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A month to experience beauty of friendship

Sandile Dikeni

Sandile Dikeni

Published Dec 10, 2015


Sandile Dikeni

Me thinks that there is something lekker in a positive attitude in December. In other words, I declare myself positive for this month. In other words, try as hard as you can, but you ain’t gonna get me upset.

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Nooit, not in December. Some have already tried, only to receive that beautiful smile from my humble mouth.

Without manufacturing things, the positives have already begun on their own. Like meeting a friend of mine from those days at UWC. We were both on the SRC at ‘Bush’. I was representing, believe it or not, the Young Christian Students (YCS).

I am trying to confess a spiritual history that is denied by the populism of mainstream views on struggle. My friend and colleague in the 1980s at Bush, now a lawyer, was also excited when we met in St George’s Mall in Cape Town.

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I can not recall exactly where Sam Mufamadi came from but he was from somewhere in Gauteng.

He was a member of Sansco or Azaso, whatever it was, and I was, as I said, in YCS.

I tried to get him to join YCS, but failed dismally. He preferred to be more political than religious. We remained friends, though.

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It is general knowledge that lawyers are more solvent than journalists. I am not saying I am gonna milk him dry, hayi khona, I am just saying I met a friend.

I had not seen him since the 90s so I was really delighted at seeing him in civilised Cape Town. I think he was also glad to see me, at least that’s what he said to me.

Let me explain that Sam is a Venda and I am a Xhosa but the camaraderie that exists between us is incredible.

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It is more than the coincidence of struggle during the 80s.

Me, I always liked poetry, which I must say was not bad. Sam was appreciated for his understanding of the democratic revolution. So seeing him in Cape Town the other day I was very glad to see him. You know it is not very easy to see a Venda in Cape Town. And he is not a vendor, no, he is a lawyer. Now that you know that I have lawyer friends, promise not to take chances with me. You might get hurt – legally.

And when we met, he insisted that we should meet later on. It was not me who insisted that we meet, it was him. Humble me, agreed to meet my varsity friend. Okay, let me ask, would this have happened had it not been December? I am just asking to remind you of the humility of this month.

I have also just remembered that it is also a month of goodwill. So be good. Also encourage your friends to be good. If you do not have friends, make some friends. It is a good month to make friends. It is not clear why it is so, but it might be you with your smile that makes the month such a beautiful moment in our lives. It might be just a sentimental thought but I also believe that all the good wishes that one has in this month are likely to be fulfilled.

I also like the fact that December has 31 days. It means that it is a long month. Don’t you think that it is cool that we have 31 days in a holiday month. I think it is. More, whoever declared December a holiday month is a lovely person. Okay I don’t mean it is the same vibe for Europe because it is winter there. I don’t like the idea of a Christmas that is cold. A friend in Khayelitsha said to me he thinks so, too. His children are too grumpy and naughty when it is cold. I am not saying that I am also grumpy and naughty when it is cold, I am just saying I overstand in a very humble way.

I am also not saying that I am not ever going to head for Europe in December, I am just suggesting that Europeans should not invite me there in this month. I prefer to be in this country and continent in December. Why? Because it is a beautiful time here. By beautiful I mean the sun shines bright on a majesty of vegetation and waters that quenches our souls.

On a curious point, what are the chances of a drought in Cape Town? I mean the Mother City is surrounded by two oceans. I mean there is quite a bit of water in the Indian and Atlantic oceans, ain’t there?

This column is not supposed to be a song of praise to Cape Town, but let me confess that it is difficult to discuss beauty without mentioning Cape Town.

I am not justifying colonialism but I do think that I can see the reasoning of Oom Jan Van Riebeeck when he saw the coastline of this place. I am also not saying I would have done the same as Oom Jan. I would have asked for permission before I settled. And if rent was demanded, I would have negotiated an agreement with the inhabitants at the time.

But history has it that Baas Jan just occupied the Cape without getting permission. More, there are rumours that he started chasing the inhabitants of the Cape with a gun. And the inhabitants ran as fast as they could, says history, because they did not have bullet proof vests.

I would have done the same if a guy from Amsterdam approached me with a gun in 1652. In December 1652 the Cape was better than now because there still was no Crossroads or KTC or Site B. There was the beauty of the eagle daring the sky and the majesty of a baboon climbing the mountain. And the San people lying on the silent beaches narrating stories of peace and magnificence.

Excuse me I am getting carried away... It is the majesty of this month. I am just trying to narrate the majesty of this time. Because it is so wonderful I think it needs a narration that befits the grace that comes with it.

My honest fear is a lack of narration that can give majesty to this time. It is in times like this that I give hindsight to the times of racial prejudice and wish that we learn not to forget the majesties of natural essences that we posses.

We are in a time where we are supposed to narrate the glamour of existence. I am ready to do that. So do all those who in the 80s sat with me and planned this precarious now that only knows the big peace of beauty. Know what I mean?

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