A peace deal went terribly wrong today, I found myself at gunpoint. An M16 pointed on my head, my brains to be splattered. I said a little silent prayer, something which wasn’t mundane to me. Luckily we had always premeditated for this kind of situation. My comrades were anxiously waiting outside for my call, the man was to end our long fought battle at this very moment. At the drop of a hat, I heard a loud gunshot. To my realisation, my comrade had taken down the man and my life was safe for now.
My life has become a perilous routine; I sleep with one eye opened, wake up, wash up and assemble with the comrades, then go back to the battle field. I guess that’s how it is for everyone nowadays. Ever since we lost our own destructive war, it’s been every man for himself. It’s scary how a man can turn savage when he is to take care of his own.
Our country was divided once again but not exactly like it initially had before.
The term ‘poverty gap’ was used as a figurative contrast between the poor and those prosperous. But during the year of 2031 it became more than just a figurative meaning. Looking back at the late Dr Nelson Mandela’s dream of making South Africa a rainbow nation, our country has done nothing but fail consistently. From a rainbow nation to only two groups; the poor and the wealthy. Politics and corruption tore our country apart. A system was introduced, it was called the ‘two sides system’.
My life wasn’t always like this. I once too was coerced to work like an animal in order to keep my slot on the wealthy side. I wasn’t actually wealthy but wasn’t poor either. I was sitting on the boarder-line and could be impoverished at anytime, sent back to where they believed I belong, with most of my black nation, poor as a church mouse.
After all the local schools closed down due to insufficient funding, the population in the dark side escalated to a level far beyond comprehension. We called it the “dark side” because of the lack of promise it had. It was one rueful place you wouldn’t wish to find yourself stuck in. Walls covered with displeasing graffiti and inscriptions. And the surroundings filthy and sordid as a dumping area.
Crime rate was as high as the clouds and filled with pondokkies. The youth had nothing to do but each other, so pregnancy rates were higher than ever. After the social grants were cut off, poverty escalated tremendously in the dark side. The only income they had was the little unfair wage they received for performing tasks given by the rich. And with the rich getting richer, the poor were worse off.
The light side, as you might now guess why we called it that, was not a bad place to live in. It was a place full of opportunities and had plenty of space to move around, unlike on the dark side. It was occupied with well executed, large and attractive buildings that possessed an alluring charm. We had a great schooling system and everyone was educated and had a well-paying profession. But as we lived our lives on our side, many people were saying goodbye to theirs on the dark side.
The inequality was prominent and eminent, yet no one was willing to do anything about it. It seemed as if we had all turned a blind eye to what was happening at the dark side. South Africa was bleeding out, and needed a hero once again.
One night I found myself thoroughly thinking about how our system operated, how your bank balance determined how you would be treated. I felt sympathy and sorrow deep inside my heart, thinking about how much people struggled on the dark side. It was then that I took it upon myself to try and balance the two sides and lead our nation to a brighter and more promising tomorrow.
I drafted a plan which would bring us back together as South Africans regardless of our differences. But I could not carry out the task alone. Luckily there were more than enough people willing to join the movement against the “gap”. I was to start a motion against my own side and secretly take its authority down from within. If I was to be found, the penalty would cost an arm and a leg. But then again, drastic times call for drastic measures, and drastic measures we took.
People from the dark side came out in numbers to participate in the motion. It was like the 16th of June 1976 all over again. The enforcers did their best to keep the dark-siders out of the light side. Unsuccessful on the first try, the dark-siders led by myself did not despair. I was now a full on rebel against the two-sides system and fighting by my side was half of South Africa armed and ready for battle.
Many died but we remained persistent and adamant in our movement.
I now find myself sleeping with one eye opened in my forest cabin. Tomorrow is the big day, it’s the last straw to our continuous cycle of fights. It’s either do or die; the people have spoken and the people’s will will be done. Dark-siders only request that they too have the same opportunities as those who are at the light-side. The irony is that black people who live on the light-side are not doing anything to help their people, instead they wish not to see them as equals in nature. I believe that there is still time for South Africa and we can still be one equal rainbow nation.
Whatever happens tomorrow will determine how South Africa continues to exist as a country and as a nation. Blood will be shed, lives will be lost, but if blood is the only voice, what else can be done?