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

The New South African Pandemic, Living with Masks and How we’re prisoners of our confused identity

I don’t know the cause.

There is a guy out there who has an over-weight mother who has grown up into the kind of man who speaks ill about chubby women. In fact, he’ll do everything in his power to vilify them.
His daughters will grow up on fat-free salads and the gym.
He seeks to correct what he perceives as an ‘error’ handed out to him by genetics.

There is a woman out there who grew up in the townships, or small towns of South Africa moving around the ‘Higher Echelon’ circles with an accent, look, general demeanour and flair that is so far removed from how she was brought up…I almost have every right to call it: Schizophrenic.

Because not everyone reading this is South African, let me put things into context a little bit.

Any non-white who was born in South Africa BEFORE 1990, is more than likely to have attended a school that wasn’t multi-racial, prior to moving to the so-called ‘white schools’.
This means that this person would have been exposed to corporal punishment, use of vernacular language, even if NOT at school, the usage of the mother tongue at home would still be a factor.

Due to the socio-economic factors, many a black parent in those days could afford to send the black child to the best school but not afford to buy the kid a car,and many other ‘luxuries’ that some of our white counterparts,and some of our black ‘born-free’ counterparts enjoy.

Coming from a black family from that era, and as ‘well-off’ as I may have been in comparison to other kids, let me tell you:

*umvubo / uphuthu was present at home or ekhaya (I’ll use the latter hereon);

*umgqusho was present ekhaya;

*umqa was present when we visited grandparents;

*because we are Christians in a country where awareness of ‘amanyange’ / spirit guides exists, we slaughter when someone in the family passes away;

*ukugulula amathumbu (cleaning the tripe) is something that happens everytime there’s ANY family ceremony, from the funeral to the weddings;

This is something about my upbringing that I soooo treasure today because, its given me the ability to swing my hips from left to right in Estee Lauder cosmetics, 9 West Shoes, Corporate Business attire, sit at Mug&Bean and sip on my Cappucino, or Irish Coffee,and still be able to walk around in my jeans, Converse All Stars, Rasta Cap/Hat, Hoodie and eat Pap (Corn meal) and gravy and braai-wors (sausages) or amagwinya(fat cakes) ne kholi(cold drink) and its okay.

I am comfortable in my skin.
I assumed everybody was until a few encounters really left me with my jaw gaping wide open…

A black South African woman about MY age does NOT know her clan-names.
This same woman does NOT know how to speak and write in her mother tongue fluently.
And yet, as ‘upper class’ as some people might be in this country, I KNOW very well that they can read,write,joke and pray in their mother tongues, know their clan-names and are very cultured.
There are two things…

She is either putting up a hectic act, or there’s a serious problem …

Again, I’m not here to tell the cause.

This thing reminds me of what I used to laugh at as a child in spaces like eMthatha (metropolitan hub in the Eastern Cape),and obviously, people from the town’s surburbs like Fort Gale would go to town, and also, rural and peri-urban folk from the surrounding outskirts would hit town.

Abantwana base dholophini (city kids) would always be way relaxed in comparison to the other kids.
For the city kids, it aint nothing but a thang…
For the peri-urban and rural kids, going to the ‘big city/town’ is an excursion.
And so they dress up, to the NINES. Stockings, hats, lace and all kinds of things and the city kids would be rocking tracksuits, jeans and simple dresses.

My grandmother had a term…UBUQABA! (Uneducated, unexposed,not too well travelled folk).
She diagnosed this as a challenge of UBUQABA.
*New Money;
*First time flying;
*First time in the burbs;
*First time in high-end offices;
*Always wanted to feel validated by either dating a white man or woman and deep down cannot accept the reality of being black type of blacks;

I could go on…it is on the rise, and so is my blood pressure!

My advise to everyone is:
-Be simple;

-Be yourself;

-Don’t try too hard.

Nobody is out to get you or bite you
It is better to be the real you,than to be some ‘second-hand’ version of someone or something else that you will never ever in your life be.

Another thing that seems to be turning into a trend is this fake accent thing that South African girls are into.
There are those amongst us who grew up in exile, or were exposed to all these different dialects.
I’ll even excuse those amongst us who received call centre training, BUT…
There’s this pseudo international accent that sounds like a speech impediment going ‘cray’ on steroids that I hear black men putting on,especially when calling into Radio Stations or when doing business presentations *pulls hair*
*bangs on table*
*puts hand on waist*
This is the point at which I’d rather deal with a guy that has a straight up ‘rural accent’ or one with a heavy foreign accent because he is foreign, a real private school accent, or a real model C accent, but please!!! NOT this fake put on rubbish.
Polony suddenly converts to PORLONY
Hello suddenly converts to Hurrrlo
There suddenly converts to Thurrr
I love you suddenly turns to I Lurrve you. Kanjani?

Stop with the faking people of Mzansi. I beg I beg!

Written by Thulisa Qangule ©2014


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