"Writer's circle - worse than writer's block, sometimes anyway."
The road was wet last night from fresh rains, but the clouds had already dispersed overhead, revealing a clear starry sky. I was standing in the middle of the road waiting for my two dogs to finish their late night walkabout. In my neighborhood one can still walk around in the middle of the night without much concern – it’s not advisable, but there’s not much trouble, particularly on a cold winter’s night (sorry about the cliche). Sadly though, not all neighborhoods in South Africa can say the same. Earlier in the day I did something I rarely ever do – I sat through watching a live broadcast of Parliament, where Lonmin, the Police “service” and the Marikana Massacre was at the center of debate. In these troubled times of our nation’s legacy I’ve been quite inspired to write about current events, but somehow nothing seemed to stick.
I wrote an unpublished piece a month or two ago about the ills of our society and where the roots of the problems lie, within the foundations of our 18 year old democracy. Now, I started writing a piece on the ‘culture of violence’ bred within our land… I didn’t finish it as things morphed into a piece about frustration in a country with so much potential and equally as many failings. Even listening to the parliamentarians complaints and calls for ‘heads to roll’, particularly in the policing structures, I felt the overwhelming drench of frustration. Inevitably in a debate, issues are only discussed and contended, with a few harsh words hurled at certain quarters, true action and resolution though is still illusive, and seemingly far off.
So, expecting little change I scrapped the piece and continued with other writing ventures.
This is NOT the Rainbow Nation you often hear and read about. There was no honeymoon period just after the fall of apartheid – in my opinion; there was no courtship, no marriage, just breaking down of barriers – the barriers in plain sight…
What we really need is a clean slate… A new government made up of young educated individuals unburdened by the scars of the country’s dark past, looking to forge a healthy new future. Though I feel it will be a while before we see the backs of the numerous struggle icons. What was that saying? “… you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain…” especially if you were an icon, only to then take up a seat in parliament. Where are the leaders of the caliber of Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Steve Biko and Oliver Tambo et al…?
*LEFT FIELD*: Recently, on a satirical show (Late Night News), they claimed that for the next democratic elections, the poor and uneducated masses should be barred from voting, because they will – as the trend indicates – inevitably vote the current and largely ineffective ANC government (rife with corruption and mismanagement) back into power. They claimed that since those voters were clearly unqualified to vote, on the grounds that they were not making logical decisions, based largely on emotion and ANC propaganda (the major portion of voters are made up of the impoverished, and thus it is their say that determines the future leaders of our country). If the ANC does not deliver, then do not vote for them. Instead it should be the qualified and educated few who should determine the eventual leaders… A brave sentiment that sadly carries a lot of sense but will never be implemented.
It begs the question though: Is conventional democracy really the answer for the diverse and unusual landscape of South Africa? Instead, should we then not lean on a model better catered or adapted for the unique dynamic within this country, considering our warped past and its ill legacy we have to contend with?
--> Something to distract you from the woes of times of now…