Lost Where We Belong is my non-fiction book that explores the legacy of apartheid and the difficulty of transformation of the human soul, written between 2010-2015. I have been reading excerpts from the book on the streets of Joburg. After a reading in a small park overlooked by the Nelson Mandela Bridge, Bismark Matsheza shared his thoughts.
If you want to hear the reading, keep scrolling. Please share in your networks.
Transcript of interview
Me: What does it make you feel when you hear me read this?
Bismark: I love that you are trying to bring out the South African history, what used to happen.
Me: Does it make you want to read more?
Bismark: Yes. Actually, I wanted to ask you, did you write this?
Me: Ja, but I can’t get it published.
Me: They say there is no market for a book written by a white person that confronts racism.
Bismark: That’s not good. Why would they say such a thing?
Me: They say the topic makes people too uncomfortable and that white people won’t read it.
Me: Because it’s too uncomfortable and upsetting and it makes people feel bad. And so people won’t spend money on something that makes them feel bad.
Bismark: But you are saying what happened, so… right? You are talking about what happened. I’d love to read the book. I wonder why they say that?
Anthony (cameraman): Are they afraid of the truth?
Me: I don’t know. I was told my one of the South African publishing houses that there is no market for this. Penguin Random House says there is no market for this.
Bismark: But did they read this too?
Me: No, they read the first three chapters and said there was no market.
Bismark: Who else has looked at it?
Me: Two South African publishers and about fifteen international publishers says there is no market.
Bismark: So what are you going to do?
Me: This is it. If the establishment doesn’t want to listen, let’s take the story to the streets.
Bismark: That’s a good idea. There’s some people who doesn’t know what happened. I think what you are doing is good.
Me: Thanks, it’s great to hear. This is the first moment I’m doing it and I was wondering if it was boring you.
Bismark: Like I said, was supposed to go and buy something but when you started reading I was like, okay… so that’s why I remained sitting here.
“I am discontent with the second-hand diet of fear that I am being fed from afar…”
“Why the old Transkei? I thought it would be a safer place to probe at my scars…”
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