Fear and self-loathing in Hillbrow

Last week I took to the streets of Hillbrow to read from my book, Lost Where We Belong. In this video I’m sitting on a pillar, reading a chapter about white fear to a guy from Nkandla (not Jacob Zuma) who was standing on the street corner chatting with a friend.

Afterward the reading I asked him what it was like to hear a white woman speak honestly and openly about her fear of black male strangers.

“Did it make you feel angry or hurt or sad?” I asked.

“All of those things,” he said, clutching his arms across his chest

“I’m sorry, I didn’t want to upset you. I wrote this book so we can talk about what is there.  We all know these things are there, but we don’t want to talk about them out loud. We’ve been so busy focusing on the Rainbow Nation, it feels like we’ve been sweeping the truth under the carpet. I feel that if we can start being more honest with each other, the past will have less of a hold over us.”

“It’s good,” he says. “Difficult to hear, but good you are doing this.”

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