This and that with Maluphosa:- Home sweet home!
I was at home affairs Marabastad on the early January. I made some disturbing observations from naughty to serious hatred. Two guys who looked like friends fought almost to the death- for nothing really. One, a clear chain-smoker, kept puffing away as only a chain-smoker could. The other decided to take revenge by offending the air around with a big loud fat fart. Yasuka.
'You shouldn't have done that. Us'jwayela kabi. Nx.' complained Smoky. 'At least this has no disease,' Fatty Farty remonstrated softly. 'What do you mean?' Smoky's annoyance was aggravated by the nauseating pungency of the unfortunate gas. 'Well, smoking causes all sorts of diseases including potency. No wonder you have no children. A fart will cause temporary discomfort, but will harm no-one'.
Smoky couldn't take such blatant provocation especially in such a huge crowd teeming with abantwana. A fierce fist fight broke out. Fatty Farty went for the jugular, literally, squeezing that part of the neck with his rough enormous daka-boy fingers. Smoky rolled his red eyes and kicked the air in a vein attempt to break free from the cramping vice-grip. Somehow he popped free and, as if in a trance, ran straight to the exit. Instead of making good his escape, he picked up a brick and threw it indiscriminately at the crowd. We dove for cover; but it was too late for this gigantic woman who was enjoying the fight all the while. The brick felled her into a huge bleeding motionless lifeless heap. Smoky ran into the traffic, across the road, and was never seen again. At least he had gotten a lecture on dangers of smoking. But, I think, there was more to this fight than just two types of smoke!
Willie enjoyed using his fart as a weapon to win short distances at school. We called him Qaqa (Skunk). You know what qaqa does when under siege from predators? Willie always had one or two puffs reserved for the start of the hundred or two-hundred metre sprints. At the word 'Go!', he would let out such an outdoor-profile twister that every other competitor would be left convulsing with laughter and fail to run. He would run alone like a mad hare to the finish. He used to call it his 'weapon of mass destruction'. One day he tried it, and there was an accident. Instead of venting the harmless breeze, he flushed out the grisly solids; down the left sleeve of his jogger-short for all to see. Speak of a joke that back-fires! He never took part in any athletics competition thence.
I met hundreds, nay, thousands, of my country-men who are the endangered species in South Africa. Well, South Africa is only enforcing its emigration laws like any security minded, peace-loving country. In all fairness, I would do the same if I were in power; so long as I would not target just black Zimbabweans. There are so many whites who fled the country like the rest of us. They were more than welcome here and in no time they were granted citizenship, not asylum status like blacks. I've been to Home-affairs Pretoria so many times.
That office processes more than a thousand Zimbabwean applications a day. Never in the three years have I queued with any white guys there. Where do they apply for asylum status? Why should things be always so easy for amakhiwa? I have seen some who were born in Zimbabwe, assumed SA citizenship, and are now permanently resident in England. How do they manage this when I find it so difficult to secure a birth record for my child? You get to an office and people think you are lying that you have a baby, even when you are carrying the baby. To make things worse, it is oblaki who have this mercenary attitude. Go ko Msitheli!
So, my black fellow-lmtshifana, get ready for a real man-made tsunami (is'khukhula). Dee thinks this serves some of us right. We rush home to vote emphatically for a government we can't stand, and then as quick as you can say 'vote' we are back here, running away from the monster we worship so much. But Siza maintains that there is no difference who one votes for, the result will never change. Anyone can win an election with a landslide victory in Africa, as long as they are in power. There is some sense in this, plenty of it in fact. There have been embarrassing cases of incumbent presidents being beaten thoroughly in elections but refusing to vacate the 'throne'. Need I say more?
I'm trying to imagine the chaotic and confused wave and counter-wave of mankind coming and going in large numbers, traversing the Zimbabwe-South Africa border. Speculation is that there might be an election this year. Elections at home are literally a life and death issue. Can you see the pull-you-push-me effect here? Zuma will be pushing with all the might of a scared president and the Zim government shall be driving us out with the indomitable might of a despot bent on flushing out all the unpatriotic ones, which is more than half the population.
