Friends & Friction: Ubuntu is the lifeboat to prevent SA’s Titanic

2014-09-26 06:45

Freedom in South Africa continues to be a work in progress and it is like an art piece with 60?million people working on it.

Everyone has the right to make an impression.

Like every good artist, we must accept our limitations.

As our democracy settles and the differences between the races become clearer and, sadly, wider, maybe we should accept that as South Africans, we are unable to create a nonracial society?– whether it is on the sports field or in the boardroom.

Yet we should not let our inabilities determine our fate. So the business of nation-building must continue.

We must do a quick stocktake of where we are so we can chart the way forward. For all intents and purposes, the country is leaderless.

Gauteng?–?the biggest province in terms of revenue?–?has become, in effect, what an ANC member said “a liberated zone from President Jacob Zuma”.

Recent events have also made Parliament uncomfortable for him. The corridors of power are collapsing.

Consumed by internecine clashes, the police are losing their grip and the state is empowering criminals. Joburg is so filthy it has become a city slum.

Our children are without jobs and so we are well within our rights to feel that the future is bleak.

The Afro-pessimists are starting to say: “We told you so. Look at your neighbours north of the border.” Last week, someone who works in Parliament said Africa’s trajectory was easy to plot.

The first decade is about the euphoria of liberation. This is followed by the building years. The third decade is about destroying, which will be followed by a fight for the spoils.

The fifth decade is about rebuilding what was destroyed, and so on it goes. He said South Africa had just started the first phase of self-destruction.

I disagree with his view because it assumes our fate has been predetermined and, more importantly, that Africans will always be the scum of the earth.

I would argue that black South Africans know what it means to live in a country with a government that doesn’t care. Under apartheid, black teachers were grossly underpaid and treated badly, yet they did their best to deliver education to as many as possible.

I know businessmen like Kenneth Masekela, who made it their business to send black children to universities.

South Africa needs that spirit if it has to survive all expectations. We have to jump back into ubuntu as if it was a lifeboat on the Titanic.

Each one should go back to help in the community.

This will curb the every-man-for-himself shade of capitalism that has engulfed our nation. Spending time with the less fortunate will give us an insight into the madness that has gripped up and liberate us from the state in which we find ourselves.

If there is one thing we can’t afford to do, it is to throw our freedom away.

» Kuzwayo is the founder of Ignitive, an advertising agency

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