.

.

.

Caution: A Counter-Revolutionary Rant …

.

.

.

A quarter of a century later, a whole generation and beyond – long into a democratic and free South Africa, we witness all around the quislings become recipients of National Orders, we see comradeship once hewn into souls being wrenched out, we see ‘the other half’ and we hear the platitudes from up above.

.

.

We witness the brutality of xenophobic carnage, the murder of the sons and daughters of African countries, who themselves had barely cast off the shackles of colonialism but who still – who still welcomed the African National Congress to set up military bases and who opened their borders and said welcomingly – “you are home”.

.

.

What stings is the total and convenient selective amnesia and sudden forgetting of those who came before us and of those who still are with us but who made sacrifices that no words can never do justice to.

.

.

The immense dedication and commitment to the struggle against racial discrimination and Apartheid tyranny was not an “I pay my monthly dues to “Greenpeace” (with no offence to Greenpeace!) type of commitment but a choice forged in the crucible of oppression and “lived” each and every day knowing their lives could, and for countless martyrs did end far too soon.

.

.

Those were and are still the truest of the true revolutionaries who have not traded their ideals and principles to hop a ride on the gravy-train that is heaving with a mass of individuals who now believe it is “owed” to them, the obscene and ostentatious riches they amass and are amassing every minute the stock-ticker moves on the Exchanges of the great Neo-Liberal “Free Market”.

.

.

What a crock of bull.

.

.

“Free Markets”?.

Free from whom?.

Free for whom?.

.

.

.

We know the answers as the answers stare us in the face daily, and with the virtual annihilation of the “will to serve The People” -ideals that so, so many struggled so much for and so, so many paid the ultimate price to attain.

.

.

How insulting, how flung aside are those true revolutionaries who have been consigned to be but names of hospitals and road signs, “Steve Biko” and “Charlotte Maxeke” and sickeningly so, to be the “informal” names given to “Informal Settlements” such as “Chris Hani Squatter Camp” and “Winnie Mandela Informal Settlement”.

.

.

What is an “Informal Settlement”, by the way?.

.

What is a “Squatter Camp”?.

.

A slum.

Let us call them for what they are.

Slums.

.

.

All the while the essence of what these sons and daughters of Africa believed in and what they willingly sacrificed so much for, including their lives, has been watered down so that even the revolutionary icon Madiba has been re-branded into a warm fuzzy grandpa figure with his revolutionary ideals washed over and scarcely mentioned if ever.

.

.

.

“Hey kids, coming soon – your very own Madiba Teddy Bear”.

.

.

.

Who even knows the demands “The Freedom Charter” demanded so clearly – and not just from the regime at the time but timelessly for when the “The People SHALL Govern” then “The People SHALL share in the Country’s Wealth” and other slogans that are now belched out at bussed-in meetings and at Business Breakfasts at the Sandon Convention Centre and in other gleaming monuments to capitalism.

.

.

What an exceedingly conceited “truer-revolutionary-than-thou” I sound like, and you what? I’ll take it on the chin, thank you very much.

.

.

.

_______________

.

.

.

A Poem …

.

.

“Brother, can you spare me some change?*”.

.

.

The parched and thirsty,
still walk soul-less avenues,

and alleys of want and hunger.

Empty and barren,
coursing through heartless streets of need and despair.

“Change will come”,

said the promise of Freedom and Democracy and of Capitalism with a Conscience.

“change will come in time”.

Yes.

“Change” comes,

when scratching through pockets,

through purses,

for some loose change.

.

.

.

* – inspired by “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”, also sung as “Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?”, is one of the best-known American songs of the Great Depression. Written in 1930 by lyricist E. Y. “Yip” Harburg and composer Jay Gorner.

.

.

.