This piece by Thobeka Nyathikazi is a fun and quirky 5 minute read about the loyalty some black women feel towards South Africa's ruling party. She also goes into the idea of a woman president in South Africa and within the ANC.
Haibo Phela Sishade NoCongolose.
In every area of life Black women pride themselves on being guided by their values and ideals. In every area but love and politics that is. Where our men and the African National Congress are concerned loyalty prevails above all else, even above the most basic logic of 1+1 = 2.
Nothing, I say again, Nothing...can move our beloved X to another box because if that X moves my friend, it will be I, the Black woman, who has failed, and not the ANC.
Depending on where you stand you have most likely come into this piece set to either agree with any defamatory remark I make against the ANC, or you are hoping that I don’t say anything to rub you up the wrong way.
Put your prejudice to the side for one moment. Put your mean face in your coffee cup. I’m on your team, and I won't say much because you already know what I'm talking about. Besides, I’m not asking for your vote or your money, I swear.
As Black women it is clear that we vote for the ANC because of our history as a people and the aspirations of what it could do for us as individuals. Reality tells us that the African National Congress does not value the girl child. Reality tells us that the African National Congress does not value young women. You have to be a Mama first, and then maybe they can see you, hear you and admire you. Just old enough to be wise but also young enough to attend court cases...it seems.
Over the past 10 years the statistics relating to violence against women and children in South Africa have continued to get worse instead of better. I won’t even go into “our leadership” who have been called out as womanizers, sexual offenders and alcoholics Yet Still We Vote.
It’s time we question the role the ANC has played in shaping the narratives on women in the eyes of African men in particular. What role has the ANC played in almost ensuring the objectification and lack of morality when dealing with women and womens issues. If it’s difficult to consider what they have done in general, then lets simply ask whether they have done anything, within their own ranks, to sensitize one another on issues such as rape and the over sexualisation of the black womans body within the ANC itself.
My biggest concern in relation to this issue is rooted within the identity of the party. Women having an allocated space of their own, in the ANC Womens League, a space who's power is utilised to support misogyny as opposed to entrenching Feminism. Those who are well versed (and can be honest about) the internal struggles of the ANC can tell you without doubt that the party is greatly misogynistic. This is why many of the parties leadership (even women) struggle with the idea of a woman led ANC.
A woman president is overdue my sister-wives. Not because of time itself (per say) but because of the damage that a male led leadership has had on the perceptions and treatment of women nationally. If a woman is poor she is a beneficiary and may have no valid opposing opinion without simultaneously being a nuisance. When a woman is rich, she is too rich to value politics as it doesn’t impact her daily life and she should shut up or something like that.
Since our vote will most likely not move, I say our best shot is to threaten leadership with a "Women-Or-Niks" option for 2019. If they are not willing to let a Woman take the steering wheel for the next election, then I'm not willing to vote.
Look all I’m saying is, as Black Women who vote for the ANC, we need to start asking the right questions. And challenging the answers. Or else.