If our kids were the president

2012-06-16 00:00

DESMOND Tutu is Nelson Mandela’s friend and Cape Town is the mother’s city according to a group of children who answered our general knowledge quiz for Youth Day.

We asked a group of primary school pupils (aged 7-9) some general knowledge questions and their opinions on some topics. The children attend the Berg Street Primary School in Pietermaritzburg.

Thandile said she thought Jacob Zuma should stop getting married and keep the country safe for everyone. Andiswa said it was Jacob Zuma’s job to take care of everybody and to make them happy.

We also asked the children if they knew what the speed limit was and their answers ranged from 40 km to 120 km. One boy, Lusando, said: “It is bad when you see them coming with a blue light.” Another child thought it was a competition to see how fast you can go. Baxalele said the speed limit is when you have been drinking and driving. Another child said it was okay when all the cars were driving and matching.

We quizzed them on the meaning of ubuntu. Many children had a solid grasp of the African concept and believed it had something to do with being kind and caring. But Baxalele believed it was all to do with listening to your mother or she would hit you. Ndumiso said it was all about being a respectful person.

We asked the children why Cape Town was famous? Some believed it was because of the clean air and water that it was famous. Sandiswa said: “There is a lot of witchcraft there and people are getting killed.” Enhle said the houses of Parliament were there and that is why it’s famous. Keenad said because the people ate fish. Sipho said Kilimanjaro was in Cape Town.

We tried to see if they knew any of the current news issues. They knew e-tolling had something to do with money. Ashley B said: “There are too many toll roads everywhere we go.” Nkosigiphile said: “People just don’t have money always in their pocket”.

We wondered if they knew some of our struggle heroes, and they all knew Nelson Mandela and with only one exception they listed him as their hero.

Kwanelisiwe thought that Desmond Tutu was the mayor of KwaZulu-Natal. Lungesane said he had not met Desmond Tutu. Andiswa thought he was perhaps the deputy president.

Many children described Desmond Tutu as a freedom fighter but Ashley said simply “He was a Bishop”.

We asked them to tell us what they would do if they were the president. Our children are very concerned about making South Africa a better place. They believe if they were given the job of president they would give people houses, jobs and money.

Ayanda was very concerned that the country should be kept clean and people should stop making litter. “The place must look better and nice!” she said.

Keenad said if he were president he would fire Jacob, cut off e-tolling and give the kind people jobs, not the ones who steal the money. Ndumiso said: “I will make sure people can live safer and better. I will make sure we have good roads and our water is clean.”

Enhle said: “I would make the people happy and give them jobs. The children must get sweets and education. The children must get discipline and give houses to those who don’t have one.”

Kwanelisiwe said if she were president she would make sure there were enough taxis and buses for everyone.

• trish.beaver@witness.co.za

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