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Haibo! mogaetsho Mmusi's all but lost the white in him

Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
Image: Thulani Mbele

I drive the Gauteng-Polokwane stretch quite a bit too much to not be excited by the trip any more. But each time I drive home, something happens to me just after I go past The Ranch. I get so excited I almost want to get out of the car and carry the damn thing home - but also, maybe I really just need a new car.

I don't know what it is, but whatever it is, it never gets old.

When I am in Gauteng, English comes very easily to me, I speak it without batting an eyelid. When I am in Polokwane it feels foreign. When I need to take a work call and launch into English, I always look around in a panic.

And this is not because the people around me don't speak English, it's because with these people my language is the most natural.

There is a freedom about being with your people that allows you to be at your most relaxed and most natural state. Language, especially in the way that you use it with just your people, is one of our biggest grounding tools.

That is why I could never date a white person. I'd feel so constipated all the time knowing our entire interaction will have to be in English. What if I need to ask him to bring a groovy or fish oil or to pick something up by the "pachese"?

It is because of this that I am feeling a little relieved for Mmusi Maimane.

If you are not on Twitter let me fill you in about what our unemployed "Mogaetsho" has been up to.

Maimane has all but lost the whiteness in him. We have over the years known Maimane to speak in a polished manner and almost always in English. Even when he said bagaetsho, it was always in that way that the most educated uncle calms down a family argument. Yes, sometimes he forgot which twang he was using but he was always polished in his delivery. That, mogaetsho, is the Maimane of yesteryear.

This is the new Maimane: "Eish, Modimo. It's too soon for lamajokes. Hai kabi.

He is also tweeting about rappers and DJs and speaking publicly about craving Chicken Licken. If you need any confirmation about how black Chicken Licken is, there is only one outlet in the whole Cape Town CBD.

Maimane left the DA and shed his white exterior. I imagine he can't be 'completely black' at home, so Twitter has become his outlet. Why did we not know before now that he eats Soul Fire wings? While the new Maimane has been fun to watch, it is important to remember that at heart he is a politician.

And this is a finesse by him to win us over. He knows just how much confidence black people lost in him when he was upholding the policies over on the blue side.

And his former communications manager has a new communications company, so this feels like a strategy. But it is a strategy that rests and draws power from connection and resonance. By using our collective lingo he is slowly seeping into our minds and nestling into a place within us that feels like home.

It's a very smart move on his part. One that reminds us that removing ourselves from who we are is never the best foundation and/or launchpad for ours lives and ambitions.

There are certain things only the people that are connected to your story will know and understand about who you hope to become, having intimate knowledge of where you come from.

We cannot go through life with borrowed masks from assumed identities. Especially if those masks are South African whiteness - it recognises no one other than itself. It will use you and spit you out.

I am not saying do not aim for caviar, by all means, but remember your hotwings too.

Save yourself the drama and spectacle that Maimane currently is.