Voices of Women – stitched cloth telling the stories of (often) poor black women from rural townships in South Africa.
There illustrations through stitch are supported with text.
On 16 December 1991, I was working at the plug firm for two years. We were working for whites and we were faithful to them but they were not to us. When they had to pay us they ran away with our money. We, the employees, were so hurt. We went to our respective homes. We stayed for about a month and three weeks with nothing to eat. After that we received letters from the authorities saying that we would have to meet with the people we used to work for to talk about our money. When we arrived there, there was no one. We never got anything until today.
It was 1986 in the years of Apartheid when we were living the bird’s life in Odendaalsrus, At that time people who did not have a passport (permission to be in a certain area) were arrested. My mother was sleeping over at the house.
The police and Boers used to arrive and wanted our parents. They said that we were “kaffirs” children.
What I won’t forget is when they took my father. He was going to work. They took him away and we did not know where he was or where they would take him. My mother did not report this at the place where he was working, Saaiplaas, as she was scared of being arrested. After a month we heard that there were a man that was found in Kroonstad and that he was at the hospital. He had an employee card with the name Zibonele Filane and the name of the place where he was working. That man was my father. He was injured. His waist and leg were broken. He died.
I do not want what happened to my parents to happen to my children.