Trying to understand youth at ePakini

Despite not being a fan of crowds, I recently found myself hanging out at ePakini, affectionately known as kwaAce – and I’m still in disbelief about what I experienced there.

As I got caught up in the frenzy of expensive alcohol, and wild young people, I could only deduce that there were certainly no tough economic times among this crowd.

And at the end of the night I concluded that it is a place to meet the best and the worst people. Eat, drink, converse, puke, period. That’s how the night went.

Personally I interconnected with the universe on the day. And I went home convinced that the young girls who chill out there are dealing with issues related to being fatherless, seeking out the love of different guys.

And the young men too, drinking like crazy and smoking like there is no tomorrow, were trying to fill the void left by absent fathers

At least, that is how I saw things on the day.

As I was sitting, munching a plate of chicken wings, oil running down my chin, I was wondering whether these happy people couldn’t form a club to take our burdens away together.

I know my thinking was wayward but I could tell some of those who hang out there had been through tough times but were happiest among hordes of people.

As I was in deep thought about why people would come out to binge, one of the natives that took me there confirmed my thinking by saying: “Had my father been here today, I would not drink like I do”.

Though confused, I nodded in agreement.

Girls as young as my daughter dotted the place. I asked myself again, where are the parents all this time, and what do they say when girls as young as 15 come home drunk? And I bet my last cent that most young girls at ePakini were not working but always found a way to drink.

But I suppose all the questions I had were showing my age. I was not supposed to be there but I had to know how today’s young people spend their valuable time. Going there, however, also showed me how they spend their hard-earned money. And hats off to them – they know how have fun.

At some point I thought, damn, take me back to my mother’s womb for a rebirth. I felt at least 30 years younger. I remembered that when I was a child back in the rural Ciskei, I was so disadvantaged.

I was not allowed to to be out on the street after 6pm. But more disadvantaged was that, we had no places like ePakini. My rural life was too controlled and boring. There were concerts, discos and bazaars and nothing else.

But I managed to meet one Hala, who told me he doesn’t drink, he only takes a 2L of coke, but I refused to buy that killer drink.

After leaving the place I felt extremely recharged but mentally exhausted. In today’s language, ePakini was lit and rocks.