An Open Letter to Open Letters

Dear Open Letter

This letter is in no way about me, the writer, but to you, the Open Letter. You’re right, Open Letter, I could have posted this directly to you, the intended recipient, but I felt that putting it up and making it available online to the masses was best (but it’s not about me.) I am appalled at the amount of people who are abusing you as a medium of communication. It seems like every week someone in my country uses you to address a famous person going through a breakdown of some sort, a government minister, or our dear president. Everyone but the person who you are addressed to ends up reading you. When I think of you, Open Letter, I think of a stranger opening their mailbox to me, giving me their mail, and waving goodbye as I walk away with it. I don’t know what your parents taught you, Open Letter, but I was told never to open mail that was not addressed to me.

Your existence has become about the addresser and not the addressee. Except this one of course. This one is totally about you and not about me. One of the biggest stars in the world, Beyoncé Knowles, has mastered you. Like everything else she does.  Personally, I like to call her Queen B (B for “Bhala” which is “to write” in Xhosa). You work well with her because she is famous and people care. She has been on Tumblr for almost three months now and has released many versions of you. One to Michelle Obama, one to Sade and one to her mom for Mother’s Day. These people read you, dear Open Letter, because no one ignores a Queen Bhala letter. She could have e-mailed these women, but she chose you. You were touched by the hands of Queen B. Queen Bhala trended on those days, not Sade, Michelle Obama or Tina Knowles. You mattered on those days because Queen B actually got a response from the people she wrote to, something that seldom happens with us regular folk.

I will however continue to click on any link that says “An Open Letter to So and So” because I am a nosy person. My curiosity put me on the receiving end of many spankings as a child and I do admit that opening my parent’s salary statements was not my wisest move. I wish the same punishment existed for those that abuse you.

All my love

Sbosh XO

(PS: Please remember this letter is not about me.)

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