The Story Behind #WeAreComingForEverything

With hashtags like #blackexcellence, Black South Africans have stopped apologising for pursuing their dreams and celebrating each other’s triumphs

If you have been on social media or in a gathering among people with melanin overdose, discussing other black people who are breaking boundaries in different fields, you will be familiar with the phrase “We Are Coming for Everything”.

The phrase, which is also a hashtag used to celebrate black people who are doing amazing things and to acknowledge black excellence, was coined by founder George Matsheke and Banele Rawo.

“What is says is what it means really. The thing about the hashtag is [that] it makes sense if you are black. You don’t have to explain it, you don’t have to decode it and all it means is that all the things that they said we couldn’t come for, we are coming for,” says Matsheke.

Twenty two years after the end of the brutal apartheid regime that marginalised black people and ensured that they were kept in a state of perpetual servitude and oppression, black people in South Africa are still dealing with being excluded and are struggling to be active participants in the economy.

A Department of Trade and Industry survey reported that only a mere 3% of the economy is owned by black people. In fact, in most spheres of life, South Africa is still celebrating black people who are the first black anything in their spheres and black people are still fighting for inclusion in predominantly white sports teams. This exclusion is now being challenged by black people who are excelling in sports, business, arts and the media.

“Whether it is building hospitals, whether it is companies, whether it is just doing what you do best, all of the things they said we couldn’t do best, we are coming for,” explains Masheke.

Floyd Manotana, a Soweto-based designer who recently showed at SA Fashion week and was profiled byGQ magazine as a designer to watch, says for him the phrase is a personal affirmation.

“That phrase basically means having a stake in our country. Because of apartheid the black person has never had the right to own anything, we did not have the right to be brilliant. It (the phrase) is about excellence,” he says

Manotana says the phrase is also about dispelling the myth that black products are inferior: “It is about holding ourselves to a higher standard, you cannot question the standard of anything that we produce.”

The realisation that black people can do things for themselves has created enclaves where black people can celebrate each other and support one another in their endeavours. One such group is Brown Sense on Facebook, which currently has over 17 000 followers. The group allows entrepreneurs to advertise their services – from therapists, event planners and designers to chefs and builders.

Unlike the hashtag #blackexcellence, which some may feel is exclusionary and is only associated with people who have a lot of money and have made it, Matsheke says #WeAreComingForEverything is more inclusionary and can apply to every black person who is going head first in the direction of their dreams.

“Black excellence doesn’t have that drive, it doesn’t have that meat. It just says you are excellent at what you have been doing… but when you say ‘we are coming for everything’, it is a movement. You are moving towards something. You might not have it yet, but you are building on it,” he says.

On hearing the phrase, “we are coming for everything”, some people who are not black might feel as though it is not inclusive and further serves to divide South Africans along race lines, however Floyd says the phrase is necessary.

“If people feel threatened about people coming for everything and people celebrating our excellence, then it is their problem, it has nothing to do with [them]. I am going to celebrate,” he says.

via Destiny Connect