Tag Archive | money

The Month-end Township Prayer

I’ve never lived in any renowned township or any fully fledged township either. But I have visited one if not two well recognised townships of my beloved rainbow nation.

With my observing techniques, I can without a doubt tell you that month end is a big deal in townships, not only because the thieves are out in numbers or because a group of females paying a visit to the neighbour’s house across the road is a suspected secret stokvel meeting but the mood on the streets is on a level of a different kind.

There are very short mini-skirts here, beers passing from one hand to the next there and a neighbours kid knocking on a door asking for their mother’s long overdue ‘parcel’ over there.

The jukebox is playing all the songs with a heavy bass line, inducing dance moves from the little kids playing on the streets. The spaza shop that is slowly turning into a tavern is opened for twenty four hours and by dawn, you’re bound to hear some off-tune gospel hymns sang by the now very drunk citizens.

Kombi’s are working overtime (read speeding) and giving very little if any damn at all about the potholes, your groceries spilling out of grocery bags or your head bumping the kombi’s roof everytime the kombi makes contact with a speed hump.

Gossip ring leaders are camping outside their mother’s houses scanning every passerby, their outfit, what they’re carrying and have a feast out of their personal story or just create one if there isn’t any.

Loan sharks are on every corner making sure no one crosses their line.

However, everything that happens in townships, even the ones who struggle to be townships, is the prayer of most if not all township dwellers.

This prayer is either prayed internally or in pure action, never out loud;

Our month end who is at the end of the week, hallowed be thy weekend, thy drunkenness come, thy will be done on Friday immediately after work. Give us the long queues, including our beloved KFC and forgive us Edgars for your bills will remain in arrears. Our kids shall knock on doors of those who owe us ‘parcels’. Lead us not into mashonisa’s den but deliver us at the nearest shebeen. For yours is the hangover on Sunday, skipping church and trying to catch up on sleep. The realisation come and thy weekend vanished with our money. Roads lead to ‘Pep loan’ (Capfin) for partying to ‘towner‘ has left us forgetting about our kid’s overdue school fees. We regret you for now and we shall eat bread with no butter until next month end come. Amen.

This prayer is another form of a ‘sad black story’ (there are many of those in townships of South Africa); many talents are never nurtured, too much time is wasted on nothing, skills are neglected, opportunities are missed and many (sometimes unnecessary) debts are created due to a variety of things including inferiority complex and a lack in desire to seek relevant information. Hence we solely rely on a singular source of income that is not only dissatisfactory but never enough to sustain even an average living standard. This is a pit hole we need to rise above from at a much more faster rate than we’re doing right now.


Agony of Choice – A Story of Men and Women

I put other people before me, and it hurts. I worry about people who don’t even think of me, and its tear dropping. I give without expecting to be acknowledged, and it’s not fulfilling. People are important to me, but I’m nothing to them. They walk over me the same way they do on tarred road – carefree and with pride. I consider people’s feelings, but they never do the same for me. I’m not playing victim, I’m just being honest with you. When does selfishness draw the line? Don’t people ever get enough of agonising other individuals? It’s not that I can’t say “NO!”, I just want a degree of fairness amongst the human race.

She was a victim of social networks, so it seemed. Emptiness intimidated her territory. With its enormous and immortal gait; it loitered in her space with no intentions of departing. She was lonely, even though people constantly surrounded her. She had a longing, a yearning to fulfill the void she relentlessly battled with. She was in need of things people close to her never understood, they called her strange. All she wanted was to touch, embrace and feel someone. She needed someone that will be sensual but real, someone friendly but emotional. She vitally looked-for the kind of love which surpasses money and materials. She searched, and maybe that was a wrong move too for she never found. The Love she needed was the kind we all require.

