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LIFE AND STRUGGLE DURING APARTHEID

INTRODUCTION

Brainstorm and Knowledge-Sharing:


Do a brainstorm, writing down everything you know about South Africa.
Start by working individually and then progress to working in pairs,
comparing your brainstorms.

Research and Vocabulary:


Use the Internet to find definitions for the following words and concepts to
gain a greater understanding of South Africa:

Afrikaans (noun)
Afrikaner (noun)
ANC (proper noun)
Apartheid (noun)
Boer (noun, adjective)
Boer Wars (proper noun)
Born frees (noun, plural)
Colony (noun)
Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign (proper noun)
Dompass (noun)
Frederik Willem de Klerk (proper noun)
Great Trek (proper noun)
Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd (proper noun)
Homelands (noun, plural)
Hottentot (noun)
Jo'Burg (proper noun)
Jozi (proper noun)
Kaffir (noun)
Nasionale Party (proper noun)
Nelson Mandela (proper noun)
Passbook (noun)
Rainbow Nation (proper noun)
Rand (noun)
Sharpeville (proper noun)
Soweto (proper noun)
Springboks (proper noun, plural)
Township (noun)
Tsotsi (noun)
Zef (noun, adjective)

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WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE IN SOUTH AFRICA DURING
APARTHEID
Michelle Faul, Associated Press

Dec. 9, 2013
OHANNESBURG (AP) - My mother was furious. The operators of the gas
J
rural landligt
indomitable ukuelige
bawled skralede
station in rural, racist South Africa had taken her money to fill the car, but
decrepit faldefrerdige would not give her the key to the toilets. They were for whites only.
mauve lyslilla
stock herkomst It was the early 1960s, and apartheid was the law of the land.
So my indomitable mum did the only thing she could do: She ordered
me and my two sisters to urinate right there, very publicly, in front of the
fuel pumps.
We did not disobey, but I started crying - and my sisters bawled, too.
We lowered our shorts, but I was so traumatized that I simply could not go.
My widowed mother, Ethel Pillay, had driven us from our home in
Zimbabwe, which was then called Rhodesia, to visit family in her native
South Africa.
There was racism in Rhodesia, too, but it was nothing like the
institutionalized code in South Africa that made blacks subhuman - the
system that Nelson Mandela later fought to bring down.
We had been on the road for more than 15 hours that day. We were
taking the car because the train ride was difficult for a woman with three
children and lots of baggage.
The train also was an uncomfortable ride for blacks: Halfway through
the trip, in the middle of the night, they would have to get out of the
Rhodesian Railways compartments and transfer to decrepit blacks-only
South African carriages.
' T!!SlG,!_C9UlfIL 9F lkf C!
The car trip presented its own challenges. Hotels catered only to whites,
WHITE AR so the drive needed to be nonstop. We also had to carry piles of food and
DI MDHINGSRUO VAN DIE k'AJ.P

AJ<E QJ drinks because my mother refused to go to the back door of shops; only
whites were allowed inside the stores.
In those days, of course, we didn't say "blacks" and "whites:' Black
people were called ''.Africans;' we were "colored" to designate our mixed race,
and whites were called "Europeans:'
Sometimes those lines got blurred. South Africa had a crazy system of
deciding your race, including whether the moons of your fingernails were a
Signs like these
were a common bit more mauve than white, indicating a hint of black blood. There also was
sight throughout
South Africa during
the test of whether a pencil would stay in your hair, indicating it must be of
apartheid. kinky black stock. If the pencil slid through, you could be considered white.

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LIFE AND STRUGGLE DURING APARTHEID

During apartheid blacks in urban areas were relegated to living in underdeveloped townships.

Under such rules of apartheid, Chinese were classified colored despite


their straight hair; Japanese were white.
Blacks who wanted to be reclassified as colored also could undergo
the pencil test: if it fell out when you shook your head, you could become
colored.
Tens of thousands of people changed their race in this manner.
Sometimes it was not voluntary and led to families being forcibly separated
even children from their parents - if one member was deemed not to belong
to the same race. It was not unusual, in the colored community, to find
siblings ranging in shades from deepest black to fair with blond hair.
I remember the sorrow brought on our family because one of my
mother's sisters "played white:' When she was in her 90s, my grandmother

