In response to the xenophobic attacks that keep popping up around the country, we publish here a series of articles written by young people, both South African and foreign nationals, sharing their thoughts, impressions and reactions to these events.

By Mpho Adora Raphadu

Who will you turn to when the pink man calls you an animal and treats you worse than one? Who will you turn to when the white man takes all the gifts from your land and drains all the precious liquid from it? Who will you turn to when the Asian man invades your land and kicks you out? Who will remind you of your identity when the pink man has fully equipped you to speak his tongue so profoundly that you can’t even sing your own clan names? 

Now that the karate man has come with his robots that have taken food away from your table, who will feed you and your family? Now that the white man has told you that knitting, wood work, farming isn’t good enough where will you relearn those skills?

Will the darker skins that once hid us during our roughest time still hide us when the tables turn again? Will the countries that opened their hearts to house, feed and clothe us without any fee still be welcoming? Will the people that donated their hard-earned money to school the children of Soweto still be generous? Will the birds that sang in solidarity of our freedom still sing praises about us again?

What truth did the blue-eyed man write in our history books? Did the ink empty before the whole truth could be laid on the piece of paper, or was it all that was intended to be taught to the new generation of the children of the soil?

Do we know of the sacrifices that our 53 sisters had to take to free us? Are we easy to forget that we are of the same soil? Are we quick to forget that the reason we were able to hide from the pink man and his ruthlessness is because we are of the same clay? That the pink man couldn’t distinguish between all of us because we are identical? 

Let’s tell the truth of how we arrived to enjoying this freedom. Let’s enlighten each other of who carried us when the man that we now strive to please and get recognition from, saw us as stupid, unworthy and undeserving. Let’s remind each other and emancipate ourselves from mental slavery and self-hatred.

 “The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

Steve Biko
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