MZANSI

CityPress - - News -

If I could change one thing about South Africa, it would be in­equal­ity – whether it’s gen­der in­equal­ity, eco­nomic in­equal­ity, so­cial mo­bil­ity ... We have these con­ver­sa­tions about eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion, but they are hap­pen­ing in spa­ces that are in­ac­ces­si­ble to the av­er­age black per­son.

How do you ex­plain in­equal­ity to some­one who comes from a town­ship? I grew up in a town­ship in Cape Town, and was ex­posed to white ed­u­ca­tion and white school­ing. That pro­vided me with so­cial mo­bil­ity and the abil­ity to as­sim­i­late my­self into dif­fer­ent kinds of spa­ces.

But ob­vi­ously that’s not the case for every South African from a town­ship. The big­gest is­sue for these peo­ple is ac­cess. Not just ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion, but ac­cess to spa­ces, lan­guage, academia. Ac­cess, in essence, de­ter­mines whether or not you have so­cial mo­bil­ity. I’ve made a con­scious de­ci­sion to never fall in love with vagi­nas and penises. The la­bels force us to choose, but I feel I have reached a point where I can ma­noeu­vre through my own aca­demic the­ses.

It’s typ­i­cal for me to lie in academia. Peo­ple ask me ques­tions as a scholar and I have to re­spond with lies to fit into het­eronor­ma­tive dis­course. But I am find­ing my own spa­ces where my queer­ness is okay.

My at­trac­tion to a per­son comes from their aura. It’s in­tu­ition, some­thing that is out­side of the em­pir­i­cal ... Although my par­ents passed away when I was very young, there is a know­ing that I have never walked alone. What in­spires me most to be ac­tive in pol­i­tics is my ex­is­tence, my iden­ti­ties. It in­spires me to oc­cupy and dis­rupt cer­tain spa­ces. This is a new gen­er­a­tion. We have a dif­fer­ent lan­guage, dif­fer­ent ideas. And we act on these ideas even if they might be older than us. We act on them in dif­fer­ent ways, new ways, new medi­ums, new plat­forms.

The lan­guages spo­ken to­day are ar­chaic. The tools of change are ar­chaic. It’s about mak­ing a new nor­mal and em­brac­ing that flu­id­ity. This change in­spires me be­cause it’s such a beau­ti­ful story, a beau­ti­ful nar­ra­tive and I’m glad that I am telling it.

Ev­ery­one wants to be a part of this be­cause we all feel it. South Africa is heal­ing right now. What­ever the change looks like, there is only one di­rec­tion to go in: back to self. The di­rec­tion is home.

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