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corralled gennet som recounted how her own daughter walked past her in the street, pretending
kvaeg
professionals fagfolk not to know her. But with the pain still stark in her eyes, she told me, "That's
strenuously pa det
kraftigste
what she had to do to make a better life for herself and her children:'
peculiar saeregne Being white meant you got decent health care, your kids could go to
imbibed tilegnet
school, and you could live where you wanted.
Blacks were corralled into townships, if they could get jobs in the city.
If not, their urban shacks often were bulldozed and they were forcibly moved
to unproductive "homelands:' This was at the heart of the policy of apartheid,
or "separateness:
My experience was more the absurd pettiness of apartheid, rather than
the brutal, state-sponsored violence used to maintain it.
If you were white, you had access to jobs denied to blacks. The only
black professionals were teachers, like my mother; nurses and doctors who
could only treat blacks; and lawyers, the profession chosen by Mandela, who
once believed he could end apartheid by reasoning and legal argument.
We moved to England from Rhodesia when I was a child because
my mother fell in love with a white man, Michael Faul, who had come
to Rhodesia when he was 2. His mother strenuously objected to the
marriage, and for years, she was estranged from her only son until
my mother forced him to reconcile.
I remember our ship docking in Southampton. On the train ride
to London, seeing whites doing menial work, I exclaimed to my mother:
"But those are Europeans - picking up dustbins!" It was so alien.
On subsequent visits to South Africa as a teenager, I had a British
passport. That put me in the peculiar position of being an "honorary white"
- meaning I could stay in white hotels and, upon showing my passport, go
to restaurants, movie theaters and other places reserved for whites. The
exception was South Africa's racially segregated beaches.
To my surprise, I realized that Johannesburg was not made up of dusty,
treeless suburbs with poor homes crowded onto small plots overlooked by
dumps. White people lived in green neighborhoods with paved roads and
sidewalks, in lush homes with gardens, swimming pools and tennis courts.
Black people who worked in those suburbs had to have permission to
live in the "boy's quarters" at the bottom of the garden - such approval was
stamped into much-hated "passbooks:' Or they had to be out of the white
suburbs before nightfall.
My mother, now writing her memoirs, recalls racism as something that
"children were not taught. ... It seemed to be imbibed unconsciously, and
automatically became a part of you:'

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LIFE AND STRUGGLE DURING APARTHEID

In Cradock, a South African town in the eastern Cape where she entrench forankre
reconciliation
was living when apartheid was legalized in 1948, my English-speaking forsoning
retribution
mother struggled with her studies after new laws sought to entrench white gengaeldelse
superiority through the Afrikaans language. Once, she was "locked into my ordained ordineret

classroom to do my topic in history, in a foreign language I could neither


read nor write:'
Opposition to Afrikaans as "the language of the oppressor" led to
the 1976 uprising in Soweto, when police opened fire on 15,000 students
marching in a peaceful protest. Images of the state violence published around
the world proved a momentous turning point, changing how many perceived
apartheid.
When that evil system finally was crushed, we all were in awe of
Mandela's insistence on reconciliation and not retribution. It is a tribute to
him that today, as he ordained, I and others forgive but do not forget.
(2013)

ANALYSIS: ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1) Contrast and compare how Michelle Faul experiences...


a. ... going to South Africa as a child.
b. ... going to England as a child.
c.... going to South Africa as a teenager.
d. Reflect upon how and why the experiences are different from each other.

2) What does it mean that racism in South Africa was an


"institutionatized code"? Give examples.

3) Comment on the racial classification of apartheid.


a. With what methods was race classified in South Africa during apartheid?
b. What were the consequences of racial classification for individuals and for families?
c. How would it serve the regime to have three categories of race rather than only two?

4) Comment on the notion that racism in South Africa was something that is
"imbibed unconsciously".

5) Comment on the Soweto uprising.


a. What triggered it?
b. What were the consequences of the uprising?

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It does not look like much, but Soweto is home to more than a milion South Africans.

