Get up Stand up …

Get up Stand up …

By Quinton Kippen

As we ride on this horse with no name, on a journey we are not sure of. We have been given a map, brochure, heard the presentation but still feel lost and the no scenery. How long will we be promised the in house meal and all the while we keep accepting the snacks? We have been promised a travel movie but all we get are advertisements and shorts.  A few years down the road of freedom, still feeling trapped, excluded and marginalized. Not because of the colour of my skin but rather lack of basic political information allowing me to understand and exercise my rights.

As Steve Biko once said, ‘if you want to keep a black person ignorant put it in a book,’ in this case it is our constitution, legislature, human rights and many of these other books that afford us the freedom and knowledge to participate in this democratic society. There is tons of valuable relevant information to make this country a force to be reckoned with, but access is the key. Poor service delivery, what service, lack of consultation, is there a doctor in the house? Participation, in some indigenous South African languages this word does not exist, so how are people to grasp the concept of its meaning? This may sound like I am picking on a particular group of people, but actually there are many people who attended school and many others still attending. These people believe politics has no influence on their lives and that they are insignificant to make a difference in society.

Bringing this into perspective, there is a space in our constitution for lobbying and advocacy. The only way one can engage with this is by having a fair knowledge of the constitution and legislature and all that it needs is sufficient evidence to challenge the system. Laws in the country are not changed due to mass action that creates awareness for consultation not for law changes. Know your rights don’t leave it to your lawyer, they will not get you the meal, and rather you keep eating the snacks with the hope of the meal coming round one day. My challenge to you is find out what the name of your horse is because the “gravy train” is long gone and you missed is. Set a course for yourself and make sure you stick to it, collect enough information of your destination, prepare for the journey taking along your own meals and snacks. Then let your voice be heard to the things that matter not just for yourself but rather think of those coming after you, your children, grand children and many others.

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