(The encoring cries of the poor)
All over the world throughout history, it has been common knowledge and practice that societies be divided into the so called ‘high-class (VVIPs), the middle class (VIPs) and lastly the forgotten masses (the poor)’. The reality of the matter is that these artificial divisions are creating animosity and inequalities between and within nations. Since 1800 and the beginning of science and technology, things looked like they were changing for the better. But the world population has increased by more than 5 Billion people and three quarters of that population is connected through internet and social media, yet the world is still divided into socio-economic classes a sign that we are not civilized enough. The politicians, business persons and middle class lives high on the socio-economical hierarchy, but not the poor. They are forgotten in the deep end of this so called civilization.
As if is not enough to live with or experience the reality of being poor, masses of our people are still subjected to all kinds of discriminations: for example during public gatherings like weddings and soccer matches they are often fenced separate from the so called VIPs and VVIPs who are given prestigious treatment at their expense and in front of the them. How do you think the so called ‘poor people’ feel when you and your VIP friends live comfortably in the “VIPs areas” with your children, and on the other side they are piled in large numbers with their friends and families? How do you think the children of the poor feel when they see you and your children eating and living comfortably at your VIP’s sections? Think about it!
‘Poor people’ are crying for basic services, to be listened to and even to be treated as equals in the countries they live in. It is sad to realize that indeed our people are still being disregarded and disrespected by the governments they elected. Be it in China or RSA, the parliaments which were supposed to be the people’s assemblies are being turned into boxing rings and political stages to showcase the negative egos of politicians or the so called “VIPs”.
For sure as you read this article, you will hear the silent voices of the poor encoring into your conscious mind as if you are listening to sad music that talks about the suffering of your brother or sister. These are the voices of masses of the world’s poor children who are crying for the attention of the elites and the privileged to attend to their needs and hopes. It is really sad to hear majority of our people complaining about the governments they elected, which were supposed to attend their needs but chose to ignore its people’s cries.
It is still sad to see more of the so called the “poor” being subjected to infinite poverty, unemployment and inequality with no hope for escape. What do you say or do about the voices of poor women and children who cry rape and maltreatment by us men? What do you do about a homeless child who lives like a pig and being forever high because of substance abuse?
If I still remember well, I think they taught us in school that “Democracy is the government of the people for the people by the people”, this sounded nice for many of us, but the reality today is that democracy is not what it is defined to be. You can understand if I and many of our people out there are starting to feel otherwise about democracy. What is democracy without its children? Where is South Africa going without its drug addicted children, abused women and children? What do you do about an indigent family that needs your generosity? Can you as a South African or American truly say you can help or welcome those who are literally swimming in a pool of poverty like Zimbabweans to your doorstep?
Like many countries that adopted a trending system of democracy as a new form of government, South Africa also adopted democracy in 1994 with the aim and anticipation of creating a “free state” in which people were to live together in harmony, unity, equality and brotherhood. But now all those hopes seem to be far from reality, it is true that no society can claim civilization until all its people are equal and free to make their own choices. Yes, South Africa has achieved democracy, yet without total freedom and equality. In recent times, South Africa and the rest of the world have experienced quite a number of social dissatisfactions due to these silent voices of the poor.
Be it the endless service delivery protest, Fees must fall, Zuma must fall, Gupta must go and now war against what others termed “Monopoly capital”, all these are the silent voices of the masses who have been an irritating sound into our heads and hearts for too long until recently when they exploded into vibrant protests. It is because of this that I must say: until we hear and attend the cries of the poor, disabled people, women and children, no nation or state shall claim prosperity and civilization. The truth is, there will never be peace and a true civilization in this world until we fight and kill the inequalities we are seeing in every state in the world. Should we not listen to the silent voices of the poor they may rebel and even start a revolution. Let us (who can) listen and also do something positive about these cries for help. Listen!
Mashabela KN is the author of the history book: MIRROR OF HISTORY and also a fiction book known to many people as ROAD TO RIGHT