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RECONCILIATION AND IDENTITY CRISIS AFTER APARTHEID

SOWETO: FRAGMENT FROM A HOMECOMING


John Matshikiza

W ake up in shock, after barely an hour's sleep in my long-lost cousin's


house. Pain and itching round my neck, on my back, both arms.
fragment brudstykke
barnacles bramgres
myopically na:,rsynet
hovels knaldhytter I
usle hytter
Blistering barnacles - bedbugs! Reality is beginning to bite, literally. This stoep d0rtrin
(afrikaans)
homecoming, this familiarity as I set foot on my native turf for the first time Busbies buskma:,nd
in thirty-two years, is breeding contempt among the locals. spruit ba:,k (afrikaans)
creche krybbespil

I've snapped on the bedside light and slap and scratch at myself, reach
myopically for my glasses and search the bedclothes in terror, wondering
what a bedbug will look like when I see it, and will I be able to handle it?
Look around the little room. My cousin's bedroom, my first night here in
deep Soweto, the room much smaller now in the sharp, unromantic focus
of the small hours.

This is Soweto, boy, where you ran away from. The walls are yellow and sooty.
Things are packed in cardboard boxes alongside and on top of the shabby old
wardrobe, the tiny desk is useless as a desk, it is a bedside table and store
-cupboard, the government has built hovels for the people, and the people
are trapped in them, shoulder to shoulder, step out of your front door and
how can you avoid seeing your neighbour knifing her husband in the gloom
of her stoep because she's gone crazy, or Sherry in the broad daylight of that
very afternoon being chased down the street by must-be a hundred Busbies,
grinning and waving sticks in anticipation of a little variation in this cruel
life, all wanting to take part in corrective, instant punishment of Sherry, 'cos
she, this middle-aged seventeen-year-old, had the audacity to leave her two
year-old and the baby with her ninety year-old father who's a drunk, alone
and without food and milk from her horrified breasts for three whole days,
looking to fit some fun into the weekend and make it last a little longer.

Here's Sherry running barefoot past my cousin's stoep, and the 'community;
from four to sixty, running hopefully after her with sticks.

They corner her down in the spruit, where Mr Snit, the municipal
policeman, found that snake in '59 and couldn't resist bringing it all the
way up the hill in a sack to terrorise us kids playing in the yard of my
grandmother's creche where we used to while away our useless, childish
hours. The creche is still there, on the corner over Mlamlankhunzi, just as I

FROM APARTHEID TO ZEFSIDE 79


left it, with regrets. So anyway, Mr Snit let the snake writhe before our eyes
while Grandma wasn't looking, and then burned it, in its death throes, in
front of us, with fire. What the hell were we supposed to make of it all? Aged
four? Memories of a time before exile.

Flash forward to this afternoon. The dust rises from around the spruit as they
lay into Sherry. They finally caught her and are telling her what's what, no
matter how bad they all are.

Jesus said: 'Who dares to throw the first stone?'

'Me; say all the Bushies, voluntarily.

This is Soweto, Johannesburg. We go back to what we were doing. Watching


television, drinking beer, talking politics. Staring like into a mirror at the
identical township pouring away in every direction over the rounded hills.

This must have been a beautiful landscape, once, until they discovered the
gold. The piles of mine dumps, left there for the township to crouch around,
the white man's dirt abandoned where he decided he was finished with it,
the skeletons of mine headgear rusting over sucked-out shafts where the
coloureds can fall in if they want to, I've got work to do ...

That was all earlier in the day. Now the house is sleeping. In the quiet house I
am alone with invisible bedbugs. I scratch and slap my skin, hoping someone
will wake up and come and keep me company. Nothing.

Prepare for sleep again. Just drawing the sheet up to my chin, gingerly, when,
damn me, if the fattest thing, big and brown like a two-cent coin, doesn't come
marching out of the folds of my cousin's blanket and stride straight towards
my face. I haven't even switched off the light. I am shocked. It's so fucking big.
Stamping across the white sheets, out of nowhere, fearing nothing.

I clap the sheet hard. Hold it, breathing heavily. How do you kill a bedbug?
An axe? I open the fold a crack. There he is still, squirming. Released, he
starts marching again, straight for my jugular. I squeeze the sheet tight, twist
it, grind, dig my fingernails into the patch where he is, in there where I can't
see his ugly township mug and don't want to. Me and him, the same.

