Fear of Man

fearI was riding in a taxi last night and was debating with myself about where to get off. Where I lived was within sight from the taxi however it was not on its route and I would have to walk a small distance to go there and it was already quiet dark. Unfortunately I could not do this. I had to pass where I lived, ride aaaaaalll the way into town and pay R50 for a cab to take me BACK where I live and to drop me off at my doorstep.All because of one reason… fear.

Fear of what one may ask,this is not a Game Reserve, there are no wild animals roaming the streets of Pietermaritzburg and it couldn’t have been Ghosts because I don’t believe those even exist. I was rather, scared of people. My fellow brothers and sisters, who according to the good book are supposed to be my “keepers”. Its sad that we live in a world where a person cannot walk freely and has to constantly look over their shoulders in constant fear of what another HUMAN BEING  would do. I think I would feel safer in the density of the Amazon rain forests, in the presence of rattle snakes and exotic beasts than in the streets of South Africa.

There was a  one liner joke that was going around not so along, it went something like …”where are you? The zoo called and said they’re missing a monkey.” Actually that was more of a reality that a joke, that person wasn’t very far from the truth. Human behavior these days has stooped to that of animals if not lower.

If a person can walk from their front door to the driveway and back these days they have to come back and thank their lucky stars and be glad that their still alive. Its sad to know that there are sick twisted individuals out there who get pleasure in causing other people pain and who are so useless and lazy to do anything for themselves that they resort to stealing and robbing those who have worked so hard for themselves. Its a sad reality of the world we live in,and I’m not pointing fingers.However I found this really interesting quote online that just felt… closer to home.*winx*

fear pic 2Hint,hint!

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Banana Republic

stealingSo a few days ago as I was  walking towards the gate of the complex I live in I noticed this huge truck parked in the parking area.It was filled with loads of vegetables and other packages loaded on the back. As I stood there gazing at that truck (for no apparent reason),  this man dressed in prison warder uniform comes running towards the truck with a refusal bag in his hand.

For a second I stood there in awe starring at him and I pointed him out to my friend whom I was with and he couldn’t even be  bothered by us as we looked on. He hurridly climbed up the truck bent over and rummaged through the pile of cabbages and white sacks throwing in his bag  as much goodies  as he could. How I wish I would have taken a picture, actually it would have made a great Daily Sun front page story. Instead I decided to look away, so much for being  a responsible citizen.  So to ease my convenience I decided to blog about it.

Anyway for those of you who haven’t figured it out, this was a prison warder who was travelling in  a state vehicle filled with state supplies and he decided to make a detour at his house to help himself a little on the supplies. I don’t really know how to feel about this. If  I complain,  I would be advocating for prisoners and  worrying about how they would die of starvation while state officials are embezzeling their food supplies.  For I couldn’t care less, don’t even know what the fuss is about even when they go on hunger strikes. WHO CARES. But that is besides the point.

I think the bottom line was that he was a government official and he was misusing govertment funds. Nothing new there. But the fact that he was doing it in broad day light in sight of all to see was just horrifying.  But then again what did you expect from a country that has foreign planes landing on military bases with no one knowing about it. Then they  blame other people for turning this country into a “banana republic” while they have only themselves to blame.

 

 

 

Learning is life…

educationNever in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would say what I am about to say right now. But with age comes wisdom and I believe that is what led me to this realisation. I just realised how greatful I am for the fact that I have an education.

It is SUCH a wonderfull thing to learn, some people just cannot imagine. Can you imagine if you knew nothing about anything. Your eyes would pop wide open in confusion or disbelief at every little thing you heard or saw.

Imagine if you didn’t know how to read or add up numbers. Imagine if you didn’t know why or how certain thing were the way they were.  I find it so irritating when I am listening to people and they are engaging in a conversation and I haven’t a clue what they are talking about and then I wonder how it would be like if I didn’t have even the LITTLE knowledge that I have right now.

Like honestly, imagine walking around blank… with nothing to wonder or think about. I shudder to think how people without an education might be going about their daily lives, not being able to do the most simplest of things like operating an ATM machine or counting your change at the grocery store. I know I am no Einstein but I would consider myself fairly knowledgeable, and I know enough to get by. And yes much credit has to go to Google and Wikipedia but as  Sandra, my Journalism Prac facilitator has pointed out in her  blog, that is not enough.

