Apr 04

Memories of Inanda, Mshayazafe in the 1980s – Michael Msomi

by in History & Memories

Interview with  Michael Msomi (iNanda- Mshayazafe) about his memories of life in eNanda in the 1980s

Interviewed by Thomas Mkhabela and Prince Mgabi on 16 March 2013 at Inanda Mshayazafe.


Thomas and Michael introduce themselves and the reason for the interview

Question: Can you please tell us when did you get to iNanda or were you born here?

Answer:  I came to iNanda in 1981 from Nkandla

Q: Can you please tell us about life in iNanda during those years

A: Life was safer; it was 100% because there were people put in place (omantshingilane) to look after the wellbeing of the community. Life was more respected unlike now ,this I owing to the government, people had the law in their own hands in 1981, if you had done something wrong you were captured and beaten up for the wrongs you have done and so you my never do wrong again. But these days the government has given people rights so people cannot be beaten up anymore. But back then in iNanda we were living happily because the wrong doers knew that if they get caught they would be beaten up.

Q: so are you saying that people were living in harmony?

A: Yes, 100%

Q: Can I ask how the living arrangements were when you got here at Mshayazafe? Was it only blacks or mixed races?

A: It was blacks only here and Indians were on the other side (points at the place) as you can see now other people staying there. They stayed there until the times of the riots if you know about them you can write about them since that’s when they left iNanda. But all in all life was peaceful in iNanda there was no government interference.

Q: Do you somehow know what the real causes of those riots were?

A: I wouldn’t know the real reason as you are also not sure, but what I know is that the( United Democratic Front)UDF was fighting for freedom but at the end the UDF ended up fighting with the IFP. That’s how the riots in Mshayazafe began until the (African National Congress) ANC fight with (Inkatha Freedom Party) IFP.

Q: Was UDF it the most supported party?

A: That is the ANC it was followed mostly by the youth

Q: Since life has changed in iNanda do you still enjoy living here?

A: as I’m still in Mshayazafe I enjoy being here, 100% (talks to the crowd making noise) I really love this place just the things that are happening here for example we experience floods and we lose our bridges, as you can see there are things that we should be getting as a community but we don’t we don’t get any development we don’t know who should bring development to us even our ward councillor does not bring anything to us. We are IFP but we are led by an ANC councillor which means we are governing ourselves in Mshayazafe but we do talk to our councillor as I speak for the whole community. We told him we need bridges because they are for the benefit of the whole community not for Michael Msomi as an individual. The councillor tries to meet with the chairman of this community but the chairman keeps ignoring the councillor

Q: As the community of Mshayazafe , since there are places like Ohlange, The Ghandi settlement and others does the community see themselves as belonging to those sites?

A: I don’t understand you now can you please talk about Mshayazafe and not other places. Is not that you are in Mshayazafe? So please talk about what the people in Mshayazafe said. If you involve other places that will cause us problems.


N.B: This interview had to be cut off, because the interviewee and his friends pointed out that the questions relate to ANC related sites. The interviewee is an IFP supporter and did not want to answer further questions.






This post is also available in: Zulu

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