This morning I said a prayer, a silent one. It started aloud, then I ran out of things to say, out of words, out of vocabulary. It felt silly. After a meaningless murmur, it died down, almost like a bad song fading out. I hated the mumbling, and the regular phrases that I often utter in praise and worship but never employ on a normal conversation. They sounded hollow. I guess, I’m a bit rusty. It went on like this. “Father God. I come before you this morning, baring my soul, hoping this prayer will clear my head, maybe you are listening… maybe you’re not”.
At this point I couldn't help but think, what if God is watching me and laughing at my citation, my construction of this prayer, the words I choose? If we were on Twitter, He would RT with comment saying SMH!!! *Rolls eyes*.
Anyway, I soldiered on. I prayed for my daughter who is turning five today. I asked God that He grants me the strength I need to provide for her, to raise her well and asked that He protects her from harm.
She was born 3 months before Jacob Zuma took the reins of this historic movement, the century old African National Congress (ANC). So I thought it appropriate to say a little prayer for Zuma too. I thought he needed it. After all it’s been a tough five years at the helm of the ANC, and so much has happened.
This time five years ago, he was zigzagging the country, almost like Julius Malema is doing today, talking to the branches, addressing desperate people who were tired of Mbeki’s “aloof” leadership and singing Umshini Wam.
He was untouchable. Mbeki and his National Executive Committee (NEC) were damned if they touched him, and they were damned if they didn’t. Eventually, even the fence sitters started choosing which side of it they wanted to fall. There was momentum, Zuma was destined for greatness. He was the President-in-waiting for the ANC and that of the free South Africa. Who would have thought? A man, a few months ago was fighting to fend off rape charges, now destined for the top job. Not even fairy tales are written like this. I say he was untouchable because, at the time, the rumour mill was on over drive about government agonising about charging him for corruption. Perhaps waiting for the right time. I have no doubt, many South Africans were praying for Zuma at that time. The rest is history.
Fast forward… five years later, Zuma is presiding over the most chaotic South Africa since the dawn of Democracy. Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa confirmed in Parliament that the number of incidents of unrest was higher in 2011-2012 compared to any year since 1994.
It is not a group of barbaric people choosing to render the country ungovernable out of the blue. These are true patriots, frustrated by corruption, tender fraud, and irregular expenditure by government departments and poor or non service delivery. They are enduring perpetual poverty that in many homes and communities should be raised to the level of hunger or famine.
So when I switched from my oral prayer to a silent one this morning, I conversed with God that He reminds you to pay attention to this crisis because if you do not, then there is no future for my daughter.
Then the education crisis. How did it get to this, under your watch? If you ask me, this is one issue that requires a massive rebellion in this country.
The conditions of rural and township schools is a spit in the face of those who renewed the contract of the ANC three times hoping that at the least, their schools would be renovated, maybe an additional math teacher would be appointed, or a library with useful books would be sponsored by the Jacob Zuma RDP Education Trust, instead, they are watched while dilapidating. Open veld classrooms, non delivery of books and after all that climbing of mount Everest, South Africa’s youth is honoured with a new title “unemployed graduate”.
I prayed for you because I cannot imagine how it feels like to preside over such chaos and rebellion but I can only sympathise. The reason I prayed for you was not because I am a staunch Zuma supporter, God knows I would do with a different leader, but you’re all I have now. So I will support my President with all I have, even if the incoherent prayer is all I have.
As you seek the next 5 year term, going to Mangaung, kindly note that with all this failure to prepare a solid ground on which my daughter would grow, if you get re-elected, my daughter will be 10 at the end of your second term and the damage in her life because of a dysfunctional education system, unemployment, economic collapse due to labour unrest caused by corporate greed and all other warning signs, will be irreversible.
The funny thing about this prayer is that, I don’t remember saying “Amen”. I guess, I should leave it open, in case another crisis ensues and I need to continue. Lets end it there for now.
….to be continued.
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