Thursday, 09 February 2017 01:28

Open Letter to Riaan Lucas from Mavis Vannie Lavis

Written by Mavis Vannie Lavis
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Dear Riaan Lucas

At this point, I really and genuinely feel for you. I, for one, understand your frustration: the deep frustration of coming from the Cape Flats; being treated in man-made systems of feeling inferior and as less than equal; having community leaders who make promises but don't deliver; you as a person, having to de-humanise yourself in some way to plead and just beg whilst crushing your own world to keep your children safe; the battles of unemployment; drug-abuse among the children you have helped raised, and later seeing them falling prey to Evil; the deep frustration when people in power are getting paid for doing their job and they do absolutely nothing. I can understand all that.

However, being coloured showed me the hope from both the white-side and black-side within myself. It showed me that I have a human-side within me, which still want to see dreamers of all colours (that are within myself!) succeed. I want farm workers to get their dignity back before they die or grow old. I want the elderly of all colours to be appreciated and valued, because of the sacrifices they have made (even in their stories untold). I want the youth to dream and to just BE and not to follow patterns to which WE were forced to be in, because we had to. I want young coloureds to bring and live through hope. I want soul stories to be told. And I want dreamers to live.

However, Riaan - you have overstepped your boundaries. Not like Penny Sparrow. Penny’s status came from a lens of entitlement. Yours border-lines that. But I understand the frustration alongside with it.

Riaan, if you one day read this, I want to share this with you. Everyone, from all races, in our country gets frustrated and gatvol. And we all get GENUINELY gatvol.

But this is what I want to share with you: Riaan, with all the love I have: never, never (and I mean NEVER) joke, poke fun or laugh about the death of blacks, coloureds, whites, Muslims, Christians, females, gays, or lesbians or anyone who went through any ordeal and whom have met such an early, and/or painful death.

Instead: you say to their family: I’m sorry that your brother or son had met such an early death, and I know that there is no way that we can make (or even help to make) it better for you as a parent or family. But you don’t joke about death, Riaan. Joost was a family man, he played for his country, he had children, he became ill, his wife left him, and he was facing excruciating pain and met a very early, and a very sad, death.

The same with Tinus Linee, whose death was under-played by the media but still remembered by our people. That has truly hurt the coloured community. But as a human: we need to draw the line, Riaan. Life makes us all equal. People are people, regardless of their colour. Magazines will cover things about royal weddings, and Americans and Australians that have fuck-all to do with us nor our realities as South Africans. But WE should care about us and ourselves. I care about the coloured, white, indian, gay, lesbian, pansexual and everyone on my Wall, Riaan. Because we are “us”. We have stories to tell, and dreams to live. You got a dream and a destiny to fulfill. But you need to be more thoughtful in achieving that.

Riaan, where systems drop you, you need to know: systems fail, but your integrity shouldn’t. And I know, this episode will change your life for the better, because you have learned. If I haven’t met, talked to, and appreciated the people on my Wall, I would’ve lost hope and my integrity long time back. But I will never do so at the expense of others.

Always in my thoughts,

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The unedited views expressed above are solely that of Mavis Vannie Lavis and are not necessarily the views of or anyone on our editorial team.