The topic about race is still a sensitive one in South Africa. It often creates racial tension, and not many people would attempt to step on it and expect not to upset certain racial group (s): Blacks, Whites, Indians, or Coloureds.
To some it is an untouchable subject, but to other brave individuals such as the outspoken Ntsiki Mazwai – the musician who is also known for her controversial tweets – freedom of speech is one of the Rainbow Nation’s benefits she passionately celebrates since the birth of democracy. She is not afraid to speak her mind.
Ntsiki’s 37.6K Twitter followers and those who read her blog can attest that the younger sister of Bongo Maffin group’s female member, Thandiswa Mazwai, constantly finds herself in boiling water for expressing her honest views – although some issues she writes about receive standing ovation.
Last week, the poet, 34, arguably infuriated the entire race of white South Africans, the Afrikaners, after her blog titled: “Dear White South Africans”.
The blog was dedicated to annual Heritage Day, aka Braai Day – the alternative title that pushed Ntsiki to raise her concerns of September’s celebrated cultural day.
With white people leading the introduction of The Queen of the Streets’ letter, this was going to be an uncomfortable read for the sensitive souls.
This is how Ntsiki started her 687-worded opinion piece. “Owing to this concept of Braai Day, I am forced to have this honest and somewhat uncomfortable conversation with you. I had hoped that since you have grown white people, they would teach you better…but they have not.”
This was just an informal beginning. The second paragraph went straight to her initial punch line: “Let’s start at the beginning… my dear white people, you are not descendants of this land called Afrika. Afrika has its own children that it has birthed and nurtures.”
And the dreadlocked singer didn’t end there, she went further: “You are the children of Elizabeth, Hitler, Bismarck and others that built their legacy on stealing lands and making people slaves”.
Now the author of Wena, who published the controversial #DearWhiteSouthAfricans letter on the 24th September, has become the victim of freedom of speech in SA. Since Heritage Day, he letter led to threats and Facebook page has been hacked by those offended by her views.
Despite constant threats and intimidation, the Uwrongo vocalist is not fazed, not one bit.
“I absolutely feel like I am being censored. This won’t work, they clearly haven’t dealt with my kind. I don’t cower nor back down,” Ntsiki told The Voice of SA.
And her supporters are behind her, too; Bev Ditsie, one of Ntsiki’s followers and a world renowned human rights activist, tweeted:
So, after her blog titled “dear white people” got her threatened and intimidated, Ntsiki Mazwai’s Facebook page has been discontinued. Or cancelled or blocked, or whatever they did to it. Freedom of expression is in danger in this country. Today it’s her. Tomorrow it could be any one of us. I may not agree with everything she says, but I will fight to the death for her right to say it.