Trying to create good from the past.

29 04 2008

The issue of name change in South Africa worries the public from preachers to politicians, as much as it worries black journalists. Pastors from the Grahamstown East churches are now pushing for the name change.  Sasco invited the Eastern Cape MEC of Agriculture Mr Gugile Nkwinti during the freedom day and he holds similar views about name change. The comments are the same as the reasons behind the formation of Black journalists forum . I read an article from MG about Black journalists forum and I decided to share it with you.

Mr Nkwinti and some Grahamstown pastors believe that changing names can’t be important for the poor people, because they are more concerned about other issues, such as better housing and safe water. However, we also need to realise that the colonial domination left something that can’t be changed such as Settlers 1820 and the only way to honour black heroes is to build the same building as the 1820 to show that blacks and whites are equal. Take Egazini monument for example, you can easily tell that, that monument perpetuate a stereotype that blacks are still inferior, because it is smaller than the 1820 settlers monument. According to the belief the process of name changing is a way of decolonising our minds and the country as a whole.

Similarly, the forum of black journalists seeks to infuse the black community with a new-found pride in themselves, their efforts, their value system, their culture, their religion and their outlook to life. However, poor people from the other side of ‘Grahamstown’ township have a different view, they think that government can use the money for development, because even if you change the name the memories will still remain the same. For example, changing ‘Graham-stown’ won’t change the fact that European people honoured colonel Graham after the good job he did for them, killing a lot of amaXhosa. Can we really create good from the past or we can only create good for the future?





the next room

14 04 2008

I have only slipped away into the next room

I am I and you are you

Whatever we were to each other

That we are still

Call me by my old familiar name

Speak to me in the easy way you always used

Put no difference into your tone

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

Laugh as we always laughed

At the little jokes we always enjoyed together

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was

Let it be spoken without effort

Without the ghost of a shadow in it

Life means all that it ever meant

It is the same as it ever was

There is absolute unbroken continuity

What is death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind

Because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you for an interval

Somewhere very near

Just around the corner

All is well.

Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918

posted by: Matt