I was born here, of course I'm African he replied.
Now all the Whities are proudly African. Were you African twenty years ago? she laughed.
It was a defining moment. Teaching post-revolution was beautiful. Racially mixed classrooms were an exciting privilege, something he had always dreamed of was now real. Debate was vigorous and encouraged. Never again shall we not speak to one another, he told them. They gave him hope that everything would be alright, despite the crime, despite the resistance from a generation of racists, black and white. But maybe we have more to answer for, he thought. Maybe the past is not healed with just the declaration of freedom. Maybe anger is rooted deeper? Maybe hurt must burn through everyone who was there first? Maybe it must burn out like a winter fire to prepare for fresh growth? Maybe this is not my narrative, the one we hi-jacked. Maybe it is our turn to be silent, to let go. Perhaps, because our forefathers stole what was not theirs, our duty is to give it all back. Three and a half centuries of colonial rule had to go, it was right that it go. A symbolic retreat, to go away. He should leave. Seed a new place where everyone is of migrant stock. Find a continent where the residue of Imperialism reside. A place where the ownership of narrative is not claimed, where I can speak legitimately? But, there is no such place on this earth. I am a citizen of a world not yet discovered. Here, there is an older narrative but the people to whom it belongs are broken and tired. Those who talk have done well to safeguard their authority; authorship with a home-grown brand of fear: action without legislated approval. He lights a legislated cigarette and opens the door for the shire inspector who here to check that his pool is safe according to legislation.