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Soweto looters’ anger is misguided

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

Article written by:

Richmond Sajini is a musician and media entrepreneur in the public relations, television, radio and retail spaces in South Africa. He studied Public Relations and Communication at the University of Johannesburg and has worked on brands such as Coca Cola, Tsogo Sun, Heineken as well as the South African National Roads Agency. He has been told to shut up many times by people who don’t understand that he is in love with the sound of his own voice. For this reason he decided to start his own blog where he would share his thoughts and experiences without inhibition. Visit his blog, www.randomramblings.co.za and follow him on Twitter @richmondsajini.

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  1. siyamthanda

    I think maybe being “khumbaya” is exactly what is missing from our beloved society. It would be unfair of us to think we really know how those Soweto residents cope and live each and everyday of their lives, not knowing where their next meal will come from. However it doesn’t take money nor food to be kind to one another, irrespective of our nationality. My only wish is that this could be communicated to our fellow countrymen.

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