Tag Archive: Avuyile Tu

My friend Avuyile, wrote a response to my poem, ‘i not me’, that i posted earlier today and i felt that it deserved it’s own space here on the blog and Avuyile gave me permission. i hope each one of us will take time to really listen to these words…Avuyile

I am meek, for in my meekness I am forced to tolerate you imposing your ideas into my system.

I suffer in silence for my cries echo an uncomfortable feeling on your back side thus the words “move away from the past”.
I die daily at your sight, a sight that not invokes feelings of hatred rather anger and resentment for you have for a long time disregarded my humanity and my ideas.
I have sacrificed so much for your benefit yet still my efforts and my energy seem to have gone down the drain. How long should I continue in this vain? For in my sanity you regard me as insane. Take a moment to listen to my heart beat, feel the motion, it is a motion of sorrow, a motion of pain of the many sufferings I have endured at your hands.

To see your gay abandon each day awakes feelings of disdain, for it is the utter carelessness and ignorance to my hunger and my yearning. The very desire to live and pursue what makes me who I am, the many things I have missed out on my kids, wife, cousin, and my community.
I am forced into servitude not with a whip rather the brutal wrenching of my dignity.

For what is humanity when the comfort of my entire is subjected to such treacherous conditions? For the very I have is quenched and muffled under huge promises of lies and deceit, covered with a broad smile yet soul still yearns for freedom and my heart still heavily bleeds. We preach equality and justice yet the very justice is a “thorn” in your side while for many it is a luxury they can only dream about.

For I am faced with so many adversities that I come to the conclusion that there ain’t no place for me in society for my cries for justice constitute discomfort for those who have benefited from decades and decades of marginalization and the demeaning of my entire existence.
The winds of change are blowing, the storm of justice is well under way…….

[To read the original poem that inspired these words, click here]


A rendition from the heart:

Wouldn’t it be great to wake up one day and see everyone living at peace with each other?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful that no one harboured feelings of resentment and injustice with the other instead we stand side by side as brothers? I yearn and hunger for a South Africa of equality in life and in living standards. I long for a land where the needs of the majority are taken care of, a land where the people do share in its wealth.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to live in a country whereby the people speak in the same voice and do things together? Where prejudices and preconceived ideas that have distorted and bruised any self-pride of the other.

Oh what a sight to behold, a land where equality reigns forever. This is 2015, a new year, a symbol of fresh beginnings, a chance to carve out a path never beaten before. Is it so hard to get out of your comfort zones to learn and to understand other races, other people and their ways? This is an opportunity to make new strides in achieving equity and a better life for all. This is a chance for all that inhabit this beautiful and precious land of South Africa, in fact the whole continent of Mother Africa to break away from the yokes and institutions left behind by their colonial masters.

This is the year whereby the rest of the world stood and watched how this beautiful land of ours stood and did what is indigenous to it. Where we do things our own way, the best way we know how. A precious moment to conform to our own standards, to things that are true to the African cause and our way of life, where we endorse systems that will emancipate, elevate and alleviate any poverty within our communities.

I yearn for a South Africa that alienates and nips out any form of racism and prejudice. Can we vow and decree to part take in this journey to a better South Africa for all not living under this farce that we are in a democracy? I yearn for a country where the value of women is recognised, the impact and the role they play in our society. A country that protects and rears their children with love, warmth and comfort, good morals and values and most importantly their culture.

It would be beautiful and pleasant to live in a country without any barriers and boundaries left behind by the institution of apartheid. How long do we continue to live in despairing and inhumane conditions? How long must we witness our own people suffer and be demoralised as we currently have?

As Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, “South Africa is a country alive with many possibilities”, I truly believe it is, however, if only do what is right and for the benefit of the people. If we face our demons, if we are only brave enough to stand against the very things that bring pain to us, things that will make us vulnerable only to leave us in a better place. Hey South Africa, wouldn’t it be great where we live by our own systems, systems that will benefit the majority of the country. Where corruption has no place in our society, where crime is rooted out. A country where the value of a man is placed higher than maximising profit.

I dream of the day where the fall of the barriers of skin shall reign supreme and our beautiful country is a country for all. Let’s start 2015 in a positive way, let’s start the year gunning for change.

[To see what Rebecca Benn would say to South Africa, click here]


Hi, my name is Avuyile Tu, I hail from Khayelitsha, originally from the Eastern Cape from a small town called Lady Frere. I studied a B Com degree from the University of the Western Cape, majored in Economics and management. Currently I am employed as an assistant finance manager here in Cape Town. I am the first born son at home; I am a Christian, passionate about Christ and serving my people. I write poetry on the side for relaxation and trying to voice out the pain of the nation.

In today’s South Africa, everyone is deemed to be free and lives in a democratic society. To be free means freedom of speech, one can enter places which were specifically classified for different races under the regime of apartheid.

Now that is all said and done, but the real question is, are we all really free? This now presents a challenging and very sensitive topic to many, who assume if one brings this topic up; they push an agenda of violence and racism. Put bluntly, South Africa today is a free country as compared to the apartheid era and that is a commendable achievement, however, the disheartening factor is that a large majority of the population still live in sub-standard and poor conditions.

