OPINION: A month of merry-making

December has started, marking the coming of the festive season when many relationships will emerge while other relationships or habits will be done away with.

One of those relationships will be between men and the bottle. And many people’s lives will be changed, never to be the same again. Dreams will be shattered forever but some will emerge for better.

Would one stay indoors when the country is partying? Would a family man who has a bonus run around the house with kids when he can go out and party? Would one choose friends with money when there are those who are penniless that he can boss around?

The answer to each of these questions is “no”.

People change when money is involved. Should this be so? I do not know. I am of the belief that there is no right and wrong when an individual decides to do what he/she believes is right. As a tradition, we are all going to meet family members and old friends. But not only that, there will be lots and lots of events.

In Cape Town the City of Cape Town hosted the festive lights switch-on, on December 1. This will be followed by the December 16 celebrations. I have never bothered to ask what we are celebrating on that day.

All I know is, there will be chaotic scenes. It is like December 31 in Hillbrow, Gauteng, if you’ve ever been there.

December 16 descends into chaos with young people drinking like there is no tomorrow.

Some parents will be happy to see their children wearing new clothes regardless if they are drunk. It is disgraceful. That some children will find solace in the bottle and develop a relationship that in some cases will last forever… that is part of what makes December terrible.

Let me be the bearer of the bad news. Many men will not go back to their homes after December 16. All year they have been saving for the big days, sacrificing days off and weekends to ensure they have money to spend over the holiday. Now it is time to chill, relax and be happy. And entertainment will be at the centre of everything people do.

These new relationships and habits will take root… the love of alcohol, married men staying away from home, having “better girlfriends”, eventually leading to divorces.

There will be Oomakoti (new wives) that will start new lives as wives. They will be loved by the new family members but others will be ill-treated. There will be amakrwala who will start manhood. They will now be exposed to many things and again alcohol will be part of it.

That said, with all the bad and good, we need to respect the greatness of the women and men who will remain dignified and who will ensure that their purses have not run dry come January.

December is disruptive but we need to all stay stay true to our vision and aims. A joyous festive to you all!