I remember once, a long time ago, in class we were asked how we view time. We were given two options; linear or circular. Linear as in that whatever happens to us only happens once and it is done. Time flows in a straight line. We never get second chances. Once we miss an opportunity or make a mistake, we can never go back and fix it. It is done and we have to face new opportunities and new chances. So we have to move on with life. Circular as in that whatever we miss we can always get another chance to correct it.
Time flows in a circle and we can always get another chance to fix whatever mistakes we make or we can get another chance at an opportunity missed. We all stated our sides and gave substantive fallacious supporting evidence based on our extensive limited experiences and felt good about ourselves. Little did we know then that nothing in this life is absolute but God. Still though, the brazenness of youth is something to be admired. Nations who invest a lot in their youth put that energy to good use. And those that ignore the youth are doomed. The future is in their hands and they are moulding it the best way they know how. When I was a teenager growing up in Gompo Town, the boys of my neighborhood had a strong bond. Most of us played rugby together but generally we would all hang out together all the time.
People from other neighborhoods came to think of us a gang and we let it be because it meant that we were never to be targets of any crimes. We were friends with other boys from Mdantsane who some of them were in a real gang. So by association we were viewed as such and us just reveling on the attention. Reality came knocking one day at a street carnival at Oxford Street where we met two real gangsters who had just come out of prison.
These guys hurdled us around them in front of Edgars. They told us that we need to prove ourselves the next day by painting Eastern Beach red. We were to do this by stabbing people randomly until the beach front was full of blood. By then I had seen a fair share of people but these two guys were like nothing I had ever seen. They lacked something that I just couldn’t put my finger on and it petrified me. After the meeting we went home in different taxis. We all waited for each other at the KwaSoga taxi stop. We waited until the last person showed up and we opened what just happened up for debate.
It was the one time that we all had a unanimous decision. There was no way we were going to do that and we all vowed to stay in our neighborhood the next day and not go to the carnival. We would later learn that the two guys got arrested that fateful day. We had a choice to make and we made one. This week I read online that in the Eastern Cape 449 people lost their lives during the past two weeks (December 30th 2017 – January 1st 2018). In such a short time so many people died.
I cannot contain my heartache. How can such a beautiful town like East London be filled with such ruthlessness? If it were a case of history repeating itself they would have been faced with tests and they would have made the right decisions. Could have they tapped on their consciences to guide them? Well our esteemed politicians last year paraded that a person does not need a conscience to get ahead in life. It was the right thing to do for them at the time I suppose. It worked. They achieved what they wanted to achieve.
The young ones looked on. They learned something; what good is a conscience, if all that it does is hold you back in life? You see those who do not have it are successful. They are ahead in life. Me thinks they are destroying our world in the meantime. It is all falling apart and time will reveal how long we are able to hold on. I so wish there was something that I can do but for now all I can use is words. For I am but a writer, to me words are but clay in my hands.