Hustling is for the living thieving is for cowards

2015-10-15 06:00
laughing with
lunga adam

laughing with lunga adam

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Seeing that last week we spoke about money, I do not think there is a legislation prohibiting me from expressing my views on the issue of hustling.

You see, this hustling business is an ancient art. Remember Geoff Mamputa, he of Days Mandulo Ekasi?

He once shared an anecdote on these pages about an old man who was, in his own right, a hustler back in the day in Gugs.

I surmise this was during said writer’s upbringing or middle youth. He wrote: “If uBethu is not at NY7 selling amaqandomthi, he was busy pushing his cart like transie, selling amankcenkce etafile, tablecloths zamzuks. You would hear young and old calling out ‘Ewe Bethu’ and then you would know that uLolo is around and people would rush out to buy from him. He made a roaring business from this, because when we moved to Gugs yaye izizindlu zeCouncil, so you were not allowed to extend or make any additions to the property as it was not yours. So many people built outrooms, hence the booming business ka Bethu. On the other hand uBethu was a very creative yet unconventional thinker.”

Come to think of it, this was long before former president Thabo Mbeki’s call for ‘Vukuzenzele’, which is why it irks me no end when I open a newspaper and read about young people committing crime and terrorising their neighbourhoods. Often the excuse is that the prospects for employment are too scarce, hence the young one’s turn to such despicable acts as a means of survival.

I feel that the more we celebrate the hustlers in our midst, the more others who might be going through tough times will find the encouragement to stand on their feet and do something to be proud of.

For, the kind of hustle we seem to celebrate is that of one going for another’s possessions. I have often had sleepless nights trying to think of what goes through such people’s minds as they go about their ‘hustle’.

Whether they actually do sleep at night themselves!

The planning, the effort and the execution that goes with their daily dealings.

How they seem to have made a career out of what was once just a habit. In our kasis, there are many success stories that have their roots in hard hustle. Think of the Rhani brothers, successful businessmen in their own right. That they started their business in the boot of a car years ago must mean they were the laughing stock of all!

Then, if you have your doubts about what success can come out of simply waking up in the morning and finding something meaningful to do, I implore you to go to Goal shopping mall near the Marikana informal settlement any day. See the hustle and bustle. So hip and happening, the place is, that driving in or out of there is a complete nightmare, what with amaphela drivers’ well-known disregard for every road rule in the book. It is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a market-like setting where you will find vetkoek stalls, Carvellas (chicken dust), electrical appliances, etc. You name it, it’s there. There are many such places in our surroundings where the indefatigable spirit of supposedly poor, uneducated, good-for-nothing folk is there for all to see. Nyanga Junction, Washington Street in Langa, Terminus Road are just a few examples. So, big ups to those who hustle for a good cause. And to those who hustle at the expense of the blood, sweat and tears of others: I can see right through you. That’s an invitation to your funeral, and oh no! I am not attending

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