Collage by Ta'Ron Joyner.

Aspiration is a Beautiful, Expensively-Packaged Scam

'Just because aspiration is given a Black face, that doesn't mean it's for us, cares about us or has our best interests at heart,' writes Pearl Boshomane Tsotetsi.

This essay is part of OkayAfrica's SA Reframed series, featuring personal writing from some of South Africa's best young writers edited by Verashni Pillay.

I was still a lifestyle journalist when I lost respect for my own beat. It wasn't one particular incident or moment that triggered it, but rather the result of various moments and experiences. One of them occurred very early into my tenure as editor of a lifestyle supplement. Our cover at the time featured a famous, celebrated black personality. The decision hadn't been mine - it couldn't have for I'd had my occasional "Maimane in the DA" moments: the Black leader with no real power.

Yet I was excited nonetheless because, yay, representation.

I showed the cover to a colleague who stopped short of rolling their eyes as they said: "Why do they always feature the same type of Black people?" Slightly taken aback, I asked what that meant. They elaborated: "You know, the Black person who probably lives in Sandton, drinks champagne and is one of their friends."

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