oa Alternation - Seasons of drought have no rainbows - an experiential note on poverty and survival networks in South Africa

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



During the heady days of SA's transition, when the ideas of truth and reconciliation and of the rainbow nation held sway, Alfred Qabula, a black working class oral poet concluded his assessment of the process with a moving poem about the 'restless dead' and warned that 'seasons of drought have no rainbows' (see Brown 1998). This paper ends the discussion of a manuscript on the 'Mandela Decade' (a sustained ethnography of 400 black working class leaders of the 1980s exploring their experiences during the decade of the 1990s) with the 'disposal of bodies , - one, Qabula's body in Pondoland in October 2002 and of Sibongile Mkhize's in December 2002. In choosing to pay tribute to the 'restlessness' of dying in SA, I want to make a sociological point about the politics of encroachment and the vitality of embedded struggles over livelihoods1. The two stories are not chosen because the one was a man and the other a woman, or that the man left a trail of words and died disturbingly and 'noisily', whereas the other died in complicity and silence, or that the one died of a stroke and the other of HIV/AIDS.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error