This week the Daily Voice celebrated a Grassy Park horse owner winning the Durban July – South Africa’s richest horse race.
Yes, you heard right. Ashwin Reynolds, a Cape Flats outjie with his Cape Flats perdjie Kommetdieding.
Ashwin says “never in a million years” did he imagine he’d ever hear a Durban July commentator in a rah-rah voice heralding “Kommetdieding” as the winner of the R4.25 million race.
What a story. Ashwin and Kommetdieding are instant Daily Voice heroes.
The 47-year-old became not just the first Cape Flats small-scale horse owner, but the first coloured person to achieve this feat.
On top of that, he made history as the first black South African or “person of colour” to do it.
It’s truly significant.
This point was lost on some readers, however.
Social media users questioned the Daily Voice: “Why does it have to be about race?” (No pun intended)
“Does it matter that he is coloured or white or black?”
Yes, it does. It makes all the difference in the world.
This is a rags to riches story, a modern-day fairytale.
If you didn’t know, this is a sport, an industry, that is still traditionally dominated by the white and wealthy.
Ashwin is not some rich stable owner from Durbanville.
He is from the Flats. This does not happen every day.
It’s not supposed to happen.
Does it matter that he’s a bruin ou? Absolutely, it matters a great deal to our people.
It gives pride and hope to the Grassy Park community and a role model to its youth.
The Daily Voice will celebrate our people loudly and proudly and nothing you do or say will silence us.
Because if we don’t, who will? We have celebrated our Idols like Karin, Jody, Sasha-Lee, Paxton and Yanga over the years.
Don’t forget Craig Lucas and James Bhemgee.
We have lauded our sports heroes like Benni, Quinton, Wayde, Cheslin and Nizaam, to name a few.
We appreciate our entertainers and entrepreneurs, people like best-selling author Yusuf Daniels.
This month, the Khan sisters from Athlone won platinum at the 2021 International London Honey Awards.
Nadeem Isaacs of Lotus River earned 20 distinctions on his way to a Bachelor of Science degree in Diagnostic Radiography from CPUT.
There are great, inspirational stories coming out of our communities and these positive stories need to be broadcast at full blast.
Another point that stirred debate was that certain readers were not happy with the use of the word “black” in Ashwin’s story.
It seems some mense are of the view that “black” is only a reference to skin colour, and demanded that Ashwin be referred to as “coloured”.
Very well, if you insist on drawing colour lines, let’s play the classification game... Ready?
So are we talking sturvy or gham coloured, English or Afrikaaps “kallitz”?
If people from Fairways, Plumstead, Rondebosch East, Walmer Estate and Pinelands are “super coloureds”, where does Grassy Park feature?
If a bruin ou wins a horse race, does he become an honorary super coloured?
Then spare a thought for coloured Muslims, who have to also navigate the Cape Malay and Indian, and Moor and Slams divides.
There are a hundred ways to box our people – if you really want to.
For what it’s worth, the intent of the use of the word “black” was not to divide – it was to unite.
Historically and socially, the term “black” was always used to describe individuals and communities who were (and still are) oppressed, disadvantaged, marginalised, dispossessed, under-resourced and neglected in this country.
If you have ever lived on the Flats, in the townships, the blokke, in the kasis and informal settlements – you can relate.
But the term black is not just used in South Africa, but around the world.
For a better perspective, let Benni tell you about the treatment received while he was playing in the European leagues.
He once told the Daily Voice that the racial abuse at the stadiums got so bad that he came close to haaling uit his “Hanover Park maniere”.
What did those hooligans call him? Bet it wasn’t “coloured”.