Dark grey smoke, too thick to breathe and too sweet to smell, swallows the N2 outside Knysna in protest again. Cars screech to halts, the occupants nervous as shadows spring past smaller fires and shadows alongside the road. They remember that time when passengers got robbed in this area. They look around, nervous as they realise there are no police in sight…
People here, some rightly so, get emotional each time the N2 gets closed by the rioting residents of Oupad, Knysna. No matter what your view, we must NEVER FORGET that the people living there are humans just like me and you, sharing many of the same hopes and fears. The difference is that when they laugh they are far stronger than us who aren’t living in shacks battling for services.
The problem is a lack of jobs. The problem is that the Rainbow Nation dream was a lie. Those who break issues down into black & ANC versus white & DA are propagating a further lie. It’s more complicated than that and more simple at the same time.
If you don’t try understand where people are coming from then how can you judge them from comfort faraway?
I was in Oupad today, visiting the other Immanuel Ministries church (i previously posted pics of the White Location visit) where another end-of-the-year kids event was being held. Being inside a tin church painted grey under a summer son was almost as hot and stuffy as smoke from those protests.
My mate, the Magic Man, was there to perform rope and card tricks.
My photos may not be grand but the obvious delight on the kids’ faces will still jump at you. Then, to those of your who are more privileged, i want you to compare their joy to the pictures of the shacks some of them are living in.
I’m not saying there’s a solution to our country’s troubles and the world turmoil that flings us around but i do know that if more of us sought understanding and worked together, Knysna could do much better.