This short flash-fiction piece needs an intro. The story is very South African and will probably not convey much to outsiders. ‘
MAKWEREKWERE is a (derogatory) term applied to all black foreigners. Xenophobia is alive and well in our complex country.
Oddly enough all car guards are from the Congo. Also occasionally from Burundi. Why this should be, I don’t know. Speak to them in French, and they’re your pal for life. Yes, we have Car Guards in all public parking spaces – to prevent theft and car-jacking. Like I said : a complex country.
The reason Ouma (Grandma) Swart is scowling is because she’s from the bad old days, when no black man would put his arm around a white woman.
I hope this mini-story is now clearer to foreign readers. P.S. You learnt quite a bit about South Africa in this intro, didn’t you? Not much of it to our credit, sorry to say.
MAKWEREKWERE SAMARITAN – by AMS ©
“Calmez vous!” begs Alphonse, the Congolese car guard, tentatively putting his arm around the raving woman’s rigid shoulder. Ouma Swart scowls disapprovingly, from her car. Bee-ba, bee-ba: The cops jump out of their van. “Los haar!” yells the cop, hand on his weapon. “Non, Non!” squeaks Alphonse, hands raised, backing off rapidly. “You are mistake – I am help!”
“Ja,” confirms the burly man exiting Sportsman’s Warehouse “the lady ’s drunk; been shouting in the parking lot for the last ten minutes; car guard’s just trying to help”. Alphonse rolls a relieved eye. Why, oh why, did he ever leave Kinshasha?