Not seeing the world is the root cause of our problems

2015-04-30 13:44

I am really embarrassed by the recent events engulfing our country.

Most people in our country do not travel to other countries. Let alone tour internally, not even from one province to another, but one township to another.

There are people in Langa township who feel proud to proclaim that they have not been to Gugulethu in the past 15 years.

A distance barely 12 kilometres!

I have travelled to all nine provinces in South Africa. I have met people I could not have dreamt of in my wildest dreams. The experiences have enhanced my living standards. My purpose in life has also been strengthened. The exchanges with people of different ethnic groupings have broadened my scope in life.

The most memorable journey I ever undertook was to Gaborone in Botswana. This journey opened my eyes in a lot of ways. My late uncle promised me that if I wanted to stay and not come back I was welcome. I was tempted enough by such experiences. I was on school vacation and the authorities knew of my whereabouts.

In that country education is free. The people showered me with such hospitality one would have thought I came from the a royal family.

Their level of education manifests itself in the humility and command of language.

Even their hobos, a rare sight, communicate clearly with strangers, a sign of sufficient basic education.

Our government in can learn from such countries. Our people are the product of the lack of good education.

White immigrants are spared the ill-treatment, but African nationals are at the receiving end of the wrath of our ignorant, uneducated people.

Oliver Tambo once said: “A nation that does not cater for its youth is doomed to failure.”

All the visuals on television showed our youth getting their hands dirty, if only to commit barbaric acts of murder and mayhem.

I am appalled and ashamed to be a South African after what transpired and was splashed in the weekend papers.

The people watched without rendering assistance. I do sympathise with the families who lost loved ones.

Malcolm X echoed this in his speech in 1962:

“Who taught you to hate the roots of the tree and not the tree?

Who taught you to hate the race that you belong to so that you

don’t want to be around each other?”

Township kids were in full force in this destructive act of violence and looting of foreign shops.

Some were young enough to be at school sitting attentively in the classroom getting life skills.

The government could have taken note of all this when theft became rife in parliament.

Cellphones were stolen by so-called honourable members of the house.

These were treated as minor incidents. It went on to fraudulent travelling arrangements with agents resulting in undue enrichment. This can never happen in an educated nation.

Even the Mandela family contributed in this embarrassment by giving Graca Mandela the cold shoulder after the death of our struggle icon. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela uttered sentiments about her Mozambican origins. Nobody lambasted her.

The consequences for all South Africans are very dire in Africa and in Europe. Recently, musicians had to cancel a concert in Zimbabwe because of these attacks. This was followed by further cancellations in London.

This amounts to loss of livelihood and South Africans complain when these musicians die poor. Some are buried as paupers with nothing to show for their talent.

Orlando Pirates are known by many throughout Africa as a very successful and good team from SA but are unsure of the positive reception this time around. Hopefully, God will guide them through to safety and success in their continental games.

I truly pray that Cape Town can lead the country in showing all that being the Mother City it is indeed profoundly against Afrophobia. We also owe it to ourself to be the city to educate the nation on umoja (oneness) in Africa!

It is quite appropriate to conclude with Nina Simone’s lyrics in the song I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free, as she states: “I wish you could know what it means to be me then you would see and agree that every man should be free.”

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