Like chickens in a roost, we live in constant fear

2017-07-20 06:01
On the runLunga Adam

On the runLunga Adam

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Considering the our daily tribulations as a country, it is both amazing and scary to think of the perpetual feeling of fear that permeates society.

This dawned on me after I came across a distressing post from a friend a fortnight ago.

She had posted that she was worried about the plight of one young girl she had spotted standing at a street corner early that morning.

She revealed that the hysterical kid had missed her school transport and confided in her that she was scared to go back home as it was a distance away and that she might run into some scum.

Fear and mistrust then clouded my friend’s discretion.

In a tragic twist of the tale, she even allowed paranoia to set in because of her belief that the girl’s woes were just a ruse to get her to help and then suffer the fate of many others who dared intervene in such situations.

The innocence of the young child also played with her conscience.

Either way, she left the poor child there. Its so tragic. I suppose it was a classic tale of damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

Yet, if you have lived in the township long enough, you will be well aware this is not an isolated incident.

Whichever corner you turn, you are bound to be overcome by fear. Fear of the known and the unknown.

Think of the men and women for whom it is compulsory to clock in at work at 6am.

They have to leave the comfort of their homes at first light and navigate our streets in search of a better life.

It can’t be easy, but one has got to put food on the table. You fear the skollies who walk around. You fear the late trains. You fear an urchin boarding the train with the intention to dispossess you of your hard-earned assets.

Once inside the train, you develop the fear of being on the receiving end of those train missionaries and Bible thumpers.

Even while on the platform, seemingly waiting for what seems like eternity for the next train, you woes are compounded by the voice of the announcer, the perpetual bearer of bad tidings: “Blah blah blah-blah... Metrorail apologises for the inconvenience.”

At which point you mumble to yourself that “Maybe Inconvenience should apologise to Metrorail” for a change.

Boarding a bus is not an end to one’s woes either,

Tales of robberies inside buses are all too familiar. People also burn buses these days.

Some who use the bus will know fairly well the case of the mamas who apparently wield so much power once the bus is in motion.

I’m told some seats seem to belong exclusively to these women, even in their absence, no one dares sit on them.

There’s the attendant helplessness when these incidents rear their ugly head.

A colleague tells me he was standing next to this lady at a bus stop in Khayelitsha one morning, when three youngsters brandishing weapons showed up and started robbing the poor woman.

He stood there with hands in pockets, hoping and praying these boys would not make him their next target.

Seems his prayers were answered, but spare a thought for the poor woman.

There’s just so much fear in the communities it’s not even funny.

And the scariest part is that anything can happen anywhere and at any time. The happenings of the past few weeks in our surroundings are but an example. A cop was shot in the face inside a police station. Are you kidding me!

Two bystanders were injured when skollies attempted to rob a second-hand store at the Khayelitsha Mall.

Do these heartless robbers care to think of the pain and grief they inflict on their victims and families?

A friend of mine was pounced upon by two boys while walking in Nyanga in broad daylight.

They approached him and politely asked him to hand over his valuables.

In a couple of minutes, the job was done.

It was at a busy interchange, nogal. The hustle and the bustle bothered them not. Meanwhile, the perpetual feeling of fear goes on unabated.

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