A Nostalgic look at the “good, old days:”
I recall those days because I grew up during Apartheid. It was great, and Black and brown people were free to do what they wanted.
I recall fondly, as a 5-year-old, the smell of teargas in the air. It was a smell I longed for as I played outside.
I miss the days the teachers who I had come to know were white would tell me how ugly and stupid I was. One particular teacher evokes the sweetest memories as she stood in the front of the classroom laughing at the poverty we were steeped in. I loved her so much.
I fondly miss the police chasing after my sister and me when we were teenagers. I enjoyed their form of beatings.
I’m grateful to the white doctor who placed my hands in hot water to squeeze my eczema lesions when I was six years old, resulting in my hands being bandaged for more than a month.
I loved walking on the beach as a 15-year-old and having a white child of about 8 years old swear at me and chase me call me “hotnot.”
It was liberating to walk around smelling burning tyres and police chasing children who were protesting or bursting into our home at any time of the day or night.
I loved the one room I grew up in! The asbestos roofing offered warmth and comfort on cold days.
I’m thankful for the days I had to enter places that read “non-whites.”
It was so exciting to be chased out of establishments that didn’t allow me in.
Those rides on the busses that stopped for me when I travelled into the city was incredible. The seats that were designated for people who looked like me was clean and comfortable.
I enjoyed being separated from white band members when I was told I had to live in a township while they were allowed to stay at the hotel.
I wished my dad had not protected me when a white man wanted him to leave me with him.
I miss the days my big, strong dad would “cower” in front of white policemen when questioned about where he was going.
I love how we had no freedom of movement, but at least the streets were clean. I enjoyed being pushed to the back in queues because I had to wait for white people to be served (even if they came after me)
I miss the 9 855 days I spent being born into a system that hated people who looked like me. A system that murdered people who looked like me, that oppressed people who looked like me, and that economically starved people who looked like me.
I’m happy that not much has changed; and that the country is still in the hands of a minority people who benefited from the blood, sweat and deaths of my people. I loved how people who looked like me got paid less for doing more work. I am grateful to have been paid for work done.
Isn’t life wonderful?
I wish I could go back to the days when Black and Brown people knew their place. It’s such a pity the signs of segregation are no longer visible because the notion that things have changed is a lie.
Apartheid was wonderful in the past, and removing discriminatory signs and giving Black and Brown people the vote is like buying a dog a new bowl but placing no food inside it so the dog can survive.
I miss the good old days, don’t you?