A sick and dehumanising society

A sick and dehumanising society.

It is easy to prove how similar we all are. It is difficult proving how different we all are. Throughout history evil man have tried to make “diagnostic tests” that will make it easy to divide the human race. I have heard stories about the notorious ‘Pencil Test’ – a test carried out by government officials on those who wished to be classified as ‘white’ in the days of apartheid. The test went something like this: a pencil was inserted into the hair of the person wishing to be reclassified – if it fell to the floor, ‘white’ classification was granted, if it stayed in place, ‘colored’ classification remained. There were further layers in the test – if someone, wished to be reclassified as ‘colored’ from ‘black’ the same pencil would be inserted and the person had to then shake their head. If the pencil stayed in, no reclassification!

A sick and dehumanising society.

In his quest to prove that people are not good enough to be qualified as human being, Hilter instructed that peoples nose and hair color and beliefs should qualify them to be human-beings.

A sick and dehumanising society.

When I was standing in front of 600 pictures at Cape Town Haulocaust Center, every picture representing someone’s sister, brother, aunt and cousin I was overwhelmed with shame of being a human being. I have never been shameful of ever belonging to a human race, but realizing how brutal human beings can be towards one other, I could help thinking animals are better than humans, because at least they kill out of hunger or self defense, we kill out of anger and hatred.

A sick and dehumanising society.

I was very shocked when I thought about my thoughts, and I realized that as much as Hitler is different from me he is also similar. The bitter truth is at some point in his life he was nursed by the warmth of a loving mother, he was nourished by the breasts of a women, he smiled as a child, he enjoyed the taste of sugar tantalizing his taste-buds, these are some of the similarities that I shared with “baby Adolf” , How did he not see these simple truths about human beings?

A sick and dehumanising society.

I finally understood what Rholihlahla Mandela meant when he said “all humans were created equal and should be treated equally.” The moment we start thinking that we are different or better than a certain group of people, we device an excuse why we should treat people less of human beings and we start brutalizing them.

A sick and dehumanising society.

Few personal questions surfaced about myself whic  had to answered urgently. I needed to know why do I consider myself a black South African? Why is being South African not enough for me? It dawned on me that I belong to a way-better race, THE HUMAN RACE. Before I am a Xhosa, South African and African, I am a human being, a species that sits at the throne of all living creatures. Contrary to the popular believe (that Nazi`s and the apartheid government believed) when we further sub-classify this human race we diminish the value of who we are.

A sick and dehumanising society.

FATHERS AND FATHERHOOD

The experience of many South African men has been powerfully influenced by history. Particularly black fathers were separated from their children by the need to work in distant places on the terms of Migration Act that permitted only one annual visit home. The work was physically hard and the environment was brutal it produced men who were immune to pain, hardship and violence. What happened to our villages when these men of steel came back home is another story on it`s own.

Caring for the most part was considered to be a task exclusively for women. The children had to find means and ways to live and survive without fathers. Our rural homesteads were fatherless, mothers had to play fathers. Not all fathers are proud to be fathers, and unfortunately not all fathers want to participate in their children`s lives in fact most South African men do not seem interested in the lives of their children, now we have cases where boys die trying to be better man. The men who manage to get fatherhood right through a series of trail-and-error are too old to use their wisdom and too stingy to share it with young men who are still trying to figure it all out.

Men do not talk about these things, their struggle to manhood is kept secrete, we act as if we are made of steel, the moment a boy start squinting his eyes to cry  they are told to “ man up, men don’t cry we should suck it up!” unfortunately in the process of sucking it up we suck it up so hard we begin to asphyxiate and die in our silence. Society expects us to be Superman * but even Superman had kryptonite* Is it that important to preserve this existing social structure that males, as a gender and a clan, be pushed to psychological suffocation  that leads a robotic life – running on social instructions?

As young men we need other men as role models,  we need someone to take us through the mazes of being a man, our mothers can not do that, we appreciate the  warmth of their embrace and the nourishment of their breast milk but that’s not enough to make boys to men. You must understand that a father is a guide to a boy, he announces what a boy will become, and he explains to him how to pave your course through the chaos of masculinity.

If we are going to have a healthy family structure, no one should be left outside, boys need as much coaching and empowerment as girls, should we fail at this we risk continuing this vicious circle of absent fathers sometimes physically present. We risk our brothers turning to drugs for solutions; we risk a generation of boys that seeks to be confirmed as men through beating women.

Today, the media is replete with news of crimes committed by men and with anti-male sentiments provoking male hatred and the society, including men, is silent about it. Because, we have so high expectations from men and because we take them for granted, society holds only those men responsible for the crimes reported, against whom it is reported. We are forgetting the famous quote by Henry Thomas, “Society prepares the crime, the criminal commits it”.

