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The Salon

Where to now?

Photo Credit: Wandile Kasibe
Photo Credit: Wandile Kasibe
Brian Kamanzi

(Engineer and Cape Town-based Poet)

I can't say I've really felt at piece with my direction,
Whether at the University or with flow of my Profession.
What I do know is that for some time now the lies that have been spun to me over time, have begun to unravel.

What is a "safe" life?
A good life?

There are all the temptations and suggestions of what it would mean to contribute to a world which at the same time seems to prefer that my "true voice" remains invisible, leaves me asking time and again..

Where to now?

It's one thing to sing, protest. Debate, rant and chant about the changes one would like to see exist.


"Rhodes Must Fall"

- Yet,

The reality is that long before I was born and long after I have left.. The Old Man Rhodes will still stand tall.

It is so intensely grating to be held in check by an environment that cannot keep to speed with the consciousness of my brothers and sisters. The inertia of our Markets and Institutions alienate us from the opportunities we need to grab a hold of.

What should I do? Quit my job? Change my research?

How am I to continue focussing on abstract issues of technology?
We live in a time of heightened anxiety, and once again the framing and mission of a generation has begun to shine clearly through the fog of uncertainty.

What was good enough yesterday, can no longer stand today.
We want change now.

We can no longer breathe.

We can no longer focus on empty dreams sold as weak tales inbound with White epistemologies.

Where to now?

In amongst this disorder and anarchic passion that has continued to quicken the blood to my veins there has been the restrictive weight of reality crushing my body closer to the floor as I push forward.

How will I survive?

If I make radical decisions, my family cannot support me. I am in debt, for my studies, owned by the shadow of the White economy.

There will be no songs to protect me when I make my decision.

No protests to be had when my parents face the reality of a child who desires to chase instability.

There will be no protection, beyond your free mind when you are standing alone.

Where to now?
Where to now?
Where to now?

Time will tell.
Who knows what lies beneath the shattered rainbow?

Hyperreality in the Colonised world

Brian Kamanzi

(Engineer and Cape Town-based Poet)

The inability to differentiate. To distinguish.

Reality.. From a simulation - An imitation.


What is real? And what is fiction?
Hyperreality is the space where both collide.

Making it impossible to know where one ends. And the other begins.

That is Hyperreality.

In the Colonised world.

We live in a time many have decided to called Post-Colonial.

We celebrate, now timeless, tales of struggle for freedom.
Remember Madiba. Nelson Mandela.

The right to vote. The right to participate. The right to shape.
New found emancipation. Brought to us by legend worthy parties that seized power through National Liberation.

The Post-Colonial world.
Is a Hyperreal fantasy.

At the level of the individual.

My self hatred. Hypermasculinity. Internalised racism.
Is real. Or as real as anything else I can comprehend.
Whether or not it leaves the safety of my head. And goes unsaid.

I'm aware of it.

So when I walk the streets near my home.
Or when I am trapped in an office Cafeteria.
Forced to listen to White men lecture me. About Africans.

I have to pretend.
You see, I don't always have the energy to defend.
Just smile and maybe slightly bow your head.
It's not always so tough. After all His superiority is beaten into my psyche.
My skin is dark enough to hide the frustration on my face. Red.

And yet,
How can I deny?
Even if I try.
To say that things have not improved.

There is a semblance of the illusion of freedom in ways that exist today.
That certainly didn't yesterday.

Yet I struggle to bite back against the feeling that the gears of separation continue to push us apart.

"Africa Rising"

Looks and feels.

Our cities are growing. Into concrete jungles.
Simulating. Emulating.

Once again.

Is this not an unbroken line of colonisation?

Hell sometimes even African-American slang.
You name it. You choose it.
This is the Post-Colonial world. They say.



Isn't it tempting though?
If you can?
To buy your sweets and meats from pretty stores with clean floors.
Choosing to ignore.
The unbroken lines in the sand.
Drawn into the Earth. Into our living land.
If you could choose. Wouldn't you rather enjoy tea in the old British manner's garden?
Why ponder. And wonder. That it was built by slaves. And tyrants. Who plundered.

If you can get lost in the world of the Post-Colonial.
Why wouldn't you seek a better world. More surreal.
Who cares if it's real?
Why wouldn't you choose the Hyperreal?