As you know things of this wondrous 21st century begin with a human being in contact with a cell-phone, so as Naledi. She had her first slim, slick, silver device during the last few days of her sweet sixteen age. It was not only her face that blossomed with a smile but her arteries were releasing joy too. It was a happy moment. Her cell-phone did the rounds to all her friends, with each of them touching and pressing just to see the greatness of its performance. They took endless photos, mind you wallpapers and screen savers were the in thing then. This was a sign of appreciation with bits of envy as a catalyst. In spite of that, they were all glad – she was now available “online”.

Naledi now had a cell-phone, the device needed to do what it was purposely made for – receive and release calls. The distribution of the cell-phone number process began. That was not as fun as the instant chatting which being “online” provided. That is where you found her most of the time, regarding the fact that she was now losing interest in school and its homework. She was online – the world of possibilities. Strangers were asking for “asrl” then her “id” and her cellphone became her best friend. Chat rooms granted her the meeting with the attention she craved for. Her cellphone was soon the victim of the vicious battery flat, battery charged, battery full, battery on charger again cycle. It was not long, her senses were rendered numb. That is another problem with these technological devices – food burns while the chef giggles endlessly into his/her device.

Technology advances, so does the chatting platforms. Naledi cultivated rapidly, she was ahead – the social network world might as well have been tailored for her intelligence quotient. Photos were not the only material she exchanged. Videos were her favourite as she overly indulged on them under her blankets with earphones deep inside her ears. Naledi – the star, engaged, she mastered the game along with its “lets shorten every word” language. Her pleasures jumped to cloud two, a slightly higher step for her age. The exchange of XXX files arouses lust and “no strings attached” was her newly found statement. She desired, she craved, she wanted – to feel, touch and connect with someone who would apprehend her emptiness. She hankered for effects, emotions, depth – she longed to be moved.

Social networks are brilliant, they sweep off boredom, induce insomnia and attach smiles on people’s face. They have the power to ignite you with money and dreams. The capability of befriending you with complete strangers. This superpower possesses might over restrictions, people cross countries and boundaries – they expand, express and fulfill their needs and more often than not everything that shouldn’t happen, happens. Naledi knew and practiced this supremacy at its utmost peak, she was omnipotence. If credits and mastering a subject were anything to go by, she was a doctor of this philosophy. Men were in abundance and she had more in mind than to get away with just a boyfriend. She was discreet, the number one qualification of this engagement. She was a freak on her phone and a lady in reality. Was her desire met? Had she found what she looked for? Of course not! The desire she wanted was meant to be tangible, it was suppose to live and be mutually shared. Hers did not. Men came, ejaculated and went, leaving the emptiness with double the intensity. The emptiness grew to hate, hate into anger and soon she had gone for the World Wide Web. Still searching, desiring but men still came and went, some came back for more but never stayed.

She had her whole life ahead of her, this occupation had the power to tarnish and destroy some of her dreams. Consciousness grew out of laziness, it began to work in her favour. It was time to face the monster she had grown, fed and nourished. Realisation came – this could not be her identity no more. Her future cannot be traced back to this being of deplorable encounters. She longed to turn back time but it moved forward as always. What was the next step? What can she do? Who can she disclose to without the fear of being judged? No one! The answer bluntly stared into her oval, clear, glowing pretty face which she wished to change. The warm, friendly, loving smile of assurance had grown to shield the spirals of anger in her. It was sad, it was true, it was part of who she was – a statistic of untold stories. Her desire was to speak, to find somebody who would assure her that it was not her fault. Somebody who would cleanse the pain; remove the memories out of her mind completely. She longed more for somebody who would wash away the anger she felt for the brother who took her happiness away. How can an occurrence in her childhood possess so much might over her maturity and future?

