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Nudging human essence into a parable that narrates a depth of being

Published Dec 30, 2015


Sandile Dikeni

Happy new year! Oops, I mean happy new year 50 times.

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Eish, I mean happy new year 60 times. “Why?” I know you must be asking. Let me humbly take this as an opportunity for me to answer. I mean humbly answer: This year means that my humility has been in the world for 50 years.

Ja, a few days before the country’s birthday you will be obliged to celebrate my half a century of life on this planet. It is common knowledge that Yours Truly was born a “five bob” of years ago. And truly, 10 years before the 1966 moment was another beautiful moment in Africa: the birth of Sudan.

I am humbly saying that Sudan is only 10 years older than me. Well, I know that Sudan is bigger than me and all that, but I think there is a humble majesty that is not avoidable in this majestic coincidence. Leave alone the humble fact that both our names start with the letter S. Me and I thinks that is cute!

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It is quite cool to be five bob old. It is a half-century of good behaviour. It is 50 years of tolerating the world in its worst behaviours and bad tendencies. Eysh! Self-praise is no recommendation, but let me humbly say I do feel good about 50 years of being in the world. It is a kwaai feeling.

Okay, let me say it is not April yet, but you understand my impatience when I say my birthday is in April and, as you know, the most important things happen in April.

Like for instance the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck on our coasts.

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Also note that the present democracy verjaar in April. I am not intending to be boastful, but I think it is only humble to say that South Africa is only in its twenties this year and I, in all my humbleness, am in my fifties.

Let me explain; 50 is half of 100, and 100 is a century. In other words, I am a half-century old. Let me also hasten to say, without arrogance, it is not all of those called human beings who reach 100 years. I don’t want to be boasting too loud, but it is only humble to acknowledge life for a half-century is quite an achievement. That does not mean I am eager to die, no. I am just trying make it clear that another 50 years my way is not seen by me as a bad thing.

In other words, I will not mind another 50 coming my way. But I can already see some guys sending messages to wherever our comings and goings are determined that I should not be given another 50.

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Humble me, however, is not bothered by these obviously jealous acts of the human kind who are unable to deal with the many glories of humble people like me. Humility is not an easy thing, I must say.

Firstly, it demands endurance of a special kind, which obviously I have. Further it requests deep rivers of humility which, as an aside, can be given by a deeper sense of humour.

There was a time when I wished to have been born in a place where people would acknowledge my existence, because it is not just an existence. It is quite an existence. In other words, I am trying to say, except for the living in Khayelitsha part, you wish for my existence.

It is a tremendous existence. And I mean it humbly.

I mean this in all the languages I can speak (between me and you, it is not only the three I got from Bantu Education in the Northern Cape).

So, a half-century of Yours Truly on planet Earth is not only my celebration. It is also yours. It is a half-century of living a life that attempts to nudge the human essence into a parable that narrates not a shallowness but a depth in being.

Truly, it has its positives and negatives. Humbly the wish though is that the negatives be less than the positives. And if not, then the positives in their minority be seen as outshining the negatives. It sounds scarily like a blind positivism, but I do have a sense that begs for a deeper sensibility that escapes the negative egos of me.

I hope it even attempts to deal with the narrow sociologies of a socially challenged Khayelitsha.

This is not an argument that says this township is the only socially challenged space in the city or the country. On the contrary, it means to say let all spaces thrive to boast the eloquences of the human complexities especially, I am humble enough to say, in the social space that we call South Africa.

I am desperately, and I hope elegantly, trying to steer our sociology to the complex beauties of a challenging existence that steers us away from the narrow corners of social stagnation.

Is it possible?

I do not know. But I hope we ask the question in a sincerity that challenges the many narrow corners of our complex histories.

One might see an anxious me now, but anxiety in me at the moment is very much a minority emotion compared to the extreme positives of entering my second “fifty” in life. It is general knowledge that a love for life does not merely emanate from the blind paths that the past many times succeeded to limit us to. It is a striving for the many yet not tasted realities boasted by life in the yet uncovered passages of a thing called life.

I am obviously delighted at the many beauties carried by a new year. I am, however, not dismissive of the many not so bright realities of shadows in life. The idea is not to be ignorant but to be insistent in a discourse, even in its weaknesses, jokes with the limited edges and pointers to a romantic positive.

This is not a university-inspired thought, but my own inability to create a naïve sociology better than our past. Can it be done?

I don’t know but my hope that it can is not really an embarrassment.

True, the prospect of this year celebrating my half a century Anno Domini(in the year of Our Lord) in a positive boisterous essence is number one on the agenda.

The task for me is obviously that I reach April without a scratch from my, first, Khayelitsha and then South African realities.

It is a challenge, but a sweet one that I am prepared to dare with my sweet ways provided by the glorious tastes of life provided by this space.

I could not ever think what it would mean to be 50. But hell man, the impatience for April Fool’s Day (April 1) is incredible.

I can imagine the many friends who can’t resist my charm, or should I say charms, celebrating my half-a-hundred years of positive existence on planet Earth.

Come on, let’s admit that the future does look positive, but what is more positive than this year?

It is humble to say that reaching a half-century in glorious life is a good feeling, so I am pleading with Kapenaars of good soul to recognise me as a nice chap.

I want a good year!

Happy New Year!

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