Slavery and real life lean ominously
Corruption does not discriminate. No one is immune to it. Everyone is a fair game whether you are related to a high ranking politician or powerful family or work in local government or even an individual. Minors working in deplorable conditions are nothing new. Alan Paton wrote about it in ‘Cry the Beloved Country’ and this gripping book has been around for decades now. It is now part of school programs.
Mines in South Africa have been part of the fabric of consciousness, of the landscape of this country since the cogs of apartheid were set in motion. Nothing has changed and yet it seems on the surface that everything has changed. You hear about these stories every day and you get so numb to them and at the end of the day you realize that there is nothing really you can do in a constructive way except keep the faith that things are right. will gradually move on their own in the direction of the worst conditions for the best.
Of course, my heart bleeds for them, these miners. They are just humans. They have families, wives and children. But that’s not the first thing people see when they open a newspaper in the morning with their coffee. For them, the miners, the job is the job is the job (they don’t see it like anything else) and that’s why education is so important. Conditioning should not be treated or implemented as a “just cause”.
The sensitive and emotionally mature people among us will not hesitate to tackle the problems of the day that need to be addressed, not just for the sake of solving them. Changing anything today is a revolutionary mission, but it is a mission that begins with clarity of vision, equality, respect and recognition of the grassroots communities that are being created. (I hope I answered your question as well as possible. Please feel free to continue with this discussion line).
No and I have to say it with a lot of emphasis. Service delivery in rural areas, townships where unemployment is high, skills development is low, is non-existent and therefore nothing is announced from the government of the day except that it appears to be empty promises when local elections occur. There are crime, criminal syndicates that operate in the big cities. Clean and running tap water, sanitation, waste disposal and electricity should be high on the priority list because it affects the poorest of the poor; the majority of the population lives in misery, in slums, raising their children, families literally on bread and water. What kind of society treats its most vulnerable citizens in such an unfair way? Children raise children. Sisters and brothers play the role of absent parent in the lives of their younger siblings and it is a travesty that the legacy of HIV / AIDS has left in its wake.
Xenophobia is a large scale diabolical injustice in South Africa. What humanity is capable of doing to itself physically, emotionally and mentally is pure evil. It is unnatural and disturbing to see this level of poverty, crime and death in the aftermath of the “Rainbow Nation” and the “African Renaissance”. People are selfish, self-centered, and complacent, but what they don’t realize is that the world owes them nothing. We are so consumed with money, cars, jobs, visions of fame and wealth and personal success. You have to make your own way in this world even though mountains like punishment and stage fright are staring at you, around every turn, every corner with snake eyes.
The world we live in today is a world filled with madness, with desperation wide open and it’s like a fire pulling on your sensitive cords, the pathways of the nerves that connect to your consciousness; the effects, the torments of depression and mental illness are everywhere to be seen. Its existence can no longer be furiously hidden from view and denied. On the outside everything shines, but inside there is always an urgency for freedom and a living, breathing self-awareness. I feel, for this nation.
I did not deliberately decide to leave apartheid or not to talk about it. In the end, it turned out like this. It was not a conscious decision. It was only when I entered into this conversation with you that I realized how much I played a role as a “witness” to this / these heinous crime (s) being committed, in the name of the law of the land of this country, back in the days when apartheid was what people thought would triumph over the weak, crippled and destitute in its heyday.
Apartheid deserves a book on its own. A subject under the sun that I feel I will tackle as I mature more and more as a writer. It will be difficult. There is so much rage, heartache, a visceral disconnect between the people who were the “privileged minority” during apartheid and then there was the “shameful majority” living stuck in the trenches of poverty and death. There are a lot of things, themes of South Africa that I knew as a child that I left out (the poetry book Africa where are you), when I think back to the book. Yes, you’re right. We could have said so much more. Maybe I should have talked about it; the life experience of a majority living in a perpetual state of feelings of anxiety, deep humiliation, embarrassment and apartheid closed on me, every facet, aspect and abstract of my childhood, adolescence and youth . Not just me but a whole country. On the one hand it was flourishing and on the other it was a complete paradigm shift; in other words, the infinite good on one side versus the resident evil. I didn’t want to repeat the negative, the negative, the negative because it was ubiquitous in every sphere, kingdom, empire, perimeter wall, ivory tower on which apartheid was built. If I had a book of hellish negatives (as a writer you can’t work in this oppressive, claustrophobic field, I mean I can’t deliver what I think is my best work), how can people would they be drawn to that, was what I wondered over and over again?
Come to think of it, I’m glad I didn’t “pay homage” to apartheid in my first book. The market here (South Africa) is saturated with books on this subject. Nobody talks about Africa, the continent, the people, the inhabitants as I think I do in my first book. I’m happy with the book, but can a writer or poet really say they’re completely happy or think it’s over? We always want to go back and change something and there is always something that we are not happy with in the end, but in a way, it is also liberating to feel, speak, act, react for the cause of justice and emancipation.