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You(th) we need you to vote……

As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the law-givers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end.
Adlai E. Stevenson
 
It is well documented in the history books that this liberation came at a cost of human life at worst. We were indeed liberated for a cause. A cause to honour freedom and all the responsibility that comes with it. One such responsibility is the duty to participate in democratic processes.

As the current year draws to a close, the coming year promises to be a fun in the political landscape. You might be aware that 2014 is the year in which we as a country will be electing a new leader, or a new ruling party. A leader who will take our South Africa to a path of prosperity, a path that will ensure that every human being concede equal citizenship no matter the abuse by those we seem to elect.

For the status quo to prevail someone with a powerful voice as yourself will need to take an apathetic stance and choose not to partake in this crucial activity bestowed by democracy and freedom. Within your inner being, therein lies a powerful force which can see a ruling party relinquishing its robes to that party you might have voted into government or (if you are happy with the ruling party you just keep the status quo and vote for it).

As one scroll down feeds on social networks, one gets a sense that those who are active on this platforms and also happens to be a large population of our country, the youth are not so much concerned about exercising the right that many people died for, the right to vote. Young fellows, lend me your ear, however disillusioned you are about the prevailing state of affairs in our country, deciding against voting is committing an error in judgement, an injustice if I may tell you.

As you head toward the ballot box next year, keep in mind many people who laid down their lives, so that me and you, can be able to exercise this democratic right called voting. Be an active citizen, vote well because the truth of the matter is that this is a privilege that most people in the world are deprived of. You could have been born in a country where absolute monarchy is still the order of the day….. just give it a thought?

Cometh the hour, put down your smartphones and vote. I have heard many people saying they will not be voting. Now saying that you will not be voting is tantamount to irresponsible utterances. I suggest that instead of abstaining altogether from voting, you rather spoil the ballot.

It seems sinister on the surface to spoil the ballot, but is equally powerful as electing a particular party or a particular individual. Spoiling the ballot for me in particular means that there is no alternative party that I trust with my cross. I can also argue that, by opting for this seemingly no-brainer exercise called spoiling the ballot, that seek to communicate to those in power that as much as I would like to vote, there is no party that speaks to my needs and I am quite discontented by the prevailing state of affairs.This too is a loud voice, it is louder than those vuvuzela at a soccer stadium between the two Soweto giants.

Therefore, young soldiers, it is an irresponsible thing to utter something as “I will not be voting”. the dangerous aspect of this talk is that your silence might hinder the change that a certain political party so desperately need.

Without your vote, our democracy is hollow. As a matter of fact, never discount the value that your single vote have. It remains a potent tool in our democratic state to effect change (…and in Justice Malala’s word) “and a new order which will make a real difference in your life”.

Until 2014, let freedom reign…!!!

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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A lesson in history

Prior to reading this post, please bear in mind that I am a proponent for Affirmative Action and/or Black empowerment of any kind. I argue in favour of this not because that non-blacks be denied opportunities in this country. I do so because I am of a firm believe that structural damages caused by the legacy of apartheid needs to be repaired.

It seems that my fellow citizens of a lighter skin tone are antagonist to anything that seek to advance the black race economically.  I acknowledge the fact that we are living in the new democratic dispensation and as such every citizen must be afforded equal opportunities in order to live a better life as promised by the ruling ANC. However, it worries me that whenever a big corporate announces a job vacancy with a clause that those who will be considered are people from designated groups; there becomes a furore threatening boycotts against the company involved.

It should be unreservedly acknowledged that the apartheid history left an indelible mark to those who were considered sub-human during those dark days. A beautiful country such as South Africa, today faces challenges of many kinds. We are at the bottom of the foot chain in terms of quality of education in the world, people continue to perish as a result of communicable diseases and spatial developments in our communities leaves much to be desired. These challenges still prevails largely because of the disadvantage that the descendant of those suffered the injustices of the past bears.

For a corporate company like The South African Airways and Woolworths to adopt the Employment Equity policies is a gesture of attempting to address the inequities of  the past. Such interventions are implemented not to disadvantage the minorities in this country, but to correct the wrongs of history and put every citizen on an even playing ground. I mentioned two companies in particular, because, certain group of people threatened them not to buy at Woolworths nor fly SAA after they have publicly announced that the vacant posts are reserved for targeted groups.

