I’m not a fan of politics to be honest. The drama, the negativity, the people. All making a lot of noise but not really saying anything to me. It’s just a topic I avoided. I figured it was a lot of wasted energy for something that wouldn’t really improve my life and the lives of my fellow Cape Flats residents.
My parents were active during the apartheid period as were most people of colour back in the day to do their bit against the struggle and although they’ve never pressured any politic views on me, I knew they wanted me to acknowledge their reasoning when it came to certain things about the country and its people.
So I did some proactive research on politics and read a couple of articles other than what I’ve already seen on the news. Then I realised just how badly in shape our country was really in. Truth be told, we’ve been in a bad space for some time. I just chose to ignore most of it, but ignorance isn’t that much of the bliss I imagined, especially when many of the country’s issues hits home for people just like me. I was just in the lucky minority who managed to make an ok-ish “middle class” life for myself. It’s hard to stay motivated when so much of the country’s population is suffering under our greedy and corrupt government and its people. People who were supposed to look after us, do our struggle leaders proud and turn this country into the best that it could be.
And so I decided to join the #SaveSA marches that took place last Friday. I was conflicted as I had never done anything like this and wondered whether it would even make a difference. I still am. But one thing I do know is what I saw…thousands and thousands of people. The most I’ve seen ever! And I kept on thinking…why can’t we stand this strong for the country’s other issues? Why can’t the same amount of people march against poverty, terrible living conditions of our fellow South Africans…or even for education of kids in under privileged areas? Zuma needs to go for sure, and if we keep fighting against him like we did on Friday, he will eventually…and if we can fight together to eradicate one serious issue, that surely means we could do it again when we need to? I’d like to think and I really hope my nation will prove me right.
If I can take some lessons from my first ever “march for change” they’d be.
- Know why you’re doing it and be honest with yourself. Something like this goes beyond your own needs and agendas.
- You shouldn’t be afraid to get really into it – and sometimes that means uncomfortability in every way or form. It’s not a day out for shits and giggles. Its hard work for a cause.
- Stay focused and pay attention. Taking 30 000 selfies is probably NOT a good idea.
- We don’t always need to sing struggle songs. Apartheid is in the past. Hows about singing about unity? Just a thought.
- Look after one another. This country doesn’t belong to me or you. It belongs to US so if you see someone’s thirsty, give them some water, if someone is lagging behind, help them along. I encountered a blind man marching with a fellow citizen guiding him. She didn’t know him and she didn’t have to help him, but she did. That’s important.
Everyone has their own views and reasoning when it comes to politics, but while our views may be different, I would like to think that we all love this country equally and I do believe that none of us would like to see it waste away even more than what it has already.
I love my home and my country, its so unique in many ways and now, even for me, the time has come to defend it. It’s always needed to defending in so many ways. I’m glad I see that now, and now that I’ve marched my first marched, I’m ready for my next one, maybe it won’t necessarily be for Zuma to go but it will definitely be for a cause I believe needed the attention I should have given it years ago.