It is a phenomenon which one cannot easily miss as it is a big problem for the country. After two decades of freedom and democracy, many of the country’s residents (mainly black), still live in poor conditions. Everywhere around the country you will find people living in unhygienic conditions, without electricity, proper housing, water and sanitation. They struggle to make ends meet and they live in informal settlements so as to be closer to their places of employment.

This brings us to a statement that may seem biased, however, to many it may ring true (many referring to the majority of the people in question). While the whole world may see South Africa as a free country, not all its citizens are free entirely free. Freedom is no freedom if one is inhibited and limited to only certain and few choices and liberties in life. It is commendable that today people from all races are able to mix; it is commendable that we all have access to the same institutions of higher learning but for some it requires more sacrifice to just gain access to such liberties. While the South African constitution lists a whole lot of human rights, many can barely enjoy benefits to basic health, proper housing and sanitation. If one could take a tour through Khayelitsha, one can really begin to understand and to experience the atrocities left behind by the apartheid legacy.

Furthermore, some parts around Khayelitsha still have no proper houses; service delivery is so slow that these areas are prone to violent service delivery protest all year round. Now others may view this as hooliganism but if one would take a moment so as to understand the heart and pain felt by the black living in these conditions, one cannot help but feel their pain. The plight of the people living in these conditions is so dire it can be likened to those suffered and experienced by the people of Zimbabwe during their recent economic recession. (No offence to Zim citizens)

In contrast to the standard of living and the conditions in which the people of Khayelitsha are facing, one would find that the residents of a place like Camps Bay for example, live in a world totally different to that of Khayelitsha. Now the question arises, why would you make a comparison between these two areas? The answer is simple; one is “predominantly” a white area and the other a black area. According to Poswa (2008), “it is estimated that the proportion of people living in poverty in South Africa has not changed significantly between 1996 and 2001. In fact, households living in poverty and the gap between rich and poor have widened.” We all know that the majority of the country’s race is black (about 72% and about 6% white, check stassa) which then translate to a large proportion of the country’s poor. So the above said further encapsulates the main focal point, that white people and black people are still not equal, especially when it comes to economic freedom.

If one could conduct a quick study of the richest people in the country, you will notice that list of those people is dominated by white people. We do acknowledge the growth in the number of black people climbing out of poverty, but what about the vast majority that still has to go through the vicious cycle left behind by the apartheid legacy? Now whether we choose to be ignorant and say that black South Africans are lazy or look at the real factor, that one can never attain total freedom without economic freedom. Furthermore, with the current government, it does not help in the plight of the black nation as it acts in ways that further entrench the legacy and the institutions left behind by the apartheid legacy.

It is sad to be stopped by an armed response patrol unit in a white suburb area and asked what is your business in the area but take the very same person you went to visit to a black community that person will not even once be stopped and searched or asked. It is also disturbing that you have a mother of 4, leaving the house every day at 4:30 just to be at the workplace at 7am. She has to contend with muggers along the way, public transport delays just to make it on time and work 8-12 hours just to R100 for the day but the employer is able to pay that same minimum wage for a meal and pay the waiter R50 tip. From that money she has to have transport fare, food for the kids and other household essentials, there is also tuition and school uniform that she also has to factor in.

Poswa (2008) further argues:

In the City of Cape Town, like the rest of South Africa, there are vast disparities between the wealthiest communities comfortable first world conditions and the poorest, who live in conditions similar to the worst found in developing countries mainly determined by broad socio-economic and environmental factors such as income, sanitation, rather than the availability of health services, it is not surprising that there are gross health inequalities resulting from the history of apartheid. (.p.3)

Now the violent service delivery protests that are showed on the news almost every day are a culmination of the black people’s frustrations with regards to their living conditions. If we continue to ignore all the warning signs, if we continue to turn a blind eye to the plight of the black nation, many atrocities will continue to happen. It is much like the West in helping the African nations affected by the Ebola pandemic, no one has moved because it will not benefit them in any way. We may have the majority seats in parliament but that does not to absolute power as the white many still holds economic power. We have inherited a system that supports and drives the ideas of a white, which ensures he lives a life of comfort at the expense of the black nation.

To rectify and eradicate all the inequity between the people, proper justice should be done which is land restitution. In that way we shall fulfil a section of the constitution that says the people of this country shall share in the wealth of this country. Ideas as to how this can be done I have not formulated yet, however, let us give each other true justice. One needs to remember that with true justice there is pain and sacrifice. As the other party gains what was lost, the other lets go of what they gained unfairly. This does not purport violence against the white people but rather that the white man can listen and hear the cry of the black man. It is preconceived ideas and the feeling of superiority that led to this mess, now it is time to enter through the veil of neutrality and level the playing field.

[Other posts looking at First Steps towards a Truly New and United South Africa, click here]

[For other South Africa-related posts on my blog, click here]

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