“RETURN OF THE CHICKENS” by Craig Lock
“How do I live in this strange place?”
– Bernoldus Niemand, from the Boer reggae song,’Reggae Vibes is Cool’ – as printed in ‘My Traitor’s Heart ‘by Riaan Malan (publisher Vintage, 20 Vauxhall Bridge Rd, London SW1V 2SA)
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DEDICATION: This book is dedicated to all those who “suffered” under the old South Africa – that is ALL South Africans. I hope that we can all learn to laugh at ourselves more in the New South Africa. Not only like at the old racial stereotypes, like Johnny Peters and “Sixpence”. I think it’s about time the English speaking “Safs” (at least the ones who are still left in the country) learnt to laugh at themselves a bit more: at their rather “superior ways”, stemming from a higher social class in their long struggle to become more ‘afrocentric’. Nice long word that…but what does it mean? Well written, chaps!
This work is dedicated to all those people who over the years fought for a free and democratic South Africa. There are so many names, I could fill a book. It is especially dedicated to those who made the supreme sacrifice in paying with their lives. I’ll only name a few: people like Steve Biko, Neil Agett, David Webster, Abdul Timol and Hector Petersen, the schoolboy and the first person shot dead in the Soweto uprising of 1976. All these people would be pleased to see the New South Africa. Hope the high expectations of the ordinary people are eventually realised! Don Mattera was under a banning order. Because he was banned, many of his works were unknown to most South Africans. A very good poet “methinks”. After that little interlude, I hope every one of you, the “New Safs” enjoy my book….and I hope you don’t lynch me when you find me (like Salmon Rushdie) – something fishy going on? Because I believe that a sense of humour definitely helps in the hard but exciting years ahead of living in our “new beloved country”.
Craig Lock (“soutie”)
Nov 1995 Note: # I won’t translate the full meaning of the word “soutie” from that delightful language Afrikaans. I’ll just say that I am writing this with my two legs in one continent. However, my heart is in Africa and something else of the male anatomy is dangling in no man’s land in the middle of a vast ocean…or perhaps somewhere in the outback of Australia (like Ayer’s Rock). “Ja nee”, ou boet, Afrikaans is such an expressive and descriptive “taal”, “lekker”, isn’t it!