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The rebellion was about freedom - not rainbows

By unknown | Jun 09, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

JUNE 16 commemorations are upon us again - and the vultures who feed on the falsification of history to get government jobs are active again.

JUNE 16 commemorations are upon us again - and the vultures who feed on the falsification of history to get government jobs are active again.

They are shameless in telling blatant lies about who led the great uprising and what ideas drove it. None will name Tsietsi Mashinini and Khotso Seatlholo - the undisputed leaders of June 16, inspired by Steve Biko's Black Consciousness philosophy.

The children of Soweto cried Black Power! The vision which drove their leaders was fundamentally different to Mandela's vision of peace - without justice.

Both Tsietsi and Khotso never joined the ANC but the uprising is marketed as an ANC event.

The children of Soweto didn't die for a democracy of squatter camps, RDP houses and long queues of the voting but hungry unemployed; a democracy of landlessness and poverty of the many and riches for the few.

June 16 should be a time for each generation to ask itself what has it contributed collectively to society.

Let me speak for my generation. We are the carriers of stones who rendered the country "ungovernable" in the 1980s. When Mandela walked out of prison and embraced his jailers and built a country on half-baked notions of liberation, we mindlessly dropped our rocks and danced.

That was the beginning of the rot. We surrendered our brains to our leaders. Consequently, we have become a nothing generation.

Besides our hurling of stones we left nothing on the historical record for the next generation to draw inspiration and to emulate us.

We live for the tender which never comes. Prophets of my generation such as Moses Taiwa Molelekwa, Sello Duiker and Phaswane Mpe gave us one look and took flight. We are the nothing generation.

I was brought to this harsh conclusion by the beautiful mysteries of 21-year-old Kyle Shepherd's debut Jazz CD, Fine Art.

Guided by the firm hand of the unacknowledged jazz sage in our midst, Zim Nqqawana, Kyle has produced not music but a great light in this darkness we live in.

Kyle took the hand of the master and rushed ahead of his time, I fear for him; making great music for the deaf.

I'm not one to blame the youth; these children are brought up by an uncaring and unthinking society.

Sometimes they take flight to escape the grinding burden of a life without hope -in drugs and alcohol.

Sometimes they just explode.

Julius Malema is not an accident - he is the logical conclusion of the hypocritical foundations of the rainbow nation. Now he wants every school to bear the picture of the president and the country's flag.

Bereft of concepts of critical citizenship the young ones are fed the dizzying poison of patriotism.

Consequently, we are building fascism - not a thinking nation.

The peddlers of the June 16 memory for commercial gain are even suggesting a clean-up of streets, instead of asking why the streets are so dirty and souls so polluted. They don't get it or they pretend not to know that it's the mind which really needs cleaning.

While the nothing generation moves from office to office presenting its credentials in hope for some BEE crumbs, the youth is burning at the bottom.

Hopelessness and alienation breeds everyday violence. They are killing each other. Do we care?

Let the children know the truth about Tsietsi Mashinini and Khotso Seatlholo, how they defied their parents, church and an arrogant vicious government to give us the great June 16 rebellion.


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