Wednesday, 10 April 2013

A South African Youth

by V.C. Neguyuni

Hello everyone. I am a South African youth, my name is not that important (...after all, what's in a name?). I come from a very poor family and reside in poor rural setting. I was raised by my mother and my grandparents. The best my mother has is a grade 10 certificate. She has been a domestic maid ever since I can remember. I have never seen my father; I don’t even know his whereabouts. My mother was just one of his many wives.

I have been fortunate enough to be accepted into the foundation phase for a chemistry degree in a town university after passing my matric with a bachelor. I am on government’s financial aid. Varsity life is something else; they say “life is fast. But surely, varsity life is even faster.” I was persuaded to taste alcohol in a residence orientation; it seemed a so cool thing then. Never had it crossed my mind that it was addictive and now I spend my food allowances on alcohol. It goes down well with a cigarette, so they said. There goes another addiction.

It seems to be a curse not to have many girlfriends in this part of the world. You are given a king status for having multiple partners. Girls are applauded by friends for getting laid, at least. Boys are given a handshake for finally getting her down, for that one night stand, for breaking her virginity. They say here in this part of the world that “virginity is not dignity but lack of opportunity” and they can debate it better than anyone. When Ishmael recited his “oath” which stated that “I vow, that so long as I have breath in my body, nothing, neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor the gloom of night, shall keep me from the call of destiny, whatever the cost maybe, I shall fight”, they merely looked at him and shrugged their shoulders in that manner that says “and then?”

I became friends with this other girl; she happens to become a very good friend of mine. Here in the cities, the term for her is “friend with benefits.” But Mokhithi said “her legs are like rumours, they spread everywhere she goes”, Makatu proposes that sadly, "her legs would only come together in a coffin” courtesy of the deadly virus. I deceived her other friend, an innocent first year, and we had sex without condom. She was a virgin, but now she’s preparing for her days as a mother.

In the rural areas, he lied again and she believed. That's my youngest sister and she is pregnant again. Yes again, the first pregnancy was aborted. Are we now heading for the second abortion? There is more truth than just views about what Joshua observed about her. He came to realize that “she falls in love with married men. Almost all the guys she has dated are married. If you are not married, you are not her candidate.”

How can I forget Naftan’s observation? He recited, “I looked around and all I witnessed was the fellow brothers fighting for the leftovers and sisters willing to do whatever it takes to get that child grant.” It looks like home girls are competing, seemingly expectant of some reward, to get pregnant at a youngest possible age.

My best friend from school was not fortunate enough to get a bachelor. He too is from a very poor family and the diploma that he got seem to be not helping him. He has not been accepted in any of the tertiary institutions that he applied. Private colleges have a place for him, but finance is the sole restrictive factor. Rumour has it that he’s indulging himself into much traditional beer. He’s slowly but surely disintegrating, i heard. Why didn’t anyone tell him about the public F.E.T colleges in time?

The girl from the house near mine failed matric after repeating a few lower grades. A certain rule goes that you don’t repeat matric in her school, for whatever reason. There only place she can repeat matric is in private schools. I know for sure that she doesn’t have money for such schools. While waiting to write her supplementary examinations, she too fell pregnant.

Then there is Awe's observation and honest remarks: “You said you are going to leave that church because you are not being used. No, you meant you are not being seen. You bought a car you don’t even enjoy because you want people to see that you have arrived. You didn’t marry a wife but a showpiece because you want to show off in the family reunion.”

I did some soul searching and my fingers trembled as I write this piece, for fear of some truth exposed by this article. Why didn’t I become a better person? Why didn’t I utilize the opportunities presented to me to the maximum? Why didn’t I do my best? The best I could do is to admit to myself….that I am part of those whom Wandile described as “failing our people”

As Lusani would say, “What on earth are you here for?”
Mashudu Mokhithi - Facebook Status
Rendani Makatu - Facebook Comment
Ishmael Tshikhovhokhovho - Facebook Note: The Oath
Joshua Muruge - Facebook Status
Naftan Tshikuvhe - Article: Constipated South Africa as I know it....
Wandile Mamba - Facebook Note: Plea for a change
Lusani Masindi - Article: Life is getting meaningless!

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