Lessons learnt from this week’s looting and vandalism in South Africa

By Mazvita Maz Nyahanana(freelance writer)


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Events of this week in South Africa were both sad and somehow eye opening to some who have always lived behind high walls especially politicians.

I wrote in 2017 expressing my worry on the silence of some people when certain groups of people were or are under attack by rogue elements.

Trucks drivers and their bosses have been under constant attack day and night forvery long now, driving and operating businesses in fear, but most people did not care to make noise because “it did not affect them”.

Foreign nationals were attacked day and night, their belongings looted, lives lost but some did not care to make any noise. Why? “The answer was “it does not affect me”.

Small business operators of foreign descent were attacked, busineses looted, livelihoods and futures shattered. All the people mentioned above lived, operated, drove, served, walked, slept in fear and some still do, but because “it did not affect us”, we took it for granted.

Most of us carried on with our social and  business life like nothing is happening. In my previous post, l explained and warned that for as long as we all continue to pay a blind eye and deaf ear and do not unite against the perpetrators of violence, the very same people causing pain and damage to foreign nationals and the  trucking industry, will one day do the same to their own, other busineses, houses, cars, childen, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties, parents, grand parents, neighbours, colleagues and all.

Now that it has hit home to many, it’s sad that everyone has to experience and understand for the first time what it is to be afraid, to sleep with one eye open, to be let down by law enforcing agencies, to continue working and driving to and from work and home while scared of the unkown, to have livelihoods threatened and destroyed, to lose all investments and savings, to constantly think of how you will repay creditors and other bills, to constantly ponder on whether to leave the country or not, whether to relocate business or not, to worry about your children’s education, your mortgage, loans, bills and instalments.

The lesson here is ” we need to learn to share pain felt by others and condemn violence while it’s still far from home.

In conclusion, during trying times like these, we need to all show empathy and support for one onother regardless of race, religion, location and social status.

Perpetuating the hatred will create an unending vicious cycle of violence and destruction. It’s not everyone who looted, destroyed, burnt and it’s not everyone who does not care.

To all families who lost anything from material things to lives, l say may you be comforted. Many others and myself who know what it is to lose someone and something to violence, and have worried about where and when to get the next meal, we feel for you.

We have experienced what you are experiencing now. We know and understand your pain. Please do not worry, trouble don’t last always. (Kirk Franklin) This is not the end and do not give up. As long as you still have life, you can still rebuild.

Praying that everyone gets the strength to move on and never to experience again, events of the past few days.

Lets all go out and help clean up as one. God bless South Africa and all its children in whom our hope for peace lies.

By Mazvita Maz Nyahanana, Durban. (Freelance writer)

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