Gatvol – Clarity, finally..

WARNING AND DISCLAIMER: STRONG LANGUAGE MAY BE USED IN THIS RANT

These past few weeks have been an extremely busy time in my life. My short stories have been noticed and I made the decision to go ahead and publish it in a physical book format.

Work has also been very busy with loads of new developments happening – all of which has kept my mind occupied and unable to focus on anything else for longer than 20 seconds.

My better half decided that I needed to take a bit of a break this weekend past and as those who know us already know, we love everything about books – reading them, listening to authors talk, discussion about books, even writing books (me) and reviewing and discussing books (Julia). We set off for the picturesque town of Franschoek, where the annual Franschoek Festival was taking place, hoping to witness some debate and take in some culture at the same time.

Driving the road to Franschoek from Cape Town is a stress reliever in it’s own right. One leaves the city behind when climbing the Plattekloof hill, and the distant mountains shimmer in the early morning light.  This Saturday, the N1 was covered with a fine layer of mist, and may have put off some of the early morning motorcycle riders, but not the keen literary hungry people of Cape Town.

We arrived in the quaint little Town and found parking quickly – a bonus of visiting Franschoek is that street parking is still free, unlike in Stellenbosch where parking can cost you up to R80 for the day, or the equivalent of a bottle of good wine! Anyway, we parked our car and hurried to meet our dear friend Lize, then managed to squeeze into the next from last row of the NG Kerk Hall.

Then my day turned upside down. What started as nice day trip out to winelands suddenly turned into something unpleasant. But at the time, I could not quite put my finger on what exactly happened to sour my mood. Part of it was  the first talk I attended which I found a little too abrasive, the  canned homour somewhat unpleasant so early on a Saturday morning, and that on a stomach that had not had a cup of coffee yet. Only later did the true cause of the irritation become apparent. After a day had passed, and I had tasted the fruits of my freedom and lived like a true South African and had time to digest my so called freedom did the root of my irritation expose itself fully.

I am sick and tired:

I am sick and tired of the politics and issues of our New South Africa. Tired of hearing about Apartheid and people trying to justify it. Tired of hearing about the failings of the TRC. Tired of stupid people tweeting like empty headed birds, and finding themselves suddenly without a perch. Tired of Black Entitlement and White Righteousness. Tired of people always finding something to moan and complain about. If you don’t want to be here, fuck off. Leave. And if you don’t have enough points to go to Australia, go to hell. I don’t care! I’m tired of people complaining about the old taking over the new, the old South Africa, the New South Africa – hell! There is only this ONE struggling South Africa. I feel everyone’s pain, not based on race or color or sexuality or religion, but as a human being, a citizen being taxed to the eyeballs! I am taxed on my meagre income, I am taxed on my petrol I put in my bike every week, my car every other week (yes, I have a car and a bike and must by extension therefore be super -fucking- privileged). I am tired of ambiguity, where people mask there tendencies with words – be they racially motivated, sexually motivated or religiously motivate – I am tired of it. I want to be left alone, to make a decent living, so I can put my kids through a good (government)school – yes, they do exist! I want to send my daughter to medical school and have the means to pay for her education (partially). I want my son to realise his dream of becoming an accountant, and see him become successful, without any reference to affirmative anything, and have him achieve based on merit only. I want to see my children marry who they want, have happy fulfilling relationships, build friendships with like minded people and not have to live like I do, having to watch what I say because someone may take offence, because I have butchered one of their sacred cows! I am sick and tired of people finding something to be intolerant about, because God knows, you will find something if you look hard enough.

Enough is enough. I’m done. I will do what I have to do, to make my life pleasant and workable. On issues like crime I will take a stand – I will buy better security, burglar bars, join my neighborhood watch, get a big dog, build higher walls, put in electric fencing. The reality is that the criminal does not have a color any longer – he is a desperate person that society has failed. Correctional services have failed those being put back on the street. On poverty issues I will try and help the poor – I will build a business and  try and employ more young people, people who can take something home and feed a family. I will get involved in my community. I will plant a tree. I will recycle my rubbish, where I can. I will make my voice heard when I am unhappy and I will not be silenced, by anyone!

And when I lie on my bed at night, I will worship my God, in my way. I will not be dictated to by anyone as to what form my belief must fit in. I will forge my own steel, my way.

If you agree with me, then I know I can call you friend. If what I say hits a nerve, then pass it on. If you don’t agree, feel free to debate. But don’t you dare tell me what to think, or how to behave. I will do things, my way.

END OF RANT…

16 May 2012, 6.55 p.m

Collaboration – Photos and Fiction, can they work together?

A short while ago a dear friend twisted my ear over coffee and tried to convince me to add photo’s to my blog.

At first, I resisted. I mean, why would I want to do that? I use words, adjectives, to describe things I see.

Then I saw some of Zoe Moosmans pictures and I was instantly taken by the idea. Allow me to share this with you, the community.

I write about people I see everyday. Someone I walk past, someone sitting at a security desk, others doing jobs they hate
and others doing jobs they love. I try and capture what I see, and perhaps a little bit about how they feel in a few word. The
rules are simple – I must do this in less that 1500 words, preferably between 800 and 1200 words. I must build a character
that people love, or hate, or identify with, or who they see in someone they know. And then I want to bring people to my readers
who they have never spared a second thought for, someone they would not even see as human (today I wrote about a prisoner
serving 30 years who writes to his mother, telling her he loves her… http://mukhtarm1.wordpress.com)

So can photos play a part in my story telling? what do yo think?