So even if  sometimes(well…most times) I feel  like the Department of Media is trying to kill me by giving us hoards  of work that is all due on the same day, I am still great full. I can’t imagine having to look at the  sun to find which way is north,tell the time or to predict the weather ,now even worse with Global warming taking its toll, these days its virtually IMPOSSIBLE to tell what’s what. O.M.G, I wouldn’t even know what global warming is!!!

I feel so sorry for anyone who’s still living in the dark ages and I am very glad I am not one of them. And I feel even sorrier for them if it is at their own will.

 

Media: Yay or Nay?

We were having a discussion in our journalism class the other day about the role that the media had taken in our society in their deliverance of news. We talked about the good and the bad ways which they had adapted and at that moment the bad seemed to outweigh the good. Our facilitator then left us with what i believe was a very interesting and thought provoking  question, should the media just pack up and close shop?

secrecy bill 2This question came in light of the activities which surrounded the South African media recently. Where instead of the media functioning as the fourth estate who’s duty it was to inform the public and ensure that there there is transparency and this country indeed functioned as a democracy. The media has now resorted to more of a business than public protector,it is now about  the sales, sensationilisation and inflation of news. It is now no longer about the publics right to know but rather about what and how more money can be made.

And then interestingly enough on that same note, news came that the Protection of State information Bill, informally dubbed as the Secrecy bill, had been passed in parliament on Thursday. Then I thought, oh well there is our answer,although it was in a totally different context,it said exactly the same thing. Media houses might as well fire everyone except the weather guy.

This bill will basically prosecute anyone who publishes or is found in posession of any information which is considered classified information.  News such as the The arms deal which implicated our president Jacob Zuma and also information such as his plans on the milllion rand  renovations on  his Nkandla home will now be top secret, all in  the poor citizens oblivion.

I thought the government was merely a representative of the masses and we all had one voice and spoke one word. We all (as promised) had an equal say in the way country should run.Doesn’t democracy mean transparency and shouldn’t it offer public spaces for debates and criticism.  How is this supposed to happen if we do not not know nothing about anything that is going within our country. Why now all of a sudden the sudden need to hide some information?

secrecy billDA leader in parliament Lindiwe Mazibuko was quoted saying “… democracy cannot work when security exceeds its proper limits. The second is that the media cannot function when important information is suppressed. Bad governments thrive under the cloak of darkness. Those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear.”   Seconded Miss Mazibuko!

 

Parliament-toons…

corruptionThe next time you feel like having a good laugh, and are browsing through your television ,don’t go to your local comedy channel, and no don’t go to Cartoon network either,rather tune into the Parliament show, i PROMISE you, you will not regret it. Get your two year old little brother to watch too, they’ll have a ball.

It boggles my mind how a bunch of grown men and women can behave in such unruly manners. It’s a charade of constant bickering, finger pointing and name calling. People jumping up in the middle of someone else’s speech and telling them that they are talking nonsense. Really? Are those the people that we have in the front line of our country? People who are supposedly the leaders of this country,yet are jumping, screaming and throwing tantrums on national television like a bunch of pre- school kids.

I live in constant fear as a citizen of this country and i hold thumbs everyday,wishing that we never get on the bad side of any country because if they would open a can of whoop-ass on us, i have absolutely NO hope in our leadership having our backs.

This other day a certain minister was throwing a tantrum on the news, right in front of the cameras because they had started the Steve Biko memorialevent without his “honoured” presence. So the WHOLE country including the president had to wait for HIM before the proceedings could begin. For what?  Why anyone would want to make a grand entrance to such an event in the first place is beyond me. He further displayed his anger in his speech that he made later on in the day, which was totally inapproriate at the time considering the nature of that gathering.

It seems like the politics of today have been reduced to nothing but  fights for power and inflation of egos.Poor Steve Biko and many others like him must be turning in their graves. Too bad there is nothing they can do but watch their hard earned freedom being devoured by money hungry vultures who do not know the first thing about selfless service to your fellow men.

