By: Zilungile Zimela
The situation that is taking place in some parts of the country as I see it from a spectator’s point of view, started as a bid to pledge allegiance to a man who has been called many things, many of which I cannot sift or sort as myth or fact. However, as experience will bare testament, “where there is smoke, there is fire.” Quite the irony because the country is now on fire and opportunities, jobs, dreams and livelihoods are now going up in smoke. The water can extinguish the flames but certainly not the inextinguishable burns as a result.
I worry about the elderly who need essentials from the shops, their grant, would under normal circumstances allow them to travel to the nearest town with their grandchildren to purchase what they can. The thought of children who will go to bed hungry because there will not be enough food to see them into tomorrow or the day after that numbs me to submission under the snare of distress. I worry so much about the rumbling sounds from their tummies as they mimic the rumbling and crackling sounds of shelves and doors of shop outlets smashing down as our brothers and sisters, read: now looters, take all they can.
I worry about the snail’s pace from the police and army who are tasked with the mammoth responsibility of serving and protecting the lives and interests of the people. Or is that the responsibility of the state and a president?
The classism and racial discrimination [quite synonymous to a country such as ours] now, to no surprise, is much like a festering wound that remains undressed. And, because it has never been dressed, it now bleeds and saps a distasteful and disgusting scent and gland that oozes once again to remind us that, truth and reconciliation committees are no remedies for a nation that laments in and out of season.
There is a gory stench in the air, an awkward loud silence that reveals to us that indeed what held true in the past, will hold true in the future if the “thing” is not properly dealt with. The characteristic of activism is mobilisation but what of this sort of mobilisation? What desired end result will this accomplish? Say… the man of the hour is set free, what of the job losses, the hunger, the poverty, the Covid pandemic, factories, trade, industry? What of our communities and CBDs that are now thrown asunder and rendered tartars in a matter of days?
There is a clear divide that has once again cracked open the socio-economic disparities in our country that have never left us. The extent of the disenfranchisement on the basis of class, geographic dispersal and financial short-sleeveness once again reminds us of how much truth and reconciliation our nation needs.
At the time of writing this, I have just seen a post on Facebook, a building in the CBD where people reside in KZN is on fire and the people inside are jumping out from different floors to the ground… the ground itself is on fire, the shops are on fire. There is nowhere to run to and certainly no shop to purchase not so much as a band aid to dress some of the burns.
It is screams, scenes of horror and danger in flagrante delicto what is happening in Kwa Zulu Natal and Gauteng. What then shall we say to these things?
I am worried. So worried.
Article first published on Zimele Africa
Photo credit: Wecanstopthegenocide.com