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RECONCILIATION AND IDENTITY CRISIS AFTER APARTHEID

Fearfully, gingerly, release my grip. Peer into the folds, my knuckles white. My Casey Motsitsi

blood seeps out of him and his mangled body, smearing the sheet. And that
sydafrikansk
novelleforfatter og
terrible, sweet smell they always said bedbugs give off when you squash them. journalist
indaba konference
(Bantu)
Peter Rezant
He's dead. I look around the room. Why? This has all already been written by sydafrikansk
guys like Casey Motsitsi. Why do I have to go through it in person? jazzmusiker
Thixo and Somandla
afrikanske guder
commuoalism
Didn't sleep any more. frellesskabsfolelse
i forhold ti! egen
etniske gruppe
Groggy for the big indaba planned for the next day. Indaba of very old Nadine Gordimer
sydafrikansk
people, here in my cousin's house, singing hymns for me. The legendary forfatter og politisk
Peter Rezant at my side on the broken sofa, telling me tales about people aktivist
Rian Malan
from way back. Can you believe it? A wonderful prayer in Xhosa from sydafrikansk
forfatter, journalist
tall, rumpled Uncle Nick, thanking Thixo and Somandla for my return to og dokumentarist
the land of my ancestors. Food, food, food, beer. The girls in the kitchen haikona, jong! Du kan
fandeme tro nej!
with all their children. How can these children tell whom they belong to? (afrikaans)

Communalism gone wild. Home.

I swear I am not going to sleep another night in that bed. If Gideon doesn't
show up to rescue me like he promised, I'll phone Nadine Gordimer, Rian
Malan, anyone from the other side in comforting, white-white Johannesburg,
just to be able to lie down in the manner to which I have become accustomed.
Soweto? Haikona, jong!
(2002)

While conditions
have improved in
Soweto, the area is
still underdeveloped
compaired to
Johannesburg proper.

FROM APARTHEID TO ZEFSIDE 81


RESEARCH:
The text is about John Matshikaza's own homecoming to Soweto. Consult
the Internet to find out why he has not been home for thirty-two years and
why is he coming home now.

ANALYSIS: ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1) Characterize the setting of the story.

2) Comment on the structure of the text.


a. How does the text begin?
b. In what way does the text use punctuation marks in the fourth
paragraph of the text?
c. Make a timeline illustrating the chronology of the events described
in the text.
d. What does the structure of the text tell us about of the state of mind
of the narrator?

3) How does he feel about coming home? Why ?

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RE CONCILIATION AND IDENTITY CRISIS AFTER APARTHEID

THE DUMMIES GUIDE TO ZEF


2010-02-16 23:42
Magdel Fourie

Die Antwoord: Ninja, DJ Hi-Tek, and Yo-Landi Vi$$er.

ohannesburg - South Africa has a wide research regarding the origin of scramble pastyr I

J new export product: zef.


After an estimated half-a
the word and what it means today.
The word is presumably
ballade I ivrighed
consensus enighed
soup-up tune I fa ti! at
k0re hurtigere
million people worldwide watched derived from a car which was quite
the music video Zefside of the popular in South Africa until the
Cape rap group Die Antwoord early 1970s: the Ford Zephyr.
on YouTube, there was a sudden The Zephyr later became a
scramble and fervent googling to favourite among owners who liked
determine what exactly zef is. to soup-up their engines and add fat
And although zef is truly tyres with shiny rims.
South African, there is anything but With these souped-up Zephyrs,
consensus about what zef means men would dice and wheel spin
these days. down the streets late at night. People
Even the origin of zef is unclear. from that era sag these were mostly
Over the past week Beeld has done rough guys - real zefs.

FROM APARTHEID TO ZEFSIDE 115


connotations Singer and author Koos Dr Frikkie Lombard, editor
konnotationer I
medbetydning Kombuis describes zef as a word in-chief of the Woordeboek van
nouveau riche nyrig
from his childhood which means die Afrikaanse Taal (WAT), says
common. the word zef describes what was
considered kitsch back in the day,
Zef takes guts and has been reborn to mean
"These days it's not necessarily nouveau riche.
negative. I like being common. "Thus if something is zef,
It's like wearing high heels with a it means it's something which is
tracksuit. Being truly zef takes guts: usually considered to be common,
Die Antwoord themselves but nowadays has credibility:'
describe the word zef as the ultimate
South African style. Zeflingo:
The Afrikaans rapper Snotkop, Brannewynvlekke - small dents
aka. Francois Henning, feels and scratches on a car
everything that's zef today has its Ching - money
origin in the 1980s. He also agrees Loodkettie - gun
that it doesn't only have negative Darkies - sunglasses
connotations. Vroetelvarkie - a sugar daddy
He points to blue eyeliner, Karate-water - brandy
bleached hair, sweat bands and cars Graft - working or place of
with overly powerful sound systems. employment
"The word gives you a mental Sponskind - a softie
picture of what it means and is Pyle - cigarettes
perfect for what it means. This zef
is cool:' Source: www.watkykjy.com
Singer Jack Parow, aka Zander (2010)
Tyler, says the word originated
decades ago.
"In the Cape we've been talking
like that for jarre and jarre [many
years], since I can remember. Both
young and old use it:'
Comedian Leon Schuster's
children had to learn the word from
their dad over the past weekend.
"It's an old word which has become
brand new again. But you only hear
it in Afrikaans;' he said.

