Thursday, 18 February 2010

Saturday 13 February 2o1o:

Today is a lovely day – though still hot & humid, I have learned not to complain too much as it is snowing in London and New York & DC are apparently shut down due to snow. So, I will take the humidity with humility.

Yesterday I purchased a new book on the life of Chris Hani. He is a former freedom fighter who was assassinated in 1993. But before then, he said:

'Socialism is not about big concepts and heavy theory. Socialism is about decent shelter for those who are homeless. It is about water for those who have no safe drinking water. It is about healthcare, it is about a life of dignity for the old. It is about overcoming the huge divide between urban and rural areas. It is about education for all or our people. Socialism is about rolling back the tyranny of the market. As long as the economy is dominated by an unelected, privileged few, the case for socialism will exist.'

I have carried that quote around in my wallet (I know an odd place for such a quote) for over 6 years. I found it during my first trip to South Africa in 2oo3. I was here in April, on the 10th anniversary of his death and their was much news coverage of him. I had no idea who he was (exactly like the 30 plus names who signed Sonny's 'bible' – I knew 'the big four' – Kathrada, Mandela, Sisulu & Mbeki). But this quote spoke to me. Absolutely.

I don't know much about Marx or Engel, but I do know that I am absolutely angry that we don't have universal education or healthcare, that the gap between the rich & poor has never been wider. And that so many people don't care what happens outside of their white picket fence.

I was asked at the last rehearsal why the story of Robben Island and Sonny's 'bible' interested me. I babbled incoherently because I have lived with it for so long, it has just become a part of me. I should have said, 'Because I am angry. And these men give me hope.'

Read about Chris Hani. He deserves, like all of the men who signed the 'bible,' to be know and admired.