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Who are the “Clever” Blacks?

I have never been this intrigued in life, merely for the thought of how South Africans have mastered the game of name calling. This rages from names such as tenderpreneurs, female name that is commonly used but cannot say it as it is extremely derogatory, black diamonds, missing middle, and trust fund babies just to mention a few. As recently as the last local government elections (forgive me if it was said before), I started hearing the name “Clever Blacks”. My mind started wondering and wanted to know more about what it means. So far, I haven’t found a definitive answer to that. Two questions, subsequent to that, stood out.

1. Does the term “Clever Blacks”, refers to those who went to school and got educated? If the answer is yes, then were the former leaders of the political, social and economic struggle and the current ones, Clever Blacks? Were the well-educated Tambo’s, Mandela’s, Sisulu’s, Biko’s, Kathrada’s, Luthuli’s, et al, be regarded as such by their own? How about thousands who went to exile in different countries, because they furthered their education and even those who were in military trainings. Will we still refer to the current crop of matriculants who went to further study and those who are currently furthering their studies in countries such as Cuba, Turkey, China and so on? How about the 1976 students, who fought the then apartheid in their unjust implementation of Bantu education and categorically said we want better, equal, quality education and cannot allowed to be taught in Afrikaans as their medium of instruction?

2. Does the term “Clever Blacks”, refers to any Black person who dares to question the government or private sectors? If the answer is yes, then we will never live to see the ripe fruits of our hard fought democracy. If not agreeing with how the government and the ruling party, currently doing and giving substantiated analysis to your disagreement, is regarded as being “clever” black, then we will never come right. If you are in government and/or private space and stealing from the coffers and money to be used for service delivery, infrastructure development, economic growth and so forth, everyone should clap their hands in unison and say well done for doing wrong things? If observing and asking why South Africa after 20 years of democracy, there is a high rate of unemployment; inequality; crime; poverty; social freedom but no inclusive economic growth, does that make me “Clever” Black?

If you know the difference between the swimming pool and “fire pool”, could not be fooled otherwise, does that make you an enemy and therefore a “Clever” Black? If the vulnerable and poor are taken advantage of, like with the current SASSA debacle, (will talk more on these topic next week), is it appropriate to keep quiet and say anything so that you avoid being called “clever”? I do not subscribe to the notion that “Clever” Blacks do not belong anywhere or are not patriotic. In fact, the opposite is true.

We should live with ideals of our democratic principles that says, education is a right and questioning (for understanding) policy & implementation process does not automatically make you anti-government. It helps in the eradication and emancipation of our minds, poverty, unemployment and social cohesion. Let education of our current and future generations helps us in the creation of capable, dedicated, leaders of tomorrow who are well educated, who are not afraid the wrong status quo. Ideals that in any democratic state, you will be questioned, tested and made to account to electorates. The true ideals of our democratic dispensation will also be relished when everyone is seen as a citizen, a positive contributor and most of all, the protector of our democracy.

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Until next week Tuesday, bye-bye for now.
Yours Truly
Ishmael Phetoane
Editor: FS News Online
Email: iphetoane@fsnewsonline.co.za

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