If you grew up like me (white and under apartheid), you might have missed going on strikes or protesting in the streets. Here’s your chance to make up for lost time!
I seem to have missed all the fun when I was young – such were the drawbacks of growing up under the previous regime. The strict, rural, conservative, Afrikaans community of my childhood consisted of staunch Nat supporters, Voortrekkers, rugby, Volkspele, and boere-tradisie. And the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk (Dutch Reformed Church, abbreviated NGK.)
The NGK, or so it would seem, actually had a representative who accompanied Moses when he collected the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. These commandments were not recorded in the Bible, but they were just as important to the church.
Dominee would often preach – in a voice reminiscent of Charlton Heston:
“Thou shalt not dance on Sundays.”
“Thou shalt not covet thy black housemaid.”
“Thou shalt not covet Dominee’s three cars, or his house, or his swimming pool, or his caravan, or his holiday cottage in Hermanus, or anything belonging to Dominee.”
“Thou shalt not vote for another political party because the Nats will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of those who do.” (So now you know why we have all these “challenges” in this country.)
And so on, and so forth, and so fifth.
I distinctly remember the gossip flying from a neighbouring Tannie. “Have you heard,” she would *skinner, “Piet is going out with an English girl. **Skande in die familie!”
And: “Sannie is pregnant! She’s not even married! Dominee has placed her under ***sensuur.”
In those days, children were seen, not heard.
I never had the chance to burn down my school, to throw rocks at the police, or stab a fellow pupil (we were never lennas, we were pupils) with a knife, or assault a teacher, or rape an innocent young girl while my friends made a video on their cell phones. Hell, we didn’t even have cell phones!
From the above, I’m sure you’ve surmised that I also never learned to toi-toi. Much to my shame. Lately I have the urge to join the protesters toy-toying in the cities; trashing the streets, breaking shop windows, robbing street vendors – generally stuffing the place up – because of anger over the lack of service delivery from the corrupt, incompetent ANC government.
Yesterday, out of the blue, I received an invitation to toy-toy! At last! An e-mail from the Democratic Alliance, nogal!
The DA invited me to join them outside the Bus depot, here in Pretoria, on Monday. They want to protest against the poor bus service in Pretoria.
But then, suddenly, I had a flashback of a horror photo I saw in the news during the last elections – Helen Zille, with takkies; in a pair of Bermuda shorts made out of the National flag, dancing and toy-toying on stage. I was scared witless by this spectacle, I can tell you!
And just there, my nerve failed!
What if she is also going to be at the Bus depot on Monday? What if I’m asked to dance with her? What if I’m asked to do a solo toy-toy on stage? What if I wanted to dance with a black woman? What if Dominee finds out? What if the Nats come back into power? What?
So, thanks for the invite, Democratic Alliance, but I won’t be joining the action. Why? I just told you!
No-one ever taught me to toy-toy!
** Shamed the family
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