By Linda Pona
Reflecting on the past week, there have been joyous sounds as the Iimbewu Youth orchestra performed at the Guy Butler Theatre at the Monument, giving the youth a chance to grow and develop their musical talent. The word iimbewu is derived from the isiXhosa word ‘seeds’; to me, that shows so much potential for what can be, especially for young minds. It shows that we are investing in the future of this country so that one day, we will leave it in capable hands.
Although we are meant to help and encourage the youth, Grocott’s Mail reported that children are taught in the dark because of unsuccessfully attempted cable theft. Unfortunately, specific individuals believe they are entitled to steal cables, depriving a child of their right to an education. In the words of Kofi Annan, “The world is not ours, it’s a treasure we hold in trust for future generations, and I hope we will be worthy of that trust”.
This has also been a week of discovery, as a scientist researched fossils of fish that lived over 360 million years ago. This shows us how advanced science has become that we can conduct research that dates back so long in history.
To help the local economy, Rhode University is preparing an entrepreneurship hub to help businesses grow local produce. This is a step in the right direction for Makhanda’s local economy.
In the news this week, there is an ongoing case where a spiritual leader was accused of raping a young woman. He was denied bail because various community members, the government, Anti-Crime groups and Qina Mbokodo, an organisation against GBV, signed a petition asking the court not to grant bail to the accused. The outpouring of support from the community for the victim showed the possibilities of what can be achieved if we stand together.
Despite this week’s ups and downs, the water crisis repeatedly resurges its ugly head, more so in the past two weeks, when water is a basic necessity. The constitution makes it clear that water is essential to life. Section 27 of the Bill of Rights states that “Everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food and water”, yet in Makhanda, the opposite is true. Although recent mechanical issues with pumps at James Kleynhans have been the course of the problem, it is still not okay that people are left days and weeks without water.
While there are many problems in the town, I have witnessed much can be achieved when a city comes together. As the proverb says, “It takes a village”, and I believe if we work together, we can achieve many things, including solving the many issues plaguing this town.