The good old days of kicking enemies like Bruce Lee are long gone

Kwanele Ndlovu Singles Lane
A member of the MK Inkululeko Foundation demonstrates his fighting skills while his comrades watch. / ESA ALEXANDER
A member of the MK Inkululeko Foundation demonstrates his fighting skills while his comrades watch. / ESA ALEXANDER

I spent almost a decade of my youth working as a court interpreter at various courts in KwaZulu-Natal.

It was the most emotionally draining period of my maturity, having started work at the age of 18.

I learnt quickly that human beings are generally not good to each other and justice favours those who are able to articulate themselves better. Well, articulating anger was not initially something we were able to do in words. No.

Anger and offence and the attempt to resolve conflicts has not been a spoken or written context in my world.

I grew up in a typical black household back in the 1990s. Nobody had ever told us that beating up someone was assault, and actually a crime for that matter. I mean, we smacked our siblings just to test our reflexes. And the boys practiced the latest Bruce Lee kicks and punches on the weakest lad in the neighbourhood.

Physical fights were the order of the day, a form of entertainment, and became something of a drug. We would even start itching when there had been no altercations and actually start scheduling fights at the soccer grounds on Fridays, for random petty reasons.

I saw myself fortunate to have an older sister who was famous for knocking out boys in the hood.

She was always the "reigning champion" and pretty much flattened all the wanna-be Jackie Chans in the dust. She would not even warn them of an upcoming punch, save for stuttering ngi zo ku shaya! after the fact.

As if she had not already left you with tears stewed up with mucus and blood on your face. This meant I hardly had to fold a fist, and is probably the reason I am still not inclined to fighting with, fighting for or defending any one!

Then there was a case we once heard in court; of a young lady who had been assaulted by a heavy-weight aunty in full view of the community in the streets.

The accused had been heard screaming uthini? Heee? Uthini? while witnesses swore the complainant had not uttered a word through the assault. The complainant insisted that she was challenged to the fight and insulted by the girl who was "speaking in her mouth".

The two tactics above are obviously not the only art of war I have lived to experience. Modern times have evolved threats of violence to a stage where they are even molded as political speech in press releases. This is obviously an attempt to find justice outside of physical retaliation.

And boy, does it always fail when it is attempted by iyouth endala!

You can imagine my amusement when I recently read the recent statement released by the ANCYL in the Free State, commenting on the "nonsensical warrant of arrest against President Jacob Zuma..."

Being a writer and a legal mind, I was curious to read and assess their basis for objecting to the said warrant.

I have always marvelled at the young lions' inclination to penning their mental breakdowns and immediately releasing them on social media for the pieces to take their place in history. And this particular offering did not disappoint either.

When I read that the youth wish to warn clowns to not disturb the peace of the country and purported to give "President Zuma" legal advise on what to present in court at his next appearance ... I was nostalgic!

It felt like a 1995 peru all over again. It was a dare. That "touch my sister and I will show youw!" moment.

Only back in our childhood days, everybody lived to explain the manner and character with which they were met in a fight.

So, I did become a bit uncomfortable at the realisation that this was possibly a death threat.

A death threat released in the public domain? No it cannot be so. Well, the statement said that it is not a threat. Phew! It was just them being nice. And come. In merely bringing us to reality.

Then, because they anticipated that the masses will not be able to grasp the sense of the statement at face value - they made room for their secretary to handle inquiries thereto, and wait for it... their spokesperson to give additional information!

And of course, they tagged the geo-location of their provincial offices, in case you want to come for them!.

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