Ain’t no friend of mine

July 12, 2007 at 8:01 am (fury)

There are times when I’m ashamed to be coloured. Yes, you heard me, ashamed.
When I read a story about an eight-year-old girl being drunk and missing, I’m shocked. When I find out her family knew she was missing but preferred sleeping to looking for their little girl, I’m livid.
But what makes me feel ashamed is that this is by no means an uncommon thing in certain coloured communities.
Yes, I’m sure there are many white and black folk who whip out the bottle and let the kids sit in front of the TV to while away the hours while mommy takes some “medicine” but this is different.
This is different because it is so commonplace in poor coloured communities. Parents drink themselves into a stupor; kids follow suit and nobody gives a damn.
I’m sure this is not the first time that girl was drunk. I’m sure this type of thing is par for the course. Except this time someone else found out.
The quote that really hit me was in yesterday’s Cape Argus: Her brother Wesley told the newspaper, “We went looking for her in the street and in friends’houses. It was getting late so we went back and slept. We didn’t that much of it that night.”
So what did most people think? Probably something like, “Ja, typical coloured.” Because that’s what people think.
And you know what, in some cases they’re right.



  1. Mrs M said,

    I can’t believe that little girl was drunk. I am actually still getting over it. You are right…its a reason to feel ashamed to be associated. Tik, suip en kinners maak. Mos good at it.

  2. Toby Hanks said,

    Ja, en lieg, steel en passion gaps. Fokkenwill.

  3. Walton said,

    Bru, it’s got nothing to do with being kullid. It’s about class, history and a whole lot of other things, not least of which is slavery and the dop system.

    This is something that belongs to all South Africans – it’s part of our collective guilt and shame. We need to stop blaming ourselves or each other as racial groups and realise that the South African story is a mess that we all created together, and that we all need to sort out together.

    And while I don’t think it’s helpful to always ‘blameer dit op apartheid’, you must remember that people who behave this way have been dispossessed for generations by colonialism, slavery and apartheid.

    You see similar things in parts of Glasgow – people moved here when they were kicked off the land during the Highland Clearances or because of the Irish potato famine, and we’re still seeing the consequences.

    While individuals need to take responsibility for their lives, society needs to take responsibility for the conditions people find themselves in.

  4. tbhanks said,

    I agree with you in many ways, Walton. I’ve written before how certain parts of our society has suffered and their suffering seems to be “less” than other parts of our society.
    Perhaps if you read that post it will contexualise what I’ve written here.

  5. Louisa said,

    That’s awful. I don;t know how you get over something like that – you go missing and your family decides to go sleep instead of look for you?!

  6. tbhanks said,

    That’s exactly what they did Louisa. In fact, they only reported her missing the Monday when she’d been missing since the Saturday!

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