A few weeks ago I started a discussion with groups of young people on this question:
IF YOU WERE TO THANK THE ANC LED GOVERNMENT, WHAT WILL BE YOUR REASONS?
First the answers were obvious-social grants, free basic services such as water and electricity, free education, free transport to school, free meals at school, free basic housing and all other services which Africans were denied, all those 400 years, by those whose aim was to keep Africans as mere purveyors of cheap labour and even moved them away from shopping, offices and places of work so that a greater part of their pay must end on the way rather on anything that would help them escape the systematically constructed reservoir of poverty
Things such as wealth redistribution through all the equity laws i.e. Employment Equity, BBBEE, land restitution, Business support services and even the mere fact that tendering was opened to all South Africans which was never the case before.
On the issue of tendering one guy became emotional when he spoke about the tenderpreneurs of the apartheid era who participated in forced removals which included transportation of people on Lorries in which parents were forced to forget every child that fell and died on the road in the process. The guy actually cried when he spoke of the need for the tenderpreneurs who aided the machinery of that crime against humanity to return all the money they made to the state or wok for free to the value of those contracts as a show of remorse.
Later in the discussions with certain group, I was so deeply touched that I almost cried myself. I almost cried not because of pain, but the opening of a wound in me that I never knew needed healing. A conversation that led me to the day I stopped participating in ancestral worship. This was brought forth by discussion on the renaming of roads and buildings. As they counted renamed roads, they came to the one named after Kgoshi Mampuru.
I remember the name Mampuru being discussed during one of my family’s ancestral worship when I was about six years old. After my father completed calling names of his side of ancestors and gave my mother a chance to call those of her side, she asked why my father did not call the name of Mampuru and others. His explanation was that Mampuru died painfully and that others were slaves who died holding grudges against his ancestors. They both agreed that those spirits might bring more disharmony on their already indigent household for which they are trying to seek relief from the dead.
The following session I refused to participate. I did not tell them why, but inwardly I knew I could not participate in a process where someone was discriminated against merely because they died painfully. From that day my parents and thus my whole family also stopped practicing ancestral worship. I did not ask them why, but I was surprised by their sudden liberal conversations with us (their children) despite being illiterate.
Today, through the ANC led processes I started to learn who Mampuru was. The process of thanking ANC which I started leisurely ended up touching the most fundamental part of me for which I now say to ANC: ke go aleboga gomenagane/ ngiyabonga kakhulu , baie dankie and I say this surging deepest joy with my heart on the exterior of my face
- THANK VERY MUCH-