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#PoeticLicence: You can’t romanticise studying under the candlelight

Poet and writer Rabbie Serumula. File image.

Poet and writer Rabbie Serumula. File image.

Published Oct 31, 2021


Johannesburg - We raise our animus young under candlelight.

The pinnacle of how bright their futures will become.

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This is how South Africa is stuck between a rock and a dark place.

A shack is never a flame only to itself. The wind always dances too close to this flame, born of a matchstick igniting a fire.

A candlelit dinner is romantic. But you can't romanticise studying under candlelight.

Heading to taxi ranks under a moonlight, ile skipping toes on sewers moisturising dusty streets of townships.

Over the light of imawula at the corners of these streets.

These fires burn differently than those inside houses. Every flame has its own purpose. Others cook breakfast and prepare baths, they are the most gentle.

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Others grow wings and fangs, they fly and devour.

We raise our animus young insides caves. They will grow to forget the light.

Their disposition is to always think inside the box. A wasteland for gifted minds. A place we try to pull our people from. Yes, we have our own demons. But if we see a bit of the light we leave a trail and fight our own demons as we grow.

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We grew up in barren lands, devastated developments, often ugly, barely inhabitable.

But a paradise herding sheep for politicians.

Every five-year cycle, they come down to the mud three times bearing T-shirts and empty promises.

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All it takes is to vote. But it is difficult to make rational decisions with an empty stomach.

When you are the recipient of taps without water, the Olympic swimmers in pit toilets.

When you are conductors of conniving electricity connections.

But you are magicians, while others use telepathy to dodge potholes on their way to a voting station, you have advanced to filling your stomach with food for thought.

The DA leader John Steenhuisen said voting for smaller parties is like a one-night stand.

“They will never return your call after the election. They will never pay the bill after dinner. You will never see them again.” They sound like pimps.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said to protesting residents that if they don’t vote ANC, they will never have electricity.

“This thing of ’no electricity, no vote’ needs to stop now. If you don't vote for the ANC, then electricity may never be restored.

“Which other party do you trust to ensure that electricity is restored here?”

They sound like bullies.

EFF leader Julius Malema told party agents to stay close to the ballot box when the electricity goes off.

He claimed the governing ANC will use load-shedding to steal votes.

They sound paranoid.

These votes are a commodity.

The people are trading their votes for electricity. The wanting of land is in limbo.

Department of Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said load shedding did not affect examinations as natural light was sufficient for writing.

But the sun is low when studying needs that happen.

We raise our animus young in caves, under candlelight.

The pinnacle of how bright their futures will become.

The Saturday Star