Conclusion: David’s Story

  • Dawne Y. Curry


Following the student uprising, concerned parents wanted to find something for students to do besides wander the streets, so they, along with the Alexandra Liaison Committee (ALC), founded the Thusong Youth Centre in 1979, the year of Alexandra’s reprieve.1 Therapy was needed because according to Thusong employee Beauty More, “We didn’t know a person was traumatized …. In the olden days we viewed things such as counseling, as a white thing. We as Blacks, we didn’t have those skills of saying if a child was chased by the police there must be a trauma on that child.”2 Parents took physically unhurt children to mean that they had no problems or suffered from any ailment because “the children were safe.”3 One parent who asked for anonymity; explained;

My child was fifteen years old at the time of the uprising, and suffered from nightmares and barely slept after he saw one of his friends shot. He would wake up trembling. I didn’t pay attention to this at first so I sent him to Thusong, because his grades got bad, and he started acted funny and doing those things that children do. So, they got him drawing pictures of what he saw. He drew pictures showing how his friend died. Most of the pictures showed hippos. This taught me a lot about what he was going through. In the beginning, all I cared about was that he was safe.4


Taxi Company Police Custody Liminal Space Concerned Parent Township Dweller 
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  1. 12.
    Belinda Bozzoli, Theatres of Struggle and the End of Apartheid (Athens: Ohio University, 2004), Throughout this work, Bozzoli discusses how until the 1986 Alexandra Six Day’s War how township exercised normal relations, in other words, that war disrupted everyday patterns of existence.Google Scholar
  2. 15.
    Thoko Mngoma influenced many people in Alexandra; one of them was Zithulele Msimang. During my interview with him, he explained and refuted notions that a leadership vacuum existed from the 1960s to the 1970s. He was one of the few men who paid homage to a female leader and attributed her influence on a younger generation. Sue Gordon features Mngoma in her work, A Talent for Tomorrow: Life Stories of South African Servants (Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1985), 95–105.Google Scholar

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© Dawne Y. Curry 2012

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  • Dawne Y. Curry

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