Words of caution as we say farewell to 2022

It is a relief that the curtain is coming down on 2022.

We can look back and raise our hands high in praise – and with a bit of pride – for having come through another difficult year.

The coming year also won’t be easy – we will still have to contend with viruses and load shedding.

For now, let’s be happy because we can finally sit back, relax and do the things we most enjoy. We will have a short time to spend with loved ones. Most people will be far away on holidays.

It is that time of the year when parents will be under immense pressure to buy gifts for their children. It is a difficult period for many who would want to keep up with golden boys and girls with those expensive gifts.

This time of the year everybody wants to play a fool even though they can’t afford it. People have started spending with the costly Black Friday. To the black families, December 16 has been a headache more than Christmas. Even though Christmas will still have to be taken care of. Mind you there will be a New Year’s celebration just after that.

These are all costly to the poor who refuse to be poor. For I know that my people are very courageous and determined when it comes to clothing labels and other brands.

Year in, year out, I am always wondering as to who can try to speak sense in our heads. Just try, uzodibana nenyoka iphuma umhluzi (you will be in great trouble). You do not tell Black Africans anything especially if they believe in it.

We forget easily. We have forgotten our journey with the deadly Covid-19, the pain we went through, mentally and emotionally. We were put to the toughest test by nature. The uncertainty of the future and job security haunted us.

I mentioned this because we are back to being complacent. We are back wasting whatever we managed to keep during the hard times of lockdown.

This period shows more than anything that we care less about our own welfare. In this period people have been scammed and we will be scammed again. People have lost a lot from their gooi gooi schemes, they will lose again.

Kanti, when do we learn? Come January just after the New Year celebrations, the problems will be enormous. Loan sharks would be smiling as we flock into their offices.

We have failed not only ourselves, but our children too. We failed to teach them to identify between a want and a need. We have created a cycle that will continue in the next generations. We are failing our children for not being honest with ourselves. Black people are poor. The little money we earn is only for us to eat and go back to our slave-wages paying jobs. We should not be scared to tell our little ones that we cannot afford something. But we want to remain a wasteful bunch of parents.

For those who have children out of wedlock, the baby mothers will be asking for school uniforms, money for transport and food. Remember the same baby moms have been asking for expensive gifts for the better part of the holiday.

Your wife knowing well that she was heading the home budget would forget all you bought, necessary and unnecessary. January will take an immense physical and mental toll on those at the front, the heads of homes.

But what I fear more this time is the young girls who will be attracted to the most feared guys in town.

Young girls will be drawn to sleek cars, to the guys carrying long glasses of expensive whiskey. They will want to date nothing but the guys who are loaded, where they think they will benefit. Yes, they will benefit because they will be taken to fun places, to top restaurants in top of the range cars, to eat gourmet food and not just amagwinya. But this will bring great trouble for them.

Probably I am saying all this because I am poor and can’t afford a plate of food from Sasa restaurant in Site C.

I worry about young girls not because I am the father of girls but because I have seen the worst happening to them. I am concerned about their welfare because I have read how the feared guys treat them once that little love dies down. I know that the December kind of relationships have problems in the end. I worry more about the parents who won’t sleep, trying to figure out the whereabouts of their children.

Another is that of a father, brother, mother, sister who lost their job, whether they were pushed, resigned or there were some circumstances beyond their control.

I worry about those who are fired by bosses who know not what it is to be poor. Yes, some will lose through their own doing. I wish their bosses could have had more patience with them.

To the drivers on the roads, let’s be patient enough so that we can reach our families in one piece. We ought not to count hours from Cape Town to Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Limpopo or any other province. Let the road be the decider of our destinations. Let’s rather be late than not arrive at all.