‘Blame Me on Apartheid’, an exploration of the origins of townships in South Africa and legacy of apartheid that is still a reality for some, was officially launched in October this year.
Thamsanqa Malinga, a talented writer, communicator and author of ‘Blame Me on Apartheid’, is a product of the very townships discussed in the book. See, having been born and raised in Soweto and then spending his teen life in Madadeni, a township outside of Newcastle, he has personally experienced the ‘conditions’ mentioned in the book, a perspective that I am fond of.
Having spent a great deal of time with Mpho Moloto’s grandfather, bab’ Ngcobo who engaged with him in many political debates. this was the catalyst for him to question the negative attitudes, behaviours and low esteem ingrained in some blacks that have, and still live in townships.
When asked about the purpose of this body of work, Malinga said “The book should serve to evoke a deliberation on the fact that as a country, we tend to hide our heads in the sand, and refuse to debate or own up to the generational pain and present-day hardships that are a clear legacy of apartheid. It addresses and highlights the elephant in the room.”
This reflection presents a point of view that townships are actually a colonial apartheid project that was created to side-line POC, and essentially banish them to the outskirts as ‘non-beings’. Based on this premise, the book goes on to explore the living conditions, challenges and other social issues that are prevalent in all townships; a reflection on townships as a legacy of a colonial apartheid system.
Some of the topics Malinga’s book highlights include township education, money matters, entrepreneurship, unemployment, the inferiority complex that has created self-hate, religion and finally, the rainbow nation apparition.
A mix of an academic and personal reflectional of the legacy of apartheid 26 years after the abolishment of it, this read evokes a lot of questions while also stimulating discussion (and a political awakening) on the current conditions of black people in South African townships.