Mukhuwa

Zäune

The location is not reserved for Sunday strolls, it is where I have been living for half a year, where I take off for fieldwork along the border and come back to share the joys and sorrows of the week in now commercially upgraded shebeens, where I watch friends swapping their Evangelical Gospel fervour for a craze in the latest South African House and Tshingondo rivalled by Zimbabwean Sungura classics, where perfect strangers, especially skin-bleached women, queue to take selfies with me and where men wanting to „taste“ a „white pussy“ once in a lifetime reify me their way, where my No and the bigger blasts of life are binged away and lie scattered in a million shards glittering in the only promise of the rising sun.

„Mukhuwa!“   „Muthumutsu!“, I have learnt to reply in tshiVenda, causing bewildered laughter. Black person! White person! When are we going to call each other by our names, to start knowing each other, I wonder.

The location is a place I despair over each day, a place I grow fonder of each day. The location is a place that humbles me into an intimate understanding of the enormity of the normalcy of whiteness as a means of oppression by exoticizing back, yet the location is a place where I am – or whatever I represent to most of my neighbours – is welcome, a place that defies my grasp but embraces me, funnily, eerily, deceptively, for my whiteness.

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