Posts Tagged ‘for mzansi’

Pieter Odendaal. “for mzansi” – ’n gedig deur 180 skrywers

Monday, November 15th, 2010


Verlede Dinsdag het daar ‘n artikel van die Suid-Afrikaanse expat Birgit Solvsten d’Alpoim op News24 se webblad verskyn. In haar skrywe “What South Africans don’t know about SA” gaan sy basies gal af oor die skreiende rassisme wat steeds in Suid-Afrika aanwesig is. Toe ek Donderdag om 09:13 die artikel lees, was daar reeds meer as 200 kommentare op haar artikel gewees. En was die mense in oproer oor wat sy te sê gehad het! Hulle het haar uitgeskel, geprys, gevloek en gelukgewens. Ek het deur die kommentare gelees en besluit om iets met hulle aan te vang.

Die eerste stap was om aandagtig deur alles te lees en sinsnedes te onderstreep wat my opgeval het, kwaad gemaak het of net eenvoudig belaglik was. Die artikel met kommentare kan hier gelees word:

Hierna het ek al die onderstreepte kommentare uitgesny en op my kamervloer uitgesprei, waarna ek hulle min of meer “tematies” saamgegroepeer het. Ek het toe die uitknipsels rondgeskommel tot ek tevrede was. Die onderstaande gedig, “for mzansi”, is die eindproduk van my speletjie.

Ek het probeer om so ver as moontlik die oorspronklike kontekstuele betekenis van die teksgedeeltes te behou, alhoewel ek wél hier en daar ‘n voornaamwoord of twee verander het. Die enigste noemenswaardig verskille tussen die gedig en die oorspronklike kommentare is die reëlbreuke en die strofes. Ek het ook meeste van die leestekens verwyder en ooglopende spelfoute gekorrigeer. Dit lyk vir my of die gedig op die ou end ‘n dialoog tussen ‘n ouer en ‘n jonger Suid-Afrikaner verteenwoordig.

Dankie aan elkeen van die 180 kommentators wat (onwetend) gehelp het om die gedig te skryf. Hulle name verskyn onderaan die gedig.


for mzansi

a dialogue in 180 voices



            i don’t think i have to

you need to get off your high horse


            sorry baas that i am so ignorant

no doubt you think a necklace

is simply a fun piece of jewellery


why don’t you bring your face closer


i remember

being able to identify

landmines limpet mines makarov pistols

before I was 10

i remember

when our family couldn’t enter

shops and restaurants through the same


i remember

the day i saw black

people dressed like whites

walking on the beach at scottborough


i went to a public school

just as they did

i had to hold my school shoes together

with elastic bands for over a year


            yes we have a kak past

            but we are not a bitter and twisted people

            blacks had homelands whites had theirs

did van riebeeck come to africa

carrying land in his ships?

there is no justice we are stuck in a colonial age


i lived here with a heart

but people forced me to hide it

4 million people cannot carry

a country i had to leave

through a choice of my own


            i was 7 my brother 4 when we

            became a democratic republic i did not

            commit any atrocities

            and neither did my brother

            all we got was a stab in the back


            most white saffers

            would be happy to live and work under

            a black government

            so easy on us whiteys we

            want the same things

            but build a city before you rename          

            our streets

they built your country

with their sweat and tears

there was extremely cheap labour

if you refused you were locked up like a criminal

black people were

very forgiving


a bit too much



they will be afraid to walk on the streets

cowards that they are

            ek’s trots om ‘n wit suid-

            afrikaner te wees

eish dis langwij of da umlungu

is cunfushesing although

the bit i know

helps a lot to hear

when they are talking about me

always remember that

when talking behind

our backs


            at least there’s dialogue

but talk is different from vomiting

be silent oh ignorant one


no pissies have ever come from south africa

let’s look at the facts

st james’ church kenilworth 25 july 1993

they threw grenades and opened fire

on the congregation killing 11 wounding 58

            laundry and ironing done

            meals prepared

            lawns mowed

            my worker

bless her soul

            was on her way from work

            when she was pulled into a shack

            and raped by 4 different men for 3 days she died a year ago

8 january 1982 koeberg nuclear power plant

            a child was set on fire whilst alive

mothers killed taking children to school

some who had their fingers cut off

before being killed

car bomb nedbank square building church street

at 4:30pm on a friday

at least 20 ambulances

took the dead and wounded to the hospital

            no place like home

an eye for an eye?

