Why Older Heads Deserve The Utmost Respect

Stay in your lane and pay homage to them who came before. Not only that, but pay attention to what them who are coming after are doing.

These are truths I’ve known all my life, and truths whose urgency has been emphasized by my living and existing in the city. Cities have secrets and links and connections which were formed way before some of us arrived here. There are custodians who know wassup, yet unfortunately don’t receive the level of respect befitting their contributions to building it.

I hope to never stop ‘listening to the ground’ (shout-out to Nduduzo Makhathini) and seeking and discovering and unlearning and learning anew. Above all else, I hope to never forget how to love.

Respect to the older heads. Thank you for showing me that love and respect go hand-in- hand.

* Pictured: Poet, hip hop head and academia’s thorny side, Lesego Rampolokeng, in Johannesburg CBD. His latest book A Half Century Thing — a scholarly treatise for readers who never cared about scholarship; a memoir for those who have had enough of insular confession; and a poetry book for the hip-hop generation — is out now.

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