When the first democratic elections of 1994 came around, I was already a somewhat happy, somewhat anxious citizen of Cape Town.
Though I lived in that beautiful but schizophrenic city, I decided I'd cast my ballot in the township of my origin, Mpumalanga in the Natal midlands.
I had arrived there with my parents as a wide-eyed boy of four, went to local schools, and grew into a feisty teenager who crossed swords with apartheid police and was beaten up and left for dead by Inkatha for his political proclivities.
It was also while I was living in that township that I acquired my first dompas. The dompas, euphemistically called the Reference Book, was a bulky brown tome that every black man had to carry with him at all times.
Failure to produce it to the ubiquitous police would land him in prison, or banishment to a rural settlement he'd never been to. In short, it was while I was living in that township that I first began to understand and feel the pain of being black in SA.
It was therefore logical that, when the democratic elections shimmered on the horizon, pregnant with promises for a better and more humane SA, I had to go to my township to bury the demon of apartheid once and for all. The symbolism was compelling.