Everybody has a Memory, and a Story to Tell.


When I see these bottle brush flowers, they remind me when I was still a small boy still in the pre nursery school age, playing in my mother’s flower garden, picking some daisies and being fascinated by colourful butterflies fluttering through the air and watching suspended dew drops changing colours.

One day, while daydreaming, picking daisies, blowing dandelions in the air. I got stung by a bee I might have mistaken for a daisy petal.





The AZANIAN is an eight year old boy, who was once called kaffir, and almost locked into a stinking toilet of a moving train by a white officer.

The AZANIAN is a homeless young boy who was torched during  his sleep, by the “Black Jacks” police, for failing to produce a residential permit.

The AZANIAN is a young boy who almost died of cerebral malaria in exile, and who’s best friend was shot and killed by the Tanzanian forces in 1982, in an APLA camp in Itumbi,

… the AZANIAN is the young boy who’s mother never spent a single night without being harassed by the security forces of the apartheid government, who forcefully dragged her out of bed in her nightdress, for interrogations to the Orlando East, police station,about his whereabouts. Leaving her traumatised kids behind,

…and The AZANIAN is a young boy who mobilized his school Lofentse secondary, to participate in the June 1976 Soweto uprisings, which eventually saw the end of the apartheid rule.


D-day 16 June 1976


…It was not long after the “New Canada” stalemate, when both sides refused to back down, that I found myself between flying bullets from R 4 assault rifles of the security forces, or becoming a potential victim of a stampede, caught up in grey dense clouds of suffocating teargas, accompanied by rattling sounds of helicopters above Soweto skies.

My face became numb and tears were running down my cheeks, due to the stinking tear gas. Even my nose was hurting,and finding available running tap water was difficult.

I didn’t care wether the tab water was from the unsympathetic inhabitants of Noordgesig. What mattered most to me, was to ease the burning sensation of teargas with tap water from my eyes, only to worsen it.

As l futher ran away from the shooting security forces and their vicious police dogs, I did not have time to doubt my Christianity or to notice any casualties.

… I finally found myself hiding behind a toilet in Noordgesig, waiting for the worst to happen.

Holding my breath and trying to ease my irregular heartbeat, I suddenly heard the sound of what I thought were military boots, of one of security forces’ men coming closer and closer…

I soon realized that the nightmare was real, the nightmare that saw the end of Apartheid.

Thabiso Monkoe’s Blog: THE AZANIAN


David vs Goliath

…. I found myself among flying bullets, and a possible stampede under a cloud of suffocating teargas burning in my eyes, looking for tab water only to worsen it, as l ran away from shooting security forces and their vicious police dogs, I began to doubt my religion…

… I found myself hiding behind a toilet, waiting for the worst to happen…fb_img_14576171913002

…as I tried to hold my breath and my irregular heartbeat when I heard the sound of the boots of one of security forces’ men coming closer and closer…



I grew up in Orlando East, during the era of institutionalized racism and enforced tribal segregation by law, that gave rise to hostilities, gangsterism, enhanced tribalism and segregation among blacks, especially in the townships.

Since I’m Sotho, we were allocated a predominantly Sotho speaking area which was ruled by its own gangsters called the Top 7, sharing borders with its rivals the Beez, predominantly living towards the north of Orlando east, the Vultures towards the west, the Kwaitos dominating the centre,the Vikings in Mlamlankunzi, the Kelly’ s
and the Bunzen sharing the south eastern borders of Orlando East close to Orlando train station which made it their default “warzone” where they had fights with their “Okapis”.

…And Ma-juta from Naledi and Ma-hazel from Mzimhlophe who were main rivals like Orlando Pirates and Kaiser Chiefs, had their branches throughout Soweto, and used local trains as their “playgrounds”/”war zones” as well.

These violent and notorious gangs, were feared by most people and used to terrorize the neighbourhood and had regular “wars” with rival gangs, but I didn’t care too much about my surroundings busy living under the”radar” believing that what was happening around me, won’t affect me. Little did I know was going to happen next…

On my way to my school I had to travel by train from Naledi train station, for about an hour or more to my scbool Matjeni primary that was situated in Orlando East, were I made some friends and it seemed they were having a lot more fun than me.
Every-day I met them while I went to scbool, they were doing what they loved best, they were smoking marijuana and surfing trains. I observed them for a few days, not going to school for a number of days, just having fun until I got cold feet going back to school.Little did I know that I was becoming a member of a notorious gangster group…the x 5’s from Naledi.

Published on December 20, 2017 10:22 • 192 views • Tags: the-azanian
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