This year will be the end of me (Part I)…

Hi all,

I know I haven’t posted anything here in a long while. I don’t even know where to begin.

Let me start by saying, everything that follows is not to garner any sympathy, but I need to vent on a forum where I know I won’t be judged (too much).

So, here goes… I think I had mentioned in one of my previous posts that my wife and I were expecting the birth of our first child. I am happy to say we have a healthy happy boy named Riley John Joseph. He was born on the 24th of April this year and has been such a blessing to us ever since.

I wish I could say the good news continues, unfortunately, it most definitely does not.

On the 05th of July this year, my family and I attended a funeral for my mother’s brother-in-law. He had been battling with cancer for years and finally, he could fight no longer. As my dad was seen as the patriarch of the family (his side and my mom’s), he was asked to give the eulogy at my Uncle’s funeral.

He gave an amazing eulogy and ended it by saying “I hope that when it’s my turn to go, that someone will be able to stand here and have as many great things to say about me, as I have said for *Uncle*.

If irony needed no clearer definition, my Dad passed away that very same night. It was a Friday night and my wife and I had just settled our boy for the night and had just sat down to unwind and watch television.

I received a call from a private number (I generally don’t answer calls from hidden numbers, especially when it is on a Friday night). I don’t know what made me take the call, but I answered. It was my folks security company to say that the panic button had been pressed at my folk’s residence and they could not get hold of anyone there.

This had happened previously, only for me to race into my parents driveway and found  that it was only a false alarm.

I phoned my Dad’s cell phone expecting my Dad to give me some cocky retort. However, the phone was answered by my mom who was hysterical. The only part I needed to hear was that my Dad wasn’t breathing.

A 6 minute journey turned into an infinite unbearable one. I arrived at my folks place to find an security member already there. I raced in doors and found my Dad lying with his eyes open and not breathing. I panicked at first, then remembered to keep calm for my mom. We both tried giving CPR. At one stage I could have sworn that he started breathing. I later learnt that the sound that came from his mouth was what they call “the death rattle”.

My sister and husband arrived soon after and by that time, the paramedics arrived on the scene. We were told to wait outside so that the paramedics could perform their duties uninhibited by a panic stricken family. Our family GP also arrived. He went in to see if he could assist.

I noticed the look on his face when he came back out (my family were all trying to restrain my mom from going back in).

It is very rare when a person can consciously comprehend a life changing or defining event.

I had accepted the worse and knew it was true. The trick was to keep it to myself and not ruin any hopes the rest of my family was holding onto.

The paramedics eventually allowed us in to monitor what they were doing. Trying to resuscitate a person is nothing like you see on TV. It’s brutal and it will leave it’s mark on you forever. We all had to watch as my father’s body was almost collapsing under the compressions being administered by the paramedics. Blood was coming from the top of my Dad’s head as it was resting on the tiles.

These are images I wish to God, I could forget.

The paramedics finally confirmed what I knew (and what my family were dreading on hearing).

My dad was gone.

Bad start to a Monday…

I guess my Monday could be worse thinking about the victims in the 20 odd car pile up on the N1 this morning.

I had to fire one of my employees this morning. He’s been with the company for nine years and knowing what I know about his personal life, it wasn’t easy.

We’ve actually been keeping an eye on him for quite some time now. We know for a fact that he has an extra marital affair in Cape Town where we send him for business every month. Instead of doing his work, we know that he doesn’t and perhaps spends his working hours with his significant other – other.

He has had a turbulent relationship with our company to say the least. It started out when we bought new company vehicles. Not even two months later, he totaled his car saying that he blacked out behind the wheel. Ok, so accidents happen – move forward a couple of years, he crashes his car into a street pole on a weekend. The company that towed the car tried to black mail our company by saying that if we didn’t use their repair company, they would report the fact to the cops that our dear employee was fall down drunk. Needless to say, we encouraged the tow truck company to go to the police as we would not be held hostage in this instance. They never did and we could unfortunately not prove that he was under the influence while driving.

He is also so badly in debt that our company has (had) numerous court orders to set aside money from his salary to pay off debt. Things started making sense when equipment magically started disappearing from the office. In December he lent R18 000.00 from another employee who has a stockvel going with her friends. He only recently started paying back the money he owed. As it turns out, he was supposed to pay this employee the sum of R2000.00 over the weekend but decided to gamble that money away instead of making his payment.

I caught him with beer breath once at work for which he received a warning.

The final straw however was the fact that the company has been losing money hand over fist with petrol. Upon investigation, it was found that he was using company petrol cards on weekends and filling up 25l drums, then selling it for cash at a slightly lower price than the petrol stations were offering.