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RECONCILIATION AND IDENTITY CRISIS AFTER APARTHEID

ANALYSIS: ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:

1) What has caused the sudden interest in zef?

2) Make an outline of the different opinions about zef represented in the text.

3) How is the new zef different from the zef of the 1980's?

4) Look the glossary given at the end of the text. What do the words that zef
has slang terms for say about the culture?

FROM APARTHEID TO ZEFSIDE 117


FATTY BOOM BOOM
Die Antwoord

ching penge (afrikaans, Yo, Hi-Tek, you think you could fuck with something like this?
zef)
wat se Suid-Africa?
hvad siger du, Sydafrika? (Beatboxing)
(Afrikaans)
suig me fokken piel
sut min fucking pik
(afrikaans) Don't you mean something like this?
bier kom ek weer
her kommer jeg igen
(afrikaans) Yeah, that's perf. Yo-Landi, do that thing.
lekker trekker
(afrikaans)
sies ordlyd der Eh Fatty Boom Boom
udtrykker skuffelse
og afsky (afrikaans) Hit me with the ching-ching
Not fokken thinking, dolla eye twinkling
Just a bit of junkie,
Let's not get too funky
Ohh ohhh ooh ohh

When I'm on the mic it's like murder murder murder!


Kill kill kill!
Wat se Suid-Afrika?
Suig my fokken piel.
Hier kom ek weer
Like a lekker a smack in the face
Rappers are fokking pouring into passenger planes
What happened to all the cool rappers from back in the day?
Now all these rappers sound exactly the same
It's like one big inbred fuck-fest
Sies
No, I do not want to stop, collaborate or listen

Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy hold on to your ching


I'm takin' over America, blowin' up everything
Physically fit, the Ninja very energetic
If you haven't got it by now, then you're never gonna get it
I whip my dick out and piss on all the hard-up 'n fokken rap
Got an offshore account for dollar bills in a stack
Fuck rap
I'm siding with China we not fokken related
Like a methfest, like the first time I ejaculated.

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dwanky'd taberagtigt/ Eh Fatty Boom Boom
ikke cool (afrikaans,
zef) Hit me with the Ching-ching
Not fokken thinking, dolla eye twinkling
Just a bit of junkie,
Let's not get too funky
Ohh ohhh ohh ohh

Eh Fatty Boom Boom


Hit me with the Ching-ching
Not fokken thinking, dolla eye twinkling
Just a bit of junkie,
Let's not get too funky
Ohh ohhh-

Hi! My name is Yo-Landi fuckin' Visser


Fight fight fight!
Kick you in the teeth, hit you on the head with the mic
There's a rumble in the jungle I'm (something) to beat em
Not looking for trouble but trouble's looking for me
M'uppercuts're fokken swollen with nothing just come for free
I used to think I'd always kill this to hustle something to eat
South Africa used to be a dwanky'd, (y'know dat's me)

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RECONCILIATION AND IDENTITY CRISIS AFTER APARTHEID

Suddenly you're interested'cos we're blowing up overseas baka tabeligt (japansk)

Make you money money money


Yes yes yes
Zef side represent
You're fuckin' with the best

I'm a upper
Dwangies get buffed like a sucka
Baka baka
Yippie-ki-yay motherfucker!
I'm a big deal (wiv de seen my niggas rollin' me)?
Now I'm having so much fun l can't even go to sleep

Yo-Landi!
What?
Where you at?
Here I am!
Spitting fokken lyrics like barn barn barn!