She was not a quiet child by choice, memories of woe frolicked in her head – flooding remembrances of a happy childhood she never had. The day she lost her happiness was an overlong movie; it reran, repeated and replayed. A representation of agony, a motion picture yielding anger, pain and tears. It brought fourth past days. The brother didn’t know, he will never know that it was not her virginity he went with but he deprived her the entirety of her life. She lives this day with repugnance and fear of any brother of her nation. The ruthless, life depriving individuals. If her childhood agony could like history repeats itself, she would indeed be rendered a murderer of both that brother and herself. The agony she feels is not of choice, it was brought to her by a man who saw pleasure in her purity. The emptiness and hate fuel turmoil with relentless thoughts of wretchedness.

I’m not playing victim. I am a case of obliteration. Its just another story on side effects of rape. A story of a woman on the struggle to survive. A story of a woman in agony. This is what I did not choose. I was not meant to endure such a secret. This agony is not my choice. People choose what they want to be, I did not get a taste of that luxury for what choice can a 5year old make about a molester? This is a story of many women, a story they carry everyday, a story shielded with a smile. A story told to pillows through tears. A story that is replayed everyday, a story with great might. A story which is a burden. She is not strong, she has learned to endure the pain. The world we live in is full of pain. People walk with giants of anger. Smiling is not always joy, laughing is sometimes the way to halt tears from falling, it is a way to surpass the agony. And you tell me to always choose happiness. That is exactly what I do – smile, and you fail to see the fractured soul that carries me. I endure the agony of choice because no one cares to know my scar.

The Human Kind

If you took time to be realistic about us human beings, you would realise that we are victims of a mute man-made object. We have submissively given it enormous power over our lives. It no longer works to serve our wants but we have been driven by yearning amongst other things into submitting to its luring gates of majesty, declaring ourselves willing victims. In return of giving it undeserved gratitude we surrender ourselves wholeheartedly through partaking in different tiresome avenues which it communally drives us into. It still does not speak. However its actions have turned out to speak volumes in our sometimes speechless rendering encounters. Money has become power. It determines who has the final say. Due to that subconscious submission to money and its power, you would agree with me that we are victims of money. We are driven into willing slavery by money. We are slaves of money and slaves in money. We scheme, all schemes pertaining to making more money, yielding more money for the advantage of not only our image but our leisure as well. We engage in these schemes for the ultimate power we desire which is experienced only through the possession of money.

money, the root of all things; good and bad.

money, the root of all things; good and bad.

Money in this world we now find ourselves in has the power of anything and everything. Money determines the territory you occupy, the magnitude of your expansion and draws a limit in your altitude. That is the majestic power of money. You can go into a supermarket with a great longing to bring home your most preferred commodity but truth is; only money will categorically determine what is in your shopping bag. Money alone cannot manufacture and or produce anything but without money nothing can be manufactured nor produced. Money is powerful. It speaks with pride and confidence in the exchange process of those who have acquired its core abundance. Money brings back dignity to its keepers. It makes them walk in full operation of pride.

I fail to understand one aspect about the human kind and money, though. There is a struggle process that exists between human kind and the process of giving in monetary value. Before money comes out of the pocket, we engage in this argument with the self. Should I give it? What am I going to gain? You know what, I will give money after that deal has pulled through. Not today, I am in a financial crisis. Will next week still be suitable? While you hope with deep intensity that other person says: no I would be sorted by then, don’t you worry about it. Why is it so difficult to give away a small amount of money from your portion to somebody who needs or claim to need it more than you? Have we reached that stage where greed surpasses humanity? What is the core foundation of this struggle that we face? Is it part of our human nature? These questions amongst others keep surfacing my mind. Do we suffer like this because we feel in us that we have not accumulated enough money worthy of being given or shared amongst one another?

Money has become more than just a current medium of exchange. It has fully taken the role of giving life to the human kind. It brings minor fundamental characteristics of the human kind back to life, like a smile and joy amongst other things. It brings about a feeling of satisfaction and adequacy in ones life. Money brings back self esteem which poverty deteriorated, happiness which hunger took away and beauty which brokeness confiscated. Money is constituted by many phrases, one of them being; the root of all evil. This is because when money settles on our nests, we do not want to see it leave, not by any chance. We would rather kill if we have to but it must never leave our sight. It evokes the greed in us; we NEVER get enough of it, instead we want more of its leisures and pleasures. We can’t help it and we can’t be blamed, for selfishness and greed is engrossed in our wholesomeness.