It is to err to think any company that introduces Employment Equity plans discriminates against white people. It should be further understood that Employment Equity plans seek to address the shortage of designated groups in certain categories of employment, and to address these, a pool of applicants (largely black) is targeted.

It is the imperative of the constitution to fix our society so as to achieve the ideals of equal opportunities for all, that the opposing Democratic Alliance envisage. In actual fact, Affirmative Action is enshrined in our constitution as per section 9 (2). Therefore, it is fitting to assume that policies such as Employment Equity are necessary to fix the system; it does not fix itself.

My dear reader, walk with me down the memory lane as I remind you that Employment Equity policies are necessitated by some of the policies implemented during the scavenger-era of apartheid. Job Reservation Act, which prohibited black people from getting certification for their skills and trade is a case in point.

Lesson to be derived:

If there is a lesson to be derived in the history of apartheid and the prevailing state of affairs is that whatever decision you take, whatever choice your make, these might have a profound adverse impact on your descendant.

It is therefore unwarranted for the solidarity groups to oppose employment equity and to declare boycotts against those companies implementing Affirmative Action.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Politics

 

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Empower thy woman, ignore the brilliance of guys!

I am an ardent reader of a certain industry magazine called Accountancy SA. Those who have been fortunate to read the magazine will agree with me when I say it somewhat boring, somewhat interesting, and somewhat controversial. Am I writing a letter to the editor? Hell no, I am not.

Actually this post is about the empowerment of women and their leadership potential. In her article titled “women as authentic leaders”, Ms Mulder, Senior  Executive for Transformation and Growth at SAICA, wrote that “Women are ‘hard-wired’ to be authentic leaders, as most of these qualities are in-born. Our male compatriots are too often hindered by oversized egos and the need to compete, which is reflected in the troubled societies of today”. After reading this, I got an impression that Ms Mulder suggests that the world is in chaos it is because of men. Interesting…

I feel like more and more women are empowered this days. It can be argued that this is done to address the imbalances of the past. I am not insensitive to the fact that women were oppressed for far too  long, however the empowerment afforded to women comes with great cost of ignoring the brilliance of guys. These women are obviously empowered to be able to fend for themselves, to become authentic leaders as Ms Mulder puts it and more importantly to contribute to humankind.

The question we should then be asking is “Are more women becoming leaders, given the opportunities they are offered or is it still an investment in vain?” I am of the opinion that, even though great deal of investment is planted in developing women and their leadership capacity, the train is moving slow on the rail.

Ms Sheryl Sandberg – the COO of Facebook – diagnose the problem as to why we have few women leaders, and the answer lies in the video embedded below:

On conclusion, I believe that in order to live in thriving, sustainable society, we need to get away with the gender stereotype, because to do so is to ignore the brilliance of guys.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Leadership

 

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Who should drive political and economic discourse?

Picture appropriated from CNN.com

If there is one thing that I pride myself with as a South African citizen is the intellectual rigour that many journalist and columnist posses. Their duty is inspired by the freedom of expression, speech and of press as it is confirmed in The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Section 16 (1) (a), which do not of course extend to incitement of imminent violence, propaganda for war and incitement to racial hatred amongst other things. These news agents are the one who ensures that ordinary citizens such as I receive information and news that is fair, accurate and free of bias.

No one dare challenge me when I say that journalist like Ferrial Haffegee, Justice Malala, Max Du Preez, and many others carry out their duties with distinction. Their work is well researched, insightful,groundbreaking and they ensure that they diffuse every piece of information they consider to be of public interest – and no, this does not extend to tabloid journalism. Their piece of work evokes public debates, as it was the case with “The Spear”. However, the only problem I have with journalists is that they seem to drive a political and economic discourse in this country. They seem to have exclusive right and access to major newspapers spaces to voice out their disgruntled opinions – which I highly respect by the way.

Why do I seem to have a deep rooted problem with this? If I, from an impoverished village outside Pretoria, have an opinion to raise about my poor quality of education, inadequate access to basic services, poverty and unemployment, where and how do I voice my opinion in mainstream media? Will Mondli Makhanya accept or even better publish my letter in the newspaper in which he is an editor?

