Choose kids over rhinos!

I had a heated debate recently about the current campaign to raise awareness about the rhino poaching scenario. The issue is being given loads of exposure via top musicians like Johnny Clegg and other celebs lending their star power to the cause. Personally I don’t really give a rodent’s bottom if the rhino survives or not, but I do commend those fighting for the cause. I care more about saving human beings or improving their lot, especially that of children. Statistics quoted on a television news report this week claim that “20 kids are murdered a week in South Africa, which is 3 times that of the rest of the world, and more than half of those are kids under 6.”

Underexposed statistics

I had never heard of these stats until this week. But I’ve been acutely aware of the plight of rhinos given the volume of exposure that cause is getting.- This made me wonder about our priorities as a nation.

It’s no surprise that the majority of the child murders occur in poverty stricken communities. A lot of it involves horrific abuse, including sexual. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to imagine the mind-set of an uneducated parent having to deal with extended periods, or even a lifetime of life in hell, then resorting to violence to vent frustration. No excuses though. No child asks to be born and we as a society have to protect their well-being and survival at any cost. Government can’t do it alone, we need to look within ourselves and find ways to assist these communities to nurture and protect their vulnerable children.

As for the rhino’s plight, I tried to put myself in the shoes of the hapless bastards who often get caught trying to poach rhino’s to relieve them of their horns to sell to a middle man who flogs it to a market so insanely ignorant that they would shell out millions for a pointy object with zero medicinal benefits.
Those poor bastards I suspect are putting the lives at risk to earn a paltry fraction of what the middle man gets, presumably to stay alive themselves or to feed their poor families. Who else in the right minds would risk life and limb to earn a few rands and make someone else richer than them in the process?

Two issues linked back to social shortcomings

Seems to me if we raised awareness and funds to improve the lives of the bastards killing the rhinos, or educated them and gave them other skills with which to feed their families, they might actually tell the middle man to go and shoot the beast themselves.

Yes I know it’s a simplified emotional response. I’m just venting here. My anger is directed at all of us, including myself, for failing those 20 kids who get murdered every week in our beautiful country.  What a blight to have when compared to the rest of the world, and we’re not the only country battling with poverty and informal settlements. We seem to be leading the world in the category of monsters that prey on innocent children. I’d like to see those musicians and celebs get involved in an ongoing, regular campaign to highlight the plight of children in our country, compared to our children, the loss of a few rhinos to history is a small price to pay.

Do you agree that our priorities are all wrong?

Read more by Marlon Abrahams

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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