Speech by Pastor Xola Skosana at the Mass Meeting marking the removal of the Rhodes statue from UC

Photo by: Media for Justice

If we and our children cannot see ourselves in the architectural design around us, then we subconsciously remain visitors to the only corner of the world God gave us.

Europe, we visit, Africa we live in. We must never underestimate the psychological effect of foreign occupation, the occupiers seal their conquest with their language, signage, images, statues, art, all of which is the deliberate ongoing miseducation of us the conquered and the obscuring of our memory and identity.

Food on the table of a people who have lost their land, identity, culture language, etc, will not answer their deepest quest and deepest longings for freedom. . To equate Black pain with poverty or lack of food is to reduce Black people to an animalistic existence of eating defecating and dying

One of the lessons we have learnt over the last few weeks is that a revolution is unpredictable, it may lie dormant for the longest time and erupt when it is least expected. We have also learnt through the courage of students here at this university that ivory towers and corridors of white power are not untouchable. The heroic act of Chumani Maxwele which sparked a tidal wave of solidarity from UCT to Oxford University, from Rhodes University to Colombia University, this act has helped demystify colonial enclaves of white dominance.

All disguises of white power and the preservation of white privilege must fall

Black people all over the world are emboldened by what the students have been able to accomplish here and and we are assured once again that black pain will not be left to fester indefinitely, freedom for black people will not be postponed forever

Black pain, whether in those rat infested hellholes we call townships or in academia, all its many dimensions and manifestations, it is a direct consequence of persistent white power. There can be no healing of black pain without the dismantling of white power

This victory is for Chantel Hoffmann, who was called a Kaffir and shocked with a Taser device in Harfield Village, on the 3rd of January 2015 by the 22 year old TALANA Jo HUYSAMER

This victory is for the 52 year old Manenberg cleaner, Delia Adonis, brutally attacked and racially assaulted by five white boys – 19 year old Chad de Matos, 19 old Aaron Mack, and 20 year old Mitchell Turner, in front of her son in Claremont, on the 17th of October 2014

This victory is for the 44 year old Cynthia Joni, the domestic worker who was attacked by Tim Osrin

This Victory is for the 22 year old Muhammed Makungwa, sjambokked by Jan Van Tonder in Claremont while on his way to work simply because he is black and therefore a criminal

Well, there are those who say we are exaggerating our pain, they say so because we have not yet told the story of black pain in an uncensored way

TODAY WITH THE FALLING OF RHODES, WE ARE TELLING OUR STORY AND REVEALING OUR SCARS

WE MUST RAISE OUR VOICE AND TELL OUR STORY

LEST THE WORLD FORGET ABOUT US

LEST WE BE BURIED IN THE HISTORY BOOKS WE DID NOT WRITE

OURS IS A STORY OF RESILIENCE

OURS IS A STORY OF HOPE AND DESPAIR

OURS IS A STORY OF FAITH FOOLISHNESS AND SUPERSTITION

OURS IS A STORY OF BELIEF AND DISBELIEF

OURS IS A STORY OF LIFE AND DEATH

THE WORLD MUST KNOW HOW WE HAVE SURVIVED YEARS OF SERVITUDE

THE WORLD MUST KNOW HOW WE REMAIN SCARRED BY THE WHITE POWER STRUCTURE AND THE PRESERVATION OF WHITE PRIVILEGE

OUR ENTIRE EXISTENCE HAS BEEN ALTERED IN WAYS WORDS CANNOT TELL

WE HAVE A MESSAGE, WE HAVE A STORY TO TELL

IT IS OUR STORY

WE MUST BE THE ONES WHO TELL IT

TELL THOSE WHO COLLECT STORIES BY THEIR BIG BANK ROLLED CAMERAS THAT THIS IS OUR STORY

HELP ME PREACH NOW, ” SAY OUR STORY”

TELL THE EDITOR IN THE NEWS ROOM, THIS IS OUR STORY

TELL THE WRITER WITH AN iPAD IN HIS HAND THIS IS OUR STORY

TELL THE TOURIST WITH A SONY DIGITAL CAMERA, THIS IS OUR STORY

TELL THE JOURNALIST WITH THE DEADLINE TO MEET, THIS IS OUR STORY

TELL THE PUBLISHER AND THE NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER, THIS IS OUR STORY

TELL ALL OF THEM, TELL THEM THAT THEY ARE THIEVES, THAT THEY HAVE STOLEN OUR STORY OF PAIN

TELL THEM THEIR CAMERA LANCE HAS OBSCURED OUR STORY

TELL THEM THEIR PEN HAS WATERED DOWN OUR PAIN

TELL THEM THEIR FILM MAKER AND ARTIST HAVE MOCKED AND TRIVIALIZED OURSTORY

BUT OUR COLLECTIVE VOICE IS RETURNING

OUR COLLECTIVE MEMORY IS COMING BACK

OUR COLLECTIVE FAITH IS STRONGER NOW

OUR COLLECTIVE HOPE IS HIGHER

OUR COLLECTIVE SCARS ARE HEALING

THIS IS OUR STORY

WE WILL TELL IT AS IT IS

AND WE WILL WRITE IT AS WE LIKE

HELP ME PREACH PEOPLE

OUR SERMONS WILL TELL OUR STORY

OUR SONGS WILL TELL OUR STORY

OUR DANCE AND OUR RYTHEM WILL TELL OUR STORY

THE SCARS OF OUR OWN FLESH WILL TELL OUR STORY

OUR TEARS WILL TELL OUR STORY

OUR ARCHITECTURE WILL TELL OUR STORY

SIGNAGE WILL TELL OUR STORY

PUBLIC IMAGES WILL TELL OUR STORY

OUR STATUES WILL TELL OUR STORY

YES WE ARE SURVIVORS OF A BRUTAL SYSTEM (black pain)

