taxi I

‘What a lot of outsiders don’t realise is that we had a really bad time too. It wasn’t just the blacks. I also couldn’t sit where I wanted in a bus; I also couldn’t go to the beach I liked; I also couldn’t choose which toilet I wanted to enter. It was tirrible. Tirrible… Anyway, I’m leaving now. I’m going to do my house up and go. Zuma is too much. I’ve always said it, I know this isn’t right, but I’ve always said it.”

“What?”

“Blacks don’t know how to govern. They just don’t. They’re so corrupt. They are always fighting. Tribalism and all that.”

“But the Nats were also very corrupt. And you can hardly say the whites were good at governing here can you? And in those days they didn’t even allow the media to say so. The ANC allow a very critical media to write about everything. That’s a major difference.”

“The Nats were corrupt, yes. But they kept the country going… the economy.”

“But the South African economy is doing pretty well?”

“People still living in shacks! You think so? This country’s falling apart. I’m going. I’m getting out of here. I’ve tried to believe in them. I’ve tried to have faith. I’ve tried not to see that blacks can’t govern, but I can’t pretend any more. I just can’t. Every day I wake up thinking about Zuma. I think about Zuma all day, all night. I worry about Zuma. And now he’s coming. He’s coming and there’s nothing we can do about it. This is Africa. We’re going to end up like the rest of Africa.”

“So where are you going?”

“Mozambique. Possibly Malawi.”

“To another African country then?”

“Oh yes. I can’t possibly live without the bush, and the animals. I can’t leave the continent. I came here when I was four.”

“Oh?”

“Yes. From Portugal. We went to Angola. My father was the same. Said he’d never leave Angola. He always believed in the blacks, he always said, The blacks here will do it. And he was wrong. Look at Angola! I’ve lived through war. We lost everything. So we came here, when I was seven, and now I’m going to lose everything to Zuma. Well, he’s not having it. He’s not having it. And I know blacks – I’ve got black friends – and they feel the same.”

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