Mashumi Figlan: Let The People Tell You About Themselves | Abahlali baseMjondolo
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Mashumi Figlan: Let The People Tell You About Themselves

Let The People Tell You About Themselves

Sometimes politics is a dangerous game. I say this because there are those who think that there is nothing other people can say for themselves. They think that we, we who are the poor, must let others speak about us. Today if you say something about yourself the masters of politics will just say “Who the hell are you to talk about the poor people?”

It is like they think that they were born to just know all the sufferings of the poor. But how can they predict what I feel and think about being poor and how can they predict my analysis of how the system that they are favouring has affected my future?

Are these people really thinking that the only way to get us to vote for them is to make promises to us? And if they think that making promises is the way to get our votes why do they always promise the poor and then fail to fulfil those promises?

When we remind them of their promises they say that we are the traitors to the new liberalism! They can break their promises but we must not remind them of the broken promises! Is this the new liberalism? They all say that we are included to their freedom. But if this is true then why are they silencing us with violent police when we try to say that we are dissatisfied? It is clear that in this new liberalism they have the right to lie at elections but that we do not have the right to point to these lies. It is clear that we are not included to the freedom of the political masters.

Our political masters claim to be sympathisers of the poor. One respected political leader accused the Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement of being traitors who are on the side of the opposition parties that are trying to bring the ruling party down. How can a respected man behave so childishly? If you are wearing a shoe and it is itching you then who will know about that? You or the man who takes the right to speak for you? I’d like to apologise on this article if what is said makes the politicians feel uncomfortable. But this is the truth.

How long will our political masters speak about the poor without ever contacting them to speak to them? Why don’t they want us to say what we feel and think? I think it is because of the political system they are using. They know that it is a hazard for them and their system when the poor speak for themselves. This is why they speak for us and have us beaten and arrested when we speak for ourselves. The grassroots is the nice grass for the political masters to stand on when they speak for the poor. But it is a hazard when it speaks for itself. Then it is a dangerous fire to be put out.

Now we have gone passed nicely asking to be heard. Now we are all shouting to try and let them know how their new liberalism affects us. We are trying to shout that it is ruining our lives. But they still don’t want to listen.

I ask myself why. The answer is clear. It is because the people all believe in a bottom up system! When the people speak they will condemn this top down system! Therefore the people must be kept silent so that this top down system can be made to look like a real democracy which it is not.

How long must the people suffer while the political masters talk about protecting the new democracy from the voices of the people?

All in all I say that those political masters who insulted us after the Municipal Elections in a big magazine are not the true leaders of the people. They are the antagonists of the people. It is them who are destroying this country. How can they just write about us as if we are a threat to the country without ever talking to us? It is clear that they think that they are the country. But they are not the country. They are just an elite at the top of the economy and the politics. They are a very small part of the country. In their understanding democracy is their right to think and speak for us. But we know that democracy is the right of everyone to think and speak for themselves.

Let’s all wake up please!!!

* Mashumi Figlan has recently been elected as the new chairperson of the Kennedy Road Development Committee.