Zakes Mda to Mbuyiseni Ndlozi: Let people celebrate the Springboks' achievements
Author Zakes Mda has weighed in on EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi's controversial tweets, saying he should let people express their joy at the Springboks' Rugby World Cup achievement.
In a post on Twitter this week, Mda suggested that those who gathered at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport to welcome the team home on Tuesday, like all South Africans celebrating the victory, were doing so of their own free will and should not be discredited by people who wished to “pee on the parade”.
Mda added that those who attended were not fools and that they would “rejoice nevertheless”.
You see all those people? I don’t think anyone of them is a fool for being there. They’re South Africans celebrating their national team that has won the Rugby World Cup. You’re free to pee on their parade if you like, it being a free country. But they’ll rejoice nevertheless https://t.co/tPLc2DsfBx— Zakes Mda (@ZakesMda) November 5, 2019
The author's comments did not sit well with Ndlozi, who replied citing Nongqawuse, the teenage prophet who, in 1856, prophesied that if the amaXhosa killed all their cattle, the British colonial forces would be driven into the sea.
According to Ndlozi, South Africans are being sold a dream of false racial unity.
“The people were not stupid, they just followed a false prophet. Sounds familiar? False dreams,” he said.
I believe you write about this in one of your works; The Heart of Redness... the story of Nongqawuse persuades us to be careful of false dreams/prophecies/visions that interrupt our fight against colonial powers, giving it an upper hand against us. False & Fake Euphorias, opiums— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) November 5, 2019
In a back-and-forth “discussion”, Mda said celebrating the Springboks' win didn’t necessarily mean that people were expecting “miracles” of ending inequality.
“They’re smart people who don’t expect any miracles from their jubilation and are aware that inequalities will continue,” he said.
Mda also disputed Ndlozi’s reference to Nongqawuse: “As for Nongqawuse, I researched that history and wrote a book on it. It was more complex than that,” he said.
As for Nongqawuse I researched that history & wrote a book on it. It was more complex than that. There were Believers & Unbelievers & a civil war broke among the amaGcaleka people as a result. Many were forced to kill their cattle though they didn’t believe in the prophesies— Zakes Mda (@ZakesMda) November 5, 2019
Setting the record straight on his tweets, Mda told Ndlozi that they were not about how politicians chose to “hijack” the Springboks' victory for their own purposes, but about “simply letting people express their joy at the achievement”.
“They can’t be stopped anyway,” he said.
Read my tweet again (to which you responded) and you’ll see that it is not on how politicians choose to hijack this rugby victory for their own purposes (eg unity, kumbaya etc). It is on simply letting people express their joy at the achievement. They can’t be stopped anyway https://t.co/KdSp2oRJCj— Zakes Mda (@ZakesMda) November 5, 2019
😂! So you thought it was attacking your position? Haha! I was pleasantly surprised at the picture with all those crowds. Right here on this App I was talking to a neuro-surgeon (EFF voter in the last election from her own account) who went there. You see people WANT to celebrate https://t.co/nOuixNmiaG— Zakes Mda (@ZakesMda) November 5, 2019
It’s not my argument that victory was false: EFF voters surely know that there is no Racial Unity. That telling us the Rugby Victory means victory over racial division is utterly false. EFF people don’t sing Die Stem, want removal of apartheid symbols, they oppose FALSE UNITY! https://t.co/4JhMaJM42m— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) November 5, 2019
Ending the conversation, Mda said the Springboks' win inspired his grandson, who was a rugby player.
“He finds the RWC winning team and their captain an inspiration. Now he sees that [It] is not an impossible dream.”
My grandson Mhlontlo (Neo’s son) plays rugby for his school and is great. He believes one day he’ll be a Springbok (or whatever the team will be called then.) He finds the #RWC winning team and their captain an inspiration. Now he sees that his is not an impossible dream— Zakes Mda (@ZakesMda) November 5, 2019