the show must go on…

… they say. so today, while people were needlessly dying all over johannesburg and the catchphrase of the moment, “xenophobic violence” dominated the airwaves and the headlines, the show went on. the soap i’m in shoots in the johannesburg business district, right next to the carlton centre. today, a few floors up from where mobs were rampaging yesterday, the cameras kept rolling. one scene required that i be splattered in red paint which took forever to clean off afterwards. at least in my case, the red was something i could simply wash off…

as we were leaving the building today, papi, one of the boom-swingers, said to me, “did you hear how quiet it was today? it was so nice. all the shops were closed, so it was quiet. you know, they’re all nigerians, so they were scared to open up today…”. and i couldn’t tell if he approved or disapproved. and i know papi. i’ve worked with him for the past almost 3 years.

on the one hand i feel i can’t in good conscience keep blogging and not refer to what’s happening, but at the same time, i don’t really know what to say. weren’t the people responsible for this violence around during apartheid? don’t they realize that what they’re doing is exactly the same? don’t they remember that we south africans, once upon a time, too were forced to seek asylum in other countries? countries which took us in and gave us haven. there’s a scary mob mentality which seems to be spreading and right now i don’t know where or how it is going to stop. a week ago, i heard a politician on the radio saying that since the violence was confined to alex, it wasn’t a crisis. if it were spreading all over the country, THEN it would be a crisis.

mr politician, i think according to your criteria, THIS IS A CRISIS!

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