Unemployment: Rand Deficiency Traumatic Reality Disorder

Last word

Allow me to begin with a conclusion. To the employed people: Be kind. Unemployment, like acquired disability, happens. If you have nothing positive to say keep your thoughts to yourself. Most people who are actively job-seeking despise their situation of dependency. Do not aggravate their pain.


To those seeking an income generating activity, reading inane blog posts won’t help you find a job, I am kidding. Edit that CV: delete the claptrap about your excellent health and being a prefect in Grade 7. Keep hustling, do voluntary work, study further, network voraciously and when you are on the verge of giving up pretend you are one application away from getting that job or business break. Pray if you must but ease up on the donations at church, God should understand. Good luck! Do not tell me you do not believe in luck. Your day will come, or as they say in Thohoyandou Lidoda duvha. Stay in your lane and wait for the highway to merge into a freeway…


Optimism of the early days

There is something about the infancy stages of unemployment that spawns unbridled optimism. You have the recent graduate or newly retrenched person making plans for the next month, “when I get a job I will… ”. Some will even borrow money using the job, which they imagine to be on the horizon, as collateral. Lend it to the person at your own risk. One source said it takes a year, on average, for a graduate to get a job; this disadvantageously becomes 18 months if the graduate is black.  Another study said it took an average of 7 months for university graduates to get hired, with Humanities students majoring in the arts remaining unemployed for longer than their other university counterparts (Mncayi, 2016). I only skim read 2 sources. I am gainfully employed, I did not have the time to indulge.


Levels of patience vary but without fail the fluorescent optimism dims, replaced by a gale threatened candlelight. When you have been looking for a job, or a business break, for months or years on end you can’t help but doubt your prospects. Self doubt leads to a depreciation of self-esteem (ironically lessening your employability at interviews/pitches). At this juncture social evils like gambling and substance abuse become appealing. Charlatans and money-making schemers suddenly become your best friends. Resist!


Television etiquette

If you know what is good for you will accept the following:

As an unemployed compatriot my television viewing times are during office hours. I can watch TV in the evenings but I do not have remote control privileges. I cannot have favourite shows during prime time (evenings). I can watch TV when the worker bees have gone to bed but this is in defiance of the principle of “altruistic expenditure of financial resources that I do not contribute towards”. Watching TV late at night is a waste of electricity.


Chores and food

Be proactive. To avoid being asked if you are adhesively attached to the sofa make sure you do your part in the house upkeep, more importantly ensure you are seen doing chores.


Do not just sweep the house. Time it such that you lower the dustpan as the first worker will be walking in from a long, productive day at the office. Otherwise the person may incredulously pick up the broom and sweep the house (read curse you for doing nothing the whole day) thus rubbishing and nullifying your efforts.


A woman who is unemployed automatically becomes the maid, nanny & cook. Most of us do not protest this. It is the patriarchal norm. We go with the wave, enjoy the readymade warm meals and cleanliness of the homestead. Unfortunately the reverse also applies. An unemployed male in his 20s- 30s is also expected to moonlight as a maid-cum-cook. If you do not cook for 1 afternoon you hear the murmurs “besekunzima nokubeka amanzi ophuthu nje, umuntu ezineke ku sofa usuku lonke”. You opted to lie on the sofa the whole day and did not even boil water for phuthu.


Cereal is out of bounds.  It belongeth to the school-going children (and working adults who may need an easy-to-make breakfast). Pap/porridge is your loyal friend, cue the lemon juice.


Woe unto you if you have a beer or two when you do a piece job for a paying neighbour (most won’t pay you in cash). “He couldn’t even buy bread. He doesn’t even know how much it costs”.


21 Questions

You can’t even take a bath and dress presentably without being asked Uyaphi? Where are you going?  Are you posting curriculum vitaes? Did you see that you friend bought a car? Are you praying about your situation?



Generally speaking gender and age are two of the factors that determine one’s ascribed power in the family unit. Head of the house and you think of a _ _ _. Heir status is usually reserved for the eldest _ _ _. You get my drift.


Unemployment has the power to change this. When you are unemployed you risk losing that status. Suddenly decisions that should be made with your input are discussed in your absence. The advice of younger, moneyed, siblings is sought- including suggestions on how to deal with your ‘unemployment situation’. This becomes awkward for all and sundry.


Camouflage: Do not draw attention to yourself

Desist from expensive habits. You can jog and lift weights but do not go to the gym.


Do not even think about playing Pokémon Go! “Unama bundles uwathathaphi”? “Where did you get the money for data bundles”? Even in that augmented reality you must be an unemployed somebody with a CV in hand chasing a job opportunity.