This is money, the sense to our taste buds and a life to our living. The biggest question is how do we accumulate this majestic power? How do we attract money into our territory? This is the routine: we first have to change our mindset. We human beings have this silly idea that money should have a limit in us; we don’t want the abundance of money because money lures sin into one’s life. We want to afford and we deem that as enough. I am all round greedy when it comes to money; I want to have it in its greatest abundance. I want nothing but tons of money, I want it so much that my needs are less than the money I have accumulated. I have lived, touched and felt the life of poverty and brokenness, that is the most painful and agony enticing lifestyle you can ever endure. The money that I need is the one which will triple the poverty and hunger I have borne. Amongst many leisures, I want money in abundance because it brings into life my desire of always giving. I have an understanding of give and it shall be given unto you that I want to put into exercise and make my daily life statement.

Money, it is the root of all evil and the pleasure to our living. Feel free to accumulate it. Find no shame if you are in possession of money. I have found people engaged in under-paying careers are likely to tell you about passion. Honestly? Passion alone does not pay any bills. It may maintain the drive for what you do but after that you need money to peacefully get along with life. For without money, the human race is in constant argument with life and its challenges. Money makes living a lesser of a stepping stone, it gives you privileges without much labour on your behalf. However, you work for money. You scheme, you strategise but most importantly you execute your schemes and strategies. Sitting arms fold only happens after scheming, strategising and executing has fruitioned.

Meet My Country: An Introductory to South Africa Through My Eyes

Welcome to my beautiful country, comprising of the tourists money snatcher; the “big five”. Don’t be surprised if you meet people of this country who’ve never seen it, we are like that, we people of this country, we are used to hearing about our own from visitors. Our own indigenous stories are told by outsiders – it is normal to us just like blinking. Notice the beautifully kept national parks – encompassing our lovely natural animals. That is our pride. Look, those are the extremely expensive buildings of Sandton and Umhlanga rocks. These buildings bring us both hope and despair. They were designed by the highest paid team of architects and brought to life by men who will never set foot on them — it is something their income can never afford. Look, admire, smile, hope to own it one day and THEN continue with your journey. Don’t think about the labour of the men who brought these majestic buildings to life, no one ever does, it is normal in this country. Our workmen go underground to yield gold that after purification, they can only admire. Sometimes they die in the process of this labour intensive act; otherwise they endure chronic illnesses for the rest of their lives. Don’t consider that, just look at the finished product, touch it and put it back to its normal position because it’s too expensive for your lifestyle. In our mind, this is the most diverse country in the entirety of Africa. In fact it is so diverse we have deemed it the “rainbow nation”. So welcome to the rainbow nation, this is your home now.

I see you’re getting really comfortable. Here is something about this rainbow nation; it is a corruption fueled state. It is the place where the poor really get poorer and the rich, well those keep on getting filthy rich. In our country most people are considered disadvantaged in many areas and they are indeed extremely disadvantaged. If you could witness the way they think and the things they say about their future, you can’t help but feel that their mind is lacking something more than just an average daily dose of vitamins. By the way they take vitamins only in sickly times, it is usually a free clinical supplement. Otherwise, their starch keeps them going.

In this country, the education system is always going through a name change with of course little to nothing being changed about the education its self. This is my country. I was shoved the same words that my parents learnt, the 25 year gap between us really meant nothing for our education system. My country’s education system channels you into working for somebody once you’ve taken your required dose of its teaching. One thing about it though, it teaches you to speak extremely fluent in a language that is not your own and that’s an achievement we ought to be proud of, apparently.

