Before you chase me with your oil lamps, paraffin lighters, and acid from your backup batteries, hear me out. VIJEV here being a bit more serious for this piece.
South Africa is a relatively young democracy having to create its own path and way while it was already on the back foot long before we had our general election. The ANC is known for their struggle in changing our landscape from the old to the new but the leaders that once were are long gone and the ones that are still alive are indeed ageing faster than your prized Gorgonzola. Their style of thinking and application no longer applies. Compounding this they are resting on their laurels of fighting for freedom and thus have the permission to do whatever they like. They can do no wrong. They simply do not understand their place anymore. They don't even acknowledge it.
If you believe South Africa is leaderless then you need to be that leader. You need to be the person that is missing in this world.
That being said, trying to fix or increase our electricity isn’t the issue. Otherwise, it would have been fixed years ago. There’s a bigger issue at play.
The best analogy is of a drowning child. You can do all you want… try to feed the child, educate, and care for it but as long as it’s still drowning, it’s a lost cause. It’s even worse when the child doesn’t even know it’s drowning. There’s simply no awareness.
So we need to put aside our incessant need to fix what is already broken from a legacy era that was created for the few and do something that is much more profound…
This means to first acknowledge that the child is indeed drowning - pull the child out of the water and THEN we can decide how to rehabilitate, grow and nurture.
What does this mean in the real world? It means to accept our shadows of the past as part of who we are, forgive and make peace with the past. It’s our own shadows as well that we need to accept. The versions of us that are still living in the past as a form of survival. If all we do is survive, we will never be able to thrive.
There’s no peace if we cannot heal first. Right now South Africa is circling in trauma and blame, depending on your background/age/political leanings:
It’s apartheid’s fault or colonialism or more recently Jan van Riebeeck because he arrived on the shores of South Africa in 1652 causing all the damage we have today and are waiting for the beneficiaries of the descendants to give it all up to others so people can move on. OR
It’s the new government / ANC / African’s fault because they are corrupt and don’t care about governance nor the competence to do anything properly, i.e. “mismanagement of funds” as we often see in the news. They are completely to blame for the decade-long loadshedding South Africa is now experiencing.
No one is taking responsibility for it now. In order to get past all of this, we need to accept where we are in life, history, and our circumstances. Everyone is now just a victim.
I don’t know which one is worse… The ones that leave the country and complain to others or the ones that are still living in South Africa complaining and unable to get out.
Why would you want it to fail? What are you trying to prove? That you’re right? That everything is going to capitulate? South Africa has been deemed a failed state since the 1990s. If you believe in failure, then it will become true. What you say will become true.
We have been trying to fix an old system that was designed to be exclusive and cannot be changed, at least not fast and cost-effectively, to be inclusive for all South Africans. We have been holding on for so long. This is a legacy system that was built by the old regime that no longer cares about the future and welfare of South Africans. They have mostly left and worst of all, very often, spew hatred about the current state of the country. South Africans need to let go of the idea of what South Africa was or “should be”, especially from those that created the problem in the first place.
It was apartheid and now it’s apathy.
The endemic sinister nature of South Africans self-evaluating the country, I realized the people who caused the fire are blaming the country for not putting out the fire quickly enough. A defence mechanism to simply absolve of all responsibility and simply not care.
I met an inspiring entrepreneur named Sanjay Bikramchund who has taught me how you can build and create opportunities even in the harsh economic environment with gratitude and attitude. I met him at a family birthday party and I had to record our conversation, have a watch here:
We are here NOW. All of our problems are due to the past and our inaction in the present. This is where we are. South Africans as a nation need forgiveness, healing, and love. This is our only path to acceptance. That’s the best we can do and that’s what we can control. We then need to disconnect from the idea of who we were and build a new future. NO BLAME! It is what it is. No deflection. Our struggle is no longer external. It’s all within us. How do we build from here?
I found my love of expression through comedy. Standup comedy to be specific. How do we get people together to forgive, love and accept? Get people together and laughing of course. The rest will fall into place. Are you waiting for permission or to be elected to make a difference? What will you be doing?