2015 April 12: Dear fellow Black person

by Siba Nkumbi

Need I remind you that there is no rule for pronunciation?

Why do you feel the need to auto-correct me in the middle of a sentence, because that is not how you pronounce a certain word?

Let me tell you this: Pronouncing the word FILM with an ‘I’ (FILIM) doesn’t make me less of a filmmaker.
I am not white; ENGLISH is not my mother tongue.
Just because you were fortunate enough to go to white schools and learn the correct Grammar, I wasn’t.
See, English was taught to me as a second language in isiXhosa i.e. “Namhlanje sizakwenza ii- FIGURES OF SPEECH bantwana bam” instead of “ Class, today we are going to learn FIGURES OF SPEECH”.
It wasn’t easy reading between the lines but I managed.
So excuse you for thinking there is something hilarious when I pronounce some words in a way that you’re not used to. Be glad that you were taught in English. Forgive me if I don’t sound intellectual enough for you when I pronounce my FILM with an I (FILIM)!
Unlike you, I stand corrected. To be precise, I will not conform into pronouncing words with a twang so that I can fit in a certain box. When I speak, I speak because I want to make sense and I am getting the message across.

Maybe before you chuckle to yourself as you find my pronunciation ‘strange’ consider this. The only luxury I ever had when I was growing up in the dusty streets of Lingelihle in Cradock was the ability to go to school.
Barefoot as I might have been at times I endured. You know, Momma made sure that my siblings and I went to school with money she got from selling fish and Russians (Pork sausages) so that at least we’d be able to wear a school uniform and pay school fees.

I wrote this note to you so that you take time to think twice.
I didn’t write this note because I was angry.

I want us to work together so that we can make this world a better place for the next generation.
That is called wisdom.
I don’t blame you for your ignorance. It is a deadly human flaw. In fact some humans are so unfortunate to a point that they take it to the grave.
You have a choice to learn my fellow Black person and repair your faults.
Let us make a great contribution to the brothers and sisters out there that are struggling with self-esteem.
Let us do it for that speaker who is afraid to speak in public simply because s/he’s scared to be laughed at when s/he speaks.
My fellow Black person, it is now time to wake up. Let’s stop killing our own nation. I didn’t write this to offend anyone, I wrote it for freedom of expression. Let’s work together to break the chain

Thank you

From a filmmaker, a writer and a poet that pronounces FILM with an ‘I’ (FILIM).


Previous articles by Siba

2015 Jan. 4: Exploring my femininity as a butch





2014 Oct. 10: “I tried to commit suicide…”

This entry was posted in "I tried to commit suicide...", Collaborations, Collectivism, Imagined, Knowledge, Learning, Perception, Poetry, Politics of existence, Politics of geography, Politics of representation, Teaching, Textualizing Our Own Lives, We Are You, We Care, We love each other, We Still Can with/out Resources, Women who love women, Women's power, Women; Voices; Writings; Education; Traditions; Struggles; Cultures, Words, Writing is a Right, Writing matters, Young black lesbian traditional healer, young black queer and gifted, Young female writer, Young talent, Youth, Youth voices and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 2015 April 12: Dear fellow Black person

  1. Thank you so much, for those few words I give you my hand. You deserve a crown

  2. Mduduzi says:

    I salute you, beautifully written – I share your same sentiments. Well done

  3. Linda says:

    Thank you, a very well written piece and i share your sentiments.

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