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Posts tagged ‘South Africa’

So who do we blame? (Another child rape)

Not ourselves, surely. We are upright, do-good citizens, right? We do our parts for ourselves and for others and the problem is theirs, not ours. Government should do something about it… and so it goes…

Yesterday, it was reported that a girl from Mitchell’s Plain in Grade R was raped by two boys in Grade 2. I was 5 in Grade R (then called pre-primary) and 7 in Grade 2 (Sub-B). Read about that here and another disheartening case also reported this week here. [I wrote an article last year for Good Men Project which mentions Mitchell’s Plain and my own distant understanding of the area as a child, and dealing with trauma “out there”. Read that here.]

If you read this and feel a sense of shame, then good. We need that. If you read this and start going on a blame rampage, stop. Do not even think about it. This happened on our watch. Just like I’ve said before, we might as well say “fuck the children” if we continue this way. That would be more honest, and fair. At least they’ll know what to expect. At least we wont be pretending to give a damn.


As I was walking and thinking yesterday, I was going to write about children and supposedly “bad” role models. I met a political leader who I think is an actual role model, yet he remained humble and wondered why he should be considered one when he is simply doing what is expected of him. I’ve written about  the hypocrisy of celeb role models before (this time it was going to be about Beyoncé and her latest sexual incarnation, and the way in which Bill O Reilly has been criticising her), and I maintain that we cannot blame pop stars and media coverage alone. My main argument remains – we can blame pop stars all we want, but at what point do we turn that lens back on ourselves for our own failures and realize that blaming is a simply a tool of deflection and procrastination.

Let me tell you a little something about my sexual awakening.

I was under ten years old – I think 7 or 8. It could have been a year or two younger, but I don’t think older. I was young. I was watching a film that probably had a PG rating, possibly PG 13. There was nothing explicit about it. In a scene, there is a male stripper. Something happened in me that day. I’m often asked when I knew I was gay. That’s a pretty dumb question (and those same people are dumbfounded when I ask “So when did you know you were straight?”) and shows how ignorant we are about othering.

The point is, I saw something and experienced something that was not a “normal” part of my development. At an age where I did not understand what was happening sexually, I also had to contend with the issue of orientation. This would only become a social issue later in life, but it was still something to think about as I knew that something was different.

I had strict parents. I did not know this until I saw the level of freedom that others had. I look back now and, while I still wish that they had loosened the reigns ever so slightly, I am also grateful. My point with the sexualisation of pop stars and the issue of role models is that it absolutely cannot exist in a vacuum. This is true with most things, however with children it is a different issue because we are dealing with lives – blank slates that need guidance and shaping.

My 5 year old nephew was watching TV with me and there was a promo for an award show. There was the briefest glimpse of naked Miley Cyrus on that wrecking ball and he gasped, looked at me and said “That lady was naked”.  He had a smile that seemed like a cross between incredulity and embarrassment for both he and Miley. We had a surprisingly mature discussion about it and reached the conclusion that it doesn’t matter. I hope that I drilled it into him that what she, and anyone else, does should in no way have an effect on his life, or the way he treats others.

My own sexual journey was relatively tame, with a personality and the temerity to not feel the need to act out. As immature as I was, and can be, I’m glad that I understood the implications of my actions.

These kids are not old enough to understand. Who or what were they emulating? Where was their mature and frank conversation with an elder? Where was the uncle/brother/father/mother/aunt to explain to these boys that what they did to that girl is not ok? Who is going to be there for her for the rest of her life (besides professional counselling) to guide her out of the confusing feelings she might experience?

I am sick of these problems being issues that are “out there” and not our problem to deal with. If you are a human being, this story should move you, and make you angry and want to do something about it, whether it is speaking out on the still sickeningly high levels of patriarchal arrogance on an everyday basis, or attending a protest. Something has to change.

If you are on this planet, then what happened is your fault. It is my fault. We have not done enough to change our world.

