Mhambi has been redeployed.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Skyscrapers do not belong in Africa

I had a pretty vivid and dramatic comment on one of my posts on Bok van Blerk this week. Mhambi wonders who could have left the comment. But Mhambi has a hunch. Hint: I think his names begins with a D.:

Fact of the matter is that candy coated apartheid goes under the guise of culuralism now. As an ex SADF boykie who did his bit up there in the big A I can tell you that I still have nightmares of the Brutality of Africa, and its all very noble about De La Rey but at the end of the day Africa, including my beloved South Africa is not a place for Europeans and Africa will claim back its own. Afrikaner culture in essence is European not African hence despite beautiful lyrics it is going to be a tough fight which in the long run is unwinnable UNLESS Afrikaners reject their European identity and live by African Ideals. It reminds me of the death scene of Roy Batty in Blade Runner... I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams ... glitter in the dark near Tanhauser Gate. All those ... moments will be lost ... in time, like tears ... in rain. Time ... to die. All our monuments to our westernism (working electrical grids, skyscrapers, infrastructure) will be lost like tears in the rain because it does not belong in Africa... Like tears in the rain...


This reminds me of a song by Roof Bezuidenhout, Nero van der Merwe se lied. He sings about a city whose trains have stopped running, a city in ruin. But he ads, a city that's burning does look pretty from afar.

Beautiful funerals

I once heard a Cambridge student ask Roof if he does not think the Afrikaans language will die out and why he sings in this endangered tongue.

He said that he sings in Afrikans because, "we want to give it a beautiful funeral". Which is rather nice. Think of Mhambi as a serial funeral bulletin.

Talking of funerals, this week South African Anglo-Zulu historian David Rattry was buried after he was murdered a few days before. The international press was buzzing - no other murder of a South African has managed this media frenzy. Some commented on how South Africa was loosing its moral compass. Which was a bit strange because stats show that the killing in this country is (a little bit) less than before.

South Africa's image has always been mediated, shaped by the western media and specifically the English media. And it is when somebody is murdered that the English can closely identify with, that the English media takes notice.

The Telegraph had this to say:

there are 20,000 murders in South Africa every year. Here's a comparison. The Iraq Body Count website estimates that between 55,373 and 61,060 civilians have perished since the 2003 invasion. That is: a hot war, followed by a violent and organised insurgency that has turned into a civil war in all but name. By my rough calculation, over the four years since the whole thing started, that's around 15,000 casualties a year. That is, then, 75 per cent of the death toll for peacetime South Africa.


I end with a few lines from another Roof song:

En die vroue vra:
is Afrika se nagte dan soveel donkerder
as dié van ander kontinente?
skyn Afrika se son dan soveel skerper
as dié van ander kontinente?

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nope, His name does not start with a D but with an E, en dit is nogal frustrerend om in Engels te skryf, but I understand the point that you are trying to make... But the Roy Batty quote is just great, i watched the movie again and that line is just perinial and sums up my feelings to South Africa

gv said...

Oh, and the existence of journals such as Hello magazine also proves that English is doing very well!