En­ti­tle­ment is an ungly mon­ster, writes Danny

Cape Argus - - FRONT PAGE - By Danny Oosthuizen

AN AM­BU­LANCE trans­port­ing an in­jured child to hos­pi­tal was am­bushed on the Borcherds Quarry Road on Wed­nes­day evening. It was forced to a halt and the crew were robbed at gun­point, while the child’s mother fran­ti­cally tried to tell them her kid was in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion and needed ur­gent med­i­cal at­ten­tion. The rob­bers did not care. I can­not be­gin to imag­ine how lost, help­less and scared the mother must have felt.

This year al­most 800 000 ma­tric pupils will write their fi­nal ex­ams. Those who pass and go on to col­lege or univer­sity will prob­a­bly have to deal with #FeesMustFall protests.

Yes, we have no money for free ed­u­ca­tion – it was wasted by the many peo­ple we put our trust in.

For those seek­ing em­ploy­ment, you just need to look at the stats: around 9.3 mil­lion peo­ple are un­em­ployed, six times the world av­er­age.

More than half of the pop­u­la­tion is liv­ing un­der the poverty line. And in the mid­dle of this mad­ness, cer­tain po­lit­i­cal fig­ures are coin­ing it.

If only we had a pas­sion to deal with cor­rup­tion like we have for rugby or soc­cer, we would be far bet­ter off. But we carry on re­gard­less.

I sin­cerely wish the ma­tric­u­lants suc­cess in find­ing sub­stan­tial em­ploy­ment.

And I wish home­less peo­ple man­age to get a job that can cover their shel­ter fees.

We are not able to go out and find ac­com­mo­da­tion out­side shel­ter life. So we end up in and out of shel­ters. Very few ac­tu­ally get to go solo. It’s frus­trat­ing.

Yes­ter­day was World Kind­ness Day. These days, be­ing kind can con­fuse peo­ple. Kind­ness can be seen as a sign of weak­ness. When I got the op­por­tu­nity to work, to bet­ter my­self, I never took into con­sid­er­a­tion the way some home­less peo­ple would ex­pect me to just hand out my hard-earned cash.

Wher­ever I walk, it’s R2 here and R5 there. Some don’t even bother to greet me and ask how I am.

En­ti­tle­ment is an ugly mon­ster. And to bet­ter one­self, you must let go of all the nasty habits you had while on the streets.

But try­ing to ex­plain it to oth­ers is no easy task. They as­sume you now think you are bet­ter than the rest. So these days I tend to be all by my­self.

There are so many free on­line cour­ses one can use to study. I am cur­rently do­ing a diploma in so­cial-work stud­ies. You study at your own pace.

Go look at www.ali­son.com. Here you will find many cour­ses. Best of all, it’s free. One must make use of ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to bet­ter one­self. The world is ever chang­ing.

As Janet Jack­son sings (it is like she wrote this song with Cape Town in mind), “Drugs and crime spreadin’ on the streets, Peo­ple can’t find enough to eat. Now our kids can’t go out and play, That’s the state of the world to­day”.


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