The Struggle Lives on Life Support: A Letter to those who read

2015-03-09 17:00

"The struggle is my life" first came into South Africans' ears in the voice of former President Nelson Mandela, during a press statement in 1961, and can still be heard in flickering streetlights that map the thoughts of those who continue to echo the sentiment.

Darkness is upon us all, and I'm not referring to Eskom alone. The blanket that once covered us and kept us comfortable in the strength of our ideals and goals has been taken away, ripped apart and thorn to pieces in broad daylight.

Where once the youths, confined in the freedom of having an education owned by their masters, marched for their mother tongues and conquest songs, lays today an abandoned graveyard, save a hashtag and a like-seeking status update.

What is the currency of our struggle today? What language has the youth decided to speak, and whose responsibility is it if it fails to be heard? There is a much bigger struggle today than of the one that precedes us:

We are struggling to find a struggle. A legitimate cause, a unifying issue that brings us together as opposed to dividing us on the basis of often misconstrued doctrines.

Standing up for something has penetrated our genes and with it, the insatiable need to lead a life somewhat justified in our actions, to think that our actions contribute towards a just cause, that we are fighting for something so that we, too, are able to confidently state that the struggle is our life.

But it is not.

The struggle is merely the world's best doctrine, a religion that has infested every nation and every temple of the littlest adoration.

Today's struggle, though seemingly lacking in substance, has replaced the very atom that constitutes our identity. A collective desire to struggle, is what burdens our shoulders.

So what do we do?

We cannot shake it off, for that in itself would contradict our inclination to be relevant. So we kept comfortable and made a trend out of it. We call ourselves "the slacktivists" when we are actively slacking, we condemn the unending attacks on social justice according to our inner and deepest thoughts (so long as they don't exceed 140 characters), and in this manner we manifest our discontentment with our societal surroundings.

Civic existence condensed into negligence, we drown in our own complacency to speak as loudly and as confidently as before, for now even the articulation of our words is an indication of privileges we'd much rather dissociate ourselves from.

Misunderstand me not, for there are many battles yet to be fought, but the weapon at hand is not the one I'd choose were I the captain of this band.

Let us fight ignorance with wisdom and at the sight of a laughing leader, let's be the ones to carry our future with the seriousness it deserves.

A step towards progression is acknowledging that we are not a homogenous society anymore. Accepting that, in fact, society is but a mass of individuals, all fighting their own inner struggles.

There may have been a time where we wished Mandela to live forever, for his life served as the foundation to all we deem true and worthy of a fight, and though he, a man but a human first, departed, this should not mean for us to bid our strength farewell.

Let us assume the responsibility, and to ourselves make a pledge: to release the struggle and to give it life.

The story we wish to tell will never have a better author than our own selves.

News24 Voices Terms & Conditions.


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.