 

Drunk man never lies…

sober manHow many times have you heard the words ,”I’m sorry but I was drunk”. Yeah right, you were.  That to me is just the cowards way of sneaking out of a sticky situation and sadly most times… it works. People get drunk, do the most hideous things (which sometimes include dead bodies, bruised faces and broken bones) and when the s#*! hits the fan they blame it on the booze.

SUDDENLY your friend of fifteen years is a nagging, irritating brat who never listens to anyone else other than herself. Really? You just thought of all of this like NOW ,for NO apparent reason. Yeah right… Your dearest friend has always been a nagging ,irritating brat, she didn’t evolve into one over night and YOU KNOW THAT. You just didn’t have the nerve to say it.So when someone does mess up and says something they weren’t supposed to say, they’re actually apologising for the fact that they SAID it not because they DIDN’T mean it.

I am so sick of hearing people mess with peoples feelings and then later blame it on the alcohol and stupidly enough they are forgiven. If he thought you were an idiot today then he’ll still think you are an idiot tomorrow, he just won’t be man or DRUNK enough to say it .

Someone else might say that when a person is drunk they are in a state where they cannot control what they say or do and therefore a drunk person cannot be held accountable for what they say. I personally don’t buy that.

As the saying goes “a drunk mans thoughts are sober mans actions”, and you better believe that.

The fool and his gold…

“Rich people stay rich by living like they’re poor, poor people stay poor by living like they’re rich”…Unknown

moneyHow many times have you walked past a beautiful German sports car with a blinding shine and a meticulous finish, parked outside a shabby rundown rental room with barely enough space to even fit the bed. This is a sad reality among many South Africans these days. Too many people are so worried about image and status that they forget about the most important things in life. A person will walk around with R2000 rand shirt on their back and not even know where their next meal will come from.

They see no problem in spending a quarter of  a million on a fancy sports  car meanwhile they don’t even own a proper home to put a roof over their heads. People always have this need to live to impress even though they are in no position to do such.

Some of them resort to crime because they are so obsessed with  “staying on top of their game ” that they have to steal in order to maintain a constant a cash flow.

khothaAs if this is not bad enough a craze broke out in the late 2000’s  in the townships of Johannesburg ,they called it  Izikhothane.  Basically and a bunch of kids, normally poor black kids from not so affluent backgrounds would gather together and show off their expensive clothes to each other. They even tear them up  and burn them to prove how “rich” they are and how easily they can afford another pair.

These kids come from homes where their mothers work in factories and domestic jobs earning menial wages ,they bully their parents into giving them this money ,threatening them with violence and even steal from them. If their parents won’t give them their money they quit school to work temp jobs or even worse resort to crime. It is like a new form of addiction.

Sadly these children  are not the only ones to blame for their shortcomings. I believe it is a trend that they learned in society. They were schooled into believing that life is all about bling and  living large. And were never taught that such things have to be worked for.

People spend way much more money than they earn and they find themselves drowning in debt and facing evictions. And then when all else fails they blame apartheid and the government.

I fail to understand why  people can’t learn to live within their means and not have the constant need to try and show off . We buy expensive phones and gadgets because they are the “in thing”  even though they are a nightmare to operate or we barely ever use them.  American comedian, Katt Williams made a joke once about “niggers” in the hood spending thousands of dollars on expensive spinning rims that they could not even see and enjoy and were enjoyed by the people outside  than by you the driver of the car ,and I’m’ guessing that was the point. He further goes on to say “why not take take those rims and buy a tank of gas”. I say, take that Golf GTI and buy a house and take that Gucci shirt and buy some food!

“Too many people spend money they don’t have ,to buy things they don’t need ,to impress people they don’l like”. Will Smith

Mother tounge

tounge

This other day in our journalism class our Lecturer was giving us a list of words that were considered  “un” politically correct and should be avoided in journalism writing and be substituted for other, “more suitable”  words ,things like chairman to chairperson ,disabled to physically challenged and stuff like that. These have also been an issue in society as a whole ,in the way we either speak or write.

