‘This city is nothing like my hometown’, I think to myself as I squeeze between three other passengers in the backseat of a taxi. The voice continues in my head, ‘ The hours people get up here to go to work and come back home makes every other place in South Africa seem like it’s an hour or two behind doesn’t it? The taxi fares travel from row to row the voice starts again, ‘bet right now mothers are probably preparing their kids for school and others are preparing for work, in fact I bet Thabo right now is reluctantly going to the corner store to get a loaf of bread so that his mother can send him off with a lunchbox’. Yes…and I’m certain Thabo’s mom has given him the lecture of how he should have gone to the store the night before, instead of playing ‘skop die bol’ until late last night’, the second voice replies. Amused by the occupants in my head. My smile quickly fades as I feel the whole backseat look at me like I’m mental. I slot my earphones in my ears as I awkwardly attempt to restore the backseats public opinion of my mental state and pretend to be laughing at something on my phone.
The criminals here are quite the hard workers and are quite efficient too. They make the ones back home look like armatures. If you happen to be walking outside late, for whatever reason and manage to not run into a mugging, you will definitely find the nyoape boys walking the streets like zombies, they do so in the day too, but mostly at night. You don’t want to give them money, because they will ask for more, until that money is enough to buy them their next fix. You will find homeless people wrapped in blankets and duvets in the streets during the night and early morning all over the city.
Students study, or party hard, or both. Workers work, hustlers hustle. Those who can not keep up fall quickly down the ladder. But I am by no means an expert, see I’m relatively new to this place, and to this independent thing, it may change and improve overtime but for now, if there is anything I have learnt so far, its this. Fuck acceptance, or fitting in. Look to yourself to find the belonging you looking for. if you don’t find it, craft it. Sometimes you need a bit of pride in order to keep it one with yourself (I feel I should start rapping). Use it sparingly though. If you don’t know how to go about something, fake it, go out and find out how. Do it. Until you make it. (I should definitely start rapping)
MARA ADAWISE? FEDE NJA YAM!