The Youngsters: If holidays were human
In this extract Anele Mdoda plucks at the meaning of our national days off
Brenda Fassie mellows out of the wireless in the TV room into the kitchen. She's barefoot, eight months' pregnant and stirring a pot of breakfast porridge for the wailing toddler sitting on the floor behind her. She stops stirring and wipes a stray hair from her sweat-drenched forehead.
She looks out of the window. In the distance she sees what seems to be a small swarm of bees . She squints. S he can see the wide skirts and dresses reaching past knees, the outline of breasts made large by hearts filled with fire - s he wants to know more. Behind her, the porridge boils over .
I am Women's Day; I was born because black, white, coloured, Indian women put aside their differences and came together to show what women together can do.
HIS velskoene are firmly on the ground. It's a fantastic day out in his backyard. He takes a sip of his can of Castle draught and his eyes follow the smoke billowing up to the sky. Frikkie makes a joke too; he turns around, his belly bouncing with the laughter. Frikkie asks him what's on his apron. He reads the upside-down words, "Sawubona, Molweni, Hello, Dumelang".
The air is filled with the aroma of Braai Day.
I am Heritage Day; I was born because we should celebrate our differences and intricacies and so you can tell your story to a receptive audience.
DRAGGING a chain across the floor, he walks slowly down the passage and screams at the smaller kids, taunting and intimidating them, "After school is after school." December 16 is like the school bully. The kid that tells another kid, "You and I are going to have words after school." It's a rebellious day.
I am the Day of Reconciliation; I used to be Dingaan's Day.
Suave, immaculately dressed in a dark navy Hugo Boss suit, smelling of Diesel for Men, neat hair, perfectly polished Dior dress shoes, Guess leather belt, starched collared Polo shirt - his red tie branded with "$" and "à" and "¥" and "£" and, in the corner, a big "R".
How much did those cost?
I am Christmas Day, the birthday of Jesus, the son of the Christian God.
This is an extract from Mdoda's book 'It Feels Wrong to Laugh, But...', one of the five books in 'The Youngsters' series, edited by Mandy Weiner, published by Pan Macmillan and available at Exclusive Books for R88 a book