For the #1 of Riverlea
In memory of Chris van Wyk
No, my brother, we weren’t ready for this. Clevahs like you don’t just leave. Quietly.
Like on a midnight waentjie out on an away-game skelmpie, or footing it from the furniture store collectors at the front door.
Windows are kasie exits to Flinders Street and far away.
You did not hold back, like the amper-baas of today, from mzambalaza’s call or fast gun bullets or the tokoloshes at John Vorster Square.
Ai, moena, who will warn us now about white ladies who wear sandals and of their heirs, the bearers of BandAid for the wounds of our history?
Or school us in the ways of misdirecting the jakkals who check one for a moegoe and notch nie die slim kind on the streetcorner universities of Mzansi from its north to its sea-salted, windswept south.
But make no mistake. You gave us more than your best.
A life honest, like vetkoek. Humble like a calabash awash with umqombothi. Kathy’s nougat, Sweetie Pie.
The candlelight flickers in the soft wind despite the threatening storm. It seems darker than yesterday.
We look to you and the things you wrote and stories you told for us, about us, as you join the Band of Hope of the amadlozi guiding us to where we need drink from our own wells.
Like never before.
Chris van Wyk