Solutions for South Africa
There is no avoiding the tragedy and horror in our headlines over the recent week. We have been rocked with the savage abduction, torture and murder of young women across South Africa, as well as the murders of a much loved South African actor, and a driver who was fatally shot on the doorstep to O.R. Tambo Airport: the gateway for some of our countries greatest investors.
In a time where our country is hurting the most, going through grief, anger, shock and so much more, I'm asking you to take a moment to realise how each of us have contributed to this landscape in which the value of life has been lost. Karabo Mokoena is the name of not just one, but many young women who have met ill-fated ends at the hands of violence, substance abuse and the result of what ignoring children can do.
No matter how full our prisons become, no matter how we shun our neighbours, build higher walls and procure the greatest security systems, if we do not turn our attention to the children in our country who are in desperate need of love and affection, we are perpetuating this cycle of hatred and abuse.
You see, I've spent days, weeks, months and years researching how we as a society have worsened our social problems by criminalising individuals who make mistakes at a young age. That's meant to be the very core of childhood: making mistakes and learning from them, being guided through to an adulthood that stands for integrity, justice and compassion for others.
The HIV and TB statistics, coupled with the recent increase in Cancer (both diagnosed and non-) mean that there is a growing number of youth and infants who are responsible for heading households: children do not have the opportunity to remain young and carefree much longer, and in both the informal settlements and in developing communities, children have no choice but to commit to housework like gathering firewood and coal or fetching kerosene, collecting water from communal taps and helping to dry the washing.
Today I'm asking that we just take a moment to understand that even the monsters are still a part of our society, and the more we ignore children who need us, the greater risk of them being comforted and groomed by those monsters. My heart bleeds for the families of Courtney Pieters, Karabo Mokoena and the countless other victims that are taken every day. In the next few articles I personally write, I'm going to elaborate on my call to action, that we root out evil before it gets a chance to settle in at all. It begins with us, and it begins with our children. Let's serve them as better leaders. (Image source: Africa Check)