This past Easter weekend, I spent the weekend away with my family in Musina, Limpopo. Musina has become somewhat like a second home for me. much like Kumusha in Zimbabwe and Nongoma in Kwa-Zulu Natal, because that’s are where my roots are.
Late Saturday evening, just before Easter Sunday I had to take a bus back home to Johannesburg, leaving my family to finish off the weekend in Musina. Now, I am no stranger to the long distance bus life but every trip is always a new and different experience from the last and somewhat of an adventure.
This particular bus ride, a nerve struck me. Why do we treat each other like foreigners in our land? Simple: Power is the name of the game. This particular bus that I caught, had come from Zimbabwe but what I could not understand is that, at every single road block the police harshly demanded that every passenger produce their passports. Correct me if I am wrong, as this may be police protocol, but is there a real need to be stopped every time and asked to show your passport? I have never felt so unwelcome and unwanted in my own land and home.
This made me think about the general treatment of immigrants. This is particularly close to my heart and deeply saddens me because as a Zimbabwean and South African, I am caught between the two worlds; I am often confused, baffled and quite frankly annoyed at some of the reactions I get when people cannot believe that I am a Shona-Zulu womxn. I understand that my skin tone, name and unfortunate lack of fluency in Shona may throw people off a bit, however there are countless times where it seems as though people don’t believe me. Look, I am not naïve to the workings of the world, I know that judgement will always be there. However, I guess more than ever I realize what a very long way we have to go before we really learn to accept one another and live together.
I find it entirely disrespectful and invasive to keep affirming that I have legitimate right to be here, despite our countries facing issues of illegal immigrants and corruption. Perhaps we need to look deeper at the issue and try to understand why such issues are at a dire state. Things are already tough as they are; being Black is not easy – having to always negotiate and ask for a space in this world, let alone a chance to be something other than the colour of your skin.
But why do we perpetuate the colonial ways in our lands? Why do continually to reject each other my, Sistas and Brothas? Why doe feel the need to alienate one another from our homes and treat each other like stranger? I don’t want to preach and I am not saying that we must now all Khumbaya and be one big happy family… BUT THINGS MUST CHANGE. I may be an idealistic naïve womxn but I’d rather live in hope and strive for change then to accept this oppressive and exclusionary system sh*t. As I once heard and firmly believe, “Hope dies last“.
Kuqhala ngathi njengabantu yalesizwe nalomhlaba yeAfrica, ekugcineni Singabantu Ngabantu.
And those are just my 2 cent thoughts for the month.