Real political growth will only be realised when there develops, within the Mthwakazi space, a good understanding of the extent of our ignorance. The greatest risk to equality in the region is the illusion that it already exists, and that sincere ignorance puts chances of political progress in jeopardy.
It is widely accepted that from the late 20th century Africa has seen real improvement in living standards of its citizens. However, that has been on the background of gullible governments blindly adopting Western-oriented socioeconomic systems which have tended to undermine, hence weaken traditional social welfare systems.
The saddest reality in African society is the manner in which people with disabilities are treated or mistreated, to be precise. People with disabilities are, to a great degree excluded from most day-to-day activities in society. That includes fundamental activities such as attending education institutions, health, political participation, employment and housing.
In many societies across the world children provide a vital social safety net for their elderly parents and grandparents. In Africa children are a prized asset from when they are young helping out in the fields to when they are adults taking care of their elderly parents. While children would in most cases look after their parents out of love, in many cases it has become an expectation that they provide the socioeconomic security for their parents.
In traditional African communities a child’s parents are not only the biological parents; virtually every adult in the community is accorded the same respect given to one’s birth parents. Children can be placed within and outside kinship whenever perceived beneficial for the child, parents or the proposed adoptive/ foster parents. Such arrangements may be temporary while the child attends school or needs to be nearer a clinic for a period while undergoing medical treatment or semi-permanent when they are offered to childless relatives.
Africa is a continent of extreme inequalities where the richest few enjoy privileges akin to the rich in the developed world while the majority poor lack basic infrastructure and services. The poorest citizens have lost memory of their last proper meal while the rich cannot define, let alone understand poverty. While poor people walk miles in search of water, rich people have big swimming pools in their backyards! The legacy of colonialism has been the skewed development that sees urban settlements with better infrastructure and services while rural areas have been deprived of basic facilities.