It’s spring time now
And the early morning birds tweet
Songs of optimism and hope
Marching into the dawn with beautiful feet
My store-front window has dated
With winter’s fashion trends
The time of protest, anger and distrust
Seemed to have come to an (un)expected end
Let me dress up my mannequins
With the colours of neighbouring outlets
For my patrons have stopped paying with clicks
Opting for next door’s sonnets
Let me drape its head with quotes
Appropriated from contexts generally unseen
Maybe it will give an appearance nouveau
And get the world to notice me
Let me give its lips a smile and song
Something that may now be hard to do
Because I’d learnt the winter dance and songs so well
And now once again I have to become something new
Yet if I don’t dress it up in seasonal vogue
They may not come inside to see
The apparel sewn by the deepest parts
The doubts and fears and hurts in polychromatic tapestry
But the more my offering changes
To match the song of the birds
The less space left inside the store
To display the original song my heart once heard
The song of freedom and beauty
The melody of glorious things unseen
The secret things that have remained hidden
Because I’ve buried them within
So let me finish dressing my mannequin
To cash in on cryptic social currency
Before it’s time to learn summer’s song
In another escape from social redundancy
For you fashioned my inmost being; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders —I know this very well. – Dawid Ben Yishai
Watching a child grow up is an interesting thing. Seeing them learn about the world around them, and unconsciously form the personality within them, can leave one enchanted by the spell of God’s providence working in the macro and minute details of the world.
Decolonisation. This seems to be the word of the day. University students throughout the country are fighting for a more Afro-centric curriculum without the baggage of the colonial past. Relaxed hair is now frowned upon by many, and natural hair is in. African print is en vogue. Animals are being slaughtered in suburban backyards. Children are being given long and hard to pronounce names. Yellow bones are losing to darker tones. Africa is coming back!
During my undergraduate years at the University at Cape Town, I stayed in the prestigious Smuts Hall, with halls rich in tradition and rooms with views of the city of Cape Town. 3 times a day, we used to walk over the parking lot to Fuller Hall for mealtimes, passing the now controversial statue of Cecil John Rhodes.
This is a rant. And I’m writing it at midnight. Which is not the best time to rant. But I’m awake. So I’m going to rant. Why are people talking about creating a Christian culture, or a Jesus culture*? What does that even mean?
African Bank has been the focus of recent business news in South Africa for the past few weeks. Everyone has suddenly become an ‘expert analyst’ on the woes of African Bank, and what they should have done differently. Should they have bought Ellerines? Should they have closed down their savings account offering and allowed for a diverse portfolio of profits? It’s easy to judge when looking back, but a lot more difficult to give guiding principles when looking forward.
For the past four years, I have really enjoyed reading history books, especially South African and East African history books. About a year and a half ago, I walked into a new bookshop in Rondebosch, Cape Town to see if they had any other books of interest. I came across this book about the origins of the ANC.
Isn’t it nice to have someone to blame?
Isn’t it nice to glide out our doors and see hurting, pain and injustice, and have someone to blame? Isn’t it nice to walk in our shoes with a hint of superiority perceiving our intentions greater than others’ actions? Isn’t it nice feeling secure in our fickle securities of achievement, thinking that it was only by our hard work and self-created circumstance that we have the privilege we do now, and others just didn’t work hard enough? Isn’t it nice to ask the question “What will I lose if I give of myself?” instead of “What will they lose if I don’t”? Isn’t it nice to have someone to blame?
Three years ago, a friend of mine and her dad bought me Outliers as a gift. Before this, I hadn’t really heard of Malcolm Gladwell except a few references to his book Tipping Point by people I considered somewhat intellectual. I gave the book a read, and it absolutely blew my mind! So when his new book, David and Goliath came out, I was reading pre-release statements, watching videos, and waiting in heavy anticipation for the book.