Blacken our name


Blacken our name

Blacken our name
with your doom and gloom
whether you be a visitor
from abroad or a local
from a village fenced-in

Blacken our name
darken our doorstep
with tales of murder
and mayhem too

Blacken our name
call us the black sheep
of the developing world
out in darkest Africa

Blacken our name
legendary publicist
(you are said to be)
amid the infamous

Blacken our name
spin-doctoring away
in your own image
for your clientele

Blacken our name
it is business as usual
for those who put up
with daily abuses
tourists or no tourists

Blacken our name
all our Gugulethus
all our Hanover Parks
all our Manenbergs
and our Khayelitshas too

Your business is as usual
as is the convenient truth
of our living out here

“Accused hired sultan of spin” we are told, in the aftermath of accusations that husband-honeymooner Shrien Dewani paid for his wife to be murdered (Argus, Wed, Dec 8 2010).


(Photo Credit: Carin Smuts Studio)

The very unfortunate decision

The very unfortunate decision

The very unfortunate decision
or words to that effect coming
from the intellect of a human
not from the non-leafy parts

The very unfortunate decision
(a newly-married couple visiting)
to go into an area where
700 murders occur a year

Not 700 rapes
Not 700 malnourished
Not 700 femicides
in your traditional calendar year

The very unfortunate decision
tourists going into Gugulethu
tourists going into a place
where people live their lives
(women and children are there)

The very unfortunate decision
not going into a leafy suburb
not going into the usual places
tourists get taken to in our name

The very unfortunate decision
apartheid-created ghettos still
casting a long shadow over all
but business is as it is usual

A very unfortunate decision, courtesy of an executive editor, on Sunday morning’s “The Editors” programme, 21 November 2010. The “700 murders a year in Gugulethu” came forth via another media person on the show.


(Photo Credit: West Cape News)