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Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Country Breaks My Heart!

Dearest Reader,

The Venue, which was not prepared
If I were to write about the week I have had, I would raise my pulse, and all I am trying to do is relax and unwind right now. To give you an idea, for the last 7 days, I was away from home, in the province called the Free State, of South Africa, facilitating workshops on behalf of the NYDA (National Youth Development Fund) as a member of SAYC (South Africa Youth Council) in partnership with SRSA (Sports and Recreation South Africa) with their constituents the Free State Province local government. The delegates of the camp were 18 year old to 25 year old, male and female, of all cultural group, even though I didn't see any Indians. When I inquired about this discrepancy, I was told that there were not many, if any Indians in the Free State.  This shocked me since I come from a very diverse place. I had to take their word for it.

Okay, it would seem as if I am writing about my week at the Free State, but I will not go into the details of the matter because it would be counter productive. Besides, I still have a report to write about the subject, so I don't want to over-saturate my brain with the heartbreaking conditions I saw there.

To begin with, I am grateful for the education I received. It was a privilege to go to good schools I went to, where simple things like water, electricity, sanitation and food were not even a thought because they were part of the mundane. In most areas in our country, such basic needs and facilities are actually luxuries. And, it broke my heart how an event that was supposed to be about kids ended up being about internal politics of those involved, which I gladly removed myself from because I seriously was not there to be friends with the people who hired me to work there. I was there to impart knowledge that might prove useful to the kids for their lives in years to come.

I am very serious about my volunteer work, and if it is paid work, I am very serious about it being useful to the world. I do not involve myself in situations for the power to be seen or heard when it comes to some of the work that I do. I sincerely involve myself in some work because I desire to make a difference in people's lives. These last 7 days, I did just that. I knew that I had made the impact I desired when kids came to me, hugging me goodbye today, and being generally pleased to see me. I touched someone's life and that's all I ever desire to do.

As I said, I won't go into detail, but I can share that were were holding workshops on Leadership, Social Cohesion and Nation Building. I am very passionate about the growth and empowerment of my people. I do what is in my power to contribute positively to that empowerment. The youth are where I like to concentrate on because when I am obsolete, they shall be the one who hold this world together, and so... I do invest a lot of my time speaking to young people, sharing what I can when I can. I live a life which also allows the youth to emulate if they wished. This is something I decided later in my life, that even though I do not wish to be a role model, children are watching me, and mimicking the things I do when I go into the community. All I want is that, if they mimic me, that they don't get harmed by it. Therefore I live a life that is pro-life and pro-power, just in case someone is trying to do as I do.

Kids doing a role-play 7 hrs since their last meal
Anyway, I did what I had to do. I did my job. I inspired some kids. I behaved as an equal to them as I obviously am. I didn't put myself on a pedestal to feed my ego.I didn't dismiss their thoughts nor did I ignore their grievances. I came before them as a teacher/learner, and I am glad.

But, higher up in the fucked up hierarchy, people didn't come with that spirit of respect and equality. They came into these Youth Camps with an agenda. Their agenda was to shine as a star. I have no problem with people shining as stars, but it has to be from good work being done, not because of titles being held and acting important when nobody gives a fuck about that. I HATE internal politics, whether in corporate or in the public sector. It is why I am an an artist. The politics are all about bettering one's social standing in an organization and doing whatever it takes to get there.

This time, what it took to get their shine were the lives of young people looking for a way out the ghetto. These people's hunger for power came in the way of some kid being the first in their family to graduate, the first to break the cycle of poverty and so on. This, I don't have to tell you, pisses me off in more ways than you will ever know. I hate weak people who prey on the poor. I hate weak people who take advantage of the children. I am so passionate about this whole thing that I secretly wish that I was taking care of the logistics of this entire operation because I know that I would have done a better job.

Why do I think I would have done a better job? Because I do not skimp on quality to make a profit. I do things right. It is why I have not released my album. It is why I am steadily raising funds for my music video and all things that come with being me, because I will not compromise my product and honor, so that I save money. Fucking hell!!! If you are given a budget of say R100 million to do something, please use at least 90% of it on the work you've been commissioned to do by finding the best deals available to make that money go the distance.

Children slept on the floor on matresses, for fuck's sakes!!!

Children's lunches were late, for crying out loud.

Children's water was not clean, damn it!!!

What the fuck kind of person would subject a child to less than they would subject their own child? Oh, wait, I know... Cold-hearted people who do not take their jobs seriously. I would never disrespect somebody's child like that. And, the report that I shall write will be quite heated with a long list of recommendations.

They can exclude me in their next initiative if they feel that my report was not nice enough, but I will tell the truth of what I think of their operation.

I hate being associated with government most times because I know this about them. This crap would never occur in the private sector, I promise you. Just because kids don't know better doesn't mean that they should not receive better. And, yes, I have little respect for the incompetence I saw there. There was one lady who had to carry the brunt of all these mess ups when it was not her in charge. She was literally crying, tears streaming down her face at the fact that the kids didn't eat and that they slept in below par conditions. One of her siblings was part of the camp, so it hit home for her. I wonder if she would have cared if she had no relative involved.

As for the dignitaries... How the fuck do they sleep at night?
A LoveLife Facilitator speaking to delegates

Oh, they sleep fine, in a 4 star hotel as I was. SMH!

What's more heartbreaking is that, some kids found this awful environment a relief and an escape from their home lives. Can you believe that shit? Their homes are in worse conditions than this camp. SMH! Just thinking about that makes me want to cry. I am not strong enough to see my people suffer. BUT, I can't do nothing about it. I have to see this fucked up world where kids are happy to sleep on the floor because their homes are worse.

Fuck! I am pissed off about this!!

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