Do you remember the apartheid era film "The Gods must Be Crazy"?
It attained cult status among white audiences in the US during the early 1980s.
In the movie a Khoisan man, Xi, is fascinated by a Coke bottle that is thrown from an airplane flying over the Kalahari desert in southern Africa.
Xi is shown to be confused by the bottle. He spends much of the film trying to 'solve' the mystery of an empty Coke bottle while bumping into whites, and their modernity.
Throughout the film Xi is found to be absolutely befuddled by his 'out of darkness' experiences in the world of whiteness.
He thinks the Coke bottle is a gift from the Gods. And the scenes that develop around the bottle suggests that the white characters embody apects of Gods, if even in a "crazy" way that supposedly deconstructs this assumption.
As the plot unfolds Xi comes to view the bottle as an evil thing and he travels to the end of the earth, a waterfall, to throw the bottle away.
Jamie Uys, the white South African who wrote and directed the film, depicts Xi and the Khoisan as secluded from the real world. The Khoisan end up being no more than uncivilized artifacts of the white imagination.
The historical relevance of the Khoisan in southern Africa is erased and their humanity is manipulated into the reductive pre-modern Other.
The white herrenvolk (people of the heavens) imagery is a prominent, and driving, sub-plot of the story line.
You would think that since Mandela 'freed' us from white domination in 1994, we would be unburdened from the racist nonsense that this film represents.
Vodacom, a cell phone company, has revived the racist storyline in an advert that is a nod to South Africa's love of rugby at a time when the Rugby World Cup is being held in France.
Incidentally, the Springboks play against England on Sunday for the championship at the Stade de France in Paris.
You can watch the Vodacom advert below:
You will note in the advert that a rugby ball is accidentally thrown from a plane carrying members of the Springboks who are flying over a remote desert somewhere.
Two Khoisan men find the ball and they are so happy that they throw away the food they have gathered in the hot desert (an ostrich egg), and start playing rugby with intense zeal.
The rugby ball, like the Coke bottle, is a symbolic fetishism that situates the contrived centrality of whiteness in relation to the unsophisticated Other.
The background music is also taken from a very popular Afrikaans song known to conjure up images of the mythology of Afrikaner (whites of northwestern European ancestry) culture and their "trek" history.
The advert ends with a 'sane' voice-over by a white South African. The white voice reasserts the hegemonic rationality of whiteness against the barren and undeveloped childishness of the Khoisan!
Why are we still here? Who are the idiots who re-hashed this racist crap? And why does our national broadcaster, the SABC, not know better than to allow Vodacom to stand on the dignity of the Khoisan.
We will not be free anywhere until whiteness is broken so that it cannot degrade our bodies and our dignity anymore.
See more prtotests over the advert here.
It is important to note that Xi was played by a Namibian brother named N!xau (1944-2003), and that he spent the last decade of his life contesting the demeaning imagery that the "The Gods Must Be Crazy" afforded the white imagination and its attachments.
Geez, tonight is one of those nights when a rightly aimed cap in the ass of whiteness will do me just fine.