Awakened by Rassool Jibraeel Snyman

I come not to be your ideological pop star
Your muse
Or your friend
I come but to stand upon the mound
In the coldness of your disapproval
And tell you the truth about yourself
And myself
Of the things we have done
To others
And ourselves
Of the burdens we carry
On our backs
And on our souls
Of the hurt we have strewn
Like poisoned thorns
Upon the path we call life
With nary a thought
Or care
Of those we hurt
As we trampled on their dreams
And tore from them who they are
Of the children we buried in the sands
Who call our names forlornly in the still night
I have not come to bury your guilt
But to resurrect it
That it stares you in the face
Till you cringe
And wish for death
I have not come to seek your approval
Nor bask in your admiration
I have but come to awaken you
Though you should detest it
And hate me
I bring nothing new
For others have passed this way before me
Speaking their truths
And hated for it
In the sands of our histories
And the book of our deeds
Are written tales that speak of the iniquity of man
His penchant for violence
And his oppression of the other
My words are not to fill you with comfort
But to scorch you
And scar you
Tear open your closed eyes
To face the truths before you
Think not that I have come to befriend you
I have come but to awaken you
Though you like it not

Awakened, Rassool Jibraeel Snyman

Why Africa Keeps Failing

“Economic Development occurs when a population in a given territory applies modern science and technology to drive its production processes. The use of science raises the productivity per worker, which in turn leads to higher standards of living in the society in question. Greater use of science in production also raises the general level of knowledge in a given population.

This explains why economic development is not always preferred by some political elites. They see the ramifications of economic development as leading to greater independence of thought in their subjects, which threaten their power. This is one of the reasons that many countries in Africa have not developed. These weak elites feel threatened by the rising levels of knowledge and skill amongst their citizens” – Moeletsi Mbeki

#ColouredVotesMatter – Fransman natural choice

Waking up to reports that Marius Fransman has been re-elected as Chairperson of the ANC in the Western Cape – was a surprise to some, for others it was an affirmation that indeed “coloured lives matter” in the new South Africa.

It goes without saying, that to deliver the Western Cape, Coloured people need to believe that the ANC has their best interest at heart, and therefore Fransman was the natural choice.

Whether Fransman is the perfect candidate is irrelevant. Whether he can deliver fundamental change in the conditions of the poor isn’t the objective – at least not right now.

The objective is clear – place the face and work from there.

We live in a “rainbow nation” – where race politics is integral to the success of every political party. We can not deny that political parties tailor their messages depending on the audience – in Kwa-Zulu Natal parties talk to Zulus and Indians very differently to the way they talk to Coloureds and Whites in the Western Cape.

Therefore, the move to keep Fransman as Head was strategic and delivered exactly what we expect from Political Parties – more of the same. In recent times, the DA and EFF have done the exact same thing…

The question is – what is next? 

Can South Africa reach a point where race does not determine the outcome of an election? And more importantly, are political parties a mere reflection of what society wants?

Do we only want people of our own race to “lead” us? Politicians certainly think so. Why else would the DA elevate Maimane after less than a year as an MP?

Simply put – We are a race obsessed country and we vote along racial lines. End of story.

Now, we are told #ColouredLivesMatter and we have Marius and Patricia to contend with because of that. But does this political “race game” actually make a difference? Or does this make the people of the Western Cape more vulnerable to manipulation because of it?

Put Nkandla(and all other ANC scandals) aside for a second,  And let’s ask the tough question – Does Marius posses the ability to unite the Western Cape the way Ebrahim Rasool did? Or are we trying to regurgitate old strategies, so we can relive the ANC glory days in the Western Cape?

Fransman has a tough task. While he has managed to bring the party together in the Western Cape, we can not deny that the ANC brand is damaged in this province.

It will take a lot more than a Coloured Face to convince this province that #ColouredVotesMatter.

Fazlin Fransman is Deputy Chairperson of the Allied Movement For Change. A Civil Society Organisation working in impoverished communities promoting political activism from the ground up.

Follow her on Twitter @FazlinFransman

Today – You are forgiven


Today, I see your false shows of affection
As you try to make me comfortable.
Your nervous hands,
And awkward laugh,
Your offers of coffee and a chat, Attempts to guide me to act.
To your desired result.

Today, I see your real face.
Not the powdered coloured farce shown to the world,
To distract from the wretched and broken soul within.
But the scheming hurder,
whose opinions change with the change of the wind.

Today, I say goodbye to you my friend.
The naive voice within.
The one who trusted you explicitly.
Whose innocence has been lost
And who thanks you greatly.
For the lesson in life

Ramadan in Land of the Free


Having spent two weeks in the US prior to the start of this auspicious Month, allowed me to settle into this new and somewhat strange environment before embarking on one of the most spiritual months in the Lunar calendar.

Ramadan in DC is similar to the Ramadan I observed in Ulsan, Korea three years ago. Both places are hot, humid and in the Northern Hemisphere.

They are both far away from home.

Home. Where the smell of Daltjies and Curry permeate the air in a natural candenscence of homely atmosphere. Sometimes, in our eagerness to unite as a Muslim Ummah, we forget how our individual cultures assist in creating the environment for spirituality to thrive. Something as simple as sharing cake/treats with your neighbour prior to Iftaar, creates a sense of community which feels lost in places like Ulsan and DC.

However, Ramadan is more than the cultural attachés. It is a month of introspection and reflection. A time to rededicate ones life to the spiritual path laid for us by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

So while I miss the sense of community and culture of home, I relish in the opportunity to utilize the space and time away from it, to delve into states of introspection which seems easier being alone.

Ramadan Kareem