CHALLENGING OUR CHALLENGING CHALLENGES
We ran around houses, trees and playing joyfully in front of our parents, especially my mom and grandma. My loving and caring brothers would do everything in their power to see me happy and protected. It was like a golden time in my life which I would cherish to relive. My father would return at odd times, bringing a lot of goodies, nice brand new clothing for all of his sons and stay with us for a while before going back to the unknown which I happened to record as his home. I only realised later that he was working far away from home and we were the recipients of his hard work, which he had to do any which way to see us through.
Life is a ceremony that we must enjoy; life is a time that we must live; life is a hill that we ought to climb; life is a challenge that needs our challenges back; Life is a (free) present which we have to embrace; Life is a battle that we need to fight and never win. My life is temporal but life is endless. Shiny life and his dark brother, death aren’t ours, they belong to God, ours is just to accept and live them and dance to their tunes.
Then my eyes suddenly opened up and I was a young man with countless ambitions and started making demands beyond the reach of my parents, so to say unreasonable, but with little understanding. More especially when most of my focus was on the world outside my family. And I realised I was not better in any way to the boys touching my life, at school, at playing grounds and almost everywhere and since they were better than me in material issues, I grew sad and felt inferior to them hence started developing into a loner and an introvert. My performance in the class dropped dramatically and at one time I looked straight into the eyes of failure but lady luck was around and I was condoned to next standard year after another. That best students of yesterday was now trailing most of the students I used to help with their class and home works. I fortunately got school leaving result in my matriculation final examination and my brothers and sisters were relieved as they thought that failure would drive me to make an attempt on my life, or anything sinister, they thought.
The next thing was to leave learning to look for work as I believed I would do better compared to my parents as I thought that my parents just did not want to be what I needed them to be. In other words I thought they chose poverty over wealth, they opted for not having over having and I thought I was suffering because of a choice they made.
I got work employed as an operator and felt that yes, now things would just start happening at breakneck, high speed as money and lots of it would start flowing in. For a few years my life was rich and I bought almost anything I wanted, till the bosses fell out of favour with me and never got any promotion, never mind how hard I tried and worked. Every time I smiled in my boss’s face he would return that with harsh words and give me some more work to do and also point out at things I could not do for him and all other funny things and I realised that I stood no chance at all. I grew unhappy till one day when he stood boldly at my neck and he was fuming and told me of my endless mistakes and all other negative things. He was adamant to see me out of the gate and guess what, when somebody is planning to do you harm and he is also equipped with the right tools; he eventually succeeded using his superficial powers, not supervisory powers. Even if he did not put a strong battle for me to quit, I would still go anyway because of the enormous discomfort and discontentment.
But it is not only me, look around you’ll find a lot of them at the factory gates waiting the whole day long for big tummies to pop up and get them into the factory for something next to nothing. Check the Marikana’s. Their bosses are staying in posh mansions and most of these bosses; they never went a kilometer deep into the mine shafts where these workers are exposed to all sorts of danger to earn their bosses’ humiliation. Check the miners working and living conditions and compare them with that of their bosses, remember these are the real profit making machines but alas, they get meagre pay. How many miners died in Greece coal mine, China coal mine? I say everywhere but not even a single boss died with them, listen to what they, the bosses say; work safe, which obviously tells you that the miners must work safe for them to steal the money made available by the miners who get paid peanuts. We can now deduce that if you are not a boss then you work for the boss, you pay every little cent for their luxury.
The bosses will always complain about a single private phone call you made maybe your child was taken ill, but they have to themselves landlines that reach greater parts of the world and also own company cellphones and company cars and a whole lot of benefits. They will still be eligible for huge bonuses from the work they never did. I’m now sitting empty stomach at home together with large numbers of the non-bosses who fell victims to labour brokering and incessant retrenchments and lack of work opportunities, with or without education. The cost of living is taking off like a Boeing whilst we are helplessly watching taxpayers’ money going to waist everywhere, you can name them, Inkandla, Zumaville etc. ours is potholes and RDP’s we voted for and will still vote, come next elections, you’ll find us in long meandering queues and the bosses will call that day a holiday as a plan to get us there in numbers. They might even visit the polling booths and that is all, the last day you saw them. Evictions of voters are currently taking place in Lwandle near Strand in Western Cape for SANRAL being a better citizen than the soul of children who at this time are at school to return to a plain, moor, meadow land as their new home. The Cape is getting wet and please sympathise with the poor kids, the tomorrow Mandela’s in the cold now. Did they vote? Yes, and did they vote for evictions? What did the politician promise them? Maybe better life, better service delivery, employment and… still to come, the question is when? After another five years or more, just for basic needs which they are paying for, now?
By; Modiba Kadi
Farms minister pays worker R26/day
04 June 2014
Johannesburg - Union movement Cosatu and farming groups attacked new agriculture minister Senzeni Zokwana after reports he was paying a labourer R800 a month, a third of the minimum farming wage, to tend cattle, where? On his farm! City Press, Reuters and Fin24