Dont Call Me Kaffir – Part 1
The following text is my attempt to settle a befuddling issue common to some of the white people I have met over the years. To put my story across in a somewhat acceptable manner, I am going to conjure for you (my audience) a fictional tale. Some fortunate people might feel there is no need for such a discussion, but I think many white people need to understand just why some if not all black people particularly in South Africa might want to drive this message across, dont call me Kaffir. That is the simple message.
Some years ago, Thabang worked for BlackBerry at the rich and famous suburb of Fourways in Randburg. Smart, good looking and full of verve. Thabang was feeling really good at his first day at work about the future of his career. Only a few days into the job as a technical expert of the BlackBerry architecture, he soon found out that Stevan Balls disliked him for no apparent reason.
Thabang like the rest of his colleagues was forced to prepare and take the very difficult BES exam. No one had yet attained this renowned cert. When Thabang took the exam for the first time with little preparation and a lot of pressure from management, he failed. Everyone of his colleagues now wanted to know how the exam had gone and he was honest in his response, he couldn’t help but notice a seeming air of relief.
Things went back to normal at the office and Thabang was now told he would lose his job if he did not write and pass the exam ASAP, and this time he would have to pay for the exam from his own pocket, though the company would re-imburse him upon his successful attainment of the internationally recognised certification. Thabang decided to give this challenge his full attention, writing and then passing the exam with a beautiful distinction of 88%.
Back at the office the news went ahead of Thabang as his boss, Bridget informed the team. When he got there, he noticed the tension in the room. A few weeks later Stefan was forced to take the exam on his second attempt. He failed, while Thabang got another certification for MVS, a new BlackBerry technology at the time. Stefan was red in the face when he heard about Thabang’s latest accomplishment.
Some days later, out of frustration with the level of service encountered at the boarder gate in Lesotho where his company was donating some computers to, Stevan blurted out just how he thought all blacks were such idiots in that country, retracting and rephrasing his statement, Stevan said he just thought all blacks in fact were just idiots. Thabang of-course was furious with such a statement. Taking the matter up with his manager Bridget, who would rather not upset the white masters, so she decided to ignore the matter.