10 July 2006
Only from the heart can you touch the sky.
Meet Elliot. He nurses his broken leg, shadowed by the towering white minaret (pillar) of Newtown Musjid. He uses cardboard for warmth- both as blanket and fuel. He moved to Jhb in 1989 from the Eastern Cape. He made lotsa dough as a singer and musician. He speaks about those days of money, happiness and women!
How did he end up on the street? That he is too ashamed to share. But he does talk to God daily. Almost everyday for the past six years that he’s lived on the streets; he has been talking to God. He wakes up with the call to prayer from Newtown every morning.
“They pray early. Before the birds wake up. Only after they pray, do I hear the birds making noise.”
‘The birds pray as well..’
“Yes. I pray as well. I ask God to look after my daughter. She lives with her mother in the Eastern Cape. Thank you for this lovely food.”
‘It’s a pleasure. It is my duty to help you. And it is the Methodist Church that buys this food.’
“Tell me, how many people are there in the world?”
‘Hmm, I think about 6 billion. I’m not sure though.’
“No, there are only two- man and woman. You are a man and I am a man. We both have hands, feet, a face. There is no difference between us! All man is the same and all woman is the same…”
Moses says that his friend is the devil- he is just making trouble while the rest of the community (homeless community that lives at the CBD taxi rank) is trying to get in line for a nice hot meal. His friend, aka devil, buys homemade drink from a lady in the community. Without drink he cannot sleep coz its too cold. But with drink he conks out and doesn’t even feel the cold!
But Moses doesn’t like drink- he sleeps during the day when the is out and it’s warmer. At night he keeps the fire burning to stay warm.
Kortboy- a recently published book about a typical resident of Sophiatown. From the authors description of Sophiatown, at the book launch, I learnt that it was a viby interesting place back in the days of Aparthied. One of the few places where people got together and had fun. Come to think of it, probably the place where Elliot first found a home when he reached Joburg…
Durban does NOT experience a winter! The sunny east coast has the best beaches, waves and water in the country. And what’s more- if you happen to be a South African of Indian decent, you can meet every other SAI that you had ever met before in your entire life. Together with their kids, siblings, grandparents, and even cousins from Klerksdorp and other waay out places. Apparently some sage predicted a tsunami at the beachfront this year, yet while we sat on the beach, listening to the wonderful African sounds, under the moon and star lit sky, we were felt secure knowing that we had just completed a disaster management course:)
Speaking of the disaster course- a good brother, Mohamed Hassim, passed away. I spoke to him only twice- last year before we left for Palestine, and again this year when we both returned from Kashmir. He was young and fit, and a really nice guy. We pray for him. May God bless him and grant his family patience.
I deeply respect Zidane- if he head butted the guy because his mother was insulted, then Go Zizou! That split second pause he took before turning around- what was going through his mind? Did he think of the repercussions to his action, the red card, the media badgering, and still decide to hell with all that- ‘no f&#@er swears my mum and get away with it! Rather my name go down than the name of someone I love..’
But on the other hand, if it was just an action in anger, then it was def a big mistake. Actions in anger often have regrettable consequences and should always be avoided. A justified retaliation to any attack is surely more effective when clearly thought out and then implemented…