Let me start by saying the rant which is about to follow does not apply to all secretaries! Names and places have been changed to protect the guilty few.
If you’ve ever needed a service to be provided and you’ve been met with a kind of passive aggressive attitude on the other end of the phone then you know the utter frustration when you pound against what seems like a brick wall. I realise it’s not always possible to get an appointment at your preferred time. However, I think it would be a valuable skill if secretaries or receptionists would show some kind of understanding and compassion.
All I want is a positive experience from the outset and it starts with that phone call.
So today is local election day and I decided to cast my vote like all responsible citizens should. As I walked to the polling station I was honestly thinking it may have been a bad idea to have taken my girls along because in my mind I visualised these long queues. That vision couldn’t have been further from reality. The room was as empty as an unused grave. It took me all of three minutes to fill out two ballot papers. I’d like to think there are that many stations that at any given time there are a bare minimum of voters at the polls.
The Brits do love to queue and I’m sure there are many disappointed voters out there who dreamed of enjoying a popular pastime. As for me I’ve given myself a pat on the back for braving the pouring rain to put my X on a ballot paper. Funny how empowering that feels! It’s true though every vote does count.
South Africans celebrate freedom day today in remembrance of the first democratic and non-racial election in 1994 as well as the contribution of those who fought to bring political freedom to all. It does seem like a lifetime away right now but I do remember the atmosphere and excitement around the time.
We have our political freedom but are we truly free? Freedom is more than political and somewhere along the line the rights of citizens to enjoy social freedoms has been drastically diminished. While we now have freedom to live where we want, educate our kids where we want and my personal favourite is to swim in whatever beach we choose. Somehow our freedom of movement is limited.
How much longer will our beautiful country be referred to as a young democracy? As freedom day is celebrated my prayer is that those in power would find a way forward for us to be truly free in our country. From the city to the farms people should be free from fear and intimidation. South Africa belongs to all who live in it.
Like Martin Luther King I have a dream too. I dream of a South Africa where we will be truly free because if we’re not free to enjoy the vast beauty of our land then I’m sad to say we are mere prisoners. Let freedom reign!
“Poverty prevails as the gravest human rights challenge in the world. Combating poverty, deprivation and exclusion is not a matter of charity, and it does not depend on how rich a country is. By tackling poverty as a matter of human rights obligation, the world will have a better chance of abolishing this scourge in our lifetime…Poverty eradication is an achievable goal” Louise Arbour
Poverty remains one of South Africa’s biggest challenges. While most human rights days celebrations seem to centre around the Sharpeville massacre. There is no doubt that what the sixty-nine fallen did was both heroic and memorable. Perhaps it is now time for the relevant authorities to focus on problems being faced by the masses which are no doubt depriving them of their basic human rights. The right to proper sanitation and safe living conditions. We can’t continue to remain focussed on the past with no thought for the present situation of far too many South Africans. The time has come and gone for delivery of far too many promises.
Viva South Africa viva…
Today was indeed a dark day in South African history. The approval of the protection of state information bill has sent shivers down my spine. The ruling party seems to favour personal privacy above the democracy that was fought for by many brave people. Being in public service requires some kind of accountability. My only hope now is that our relatively spineless president will see how ridiculous this vote is and ensure that the press and people of South Africa have the freedom to express themselves and stand up for what is right.
This culture of lack of accountability and secrecy is a common way in which countries with dictators are run. Surely we are past revolution speeches and just need to function as a true democracy. This bill has the potential to ruin the fabric of our free country and that would be a tragedy!
Today across Britain and many Commonwealth countries fallen soldiers were remembered. Remembrance day is a wonderful day set aside to commemorate these brave men and even women. I was in the company of some veterans today and they were very proud of responding to the call to protect their borders all those decades ago – and they should be!
Today many men and women across the world are still putting limb and life at risk for the safety of their countrymen. What a massive responsibility! Sadly though if I had one of many wishes it would be that we had no need for these extreme measures. I dream of living in a world with no borders, no war, no famine and no disease.
Tonight Libya is on the brink of freedom according to the latest media reports. So the world is watching with bated breath to see the outcome.
Freedom comes with great responsibility and my only hope is that the Libyan people are indeed prepared for the challenge! After years of tyranny under a leader they referred to as a brother and friend the wheels of his heavy-handed leadership are now turning against him. The same way he usurped leadership is the exact way it’s being taken from him.
No doubt it is a very scary time for Libyans at home and abroad. It’s been said that change is as good as a holiday but the Libyan people have had change before and it turned out to be a disaster. Hoping for speedy change and peace for all the people of Libya.
It has been a nerve wrecking few days here in the UK. Living in Birmingham it felt like a world away when the rioting started in London. Having finally arrived here in our city it became very clear that I was transported into a prison of fear and to a large extent even terror.
It is now believed that this spate of crime, lawlessness and thuggery was sparked by the death of a known criminal at the hands of the police. The family of the deceased have made it quite clear that he was a law-abiding citizen, a loving father and an all round good person.
A few years ago I attended the funeral of a well-known gangster in my native South Africa. The priest who led the service started his sermon by saying “his mother says he was a good son. the mothers of his children say he was a good father but the newspapers say he was a menace to society preying on innocent people” I guess the point I’m making is that people can be many things to many people.
So while the fires rage and many cities are engulfed by total madness. We hold our breath and look forward to calm returning to our city. On our journey to the pre rioting state we will no doubt be listening to the blame game which is gaining momentum like a wild-fire fuelled by the wind.
This has got to be the worst time to be a politician. Personally I don’t understand how they can be blamed for the damage we’ve seen across the country. I hope the full extent of the law will be enforced on all those hooligans and thugs who have sent us into an absolute state of fear!
Local elections were held across South Africa today. It was interesting to read about various people’s thoughts and opinions about political parties and their agendas. Yay for democracy but with this freedom there should undoubtedly be responsibility and accountability!
We need to be the change we want to see…politicians cannot not meet all of our expectations. I will instill in my daughters the need to be good law-abiding citizens.Further than that they alone will determine their future.Right now their future looks very bright:)