I’m 18 years old...
At school this year we got to read Animal farm, a novel written by George Orwell over a hundred years ago , but surprisingly relevant. At the beginning of the book, the animals lived their lives normally, they had gotten so used to living such laborious lives that they never questioned the conditions they were living in. Until one day, an older pig in the barn called a meeting to tell the animals about a dream he had. In this meeting he made the animals aware of how miserable their lives were and hinted that there should be a revolution.
Soon after the revolution the animals took ownership of the farm. The pigs assumed authority as they were smarter than other animals. The animals in unison decided to draw up ‘The Seven Commandments.’ All animals had to abide by these commandments. Thereafter the pigs became corrupt, and began to betray the other animals. The Commandments were soon altered to allow the pigs to live fancy luxurious lives just like the farmer who ruled before them.
You may be asking yourself why I am telling you all of this. Well, I think that the events that occurred in Animal Farm bear a striking resemblance to what is happening to South Africa at the moment. First, we fought against the injustices of the past, hoping for a better life for all. We then put people we thought would put the country’s needs first in power.
We, like the animals at the beginning of Animal Farm despised the inequality between those in power and ordinary citizens. We needed to move forward as a democratic republic. We wanted to look up to those in power and support them without and any resentment or feelings of betrayal. What the commandments were to the animals, so should our constitution be to us, a guiding script. It should cement the rules we are all to abide by, regardless of one’s position in society.
However, this is not what is happening, as we are constantly being disillusioned and betrayed by those in power. Some show signs of wanting to change our guiding principles, to feed their greed, accommodate their dishonesty and conceal their dodgy dealings. It is fast becoming the norm to engage in questionable activities in our country. People put their needs before those of our nation, and seem to have forgotten one thing: we voted them into power and we can vote them out of power!
This year I am 18 years old, and I can vote! So if the pig shoe fits... “I see you!” And so do all the other 18 year olds in the country...
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