The knicker dilemma

Parents, aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins may help you out where clothing is concerned. Emphasis on ‘help out’ as opposed to buy you clothes. When you start to resemble the nyaope/whoonga boys (it is always boys regardless of the person’s age or sex): shirts with no buttons, torn jeans that are literally hanging by a single thread and white clothes that now look cream brown, you may earn a pity shopping spree at the buyer’s chosen store.  The dilemma arises at this point, do you casually add underwear to the items you point out to the buyer or do you let pride get in the way. Remember everything you do may be held against you. The next time you get a verbal drubbing your purchase may lead to a reminder of how you have everything bought for you right down to your undergarments. To kill a man’s pride suddenly becomes more than just a title of an anthology of short stories.



There is nothing wrong with being unemployed; except when it is for perpetually long periods of time. Time spent unemployed should be like time spent in public toilets, brisk, unavoidable and pedagogic.


Job experience


An open letter to everyone.

To the other BRICS countries: We have been participating in ‘Stokvels’ for far longer than you. Mess around with us at your own peril. We have allies we can call if you ‘eat’ our money. To the Russians, Chinese and Indians we know someone in North Korea with chemical toys. To the Brazilian fellows we know a certain footballer from Uruguay. Cooperate or we will send him there, without a mouth guard.

To all the beautiful women: Ladies you can afford to be less proud of your looks. At times one would think you worked really hard for your aesthetically alluring appearance. Truth is you just swam the fastest and attached yourself to an egg. That does not make you better than everyone else…just more beautiful!

To the fellow with 15 girlfriends: Those girls do love you and they are not cheating on you. It has nothing to do with your money or your penchant for sushi. I mean they all have Proudly South African seafood at home, Lucky Star Pilchards.

To the Democratic Alliance: Someone once said “History belongs to those who write it”. We can know extend this to “History belongs to those who write it, Photoshop photos and update their Twitter statuses about their liberation credentials”. Amandla comrade Hellen. MK salute to you soldier of the movement, freedom fighter extraordinaire.

To every unemployed graduate: If you cannot find a job try to create one or two or three. I know this is easier said however if you and five other unemployed graduates used the skills you had acquired and started a Small, Medium and/or Micro-sized Enterprise you could be employers, CEOs, shareholders: from pilchards to sushi. Or you could just wait for the ANC-led government to decide whether to call it a Youth Wage subsidy or Job Seekers grant. Sick people I tell you. Don’t quote me the Protection of Information bill has been passed.

To everyone who is giving Dr Ramphele beef, or water buffalo or donkey for starting AGANG SA: If you do not like it start your own political party. I mean how many countries can brag about having a doctor who started a gang?

To everyone with a TopTv decoder: We know!

Last but not least, to you reading this and thinking what a load of crap: I have nothing for you this month, try again next month. You know after the whole Boston Bomb thing I had my pen and paper ready to write about a copycat bombing at the Comrades Marathon but then the petrol price went up for the umpteenth time. Moral of the story the main ingredient in a petrol bomb is now unattainable.

The Animal farm in the African National Congress.

Please do not misunderstand me I am in no way insinuating that the leaders of this historically rich movement are pigs or more generally animals. Not at all. The comparisons I am about to draw your attention to, like George Orwell’s initiative use the reference to animals in a metaphorical manner. Thus the working middle class are not horses but these taxpayers are in essence similar in character to Boxer, the hard working horse in the book. To further emphasise this point  let me dare and compare Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela to a pig. No not in the yummy bacon manner nor the dirty we can’t even eat that manner. I compare Dr Mandela to Old Major who is an iconic figure in the story of animal farm and represents wisdom and integrity, values that his successors ought to look to strive towards and uphold.

The metaphorical comparison contrasts the Freedom Charter stipulations of June 26, 1955 agreed upon by the ANC, South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats and the Coloured People’s Congress with the social, economic and political realities of contemporary South Africa. To any Americans reading this blog post the Freedom Charter is as iconic as your very own declaration of independence.

The story of animal farm which as we all know was a metaphor of the Russian revolution tells the tale of animals in Mr Wilkinson’s farm who revolt against the oppressive farm owner, chase him out and take over the farm. Once the animals gain control of the farm they soon establish utopic rules which are unfortunately not adhered to. In fact the rules are actually altered by the pigs that become leaders who start to embody the expelled farmer much to the detriment of the farm animals who endure further oppression.

The original seven commandments, their own constitution or charter, at Animal farm were:

  1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy
  2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
  3. No animal shall wear clothes.
  4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
  5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
  6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
  7. All animals are equal.

