Thoughts

I am what’s wrong but #ZumaMustFall

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.

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Image credit: thepeoplesmotion.org.za

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.

Yet –

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 didn’t.

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!

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27 thoughts on “I am what’s wrong but #ZumaMustFall

      1. It’s an emotional day. I’m sure many of us were together in spirit and prayers the whole day. I believe it’s a start. Our challenge is to keep doing something that will bring about good change, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Anne I can imagine bigger problems than you, for instance I – but I get your point. I actually joined a small protest and will probably right a blog about it later. I thought up and made made a supportive poster of the president which I can share so long:
    My president
    has my vote
    to become
    ambassador
    to India…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Abrie. You are too kind 🤗 And now that you’ve told me you went to a protest, I feel even more inadequate. 😳 Don’t worry, it’s not your fault. 😂😂😂 I was actually in tears today because I was upset with myself for allowing my mother to pressure me to not going. And the thing is that a friend ended up not going, too, because I didn’t. I’m looking forward to your post. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a powerful expression of your frustration and insights into your country’s society. Yay Anne! Some of what you’ve written really resonated with our country’s (U.S.’s) situation after our own election last fall. I live in a part of the country that is very liberal-leaning and we simply could not believe that such an extreme-seeming candidate was elected to be the executive leader of our country. We were in shock, heartbroken, and many talked of moving elsewhere – Canada being the most common destination mentioned. It is so difficult to think that one person can make a difference. It feels like you are trying to move in one direction while everyone is moving in the opposite direction, and that you, one person, have no ability to alter the course of things. 🙂 Thank you for expressing your fear and for confronting how you are feeling through your writing with us. :: HUGS ::

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Theresa. Thank you for your comment. I thought the same, that maybe this isn’t only applicable to South Africa. The details may differ but the thoughts can definitely be translated to another country’s political situation and what the citizens do about it.

      I was more political when I was younger but I still get passionate. I used to think I wanted to be in politics or at least international diplomatic service. Eventually, I was discouraged and disillusioned. I mostly avoid the news. I bury my head in the sand but the reality that I refuse to see doesn’t change.

      Canada is a popular choice. It’s an option for us. We are aware though that wherever we want to go, the whole immigration process isn’t easy. We even considered the Netherlands or the UK. If we could, we’d go to the States. 🙂

      Thank you my dear friend. Much love and hugs. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So many parallels in those feelings of frustration, disappointment and sadness about changes in the political situation. Here in my area we are what I call “a deep blue community,” meaning we are on the liberal side of the political spectrum, wanting to support marginalized voices and populations, etc. It was tempting to want to just hide under the covers after the most recent presidential election and political events. But, there is also an amazing grass-roots community-based effort to become more involved and try to change things one step at a time. We are blessed in that we have enough relative stability that we are not putting our lives in clear jeopardy by going to demonstrations or by speaking up to our elected representatives, as might be in your case. We are fortunate in that way! But it does feel like one can’t make a difference by oneself, yet we are slowly finding a way forward. My thoughts are with you, my dear friend! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, Theresa. There is one thing I’m glad about, my friend: my boss says he’s fine with my ‘stand’. He may belong to the ruling party but he’s not ‘restricted’ to a president. I can join the next protest! I’ll send mom to the mall with my helper. 😆

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ooh! You’ve given me courage. I’m going today to a “Resist” rally downtown and hope to see one or more of our Members of Congress – they are on “April Recess” from Congress. This is the first time I’ve gotten involved in political engagement. I’ll be holding you in my thoughts!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. All the best, Theresa! Sending you positive vibes and wish of a peaceful rally. We have the oppositions marching in the capital now, not deterred by the weather. I’m in the office. Our events management company is managing an event for the celebration of the president’s birthday today. How ironic for me. Haha. I’m not involved though. I have media work today, finalizing some radio campaigns for the Roads Agency as we head for Easter holidays.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Oh! An event for the President’s birthday! I wonder if there’s a satirical piece in there somewhere, “The President’s Birthday Party” – maybe the invitation list gets “accidentally” swapped between his event and the marchers in the rally? Or all his old past scandals come to life at the party? bwah ha ha (evil laugh)

        Liked by 1 person

      6. As long as they didn’t spend the taxpayers money… but we’ll never know. 😐 I think some 783 charges swept under the carpet. The wives, girlfriends and many children are an open book. Does the evil laugh come with magic? Please send this way. 😆 How was your rally?

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      7. Ah! The rally, thanks for asking, was not quite what I had hoped for – a lot of angry vitriol that actually increased my level of anxiety about the way forward. The best part was the guitar singer at the beginning and end! 🙂 But we did all meet with staff from our Senators afterward and they gave some Congress updates and provided info on how we can help make a difference. Even though many people in the audience were also asking anxiety-heightening questions and just shouting out their questions, like press conference gone wrong. Still, I got good info on what is needed for the next step – and it is STORIES. Stories to change the minds of the already-mind-made-up Other Side. Hmmm….

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Can’t be helped, sadly. Sorry to hear. But I like that you found the positive from it. Every little bit helps and definitely way better than inaction or negative reactions. Hugs my friend. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right… Sadly. It’s part of what I think: the whole world is controlled by a handful and leaders are merely puppets. We end up lost.
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

      Like

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