Realism Essay

It’s quite easy to get caught up in the doom/naysayer’s of South Africa. One glance at various newspapers and it appears as if the sole revenue of income for print media in our country is based on headlines which are either meant to a) scare you, b) piss you off, c) embarrass you or d) all three. And in all honesty, with some of the more recent ones, they often do seem to have a point. What, with JZ’s 20 (plus?) children and a libido that rivals Tiger Woods. The World Cup looking like it may indeed turn out to be a dismal failure. MTN (or telecommunications in general actually) not being very ‘Ayoba’ at all and lastly, and perhaps more importantly, there is a very (and I mean very) good chance that you are going to experience some form of violent crime in your life. South Africa, it seems, is the laughing stock/cowering in fear/money flying out of the pocket capital of the world.

Now, this is where I’m supposed to get into ‘posi’ (god, I hate that word) mode and somehow try and use letters strung into words that have been printed by a shitty fax copier (unless Pete does this all expensive like, ekse) to inspire and reinvigorate your love for our ‘great country’. But the truth is, we aren’t a great country, far from it. We have huge problems, the gap between the rich and poor is something that I actually don’t know if we’ll ever solve. Our peers seem to bathe in this disgusting, lingering aspect of racism and prejudice that absolutely refuses to dry up. Our political leaders (Helen Zille included) have this constant urge to showcase their individual power and prestige instead of actually, I dunno, doing their job. Every year seems to be a turn for the worse, friends of mine who 2 years ago would have verbally castrated anyone who spoke ill of South Africa now just shrug shoulders and quote Leonardo DiCaprio characters; ‘TIA my friend, TIA.’

It’s this apathy that has slowly creeped and worked it’s way into us that frightens me the most. Gone are the bright and hopeful eyes, the fresh and open minds and the full and eager hearts. We’re turning into a ‘no care, fuck the world’ generation, which, as bad-ass as it sounds, doesn’t really get us anywhere. The truth is, changing our country begins with changing our minds. And even if this seems to be a fruitless task, changing our country for the better that is, at least the process yields results for you, the person who perhaps needed the change more. Embrace the fact that we aren’t perfect, we never will be. Learn to love the imperfections and the idiosyncrasies. You don’t have to start a facebook group or get onto the street and fight ‘The Man’, let’s just start by changing the attitude and let’s start today.

October 18 2010
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