companion/s.
I often wonder if the approach taken by Nelson Mandela during this country’s ‘exchange’ was the correct one- especially when looking at the number of racist whites in THIS country,who continue to hurt,offend,maim and suppress us.

The number of black South Africans who still put ‘umlungu’ on a pedestal.
It pains me greatly.
In this country…stand up and say something as a black woman and your voice cannot be heard.
Stand up as a white woman and wow, rounds of applause come at you.
For a while, I thought this was due to our own faulty thinking as blacks…
I’ve come across suppression that is beyond tolerable.

We have a ruling party in this country,and then we have opposition that is governed by whites at executive level,the blacks are only there as a public front.
Black people are placed in strategic spaces in order to attract ‘enough’ blacks and of course…business,tenders et al.

Its sickening.
One is presented with a suit and tie,and maybe just ‘enough’ to drive a car and visit a mall once or twice. This is while the grand perception created of the same person is that they are very well taken of.
In fact,other blacks are given this grand puppet as an example to look up to.
The truth about the puppet is:
-he/she is NOT satisfied
-he/she is NOT well paid
-he/she takes home less than 25% of what the master/mistress takes home
-he/she has no real ownership,majority votes in all these boardrooms ALWAYS err towards the whites

The Indian and Coloured are still the ‘better non-white’ in South African White eyes. It pains these racists so much to GIVE ANYTHING to a black person that rather than have a negroid black,the Indian and Coloured(mixed race person) are set up for the ‘high places’.

Other Black folk sit under the illussion of how wonderful surburbian,black middle class blacks have it.
What an illusion. To think that an entire race in a country will hate and resent each other because the puppet master has set it up that way…continuity of the divide and conquer banner.
(Insert profanity on my behalf)

In the same manner that the opposition party in the political sphere has set up puppets, uhm…corporate South Africa’s doing very similar.
When one takes a look at where we’ve come from…(Breathless sigh)…
And juxtaposes that against where we are, what and who we could be…
We indeed have great potential!
A few opportunists think that Africa is an exploit,that carrying ‘saviour’ mentality is what gets one a meal ticket.

Labour laws are broken on a daily basis in this country.
People are coerced, not managed.
People have RIGHTS to 1 lunchbreak and yet,so many companies DEPRIVE workers of such.
Overworked and Underpaid.
Exploited and Suppressed.
The glass corporate ceiling has become an albatross across black South African necks.
Black Economic Empowerment was meant to empower and balance past injustices yet,
People employ blacks close to audit time,and then demote them or remove them thereafter.
People employ blacks who have no decision-making rights or power,they are just mannequins and window-dressers who must take instruction.

As recently as 2013, I was told: ‘you are not employed to THINK and ANALYSE, you are here to merely TAKE INSTRUCTION!
This! In 2013, I am telling you…
All of Nelson Mandela’s work, Steve Biko, Robert Sobukwe, John Dube, Winnie Mandela, Helen Khuzwayo, Joe Slovo and the many others who have fought relentlessly not only for the liberation of this country BUT the RETENTION of that freedom.

We have workspaces that feel like John Vorster Square in pre-1994 days.
I see people almost crack and rip to tears at the thought of going to work.

I have spoken for so long and so many times and with each time I have felt the pain from lynching and torture that has come thereafter in the form of my salary being reduced, or psychological repression where I am told to shut up, or threats that are presented.
I fear for the future of this country if in the name of money,this is the culture that we are enabling.

The second realm or sphere is the entertainment industry.
I sat today,listening to Miriam Makeba, watching Mbongeni Ngema’s work, Anant Singh’s productions.
The content and weight carried by Kgafela Oa Magogodi’s work.
…Once upon a time when the artist still had a voice.
Today,the mass production that’s hitting our TV screens. The generic nature of it all where people sound so similar you don’t even know why the word ‘individuality’ exists.

What has happened to the days when the artist was respected and supported as an important medium,a catalyst for change?
What happened to the protection of women and children?

These things mentioned above are leading to deterioration because there’s no guidance, no protection,its each man/woman to his/her own devices. Its a little wonder then that people commit crimes and take the law into their own hands.

Someone posted on Twitter earlier today that if she was booked by,and had enough support from a specific organisation,then she would stop certain behaviours. I concur.
There’s too much expectation laid upon us to be one thing or one way,without ANY support.

As we march along,maybe NOT so comfortably towards the next elections in South Africa, I hope we will all take certain perturbing factors to mind and heart before we go around yelling out too many egotistic statements.

A black woman living in the shadow of the Ghost of Apartheid on a daily basis with no socio-economic freedom in South Africa…at the mercy of … Yet we say we are free.


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