Wednesday, 14 November 2012
There has appeared in our poor black townships, a group of young people who meet for, "Izikhotane" (whatever that means). They gather to party at local parks, dressed in designer outfits, equipped with lots of booze. They party hard, drink and dance even harder and then, incredibly, they strip off their expensive clothes and set fire to them along with any money they have in their pockets. One of our journalists witnessed such an event outside Soweto, the black township near Johannesburg last week-end and her article appeared in our Sunday newspaper. Oddly, these young people do not come from rich homes, many of their parents are unemployed and they all understand poverty. What is their aim? Is this their ultimate, if garbled and confused, rejection of materialism? What do they yearn for? The writer was watching from her car on the sidelines and did not venture to interview any of the participants. In South Africa today, we have an elite group of rich, middle-class 'previously disadvantaged' people running the country, pocketing most of our hard-earned taxes, while ignoring their own poor. Young, educated blacks are starting to become disillusioned with the ANC, but it is so hard for them to know what to do. As one girl said, "I was fed ANC along with my babyfood." Change will be long and hard here. Votes are tied to skin-color. As another black person commented, somewhat ruefully, "We love the ANC, more than we love ourselves". How will it all end? Perhaps it is enough for now that in the young there are stirrings of discontent.