One of the most topical issues in the news this past week was the alleged police shooting incident that killed a 16-year-old boy with Down Syndrome in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg. According to Nathaniel Julius’ family, the police had tried to ask him questions, which he failed to respond to owing to his disability. As with many stories of this nature, many versions will come out of the woodwork, making it harder to tell fact from fiction. What is constant, however, is that an unarmed boy with a disability was gunned down.
Friday, 28 August 2020
Saturday, 11 July 2020
|Days after the incident, I saw the man begging at an intersection|
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
AS THE the coronavirus continues its relentless sweep around the globe, countries have been forced into lockdowns, in desperate efforts to curb transmission. The move, while saving lives, has had a devastating impact on economies, with millions of jobs getting lost. Stats SA's recent survey revealed the grim rise in the unemployment rate to 30,1%, and the figures did not take into account job losses emanating from the coronavirus pandemic. Just this week, I read with dismay about the folding of some News24 publications, hot on the heels of similar developments at Caxton. As a reader, this is sad news as I will miss my favourite magazines, but as a journalist, this is enough reason for me to tear my hair out as I watch the industry I love so much crumble to pieces. This is a severe threat to my own source of livelihood as my employment options are shrinking with every closing publication. My anxiety is through the roof.
|Image from Shutterstock.com|
With job losses comes stress, which research has noted to sometimes lead to substance abuse, and possible mental health issues. Experts have warned that anxiety, job losses, uncertainly, preoccupation with death (particularly for frontline workers) will cause a sharp spike in mental health problems. It doesn't help that people have become detached, in adherence to social distancing measures. There is minimal interaction and physical activity, at a time when our minds are bogged down and we crave to sit down with fellow human beings to thrash out our problems and map a way forward. Even a mere hug would go a long way to quell the pressure. I remember the Hug-a-Stranger challenge that went viral barely a year ago, and how some people burst into tears of joy upon receiving hugs. But we can't even do that at the moment, as the virus has turned us all into ticking time bombs.
The pandemic has banished people, even those that need contact to survive, to their little corners where depression threatens to engulf them. Suicides are a notable fallout of psychological trauma, and in the United States, the health system is buckling under the weight of people struggling to stay afloat. There are warnings that after the coronavirus pandemic, the next one will be in mental health.
Although there is not much to celebrate at the moment, can at least try to be Pollyannas and look at the bright side? Is there even a bright side? Well, we are still here, still standing, and should make an effort to be our brother's keeper, even with the little that we have. If you still have a job, even one that doesn't pay much, but a bagful of groceries or even just loaf of bread for the person who doesn't know where their next meal will come from. Say a kind word to someone. Restrain yourself when the urge to lash out at your spouse, neighbour or colleague rears its ugly head. Show the peace sign✌when you'd rather show the middle finger to the distracted pedestrian on the road. Everyone is going through a lot. The heart of this post? None at all, really. Just the panic-stricken ramblings of a freelance journo trying to make sense of a chaotic world. Be safe.
Tuesday, 26 May 2020
Friday, 15 May 2020
|Young people in Eswatini (unrelated to the story)|
Wednesday, 13 May 2020
|Excerpt from Naomi Shoko's post|
|Brandon's Whatsapp status|
Tuesday, 25 June 2019
|Jabulani Tsambo aka HHP|