Outrage to be outraged...

2013-06-05 08:08

Guptas. Outrage. Rape. Outrage. Education. Outrage. Unemployment. Outrage. Inequality. Outrage. Crime. Outrage. Corruption. Outrage. The are very few things modern day South African's particularly those with access to social networks we aren't outraged by. If the was an Olympic sport it's category South Africans would win hands down.

I am not saying that we must not be shocked and condemn injustices when they happen but it seems that's about all we do. Venting to your family, friends or on Twitter (the middes-class favourite platform to be outraged) can only go so far.

The latest victim to be at the recieving end of our outrage is Dali Tambo. On Sunday his much anticipated interview with long serving Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe aired on Sabc3. Now I have never watched the show but according to those who did, Tambo was more soft on Mugabe than a roll of 3 ply toilet paper is. So what I ask? The man has never been or pretended to be a Deborah Patta or a Redi Tlhabi. So why the outrage? Is it because it's Mugabe or is it about the questions that Tambo "didn't" ask the ailing ZANU-PF leader. Or is it the need to chastise someone else so we can feel good about ourselves?

It seems that all people do these days is wait for something to happen, get angry about it for a second and then latch on to another one faster than we can remember. In India for example following the rape and murder of a student, the inhabitants of the Brics member country did not vent their frustration over a cup of tea while nested in their own privilege.

But women, men and children took to the streets with placards protesting that enough was enough. The rape of the student was so shocking to the people of India that they made sure that their government, authorities, criminals and the world they would NOT stand for something as horrific and inhumane as rape. This not only showed that they would not tolerate rapists but brought a nation together against this atrocity. Now I am not saying we stand for such do but after we get upset about reading about rape on the front pafe of a newspaper. What then? Decide enough is enough or wait for another headline so we can be outraged by that to?

Now I am not advocating that we take to the streets everytime (or maybe we do) that Gupta's land their private planes at National Key Points but social activism does not have to end in lame and predictable dialogue or be reduced to 140 character tweets. As South African's we need to learn to start looking to ourselves on how we can be agents of change in a in an emerging economy faced with serious challenges. Or the vicious cycle of continues where things happen, shake our heads and be upset for two seconds before carrying on with our lives.

Whether we have tweeted it, blogged it, vented about it or complained about it, it is imperative that we take it to the next level of action. At the moment we seem like we comfortable with criticising and not going the extra mile. Everybody complains about unemployment is South Africa particularly young people but a few seem to be taking the intiative to start a business. It seems everyone wants to go the same predictable route of going to university, graduating even though they are more likely to end up jobless rather than pursuing a career in the field they have spent atleast four years studying for.

Sitting at home without a job than tranlates to anger and people take it out on foreign nationals who have left their homelands in search of a better life in SA. We complain that Zimbabweans, Nigerians and Somali's coming here and take our jobs. How does a Somali man who opens his own spaza shop taking away a job from you?

As a growing democracy we have the voice and right to speak out against injustices. This needs to graduate to forming a cohesive strategy of how we can tackle the challenges that we faced with on a daily basis. We all can't condemn and condemn and condemn and no one offers a solution or alternative on how things should be done. Communities need to realise that they have as much right and intellect to develop solutions when problems arise.

Non govenmental organisations play a pivotal role when it comes to dealing with challenges in certain areas and various sectors. But in SA even important bodies as these are neglected and are rendered paraplegic because they do not receive the necessary support to stay afloat. Think tank Institute for Democracy in Africa (Idasa) recently shut down due to lack of funds, Rape Crisis was in the news for same reason and so was the Sarah Baartman Centre for Women and Children. The list goes on and on and on.

These institutions are needed because most South African's are still marginalised and battle crime, poverty and unemployment in their daily lives. Organisations such as these are the only hope for people who do not have the means or resources to create a better life for themselves.

We have got to start seeing challenges as opportunities for us to dig deep and start  making a difference in our own backyards. Condemning inequality needs to be followed by volunteering at an HIV/Aids centre, donating R50 a month to a struggling organisation or mentoring a youngster who aspires to emulate Patrice Motsepe business acumen and contribute to the economy while creating jobs.

South Africans must be passionate about finding tangible and practical solutions as we are quick to condemn rape, the Gupta's, Nkandla and Eskom (winter is here). Real action is when we put down our keyboards for one second, communicate with one other and exchange ideas on how we can make rise above the hurdles set in front of us.

If not you can take this as me being outraged at people who are always outraged...

You can catch me on @BongaDlulane...

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