This Story Goes On without end
It is true that the Blackman has not only lost his face, his culture, his name, his religion, his manhood, but his soul too. The Blackman is not only a shapeless shadow, but a foundationless creature. When ever and where ever he is found, he is begging for some form and substance in order to make sense of the world (and to the world), and interact with other fellow human beings as a human person.
A Blackman has abandoned his responsibilities in the universe. He has vacated the position of being the core-governor of the universe with the Creator – only because his image has been downgraded by his social circumstances.
When a child of man wakes up in the morning, he can see that his father is a tortured wretched of the earth. He sleeps in a porous cold and small shack. His clothes are torn rags; his face tells a tale of alcoholism and frustration. His life is riddled with dilemmas and questions one after the other. His wife is a laughing stock, lacking in all amenities required to make up a woman. She is the punching bag, continuously deflated in terms of pride and spirit, yet she continues to wait and hope, thinking that one day her man will come back home with a solid, scrubbed, and shining face.
This story is a very long one. This Blackman has come from the farms to the mines, the factories, back to the farms, then to the long queue of the unemployed, in fact unemployables. He wakes up to the street corners raining, cold, windy or hot, hoping to be picked up, used up, then thanked a gentleman’s way (smiling handshake with nothing to produce as a ‘thank’ when going home). When he works, he works for peanuts because he was once told that his brain is at least slightly larger than a peanut. Perhaps, he is still ‘babooned’ in this political unfriendly maze characterized by polarization between the haves and the have-nots. What a Shame!
The Blackman is a sorry sight. He is no longer willing to see the day without vying to the tavern or any alcohol selling place. His life revolves around alcohol. He continuously argues that alcohol makes him forget all worries. He is beaten up at the tavern, falls prey to pickpockets in the dusty streets of the township, and continues to drag home his worries including the fact that he has not disclosed to his wife that he contracted HIV (but what is HIV?). He ‘braves’, with alcohol stained face, the misery of poverty and hunger in his house. He is not affected by the reality that his child is no longer going to school because of school fees and lack of school uniform. He is not involved in politics, does not go to church, has not been to school, in fact, he cannot interpret the world for himself, thus he does not act when required, but only acts on the illusion of being acted upon by angels and all do-gooders of the world.
His wife sleeps in a pool of tears every night because she does not know how to tell him about the affair she has had with their neighbour. She cannot tell whether the HIV she is currently carrying is from this neighbour or from previous relationships. All she knows is that she suffers from a bout of opportunistic infections of all sorts. She knows that she can’t afford the healthy diet spoken about on TV, and of course cannot preach safe sex to her ever drunk Blackman.
Even tomorrow, the story for the drunk Blackman will go on.
(Funani ka Ntontela Writes to Himself, and he is allowed)