Sunday, 13 November 2011
On TV, there are often ads encouraging responsible electricity use and tips on how we can contribute to saving the environment. But I wonder how many people actually do something? When they ask us to turn off all non-essential appliances like the geyser or the pool-pump, we don't do it. I mean, we do general things like recycling, turning the lights off when we're not in a room, having a compost heap ( well, sort of. We had one but rats started living in it so it had to be destroyed and now we collect all the vegetable/fruit rests and go bury them when the container is full) and not driving unnecessarily. But everything is also connected to saving money. I only boil as much water as I need, or my sister turns the geyser off, in the hope that it will reduce the bill.
The same goes for the rhino killings. I have no problem buying a bag at Woolies or sending an sms to donate R10, but actually going to protest somewhere seems like too much hassle. So there is a bit of a contradiction here: we want to save the planet without wanting to give anything up. But it shouldn't be easy to save the world. I mean, it shouldn't need saving in the first place if everyone could just have lived slightly more responsibly, but it's too late for that. We need to consciously take action. A friend of mine studies in Hamburg and he is constantly part of some student protest about fee increases, or world economics or saving the rainforest. When students at my university protest, it is because they feel the student elections are "racist" or because the food in the cafeteria is too expensive. The highlight was when they protested because Spring Day ( a huge get-drunk party) was cancelled. We still had a day off, but students were angry because the university did not provide a party. I think that was ridiculous. Find another party. Throw your own. Or maybe just do some work.
I think it was easier to protest in earlier years. There was one specific thing wrong at the time, and now it seems like there is so much wrong with the world that we don't know where to start. The ANCYL recently marched from Johannesburg to Pretoria to protest. My one friend works along one of the roads they marched past and she said she had never seen so much hatred. But I don't understand whom for. Who do you hate? The Apartheid government ended about 17 years ago, so that falls by the wayside. Also, the Youth League should deal with the youth's current problems, like AIDS, education, getting people better living conditions, preparing them for a bright and productive future. Instead, 40-year-olds march in order to nationalise the mines, chanting "Viva Gaddafi" and singing songs that were deemed hate speech by a South African Court.
Half of what the ANCYL says does not make sense. I don't know it they are generally against anything ending with an -ism, or if they can define what communism is, or if know what they are marching for. How can you follow a leader who knows not what he says and has no respect for democracy? I would like to stuff Malema like a pinata and beat the shit out of him for taking advantage of people with no options and no education. If you don't know better you can't do better. But instead of inciting anger and hate, and basically destroying ideas of nationhood, unity and a "Rainbow Nation", you should consider what you are protesting for and if it will actually benefit the youth. Not by throwing money at a problem, but by actually trying to advance a society through hard work, education, dedication and compassion.
Malema has been suspended as President of the ANC Youth League.
Although this is great, it worries me that he could have become president in the first place and that the league is just a place for power-hungry people in their middle years to be overpaid for doing nothing. I say restructure the entire league. I say fire all incompetence and focus on building a better nation. We have so many other problems, a silly little man dancing on a podium should not be one of them.