This has happened in just the last two months we have investigated. His hearing took place this morning and he admitted to everything.

Ironically, he sounded so surprised when we told him of his immediate dismissal. What did he actually expect?!

Now while I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of all these problems for the last while, I have struggled to come up with any concrete proof in order for me to take meaningful disciplinary actions. I guess he was bound to slip up some time and slip up he most certainly did.

While there is no love lost between this employee and myself, I guess I know that he has a drinking and gambling problem which makes you do things that you ordinarily wouldn’t. The people I most feel sorry for are his wife and children. His wife is currently employed and I don’t see anyone wanting to hire this employee with a nine year gap in his CV.

I cannot in good conscience give him any favorable references to anyone.

It’s so sad how your vices can change your life for the worse. It’s even sadder when you don’t realize what you have become.

Men should fight for their women in South Africa…

In 2009, one of our most famous exports, Charlize Theron, did an ad campaign against rape in South Africa.

As is par for the course these days, the campaign was labeled as controversial because some men felt that it took a dig at the law abiding men too.

I must admit, that at the time, I felt a bit peeved by the adverts too and for the life of me, I cannot remember why. If hindsight is 20\20, then I must have bionic telescopes for eyes now.

Charlize was 100% right. REAL MEN DON’T RAPE!

For all the lads reading this wanting to pat yourself on the back because you wouldn’t dream of committing such an atrocious act, don’t even think about it!

Do I have your attention?

What is happening to the women in South Africa is a disease worse than cancer! It’s spreading fast and we are no where near to finding out how to stop it.

Just ten days ago, we were all aware of the rape statistics in South Africa, but in true South African style, we show apathy towards the situation until we’re shocked out of our seats and start making arm-chair call to action. What happened to Anene Booysens is repulsive, demonic evil at its best. But if you follow the news, a 61 year old sight AND hearing impaired grandmother was raped in the same room her grand-child was sleeping. The rapist fell asleep on the bed next to her!

Today’s story is that ANOTHER teenager was found dead in the Cape. Although it’s not conclusive yet, reports suggest that she was raped and strangled to death.

What is going on?!?!!! Why is this happening?!!? What are we going to do about this?!?!!!!!!?

Women are 95% of the victims of rape. The rest makes up man on man and in rare cases, woman on man. Each of them more disgusting than the rest.

I read an article posted on news24 about men’s silence on rape being deafening. I have been mulling over that article the whole weekend.

The reason this stuck with me is, it’s so dam true!

Women’s rights activists are marching, protesting, petitioning and pleading with the powers that be for their undivided attention against rape. Where are the men?

We speak out to one another about how disgusting rapes are over the braai, and in manly bravado we declare “just give me five minutes with them boet, they’ll never rape anyone again”.

OK, thanks Mr Tough Guy. Inspirational words indeed. Stopping rape in this country is going to take a lot more than just five minutes. It’s going to take men to start making rapists feel ashamed to exist and it won’t be done by “spending five minutes alone”.

I’m not saying that any one of us is less shocked and disturbed by what happened to Anene Booysens and I know, that everyone’s feelings of sympathy for the victim and her family are genuine. But we have to show more, feel more and do more.

Men should be the frontline defense for all women in this country. When someone’s daughter, mother, sister, aunty, cousin, friend, girlfriend or wife is raped, we should speak out more vehemently than if they were our own!

We should have our most famous and well known male sports stars and celebrities appearing on TV, billboards, radio commercials and at public events taking a strong stand on rape, not mincing their words and making it perfectly clear that rape will not be tolerated in our country.

Let there be controversy, let there be discussion and let the country not forget about what is happening to our women!

Real men don’t rape. Better men don’t stay quiet.

 

 

Stop complaining, start doing something…

Hi Guys,

As you all know, I am always one of the first to criticize government in SA for all their shortcomings. So instead of being one who whines a lot about everything and takes action on nothing, I’ve decided to launch a petition with Avaaz.Org to get the government to take on violent crime in a serious way.

Yes, this is my shameless way of asking all of you who live here or abroad to sign the petition and start making changes we want to see in SA.

Please if you have a moment, sign the petition and if you *really* like me, take a moment to share it with your Facebook friends and family.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_violent_crime_in_South_Africa/?launch

Thanks guys!

Babies names…

I can’t believe that it’s only three more months until the birth of our first child.

We found out that it’s going to be a boy which is awesome but, before we new the gender of our baby, my wife and I had gone through names for boys and girls that we just could not agree on. Finally my wife came up with a name for a girl which we both really like – Riley.

