My exile was the posh end of exile - Sisonke Msimang

Writer and activist Sisonke Msimang has published what is described by some as a groundbreaking book, reflecting on her exile childhood in Zambia and Kenya, as well as the return to South Africa.

Speaking to Eusebius McKaiser about the debut memoir, Always Another Country, Msimang delved into the dynamics of exile during apartheid and the politics of class.

She says the book is not a definitive look at the subject of exile, but reveals in part how her experience of it was influenced by the inbuilt classism of the African National Congress (ANC).

One of the things that happened when that first generation, those people that left in the early to mid 1960s, is that as they crossed the border they carried their class position with them.

Sisonke Msimang, activist and writer

The way that the ANC has always functioned as a deeply classist organisation, was that they were mission educated Africans who were African middle class, which didn't mean that they did not have money, but they certainly had access to education and saw themselves in a particular way.

Sisonke Msimang, activist and writer

So Mandela and Tambo don't simply arise out of the hills, they are formed and shaped by a particular class position. When the ANC people went into exile, they were given choices.....

Sisonke Msimang, activist and writer

It's to say that my exile was the posh end of exile precisely because of the inbuilt classism of the African National Congress which is something I think we need to be honest about, even as it gives me beautiful nostalgic memories about my childhood, that is what it affords.

Sisonke Msimang, activist and writer

Click on the link below to listen to the full audio and learn more about Msimang's personal accounts....


This article first appeared on 702 : My exile was the posh end of exile - Sisonke Msimang


Recommended

by THE NEWSROOM

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
10 types of intimate betrayal (and moving relationship stories on broken trust)

10 types of intimate betrayal (and moving relationship stories on broken trust)

The feeling of intimate betrayal is a pain unlike any other, cutting at the core of a relationship and the ability to trust/love.

'Let your roofs be your catchment areas, let your pools be your dams'

'Let your roofs be your catchment areas, let your pools be your dams'

WWF's Christine Colven provides valuable insights and information for managing Day Zero and the 'new normal' in Cape Town.

Naked Scientist: New blood test may detect 8 different cancers at an early stage

Naked Scientist: New blood test may detect 8 different cancers at an early stage

Researchers are making progress with CancerSEEK, developing a blood test that would detect the cancers before symptoms appear.

[LISTEN] Stories about coming out of the closet

[LISTEN] Stories about coming out of the closet

‘She was there to try to persuade me that I should think twice about being gay.' Eusebius McKaiser

How to read generously (even if you think a book isn't for you)

How to read generously (even if you think a book isn't for you)

Academic Dr Richard Pithouse says not all text requires problem-solving, but instead, it needs open-minded and emotional reception.

Book gives voice to 'Khwezi', raises questions about ANC’s sexual abuse history

Book gives voice to 'Khwezi', raises questions about ANC’s sexual abuse history

Eusebius Mckaiser says the new book raises questions about rape culture and the history of gender-based violence during exile.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] Accidentally shared a nude on a WhatsApp group? Here's what you can do

[LISTEN] Accidentally shared a nude on a WhatsApp group? Here's what you can do

A woman mistakenly shared a naked photo of herself on a parent Whatsapp group and now it's gone viral.

De Lille: Additional water resources are not going to stop Day Zero.

De Lille: Additional water resources are not going to stop Day Zero.

The Level 6B water restrictions will come to effect on 1 February and residents are asked to use only 50 litres of water per day.

Punitive tariff hike for water guzzlers to hit CT households where it hurts

Punitive tariff hike for water guzzlers to hit CT households where it hurts

Harsher punitive tariffs on the cards as 'Day Zero' becomes a reality as the result of 60% of Capetonians who ignore water limits.

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

Loo Me is a simple yet effective scented foam that takes the yuck out of "mellowing" toilets preventing multiple flushes.