This morning I was watching a news insert on the ANC Youth League on E News – their elections are coming up. Rewind to the 50s’ when the Mandelas/Mbeksi/Sisulus and other young bloods of the ANCYL were passionate and commited to a cause – to liberate South Africa and create a free and fair democracy for all. They were imprisoned for their beliefs, tortured, separated from loved ones, fled their homeland and yet they never lost sight of the dream. Fast forward to 2011 and we have the ilk of Julius Malema whose mouth unfortunately engages long before his brain does and who keeps separatism, fear and racism alive and kicking. We have images of the youth screaming into the cameras, demanding this that and the other, like they are entitled. Daily the media is filled with stories of corruption, greed, of self-serving politicians and civil servants misappropriating, misusing and misspending funds etc at all levels of our government while so many millions suffer. The scale of it sometimes takes your breath away. It has become like an enormous black hole that is simply sucking up the light of this beloved country of mine. I love this country. I am a “Seffrican” through and through. I’m a “braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet” girl – OK, maybe not the first two 🙂 I use phrases like Ag Shame, I want to kiss strangers in foreign countries if I hear them speak Afrikaans and I almost, but not quite, kiss the soil whenever I return home. I don’t want to live anywhere else. I believe in it, I know we can be great, I know the pendulum will swing the other way eventually. But sometimes it is challenging to remain positive when all I want to do is slap those arrogant, smug, self-centered individuals who care not one jot for those they are here to serve and are only interested in feathering their own nests. The word ACCOUNTABILITY just does not exist in our SA vocabulary. When I climb into my warm bed at night after enjoying a hot meal and I think of all those living in unspeakable conditions, desperate for some semblance of a normal life; whose daily existence is one of just trying to survive another day; when I receive emails with “wishlists” from township schools needing basics like desks, stationery, chairs, when beggars greet me at almost every street corner, I want to weep. I also feel so GUILTY – the curse of “The Haves”? This morning, finally, I did. It was as though the pain and the hurt of this majestic, beautiful, dynamic, tragic country and it’s rainbow nation hit me like a ton of bricks. I cried for my beloved country. Really cried.
But tears are healing and I shall pick myself up, wipe my face and carry on making a difference, one person at a time. Sometimes it is good just to acknowledge how you really feel and let it flow. Ja well no fine, the journey of life goes on. Africa, as they say, is not for sissies! Amandla!