I look like a Pom on the way to a polo game. How do you dress for this march? Maybe I should do the bushveld look or the angry mechanic. In a flurry I change; now I look like a Xmas tree. I tone down to all black with a stylish Fabiani silk shirt in case I’m on TV. Exhausted, I set out on my adventure, my march for change!
Flapping national flag across my shoulders, three hours into the march and I’m hot and flustered; it is sweltering hot, the sun roasts my head and my face burns red. This is hard work; I furtively seek a Woolies to cool me down or a Vida for a caffeine shot; nothing, not even a sachet of water handed out.
The crowd surges forward, calling for change. Thank heavens for the mixed crowd; I have no idea how to march. My feet miss the stomping beats, my hands flail at the wrong time and my half-clenched fist hardly rises above my shoulder as I shout profanities and verbiage in a restrained voice, lest I appear too boisterous. At last I spot the Union Buildings; my feet are sore, I’m dehydrated and famished.
Like sheep we herd through a small pedestrian gate into a fenced-off grassy knoll far below the Union Buildings. HE can’t even see us. Here we frolic and glut, a milling clutter of headless chickens seeking revenge on an untouchable enemy, a man protected by secret layers of party and national politics. But there is no one to receive my wrath, no chest into which to plunge my finger demanding change. Surely a ballot box is more effective than this riot?
My flag limp, I trudge to the Gautrain, speed like Katniss back to the comfort of coffees and early morning news.
Was it in vain, was there any purpose? I say yes, yes there was. I marched for my personal and, most importantly, for my country’s dignity!
Gideon Vos Via e-mail