Mama Give us a Signal by Julius Malema

Mama Give Us a Signal: The Voice of Julius Malema

I have hardly known this division. The pain of being black until I crossed into South Africa. Now Julius Malema in his voice, laden with ice-cold pain, wrapped in cynicism and delivered in uncultured disregard, serves the pain of Winnie Mandela’ s death to the world.

Winni Mandela who for 18 months was locked up by the apartheid regime without even water to clean herself. All Mama wanted was for her children to walk freely on their own land.

“Mama you did not tell us how to treat those who betrayed you, give us a signal,” Malema said. He looked at the crowd, his eyes ever squinted in indignation, his voice booming.

He even had a good clean shave of his head this time and was not donning the red EFF beret. Malema for a moment carried the story of a whole nation still recuperating from the strongholds of apartheid. A nation of black souls who have grown to know what it means to be unwanted, closed-in, treated like they are less than human because of the colour of their skin.

I never grew up to know colonization, only in theory did I recite its name. Living in South Africa has removed from me my safe cocoon, now I know why Jesus could not be white.

In the coffee shop, the prices are too high. In the mall, the prices are too high. Black Friday takes on a new meaning, it’s the only day blacks are able to afford Woolworths and Dove creams.

Black Friday is the day Julius Malema remembers that no matter how much Mama had suffered, economic power is yet to be wrestled from the hands of demons so white that hell seems like the streets of Gold.

Land for the blacks signals labour, death, and suffering. Land that was meant to be pride and identity. A place from which nourishment and culture should have emanated. Now the farmers are there and Julius does not know how Mama wants them to be treated. Mama, give us a signal.

This speech like so many great speeches but unlike so many. This phrase captures the struggle for black emancipation “Mama, give us a signal.”

 

About the Author

jonathanoladeji

Damilola is co-author of Life's Chrysalis, where he wrote “Rejection: Like Earth to Rain”. His writing has appeared in The Naked Convos, Africa on the Blog, The Guardian News Nigeria, Viva-Naija News, and Tuck Magazine. He also volunteers with PDBY News at the University of Pretoria. Damilola is an IREBS for African Real Estate Research Scholar at the University of Pretoria, where he is a Doctoral Candidate. He is the Head of Media and Strategy at Upside Africa. Damilola won the Biopage essay contest in 2018. He plays the saxophone for leisure.

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