Cape Town, we need to talk
I have a serious issue to discuss with you, my friend. Now, I don’t mean to pry, but what went wrong? How does one describe your recent behaviour?
“Terrible”? “Out of control”?
Oh, Cape Town. You have been home to the lost and forgotten, and to the rich and famous. To the unemployed and poverty-stricken. The blood of many ran down your streets like a river in Egypt.
Do you truly regret it? How many fallen soldiers between the ages of 7 and 27 have you lost?
Cape Town, you were a city born of ash and ruin. You have seen hardship and you have felt the pains of labour, the grief of a mother losing her children so young.
I need you to rise like a phoenix, rise! Rise as though you don’t bear scars, as though you have not lost any children.
Rise as though there has been no war on your streets, rise as though you have saved your family from starvation because I know there was a time in your life when you had no water to drink or wash yourself with.
There were times when your children went to bed hungry and slept outside in the cold because you could not provide a home for them.
So please, friend, allow your heart to heal, despite the heartache you faced. I know it’ll only make you stronger.
I hope you never forget, although your wings have been clipped and you’ve been crawling down into the gutter, that your body is known to be one of the seven wonders of the world, even though your stretch marks are all over the place like roads leading nowhere, and the cries of your children are like sad songs on the radio.
The beat in our hearts has never been silenced. We will rise together, as people of different skin colours, different religions, different backgrounds, different status.
No, Cape Town, you should not care if they are white, black, Asian, Muslim, Christian, trans, Cis, bi or have not decided to disclose their sexuality to you.
You should not care if they speak English, Afrikaans, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu or any of the languages they might have learnt at school or from their overbearing and outspoken father over the years of your countless forced marriages to men who have only caused you pain and poverty.
Whether they were born from your womb or whether they were your neighbours’ kids who came for a visit and stayed for a while.
The fact that they became part of your home should be seen as a blessing from above. Be Abraham, Cape Town. Have descendants as numerous as the stars and remember, this land belongs to all.
I hope you never forget that even though your body changes over time, your true beauty will never fade. Even with these trials and tribulations, stay strong and hold on.
* Mumtaaz Galant.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers