I heart Jozi – Weighing Malema’s song

2011-09-15 09:21

“Jozi is like a beautiful flower that blossoms and wilts all at the same time.”

This statement by my friend Richard “Quaz” Roodt is true not only of Jozi but of the country as a whole.

Consider this: It’s not cool for Julius Malema to sing “shoot the boer” because white guilt makes AfriForum a tad uncomfortable with the facts of our history.

But it is completely acceptable to call on all black South Africans to sing Die Stem as their national anthem – with pride, passion and reverence.

I have no issues with there being an Afrikaans verse, but must it be that song?

This is the same song that was the pride and national anthem of the apartheid regime and the soundtrack to a government that sought to dehumanise and enslave an entire race.

It’s funny how in this country Malema was sent to court for singing “dubula ibhunu” but we stand back and watch as the AWB hoists the old South African flag and vow to keep singing Die Stem despite what it symbolises to black South Africa.

It’s interesting how the constitutionality of a Black Journalists Forum was questioned in 2008 while Orania still exists today with its own currency and flag and might as well have a “whites only” signpost at its borders.

This country is a strange place. In the interest of so-called nation-building and equality, we ban whole parts of history.

But all this does is to deny a people any chance at true reconciliation and unity.

After a tirade on how sometimes it’s hard to love your own people when they mess up, Huey Freeman in The Boondocks says: “but you gotta love ’em coz they are your people after all”.

Seeing that this is the only place I have ever called home, I have to love it. But I imagine it’s the kind of love my mother had for me when I got in real trouble, love with a (not so slight) pinch of salt.

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