A Day in the Sun
Introduction by: Sabah Khan
Lekhetho David Sefate is a freelance writer, who finds the medium of storytelling inspirational and fascinating. ‘A Day in the Sun’ underlines the everyday struggle of youth of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) as they negotiate racism and the country’s systemic failure to deal with inequality and poverty. Drafted as a ‘personal’ letter to his mother, this submission brings out the anguish of a country moving towards modernity that remains unchanged, bogged down by the baggage of its past. His mother is an allegory for the country. His submission dwells on both the fear of speaking up because of the consequences and the impossibility of staying silent and unmoved by the country’s situation.
Lekhetho’s submission attempts to make visible the important concerns of his county and to provoke youth to begin thinking about them, which is a first step in beginning to address them as a nation.
Dear young one & momma,
I am writing this letter to tell you what I wish I knew. The naive innocent me years ago would have thought I would have possibly/easily seen years where I passed the age of 25 and double that. Even beyond that, half a century of celebrations to come, in a near distant future or years to follow. I would be humbly sitting on a rocking chair, thinking and contemplating my life.
Age 25, a magical number, the time where your life usually starts. There’s so much I wish I could have achieved by now and beyond. Much like my peers, not just in jail or dead.
The world is such a complex subject, and many cherish that fact. For the most part, it’s a power struggle learning to navigate adversities. The world has had a skewed perception of where we are from or going.
I’ve never felt so scared and depressed in my life. It’s like everything else that mattered suddenly ceased to matter and everything else, no matter how insignificant, became significantly clearer. Matters of freedom overcame long-held priorities and became primary to the heart.
I could not stop apologising and pleading, even for things I didn’t wanna have anything
to do with, or wasn’t about, or I that didn’t want to accept. I didn’t know which words to use, whether to leave open things closed. Suddenly I felt destiny was knocking on my door. Was it in my hands? Will it be once I’m gone?
At this time of my life where I’m just floating directionless at sea. I don’t know whether the other world will get me. I pray that I don’t sink in. I pray that just like Jesus I can and will be able to walk on water, be free of mental shackles. Not just drown in tears. I feel for You mother, dearly, you my other half, my heart…♥… It pains me to see what I’ve done to you, not only what I’ve done to you but what I’ve also put you through. I write this letter not only to appease you but to show my full gratitude. From nothing came something and from something small grew all the big things like the common saying goes, We reap what we sow.
I pray to God life finds a way to forgive me, my ignorance, lack of respect and for being such a nuisance.
I bleed. In and out a man bleeds.
I pray I find peace in calamity. Calamity for the greater good. Now I’m just left with a sanctuary of sanity.
I’ve further learnt that life has no enemy but what we create. We are the enemy. We
are the blessing and the curse. We are the good and the bad, the hope and salvation, to the
heavens we transcended from hell.
It is such a beautiful and indescribable phenomenon, and much unimaginable, like the heavens, to come across such a compassionate, indispensable being such as yourself, my mother, no more than especially like you.
I then further learned we don’t happen to life, life happens to us, coming at us from different angles, daily, unjustly so, depending on the level of your ignorance.
I pray and cry every day. As these are but not only final tears but tears of confessions that will finally set me free.
I bleed too, the blood of Christ. Still don’t believe in the world, but I’m no longer a non-believer, never have I been. My conversations with God, through my mother, starts with—I don’t know what. I’m starting to cry now, more than I’ve cried my whole life and I’ve also started reaching out to life. Not just to have it centred around nurturing my torn soul or roaming mind, and my bits and pieces of heart.
Now I’m no longer crying only for me, but for my loved and once unloved. Never ever will I take life for granted again. I’ll be using everything at my grasp and disposal for the betterment of society and its youth. It’s no longer about me but us.
I’m forever blessed to be with my family. right now. Dear mama, I know I’ve put you through
hell and it’s through this predicament that I’m right here, where I am. If I get a chance, I’ll cherish and worship you forever and ever…
Mabel Dieketseng Sefate.
To God is eternity.
I’ve found my life in a state of reminiscence, where it seemed to be moving back, when it should have been moving forward.
I find my humble self sitting on a rocking chair, thinking & contemplating my life.
With love, Lekhetho David Sefate