Those boys did not know any better. Their lives will never be the same again. That girl did not know what was happening to her. She will have to live with this for the rest of her life. Lives have been changed, and it happened while we were living. We have to live with ourselves, knowing that this never should have happened.


 <p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

The Alternative South African Elections 2014 – who to vote for.

With the weekend of manifestoes behind us, the EFF, ANCYL and DA have told us what we already knew – “We here!” Calm down, girlfriends, we know.

But what other choices do we have? Come May the 7th, there are a number of other parties of which you may not be aware.

So I’ve compiled the list of these parties which you may not have heard about – the new kids on the starting blocks, ready to fight and lead.

Alcohol Now Council

This new party is also known as the continent’s newest and oldest (looking), libation movement. Because when the dust settles and Commanders Zille and Zuma have trampled on the grass of the people, what will be left? Cockroaches and alcohol.  I bet COPE wished they had thought of this one. You’re welcome, Mzansi.



With its roots firmly entrenched in hair politics, HOOH stands for Hands off our Hairlines.

Pronounced however you want, but preferably to rhyme with “Yhu” or “Hawu”, because this is a resistance movement for resistant hair.  This is an important growing movement which has grown out of the lack of growth on our heads. How much longer will black women walk around with hair fighting for space to compete with their political views? How often will men have to dodge the razor at the barber trying to even things out? Haven’t we had enough of that in the past? Why must our heads be political spaces?  Not to be confused with…

HOW party

Not to be confused with the Hawus, although the vernacular pronunciation of this party is more in tune with “Hawu” than How. Less a platform for change, and not so much a resistant movement as a deeply embedded systematic hierarchy of historical confusion. Get it? HOW? As we throw our hands up in the air and toyi toyi like we just don’t care. Because we don’t care. This party consists of endless talks and speeches, finger-pointing, alliances, re-alliances, promises, laughs, laughter, laughable promises and a lot more to come, it seems.

Daggah/ Green (with envy) party

This movement aims to provide daggers to stab in the backs of others. It’s become a growing trend and has grown exponentially in recent years, Comrades. Especially since the publication of a little known text called Julius…


The Movement Movement – or the shit party

This is the unofficial name for all parties in politics in the history of politics.

Beret Party

This moniker is a particularly delightful South Africanism. The way some of us pronounce “filet” as fill-IT, or “buffet” as boo-FET.

Speaking of the French, gone are the days of head-covering gear with communist implications. Calm down, girlfriend. Beret is pronounced as “berate”, because with freedom of speech we can beret whoever we want.

The Blue(s) Party

Not only is the colour of this party a dashing shade of royal, but their crooning attracts lots of black people who love the sound of their promising melody. That is until the white figure comes along and takes all the shine. Wait, what did you think I was talking about? This is about Elvis and the genre known as the blues.

The Reds

No, calm down with your communist implications. And no, this is not about white nationalism. Although Red is an Afrikaans word which means “save” and this party does wear red. If only this saviour wore white and converted wine to water instead of drinking it without the messianic promises. No? Just me? Oh well…

And there you have it, the alternative parties who will be expecting your vote this coming election. Choose wisely.

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

JAW does Jozi

Just a quick post to inform all 5 of my loyal readers that I am still alive.

And yes, still alive. For those wondering.

I am in Jozi. Some of you might be asking who that is. No, calm down , girlfriend. That’s Egoli to some of you, or the place of gold (like the soap opera for those South Africans feeling nostalgic for the 90s) and Johannesburg for the rest of you. JAW has taken this writing thing seriously and is now a trainee journalist, and has survived the first week.

So a few details from my time to Cape Town to here. I am told that I am insane. The 13 hour drive was done in one day. Apparently most people stop over on the way to Jozi, but the feeling of accomplishing such a feat in one go inspired me. I did not feel tired, nor did I get a headache or feel in any way demotivated. Every province I drove through (four in total) made me cheer when I saw the sign announcing each one. A note on that – Northern Cape, your sign says “Welcome to NOTHEN Cape Province”. I see you. I am judging you.

