Society's morality, ethics taking a battering
It's regrettable that our society's moral fibre has gone down in a spiral and is dying fast.
Today a 12-year-old child has a boyfriend or a girlfriend because we allow it to happen. When the child belonged to the whole village; when every parent was a parent to all, life was fun and worth living. That phenomenon was awesome and worked wonders.
Our youth die early deaths that could be prevented. But as parents and society we lead a foreign lifestyle. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, but becomes a problem when the youth become a law unto themselves and do as they please right in front of us as parents. What do you say when your child sleeps out and comes back the next morning? Will you be surprised when she is pregnant with a fatherless child? Will you be surprised when he becomes a criminal or a jailbird? What do you say to your sons when they bunk school, neglect their studies - when they trade their lunch money for a 'zol' and smoke it right in front of you?
Our uncles can not be trusted with children whom they rape, and not protect. Neighbours used to look after the next door's children. Can we do that now? Our grandparents are robbed of their meagre pension grants that feed our own children. Can someone please show me a born criminal? They turn to criminal life because we hero-worship them and ride their Gusheshes, mothers in particular.
You hear them say "Abantu banomona kaba funi umntanami agibele imoto enhle" (people are jealous they don't want to see my child driving a fancy car) But frankly, the guy is a loafer and and has never said "good morning" [worked] all his life yet he's a snazzy dresser and a trendsetter known for his flashy lifestyle. So how does he generate his income?
We complain about crime; we know the culprits but do we report them? We may moan about today's youth losing morality, ethical values, but isn't our duty to invest and nurture our future leaders? Our leaders say it's okay to have sex without a condom. Just take a shower afterwards and eat a lot of beetroot and garlic.
Our girls leave school and choose prostitution. Our boys choose alcohol abuse, gangsterism and intoxication.
A lot has been said about the youth; that teenagers will always be teenagers, overzealous, hyper-active, curious, naughty, jubilant, jovial and over-excited. If you don't give them the correct information, they don't mind experimenting. Powerless children and women are abused day and night while we watch and pretend as if we don't see anything. Where is the morality everyone is asking about? It is there, it's with us. But we just don't care anymore. It is not my business anymore, we say.
Lets go back to basics. Our ancestors are turning in their graves. Let us preserve our culture and stop trying to be what we are not. We drink and sleep with our children. Mamazalas (mothers-in- law) drink with their sons- in-law sharing from the same glass.
In the past, if mkhwenyana (son-in-law) found his mamazala in the same taxi he would not board it but wait for the next one.
That was morality and those were the old good days. We have all the power to change all these trends and resort back our culture which we are fast losing its grip and its pivot.
I rest my case.
- Tshehla is a Sowetan reader