The value we never saw in “Discipline”
I was born in the time when all that was good about a black person was coming to an end. Our grand parents and parents lived in an era when apartheid was at its worst point. But, besides the shackles of apartheid prohibiting them to fly as far as they could, they flew anyway.
Many of our parents worked for a pittance in the suburbs of Johannesburg and other towns around the country, but they spared enough to be able to gradually put together all the building material in order to build a house back home. If you are lucky to own a government four roomed house in one of the locations, I bet you, all the care was taken to preserve that house. That is why most of the people were raised in such houses. Fast track it to today, houses are dished out and within no time those houses are traded faster than you can sell a lollipop. It took a lot of discipline for the older generation to preserve those houses. It took a lot of discipline for the older generation to save and be able to build houses back in their villages.
The older people of the Bafokeng tribe put together their efforts, and purchased pieces of land. That is why the Bafokeng tribe are enjoying the benefits brought about by the efforts of the older generation. This was done amid rampant laws of apartheid. Discipline and determination prevailed. My grandfather and his siblings managed through their mediocre salaries to buy a few hectares of land. They were never deterred by the apartheid laws. There are many other examples that most of you can add to my list.
I would like to put a challenge to many of you to observe in your daily life, the public gathering attended by black people and that attended by white people. In my walkabouts, I have observed that black people always leave the place upside down and never care to cleanup the place even when rubbish bins are provided. The white folks on the other hand will be aware of the nearest rubbish bin, and if they somehow leave the place littered, the next day they will be back to clean it up or have someone clean the place up. It only takes the discipline to throw that bottle, plastic, or any other item that will leave the place filthy in the rubbish bin. White people have mastered their way of protesting. If the municipality does not collect refuse, then the refuse is dropped at the doorstep of the municipality. If the same thing happen to the black folks, then a vacant stand or and open area becomes a dumping ground. Sooner or later the smell become unbearable, some migrate to the suburbs, some tolerate the conditions and the ultimate protest comes and more litter is generated. It only takes discipline to throw rubbish where is supposed to be thrown and when your municipality is failing you, you withhold your money or drop the rubbish at their doorstep. If you disagree go around townships and in towns travel closer to the taxi ranks.
Many of you would like to make believe that the difference between township schools and schools in towns is the resources, it may be true. In my view the greatest difference of them all is the discipline applied in those schools. If you do not agree go and do your own comparison. Leave out the resources. Observe the discipline from the principals, teachers, SGB’s, learners and parents. The private schools have mastered the discipline to preserve what they have. Put up a computer room in a township school, those computers will be wiped out before we can give a report about the new computer laboratory. I do admit resource shortcomings, but we are awful at preserving the little we get.
It is well documented that black folks are the least paid in South Africa. It goes without saying that we should be the ones who will be spending the little that we get wisely, but we are not. We are the ones shown on TV documentary showing off the best line of clothing we can afford. We are the “isikhothanes” in this country. It takes discipline again to preserve the little income you earn. If you are going to spend, it takes discipline again to spend it wisely. If you do not agree with me on this one, move around the informal settlements during major public holidays and see the opulence black people display.
The black people, who lived in this country before us, lived in extremely trying times. They never stopped because apartheid was weighing heavily on them. They focused on what was best for them, their children and our children and never forgetting to fight for freedom. Our leaders today do not instil in us a sense that we first have to focus on what can make us prosper and yet strive to find equality among South Africans. It is pieces like “Dear white people in South Africa” that worries me a lot. Not because they threaten violence, but because they saw the false idea that it the financial gains that will make a black person a better person. The economic freedom lies within us. Let us master the discipline to take care of the little we have the patience to grow it, preserve our surroundings and unbuckle the shackles of victimhood. Discipline is free you cannot bought; you do not have any excuse. Older people taught us discipline and we never saw the value possessed by discipline.
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