            blah blah sob sob         

            cry us a river

why don’t you


cry the beloved country

            why don’t you

            move to the zimbabwe ruins?


we will grow old in this country

            the old folks

            need to let go and get over it

            it makes it harder for us to correct your

            past mistakes


if your grandparents were beaten

almost to death

for a slice of chocolate cake

you would also be angry

regardless of what language their screams were in sir

you are a beneficiary of apartheid

whether you like it or not

do you?

            i don’t know


            what is wrong with our skin?

what colour is our blood

            i don’t know

            i’m so sick and tired

i just hope we don’t pass this on

            to our children

it’ll take a while


            my bra

it’ll take a while

            nuff said


Die 180 skrywers:

SimonP, noxcleva, mfanafuthi.skele, onemantribe, jean.dutoit, NicolaG, franssmith100, Willa, nyaradzo, Guida, BLACKsoWHAT!, Mafdet, John Wilderness, Dewet, Revolutionary Man, MACKAROONEY, meindert.hoving, andrewpottow, LogicBomb, Carmen, Mark Edwards, BOY30, Roy Carrol, toxicpolony, vinnythesaff, vickyvgemert, Francois, Kiewiet52, Nora, Mike, Bob, sarah.boutell, Afrobella, scott, Two Step, Igrayne, AJ, asminex2, Stollie, Iannetian, LJ Graey, Mike Webber, TGIL, tukipotter, Nathan, Dave, jameswsleigh, ccbmeyer, taf.jizz, Snoopy88, Brandon96end, liesl, fiveassedmonkey, malcomx, Zolani, Perfume, Moosa Vawda, Audrey, BrokenRecord, CygnusX1, GBES, sanodn, Lanfear, Bongani,  Marinella, Sage, jlroodt, Louis Kriel, Maretha, It’s_News!, Henny, bill, whitemasala, Arthur Phili, AlfredNeuman. Nthlarhi, Boerseun, pat, Newsferret, Rev. H-Cubed. Renee, Adel Colvin, g.latsky, Mad Hatter, louwhan, Roderick, mollyclarke3,, esther.vanschalkwyk, Blake, Pierre, Patti Balnatti, Phillip, Staal, Lionel, Oryx_ZA, impartiality, jwill, Pookie, James1, Sylar_DJ, Justin McCal, Badger, Lanfear, Simba_mach, paleobot81, Prophet, Nordic, dylan006, wartmonger, TinyT, Namib, GTFO, BrownAfrican, johnroodt, AjaxFiko, Mordred, Rob, cornsterenator, Bevan, pat, aswanevelder, Werner, Julius-Mal-Emma, Garth, Nkosi, Rob, WillyNilly, Monamia008, William, briana.scott, bennie.strydom, Dylan Mugabe, Jackie, Melony, Kgalelo Khunou, ann.wilson78, YasButIDunno, Samsung, gkloppers, fred,Mbazima, ne6869, wayne.morris311, coolwaynie, karen.campbell407, Ares, Anthonie.vanbosch, De, Chantal de pierres, Kelly, charleen.wood, Tarryn, kumoriza, njwplasma, clinton.cook, Fed-Up, jawjabber7, quinna99, CooP, twincamsam, Trêvhir, mwfrater, eigenhuiss, Geboorteland, haha, barkhuizencj, Steph, RoeJoe, Janus, Grant, Mbulelo, Saamprater, ecsi.plastic, bones3994, Lawrance, cmax03, green_goblin, brentonwoodward, emil scharf.