Slums, Shacks and the people who live in them.Posted: August 23, 2011
Indian slums, the Brazilian favela and the South African shacks. Plagues of the emerging world. Stark reminders as you drive by in your shiny brand new car that the country you live in has a majority barely crippling about the poverty line.
There is more than meets the eye though. Those are not mere ant hills, in a way actually their are, in that their inhabitants are preoccupied mainly with survival, totally devoid of the luxury of luxuries.
Sadly whenever I think of shacks the first word that comes to my mind is crime. I am scared of shack dwellers. Is this a justifiable fear?
My guilt ridden conscience wants to believe it is merely a stereotype. Shack dwellers are people like you and me. Their only distinguishing feature being that their unfortunate not to afford anything more than corrugated iron to build their shelter.
The snob in me wants to raise my nose at these seemingly ill mannered pollutant squatters. No doubt the kids I see playing about will grow up, only to hijack me. My mind yells, ‘get off your back side, get an RDP house and send your kids to a non paying school.’
The humanitarian in me sees people in need of help. A toilet there and clean water would vastly improve these people’s lives. A tiny school would move a kid from here to Sandton. Look at that gentleman’s entrepreneurial skills, admirable zeal but dismal profit margins.
My eyes see headlines of people killed. My ears hear of women raped and left for dead. Shootings in shacks.
The real me, the whole of me is left still in wonder of the shack dwellers, definitely in fear and no wonder, tomorrow I will be oblivious to these very same shacks.