We are a joke that’s really saddening. You know why? Our people vote and expect houses after that. Grown ass men and women sit; arms fold after a cast of their vote every four years in hope that it brings them the utmost leisure’s of life. Really? Oh yes! They expect their vote to yield and bring at their door step their beloved and desired dreams. It is not their fault but rather a delusion fed into their mind by the picketers. In this country government is blamed for everything that my people are either lazy to go do or they do not know how to go about doing it. Information in this country of mine is scarce and not easily accessed; you hardly find what you need. Therefore the people of my country die. Why? They lack knowledge. No! They do not have access to knowledge.

This is my beloved country and the people who lead us have wisdom of their own. They are not only talented but they are perfectly skilled in their field of expertise ‒ politics. I have observed one thing about this country and politics, if you’re not a good schemer, an excellent fraudster, a magnificent liar and an almost perfect secret keeper, forget it chap, you will not stand the heat of this country’s political game. My country’s politic situation is true blood sweat and corruption better prepare for hard-core survival of the fittest, jaw ripping game – it’s a jungle out there; eat or be eaten!

In my country, the arts are considered to be something not worthy of the government’s not so hard earned money. The government does not care much if you’re a musician, movie maker or a writer; to him you’re a nuisance. So best you back off and nurture your craft far away from him. Well until you’re just perfect to sing for one of his luxurious homes, where he and his furniture dances. The people in the arts, they are all things manipulative and a raw authentic definition of fake. They smile in your face and stab your behind the minute you turn away ‒ my country; beautiful country, too beautiful in fact.

I love this country and have so much hope in it. There is so much skill and talent embedded in its core existence. The country’s youth is faced with drug abuse and confusion but they are so hopeful and smart in their own mischief ways. Don’t like them too much, they will have you fooled. They speak words of intelligence marinated with the desirable amount of wisdom but their action, behold! It is the total opposite of their lovely luring words. They engage in filthy things you’d swear they were the messengers of dirt. I like them though because hey do not want to be judged, not by a single soul. So I end it, no more youth talk.

This is South Africa, hope you like it. Depending on where you’re walking, you might need to leave your cell-phone and wallet as a sign of respect to that man you are about to meet for the first and hopefully the very last time. Why? Don’t ask questions, not a single one, just do it and pass with a straight face and up-right body, it will save your life. I actually do hope you’re rich; you really do want to dwell, sleep, wake, drink and eat on the northern side of Johannesburg or better yet the northern side of Durban where you can even walk on the fluffy sands by the sea side. This is where you explore South African beauty. I could go on forever. You must not forget to pay Cape Town a visit, there is class and elegance invested in that city, you will love it.

Power is not equally shared in my country ‒ don’t forget that. If you’re a woman you might just like to remember your place —the kitchen. You must also reserve your comments until you are given a platform and or an upper hand but still, know your limits! Be aware that you could be the next victim of male pleasures and they can get away with it. Wary that your male counterparts despise you the same way (if not worse) they despise gay people. So best know your position, the kind in which you do not offend men at all. You’re a feminist? Well please side-line that occupation until further notice. Fingers and maybe other things too might wag in your direction if you appear as a woman of power and strength. You doubt me? Engage in a conversation with married career driven women of this country. Well those ladies, have buckets full of stories about women and women positioning so you’re in good hands.

My people are stereotypical so please behave as straight as you can ‒ it will help you, especially if you intend on walking on our cities. My people believe in Christ oh yeah they are Christians but they don’t tolerate “nonsense” so don’t even think about speaking in town if you’re not fluent in their language rather use a map if not a GPS, please. You could be mugged if you don’t obey. Okay now that’s Johannesburg; city of dreams we call it. Some say it’s a little like New York. In Johannesburg you pay people for pointing directions to you and you shall pay more if they feel the need to escort you. Ubuntu does not exist here. We are all Steve Biko’s black man when here ‒ on our own. Note that!