Who must drive political and economic discourse in this country? Should it be, Khaya Dlanga,Sentletse Diakanyo or the so called established columnist? Have you realised that the influence that the so called established columnist such Dlanga and Co. commands drives political discourse in this country. They are so influential on the social media spaces that they have their own column in which they offer readers what is conveyed to them as established truth, that you dare not challenge.

I have a fundamental problem with that. I am of the opinion that these major media houses should introduce a column titled something to the effect of “In my hoodie” in which young people from far flung rural areas will be able to convey and communicate their stories with a hope that those stories eventually drive a political and economic discourse in the direction sought by the writer.

A friend of mine, Seth Motswaledi updated his status on Facebook and he wrote “We are living in a country infested with propaganda to win political battles. We have the DA which out of all, uses media to misrepresent the current state of our country, and then you have the ANC that use poverty and apartheid to win. What we need is totally not this!!!

I do not know the extent of truth enshrined in the status posted by my friend on facebook. The validity of the premise submitted by Seth can be brushed aside as “unwarranted and baseless claims!”. After few minutes, the very same status was inundated with comments and the poor guy was accused of all sorts of irrationality. What was the man trying to do was to push the envelope, drive the political discourse and provoke debates amongst his facebook ninja’s. Judging from afar, this is an assignment that he (Seth) achieved with distinction. I hope he remained unshaken.

All in all, my point is that the only people who can drive political or economic discourse in this country are young lion and lioness who despite their socio-economic hardships continue to traverse life hopefully even if is difficult to do so.

My premise was further strengthened by one of the commentators on the status who wrote -to quote him verbatim – “...It can only be the masses that will drive discourse of any sort in this country!

Let’s go cadres!!!

Disclaimer:

This post does not in anyway reflect my political viewpoints.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The future is random, but can a pass mark be randomised?

Wake up all the teachers time to teach a new way…..when you teach the children teach em the very best you can. ~ Harold Melvin and the blue notes.

If you teach the children, teach them the very best you can!

If you teach the children, teach them the very best you can!

Don’t you find it mediocre that 30% merits a pass mark in the education system of this country? To be exact, to pass Grade 12  – which is a school leaving level in South Africa –  you will need to obtain a minimum of 30% for three of the subjects  written and 40% for another three. That is approximately an average of 35%. At UCT a 35% merits what is termed ‘duly performance refused or DPR, in Stellenbosch a ‘Kwal-nie’ will decorate your academic transcript and in any other institutions of higher learning you will just not  get ‘predicate’.  A DPR, A ‘Kwal-nie’ or ‘do not qualify for predicate’ is what guarantees a pass mark in matric. A rather traumatizing discovery to say the least!

Who is at fault? who is to blame?

It is a worrisome factor that many learners drop mathematics at Grade 12 level for Mathematical Literacy, at the counsel of their teachers of course to push up matric pass rate. In her recent talk in honour of the late freedom fighter Solomon Mahlangu, Dr Mamphela Ramphele expressed a rather poignant view on the issue of learners taking Mathematical Literacy at Grade 12 level. She said to quote her verbatim “Maths literacy… what is that? It’s worse than the arithmetic I did under Bantu education.”

Why is South Africa randomising the future of the young like these? Why do we accept this to prevail under a new democratic dispensation. Doesn’t this inspire laziness? I completely understand that the future cannot be predicted hence its randomness, but can a pass mark be randomised? I do not see how can an average mark of 35% warrant a pass under any normal circumstances?

With such a mediocre standard it comes as a surprise to myself that we expect the economy of South Africa to grow, flourish and prosper yet we do not produce intelligent human capital to work it. The naked truth of this trajectory is that this pass mark is mediocre, deceptive and it consigns thousands of those who achieve it to a life of hopelessness, helplessness and holds no promise to access higher education, employment nor a better life.

Our standard to pass matric is way too low, it is mediocre in every sense of the word. Do we expect these pupil who pulls off an average of 35% to go on pursue glittering careers or become newspaper columnists? Are we joking, are we kidding the poor? Are we gambling with our children’s future?

It makes me question whether these people who draft these policies do listen to music? Maybe the day they take a deliberate decision to do so a more pragmatic solution to this educational dilemma will surface. When they do decide to amend the current pass rate requirement, I urge them to listen to Whitney Houston’s ‘Greatest Love of all’ and take nothing but this:

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

Who do we hold accountable in this situation?

In conclusion, our high school education system is mentally-agonising both in character and in form!

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Politics

 

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