My only regret thus far is not taking photos. I do not know how this escaped me, but I get the feeling it’s because I have driven through all these places before over many years and have seen a lot of this country. Don’t get me wrong, it is still the most beautiful country in the world, but at hour ten and sweating like crazy through the Free State, photos of the scenery is the last thing on one’s mind.

Joburg itself was quite a trip. One is told lots of things about the city. Cape Town, often referred to as Slaap Stad (the sleepy city), is often just that – very chilled and laid back. Having never lived in another city in South Africa in this way, I had nothing to compare it to. So Cape Town to me was just that.

One thing that stood out was the highways. At one point my GPS deceived me and I was still in the Free State, whereas I could have been at my destination much sooner. (I was trying to avoid the toll gates. I still ended up going through many of them. Dammit Janet). On many roads in the city of Cape Town, there are bridges where you can turn around on the highway. Not so on my time in the Free State when I ended up on a fuel-consuming deviation. It was good prep for my entry into the Big City. So back to those Joburg perceptions – big and bad, like I said, but also rude, dangerous, fast, materialistic and business-driven.

All of these are probably true, but it sounds like a lot of the world. Think about it; it’s not exactly a unique description. These perceptions have actually now, after my first week, annoyed me, because I’ve realised that it is not that bad. People just want places to be  a certain type. The roads were, in all fairness, very busy for a Saturday night. That was new to me. But after the fifth car lets you pass, you realise that people are still people, and kindness is never far away.

So that’s that, for now. I’m looking forward to many adventures in Jozi.

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

A Poem for Nelson Mandela

A bird cries

A perfect morning of blue skies it

must have heard the death announcement too.

The sadness transcends borders and time zones.

Before the fear takes over and before rhetoric reigns.

Before cynicism steals in and

before the battle for legacy…

There is only him.

The birds gossip loudly to each other. They know

that he is no longer with us –

Our Purveyor of Forgiveness,

the reason for the tears in the eyes of

a rainbow of faces.

Our messianic non-saint,

with a hand in the air,

clenched or open, may Freedom always reign high.

Our Promoter of Peace, may you rest as you have lived.


<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

That’s in a name?!

Originally appeared on my News24 blog.

“It’s on the side of your mouth, like when you’re angry and you just go…” and then she clicked, and then it clicked. I got it. I finally said the word “Xhosa” correctly. Since then I’ve been bragging with my clicks, except for the “Q” one. My tongue, like my resolve, is not strong enough yet. That was in 2008 when I realised that I can’t keep saying Xhosa as if it were named after Irvin Khoza.

I am, however, ashamed that my Xhosa language acquisition has since stalled.

I took German literature at Uni because I assumed that I would just learn African languages naturally, by diffusion, with friends. This was not the case. For some reason the many German and Xhosa speakers I’ve met don’t seem eager to be my language instructors.

The learning has slowed down and now my German is even better than my Xhosa. So if ever you’re in a situation where you need to introduce yourself, I’m your man.  Therefore a conversation with me will go something like this: “Asikhulume Muvhango Khulubuse Medupi Generations Isidingo Ndiyaxolisa”. I’m still damn proud of that click though.


When we step outside of our comfort zones is when we learn the most, but also when we fear the most. The unknown is scary in any culture or situation.

I have no excuse, because I should be making more of an effort. I haven’t because I still believe I have plenty of time, and friends, to learn. With my German, however, I only had three years to learn it from scratch. I had a deadline, and really good teachers.

This brought me to the subject of names. What will it take for certain people to get names right?

I wish that more people with “difficult” names would just say NO. Having an apparently conventional name, I’ve never been asked if I have a nickname, or alternative. You see, if it were business terminology, or an international client, I have a feeling that these people asking for a nickname, something easier (for them) would make the effort.

