Friday, August 10, 2007


it took me a while to get around to watching it but what a worthwhile movie. there were a few things that i think i as a south african probably appreciated more than most international viewers. for one, the accent that leonardo pulled off and maintained for the whole movie was almost spot on. not just the accent mind you, but some of the idiosyncracies of how south africans talk. brilliant.

but the one line that really hit home was when they said "tia" (this is africa). that was the blanket phrase excusing all the monstrocities that this continent can dish up. for those of you who read my last post and it's comments will know i was recently a first hand witness to exactly that. tia. i have mentioned before that life is cheap in africa. but the truth of the matter is the people that make life cheap make sure it is other people's lives that are cheap, not their own. a recent illustration of this was recently when our illustrious government so steadfastly refused to admit the link between hiv infection and aids. they therefore refused to supply the populus with the much needed drugs, even claiming the drugs were killing the people, not hiv. bearing in mind the people weren't getting the drugs, the logic is difficult to follow. but some of the self same politicians, on medical aid obviously, themselves were taking antiretroviral treatment. they weren't willing to take the individual chance of dying, but they were quite willing to force thousands of others to do just that.

the patient in my previous post still has not been operated or transferred to a center where she can get the necessary care. i doubt she will. this despite the fact that i personally phoned the super and expressed my willingness to operate her free of charge even though they had officially banned me from working in the state hospital. the point they want to make against me is more important than the patient's life, so they didn't consent. and what is the point? the fact that i continued to supply a service there despite their laxness in giving me a legitimate post paints them in a politically bad light. they would rather give the appearance of not having lost control than welcoming any help in a desparate time.

yes, this is africa and life is cheap, but i can honestly say the fact that i have been barred from helping this specific individual is absolutely devastating to me. i just can't see that it is worth it to sacrifice her for their point.


rlbates said...

Words fail me. I am so sorry for your patient, but also feel for you. You have a skill, a willingness to use that skill, a caring heart, but barred/stiffled... I hope they won't "break" you down.

I wish you well.

Bongi said...

thanks rl. don't worry, i won't be broken. i'm made of sterner stuff than that. just a pity some things can't be changed. i have written a few letters about the situation, but i'm afraid probably not going to be too effective. just felt i must at least try.

Beach Bum said...

Blood Diamond was a hard movie for me to watch, having grown up where that particular war started. I was fascinated that I was able to tell the difference between the shots from West Africa and South Africa. The landscape was familiar, but just different enough that I could tell.

We used to say WAWA (West Africa Wins Again), when faced with something particularly frustrating and/or illogical.

And while Africa is a beautiful continent, and the people warm and wonderful, it is a harsh place. It's sad, though, when that hardness comes from its leaders; when they care more about saving face than leading and caring for their people.

My prayer for Africa as a continent, and for the millions of people who are stuck, through no fault of their own (like the lady with the thyroid), in a cycle of misery and violence is that its leaders will stop enriching themselves and creating their own little fiefdoms, but will lead and care for their people.

Some days it seems like a futile prayer.

Anonymous said...

Don't underestimate your 'blog powers' Bongi. I for one hope the powers that be take note. Thanks for trying!

Bongi said...

roer, dankie vir die sentiment. as 'n mens in ag neem dat die adjunk minister van geaondheid so pas afgedank is ens., ek twyfel sterk of hulle enigsins omgee oor een of ander irrelevante persoon doodgaan. as 'n politicus moetr besluit tussen die lewe van 'n gewone mens en hulle politieke loopbaan, ek dink nie hulle sukkel om die besluit to maak nie.
dirt sal lekker wees om te dink my blog maak 'n verskil, maar ek glo nie.