South Africa is such a beautiful country but the reality of our lives, of our fears, is such a contrasting ugliness.
Like many women in South Africa, I have woken up to the ice cold hand of an intruder on my stomach, under my duvet, under my pjs… His touch burned into the memory of every nerve and cell in my body.
I am tired. I am scared… and worse, I have no hope for a better tomorrow in this country where its beauty is tattooed on my DNA.
The economy is a mess. Our politicians have either sold themselves to the highest bidder or populism… or both. Votes are more important than doing what is right. In the absence of leadership, our rainbow nation was sold to the highest bidder and every single person in this country is on the receiving end of very bad decisions. From land hunger to exclusion from the economy, to just simply being burdened by the cost of living, being bombarded by the constant hatred and anger, crime…
People are dying. People are broken. People are angry.
I am tired. I am scared… I don’t see a beacon of hope.
Women are rising and abuse against women and children is getting the spotlight it deserves.
… but there is more. Our streets are burning. Our trucks are burning. Our people are literally (I saw a disturbing video of this) burning people. You can call it Xenophobia but I call it brokenness and anger. Our good men too are stabbed, shot and killed – often for rising to protect their families.
Our world is SO very broken. Our world is so very angry. Our people are broken. Our people are angry.
Everyone is standing up, ready to fight when we need to sit down, listen and be kind.
In anger we are calling for the death penalty. I agree something drastic needs to be done. Our justice system does not work and our constitution gives criminals more rights than their victims. While I do agree that once you have taken another person’s rights away – their right to life, their right to their body, their right to their property and belongings – you should forfeit your rights.
… but, if we have learned anything from State Capture, there is too much corruption. There is also too much incompetence. If you followed Oscar Pretorius’s case, you would have seen the absolute incompetence of police on the scene. Can we really sign away our right to life and place it in the hands of incompetence, negligence and corruption?
Who do we become, when we rejoice in the death of another? Who do we become when our healing rests in the knowledge of death?
In my case, despite catching the intruder, our NPA decided not to prosecute. I was let down by our justice system. Worse, so were his future victims.
Something DOES need to change!
Our infrastructure is failing, our roads are as broken as our people. We have too many people that do not have homes. We need toilets. We need garbage collected.
Our government does not have enough money for everything that needs to be done.
I believe that these savage criminals should be put to work – building a better world for everyone. They should be doing something positive, something constructive. Give the money that prisons spend on education to people in poor communities, feed our old people. Let prisoners grow and cook their own food. PUT THEM TO WORK and let our taxes build a better South Africa.
Death is easy for the perpetrator and leaves an ugly stain on us as a society.
If we are going to change the world, it starts with love. It starts with being kind. These savage criminals should not be empowered to change the essence of who we are.
As we rise as a country and say enough is enough, let’s look at the person next to us and see them as human, not a race, nationality or a gender. Be kind.
We need to rise. We need to say enough is enough. Our justice system does not work and it needs to change… but our society is deeply broken and that is something the Government can’t fix. We need to put pressure on our leaders. We need to be activists. We need to expect change. We need to act to bring change.
It is okay to be too angry to love but we also need to be kind. We need to teach our children kindness and we need to teach our kids, through our actions, how to be kind.
Our call to change is unique. It’s time to rise… but it is also time to take a seat… our kids are watching and learning. Are you teaching them anger or are you teaching them kindness?
* I apologise for using my shop’s blog as a forum for this but it is currently the only public forum I have*