Growing up I always appreciated the way that the Afrikaans people in my life would insist on correcting others about certain words, yet butcher African names. However, although not very eloquent (or nice) this reminded me of that Afrikaans campaign with the pay-off line “Praat Afrikaans of hou jou bek”. And why shouldn’t Afrikaans people get to say something like that? My wish is that others would insist on the same. When I met someone with a six syllable Xhosa name, everything I thought I knew went out the window. For the first time in my life I had to sit down and practise a name. When I found out that her name was that of her clan, I appreciated it even more. Her heritage was literally her name!

Speaking to a friend who experienced this at a predominantly coloured school said of her cousins “Yolisa became “Yololisa”. Busiswa was transformed into “Buzizwe”. They always made a point to emphasise how they “can’t pronounce y(our) names”.”

Most of the people I know with names that “have meanings” are either Muslim, or black African. Recently I met someone who said that his name has no meaning. I completely disagreed, because even an omission of what he called “no meaning” still tells a story.

This is the key to a better South Africa. The things we take for granted and overlook like language, because our tongues have yet to catch up with redress. Instead of learning African names just for the sake of history, or business, we should do it for everyone, instead of going for what feels gentle and safe.  If someone takes the trouble to learn your name, and makes the effort to at least try and get it right, shouldn’t we extend the same courtesy to everyone?


<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

For the love of irony: reblog and reminder

Remember that time we were all worried about the Secrecy Bill? How we pulled out our hair and agonised over freedom of speech and how that was essentially coming to an end, like the world? Well…

And just to prove to the world that we South Africans can appreciate irony, the bill was passed the day before we celebrated Freedom Day. Happy F*****g (that’s “Fucking”. Sorry, the ANC deemed that as a threat to state security. Psh!) birthday, Young Democracy!

The bill has been amended, but one must still ask the question: What do you have to hide?

I still believe a government should fear its people. Already we have government overspending and many issues (Arms Deal and Nkandla amongst others) still unresolved. I’m still not that worried that all free speech will be monitored and curtailed, but you never know. It always starts somewhere.

Below is a link to a previous short post about this subject.



<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

Violence Against Women: UWC and South Africa, where does it end?

This is an article I wrote for the CPS (Campus Protection Services) newsletter at UWC.


On the 26th of February 2013, the University held an event in response to the recent spate of violence against women in South Africa. The event was held in the main hall and was well-attended by both students and staff. This event highlighted the seriousness of these crimes.

However, the news statistics read by student volunteer Chanell Oliphant, as well as the opinion of many, contradicted the timing of this event. While lauded for their efforts, many have questioned why so many institutions are acting now. There were loud gasps from the audience when Oliphant read these statistics. Some of these include the number of unreported rapes, with only 1 in 20 being reported to police, with 147 women raped on a daily basis in South Africa. Does it end with a gasp, or will there be action from this shock?

After the event, audience members were asked to sign a pledge board with their ideas as to how to stop the violence against women in this country. But how many of them would go home and enact these pledges? One of the many problems with the issue of violence against women is the mistaken idea of power being lost by the individual, which then leads to shame. What others do in their individual lives is, of course, their business. However, the familiar case of only acting up when it hits too close to home has played out all too often in this country, and still not enough being done on a regular basis to change it. While the event hosted by the University, and even condemnation by President Jacob Zuma, was appreciated, it was too late for Anene Booysen and other persons who were victims to these crimes.

A bleak picture was painted when a staff member told me about how she witnessed a male student acting abusively towards his girlfriend on a Sunday morning on campus. The male student, when reacting violently to opposition from the staff member, threatened others too. This student is apparently well-known by other students and even security, which was called to the scene. The excuse given for not handling this case is that it was a “lover’s quarrel.” Protocol, it seems, is not clear in this case.

