I am sure many of you have seen the hilarious American comedy ‘Friday’ about two dudes who spend a whole Friday on a stoep smoking weed, cracking up on lokasie gossip, dodging street bullies and more. Somewhere in the movie, it gets serious when Craig (Ice Cube) pulls out a gun and aims it at the feared big-muscled street bully, Dibo, who has just snot-klapped his (Craig’s) crush, the sexy kamboroto from down the street. What stuck with me was how Craig’s father ‘Pops’ (Whitherspoon) – rest his soul – stopped what could have been a tragic end when he begged his son to put down the gun, fight with his fists like a man and “live to fight another day”.
Pops was right – killing someone because they provoked you or hurt you will in no way solve the problem but might end you in more trouble like going to jail for life or getting killed in revenge. Those of you who have done some form of martial arts like karate or jujutsu would have grasped from the very first lesson that avoiding any fight altogether if you can or fleeing the scene is what actually makes you ‘live another day’. The laanies taught us the proverb ‘liewer bang Jan as dooie Jan’ (rather a scared Jan than a dead Jan) and until today it rings true. How many flying rocks at the speed of lightning did we dodge in our younger days or how many fights in riverbeds did we avoid as children?
I have learned not to ask questions if I see people running - I don’t care what or who made them run; I will run with until they stop, then I will enquire what the running was about. If I see people fighting over nonsense and it’s none of my business, I will quickly get myself out of the way to make space for whatever they are busy with because I don’t want to become a victim caught in crossfire. Ja, call me a moegoe all you want, but I am not the one with a deformed face, one-light Sabata or haasbek because I was too busy trying to be the ‘hero’ for what was absolute garbage.
By the way, most of these dom fights are over a cigarette, a papkan Four Street, someone gave them the ‘wrong’ look or apparently stepped on their toes and didn’t say sorry. Chisos! Then you have the young mandalas who ask questions like “Wat sal jy my maak?” (What will you do to me?) while facing dangerous mamparas like Dibo who have ‘nothing to lose’. That question has taken many young invincible(s) to the graveyard who didn’t have a chance to live (to fight) another day because of wrong choices they made.
This brings me to the debate on rape where some men are advocating that the law on rape be amended, especially when it comes to married couples or when a woman sneaks into a man’s house late at night and then accuse him of rape.
The argument about those in holy matrimony is that some married women falsely accuse their husbands of rape to spite them for cheating. Another argument is that some women blackmail or extort rich men out of thousands of dollars in exchange for their silence, especially if she was just a one-night stand or a side-chick who wants to be promoted to the status of wifey. There is also the argument that some women, out of fear of being shamed, have wrongfully sent men to jail for rape when the act was consensual.
While the arguments presented are valid, there are those who argue that once a woman enters into holy matrimony she has no right to refuse her husband in the sack or that a woman should not go late at night to a man’s house unless she wants to have sex. These arguments are false and smack of self-entitlement, which are all elements of patriarchy. There could be logical reasons why the wife may not want to do the do, especially if she is emotionally or physically abused by a manipulative husband. Issues of intimacy are multifaceted and do not only revolve around sex and it should thus not be an excuse to have intercourse with someone against their will even if they came to your place late at night.
The expression ‘live to fight another day’ connotes our daily struggles and does not necessarily imply that we must spare ourselves for another physical fight since violence does in anyway not solve disputes. It teaches us that when we make rush decisions in the heat of the moment because we have desire, are angry, passionate, disappointed, depressed and desperate, we make unwise choices that have dire consequences that can negatively alter our lives forever.
To ‘live to fight another day’ is to say no to moments of anger and weakness and to fight another day to overcome trials and tribulations.