I come from a nation large and strong
Where we raise our voices in song
Sing praises unto the heavens and earth
With a dozen languages of different words
Our people, we know of tragedy and pain
We know more of loss than of gain
Yet we seek not to dominate
We seek a commitment to cultivate
We have the land, the labour, the love
We have sun and moon, is that not enough?
We have seeds sown all over our nation
So why, may I ask, are we still in recession?
Since 94 we have overthrown Apartheid
We are living legacies of Mandela’s fight
Our existence in itself is what makes us free
So why are people suddenly chasing money?
All of you South Africans are smart enough to
Stand there and tell me Zuma did this to you
And if we as a People claim to fight corruption
Then is not desire for wealth simply giving up our freedom?
I say this to you, my country, we do not need money right now
We will need it in the future, but first take a look around
You see that backyard of yours, that you forgot was even there?
Well that’s a perfect spot for a home garden, use the sunshine and the air
You there, standing by the window with nothing in your hand,
Go to your yard and look around, find a plot of sand
Take your fingers and your palm and lay them on the ground
Now you can draw a picture there by wiggling your hand around
And you, Mr, Mrs, Miss whoever you are
With your fancy trucks and empty unused cars
Why don’t you get up and register those wheels
To collect soap, food, and deliver some meals
We as a nation, we have been through much
And this lockdown has been a little tough
But remember, we’ve also overcome much more
Than just staying home and closing a door
For all the sacrifices our ancestors have made
We must have compassion, we should not complain
We as a nation have only one mission
To consider and respect each other’s fight for freedom
I have only one request today, my beloved South Africa
That we take one minute to remember Nelson Mandela
Think about why he pushed Equality instead of money
The fundamental philosophy of what it costs to be Free
South Africa, my people, my nation, my land
I wish we could help each other understand
That there is only one way to overcome mass corruption
We must be fully committed to tackling our own oppression
We must become open to change and transformation
We must set a good example for the new generations
We must become cooperative, constructive, and creative
We must focus on being productive, only in sports are we competitive
Slowly as we build ourselves, our skills, and our souls
We will see progress within the nation, and then we can make goals
We must, as People, take some responsibility
We within ourselves must have accountability
South Africa, my beloved, I pray for all of us
But mere prayers are not going to be enough
South Africa, my love, let us unite as one
Let us keep living and striving for our free-dom
Spencer was new to school and hadn’t quite decided who to be. Having the benefit of a unisex name meant that Spencer had also chosen not to identify as ‘he’ nor ‘she’ but ‘it’ or ‘Spence’.
On the first day, Spence dressed in such a manner that its gender could not be identified at first glance. Short-ish hair but not entirely, hoody, jeans, sneakers, and body language that simply confused everyone.
Spence didn’t like being told who to be nor was It capable of mimicking what has already been done, so instead of trying to emulate the behavior of those around, It decided to merely experience people. This strategy was much more relaxing than trying to ‘keep up with appearances’, because all Spence had to do was either sit back and listen to what people seemed inspired by or initiate conversation and be aware of what emotions were evoked throughout the duration.
The first day was fun for Spence. Some of the classmates whispered to each other, “Is that a boy or girl? So weird…” This made Spence feel a little amused but also disappointed knowing that befriending this sector of the class would just cause misery throughout the term. Spence smirked a little and tuned-in to the group on the other side of the room.
“Dude you can’t say shit like that! I think the new kid is kinda awesome,” said one of the more charismatic figures in the class. Spence listened more, and heard another classmate say in a mocking tone, “Go say hi then!” To Spence’s surprise, the new friend actually walked over and said “Hi, I’m Evon. When an O.”
Spence liked this person’s energy—confident but not overpowering. “Oh!” bantered Spence, “As in O-V-A-N?”
Evon caught on quickly and chuckled. “Not ‘oven’. Evon. E-V-O-N.”
“I’m Spence. Like pence with an S,” Spence played along with the vibe.
“Ha!” Evon turned around and called out to the group, “This is Spence! Toldja the new kid is awesome!” The group walked over to meet Spence and introduced themselves.
The judgmental group from the first side of the classroom rolled their eyes and went back to mainstream mediocrity, gossiping about which teachers might end up dating each other or which Netflix characters should ‘soooo not be together’ (which could be heard from the hallway).
Evon’s group didn’t seem bothered by this, and frankly neither was Spence; what was noticeable though, was that the more Evon seemed to ignore them, the louder and more uncomfortable they seemed to become. Their eyes rolled more aggressively and their voices became more audible to the point where full conversations could be heard outside the classroom.
Spence turned back to Evon and the newly-made friends, grateful that this new school wasn’t entirely hopeless. Still, for a split second, Spence did feel bad for the conforming haters on the other side.
Everyone knew those were the kids who’d either die alone or become so miserable with insecurity that eventually they’d be intolerable.
How does one write
rather how does one type
on a stereotype
in the form of a hype
flooding all around
coming from outta town
now I don’t mean immigrants
I’m talkin ‘bout expats n’ tourists
with commercial interest
bearing the label “capitalist”
The few who were impressed
returned to invest
at the materialist’s bequest
a thirst that can’t be quenched
see the downside to this notion
that they term “capitalism”
is the constant hunger for more
for meagre life’s a chore
a need to compensate
with objects on their plates
that constantly seek upgrade
and engage in debate
about the technological change
about foreign stock exchange
about our nuclear weapons’ range
the ones blasted up on stage
the faces of diplomats
they might have nicer habitats
but still use the same laundromats
Speeches are drafted and read
edited before they’re said
don’t want the people to be misled
rephrase the lies they spread
yet e’ryday People get out of bed
are drawn to the metaphorical Red
log on to hot topics n’ threads
to catch up with the trend
but on the other end
there are beggars who can’t pay rent
their problems aren’t concerning where their right to vote went
but surviving on less than a tenth
of the income most of us get
and let ourselves forget
the roots from which we were bred
The bird wanted the fish to feel How free it was to fly He plucked the fish from the sea
And got angry when it died…
[Moral] Acceptance and cooperation
The bird is freest when flying in the sky, whereas the fish is freest in the water.
The bird imposed its own understanding of freedom on the fish then was disappointed that the fish could not fly.
The problem was that the bird did not adjust its expectation, but the solution was that the bird could adapt.
It just ate the dead fish.