One of the many problems with violence against women is the number of unreported cases. It could be asked, where exactly is it safe? And whose job is it to keep others safe? Blaming the victim has become a popular theme which has been used by some, and not spoken out against enough by others. In speaking to students about this issue, an interesting case came up. On Friday, March 1st 2013, a student was accosted by a taxi driver at the Modderdam Road exit to get into his taxi. She chose to wait, and when she was grabbed by the driver and protested to be left alone, was slapped by him. A fight ensued and four other drivers approached. Two female students approached to intervene and that’s when the scuffle ended.

With this issue, it could be argued that the jurisdiction of campus security ends when a student leaves the gates of the University. But with a number of cases of abuse, both physical and sexual reported at an alarming rate, it’s safe to ask, where exactly is it safe?


<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>


In defense of Ramphele: our culture of cynicism.

A tough week In South Africa saw the announcement from one of the most underappreciated figures in this country. On Monday the 18th of February 2013, Mamphela Ramphele announced the launch of her political party platform, called Agang, to contest the 2014 elections.

That introduction mirrors other generic introductions that were brandied all over the media, competing momentarily with the Oscar Pistorious headlines. However, the reaction has been surprisingly suspicious.

Her speech was torn to pieces and over analysed to death. I don’t think that the media, opposition and ruling party should go easy on her by any means, but they seem to be dismissing this powerful person, with the potential to lead a party that could be a real contender.

As a female she has blazed trails unlike many others. That she has only flirted with formal politics now shows the resolve of someone with a strong voice.

One of my biggest issues is how her accomplishments are not being fully recognised. Sure they are mentioned, but they seem to be thrown about with disdain.

She has horrible dress sense and a jerry curl. She is totally out of the loop with the people of this country. She has minimal struggle credentials and was the mistress to Steve Biko. She helped formulate the Black Consciousness Movement, but South Africa has since moved on and is in another era. She is merely an academic and does not have a real understanding of the plight of ordinary South Africans. How will her party be any different to the others?

This is the general sentiment that I have been reading in various articles before, and after her announcement.
For those who don’t know, Steve Biko was a big deal during the struggle. Or as he is now know, not-Mandela. This is what I’ve realised many people see other struggle heroes who did not get as much exposure as Madiba. If anyone had said that Nelson Mandela needs to stop riding the wave of his prison time and move on, it would have caused quite the furore, and rightly so. I don’t think it is necessary to compare struggles, because that is an argument where no one would come out on top. However, I do not see it as necessary or appropriate to denigrate the credentials of others. Speaking of which, Ramphele’s credentials should really be more than enough to be labelled as credible and a fierce and worthy opponent for the other parties in South Africa.

Helen Zille, it could be argued, has been using Steve Biko for her own cause. As the journalist who broke the story about his death at the hands of security forces while in detainment, is widely known as her big foray into politics. So why does no one tell her to shut up about that?

Zille was, in fact, one of the many who have dismissed Ramphele, and Agang. This party appears to be more than just an idle threat to the two big powers. With the news this week that Ramphele wanted the DA to dissolve and start a new party with her, it seems that she has the confidence to go against the big boys and girls. She has also been a thorn in the side of the ruling party, appearing on various platforms, establishing herself as a voice of the people, a defender of those who do not have the platform that she does. The recent FNB ad debacle has proven that the ruling party are afraid of opposition where they cannot use the race card.

I am a fan and supporter of Ramphele, but I too am sceptical about this turn to politics for her. The tricky thing about the machine of politics is that no matter who you are, you have to conform to party norms, rules and ideals. You could be new to the game and a revolutionary thinker, but the mechanisms are intricate and people are forced to change who they are for the sake of getting votes.
I have voted for many parties in the national and provincial elections, and my vote was going to the DA for this coming election.

I am now undecided.

It might even go back to the ANC. But the announcement by Ramphele was such a welcome relief as it brought another side to politics in addition to bringing out the other side of other parties. When I think back to the 2009 formation of COPE, it really was ego-driven and not about the people. Agang appears to have bided its time and while it has been criticised for starting this platform too soon to the upcoming elections, it has put the people of South Africa first in its consideration of the opinions of the constituents.