In this country of mine, when you hear anyone saying foreigner, they are referring to people coming from all corners of Africa who have come to, okay I don’t know. My Africanists have too many tricks under their skins it sometimes too difficult to tell their intentions. Please make use of their internet cafés they are so cheap a mere R5 an hour, just be wary of those keyboards, their buttons need to be pressed really hard sometimes and your memory stick might contract a virus or two. Americans? Well those would be tourists! We like those people. We have 11 official languages but I was thinking we should add more, like the sign language and French amongst other widely used languages in this country ‒  indigenous or not.

Do you like to travel? Me too! Here’s a taxi which you can see the ground you travel on when in it. The chair could damage your outfit and its not so pleasant to sit on. It will help you to find something to hold on to when the taxi makes an unexpected turn, just make sure it’s not the door because that could have you kissing the tar and leaving your teeth there whilst at it, be careful! Don’t mention anything of the Gau-train, it was not meant for you and me ‒ too expensive. I don’t own a car so you better start getting used to taxis and finding your own way around town. We should be taking a train, now that’s the culture and lifestyle of a true South African.

Trains here are amazing! You pay a very small fee and get an all-inclusive journey. “Healthy” snacks are available don’t worry about your balanced diet preferences. There are walking stalls to serve your daily fruit dosage. You are spiritual? You’re at the right place, there are all kinds of churches in here just pick one and enjoy the service. Please reward the pastor with at least R1 before you leave, throw it on that hat on your left. If you did not enjoy the service, look into the pastor’s sweaty, old, sad face and you could be propelled into rewarding him with R3 extra. There is comedy on that coach if you prefer that instead. You’d rather have a nice conversation with a stranger? Even better than bluntly staring at the person opposite you, just be really loud because the train noise might break the communication flow. Enjoy the ride; just don’t expect to arrive at your destination until after an hour or two. Smile and greet. When the train gets full along the way, no I meant to say when it gets so congested your nose starts feeling a little weird, stand up for somebody older than you ‒ hold on anywhere. They are probably tired of all the gardening they have been ordered to do by the madam at work, so please be kind.

We do not complain much but when we do, it is in a form of a rally where a lot of singing and dancing is involved, put on your comfy shoes. Be prepared to run and or swear its part of the ordeal. If you want to have a really peaceful life, befriend a few taxi drivers and one or two well-connected police officers. You are in it for a very nice life if you do that. Otherwise you will pay for things you ought not to be paying for. Be kind whenever you can and maybe drop two rands or five to those brothers who do not look like they have had a good bath in the longest of years. You shall meet them at the robots most of the time, if your skin is anyway fair, please put in at least 10 rands. Well if you’re dark like me, they don’t expect much from you. They regard you as one of their own ‒ broke, hungry and poor. So you can just look away and walk on but for your sake I truly hope it’s neither dusk nor night.

This is South Africa, I can go on forever, I however don’t want to spoil the journey for you and the things you could explore. There is plenty for you in store. We are a loving country filled with the same amount of hate if you step on our feet. The food we have, you’d be stupid not to try that, it is best experienced in what we call “eKasi” along with Kwaito music and “Bujwa” dancing. This is South Africa, we are much westernised and English is slowly becoming the widely used language. We refer to people by where they come from, their race or by what they usually wear, feel free to do the same. In this country, soccer unites us whilst politics divide us.

Please find what you like and be joyful in it. We have mountains, rivers, the sea, dams, game reserves, parks, zoo’s, love, hate, anger, corruption, bitterness, four standard television channels which require a television license, a handful of radio stations with fantastic radio jocks, clubs, lounges, prostitutes, beauty parlors I mean you’d really be one of a non-existing kind not to find anything interesting. Try the gizzard kebabs sold in what the not so advantaged call a town. If you’re still not sold then I guess you’re a difficult customer. This is my country; I was born here, I grew up here. I learnt how to share, cry, talk and write in this country. This is where I find love and peace. My dreams will fruition in this country. It is by far not the best of countries but it is my country nonetheless and in my own strange way, I love it!