I remember a time that we didn’t go to bed with dishes still in the sink. They were washed immediately after they’d been used.
That was also the time that pyjamas and morning gowns were things to be worn to bed, or in the morning – certainly not all day long.
These days it’s not uncommon to see someone wearing pyjamas during the day – and even outside of the house.
When I was a child, we were taught discipline and there were some basic things that we simply had to adhere to. Among them was that you do not go to bed without washing the dishes.
You wake up in the morning, open the window and make your bed before going outside. You then wash at least your face and armpits and brush your teeth before seeing people outside.
These days things are different. Most people only wash themselves before going to bed. And in the morning, they leave the bed unmade. When I previously wrote about people spending all day in their pyjamas or gowns, I was told unemployment was to blame.
People argued that because they were not working, there was no need to wake up and wear clothes. I think that’s a lame excuse.
It’s even worse when I see a grown man wearing pyjamas, a gown and those indescribable night shoes – in the mall.
Maybe there’s something I don’t understand because I do not own these pieces of clothing. I have become accustomed to sleeping naked and grew up using my blanket as a “morning gown”.
So, perhaps being an average Xhosa in the big city might be interfering with my intellect. These days, I no longer wear my blanket in the morning. Could it be because I am in the city? There are times when I think, I have turned my back my ancestors.
But when I miss home you will see me in blankets, not on the streets but indoors. Am I alone on this issue? There is no street in Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Gugulethu where you won’t find people in night dresses. I bet my last cent most women do not wear their clothes on weekends but gowns and night dresses.
It does not trouble me if you are sitting with that in your own space. It troubles me to see women gambling while in gowns in Gugulethu, girls basking in the sun in Site C, women in Nyanga drinking outside their flats and men walking around in malls wearing something that was designed to be slept in.
It does not look good at any given time to see utata walking in the mall wearing a morning gown. I understand the frustration of being unemployed but it should not lead us to having bad habits or forgetting the discipline we were brought up with.
No wonder we’ve lost values, respect and morals. No wonder abantwana bethu besenza amanyala ekwendeni.