Ntokozo Qwabe remains unapologetic

By Drum Digital
10 May 2016

“It was not a moment of spite, this was an act of protest and had nothing to do with the waitress, actually, her feelings are irrelevant”- Ntokozo Qwabe.

Ntokozo Qwabe, who made headlines after posting a Facebook comment about an incident involving a waitress at Obz Café in Cape Town, remains unapologetic about the matter.

While Qwabe did not write the note that was written by a fellow activist and friend, Wandile Dlamini, he says he supports Dlamini’s political statement.

“It was not a moment of spite, this was an act of protest and had nothing to do with the waitress, actually, her feelings are irrelevant,” he says.

His Facebook post was received with much criticism with people calling him a racist and demanding that his scholarship at Oxford University in London be revoked.

“Just because I won a scholarship to study in the UK and I am benefiting from white colonialists, it does not mean I cannot raise pertinent issues about race,” he says.

“My scholarship will not be revoked. That’s white hysterics. That’s in their minds.”

Speaking at a press briefing in Rosebank on Monday, Qwabe says he has no problem with tipping because he once worked as a cashier at a supermarket but says by virtue of being white, the offended waitress managed to raise R150 000 because of the incident and can now potentially open her own restaurant.

“Black people ring bells at people’s homes every day begging for money and they will never make the kind of money the waitress did,” he says. “In South Africa, we decide who we care about and who we don’t care about and by virtue of being white, the waitress receiving that kind of money proves a point about whiteness.”

Qwabe rubbished the accusation that he is a racist and challenged South Africans to research and read up about what a racist is.

“Being a racist is not about exchanging words but about branding black people as non-human, a k****r or a monkey,” he says, “but the media is obsessed with personalities and should rather focus on facts.”

Qwabe explained that the note did not cause the waitress to cry and “burst into tears” as it has been reported, but rather that “white tears” is an expression used to describe a white person’s response when they experience discomfort when they are challenged.

In a comical moment, Qwabe described himself as a “madman” living in an “abnormal society”.

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