Tag Archive: meadowlands




with Comrade Mongane ‘Wally’ Serote, legendary South African poet born in Sophiatown

http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/mongane-wally-serote


This poem appeared in respected sister Myesha Jenkins’ anthology on South African Jazz poetry.




https://www2.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-breathe-into-another-voice-myesha-jenkins/1127848792?ean=9781928341314



_____________________




Sophiatown jazz Dance Hall

Apartheid Police forcibly removing Sophiatown residents to be “relocated” as Sophiatown was declared a “Whites Only Area”. Sophiatown residents were forcibly removed to Meadowlands in Soweto

Sophiatown residents rallying cry against Apartheid forced removals to Meadowlands, Soweto




Old Sof’town*






1.




In old Sof’town,

the jazz struck chords,


the jazz lived, it exploded,

out of the cramped homes,

rolling along the streets,

of old Kofifi,


in tune to countless blazing heartbeats.


In old Sof’town,

Bra’ Hugh breathed music, Sis’ Dolly too,

and Bra’ Wally penned poems that still ring true.


In old Sof’town,

Father Trevor preached

equality and justice,

for all, black and white and brown,


and all shades, every hue,

even as oppression battered the people,

black and blue.


In old Sof’town,

the fires of resistance raged,


‘we will not move’ was the refrain,


even as the fascists tore down Sof’town,

with volleys of leaden rain.


In old Sof’town,

the people were herded,

like cattle,

sent to Meadowlands,

far away and cold and bleak,

as the seeds of resistance,

sprouted and flourished,

for the coming battle.


In old Sof’town,

the bulldozers razed homes,

splitting the flesh of a community apart,

only to raise a monument of shame,

and ‘Triomf” was its ghastly name.


 


2.




In Jozi today,

we remember those days,

and those nights of pain,

that stung our souls.

like bleak winter rain.


Yes, we remember old Sof’town,

as we struggle onward,

to reclaim our deepest heritage,

and build anew,

a country of all hues and shades,

of black and of white and of brown.


And yes, we will always remember,


and yes, we will never forget,


the price that was paid,

by the valiant sons and daughters,

of old Sof’town,


those vibrant African shades and hues,


of black,

of white,

of brown.





*Sophiatown was also called ‘Sof’town’ and ‘Kofifi.’




Sophiatown resistance against Apartheid forced removals





https://www.google.co.za/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.sahistory.org.za/place/sophiatown&ved=2ahUKEwiapOGnnM7cAhXqDcAKHfVDBfkQFjAMegQIBhAB&usg=AOvVaw1ZEOqT67cCWY3EdIUz9ay6

Apartheitude

Apartheitude …

Apartheitude – a personal belief presented as ‘fact’. Most often used to denigrate the ‘black’ government, in an attempt to justify racism.

painful it is to hear,

    from strangers, relatives,

    steve hofmeyr & company,

    friends, both near and dear,

    just how fucked-up this country is,

    cos´ you see, man,

    `these bloody blacks of `ours´ can´t rule´.

    `and it was so much better in the `old days´.

    note: old days = the Apartheid era.

    `oh ja, back then there was no crime´.

    note: back then = the Apartheid era.

    and no, they won´t say that `back then´ crime only affected the
`blacks´.

    no, they feign ignorance of the Group Areas Act and of the
Sowetos of our land.

    gugulethu, lenasia, khayelitsha, eldorado park, sebokeng, kwa-
mashu, alexandra township, botshabelo, azaadville, kagiso, riverlea,
mannenberg, roshnee, meadowlands, atteridgeville, chatsworth,
mamelodi, phoenix, newclare, rylands, tembisa,

    was it all a dream?

    or was it as I´ve so often heard it being justified “you see in
principle, there were `some bad things´ about Apartheid, but overall
the system was not an evil, monstrous, inhumane, tyrannical one”.

    no, of course not.

    “you guys won´t understand but things were different `when i was
your age´.

    note: when i was your age = the Apartheid era.

    of course, things were fucking different when you were my age, in
the old days, back then,

    because back then, in the old days, when you were my age …

    the lazy `kaffirs´ were merrily chilling in their sowetos,

    the drunken `hotnots´ were pissing it up in their mannenbergs,

    the shrewd `coolies´ were making money in their chatsworths,

    and the benevolent white-minority regime of the time was busy
seeing to all these niggling issues,

    and there were no electricity cuts for all.

    note: for all = for the privileged white-minority.

    joburg was so clean,

    there were none of these bloody _____________

    ( fill in where appropriate = zimbabweans, `these foreigners´,
pakis, somalis, mozambicans, `fucking foreigners´ etc ).

    so of course things were fucking different when you were my age.

    `ag not like today, né, man´.

    note: today = all things bad. namely:

    a `black government´.

    a `fucked-up constitution that gives criminals more rights than
`us´ normal citizens enjoy´.

    an `almost failed-state banana republic, but `i tell you, give
this country 5 more years and see what malema does to it, ja bru,
just you check and see´.

    and on,

    and fucking endlessly on,

    and on and on it goes,

    a desperate, well-meaning, heartfelt, reasonable, patriotic,
`only because I care´,

    meditation on the state of the nation.

    yes, oh most definitely yes,

    the virus mutates: Apartheid 2014-style.

    “Apartheitude”.

    with style,

    fuck no, not gangnam style, ag nee man

(special thanks to Alan Finlay for his invaluable advice)

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