[this one is for you]

This one is
for you who made the twentieth 21st possible
for you Meme na Tate who fought from within
for you who prayed everyday for the safety of those abroad
for you whose mahangu field was destroyed by the Casspir because you were a sympathizer
for you who stayed behind telling stories of aunts and uncles that left before my birth
it’s because of your stories that I felt I knew them before meeting them
It’s been 20 years but please accept my thanks.

This one is
for you who has plenty of internal and external scars to proof your loyalty and dedication
for you who was out there fighting for me so that I could have this day
for you Oupa and Ouma beaming with pride and filled with many stories that will go unheard
20 years have passed but please allow me to say Eios

This one is
for you Mevrou and Meneer who taught me how to read and write without papers or pencils
for you who taught me to respect education even when it was inferior
for you who gave me the foundation and the building blocks to what today is my knowledge base
it has been 20 years of not acknowledging your efforts, let me say today pandu.

This one is
for you who out of helplessness told me to hide from mortars, grenades and bullets
for you who made me memorize pictures of explosives not to pick up off the ground
for you who allowed me to have a childhood oblivious to the instability and inhumanness around me
for you who made life normal amongst absurdity
Let me say Ondangero Onene 20 years late.

This one is
for you in far off lands who cared for a place you never knew
for you who interceded on my behalf when I could not cross the Atlantic
for you who facilitated meetings, education, shelter and support for a people
the power that be deemed unqualified and unfit for self determination
for you who believed in social justice and equality
Here is my 20 years worth of omapandulo.

This one is for you
the one who knows no national curfew
the one who has an individual name instead of the generic, hurtful and offensive Kaffir
the one for whom questioning freedom is akin to questioning gravity
the one who was born with tap water, a computer, a cell phone and watching TV before 6pm
the one who will chart the course for the next 20 years
the one to whom I may not be able to say 20 years from now Tumezi Shangwe
for your innocence, your impatience and your hopefulness

This one is
for you perhaps most importantly
for you who went to the mountain top but never got to the promised land
for you whose bones built the bridge that led me to my today
for you whose blood is the adhesive for the bridge of my tomorrow
for you whose fighting and dedication I never knew because you were gone before I arrived
for you who gave freely and willingly so that I can now proclaim unequivocally and without justification
I am born free!

This one is for you
This one is for me
Twenty years later
This one is for us
Twenty times over
Happy Independence Day – Happy Independence Day – Happy Independence Day –
Happy Independence Day – Happy Independence Day – Happy Independence Day –
Happy Independence Day – Happy Independence Day – Happy Independence Day –
Happy Independence Day – Happy Independence Day – Happy Independence Day –
Happy Independence Day – Happy Independence Day – Happy Independence Day –
Happy Independence Day – Happy Independence Day – Happy Independence Day –
Happy Independence Day – Happy Independence Day!

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