Mind your own business

2009-01-31 00:00

The prophets of doom have been on a mission to destroy that which is foreign to them and to preserve that which is theirs, while they force it down our throats. These self-ordained advocates of the Constitution are the same people who rape and maim the document that is supposed to be the supreme law of the Republic of South Africa.

It is unfortunate that African people of this country, who are by far the majority, always seem to get the short end of the stick where their cultures are concerned when the Constitution needs to be interpreted and implemented.

One just has to look at the issue of slaughtering bulls and making offerings to the ancestors to see how much of a joke this has become, especially in suburbia where this aspect of culture cannot be exercised.

Another is the issue of polygamy, which has been portrayed as primitive and barbaric, if not absurd and mad. What is even more shocking is that the detractors, some of whom are Africans only by origin or are westerners, have said so much about an aspect of culture they do not practise or understand and which does not affect them.

Some issues need to be left to those who own them so that they can make informed pronouncements about something they own. People should not try to take over and dictate an issue that is none of their business for starters.

Much has been said about African National Congress’ president Jacob Zuma’s polygamous marriages and this was by people who have little or no thorough understanding of Zulu culture.

Then his party deputy and South Africa’s president Kgalema Motlanthe was found to have a penchant for the fairer sex and so the man who was thought to be the only sane head in the ANC is not the darling that he once was.

Even the darling of the Western nations, former president Thabo Mbeki, was once labelled as a “casanova” by author Max du Preez and even though there were hush whispers in newsrooms across the country, no one had the balls to run with the story.

I do not think that those who practise this aspect of African culture should have to explain its existence and its continuation to anyone, and neither should they be told how to practise it.

Some scholars and learned friends have said that this practice goes against the work being done to eliminate HIV/Aids, as unfounded as that sounds. Education on HIV/Aids needs to continue as all people in relationships are vulnerable. Women who go into polygamous marriages are not coerced; they do so knowingly.

For many years, Africans took orders, were told what was good for them and they were unable to be themselves and that time is now over. We are gatvol of taking orders and we will revolt against the powers that try to take away what is ours.

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