Last week the web was filled with reports of the incident in which Ian Khama was attacked by a Cheetah at the army barracks. Many people wondered why. And today I bring to you–the cheetah’s side of the story.
It was a full moon the night I was born. At least that’s what my mother always told me. There had been two of us at the time – she used to say – a girl cub and I. But only I survived.
She always used to get quite distraught when she described the night they took her away. And even thinking about it now takes me back to the night when she told me about it.
I must have been about six or so months because I’d been working on the same piece of gazelle meat for hours. I think my teeth weren’t fully formed yet.
I remember that the planes were lit by a big orange moon. The dew on the tall grass sparkled so brightly it looked like the stars had fallen from the sky and taken permanent residence in the Kalahari.
Whenever a rape is reported in the media you can almost always be guaranteed that the majority of people commenting on the news will be calling for the death penalty as a punishment for such the crime. And fittingly so, some would say. Rape is one of the worst crimes one can commit upon a human being.
Sanjay Kanojia/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
And as a feminist, myself, I will admit that at times my voice has been the loudest in the chorus of people demanding a sterner punishment for rapists.
But that was before I truly began to think about the possible repercussions of establishing the death penalty as the punishment for rape.
Before we jump to conclusions I think these are some questions we must ask ourselves as a community.
What are the possible negative psychological effects executing the rapist could have on a victim?
I began to ask myself a question when I read somewhere that a community had murdered a thirty-seven year-old man that had raped a six year old girl. I was taken aback by a very new thought: ‘what would the little girl think of this as she grew older?’
It was recently brought to my attention that a certain journalist in South Africa, that is known to behave like one who is twenty-minutes away from applying for a trademark on Black Consciousness, dates nothing but women of European Descent (or White women, as I may continue to refer to them for the rest of this article).
Upon seeing that my response was a sarcastic “surprise, surprise” my friend quickly wanted to know why I was so unimpressed by this piece of information, that I went on to say something along the lines of: “these Black Consciousness brothers couldn’t care less about Black Women.”
But there’s a lot more to it than that and I’m going to show you why I think many subscribers to Biko, Fanon, Garvey and Co.’s principles end up with romantic histories that predominantly feature non-Black lovers.
Before we begin, let me confess something: At the age of fifteen I nearly got arrested for shoplifting Steve Biko’s ‘I write what I like’ from CNA.
That began my path into the wonderful world of Black Consciousness (BC). I ran into the aforementioned contributors to the movement and have since grown to understand a lot about my identity as an African woman and what exactly that means to me.
But I am beginning to suspect that I have outgrown staunch Bikoism and can therefore look at this topic with a detached wisdom on the issue.
Why subscribers some Black Consciousness date White people:
THEORY #1: Deification of Black People leading to disappointment
This is the first in the series I’m calling #SiyandaTalks in which I discuss my responses to various topics raised in articles across the web.
In this episode I discuss an issue close to my heart – Mathematics Education in Africa, in response to this article: “Why maths teachers bunk class” (http://goo.gl/RhV9I) brought to my attention by my cyber-friend, Neil Murray in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–DNoHc9T84.
Feedback will welcomed humbly.
Today, during my regular Twitter stalking I came across an interesting hashtag: “#someonetellBotswana”, I believe it was called. Upon clicking on it, I found myself to have landed on a Twitter page where a group of presumably angry Kenyans were bashing the country of Botswana for a statement released by Botswana’s ministry of Foreign Affairs.
President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta displays the presidential results certificate after receiving it from IEBC chairman Isaack Hassan at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi March 9, 2013.
Phandu Skelemane was quoted as saying that Kenya President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta is not welcome in the country if he refuses to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC). He went on to tell the Mmegi, a Botswana daily, “If he refuses to go (to The Hague), then we have a problem. That means that they do not know the rule of law. You can’t establish a court and refuse to go when it calls you. If he refuses, he won’t set foot here.”
Apparently it was this statement that drove the Kenyans insane. It became clear to me upon following the hashtag closely that the Kenyans were not pleased by this.
Interestingly, the #someonetellBotswana tweets were an accumulation of “why should we care what you think” tweets to the Botswana nationals on Twitter. Botswana’s small population was brought up and ridiculed. The country’s GDP was also mocked in comparison to the wealth held by certain citizens of Kenya. Essentially, everything but our foreign policy was brought up.
I’m going to go ahead and say how disappointed I am in the Kenyan Nationals for not mentioning the one thing that mattered. To be honest, I spent the first few moments of viewing the Kenyan’s tweets in complete confusion. It seemed as if the tweets were an expression of some deep-rooted anti-Botswana sentiment that had been brewing in the Kenyans for what felt like quite a while.
Hello! Today I review Khanyi Mbau’s biography, “Bitch, Please! I’m Khanyi Mbau!”.
“Why don’t you refer to your maid as a maid”? This is a question I posed to my modest number of twitter followers this morning. I’m sure you can see that I asked a question already having formed the conclusion that the word was a no-no. Over the years I have noticed a trend: middle-class Africans (who form a notable part of my followers list) have large problems using the “m-word”–as one of the responders to the question termed it—to refer to their housekeepers.
The responses I got were very much expected. Many people cited the discomfort they felt about calling an older woman anything besides “aunty” and all of the vernacular versions of that word. And when it came to calling younger maids by that title it seemed it was easier for most of the people participating in the discussion to refer to their maid as “sister”. The reasons behind both practises mentioned in the hazy air of cultural appropriateness.
But I’m not buying it.
Yes, at the surface of many Africans’ inability to refer to their domestic servants as such is the sheen of cultural appropriateness delivered in years of elders entrenching within us, a fear of calling an adult by anything but a family title.
And yes, I understand that particularly with Africa’s harsh colonial past, specifically South Africa with her’s being so recent and fresh in the minds of her people, there is a discomfort when one considers the racial associations the word has in the minds of many people.
And, yes, it may in fact be very Botho (Ubuntu) to treat and refer to house-help as a family member.
But that’s not all this is about.