WE ARE REMNANTS THAT ARE LEFT BEHIND

SONS AND DAUGHTER WHO COME FROM A RAPTURED WOMB

WE SUCKLED THE BREAST AND DRANK THE MILK OF MALNOURISHMENT (BLACK PAIN)

THROUGH NEVIRAPINE , WE NARROWLY ESCAPED HIV INFECTION

THOSE OF US WHI DID NOT, LIVE TODAY WITH COURAGE AND FORTITUDE

WE DARE TO DREAM THOUGH WE ARE LIMPING

WE SURVIVED OVERCROWDED CLASSROOMS FULL OF INFECTIOUS AND CONTAGIOUS DECEASES

WE SURVIVED DR DEATH BASSON’ S BIOLOGICAL WARFARE OF GENOCIDAL PROPORTIONS.

WE LIVED THROUGH A POLICE STATE OF EMERGENCY

ON OUR WAY TO SCHOOL, WE JUMPED OVER CHARRED BODIES OF BLACK PEOPLE NECKLACED FOR SELLING THEIR SOUL

BEFORE WE SAT IN THE CLASS AND FED FROM BANTU EDUCATION, WE STARED AT BADLY BEATEN BODIES OF SUSPECTED INFORMERS

ON SATURDAYS WE BURIED BODIES OF THE INNOCENT, MISTAKEN FOR THE ENEMY

IN CHURCH HALLS, WE MOURNED CHILDREN WHO DIED IN A HAIL OF BULLETS BY AN UNSYMPATHETIC POLICE FORCE

IN BEER HALLS OUR FATHERS DRANK THEMSELVES INTO A STUPOR, TEMPORARILY NUMBING THEMSELVES FROM THE PAIN OF BEING A BOY/MAN. A BOY BY DAY AND A MAN BY NIGHT

WE ARE SURVIVORS OF THOSE CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE OF BLACK ON BLACK VIOLENCE

THIS IS OUR STORY

WE HAVE FOUGHT AND LOST MANY BATTES

WE HAVE RUN THE RACE AND LOST MANY ALONG THE WAY

MANY HAVE BEEN OUR AFFLICTIONS

AND OUR STORY IS YET TO BE TOLD

THOSE WHO DARED TO TELL, COUCHED IT IN THE LANGUAGE OF PEACE AND RECINCILLIATION

THEY ROMANTICIZED OUR STORY

AND PAINTED THE SCARS OF OUR FLESH ON ARTIFICIAL CANVASES

WHILE SIPPING WINE IN DINNER TABLES PREPARED BY OUR OWN MOTHERS

OUR STORY IS YET TO BE TOLD IN BOLD LETTERS

IT IS THE COLLECTIVE STORY OF BLACK PAIN

STORED AWAY FOR TWENTY YEARS

BECAUSE OF ITS INCONVENIENT TRUTH

HIDDEN AWAY FROM THE CAMERA

BECAUSE OF ITS GRAPHIC AND GRUESOME DETAIL

IT HAS BEEN WHITEWASHED

BECAUSE, WHILE IT LIBERATES GOD’S BLACK CHILDREN

IT IMPLICATES GOD’S WHITE CHILDREN

THIS IS OUR STORY

FINISH WHAT YOU’HE STARTED CHILDREN OF MARCUS GARVEY

FINISH WHAT YOU’VE STARTED CHILDREN OF THOMAS SANKARA

FINISH WHAT YOU’VE STARTED CHILDREN OF FANON

FINISH WHAT YOU’VE STARTED CHILDREN OF ROBERT MUGABE

FINISH WHAT YOU’VE STARTED CHILDREN OF ROBERT MANGALISO SOBUKWE

FINISH WHAT YOU’VE STARTED CHILDREN OF STEVEN BANTU BIKO

FINISH WHAT YOU’VE STARTED CHILDREN MAMA ASSATA SHAKUR

FINISH WHAT YOU’VE STARTED CHILDREN OF MAMA WINNIE MANDELA

#RhodesMustFall

5 comments

  1. This “pastor” is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He does not preach the Biblical Gospel of forgiveness and reconciliation.
    Presumably he espouses worldly “liberation theology” that feeds on unforgiveness, resentment, hatred and anger, all contrary to Christian principles. Skosana does not manifest the Spirit of Christ, but that of the one whom Jesus Christ called “a liar, a murderer and a thief.”

  2. I wonder when South Africans, of all races, will get over looking at each other through racist glasses? Until then, this country will never make progress. Only when we stop looking at the color of one skins, we will never truly transform. First the statures. What next? The German luxury cars? The Italian suits? The French wristwatches? These are all symbols of colonialism….

  3. This Pastor is telling my story, this man is talking about the black pain, have you ever experienced some of these challenges. I salute you man of God

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