The Black Rhinoceros

In the land of contradictions, black is actually white and the next day white is meant to be black. Pink pigs grovel in the mud beneath the nations dream rainbows and then waddle back to their sty a red-brown colour. They can also be an ochre-brown or a brownie-brown —- all depends on the colour of the soil. Brownie-brown sounds quite poetic but my favourite at the moment is a waydie-brown. He latched onto a rainbow and caught the gold at the end of it. Brown streaks to gold, the pigs fly through the sky, white and black mix to a jubilant grey. Car-guards out number the robot-street sellers of consumable paraphernalia and Chinese dark glasses. The steel potjie at the southern end of Africa is bubbling over with ridiculousness. Mister Ridiculous dines with lady Harmonious and in the baby-chair the toddler slobbers on its bib. We all stand whilst the fat lady sings and the great Shiny One dances. There’s a drought in F#kk#lfontein and floods in Soweto. I wonder, if anyone actually knows what is going on? We drive ourselves to bloody pieces on the road whilst the highest-ranking Telkom officials fly business class on South African Airways to a secret nuclear power site. The SABC drop their pens and cheer —- clap-clap-clap. So that’s all very lekker, here in the great Happy-go-lucky-land. Our great dancer wipes his bib and screams for his toys outside the cot. And — poor me, I am left holding the back rhino’s horn. This Papier-mâché rhino, that is supposed to be black and the other white rhino species, are both actually grey. This, like the pigs, depends on which colour mud they roll in, the red-brown, the ochre-brown and especially now, the waydie-brown. When I walked past this Hooked-lipped rhino, I saw that some human had broken off his horn. Killed him for his horn, made of keratin, just like horse’s hooves and turtle beaks, then sold it for a fortune to the wealthy in Vietnam and China as a status symbol or for traditional medicines. Its selling price is as much per Kilo as Cocaine. I perform the ridiculous in a grip of sadness and near extinction. I hold the horn as long as I can, for the 500,000 African rhinoceroses that roamed all across Africa just a hundred years ago.

A play is made on the international crusade to protect the African rhino from poaching and killing hundreds of these animals for their horn every year.

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