Rest in Peace Fatima Meer

Rest in Peace, Fatima Meer « Loudrastress

 

Born 12 August 1928, in Durban, the courageous, inspiring and  energetic activist-academic-icon, <a>Fatima  Meer</a> passed away on 12 March 2010. She has been a staunch feminist,  having co-founded both the Durban Disticts Women’s League (1949) and The  Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW) anti-apartheid activist who  was banned repeatedly in the 1950s, 1970s, detained without trial, and  otherwise tormented by the apartheid state. Fatima Meer was also a  prolific writer in various capacities — biography, academic research,  history with various <a>books</a>.I met her only a few times, in gatherings where I spoke to her as one  among various other women. The last time was at a South African Women’s  Press Inititative (SAWPI) workshop in the Western Cape many years ago.  But her words, her work, her life have been as important for me as they  have been for a generation of Southern Africans. I am sad, and short of  words, somewhat. Thankfully, I can turn around and borrow a sistah’s  words, instead. Below, the insanely gifted poet, Bernedette Muthien’s  ‘necessary grief’:since dying is a wedding with the divine why am i not deaf to the sounds of grief wrenched from the very hearts of those left behind blind to their vacant salted eyes souls wrinkled brittle in suffering &amp; losswe are the stained tattered floor rags wrung dry by life’s exigencies like made-up wallflowers without dance partners dried up wombs &amp; hollow testicles trees without fruit not even worthy of harvests whipping boys on treadmills without red emergency buttons cowed seldom bowled over often fucked over the ugly sister dimwit uncle unwanted left behind at divine weddingsis my sorrow sacred too?!!take then the remnants of this carcass and eat that tooas i rip the skin from my flesh i remember that some jews still tear the clothes from their own bodies in simple griefand thus i live