Squarely blaming men for crimes is not going to reduce it, it will rather increase it. It is pertinent to realize that even if a man commits a crime, he does not do it by choice; he is rather forced and cornered to such an extent that he is left with no other options. Notwithstanding crime and nor an attempt to justify crime, but it must be pertinent and enlightening realization that crime can only be reduced by eliminating  factors that leave men with no options but crime and not the criminal.

Lack of choices in men’s life and lack of “Male Empowerment” are two key indirect contributors to crime as it wipes off the trust of the society from the man and he takes to the ultimatum. Crime by men is not a disease, it’s just a symptom; symptom of a far more serious disease – Misandry and Male Disposability. Choice belies with the society, whether to work on symptoms or to attack the disease, the root cause. In my opinion “Male Empowerment” is the call of the day, what do you think?

A DRUNKEN NATION

My grandmother had 23 grand children, one day she calls me aside, she had a serious look in her face , the one she usually gives us when we have stolen sugar or her coins. She says to me “ I have been watching you ,my heart quickly  went to tachyarrhythmia. she continues and says “ I think you are really special. I think you will do great things for the world. I said ewe makhulu, She further says but I want you to promise me three things.  Promise to take care of my daughter your mother, that did not sound too bad i love my mother so I quickly replied yes grandma secondly I want you to promise to always do the right thing even if the right thing is not popular or comfortable. Ewe Gogo (yes grandma). She continued to her last request  “Mandilakhe (she only uses my Xhosa name when I am in trouble or she is talking of a serious matter)Promise me to never drink alcohol. I was still quite young then so I said ewe makhulu (yes grandma).

This one Christmas eve my cousins and I were  going to swim in the river, my older cousin comes with a carry pack of liquor with 6 green bottles in it. He takes one bottle and starts drinking, my other cousin takes one. Remembering Gogos words I declined. They both look at me as if I was crazy, come- on Cecil you always do everything we do, just take, I say no. My elder cousin looks surprised and continues to say , is it  because of what Gogo told you? I act naïve “no, what are talking about? He replied” Gogo tells all her grand children that they are special and they will do good things. I was heart broken.

Recently I have been attending events where a glass of wine with a cigarette in between your index and middles finger seems to be a sophisticated and diplomatic way of having a good conversation. It is amazing how much things people are able to do with their mouths, in one of the events I was at, a young lady was chewing gum, sipping wine and talking all at once if this is not dangerous then I don’t know what is. Big business deals are discussed over a smoke-break , and choices are made by drunken people. We can only live in a healthy country once we start making healthy choices .

Drinking is a big problem in many South African communities, it poses huge treats to our families structures, health and justice system. Drinking is a leading cause of death in out roads, a leading cause of domestic violence. The Western Cape alone in South Africa has the highest rates of babies born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, this is a new form of child abuse and it should be addressed urgently. Medically speaking alcohol has been proven to inhibit the processes in the neo-frontal cortex (the front portion of the brain) this impairs ones judgment and reasoning.

I do..till death do us part

 

There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you

accept no excuses – only results. I came realise the reality of the above statement, and what it really means to commit to something greater than just myself and  my  self centered ambitions. today i marry the idea of development and growth, i marry the idea of understanding this multi-faceted landscape of my beloved country. As I walk down the Isle to commit myself to a South Africa that we are all proud to call our home, I can hear the voices of Robert Sobuke, Nelson Mandela, OR Tambo,Steve Biko chanting songs of courage and victory, their voices saying go young man and take from where we left off, finished what is unfinished and serve my people with humility. the emotions of fear, inadequacies are all suppressed by my good intentions.

who do you say I am?

It is often in the darkest skies that we see stars. Born at Mdingi location near King Williams Town Cecil is what we consider a vertex point where the rural intersects with the cosmopolitan to create an eloquent being. Cecil`s passion lays in education and healthcare, as he believes there is nothing as detrimental as a country that can not support its poor and sick.

IDC- I do CARE

When you start to care, you can’t stop. But the more you care, the more it burdens you. And you start asking yourself: is it even worth it?  These questions buoyantly come  to surface when you see yourself as some one who was placed on this world to change it.  the past few weeks have been filled with great discussions and critical thinking about current situations that face the global village.

Many people want to change the world and this is a noble cause, but rather unrealistic don’t get me wrong I am not oblivious of all the wrongs that the world is facing and the change one person can do. But my problem with the approach is that it gives one an unhealthy identity about themselves and what they are capable of doing. The idea of  wanting to carry the sins of the world and fix every wrong, is wrong.We should not aspire to change the world but to make a difference, and watch my difference changing the world

. I think once a person thinks that they can change the world that creates unrealistic supremacy identity, what I personally call the Messaih complex, the world is a complex structure it is the difference people make that changes it. Better than doing things with the propensity to change the world, we should start doing things with the intentions to make a difference, by doing that we subconsciously influence others to start doing things that make a difference too. And the best way to convince other people is to lead by example.

We are not here to change the world, but to make a difference, and watch our difference changing the world. Every effort counts, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem. Just do something, and do something good.