Wednesday, August 26, 2009

24 seconds

We’re sitting in the lounge. I put on a song – a favourite of mine. Subtle, sometimes, then powerful. Its intro is a triple of single electric strings backed by a blended bass line. Then vocals, clear and hollow, and instantly it’s “no!” from a friend, “no, no, no.”

“What, nie Afrikaans nie?” I ask, realising this is not about the song.

“NIE.” She replies without looking up. But she doesn’t know the track, the band, the genre, or my taste in music. She’s been enjoying some of the other selections so far.

It makes me wonder about the power of our fathers’ prejudice and how it can get in the way of our joy.

The next day. The other side of the coin. Sitting in the office this time. My colleague presses play and sings along. It's Mr. Cat & The Jackal. Mr. Cat & The Jackal is white, Afrikaans and male; my colleague is not.

It makes me hope that we've learnt something from our brothers.

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