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Coconut, in a nutshell.

“You will find […] that the people you strive so hard to be like will one day reject you because as much as you may pretend, you are not one of their own. Then you will turn back, but there too you will find no acceptance, for those you once rejected will no longer recognise the thing you have become. So far, too far, to return, So much, too much, you have changed. Stuck between two worlds, shunned by both.” – Kopano Matlwa, Coconut

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All the thoughts I had while watching Sarafina for the first time as an adult

a-scene-from-sarafinaI watched Sarafina for the first time as an adult some weeks ago, and these are all the thoughts I had in two hours.

  1. It’s been years since I watched this film. Looking forward to watching it again!
  2. I wish the dialogue wasn’t in English. It would have made it so much more effective, but alas, the money people must have spoken.
  3. I remember arguing like this with my sister, haha, hoping that I wouldn’t be the one closest to an adult because that means you’ll be the one met with a hit.
  4. The choreography here is on fleek doe! “Sarafinaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Sarafina Mama yoh!”
  5. This scene was great until these police assholes appeared. Nxa.
  6. Why’s Mbongeni outchea tryna cradle-snatch? Sarafina is child, bro. I guess this is where the idea of calling high school girls masarafina comes from?
  7. “Smile for me, Sarafina”
    “Where is the joke?” Hahahaha! #MyFave.
  8. Oh a young John Kani, as the school principal, comdemning the burning of schools. Didn’t Jacob Zuma say the youth of 76 never burned schools on Youth Day…?
  9. Miss Celie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ag, I mean Whoopi!
  10. “Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeeed, be thyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy naaaaaaaaaaaaaaame. Our Fatheeeeeeeeeeeeeeer, which art in *dumdum* which art in *dumdum* which art in heeeeeeeeaaaaaaveeeeeeeeen.” I love this song so much! My favourite from this film. I’m contemplating getting up to dance when the slow part is over like we did when I was in pre-school. (Yeah, we did songs Sarafina – I’ve always been woke AF! Haha!)
  11. “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. For ever it is in heaven. Mmmmmhhhhmmmm” #Fave!
  12. I certainly also can’t confirm that Adam from the Bible is white, Ms Masombuka.
  13. Auwww, Somgaga!
  14. Jan van Riebeck – 1652, we do all know that but don’t know much of our own history. This Ms Masombuka is on point. “That’s what South Africa is for the whites – a gas station stop on the way to somewhere else.” Omg!
  15. Look at this guy properly sleeping in class. Smh. In high school, even. Imagine the courage, haha!
  16. Aaitch, crocodile and that hair style. Little did he know that it would make a comeback in 2016.
  17. “He’ll take me to the movies then spend twenty years in jail”. Sarafina’s dilemma is so real. Eish.
  18. “Teachers who teach young minds must reject violence and must hate it and not encourage it.” Ironies on ironies on ironies from white folks, here.
  19. Is this a music class? Akusamnandi! “Wajikel’ emaweni siyahamba bo!”
  20. I’m genuinely trying to figure out what happening on Whoopi’s head. Is this a braids-dreads combo? :/ :/
  21. Yes, Sarafina must be the sterring in their school play! She must be Mandela – screw Crocodile and his patriarchy, nxa.
  22. It’s really sad that our parents went to school with soldiers walking around with guns. Smh.
  23. Somizi was so woke. I like him. Black and conscious. But also, he’s giving me strong hotep vibes, mara for the purpose of this story, I’ll go with it.
  24. “This isn’t education, this is somewhere to keep us off the streets.” Eish 😦 😦
  25. Yes, Somizi! Ms Masombuka is the best, she definitely won’t last… That’s some real foreshadowing, there.
  26. Sarafina’s lines though, haha! “I’ll come pick you up” “What am I, a parcel?” I need some notes from her lessons, hahaha!
  27. No Somizi!!! Leave the women’s OMO! 😦 (What is Somizi’s character’s name?!)
  28. Hau bathing these cops, sjamboks just like that.
  29. Mama Miriam – beautiful as ever!
  30. Sarafina isn’t up to good – that looks says it all.
  31. Why is Sarafina being like this, doe? Stop messing the house up, Sarafina!
  32. “School books are full of lies, mama” #TheDepth.
  33. “He went away to be a hero, and I stayed home to work” Eish. 😦
  34. “I’d rather die like him than live like you” Sarafina nooooooo! Take it back! 😦
  35. But I feel her conflict though. It’s a tough one. Akunzima bethuna.
  36. Sabela is such a traitor. Nxa, who does this to their own people. Nxa. Askies Crocodile.
  37. Ms Masombuka’s house reminds me of my gran’s house *love* That coal stove, man. So many memories.
  38. “The boys can fight. What can I do?” Sarafina is so conflicted – black womanhood is so difficult, y’all.
  39. “I hate the killing, I hate the violence. But I cannot stand aside and let others die for me. I will fight, too, but I can’t kill. Just don’t ask me too kill.” I love Ms Masombuka sooo much. That’s already enough for me to believe these fuckers are going to kill her.
  40. Bathong ba Modimo, bringing a whole squad of police to arrest one person and breaking doors open with children sleeping and all. Sies man.
  41. This cop is delusional. “Go to school, get an education, make something of themselves”? During 19Apartheid? FFS! Rha!
  42. Sarafina’s church outfit is an exact replica of outfits today.
  43. Hau, Guitar is an informant. Why would he be an impimpi in public le ena? Smh.
  44. Sabela is on blesser level: GROSS. Also, I hate him. He gives me the creeps. Also, I hate him.
  45. Are all these people going to confront Guitar? Poor Guitar won’t make it out of this.
  46. Yes, just tell us why you spied, Guitar.
  47. Guitar’s dad ‘s story 😥 It’s okay, Guitar, don’t cry 😥 I forgive you! (Sabela is such an asshole!!! Nxa)
  48. Oh no, cops in the classroom. This is not good.
  51. Don’t bring the gun to your house, Sarafina!
  52. I don’t know who this new history teacher is, but I don’t like him (and his perm).
  54. And then these fuckers appeared, right on cue. Nxa.
  57. “How fearful they must be that they shoot children!” YES!!! #Preach #Amen
  58. (I need to find my dad’s Sarafina soundtrack, waitse!!!)
  59. Ooh look at Kwaito’s mom in Skeem Saam. MaNtuli!
  61. Eish, everything from this protest onwards is just going to make me cry… 😦 😦
  62. Fucking hell, why is Sabela like this? Poor Guitar. Hope Sabela doesn’t kill him!
  63. Noooooooooooooo, I spoke too soon! He’s dead! 😦
  64. Oh, phew he’s not dead!
  65. Things aren’t looking good for Sabela, now. The students are angry.
  66. Does Sabela really think he can outrun a group of young students, though? I mean, seriously, bro?
  67. Oh dear, he’s not coming out of this alive.
  68. Petrol! They’re going to burn him alive 😮
  69. I confess, I feel sorry for him, but at the same time he kind of deserves to die. He’s consistently been an asshole.
  70. For fuck’s sake, do these cops not get tired of fighting school children? Emphasis on children!
  71. These arrests are so painful to watch 😦 At least Sarafina is safely at home. Don’t leave the house, Sarafina!
  72. Oh no, they got Sarafina, too! 😦
  73. Why are they being so violent with unarmed children 😦
  74. Oh shit. They’re calling Sarafina out. They better not fucking kill her.
  75. Omg, Barker Haines!
  76. 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦
  77. “We don’t have to look for trouble; our life is trouble” Ewu, bakithi 😦
  79. I’m legit crying real tears 😥 😥 😥
  80. Safa saphel’ isizwe esimyama 😥 😥
  81. I can’t handle this film anymore 😦 These recounts of torture, omg 😥 😥 What kind of humans do this to other humans (let alone children) 😦
  82. Oh, poor Sarafina getting electrocuted. Sorry! 😥 😥
  83. Those scars look so painful 😦 Mama really is strong 😥 Black womanhood, y’all 😥
  84. Watching Sarafina come back home is so emotional 😦
  85. Ms Masombuka’s voice 😦 I miss her so much 😦
  86. Guitar makes me feel so sad just by looking at him. I don’t know why; he just evokes sympathy 😦
  87. Freedom is coming tomorrow!!!
  88. I’m not entirely sure what the conclusion to this film is; but okay. Apartheid was such trash. Nxa.
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Can belief ever be rational?