So then the term “mother tongue” came to my mind. At first I was actually pleased at the idea ,one thing that was actually named after women. What with us and our children having to take our husbands surnames in marriage and everything being about the MAN. Also in the black community there’s no such thing as mixed race. If your mom is Zulu and your dad is Sotho,then you are are Sotho. No questions asked. Funny enough though the childs home language is still reffered to as “Mother tounge” even though it is the fathers.

A term like mother tongue therefore felt like an acknowledgement to the mother amidst all the undermining that has seemed to overshadow the womans’ role over the years.

But then on second thoughts ,I changed my mind. I don’t mean to sound like an “extremist obsessed feminist” because I am not. But I feel the term “mother tongue” was only given to women because they were generally the people who stayed with the child the most and hence the child would then adopt the mothers way of speaking. So this word portrayed women as nothing but child bearers who’s duty was only to stay home and look after children. Therefore I feel that its just another portrayal of women as the weaker sex and is as offensive as the notion that “a womans place is in the kitchen”.  So since we are on this “woman empowerment” name changing tip ,why not throw “mother tongue” in there. So just as police man has turned into police officer and chairman into chairperson so should mother tongue. The question then would be ,to what?

Writers Block…

canstock2918564Ok. I admit. I have been slacking a bit on my blog writing lately and I would like to attribute this to a severe case of writers block. So in order to punish myself I am going to do a bit of self condemnation they say its the worst  punishment.

So I am a fairly grown young adult who was… well… ALMOST born into the new South Africa. I have been in school for as long as the stars has been in the sky…well…over sixteen years now , FIVE of those in tertiary. I live in South Africa  ,a country rich and overflowing in history with an even more interesting present. Yet here I sit ,without a single idea on what  to write on my blog.

I live in a country infested with crime ,corruption ,police brutality ,greed ,inequality and poverty and yet I have nothing to write.

The other day a couple of our soldiers were brutally murdered in a war in Bangui ,a taxi driver was dragged to death by police officials, the Department of health has reduced the number of HIV treatment pills from six  to ONE ,and to bring this closer to home, one of OUR  medical students was raped and brutally murdered in her res not so long ago and i STILL have nothing to write about.

I live in the in the times of the lost generation where the youth of today do and say  the most hedious things and land themselves in the most stickiest of situations ,but no not a single word from me.

I think I’m rather suffering from a case of information overload rather than writers block. Maybe its a matter of not knowing where to start. Either way, I shall press on and put pen to paper until overloadhopefully I get hit by a  Shakespeare shock wave where “thee words shall floweth from mine mouth like a river and…OK. Let me stop.

Skin deep

18496351-illustration-depicting-cutout-printed-letters-arranged-to-form-the-word-slanderA couple of days ago I was chilling on the lawn with a couple  of my classmates. Funny enough they were teasing me about how I was white once and had now relocated to KZN and changed my identity to black. To which I responded, “oh well ,I just had to get a piece of the B.E.E pie. Being black is the Ish these days.” But that is besides the point.

As we were chilling on the lawn , Nikolai ,our running commentator for the day (he’s going to kill me for this) had just made a comment about a girl who was just,  shall i say too,  “Cool for School” in her dress sense that day. We all pitched in and said something about her missing the plane to Hollywood and landing up in Pietermaritzburg.

Later a white old man walked by. There we were ,UKZNs self appointed image critics analysing him left right and centre. We made comments about how probably the only language he knew was Afrikaans and how he was probably…(and I shudder saying this) not so fond of “other” races.

You can imagine our shock and surprise when Shivani FYI’d us on the fact that that man could not only SPEAK Zulu but was also a professor in the Department of Zulu in the University. I couldn’t believe my ears and that to me was a really big wake up call.

I thought of how many times we as humans have denied ourselves the priviledge to really get to know someone for who they really are ,because we had already set barriers between us and them about a pre- conceived idea that we had about them. We look at a girl in a mini skirt an immediately know where she was last night and how many.I am no less guilty of this. I wouldn’t talk to this girl at a gathering once because there she was with her diamond studded iPhone and flashy clothes with different designer labels on every item,  immediately my SNOB ALERT radar went off.  Today she is my best friend and is the most humble soul.  We need to stop judging people by their outward appearance and get to know them for who they really are. You never know what you are missing.CY6W1T