A recent video circulating on social media called “Chicky Lamba” has caught the attention of the Indian South African community, and despite the appalling violence displayed, has become somewhat of a joke.
It was first published on mybroadband, GunSite South Africa and Carforums before local comedian Riaad Moosa posted it on his Facebook page last Friday.
In the shaky cellphone video, a man who identified himself as “Chicky Lamba” made threats to kill someone while waving a gun and boasting about how rich he was, after the victim — identified as “Braazo” — spoke to Chicky’s fiancée.
The blatant and unashamed violence was seen as by-the-way, and the jokes became about how rich Chicky Lamba is, how powerful he is in the Laudium community, which rich people he knows, his thick Laudium accent, Indian South African slang and the fiancée being his “chick”.
This is not a joke. It’s assault, and needs to be treated as such. It’s an offence to threaten someone with a gun, or any weapon for that matter. “Braazo” was smacked and never fought back. He was a victim in a serious attack. People laughing at him being slapped around, and the statements “put him in the bush”, which while sounding funny, isn’t when you think that this might actually happen.
The fact that people are circulating this on social media and the resulting memes is another thing to which I take exception. If it’s being sent to others on the basis of finding the perpetrator, which can’t be that difficult seeing as though he name-drops everyone he knows, it’s in the spirit of community. Instead, it’s being circulated as a joke, and a bad one at that.
Yes, people are laughing at Chicky for his Indian South African stereotypes of “You know me?”, his defending his “chick” and his shady friends, but what’s at stake here is that we have become de-sensitised to violence in such a way that we are more prepared to make light of a very serious situation rather than using social media to make things right.
Another thing is not only Chicky’s reaction to someone speaking to his fiancée, but him thinking of her as his property. Many people find Chicky’s actions as defending her honour, but really it’s his ego and masculinity that has been threatened by a young man, who was merely speaking to another person. Regardless of whether “Braazo’s” intentions were good or not, women are not someone else’s property to defend, and Chicky should never be allowed to claim ownership of a woman — fiancée or not.
Finally, there’s the Indian South African stereotyping at play. Indians in South Africa are always the butt of jokes; be it about our accents, our slang, our dropped suspensions, sound systems, “harmless” gangs or drinking at the “power box”. We are picked on for our shady dealings, owning shops, shady relations and obsession with social status. This is not a stereotype we should be playing up. Yes, our slang is ours and we should own it. Yes, some of us have suped-up cars. Yes, we “park and tjoon” with our “maats” at the power box on weekends. But hell no is the violence a joking matter. In fact, it’s a blight on the Indian South African community.
There are so many problems with this act and the way it has been treated by the public. We should be looking at it as gang violence — the threats being a precursor to the act itself. The video itself is a display of utter disrespect for another human being, the law and women. The reaction surrounding it is a display of disrespect for victim and said fiancée, as well as the law.