I started writing [this] on Monday but I didn’t get a chance to finish it until today, Friday, the day of the Save South Africa protest. By the time this is posted, the marches would be over.
Before my message to my boss (posted here), I was decided on going to the protest organized by Save South Africa. I was told by hubby not to join any of the marches because of the tendency of protests to be violent, not from the protesters but from those against the peaceful protests of the people of South Africa who are sick and tired of the President’s blatant disregard of the South African people and the Constitution.
After receiving my boss’s response to my message, I was still determined to go.
But, I didn’t! I did not go to the Union Buildings.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa!
I am almost 45 years old and I did what my mother told me to do: to NOT protest. I did what she said because of fear.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because I allow myself to be influenced. I believe that I am powerless against the government that rapes the people who should, in fact, be served.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because I believe my voice is too small to be significant and I am too inconsequential to save South Africa.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because I keep quiet when louder voices trivialize the good intentions of others who want to make a difference for the better.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because I accept that I am at the mercy of the corporates and employers who don’t suffer as the masses do when self-centred and inept politicians make decisions that are only favourable to themselves, decisions made at the expense of the people.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because despite my loud voice, being on radio, I see no benefit in mobilizing the people to stand for true democracy. Thus, instead of encouraging the actions brought about by good intentions, I spread negativity by calling the actions useless and the people powerless.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because I bask in my ignorance and I don’t mind being brainwashed. In fact, I seem to enjoy it. I accept as truth pieces of information that cause fear in me and paralyze me.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa not because I am an immigrant or an outlier but because I allow those whose ancestors arrived here before me – either in the 1680s or later and in the 1860s – to tell me that as a naturalized citizen post-Apartheid, I do not understand the ‘Struggle’ and I just shouldn’t say anything.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because as a naturalized South African, I say that South Africa is not my problem and when the going gets tough, I can simply leave. I forget that the country adopted me and took care of me. Now, I just want to abandon a parent who looked after me.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because as someone with dual citizenship, I am convinced that when I find the country problematic, I can simply head out to another land that has no problem as though Shangri-La existed.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because I have laughed with the President before and there’s nothing I can do anyway so I will simply continue to laugh with him even though he is laughing at me and my fellow citizens.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because I fail to see that the country’s situation can no longer be taken lightly and the President’s utter disregard of the South Africans isn’t a laughing matter.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because I grumble and whine about what’s wrong but I am not willing to do anything about it. I justify my laziness and apathy by saying that I can’t possibly make a difference.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because I believe I am absolutely fine despite the selfish decisions and actions of those in power. I am not in a dire situation such as those who live below the poverty line and I should therefore not complain and just go on with my middle class life quietly.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because, as with my life in general, I allow others to decide for me. I allow others to extinguish the fire in me. I stay in my walled home, walled estate, far away from the main road: safe and secure!
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because going on a protest means outside of my comfort zone so I don’t go. It’s pointless anyway, everybody says. Everything will be back to normal on Monday. The voice of the people will continue to be ignored. The politicians will continue to ignore their conscience.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because I am looking only at my own micro world. I fail to see that my inaction now will possibly have a negative impact on the future of my young child, the same young child I don’t want to leave for a protest that might be met with violence.
There were thousands of South Africans who gathered together to pray for the country.
There were thousands of South Africans who went on a silent march for true democracy.
There were thousands of South Africans who took to the streets so that their voices may be heard. They did not let others scare them and stop them from doing what’s right.
I am what’s wrong with South Africa.
And I think writing this absolves me from my inaction?
I am embarrassed.
But Zuma must still fall!
I am what’s wrong with South Africa because I see me as merely a part of the problem. I don’t realize that I am a whole problem.
Now, imagine wholes like me multiplied by thousands, in South Africa and the world at large.
That’s what’s wrong!