Quote of the week

This is a book of desire denied, of what the pain of that impotence drives people to do, and how it makes them unwilling contortionists and even co-conspirators in their oppression. From ‘The Transformation of Harry’: “And there we all were; in an uncertain country, ourselves uncertain. A land with a sly heart; and ourselves ready to be deceived.” For if colonialism was any one thing it was denial: denial of land, denial of African culture, denial of any form of psychic nourishment—including hope—denial of black existence itself. And neocolonialism is the denial that any of that is still happening. First published in 1978, The House of Hunger speaks, or rather shouts, forward from its own time to 2017. Perhaps the most painful parts of the book to read are those that show how little has changed in thirty-nine years. For if colonialism was any one thing it was denial: denial of land, denial of African culture, denial of any form of psychic nourishment—including hope—denial of black existence itself. And neocolonialism is the denial that any of that is still happening.

Efemia Chela
On The House of Hunger by Dambudzo Marechera
12 April 2007

Home Affairs to the rescue

A reader responds to my post on the state’s recognition of a change in one’s sex/gender.

There seems to be another way to change your gender – even if you don’t intend to: just apply to Home Affairs for a passport. Quote from yesterday’s Cape Times: “Sindie Bosch has been waiting a year for a passport, putting up patiently with delay after delay – and it all got a bit much when she was recently handed the document – in the name of a Mr. Chauke. When she returned to Home Affairs, the assistant at the desk at the Centurion office here asked: “But isn’t that you on the photo?””

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