Welcome back from a period of well-deserved rest and recharging of the batteries, while spending quality time with family and friends(hopefully).
Just in case you thought I had pulled a disappearing act, ala Houdini, no, its because your favourite community newspaper was on a three-week hibernation, which explains my disappearance.
Nevertheless, in the intervening period, it seems, a trail of interesting events have overtaken us.
Before I even delve deeper into those, I must record my distress with the staggering rate of road fatalities during the festive season.
According to reports 1 755 people lost their lives on our roads, a 14% increase from the previous year. Sickening. Terrifying. Traumatic. It’s shocking to learn that most Mzansi motorists show a complete disregard for the rules of the road.
Overtaking when it’s dangerous to do so, not wearing a seat-belt, driving under the influence of alcohol and not resting when after long periods behind the wheel is not ayoba.
Imagine the horror of a whole family being wiped off the face of the earth through the senseless actions of a reckless drivers. It’s time to get tough. Authorities should walk all that talk now.
Readers must be familiar with one Penny Sparrow by now. In case you do not; she was an estate agent for a reputable company(to some, at least) until she insulted our collective intelligence by likening Black beach-goers on the Durban beach-front to monkeys.
This was on account of detritus left behind by Black folk on the beach on New Year’s Day. She must really have been annoyed!
I guess, nothing had prepared her for the backlash for such thoughtless comments. For all I know, if there are people who know how to put a person in their place, it is Blacks, especially on a matter as sensitive as racism. Sparrow should have known better. I don’t buy her story that it was her diabetes medication that led to this verbal diarrhoea. I know of many within our communities who suffer from the same ailment, but rarely speak out of turn. In fact, their tolerance levels are up there with the best.
Ms Sparrow, first of all, you just do not even attempt to ruin the relationship that Darkies have with the beach at that time of year. We are no great swimmers, but give us the sun and the beach in December and we’ll make full use of the opportunity. It’s a foregone conclusion that come 26th December and 1st January of every year, throngs of Black folk WILL flock to the beaches, be it in Cape Town, Durban or the Eastern Cape. Why? Because, as I’m sure you’ve come to know since this unfortunate episode, this is the only time that families get to be together. It is a time for these families to reflect on the year past, celebrate any achievements made and catch up with that relative you last saw years ago when he said he was going to buy a loose cigarette from the corner spaza.
It is during these ‘excursions’, as it were, that we get to share priceless moments with those we love. It is just insensitive to hate on a people for leaving litter behind after a good time out on the beach.
It is no reason to call them ‘monkeys’ and I guess we will have to dig deep to forgive you and put this hurtful episode behind us. It was not my intention to start the year on such a fiery note. But it dawned on me that the likes of Penny Sparrow need to know that, no matter how many bananas I buy a day from the Rastaman’s fruit and veg stall, I do not qualify to be called a monkey.