I am very conscious about my blackness, and have instilled a strong sense of black pride in my kids. They know who they are and they love their skin, their hair and everything about them that makes them black. We need that in this world that works really hard to beat us down because of that very same blackness. Even this book comes from my love of black people, but in this case my black brothers. It is my small and hopefully helpful contribution to us being better and doing better so we can contribute even more of our awesomeness to society.
Yet my daughter loves Barbie. Yoh, uyam’thanda.
I have had to concede. Angisazi ngeni. There is nothing more I can do, without running the risk of turning my kid into a racist. I also don’t see why I should do anything about it. My daughter loving Barbie doesn’t mean she rejects her blackness. There are all sorts of people in the world and we are allowed to befriend or love whomever we choose. Embracing your blackness doesn’t mean rejecting all others. It simply means loving yourself enough to not get swallowed up in other people’s stories. I am comfortable that my daughter is fine.
I must admit that I used to feel awkward, when out in public and she would be playing with her Barbie. But manje angina ndaba. Anyway, she has other dolls too. Black ones as well because it is of upmost importance that black children grow up with positive images of themselves. We have to remain vigilant in that regard.
Friend: I used to think “Ken”, Barbie’s boyfriend was a genius that knew stuff, hence his name – Ken. Fuck you, Afrikaans.
Me: You’re stupid.
Friend1: I know.
Me: No. Jy ken.
The world works really hard to vilify people. Especially the black man, thina, and a staggering amount of money and resources have been put towards this project. It is relentless, and their efforts have not been without success. Even our own people often see us as the enemy. Even we see each other as the enemy. Look at the manic rate at which we kill each other.
We have bought into that narrative, even to a point where we have taken ownership of it and live it, as our truth. We need to investigate the things we believe define us. When we look deeper, we start to realise that a lot of them serve only to push an agenda that works against us. We need to empower ourselves with knowledge and wisdom to get a better understanding of the toxic bullshit that we have been fed and how it plays out in our lives and lamasimba we are swimming in.
The work that needs to be done to change the story around the black man is deep but it is not impossible. It is up to us to do that work. Mina nawe, bafo. Every day.
When we abandon our children, we make our enemies happy.
When we commit crimes, we give our enemies joy.
When we beat, kill and rape women, we prove our enemies right.
When we beat, kill and rape children, we give our enemies what they want.
When we abuse drugs and alcohol, our enemies rejoice.
When we neglect our mental health, we give power to our enemies.
When we reject education, we allow ourselves to be our enemies’ slaves.
We need to take our power back and take our rightful place in the world.
Asiyekeni ukuchazwa amasimba, and we will get there quicker. Reject the bullshit. Ska bahemisa. Ska bathabisa.
The is from the book is called “Magenge, we need to talk“, and it will be in stores from the 31st of October.