Through the pupils of a pupil, still being taught.
With internal wars raging within Africans about what it means to be thus, as an ethnic female no older than the freedom of my land, have I come to see things differently every day. As I grow, I am belittled. As I learn, I am called oblivious, and scolded because I am too aware.
I didn’t know that was possible.
Biko taught me how to be conscious via the textbooks I was fortunate enough to have, as this knowledge spilled off the lips of my teacher who was of European descent but believed in the soils of Africa more than those akin to it. Who was this white man to believe in black people? But it wasn’t his race I found surprising. It was his belief, not only in our future, but in us.
I am part of the WWW.GENERATION. Part of the era that books faces, but not the opportunities behind them. We live off virtual screens so that we don’t have to mingle with the people who complicate our reality. But that isn’t what defines us.
I, who I am, is a female in a stagnant male world where we talk about 50/50 relationships, yet those with a breast uncut and a womb still closed are “given away” at the isle, as if we were on the grand parade with a Mr Van Riebeck, who was buying vegetables, rice and slaves, all in the same day.
I am a part of a squad, with a task that hundreds of years failed to complete. Where our parents still consider white and black, private and public with the shades in between that never really had their place in the sun. We know the struggle indirectly, my generation. We are the second hand recipients of the tears that rolled down my grandmother’s face as she was beaten for resting on a white woman’s couch.
This is what creates the defiance within my era. We indulge in complacency, wearing crowns of entitlement, yet have been thrown head first into fixing a country prematurely broken. This by-product of neo-colonialism is why we are who we are.
The hand that sold the slave, the hand that painted the streets red with Hector and his adolescent associates, that is the same hand that still stamps the gang signs in Mitchell’s Plain, El Dorado Park and Galvandale, where the social engineering of our past still hasn’t had an upgrade like the fire pool filters at the house of my president.
It is harder still to accept our heritage while we kill our brothers and sisters who have themselves fled from lands and a past that smells of home-made bombs and dictatorship.
All of this lies before me, a 19 year old, who not too long ago, had to ask to go to the bathroom, but now face making life decisions. What makes this imaginable, however, is that as much as I see the problems, I see the potential. I hear the downfall, but I feel the redemption even more so, through the power invested in me by the democracy I choose to fight for, and all those in my generation who choose to fight for theirs.
We are the laziest, angriest, most arrogant, intelligent, talented, innovative generation to walk this earth yet, and this is why we will save it.