By Lindokuhle Shandu
There is a plague in my hood where even the unborn struggles to make it out of the womb. Those who do, these fragile babies, turn into kids who are confused and before they reach adulthood carry knives and porn magazines instead of pencils and drawing pads to primary schools. In our high schools teachers who have nothing to do find time to lock themselves in their offices, there they chill and they booze. They conspire to strike for a week or two because they know that when month-end comes they will receive an income.
Yes I am from one of those townships, one of those dusty kasies where our elders are fascinated by lottery, fafi and Daily Sun competitions while their granddaughters are driven by the trends they see on television, proudly tagging themselves “bad bitches”. They spend hours in front of the mirror making up their faces instead of their minds as if they were born with a mistake.
Then the weekend comes and 13-year-olds looking older than their age start to show up, holding those cheap, shining made in China handbags, they are going “partying” tonight. I sometimes find it hard to believe that these are the daughters of Eve. The minute they started to envy the life of celebrities they got hypnotised by disco lights. More than anything they’ve lost their inner being.
There is a plague in my hood and he dropped out of school because the teachers were constantly calling him a fool. He couldn’t take it anymore. Now he greets the first light of dawn with his fellow peers who have become taxi marshals. Once they have reached twenty-five bucks they “halla” at their dealers so that they can escape this reality.
My brothers have turned into zombies who love finding comfort in nyaope shots to their veins. One may ask “What about the deals”? Well the dealers fancy young girls especially the ones who have just discovered the use of Ponds. These dealers steal their innocence by giving them peanuts as pocket money. They give them free GTI rides to the suburbs. The girls get charmed by the fancy view of penthouses but once they inside then everything changes. They get locked behind confusing doors with cold floors and naked walls. Once the dealers are done they throw them onto the streets with a drug addiction, STI, maybe a child and a broken core.
There is a plague in my hood and it scares me sometimes.
There is a plague in my hood and because of it our mental farms have been destroyed. This notorious plague has turned us into zombified androids, ghetto outlaws and rebels without a cause by stealing our original cultures, our humbleness, our ancient wisdom and our true kingdoms. It has separated us from our cores, introduced marshal laws, provided us with cold instruments called guns and with a motto that says “Go on. Go kill your kind”.
The ancients saw if when it came. It came from the sky and looked like a metal egg, landed on the ocean and disturbed the harmony of the seven seas from then everything went wrong and many generations were lost.
We are still fighting this secret and spiritual war and it is getting harder than the centuries before but I, “Gee”, “the Mind polluter”, the scribe of King Har, a poet warrior who paints with light, I shall fight till my last word. I shall fight till the last muscle of my eye snaps, I shall fight from my feet to my knees when these legs start to fail me. I am fighting for art to see the light of dawn, and I will fight on till this notorious plague in my hood is no more.
Lindokuhle Shandu is an artist.