I’ve been travelling on the Metro bus to work for the past 3 days. It leaves from Yeoville and makes its way to Braamfontein where it picks me up, then to Fourways where it drops me off. In the time that I’ve been using this mode of transport I have come to know the names of at least 7 fellow commuters as well as their life story.
What sticks out to me is the spirit of community that exists among the commuters. Most of them have been using this mode of transport for years and have thus come to know each other quite well. This is where they share their triumphs as well as their trials. This is where they get advice on beauty products, home remedies and even relationships.
I have also learnt that while everyone on there is so different, the things that the lady from Yeoville goes through are not much different to what the lady from Hyde Park goes through.
In this time of xenophobia, classism and racism, it is important for us to remember that we all have the same problems and most times even the same insecurities.
We all want the same thing; namely to be able to supplement or even better our lifestyles, provide for our loved ones and most importantly, happiness. Immigrants don’t always leave their countries because they want to. Some situations force them to move to a completely new world in order to get the exact same things that we all want.
I understand the anger of the looters, but perhaps their anger is misguided. Our way of “putting pressure on government” is seemingly always misguided in South Africa because we end up hurting everyone besides government which is the actual target. The most they will do is issue a statement distancing themselves and condemning the looting. The frustrations of the people continue.
I don’t want to sound all Khumbaya, but I think we ought to become more like the bus community. We need to share our problems and advise each other and do as the old Mahatma adage goes – be the change.
It is hard to explain this to a looter who is unemployed, but perhaps something as minimal as advising them on how they can make themselves more employable could help in this competitive world where there are so many people and too few jobs to go around.
Pic via @eNCAnews on Twitter