Sat Oct 22 21:56:52 SAST 2016

Fallen stars think the world owes them some gratitude

By unknown | Feb 15, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

I WAS mildly amused the other day when I read that a few Limpopo-based former professional football players were unhappy that they were not getting the recognition they thought they deserved.

I WAS mildly amused the other day when I read that a few Limpopo-based former professional football players were unhappy that they were not getting the recognition they thought they deserved.

They decried the fact that, unlike in other provinces where former players are lauded, they have, among other hurtful things, to pay to watch their former teams play.

Some of them ridiculously think that they deserve to be called legends purely on the strength that they have since hung up their boots.

Their concerns made me wonder what it is about former players or musicians that makes them to be entitled to certain perks perpetually.

Why do adult men and women live with the constant belief that society owes them something just because they once scored an important goal or sang a song we all danced to?

Each time one of them falls on hard times or dies a pauper, we must blame their previous employers or must all dig into our pockets so that they get a decent funeral.

This tendency of not making fallen stars account for how they have lived their lives creates an impression that the rest of poor and working class people are taught by some expert how to handle their earnings, however meagre.

I have no problem with making a donation for a worthy cause, but it should be clear to even the recipients that such charity is not a right.

Life is hard for most South Africans. Families everywhere struggle to bury their loved ones or put bread on the table.

That is why poor communities all over the country have set up schemes where families make donations for funerals so that others would come to the party when the eventuality arises. I often went around my neighbourhood to make my grandmother's Zimele contributions. The name Zimele - stand on your own - is itself a revolutionary call to action and self-dependence.

I cannot therefore understand why former stars and their families cannot join their own version of Zimele but rather choose to hold the state or their fans hostage for their misfortunes.

We should reject this cancer of a culture ofentitlement. It is usually those who have or have had that are most afflicted by this malady. The poorest among us are the ones who are always willing to pay for a lift they are lucky enough to get while standing on a country roadside.

It is the most exploited of migrant workers that do whatever it is in their power to build proper homes for themselves and their children "back home", while the people of Balfour burn libraries to show their anger at the lack of servicedelivery.

Steve Bantu Biko's teachings, or rather indifference to his teachings, are instructive with regard to how we became such a sorry bunch of people. We are as much on our own as when that visionary spelt it out some three decades ago.

That is why we cannot afford to be contaminated by the thinking of the likes of one season wonders such as "the legendary" Sidney Moshikaro, who in their hallucinations believe society owes them something.

The sooner we get to grips with the reality that if we are to prosper as a people we cannot continue to be extending our begging caps to others - be they the state, religious missionaries or former employers - the sooner we will get ourselves out of the rut.

The spirit of self-dependence that has made the Zimeles of this world make dying a little less stressful for communities forgotten or ignored by the mainstream can still be harnessed to make life a tad more bearable.

Who knows, standing on our own might just be the catalyst necessary to break the cycle of poverty and its attendant evils that some blasphemously proclaim to be a divinely ordained curse on us, black people.


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