Lazola Pambo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of South Africa. He loves all things artistic.
Reckless City Life Illusions
Not in a million years, did I ever think I would find myself realizing one of the most catastrophic hidden truths in our country, South Africa.
I want to take a turn for a moment and talk about our cities, especially Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban. For some funny reason: these are the cities where most citizens look at as the ‘promised land’.
I’ll explain further by what I mean by that. It’s a sad reality that for the majority of South Africans, who seek to be successful in life: firmly believe that they have to dwell in these regions of our country and forsaking where they hail from.
Now I want people to understand that: I am not saying that people are wrong to work in these particular cities or aim for a better life.
The point of the matter is that many have been ‘brainwashed’ by the most heart breaking illusion that there can never be any life or success in other major places across the nine provinces of South Africa.
What hurts the most is that after a lengthy period, we still view these above mentioned cities as the only greatest role players in the country.
I know of many creative minds, who are given no other choice but to travel to these cities in order to make a name for themselves.
I think now I want to shift this issue to the government and other leaders in our municipalities. Why is it that we have to glorify these cities and not build more relevant cities in other provinces in the country?
I mean, how many times do we hear of complaints regarding the state of citizen influx in these cities? Would it not be wise to build other cities, with their own television networks, media outlets and all that sustains the cities we have now?
This is not me speaking out of tune here. We all know that not everyone who goes to Johannesburg, Durban or Cape Town, ends up successful.
The reason being is that there is plenty of competition in these cities without a doubt. How about we elevate the competition further by having not just one Broadcaster but many broadcasting networks in other provinces?
I am now not talking about local radio stations or local newspapers. In fact, I am dismayed by that word alone called ‘local’.
If we aim to be the best among the best, then we have to invest in building empires in other provinces. I am sure that there is not just plenty of talent but great potential in other provinces such as ‘Northern Cape,’ ‘Orange Free State,’ ‘Limpopo,’ ‘Eastern Cape,’ and ‘North-West’.
We can try to dismiss it as much as we like but these five provinces are highly looked down upon for some absurd reason. There is definitely something fishy going on here. Are you telling me that even for generations to come; the three cities will remain the trademark centers of what it is to be South African?
I always shake my head with the greatest of frustration when tourist visit the country. I mean their ignorance is also evident when they firmly believe that Johannesburg or Cape Town is in fact the whole of South Africa.
Then we also sing our romantic ballads by being impressed with different states in North America and the great opportunities each state has. In fact, we ought to learn something significant from them as an example.
The reason why they are also great in many forums; lies mainly because they don’t look at New York, Los Angeles and Chicago as the epicenter of becoming a success. Other major role states exist which are profound in their own right.
Now I know that this will never be something that will happen overnight in our country. What is important to take note though, is that for every problem that is brought forward on the table, it is a must that it is dealt with and not be observed as a charming fairy tale.
Our government has to also play a role regarding this most heart breaking illusion of children from the villages and urban towns, believing that to be a success in the country, one must be in Johannesburg or Cape Town.
What narrative are we projecting when we invite these beliefs? Are we really saying that other towns in other provinces have no significance for the people who dwell there in order to be successful too?
The subject of this matter is important to me and I believe many South African citizens, who have been frustrated throughout their lives by being ‘blackballed’ as not having much worth when they are not pursuing anything from these cities.
Oh yes, and one thing that should be pointed out and people should not be mistaken by thinking that I hate the above mentioned cities.
I love them to bits and I understand the importance of them existing in enriching the economic growth of our country, but hey, I will not wine and dine by being ignorant to the shenanigans that occur in the country. We need more developed cities in other provinces too. Is that too much to ask for?
© 2022 Lazola Pambo