Who can blame Fredo that at the start of 2015 he is a fairly confused fellow? The stark contrast between the things that dominated our news headlines as we started the year, makes one wonder whether the people of our fragile earth have completely lost the plot?
On New Year’s morning we woke up to view the massive displays of exuberance that marked the start of the New Year. From Sydney via Hong Kong, Beijing, North Korea to Paris, London and Edinburgh – we saw people celebrating as if it was their last day. Uncontrollably, over the top, completely out of hand, is about all Fredo can say.
At the same time we heard of another airplane going down – another 200 lives lost! In West Africa the toll of Ebola is increasing uncontrollably. On the Italian coast the agencies covered the plight of refugees trying to escape the turmoil in the Arab world, only to be abandoned at sea after they had been stripped of just about all the own.
Those celebrations with fireworks which probably cost more than everything spent on Ebola so far, suddenly seemed so pointless, such a waste, almost grotesque. How dare we waste so much money when there is so much suffering around us?
A stirring story, however, was that of the young black South African student who passed his final school exams with University qualification despite being terminally ill from cancer. Sadly, his results only arrived after he had passed away. Another student from Cape Town’s townships who passed his final year dedicated his achievement to three friends who were killed in gang violence why they tried to attend school in their final year! Fredo wonders how the families of these people celebrated the New Year.
Those celebrations on New Year’s Eve suddenly left an even worst taste in the mouth!
Normally Fredo would celebrate the start of the New Year at Riverside near Stilbaai where the holiday makers normally set up a disco under a huge tree and party the night away. This year Fredo gave that a miss! What is wrong with us – this madness of celebrating beyond the boundaries of reasonability? Clearly this can only be a hollow celebration.
After this start, we may well ask what is waiting for us for the rest of this year. For a start, in South Africa, fuel prices are finally dropping – but in our shops and supermarkets we do not see any reductions in the prices of the food we need to stay alive every day. By now Fredo is extremely cynical about these giant supermarkets which spent millions every month to convince the public that they are actually giving us a fair deal, or that they are involved in fair trade and a sustainable future. So Fredo predicts that the ripping off of consumers will continue and possibly increase this year. Ordinary consumers will therefore continue to suffer as they try and make basic ends meet.
Will our president finally decide to leave office and settle at his new mansion in Kwa-Zulu Natal? Not likely – the stooges in the ANC who should tell him to go, are simply too weak. The President has surrounded himself with too much power and his colleagues are too weak to do anything about it.
Will anything be done about corruption? No! Not as long as we do not get a leader with moral guts!
Will we suffer more at the hands of Eskom? Definitely, a big yes! What do you expect when our country’s precious infra-structure have been run into the ground. Where will it end, when Eskom is getting rid of vital staff while it seems that they are totally bankrupt? Those staff members leaving now will undoubtedly have to be rehired soon and paid exorbitant contracts to do their former work. Where will it end? Who knows! Buy your torches and candles – and celebrate with the manufacturers of power generators who are laughing all the way to the bank.
That is why Fredo is not that positive at the start of the year. Perhaps 2015 will surprise us.