Instead of welcoming the challenge, the DA dismissed it and seemed extremely selfish in their own plight. They saw it simply as another party splitting the rightful votes of the opposition. I was not entirely surprised by ANC pitbull Gwede Mantashe’s rant about the imminent new party. Accusations that Agang would destabilise the country are dramatic and unnecessary. The new party would not shake the ruling party’s hold on the country, at least not yet, but this reaction is positive for the new party. A government should be scared of its people, and to have a party that incites this reaction in a party that has had a majority since the inception of democracy, would hopefully remind the ANC what they are meant to be doing.
Many people forget that the DA is an alliance, comprised of many parties which the DA machine had taken as their own to garner votes.

I have no problem with this, however if they are to dole criticisms for the messages of other parties such as Agang, is it then not fair to label the DA as fragmented with its composite of faces, which increase with every election? Agang comes complete with a face, which is not only black, but also smart and accomplished as a businesswoman and political

Another critique is her dress sense. For this I would go back to the now familiar, but still not credible “What if she were a man? Would that even be relevant?” The fact that she does not seem to be fazed by mainstream opinion of dress and beauty sets her apart from the other politicians who have bowed to convention. Ditto for her being the “mistress” to Biko. Why is this a hot topic, rather than “intellectual equal” to Biko? Because it attempts to diminish what she has accomplished.

She’s being criticised for being a bureaucrat and academic and having minimal political credentials. But what have the people with the supposed credentials done lately for this country? I see a lot of squabbling in a country in crisis. All the hype surrounding her announcement couldn’t have been in vain. The media did not wait eagerly for her to announce this platform for nothing. Why do we feel the need to turn on her now?

I do hope that she sticks to her guns and does not compromise for the sake of the powers that be. My final hope is that the journalists and pundits put aside their cynicism for a moment and not label her simply as the great black hype, soon to die amidst the mire. Because right now, hope is one thing we really need. With a name that translates to “let us build”, indicating their ambition, it is a stark reminder that the ruling parties have forgotten that we still have a long way to go to rebuild South Africa after a tumultuous past. A party that is ready to tackle these issues, and highlight those that are too quickly forgotten, can only do us good.

Maybe a fresh mind, and party, from an experienced individual from the margins is exactly what we need.


<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

6th Zuma Wife says goodbye, sort of: South Africa, I wish you luck.

Turns out I’ve been labelled somewhat of a political slut.

My term as the 6th Zuma wife seems to be coming to an end.  Apparently my kraal at the arse end of Nkandla has not been included in the renovation budget.  And until the security budget gets cleared, I am taking what I can to sell. And now that Mampollie Rampacious is announcing her big news today, how do I stand a chance?

When I was released from the basement by Jacob, I got a glimpse of the news. It turns out that South Africa is not doing too well at the moment. I didn’t know that the Oscars got this much media attention in South Africa.

Don’t get me wrong, I clung. I clung to my man’s ankles like a middle aged woman clings to youth. I clung like local sport heroes cling to their dignity. I clung like a conservative to his ideals. I clung like cling wrap to Jacob Zuma’s face during role plays…

So I fear that my time as the umpteenth partner to the sperm donor of our nation, the commander in penis, the handjob that holds us all together, and apart, must now bid him a farewell.

Don’t worry about me though. I will be a-okay. I did not survive being the mistress to Mandela and attempted murder charges from Winnie Madikizela for nothing. I did not survive a night of passion with Julius Malema only to find out that he was fired the day before for nothing. Nope, nah ah, I won’t have any of it. I am no longer about that life. These are lessons learned and I shall grow from them.

So on I go to new and more exciting opportunities. And for those of you who have not yet acclimatised to the jawonthefloor lingo, “new and exciting” is code for powerful black man.

As a sassy black woman who is neither black nor female, I feel that it is my duty to continue this tradition. So, Cyril Ramaphosa, I’m coming for you. Then you can come for me. Then we’ll just plain come.

