Through the story of Mandisa and her son, Magona is showing us how deep seeded feelings of hatred and anger from the past can swell up with each new generation that is born into the society. She is teaching us the flaws in looking at this single event and placing the full blame on one person.There is a history and a story leading up to the creation and sculpting of a person who has the capacity to carry out such an awful act.
Magona tells us this story through the eyes of Mandisa. This is done in order for us to learn the history of anguish many people in this place and time of apartheid endured. This history has an effect on Mxolisi whether or not he is fully aware of it. One example is when Mandisas’ grandfather tells her the story of the people in ships coming and taking the land from the natives.
Way back then, some three hundred years before, was the beginning of this relationship with the foreigners, this hatred for the people who took from them. The hatred was so deep that the people would try almost anything to rid themselves of these unwanted foreigners. They even went as far as killing their cattle and burning their crops because they believed in a prophecy that said this would make the strangers leave. To the natives back then, the cows provided milk, dung for the huts, and hides to help them stay warm.
But even more importantly the cows were a kind of symbol, something men offered to his in-laws to form a union. As well as being used healers. So killing the cattle was a representation of how bad they wanted the “abelunga” gone. This hatred is passed down through each new generation.
There is a large focus on Mandisa’s life as a child growing up and what lead up to the birth of her first child, Mxolisi. This helps to give a picture of the instability and struggle many of the people deal of Southern Africa endure. Mandisa is twice uprooted and relocated from her home. The first time by the government and the second …