Are thugs the new role models?

2009-08-22 11:17

THE story of Tshwane’s King of Bling, William Mbatha, shows how

desperately South Africa needs real role models.

Mbatha, who faces a string of criminal charges, is a flashy

character who drives top-of- the-range cars and motorbikes and owns a club where

Gauteng’s party animals play.

He is worshipped in Atteridgeville, his township, despite serious

questions over how he accumulated his wealth, making him a multimillionaire from

virtually nothing.

What drives us as a nation to want to have a role model like

Mbatha, when we can have the likes of late scholar Thamsanqa Kambule, late

veteran editor Force Khashane and other esteemed, hard-working icons of our time

as role models?

South Africa needs real role models, not men like Mbatha, who show

off their bling-bling while running and hiding from the law.

There shouldn’t be a dearth of role models in our townships and we

must teach our children that they can be successful in life only if they get a

good education and work hard.

The worshipping of men like Mbatha creates perceptions that crime

pays and that one doesn’t need to work hard for a better life; that they can

become multimillionaires overnight if they take a short cut.

South Africa needs real role models. And we have them.

William Mbatha should not be one of them.

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