Yet, as fate would have it, once we were settled on a girls name we discovered it’s going to be a boy. I quite like the idea of naming our little man after me Nosferatu the second. My wife is having none of that. I’ve always liked the name Caleb. I know it sounds biblical but it sounds like a good strong name. Again, my wife is having none of that too. So back to the drawing board we go. We’ve got a 300 page book of babies names with names in there that are truly ridiculous. One or two examples are “Bacon” and “Carjack”. Really?!

Well we’ve decided to sit this weekend and write a whole list of names down that we will hopefully come to some sort of agreement on.

But in the mean time, here’s a joke that goes with the theme.

A heavily pregnant Jamaican woman was driving to the store one day. Next thing, bang! She was in a car accident.
While she was unconscious, she went into labour and was whisked away from the crash site into hospital.

She woke up about three days later with a bandage over her head.

Immediately, she felt her stomach and started yelling,” Me baby, where be my baby mon”!?

In walked the doctor who calmed her down saying “Relax mon, you had a ealthy set of twins – one girl and one boy. Boaht babies be fine”. Your broder done come to the hospital to watch over them, and he even gave them names”.

Having calmed down knowing her babies were fine, a new panic set it on the woman.

“What he called dem mon”???

The doctor took a look at the chart. “Well, he done named your daurghter “Denise”.

“Oh tank da Lord”, exclaimed the woman. “And wat of the boy”?

The doctor looked down a the chart again and replied,” Denephew”.

Am I racist?… No. Am I culturalist?…

So here we are, back at the beginning of a brand new year in 2013.

It hasn’t taken long for the same old antics and news stories to rear their heads and we’re not even half way through January.

I went on leave on the 14th of December. My holiday was eventful yet relaxing. The night before we were to leave to go to Ballito, we watched Trevor Noah’s new DVD “That’s racist”. I love Trevor Noah’s material. He is so easy to relate to with the topics he touches on and his impersonations are unbelievable.

I thoroughly enjoyed his DVD until something happened which I never thought I’d see from Trevor. His issue (or lack there of) with the use of the K word prompted him into somewhat of a sermon of sorts. Needless to say I was a bit shocked. He used Darren Scott as an example of how the K word could be so damaging and how he’s tired of this word being used with “no consequence”. Well colour me stupid but I thought that Darren Scott got fired as a DJ and lost his job on Supersport. That’s major consequence which Trevor failed to bring up. In his tirade over the use of the “K” word, he gave the strong impression that racism in South Africa is white thing. Again, for someone that has travelled this country extensively and seems to be a well informed, intelligent man the fact that racism is prevalent from every race in SA and not just from whites, seemed lost to him.

This coupled with a news article prompted me to get back up on my soap box again. The story was the one about CSA not being happy with the “black representation” within the South African team. I read the story and promptly read the comments that followed. True to South African form, a racial tirade began and went on for pages. There were a lot of unnecessary comments from all parties concerned. Some people are able to engage one another with fact and reason where others are just blatantly hateful.

One theme that I always pick up from comments on stories similar to this is, it seems as if blacks are waiting patiently for whites to pack their bags and fly away never to return. It’s almost an expectation they have and everyday that whites dare stay in South Africa is another slap in the face to them.

On many occasions, when I read comments like “South Africa will only be free once the whites are all gone”, I merely reply: I am white, I am PROUD to be white and I’m NOT GOING ANYWHERE. South Africa is just as much my country than anybody else’s. I’ve never had a reply of any sort to that statement.

As far as I’m concerned, skin colour means nothing to me. I can happily live in a mixed community and feel that I’m living Nelson Mandela’s version of the South African dream.

What I do have a problem with (a major problem) is culture. There is no hand book on any one culture that states anyone’s culture is more relevant than any other. However am I wrong for hating:

The culture of expectancy, the culture of I want rather than I earn, the culture of destruction to gain something, the culture of no consideration, the culture of violence, the culture of corruption, nepotism and greed, the culture of entitlement, the culture of hate, the culture of disregard for human life, the culture of bleeding a country dry to line one’s own pocket, the culture of animosity, the culture of blame rather than action, the culture of propaganda, the culture of ignorance and the culture of no consequence.

This is what I hate about South Africa. It’s in the news everyday. It’s shoved down our throats and is exacerbated by journalists and news franchises that only get half the story. It’s publish now and maybe the facts later.

I’d like to start a culture of people thinking for themselves rather than relying on the “educated” opinions of those without two brain cells to rub together.

Please people, this race thing is getting so old.

Am I racist? No.

Am I culturalist? Very, definitely…