“Activism” gone wrong.

Cape Town – A controversial “Rhodes Must Fall” activist sparked an intense race row on social media this week after he posted about how he and other patrons at an Observatory restaurant confronted a white waitress.

Ntokozo Qwabe, who late last year made news for driving a campaign to remove a Cecil John Rhodes statue at Oxford University in the UK, said his friends returned a bill to the waitress saying: “WE WILL GIVE TIP WHEN YOU RETURN THE LAND.”

She cried.

Wow. Brilliant. Withhold pay from someone serving food in a restaurant – that will teach the colonialists! Those people who serve food in restaurants have had all the power and money for far too long, and it’s about time someone took the struggle to them.

Another source has the Facebook post in which Qwabe boasted about this feat of punching down up.

LOL wow unable to stop smiling because something so black, wonderful & LIT just happened! And of course, the catalyst was a radical non-binary trans black activist – Wandile Dlamini – from the Rhodes Must Fall movement. Because trans activists have BEEN the ultimate blessers of this decolonial struggle!

To cut the long story short, we are out at Obz Cafe with the said activist, and the time for the bill comes. Our waitress is a white woman. I ask the said activist what the going rate for tips/gratuity is in these shores. They look at me very reluctantly and they say ‘give me the slip, I’ll sort that out’. I give them the slip.

They take a pen & slip in a note where the gratuity/tip amount is supposed to be entered. The note reads in bold: “WE WILL GIVE TIP WHEN YOU RETURN THE LAND”. The waitress comes to us with a card machine for the bill to be sorted out. She sees the note & starts shaking. She leaves us & bursts into typical white tears (like why are you crying when all we’ve done is make a kind request? lol!). Anyways, so this white woman goes to her colleagues who are furious. She exits to cry at the back & a white male colleague of hers reluctantly comes out to address us & to annoy us more with his own white tears telling us that he finds our act “racist”.

So, what a shitty human being, eh? He makes a servant cry by refusing to pay her for her work and then gloats and giggles about it on Facebook.

Also, what on earth does trans activism have to do with Rhodes Must Go? Or struggles against colonialism in general? And what’s a “non-binary trans” activist? The two contradict each other. Trans=two sexes and a trans person is the other one. Non-binary=more than two sexes. Trans is binary.

The rest of his post:

We then start breaking it down for this white man & ask him why they are catching feelings when we haven’t even started (like the part where we take up arms hasn’t even come & yall are already out here drowning us in your white tears? Really white people? Wow.). We start drawing him to the political nature of the act & why we couldn’t be bothered that they decided to catch feelings from the note. We tell him it’s great that business as usual has stopped & the pressing issue of land is now on the agenda in that space – seeing the cowntry was celebrating ‘Freedom Day’ yesterday. We then chase him back to do his job. And continue with our conversation before exiting the café.

Moral of the story: the time has come when no white person will be absolved. We are tired of “not all white people” and all other bullshit. We are here, and we want the stolen land back. No white person will be out here living their best life while we are out here being a landless and dispossessed black mass. NO white person shall rest. It is irrelevant whether you personally have land/wealth or you don’t. Go to your fellow white people & mobilise for them to give us the land back. That will be the starting point of all our interactions from now. We will agitate all our spaces with the big question: WHERE IS THE LAND?

Thank you to all the non binary, trans & all other black bodies who have been at the helm of this decolonial moment in the settler colony known as South Afrika. NOTHING will ever be the same again. Alibuye Izwe Lethu!

The politics of bullies. Bullying is not progressive. Talk about trans bodies and this decolonial moment all you want to, but it won’t make bullying progressive.