Do we truly love and dote on our offspring...

2016-11-10 06:01
on the run lunga adam

on the run lunga adam

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I see a lot of things happening around Visionland that suggest to me that we are neglecting and failing our young.

Children growing in our townships have it tough.

Some are disadvantaged from birth, being born into abject poverty, and methinks a lot of young parents out there are only making the situation worse for their offspring.

Just take a look at the alarming number of young ones being tended to by isgogwana, while their own mothers are out and about, bingeing it up on either cognac at some trendy venue or playing umdovolo in street corners.

Maybe single parenting plays a role in all of this senseless and incomprehensible behaviour. Yes, absent fathers cause a lot of bitterness, confusion and pain, but c’mon, there must be a better way to treat your flesh and blood.

Every morning I catch sight of kids as young as six years old crossing busy highways in our kasis on their own en route to school.

Trying to negotiate one’s way past the speeding and often unruly amaphela sedan taxis seems harder than explaining to your white girlfriend the reasoning behind lobola.

How much more then for the little ones? Every single day of their schooling lives, their existence is threatened.

I live a stone’s throw from the Stock Road train station, and every day I witness going to the two primary schools in Lower Crossroads crossing the rail tracks, sometimes chatting amongst themselves, oblivious to the death creeping towards them at full speed on the tracks.

The saddest part about this is that, while the children have to contend with these challenges of life even at such a young age, the mothers of these ‘kleintjies’ are women about town or are out sleeping over at their boyfriends’ cribs.

Rather than making sure to tend to their own, they would rather prolong their outing.

Ironically, it is the same visits that tend to bring more kids, leading to this sad and vicious cycle.

How many parents take the trouble to attend their kids’ school meetings or to check up on their progress.

I know of some young school-goers who, when soliciting assistance from a family adult regarding their homework, are dismissed without second thought or directed to the nearest library. As a result, their self-esteem takes a knock and the effects are felt long into their school life when they, for example, later cross paths with their well-groomed counterparts.

Another issue that has contributed to my developing grey hairs recently is that of the general state of the vehicles transporting our minors to their different schools every morning and after school.

Terrible! Some of them are not even roadworthy. By using the services of these bakkies and minibuses, parents are placing their children’s lives at risk.

Sometimes I do not know whether to laugh or cry when I see a parent witnessing the driver piling the poor pikinini on top of the others, before slamming the door shut and pulling off.

The parent would wave the child goodbye, clearly ignorant of the absurdity of the situation. For me, this also suggests that the owners of these beat-up jalopies are all about business and nothing else. When the drivers become reckless behind the wheel, they know the children will not have it in them to moan nor groan. What are the road authorities doing about these coffins-on-wheels.

I also wonder what these youngsters should feel, in adulthood, when they realise what kind of treatment they were subjected to by their own parents.

Let me borrow from a singer of times gone by, William ‘Wee Gee’ Howard: “Children hold on to your dreams…”

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