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The Salon

Freedom: The stillborn grown child

Photo Credit: Wandile Kasibe
Photo Credit: Wandile Kasibe
Mmamalema Molepo

(University of Cape Town, Philosophy and Public Policy and Administration Student)

A revolution occurs between her thighs, blood spilling and head first emerges the apple of her eye, he whom has liberated her and made her whole. Her smile, her laughter, her pain and her tears, her joy. All converged and captured into one great moment. She has given birth to a son of the soil, his name is Freedom. He has brought joy, not only to his mother but to those around him. He is the prodigal son they have all been waiting for with bated breath, he who has been spoken about by those who have passed, said to be troublesome, yet the best thing that could ever happen to anyone. Sought by many, he happened to be birthed by her, he came bearing gifts but he came bearing strife as well. Like Jesus, many scolded and chastised him and others despised him.

Dear Freedom, you come with responsibilities that many will fail to commit to. Look at your father, he has already packed his bags, ready to leave on the first available bus out of town. Already he has predicted your failure and he wants nothing to do with you, he has forgotten that you came bearing gifts. Today, 20 years later, he writes to you and your mother, telling you how much he loves you and would love to come back home.Freedom, those who have embraced you are still crying, waiting for you to save them from the rut they find themselves in, free them oh Freedom but most importantly free their minds and free their hearts, teach them to love as your mother did but most of all, teach them to reach out and help each other, for only then can they ever say they are free.

Freedom, avail yourself to the masses and not only to a few, the people are crying and the people are dying. Freedom make yourself seen, many have heard of you but have never experienced nor seen you, they have heard the stories and seen the few who benefit from your existence and ask what they have done wrong. Without you, they have no hope, with you, still they are hopeless. End their hunger and quench their thirst dear freedom, for it is only in your name that smiles can be genuine and laughter can be true.

Monsters

Mmamalema Molepo

(University of Cape Town, Philosophy and Public Policy and Administration Student)

We've created monsters out of the boys who we once hoped would father our grandchildren.
We have denied them their youth and have driven them to war with each other, teaching them that the only way to ensure that you own something, it is to show your strength and authority over it, whatever way possible, whatever the outcome it may be.

We've coated love with the face of hatred and put infidelity above all else. We've rushed them into a battle that was never supposed to be theirs and today they sit on building blocks and wish they could have been given the chance to lay atleast one brick wrong and make that life changing mistake.

They have thoughts that change the world but they have been robbed of experiencing their youth, their unjust laughs are but distant memories of a childhood that could have been.
Today they sit on top of the world, reminicsing, trying to figure out this life thing with its ups and downs, whats next? We've hurt their souls and moulded them into spiritless, clones willing to do as told and when told to.

We've created monsters out of boys who could have been presidents and leaders, we armed them with guns instead of books, stuffed them with hate and spat out their love, drowned them in religion and deprived them of spirituality.

We have castrated their humanity and given them balls of steel to present themselves. Only then do we say they have earned our respect because we have buried them deep in the system, we have let them rot so that all we are left with are skeletons in the closet.

Dragging deep breaths, we have fed them the opium of the masses and have turned it into law, today they die for us like men of honour, dressed in their Sunday best, their shirts beautifully ironed, a smile on their face and their eyes closed as they hum what could be their last hymn watching over a flag that has defined them and will continue to define them for years to come.

We beat them drums that sung songs of freedom only to have them marching in lines, crosses on their chests, their feet together as they move forth, ready to destroy all that may stand in their way only to bring them back in dark brown coffins, hearts having stopped, we robbed them of their humanity, we robbed them of their life.

We have created monsters out of the young men we once hoped would father our grandchildren. We have fed them images of a promised land and have created a rat race which they have to undertake in in order to reach the promised land.

We have taught them the art of lying and the skill of looting, we've created monsters out of the young men for we have fed them images of ourselves and have promised them a land that does not exist without hardwork.

We have created a monster that forces itself upon others even when being told not to, its forgotten how to listen and its escaping the hands of its creator, now my question is, will we be killed by this monster we have created?