I gave 10 years to fighting corruption. Unfortunately, no one stood with me in a meaningful way. South Africa is broken. Maybe, in a different way, I am too. But I don’t regret having represented what I believe in.
The best lesson I learned was minimalism. Most material things don’t matter. I would like to own a small fridge but there’s no need for a car or a big TV. I’ve handled 6-months of lockdown well. I’ve spent so much time alone, much longer than that, that I don’t need friends anymore. Maybe that’s good because I’m disgusted at this ‘culture’ which promotes helicopter parents, thinks celebrity matters, and that clothing brands are a status symbol.
The biggest extinction was trust. Those who pretended to be friendly did more damage to me than blatant enemies. The million knives in my chest don’t equate to the pain of the handful in my back. I must accept that Knysna will never be my home again, a tough rock to swallow after the hard work and fear. But truth is paramount so I must appreciate the people who tried to use me. They taught me that hope cannot exist without trust. With that extinction realisation, the only option I have is to change myself.
Self-respect is a possession. I get to keep that even though I lost.
I’ve already closed some of my websites. Love Knysna and Knysna Keep will follow when their hosting packages run out.
If left alone by my enemies, and if Government doesn’t call me as a witness, I will visit the countless books I’d meant to read long ago. That doesn’t remove the likelihood of me one day being in front of an angry judge. I’ll be glad when that happens so that I can close that door. In that moment, I’ll fight as hard as I can so that there’s record, the same way the over 2600 downloads of my book are. If jailed, I’ll make a final stand.
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The cartoon header is metaphor for my thoughts on community. It’s when our selfish neighbour sees we’re in trouble, and wants to make him or herself feel good without helping us. It’s when we witness something wrong that we can change, but we’re too lazy to do anything about it except support our ego for the sake of our false memory of ourselves as good people.
Words will never save our country and secure our better future. Neither will Facebook opinions that aren’t backed by action in reality. Unfortunately, common sense is meaningless. Humans, as a collective, only learn important lessons after a disaster. Thankfully, that pain has arrived and will deepen. Sad for us but the next generation, or the one after that, needs us to fall so that they can stand taller.
“So long, and thanks for all the fish”. If you know what that means, and since there were no fish, you may be one of the few, like me, that believes that irony is underrated.