Picture this - at Sun City recently a court official was calling out names. Gcinumuzi Ndlalifa Ngcobo was a big man with a very big head and a funny accent - a Nigerian! He can't even spell his name, let alone explain it. As far as history has taught us, the Zulus went to as far as the Zambezi. I wouldn't even name my child 'Farayi' because I'd have problems explaining it to them. I'm sure one can bank on this phenomenal corruption to survive the tsunami. Those who came here during apartheid say they have seen and survived worse.
'Ngamanz'amancane la.' They declare. Let me tell you guys; ngamanza'mancane but a-poisonous. A lot of injiva will be history. To be honest, I was getting too comfortable here. Reminds me of the years when I was a small boy growing up in the rural areas and used the bush as the toilet. You run with your tattered shorts already hanging from your knees. You squat hurriedly and when you are ready to deliver, somebody shouts, 'Yeyi!' and you have to stand up and scamper, with your shorts at your ankles! The government here has said 'Yeyi' and we have to scamper home before they force us to. Yes they can- with xeno or gumba-gumbas. Gives me goose pimples!
Crossing the border illegally has never been child's play. South Africans will know soon when the revolution starts eating its children and they have to run. We shall be waiting for them along the whole bloody stretch of the invincible Limpopo River! We shall set our maguma-gumas on them before we pack them into the gumba-gumbas or omagumede bakithi. The snakes and crocodiles will still be there, innumerable, hungry and vicious as ever. Omalayitsha will be going the other way, carrying the "proudly South African" contraband. Orobayi will patrol our streets and identify you by your proudly South African saunter, stature, poise and speech. They will grab you by your tight fitting botsotsos and throw you into our skorokoro vans, back to eGoli.
A word of advice, though; in your country you have 'Pick and Pay', kithi kulo 'Speak and Pay'! When deported, Mncedisi says he will be here again the same day. Tabo says it's still home, though not so sweet home √¢‚Ç¨‚Äú but she'd rather be in Zimbabwe than endure further inhumane treatment from both the citizens and government officials. A police officer who arrested her at a road-block last Friday called her 'inja ka Mgabe.' The women she works with call her "pass-port" or 'kwerekwere'. Godlwayo says he came here on his own accord and will go back home on his own accord; 'Who, me? Over my dead body.' He says he will fight to the last man to remain here. But still, abafethu balama ID ase-Mzansi. If be bhora they want to be buried ekhaya. Dead bodies cannot jump borders; or can they?
But ubab'u Cele is a hard working man who is prepared to fight crime head-on. Whatever operation is declared, you find him at the fore-front. Those who called him names when he was appointed must be hiding their heads tortoise-style. He is one commissioner who never lives on slogans or promises like the typical African police commissioners. He is not guided by party-affiliations, colour, religion or creed but by the statutes of good policing.
I bet when the volunteers come marching for us he will be there with them, asking for i-pass le spection. And you know kuyasheshwa where volunteers are concerned. Bayasivala i-sport! Let us prepare to go back home - home-not-so-sweet-home. We will leave our belongings, wives, children, friends, and debts behind. Like Lot's wife leaving Gomorrah, we will think of all this and may be look back and turn into stone that people will talk about for eons to come.
Where does one start, on arrival home? No money no work no children no home no wife or husband no friends. Perhaps we will have to queue for all these like we did mealie-meal, sugar, milk, meat, soap, petrol, diesel, paraffin, water, bearer's cheques, graves, and voting. SA has never been the Promised Land either. We still struggle from day to day. May be this time if many of us do get home, things shall be different.
Let's all go home my country-men, siye vota. Kungehlula, sitshintshele ezandleni. The last man standing will be the president! And, just like they have done so many times before, SADC should stay out, siqedelane sodwa njengokutsho kwabo. Sukuma silingane!