INTOLERANCE BEYOND EXISTENCE & SURVIVAL
It is today five years since I left Boslan farm where I worked as a labourer doing any task given to me by my ‘Baas’ Frikkie. I can remember so vividly how I carried his instructions exactly the way he wanted and along that I earned myself a blue-eyed-boy amongst all his blue-collar work force of about sixty. I was always next to him wherever he went as I was the only boy who understood both languages he could only speak (Afrikaans and English). He later transferred me from the general compound to a really nice thatched hut behind his mansion as I was so much part of his life, indispensable due to my diligence and more especially that I spoke (‘suiwer pure Afrikaans’ en ordinklik soos die Baas gesê het). Everybody called me ‘Baasboy’ which nearly matured into my new name.
One afternoon we were on our way to town, Soekmekaar to buy some 44: 22: 60 fertilizer when on a small muddy ditch he lost total control of the bakkie and it swerved to the left and right and after the screeching of wheels the bakkie overturned and landed on my ‘Baas’ and he lay there unconscious. In no time an ambulance arrived and one black nurse started doing heart massage, mouth to mouth pulmonary resuscitation on my Baas and I was relieved when My ‘Baas’ eyes opened up and he coughed two or three times and said “Ek is darem nog steeds lewendig, dankie Here”, and he was taken to the hospital for further medical observation.
In a week’s time he was back on the farm on light duty. His wife Karien, was happy that her husband’s life was restored but she could not stomach the thought of him been kissed by a black lady and ever since she refused to kiss him. When all the accident incidents were relayed to him despite giving thanks to the Black lady, this is what he said; “Daardie vuil Kaffir vrouetjie moes maar my nie gesoen nie” meaning the filthy Black lady should not have kissed him and he was furious about the kiss of life as he argued that he would not die. Frikkie wanted to sue the lady that she did not have permission to kiss him, but later discarded of the idea realising that it was her profession to kiss anyone in such a situation.
Frikkie had two daughters and the eldest, Henrietta, was already married and stayed in town with his hubby whilst the youngest one, Sarie, was staying on the farm. Every time when her parents were away, she would sneak into my hut and lie happily on my scaffoldinding bed like a boat and start funny things and end up kissing me. I was so scared when she persuaded me for more but one day I garnered enough strength and there we were and ever since we were part and parcel whenever the unsuspecting parents were away until we were caught up when on one night she slipped out of the mansion backdoor and made her way to my hut, a reason I was sent packing. One afternoon I met her in town and she begged me to return and told me the old man, her father, Frikkie has since passed on and her mother doesn’t have a problem with the relationship to a black person as long as it will be me, Baasboy. Can I go? The thing is she is longing for me and yes we had something good going on till someone cut it short. Does our future depend on someone else or only the two of us? Why do other people like parents like to influence the course that is not theirs, I mean they had theirs and now it is our time. Yes, I am black and I’m Black, but does that really matter in a Rainbow nation.
Look we read of many forced marriages here and abroad, preplanned by parents but they never worked but why would we still force people to marry to appease others and force a bond between two people that does not gel at all? Why such actions are allowed by law but on the other side we condemn gay marriages which are based on pure love? Are we forgetting or maybe undermining that marriage must be solely based on love and not a contract or sales like business? Child and any form of abuse are punishable and the Law must not leave forced marriage in impunity!!
By: Modiba Kadi