26 October, 2007

Your South Africa

Nqobile Buthelezi (UKZN)

Exam pressure is building. The end of each day brings us closer to year end, and we all know what that means...results. Big smiles for all the P's in the record or a throb in the heart for those daunting supps and F's. It's either a good or a bad deal anyway, but I live with the hope that all of us will make it.

Good luck guys, I have utmost faith in all of us (yep! me included).

I was thinking of writing a feature story on "Public Toilet Vandalism in Institutions of Higher Learning". This story will look at how students write all sort of vulgar expression on toilet doors. This is a pressing matter and a disgrace to be honest.

As students, we are part of the most learned and elite in our societies. At Universities, students acquire a great deal of knowledge and enlightenment. But where does all this educational wealth go?

Supposedly, we should give it back to the world through our respective fields of study, but what do we choose to do - to take it out on silent doors in the most appalling manner. Not only will this story create awareness of the irresponsibility of the 'supposedly educated', but it will also be an eye opener to our institutions that sometimes to educate youngsters starts with simple rules like 'knowledge is responsibility' (not only to ourselves but to our communities as well). So students should stop writing at the wrong places (exams and assignments are the appropriate places to express our learned selves!).

Street kids
Well, my second and very broad idea for the City Press story is to write about street children. I mean, they are everywhere- pavements, public parks, digging in inner-city dustbins or slouched at bus-stops: everywhere...breaking everything!

Of cause this is a widely written about issue, however I feel the need to find out the cause of this 'street children' phenomena. why do they at all exist and most importantly why they end up vandalising public space and I mean this in every aspect:
  • physically as they destroy public infrastructure,
  • verbally as they abuse citizens by calling them names, and also
  • emotionally- it is just an unsettling feeling to go to the bus-stop only to find you'll be uncomfortable with these children looking at you, probably contemplating to rob or even do worse to you.

In contrast, their existence simply abuses my emotions as the thought of them weighs so much in my heart when I think about the success of this country, only to find that there are those little souls that are wiped out in the face of the earth, abandoned, forgotten and not cared about. Is vandalism a form of expression for their anger? If they are angry what is the cause? Pressing economical or social problems, or maybe they are just unappreciative youths polluting our cities and adding a percent to the crime statistics in South Africa.

There is a lot involved in this feature. With City Press's approval, I propose to follow up on this story after the exams due to the scope of its magnitude. For the time being, I will write on lighter but equally important issues.

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