Captain Underpants and the young entrepreneur

Like most 7-year old boys, my Master Jim would much rather play computer games, watch Cartoon Network or bring to life some sort of invention that his over-active imagination have conjured, than to sit down and read a book.

I was therefore very happy when my mom recently told me that, during a visit to my brother’s farm he discovered a book called Captain underpants, which he actually read and could not put down for hours! I rushed out to Bargain Books and found that they stock the entire series! I bought one (about a week ago) and he was delighted.

This then, is last night’s conversation:

“Mom, I need another Captain Underpants book”
“Wow, have you finished the first one?” (Super excited mommy, so proud of her young man) “No, I just need one” (Mmmm, sounds weird)
“Why?”
“Well, it’s like this: every day when we have reading time in class, someone gets to borrow the book and read it” “Oh, that’s nice of you! What does teacher say about this?”
“She doesn’t actually know, ’cause it’s my business”
“What do you mean?”
“You see you are supposed to read to class readers, but they are boring. So, before reading time, I see who wants the book and who’s got money and then that person gets to read it instead of the stupid reader.” (Alarm bells!!!! Money, reading, what’s cooking). “Why do they need money?”
“Duh, its for renting my book and then they have to buy me whatever I want at tuck shop! How else am I supposed to be rewarded for being so kind?”

Now, am I supposed to be proud of him for coming up with a way to make money, or scold him for running a business in school? Either way, he is reading and loving it!

Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!

The End Of The Road

How often do we stand at this point in our lives? A point of no return where the way forward is cluttered with the remains of yesterday and the uncertainty of tomorrow. How often do we stand at this point and decide to take the easy route, the one that would cause less friction, the one we know and can’t stand to face anymore.
How often do we dare to take the leap into the unknown, an uncertain tomorrow, no matter how painful it may be, no matter what the consequences might be.
What needs to happen to jolt us from our passive frame into action?
How many times do you need to get hurt before you too will act?

Eugene Tere’blanche, Julius Malema and everyone inbetween

I grew up in a house with a mother on the one hand who accepted all and sundry for who and what they were.  She taught me from an early age that color does not matter, that the blood running through our veins, the organs that make us tick are all the same.

On the other hand, however, I had a stepfather that could instill fear with a mere look.  A very active AWB-member.  A man who believed in “white-power”, who used the “k-word” at every opportunity, who found pleasure in hurting and belitting any person of different color.  We got tagged along to AWB-meetings, had to join the “Kommando”, learn how to use weapons and clean them.

I HATE(D) this man and everything he stood for and out of sheer stubbornness decided that I will not hold these racist beliefs to be my own.

Eugene Tere’blanche was a powerful speaker.  He could drag you in and brainwash you without you realizing what’s happened to you.  You could walk into a meeting completely impartial and walk out fo there fired up and ready to go out and do whatever needs to be done. He was a powerful man for sure.

With much interest I’ve been watching the developments in the country over the recent months.  Julius Malema is a powerful man and reminds me of Tere’blanche in so many ways it’s scary.  The way he can incite a crowd and make them belief.  The way he can sweep you up and make you feel the hatred stemming from years of oppression boil insid eyour blood.  Julius Malema is a powerful man.  A man who holds in his hands more power than he himself realizes.

When I opened the Sunday Times page this morning, as I normally do, I was shocked to read about the murder of Tere’blanche and realized the implications of this act within seconds.

For so many people across the country Tere’blanche’s death means nothing.  Just another murder in a country where it has become as common as shoplifting.  After all, in the Western Cape alone a child was murdered every 3 days over the last year.  Why then should his death be any different?  Why then should his death carry any significance? 

The problem is that on the one hand we have the AWB clan:  a group of men and women, young and old, who still carry with them, in their blood and imprinted in their minds, much like neo-Nazis, that “white-power rules and that everything else should be eliminated, like a plague.  A leaderless clan.

On the other hand we have the ANC Youth League, a group of men and women, young and old, who still carry with them, in their blood and imprinted in their minds, the heritage of hatred and oppression.  A clan lead by Malema.

Now I ask myself which is more dangerous:  a bunch of people, swept up by talk around kitchen tables, with no leader to settle them down, or a group of people incited by one (very powerful) man?

I can only pray that we as a country have grown enough in the past 16 years to see this murder as just another murder.  That sounds horrible, so jaded, but it is a fact:  Tere’blanche in all his power  have become just another South African statistic, and that over a pay dispute.

I can only pray that we, the normal every day people who need to make a living, the people caught between these two camps will be strong enough in numbers and in our beliefs to not get caught up in this big mess.

I can only pray that we can get past this and keep our focus on healing years of wrong doing and building a stronger, better and safer South Africa.  A country to be proud of, citizens who can truly call themselves Proudly South African.