Tag Archive: discrimination

Mido Macia 1986 – 2013

Mido Macia was a 27 year old Mozambican man, working in Daveyton near Johannesburg as a taxi-driver, who was found dead in a police cell, after police savagely dragged Mr. Macia whom they had tied to their police van.

The brutal incident of Mr. Macia being dragged was caught on camera and has shocked South Africa.

The 8 police officers involved are facing charges of murder, and have been suspended from the South African Police Service (SAPS).

This poem is an angry poem that I felt had to be written, because as a society, we need to ask ourselves and each other the hardest questions about xenophobia and intolerance and violence.

Mido Macia 1986 – 2013

Death came to Mido Macia,
a savage, brutal, hellish death came to Mido Macia.

Death came to Mido Macia,
death dressed-up in the colours of authority,
as callous, vile, sadistic policemen murdered Mido Macia.

The video-footage is blood-curdling,
Mido Macia being dragged,
his hands tied behind him,
to a police van.

But death came later to Mido Macia,
death cheered, clapped, and tore into Mido Macia.

Death came to Mido Macia,
in the cells where they murdered Mido Macia.

Death came to Mido Macia,
a fuelled, cheered-on, instigated death came to Mido Macia.

We are all culpable,
every one of us is culpable,

from racist ‘jokes’ emailed and texted,
to self-righteous comments about the ‘foreigners’,

from casual dinner-table conversations,

‘they take our jobs’,
‘they are crooks’
the ‘they marry our women’ kind of lunch-time chats,

racist, xenophobic, hate-filled talk,

to beating a human-being to death in a police cell,

or on the streets of Cape Town, Johannesburg ,

and in Daveyton,

where death came to Mido Macia.

Mido Macia 1986 – 2013

of difference,

mingling on a canvas.

Your dream became,

our shared vision,
our collective hope,

of black, and of white,
and of rainbows,

that merge,

to a confluence,

of harmony,

within sight,
without despair,

within beating hearts,
without invisible walls,

as we pledge,
and forever more,

to honour your dream,
and build on your sacrifice,

to shun narrow visions,
of divisive gloom.

we embrace,

all colours,
every hue,
and the countless shades,

of difference,

as we,

your torch-bearers,

plant the seeds,
of the flowers of peace,
of tolerance,
of justice.

And as we nourish,
those flowers,

we know,
we know,
we know,

that the flowers of peace,
of tolerance,
of equality,
of justice,

will, and must,

inevitability bloom

She Walks Alone

she walks alone

barefoot in the paddies of rice

breaking her back for some precious grains

she walks alone

in jo’burg town with a black eye

smacked around by him the previous painful night

she walks alone

in the streets of neon hazed manila

along the pristine hedges of rotten London

on the crowded pavements of lonesome New Delhi

across the rolling plains of the vast bounteous pampas

over the winding back-ways of the sloping and grimy favelas

on the glittering pavements of rich and sweetly-scented Jeddah

through the blindingly false boulevards of that sad Los Angeles town

she walks alone

bearing the burden of mother and daughter

of cook and sweeper and wife and mistress and punching-bag

she walks alone

through your streets and mine

standing up as she is beaten more down

loving a little as the bruises on her face turn purple

feeding the little ones with morsels of hastily cooked beans

she walks alone

in factories and in mills and in buses

in schools and in brothels and in place in-between

she walks alone

staying alive on the alms of the rich

violated by those who from the pulpit preach

she walks alone

my sister and yours

my mother and yours too

my lover and your beloved as well

she walks alone

caged by society in its invisible prison

a slave of norms and culture and religion and caste

she walks alone

but she is the conscience of me and you

screaming at us silently in hunger and despair

she walks alone

and though fearful of you men she may seem

be warned that she may not forever be this alone

for she too dreams and thinks and believes

for she too needs and wants and loves and weeps

in the silent night of complacency while impotent mankind sleeps

and she too will rise and in rising slay

the beasts that in your callous hearts prowl and lay

and she too will demand her rightful place

for every mother and sister and lover and daughter has a real face

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