Sacrifices not in vain

2017-08-10 06:03
opinionThembile Ndabeni

opinionThembile Ndabeni

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Black women always battle seemingly insurmountable odds for survival.

Black women have to start businesses, selling small items for an even smaller profit.

These women can be categorized into two groups; those whose husbands’ salary is not enough or same partners have wasteful habits, spending most of their income on alcohol or widows.

It is a historical fact that not many husbands or fathers could afford to leave a legacy for the offspring or spouses.

This was mainly because their salary scales were always downsized br apartheid regulations.

These women had no choice but to make means not only for themselves but mostly for their children. The adverse effects of Apartheid legislation on the Africans, especially women, cannot be measured.

Even as some of these men died in the line of duty or died on duty, the Workman’s Compensation Act(WCA) did nothing in the way to ‘compensate’ for the livelihood of the widow and her offspring.

Overall, Black women were victims of the ‘two evil masters’ of the ‘systems’ of capitalism and Apartheid.

Capitalism meant that the spouses worked in appalling conditions, were under-paid and thus stripped of all of their dignity.

As is always the case in such societies, men always vent their anger against the weakest in the sequence of relations; their spouses or children.

Thus the inhumanity of capitalism and Apartheid extended its nefarious tentacles to the building block of relations; the family.

Apartheid made it certain that capitalism could not be challenged, with all its dehunanising tenets.

However, some women, even under such unfavorable and hard conditions, managed to get their children educated. Another dimension besides the financial challenge was the upbringing of a child alone with such huge challenges.

What about the women whose children sacrificed their youth for the country and joined the Struggle for democracy.

They are the unsung heroes of our libaretion.

Some would have made a great difference to their families.

One of these is Vuyo Gqirhana, who was shot by the Apartheid police in 1980, just for hollering “Black Power”! during a school boycott.

The women who could not manage to educate their children should still be regarded as heroines.

These unsung heroines fought a silent but hard battle too.

To all women especially those who never enjoyed happiness because of sacrificing both their families and the nation, i cite a line from a Bette Middler song: “From a distance … God is watching us…


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