Activists in bizarre semi-nude demo

In an interview with NewsDay Weekender, Plaatjies said their move is “a protest walk” against the colonial system that is still oppressing the indigenous people.

BULAWAYO residents were on Thursday left stunned when two half-naked men wearing traditional Zulu/Ndebele regalia sauntered up and down the streets, with one of them exposing his entire backside.

The two, Shane Plaatjites, a civil engineer from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and Samuel Dube from Goboza village in Gwanda, Matabeleland South province, said they were on a mission to remind Africans to revisit the long-forgotten concept of ubuntu.

The men said their daring act was fuelled by the abandonment of cultural values and norms and the adoption of values from the colonial system, which they say has led to tribalism and confusion.

In an interview with NewsDay Weekender, Plaatjies said their move is “a protest walk” against the colonial system that is still oppressing the indigenous people.

Plaatjies said although countries such as South Africa said to be democratic, he is not convinced that it is really the case

“I am not sure whether the idea of democracy within the South African government is really existent,” he said.

“We have sent various memoranda to President (Cyril) Ramaphosa’s government, particularly about the plight of the Khoisan people to no avail.

“People of my race were classified as Cape coloureds by the apartheid government, but I am Khoisan.

“I am a bushman, but this is not about the bushmen only. It is about the whole of Africa. Our people are really suffering.”

Dube recalled how he met Plaatjies at a Khoisan protest at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where he says he was representing the great nation created by Mzilikazi KaMatshobane.

He describes the journey as spiritual as they are returning to their roots.

“We take the revolution to the people and are continuing from where the ancestors left off,” Dube said.

“It is time for Africa to come back and remember herself and break the mental slavery that was enforced on us through inheritance.

“Right now, we are speaking English and have been programmed by the system to do so. Another issue is that of land and borders. Borders have separated us and all oppressive acts of the system.”

He went on to say that he and Plaatjies were coming as custodians of the land and not the system they had inherited.

Dube said they had realised that African leaders were dividing the people as they were still entrenched in colonial hangover.

“African leaders are still taking instructions from the higher powers, which is why we are taking matters to Buckingham Palace in England,” he said.

Plaatjies and his wife, Eva, a former member of the South African National Defence Force, once conducted a walk in 2022 and were chased out of shops and almost attacked because of their attire.

They had walked from Pretoria to the Cape, to the Namibian border, Swaziland border and towards Durban.

The two men say they are taking their journey across several African countries with Namibia being their next destination.

In Bulawayo, Plaatjies and Dube caused a stir as residents mobbed them and castigated their attire while others had Kodak moments with them.

In 2021, the Zimbabwe Republic Police arrested two male twins who were caught walking the streets naked along Seke Road in Harare.

The Highfield twins, then aged 21, moved around reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

Upon their arrest, they were taken to a psychiatric unit, where it was established that they were mentally unstable.

In 2006, the Fichani twins pulled a similar stunt, walking in central Harare, and other places, wearing goatskin kilts (nhembe) that covered private parts only, leaving their backsides exposed.

Tafadzwanashe and Tapiwanashe, also known as The Terrible Twins, were arrested and later released.

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