Ushering in the new year was a bum deal

2017-03-09 06:01
on the runlunga adam

on the runlunga adam

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Every one of us knows that 2016 was a rough and tough year.

In my last column, I mentioned that it had been a year of carnage, mishaps, bloodshed and continued loss of life.

I know death is a part of life and that cowards die many times before their actual deaths, but the rate at which the Grim Reaper paid visitations to our households-all but to snatch some of us- leaves me morbid to this day.

However as we ushered in 2017, amid the lighting up of the firecrackers and the clinking of the glass, I could easily have been classified the happiest man on this side of the equator.

I could not wait to see what awaited us this year. Surely, it couldn’t get any worse than the year we had bid farewell, the year of the spilling of blood in our communities.

But it seems someone out there had decided to write a different script from that which I had expected.

So joyous and jubilant was yours truly at the prospect of a new year, that I spent the early hours of January 1st at a friend’s place in Marikana informal settlement, knocking back the drinks and making merry.

When I finally decided to stand on two feet and stagger home, at around 7am, it dawned on me that this was going to be yet another long year. How so, you may ask.

I was walking past a shebeen (fortunately, this time, not into it). Immediately, I happened on a disturbing sight.

The setting of an informal settlement is such that there are no single toilets for every house like there are in other townships.

Instead, we have what we call the ‘mshengus’ for lavatories– at the most four of them in one section, to be shared by residents of that section. Outside this particular shebeen were makeshift ablution facilities, obviously intended for the use of the patrons there.

Not to mention the stink. Phew! The disturbing sight was that of a woman taking a pee there, which is something that would not have raised my ire, were her behinds covered.

What a sight on the morning of the first day of the year.

I must also be quick to add that I do not know a helluva lot about bum shapes, save to say these in front of me were not a sight to savour.

Nevertheless, I continued on my journey because I figured that life has much more to offer than a stranger’s exposed behinds.

Not long after crossing Symphony Way to Lower Crossroads, I came across the body of a dead man.

Talk about town was that he had been shot. His body lay uncovered, with women in pyjamas watching and speculating as to the cause of his demise.

It was at that point that the litres of my favourite ale, still cruising in my veins, urged me on, ‘Walk on, brother.’ When I reached home, I settled on going to the beach instead of slumber, perhaps to cleanse myself of all the darkness that greeted me into a new year.

I got together a few friends for a trip to the nearest beach and, true to my guess, they were game for a time out and a good ol’ splash.

Then, before I knew it, there was a sickening phenomenon that came to epitomise the start of this year: the dead pose. For those not in the loop, people right across Mzansi got others to take pictures of them posing dead and posted these on social networks. The topic trended for weeks on end. I was dismayed. I still maintain it was a disgusting thing to do and I fail to recognise the reasoning behind it. To mimic a person lying dead is no laughing matter and is the lowest of the low, even for a society very low on morals. I had thought my bum-inspired visit to the beach would erase every bad experience, bad and present. Seems I was wrong. I am back, though.

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