Dirk Lotriet
2 minute read
28 Sep 2018
9:30 am

It was just a braai, Ms Fakie!

Dirk Lotriet

I can’t afford the label of white capitalist. Not with the cost of fuel, the cost of data, the cost of chops and wors...

Braai and vegetable kebabs. Picture: Supplied

I have a confession: I, too, lit a braai fire on Heritage Day.

Which makes me, according to Ayesha Fakie, head of the sustained dialogues programme at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, something bordering on a exploitative white capitalist, white supremacist, gender oppressor and racist.

The persistence of Braai Day results from deep denial to confront the brutal oppression of colonialism and apartheid done in the name of white people, Fakie said in an opinion piece this week.

I believed I was only preparing lunch in a harmless, social way.

“My black neighbours borrowed my cooler box to braai in the park,” a friend said after he read the article. And I’m sure my Indian neighbours braaied – they braai more often than we do.

In my own defence, I have to mention that I don’t braai regularly. I believe it’s silly to make a fire outside to grill meat if you have a working stove in the kitchen.

And I’ve always called Heritage Day by its proper name – never Braai Day.

But I have been known to don the braaier’s apron from time to time. My family enjoys the odd grilled chop or piece of wors.

Little Egg simply loves it. When I wipe the dust off the kettle braai, she runs through the house and shouts: “Braai is lekker!”

And, believe it or not, I very much doubt that my chubby two-year-old daughter is a white supremacist. She just loves food.

Even the lovely Snapdragon tolerates a braai and she’s no racist – she disapproves of everything and everyone, regardless of race, gender or culture.

Except for babies. She adores babies.

But my despicable vice has nothing to do with supremacy.

Call me an idiot and a cheapskate, but I can’t afford the label of white capitalist. Not with the cost of fuel, the cost of data, the cost of chops and wors … While most people complain about the cost of meat, I’m left speechless just by the price of charcoal.

I’m nothing more than a lower middle-class South African who battles to make ends meet while cursing the 15% VAT rate and dreaming about the Lotto.

But I take note of your objections to the way a lot of us spent Heritage Day, Ms Fakie.

And as an olive branch, I promise to leave the braai tongs in the drawer next year.

Dirk Lotriet. Picture: Alaister Russell

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