My family elders are an unsympathetic bunch.

Written by on October 5, 2020

The elders in my family are an unsympathetic bunch. I tried to complain about the virus and lockdown, but it fell on deaf ears. 

I complained to my Mom about having to travel with a permit through roadblocks. She reminded me that my Grandfather had to carry a dompas at all times most of his life – and beware the police response when you were found without your papers. He lived through a World War and Apartheid. 

I tried complaining to my Grandmother about having to queue outside the supermarket as they limit customer numbers. She shrugged and said I don’t know hardship until I queue for rations. She lived through the Great Depression. 

I complained to my Uncle about kids having to get remote or home schooling. His response: “Try teaching 70 hungry kids in a classroom with 10 books and a gaping hole in the roof.”

My Aunt was just as unsympathetic. I tried to complain about the lack of fresh meat. She says they ate meat only at Christmas. 

And of course, all of them reminded me that Madiba spent 27 years in jail for my freedom. Surely, a few days cocooned in my home to preserve that same freedom cannot be a hardship.

And so I conclude, proudly I might add, that I stand on the shoulders of giants. 

Time to think and behave like my ancestors.