Maybe the African Child has the right to celebrate the little success they achieve at that particular time; I mean daaamn we have so much to overcome before we get to a point called “success”. I am reminded of a video game or games on our phones where you have to overcome the odds to get to the next level.
Each level has a mean boss with his/her evil servants ready to take you out!
We know the history of this country which unfortunately becomes the start to this game. You start from a disadvantage point already when you are born in a Township or Rural Area. Your parents aren’t educated therefore if you want education, you pretty much have to figure that out by yourself. Not only are you born in a family where parents are without education- but it’s also a big family of unemployed people.
So now you have to figure out: 1) how to pass at school 2) where to get food to eat 3) how to be a child and 4) what future to have?
How to be a Child African Child?
This has its own challenges because you see other children from better households taken care of by their present parents. How do you then become a child when there’s no parent around?
- African culture says that we are raised by our community; meaning a next door neighbor parent is your parent. An adult on the street in your community is your father/mother. The teacher in front of you is your parent. From them you can learn to be a child!
How to pass at school?
In the absence of someone educated in your family doesn’t mean that you have to resign yourself into the inevitable:
- Almost every household has a radio or a tv or a smart-phone of some sort. Find your information from these devices.
- Again there are teachers willing to go an extra-mile for you but they cannot force themselves on you. Go to them and ask for help. There are other peers in your school willing to lend a hand use them. In your community there will be people in colleges and universities make time with them.
- Own a dictionary that has your African language translated in English.
- Understand that you have the ability to achieve through education and change your family situation.
Where to get food to eat?
I remember as a kid I used to come back from school so hungry I would search for banana peels and orange peels in dustbins and on sidewalks. I would go to various wild trees and search for eatable fruits, all because my step-mother refused to give me food that my father provided for! But I still went to school, passed never failed because I was determined.
You live in the era where people like “younger me” are prioritized by government. There’s nutrition programs in schools be part of it! You are not hungry when you still concern yourself about what will your peers think of you? One day you will be in a far better position all because you ate at school, learned and passed.
What future to have?
Here’s where it gets tricky. South Africa has an unemployment disease that no one has a cure for. I can tell you to start a business but unfortunately our economy is not designed for an African Child with no noble background. Unless you have a family member rich and believes in you, entrepreneurship becomes a lucky draw type of a situation. But…
- If you can develop skill to manufacture anything you have a chance
- Agriculture is the way to go because the world is running out of food security
- Engineering needs you with South Africa’s Black Industrialists focus
- Doctors are in shortage
The main thing is that there’s many opportunities as there are threats. Like with that video game or that game in your phone; there are lots of challenges facing an African Child but the rewards are great. They maybe small rewards but they lead to the next level.