I have been re-reading Chimamanda’s masterpiece, “Half of a Yellow Sun” and I came across a conversation between Olanna and Odenigbo (two of the main characters) which made me think about how humans view faith. Part of this conversation goes:

” ‘Ugwu said your mother went to a dibia,’ [Olanna] said.
‘Ugwu thinks all this happened because your mother went to a dibia and his medicine charmed you into sleeping with Amala.’
Odenigbo was silent for a moment. ‘I suppose it’s the only way he can make sense of it.’
‘The medicine should have produced the desired boy, shouldn’t it?’ she said. ‘It is all so irrational.’
‘No more irrational than belief in a Christian God you cannot see.’
She was used to his gentle jibes about her social-service faith and she would have responded to say that she was not even sure she believed in a Christian God that could not be seen. But now, with a helpless human being lying in the cot, one so dependent on others that her very existence had to be proof of a higher goodness, things had changed.
‘I do believe,’ she said. ‘I believe in a good God.’
‘I don’t believe in any gods at all.’
‘I know. You don’t believe in anything.’
‘Love,’ he said, looking at her. ‘I believe in love.’
She did not mean to laugh, but the laughter came out anyway. She wanted to say that love, too, was irrational. “

Every time I have come across this passage, I have read it a couple of times because it always makes me question the rationality of the things I believe in. Moreover, it makes me wonder whether it is possible to believe in things that are never irrational. 

We generally believe in things that make us feel good, or that offer a promise of greatness, be it nature, our ancestors (the gods), God or even love. I think most people grow up to realise that there is definitely something greater than us within and without us, and I’m willing to risk arguing that it is those forces that give us the comfort of being able to attempt to explain the world when it does not make sense; it is those forces that sway us from being rational beings. 

So can belief be rational? In my opinion, as long as you believe in something that you feel or something that’s ‘greater’ than you, than most certainly not. 

(This post is also just an excuse to show my deep admiration for Adichie’s writing 🙂 )

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For Don M. – Banned by Mongane Wally Serote

“it is a dry white season
dark leaves don’t last, their brief lives dry out
and with a broken heart they dive down gently headed for the earth,
not even bleeding.
it is a dry white season brother,
only the trees know the pain as they stand still erect
dry like steel, their branches dry like wire
indeed it is a dry white season
but seasons come to pass.”

For Don M. – Banned is a poem by South African writer, Mongane Wally Serote. The poem was written in response to the ‘banning’ of fellow poet, Don Mattera. Mattera was ‘banned’ by the South African apartheid government between 1973 and 1982, which meant that he was not permitted to appear or speak at public functions, and was restricted to certain places.

This poem, which I read for the first time when I was about 15, is what evoked my love for the use of the metaphor in poetry. At that age, I disliked poetry classes. I did not understand why poets had to go out of their way to try and confuse their readers. ‘Why can’t they just say what they want to say like normal people?’ I often asked myself. And then I read this poem and it felt as though its response to me was ‘just be quiet and pay attention.’ 

I have been in love with poetry since.