Eh Fatty Boom Boom


Hit me with the ching-ching
Not fokken thinking, dolla eye twinkling

FROM APARTHEID TO ZEFSIDE 123


fat cat rig og vigtig Just a bit of junkie,
person
Let's not get too funky
Ohh ohhh ohh ohh (x2)

We keep it lekker lekker lekker, zef zef zef


Spend all my fuckin' money til' there's nothing left
I'm a fat cat, keep the change I don't need the slip
With this fat sack of dagga I'm smoking a spliff
In my mat blacks are bottle-haters throwing a fit
Round the corner gooi'n fokken spiff Tokyo drift

My daddy told me there's a lot of fish in the sea


There's just a lotta motherfuckin' money bitches and weed

Ja, dagga dagga dagga, puff puff puff

Bring the beat back Hi-Tek!

Make it rough
We drop the type of beats that make you shut the fuck up and
dance
We drop the type of beats so good you're fuckin' stuck in a trance
In the overseas they like to say you're stuck in a trance
We drop the type of beats that make you fuckin' cum in your
pants

Pass it to left, like a zef, to the east, to the motherfucken left

Eh Fatty Boom Boom


Hit me with the Ching-ching
Not fokken thinking, dolla eye twinkling
Just a bit of junkie,
Let's not get too funky
Ohh ohhh ohh ohh (x3)

Jesus
(2012)

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REC ONCILIATION AND IDENTITY CRISIS AFTER APARTHEID

ANALYSIS (1): ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:


1) How is zef culture presented in the lyrics?

2) Comment on the use of intertextuality.


a. "Murder murder murder! Kill kill kill!"
b. "Hi! My name is..."
c. "Yippie-ki-yay motherfucker!"

3) Comment on the language of the text.

4) What is the message of the text?

ANALYSIS (2):
Watch the music videos for Dis lz Why I'm Hot and Fatty Boom Boom on
Youtube before answering the following questions:

1) How is South Africa presented in the videos?

2) What is the point of this?

FROM APARTHEID TO ZEFSIDE 125


DIE ANTWOORD'S REVIVAL OF
BLACKFACE DOES SOUTH AFRICA NO
FAVOURS
Adam Haupt

blackface tradition THE GUARDIAN


hvor hvide skue
spillere farver sig The rappers' latest video is a clever none particularly successful and
sorte i ansigtet for parody of western perceptions of all in English language, included
at portrcettere
roller af afrikansk Africa - but the use of blackface is Original Evergreen, Max Normal,
afstamning
hit pay dirt scorede problematic Max Normal.TV and Constructus
kassen Corporation. It wasn't until Jones
Lady Gaga amerikansk
popsanger South Africa's Die Antwoord adopted the Afrikaans working
describe themselves as a zef rap class persona, Ninja, that he hit
rave crew. They went viral on social pay dirt. And it is ironic that while
media platforms in 2010 and toured Ninja borrows heavily from male,
extensively in the US and Europe "coloured'; Afrikaans-speaking
after signing a record deal with working-class stereotypes from the
Interscope, owned by Universal. Cape, most Cape Afrikaans and
Now their latest video, Fatty Boom Xhosa rappers have not achieved
Boom, has sparked controversy for local and international success
featuring one of them painted in on the same scale as him. While
blackface. But before looking at this ambiguous, Die Antwoord's allusion
new offering in detail, it's necessary to both working-class white and
to know about their past. "coloured" stereotypes are cultural
appropriation.
Die Antwoord are Ninja (Waddy
Jones), Yo-Landi Vi$$er (Anri du With this is mind, let's look at the
Toit) and DJ Hi-Tek, who has been latest video.
played by different people in their
videos. They market themselves It apparently pokes fun at
as leaders of zef counterculture, a stereotypical western perceptions
supposedly Afrikaans working-class of Africa. Hence, we see a Lady
movement. Interestingly, they link Gaga impersonator - wearing a
zef - which apparently just used meat dress - in a minibus taxi as
to mean "common" or "kitsch'; but she is taken on a tour of presumably
now means "cool" - to 1980s white, inner city Johannesburg. Her tour
working-class culture. In truth, guide/taxi driver points out wild
however, Jones is neither working animals in Rockey Street before
class nor Afrikaans-speaking. they get hijacked. "Gaga" escapes,
All of his previous rap projects, enters the surgery of a dentist/

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RECONCILIATION AND IDENTITY CRISIS AFTER APARTHEID

Yo-Landi Vi$$er in the music video for the song Fatty Boom Boom.