No. Relax. I am not blogging to say you must stop drinking alcohol or killing fellow comrades/councillors because even animals see these actions to be wrong and dumb. The ANC comparison comes later. Three of the seven rules in animal farm changed under the stewardship of pig Napoleon. Changed to suit the wishes of Napoleon and his fellow elitist pigs who no longer acted like other animals; prancing around walking on two feet and wearing suits nogal. The italicised words were added to the commandments:

  1. No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.
  2. No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.
  3. No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.

Eventually the commandments were replaced with the overarching and all-encompassing single maxim stating all “animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”.

Manje uKhongolose ungenaphi la?  Well the Freedom charter and to a large extent the South African constitution promulgated by President Nelson Mandela on December 1996 represent the first set of commandments in SA as Animal Farm. See below some of the propositions of the Freedom charter:

  1. The people shall govern!
  2. The people shall share in the Country’s wealth!
  3. The Land shall be shared among those who work it!
  4. All shall be equal before the law!
  5. The doors of Learning and of Culture Shall be open to all!

The list is exhaustive and thus I will not exhaust it. We have not officially rewritten these ‘commandments’ as did the animals under the dictatorship of Napoleon, such a vark. However I feel that the current social, economic and political reality in SothAfrica has inadvertently altered these commandments as follow:

  1. The people shall govern but 4000 delegates will vote for leadership.
  2. The people shall share in the Country’s wealth if they know the right people.
  3. The Land shall be shared among those who work it sometime in the future just don’t talk about expropriation and nationalisation, you will scare of investors.
  4. All shall be equal before the law unless they are terminally ill with that illness called life or have a yearning to be the president.
  5. The doors of Learning and of culture Shall be equal to all but some will get Toyota quality whilst other’s enjoy Rolls Royce educational opulence.

Allow me to justify my claims. I. Unless you are going to Mangaung, the decision of who will be president of the people’s movement the African National Congress and later the president of the republic, lest the so called Democratic Alliance win LOL I am kidding, will be made on your behalf.

II. The businessinsider.com website places us as the second most unequal society in the world. Namibia‘s GINI co-efficient of 70.7 trumps SA’s 65.0 whilst the USA comes in at number 39 with a GINI of 45.0. In a nutshell there is an inequitable sharing of resources and profits in our society and policies such as Black Economic Empowerment and failures in Education and Labour policies have served to exacerbate the problem. Do not despair. If you know the right people you can magically shoot from oblivion into the mix of the high rollers. No education required ask the SABC boss who has no matric. To mimic Trevor Noah: An education for what? Matric for who? Not even woodwork pho?

III. With the exception of the now expelled former sometimes current ANC Youth League president, Julius Malema, the ANC is as mum about the fact that Black African South Africans were forcefully and violently removed from land they occupied and pushed towards the homelands and the forever despicable townships as the Democratic Alliance. Are the people sharing land equitably? The answer is a resounding no. I will not discuss the Lenasia removals or the construction work being done in the president’s home; let us wait for the commissions of inquiry to take their course.

IV. All shall be equal before the Law. I have two names for you. Jackie Sela-Elibi and Schabir Shake, Shake the hand of those you advice. Until they die I will use a phrase one generally sees in social networks: Enough said!

V. The Freedom charter called for quality and accessible education. This one infuriates me most. In her justification of the Annual National Assessment results that indicate, amongst other atrocities, that our Grade 9s score an average of 13% in Mathematics the minister of education who has a Master’s degree in Education made a bewildering statement. I know my friends might think this is a product of my imagination so I will quote Minister Angie “I’m a minister I don’t deliver…” Motshekga. She said “You cannot compare bananas to apples, a Rolls Royce with a Toyota”. According to the City Press this was her analogical explanation of why Government schools cannot be compared to private schools which are, I assume, the Rolls Royce. What then happens when the Toyota learner and the Rolls Royce scholar seek jobs and/or university acceptance? This to me amounts to the rubbishing of Mandela’s take that “…it is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor…”. Clearly not old man. Not in that Toyota. I wonder what model we referring to? If it is 13%  it may just be a Toyota Cressida.

Enough reading now let us look at some pictures.



It did not take long for the pigs to adopt the ways of their former oppressive masters. If we accept that the maxim first asserted by John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” then we must heed the charter’s call for the people to govern.


freedom charter


Aluta continua!


Capture II


Does it not say something about all the people sharing the wealth of the country?







I recently posted a status on one of the social networks asking what car would suit government if it were a person based on their performance…


Generally speaking the majority of sober minded South Africans love the African National Congress.  We find ourselves hoping and wishing that this prestigious movement does not turn on its own people. I found this picture on someone’s Facebook profile and was angered by the fact that someone designed it but angered more by the fact that we can no longer claim it is blasphemous or completely inaccurate. Let the following words by Dr Nelson Mandela be an inexorable prophecy: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another”.