This is exactly what I need to take my mind off everything.

First of all, his initials are CR. This means nothing, really, but I needed an introductory point, and I’m a little short here. Speaking of short, he is not. I got so tired of sitting on Jacob’s face and not being able to see his feet. Ok, now I’m just being bitter. One does not break the bonds of the union like JZ and I had without at least a little animosity.

I love you JJ.

But back to my silly Cyril! Here is a man who was the chief negotiator for the ANC during the tense pre-democracy years. Now if there are a few things I know in this life, they are tense, pre and democracy. Well, maybe not democracy.

This is exactly what South Africa needs at a crucial time like this. While I fill a bag with silver from the main house at Nkandla without being detected, Cyril has spent millions, on himself. Now that is the selflessness that I need at this time. All Jacob ever bought me was a George Foreman grill. Classy, but cheap.

The fact that Cyril has written constitutional law textbooks does not bode well for our imminent divorce, but I’ll cross that bridge when I use it to flee from the security guards.

So here is to hoping for a better tomorrow. But for now I need stronger knee guards. This Ramaphosa guy looks like he needs a lot more coercion than my Zuma. Your wife will miss you, Jacob L


<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

Fuck the Children, and others. What more do we need?

Below is a post that I wrote before the Anene Booysen case. But the feeling of anger and hopelessness I feel is uncanny. There are memes going around pleading with people to hoot for 60 seconds today, Sunday 10 February 2013, to support the fight against rape in South Africa.

We are failing as a society. Let us get the basics right. This week there were plenty of angry responses to this horrendous assault on Booysen. But what happens after we chop off their penises? Lobotomies? The mindsets will still be firmly in place.

I’m all for harsher sentencing and making examples of others, but what then. You can cut off the heads (so to speak) but without securing the base, we are destined for repeated failure.

@LifeisSavage on Twitter said this, which I think sums up the general feeling in the country at this moment: “I dont gibe a f**k about your human rights…the moment you committed that act of violence you lost all your rights”

So here’s the original post. Excuse my rant:

Fuck the children

I mean, why do we even need to care about them? No one cared about us, right? Do we still believe that they are the future?

Fight in front of them and have squabbles and cry and tell them you love them as if they know the difference between types of tears at their age. What do they know?

Nothing, and everything. Why is our society so messed up, we wonder?  Because we can’t even get the base right. As a writer and professional immaturuoso, I retreat into fantasy and fiction too often for my own good. And this is where the children of the world will forever remain if we keep up the great work we are currently doing by messing up their lives. The beauty with this is that I get a chance to leave that state when I feel fit. Imagine a world where children never grow up, because they were deprived of this opportunity.

Even worse, a world where they will never get a chance to play. They will never get a chance to be. They will never get a chance. This has never been more evident with the HIV/AIDS pandemic in South Africa. A generation of young people forced to raise their even younger siblings because they were handed a virus that is completely out of their frame of comprehension. Whatever happened to chicken pox and measles?

They will have plenty of time to grow up and colour in the lines and learn to speak correctly and use a knife and fork and look back and regret the Zuma era of politics with the rest of us. So why would you willingly put a child in a position where they would be forced to grow up? Because you can’t stand up. Because you can’t own up and face up to the selfishness that you are facing.

At this point I will contexualise briefly by stating that I have recently witnessed various incidences which make this rant relevant. People who should know better have put ideals of material wealth, or the notion of a perfect marriage or the enduring hope of forgiveness ahead of the well-being of individuals who asked for nothing. And are given nothing more than a robbed childhood.

In an interview with actress Viola Davis, she said that “Forgiveness is giving up the hope of a different past”. And if we are to grow as a nation, and as individuals, we first have to actually grow! Let’s take ourselves into consideration, but not forget that we have others coming too. In a world of quick fixes, let’s remember to nurture first.


 <p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>

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