gynaecologist and gives birth to a accentuate her black body paint. opening act
opva,mningsband
cockroach, which South Africans, These shots alternate with images of accentuate fremhaeve,
specifically Johannesburg residents, Ninja, Yolandi and their dancers in invocation
frembringelse
link connotatively to its nickname, white body paint and then in black. coon carnival
traditionelt
Parktown Prawn - a reference to the sydafrikansk
alien "prawns" in South African sci How do we read Yolandi's blackened karneval med
tradition for hvide
ti movie, District 9. Finally, "Gaga" body? How do we read their malet som sorte

is killed and eaten by a lion. Their invocation of a racist tradition


attempts at parody and contempt of theatre, music and cinema in
for Gaga, who wanted them as an the US and South Africa's history
opening act, can hardly be missed. of the coon carnival? Are they
Clearly, she is the "fatty" who is deconstructing our racist past, or
mocked in the chorus (celeb sites is it a publicity stunt - a shot at
have gone into overdrive recently on another viral YouTube video?
Gaga supposedly gaining weight).
A clue to these questions may be
It's a clever parody but the key issue found in a remark by Jones earlier
in this video is the role of blackface. this year: "God made a mistake
We see Yolandi's entire body painted with me. I'm actually black, trapped
black; her yellow baby doll dress, in a white body:' This echoes
yellow eyes and bleached hair "Never le Nkemise" (off Ten$ion):

FROM APARTHEID TO ZEFSIDE 127


blackface minstrelsy "Ninja, die wit kaffi.r I Ja, julle Blackface revealed less about black
amerikanske
troubadourshows naaiers I Skrik wakker" [Ninja, the subjects and more about white racist
fra for slaveriet white kaffi.r I Yes, you fuckers I projections of black identities. White
afskaffelse, hvor
sortmalede hvide Wake up]. Analysing blackface in actors painted themselves black
imiterede sorte
inequities uligheder gangsta rap, Michelle Alexander and performed black caricatures to
decontextualised contends: "Today's displays are largely white audiences. Ironically,
sat udenfor kontekst
I sat udenfor generally designed for white struggling black artists' initial
sammenhreng
audiences:' Like Wikus of District attempts at blackface were not
9, Yolandi and Ninja "go native" by considered authentic by whites.
blackening up for profit and sport.
It is white privilege that provides This video is not so different from
Die Antwoord with the means to "Enter the Ninja" - an earlier track
"borrow" from aspects of black - only this time they go beyond the
cultural expression and project appropriation of black dialects and
colonial notions of blackness. prison gang tattoos and literally
blacken up. Is it offensive? This
Historically, this has always been the depends on whether you believe
case. In Love and Theft: Blackface that the perpetuation of racial
Minstrelsy and the America stereotypes and rubbing salt in the
Working Class, Eric Lott writes that wound of racialised class inequities
blackface minstrelsy was developed in a supposedly democratic South
in 19th-century America when Africa is a problem. Personally, I
"white men caricatured blacks am troubled by the ways in which
for sport and profit''. Blackface these decontextualised, distorted
generated meanings that could not and racist representations will be
be controlled by black subjects, taken up globally. Will this improve
given that they did not have the perceptions of Africans? I think not.
means to provide competing (2012)
representations of blackness.

128 FROM APARTHEID TO ZEFSIDE


RECONCILIATION AND IDENTITY CRISIS AFTER APARTHEID

ANALYSIS: ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:


1) Comment on Ninja's background.
a. What is Ninja's background?
b. Why does the author of the article think that Ninja's background is relevant

2) What is the significance of the artist referring to Ninja by his birth name,
Waddy Jones, throughout the text while at same time referring to Lady Gaga
by her artist name?

3) Comment on Adam Haupt's views on the video for Fatty Boom Boom.
a. What about the video does he like? Why?
b. What about the video does he dislike? Why?

4) "God made a mistake with me. I'm actually black, trapped in a white body".
Comment on this.

DISCUSSION:
Does Adam Haupt have a valid point regarding the cultural appropriation of Die
Antwoord? Discuss with the person sitting next to you.

LANGUAGE ANALYSIS:
Characterize the stylistics of Adam Haupt's language in this article.

FROM APARTHEID TO ZEFSIDE 129

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