COLUMN: June 16 should be a reflection of our failures as a country

2016-06-16 06:00
on the run lunga adam

on the run lunga adam

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How have we, as nation, arrived at a juncture where our young are branded as ‘agents of Satan’ while we seem to be content with the status quo.

To me this is great cause for worry and is damn frightening.

The youth seem to be at the centre of all evils of society. These days, when you hear of a murder or rape incident, it all points to our young.

Our young roam the streets for days and nights on end, causing mayhem; the weeping, the wailing and the gnashing of teeth, to quote a biblical line.

The tragic death of Anelisa Dulaze is a case in point.

The Khayelitsha teenager had been missing since January after leaving home, apparently going out to celebrate her birthday with friends.

Her decomposing body was only discovered last month, buried under the foundation of a house under construction.

It turns out the culprit is a young person of 24 years of age and had his whole future ahead of him.

He is known more as a conjurer of tricks than a murderer in the area he comes from.

The tragedy is that you have a girl murdered in her teenage years, putting paid to her future prospects and that of her family who were relying on her to finish her studies so she could extricate them from poverty.

On the other side is a young chap whose magical talent will now have to pull a disappearing act, so to speak.

His career is over, at least in the open sphere of the community or the watching public.

What a pity. Who loses out when the young kill the young? Communities.

The very same communities who raise these young people well and expect them to amount to something in life.

Where have things gone wrong?

Today is June 16, Youth Day, and the urge to write about these issues is a compelling one. There’s been a disturbing occurrence recently that happened not far from where I live.

In a place called the Island in Lower Crossroads, a young lad was beaten and then burnt to death by an enraged crowd.

He was a known rogue, whose horrific demise drew loud cheers and a chorus of celebrations by the young and old.

“No more of his kind in our midst! This will send a message to current and would-be criminals,”. It was the chant of marching.

Young kids were so desensitised to the horror that they we taking selfies next to his burning body. It looked surreal, but also perfectly normal. The scene had all the elements of a horror movie, except that this was real.

But what has gone wrong with our society. Another young person, his dreams extending to the horizon, being torched by the very community that may have had a hand in his upbringing.

Perhaps his criminality was a cry for help. Some disillusionment with life may have led him astray.

Surely something is amiss in our society if we are killing our young because they are robbing us on our way to work and claim victory on their demise by dancing as they lie burning on the street fighting for ‘dear life’.

Perhaps while you are wearing your school uniform today in commemoration of the events of 16 June 1976, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take some time to ask yourself if you are imparting the right values to your offspring and others in the neighbourhood.

Do you allow them to steal a little bit of sugar and get away with it because “they are just kids”? Do you drink alcohol in front of them? Do you urinate on the street in full view of them? Do you teach them to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’? For, that might determine whether we burn them one day and then dance next to their burning corpses.

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