When we were kids, while playing and riding rented bicycles, we never bothered to wear helmets. We played marbles, 'diketo', dodging, skipping ropes. We played with other kids, not with computers.
After school time we played till dusk or until our mom called us in to eat.
We never watched the world via the Tube or by locking up ourselves in our room.
We played only with our real friends, not with www.com followers.
If we ever felt thirsty, we drank tap water or water directly from the stream.
Plastic bottled water either didn't exist or was deemed an extravaganza.
We never got ill even after sharing the same juice, fruit or drinks with our friends.
We didn't put on weight even after eating a plate full of marble sweets and liquorish, pap and morogo, yam or plantains. On special days like Christmas or New Year we had 'makwenya' and chicken.
Nothing happened to our feet even after roaming and kicking a ball made of rags and plastics or rubber bare footed.
We never used any health supplements to keep ourselves healthy. We ate wild fruit like "mahlatswa". Coke, speed, heroine were words from a far-off world, not our world.
We used to create our own toys, 'klei-osse', bamboos, carton and milk tins.
A red brick stone had many uses; as a guard post, a crayon to mark the borders of our playing field on the street or to occasionally throw in the window of an empty building. The red brick stone was guarded as a treasure. We fought over it.
Our parents were not rich, and they never chased after money, a second house, a third car or a fourth vacation. They just sought after us and gave us their love, not material possessions.
We never had mobile phones, DVD's, PlayStations, X-Boxes, video games, personal computers, the internet, Instagram, Facebook, but we had many good friends. Real friends. Friends for life.
We used to visit our friend's home unannounced and enjoyed food with them. We never had to call them first and ask for their parents permission to visit their home. We just walked in, sat at their table and were treated as if we were their own.
Loving people were near to us, not far, so our hearts and souls were happy.
Hence we never required an insurance policy or expensive healthcare plan.
We appear in black & white photos but you will find many colourful memories among us.
Ultimately, we are a unique and most understanding generation, because we are the last generation that listened to their parents and also the first that had to listen to their children.
We are the last set of people to track for miles barefooted to school and the first to carry our children to school in cars or by drivers.
We are the last generation to enjoy free public school education and the first to pay to train our children in private schools.
We had less homework in our days so we could help our parents with home duties and we are the first to have to assist our kids, so burdened in their homework that they cannot assist their parents or maids in home duties.
We are not special, but a LIMITED EDITION an ENDANGERED SPECIES, the LAST OF A KIND. We are proud to belong to this noble generation.
We, the people born between 1950 and 1980, we are the awesome ones...
For obvious reasons; 5 years after the most destructive war the world has ever witnessed. 5 years after the last righteous war, if war ever can be called as such. 5 years after the fall of the colonial empires that set large parts of the world on a road to independence.
In 1980 the murderous, venomous snake called NEO-LIBERALISM entered this world introduced by its ideological parents Ronnie and Maggie and their cohorts. After that everything we cherished and took for granted landed on a slippery slope. Money became meaningful. Time was traded in for toys. Trust was trashed. Loyalty became LOL. Privacy turned into a public matter. Care was traded against convenience.
We never asked for it. We initially may have thought it was a good thing that would benefit us all. As it turned out, as with so much that has happened since then, the complete opposite became reality. An alternate reality was introduced.
Authority has shifted from the wise to the unwise. Parents no longer parent, too busy working double jobs to make ends meet. Teachers have a hard time teaching, stripped of their authority. Policemen are bullied. Paramedics who deliver first aid get harassed. Politicians are no longer guided by policy, but by the morning papers or should we say the morning tweets.
To manage or not to be.
Since the 80's the social middle-class has been hollowed out. Instead of being workers we now all aspire to become managers. To manage or not to be. Working has been outsourced to migrants, abroad or at home. Working is for fools.
The world has turned up-side-down.
For what purpose? In order satisfy the greed of a few, the needs of many are ignored.
Profits are privatised while losses are socialised.
We are not able to turn back the hands of time. No one can.
We are able however to transform, change. Real change.
We are able to retain that whatever good has been contributed since the 80's and discard the folly. If we set our minds to it, use our common sense and start to listen again to the awesome people. Our elders.
And please, please, let us not label this new era into another '-ism'!
Let's call it for what we all want and need:
FREEDOM, PEACE, LIBERTY, PROSPERITY and JUSTICE for ALL