Sorry I'm Late
Punctuality. People in Africa and India should not be too hard on themselves about being late. The whole world is late.
"Is the event 8 p.m. or African time?”“Is the party 9 p.m. or Indian time?”
“Is the lunch 1 p.m. or CP time?”
I learnt about Colored People’s time when I was in college in the U.S. I laughed and told friends about what we call African time. I screened Albela, a Bollywood movie starring Govinda and Jackie Shroff recently. A character could not believe that an Indian journalist (Jackie Shroff) was on time.No problem. The bus is late, so is the train. It’s even funny in Canada where you sit at an event and the M.C. says, sorry, we are running late. Ironic isn’t it? You are not running fast enough if you are running late, are you?
Airlines don’t say their planes are flying late. They just say they are delayed, something you don’t want to hear when you are in Dublin and you must catch a connecting flight in London. Being late therefore is GPT, global people’s time.Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness, a South African novel.