• July 12th, 2020

This one is for you

 Tutaleni I. Asino
This one is for you the one who made the thirtieth 21st possible
the one for whom no songs are written the one for whom many songs have been sungIt’s been 30 years but please accept my omapandulo
This one is for you
Meme na Tate who fought from within
for you who prayed every day for the safety of those abroad
for you whose mahangu fields were destroyed by the Casspir because you were a sympathizer for you who stayed behind to tell the stories of aunts and uncles that left before my birth
it is because of your stories that I felt I knew them before seeing them

Kai Aios 
This one is for you
who has plenty of internal scars adding only to your invisibility
who has many external scars to prove your loyalty and dedication
for you who was out there fighting for me so that I could have this day
for you – Oupa who has no leg, no job, no land, no directorate position
but beaming with pride and filled with many stories that will go unheard
30 year has passed but please allow me to say – Eios setwana tankie
This one is for you
omkuluntu gwandje who out of helplessness pushed me under the bed
and told me to hide from mortars, grenades and bullets
for you who made me memorize pictures of explosives so as not to pick up them off the ground for you who allowed me to have a childhood and run around oblivious to the instability and inhumanness around me
for you who made life normal amongst absurdity
Let me say - Ondangero Onene even though it is 30 years late

This one is for you
Mevrou and Meneer who taught me how to read and write without papers or pencils for you who taught me to respect education even when it was inferior and designed for servitude
for you who gave me the foundation and the building blocks to what today is my knowledge base even though I look down on you now and call you unqualified
even though I blame you now for my younger brothers and sisters failing  ndikupe ombili, and say – pandu
it has been 30 years of not acknowledging your efforts
This one is for you
In far off lands who cared for a place you never knew
for you who interceded on my behalf when I could not cross the Atlantic for you who facilitated meetings educational opportunities
shelter and support for a people the power that be deemed unqualified and unfit for self-determination for you who believed in social justice and equality. Here is my 30 years worth of – aio
This one is for you
Who works hard every day even as I accuse you of doing nothing
for you who believe in service with civility
for you who keeps the engine running amongst a flurry of cynicism
for you who works for me domestically and internationally
doing right even when I am short on praise and filled with protest and criticism
I am saying it now, 30 years later - Tumezi Shangwe
This one is for you
the one who knows no national curfew
the one who has an individual name
instead of the generic, hurtful and offensive Kaffir
the one for whom questioning freedom is akin to questioning gravity
the one who was born with a computer, a cell phone and watching TV before 6 pm
the one who will chart the course for the next 30 years
the one to whom I may not be able to say 30 years from now – Tangi Shinene thank you for your innocence, your impatience and your hopefulness
This one is for you
Perhaps most importantly
for you who went to the mountain top but never got to the promised land
for you whose bones built the bridge that led me to my today
for you whose blood is the adhesive for the bridge of my tomorrow
for you whose fighting and dedication I never knew because you were gone before I arrived
for you who gave freely and willingly so that I can now proclaim unequivocally and without justification
I am free
I am born free
This one is for you
This one is for me
Thirty years later
This one is for us
Thirty times over
Happy Independence Day

Staff Reporter
2020-03-20 14:36:07 | 3 months ago

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