Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June 16th - Youth day

I love my country so much. I love the people the colourfulness of South Africa. I even love this awful winter weather we are experiencing, because I get to sit around cozy fireplaces with my family and have tea and chats with friends.
But winter for some means harsh conditions, leaking shacks not enough warm winter clothes. No space to get washing dry. School clothes for the next day won't dry if a child only owns one shirt or trousers. I love the Common Good initiative of Warm up Winter. The scary thing was I had so much good stuff I could give away that I just haven't worn. My daughter also gave generously and we were shocked at how much excess we had. June the 16th has been an awesome time with my family and friends lots of cooking lots of good fellowship. But for some the history of today will forever be the day when a mother lost a child a brother lost a sister a sister lost a brother.
Hector Pieterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo after being shot by South African police. His sister, Antoinette Sithole, runs beside them. Pieterson was rushed to a local clinic and declared dead on arrival Tomorrow I will attend the Memorial Service of Monezi Monziwa a young man whose life was ended by gang violence. A boy who had a future because education is so much better than it was in 1976. People has life really changed for the poor and marginalized? Everyday since Monezi's death I have not stopped thinking about the other precious children of the community in Hout Bay, everyday children go to school fearing for their lives. yes they have a good school great teachers but the environment in which they live is harsh. One hopes that this young man did not die in vain. Was his death senseless? yes I believe it was, perhaps out of this sadness the community will work harder at trying to be rid of gangs, perhaps government in the Western Cape will take more seriously the issue of gangs among the youth perhaps the police will come down harder on vigilanty gangs Perhaps, perhaps... maybe the lioness will take up her place and lead the young cubs with greater vision and purpose. maybe the church will arise and young men and women will no longer be silent but will stand against violence and gangsterism! God help me to stand for social justice no matter what the cost. REMIND ME THAT IN PRAYER many battles are fought and won.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monezi - Another senseless murder of a promising life

I first met Monezi In March of 2014. He was a quiet unassuming young man. We had been quietly sitting at break the children enjoying the sunshine. Suddenly the chaos emerged out of nowhere, screams and children running to try an find a place of safety. A boy came into my office blood everywhere, I was so grateful Gus Duffet had been there to help me, he took care of Monezi he quickly got the bleeding under control. Immediately I called the ambulance service and then we waited. I did the motherly thing I made him drink sugar water and I rubbed his back and tried to console him. He sat quietly in my office without complaining whilst I continually tried to find out why the ambulance was taking so long to get there. On Saturday this young man's life was cut short by the same gang violence that has ravaged this community for years. That day Monezi had been a marked man and they had failed, but on Saturday this promising life came to an end. He was stabbed to death. A life of promise cut short extinguished forever. I still remember chatting to him about how amazing the doctors had stitched him up and saved his eye, we chatted about how fortunate he had been that day and that he must take care and walk away from the gang life. We chatted about how he had a bright future because he was at Silikamva and he could get a good Matric and that the world could then be his oyster. Today my heart aches for a mother who has lost a son. A friend who has been lost to many of his peers at Silikamva. He was a promising soccer player. A team player. The many lives he could have touched if he had gone on to achieve what he had desired, to be a social worker. He loved children and wanted to give back to this community where he had grown up and come to love. The very community that struck him down. I don't know the circumstances of his death except that it was a stabbing. I am sure in the days to come I will hear the many stories as they emerge. Part of me wishes I could still be working at Silikamva now to be there to comfort those who mourn. To put my arms around his friends and hold them while they cry. But I am not there so I can only do what I am able to and that is pray for these children, these families and the community. Monezi may you rest in peace, May the God comfort, comfort your mother. And as you play soccer now on the streets of heaven may you find the peace that you so eagerly desired. Till we meet again...... be sure to be waiting for me ...Miss Debbie