Feb 9, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Walking with the taxi men, plus 5 highlights from ‘Vrye Weekblad’

The unexpected heroism of the taxi bosses in the 2021 riots didn’t surprise me, having got to know their human, diverse and humorous side during the six-year apprenticeship, writes Jana Slippers in this week’s Vrye Weekblad. em>.

We traveled all over the country to present modules on economics, business and financial management and communication skills. By the end of my last session last year, I was convinced that I had learned more about communication from them than they had from me, she writes.

From the beginning, I asked her to tell me more about themselves and their world. I felt the same way and over the years we have developed respect, appreciation and empathy for one another. I’ve often heard that white people don’t actually greet people and those who do just show their teeth while their eyes don’t cooperate. Ever since then, I’ve been greeting with my eyes lightly and cheerfully.

I was delighted when a man said my family reminded him of former US President Barack Obama until he stated that there is no son carrying on the family name. I don’t think I convinced him that this wasn’t reason to feel sorry for me (or my husband).

I learned that they were enterprising, divergent entrepreneurs and businessmen were. Few of them are only active in the taxi business. I’ve heard how passionate they are about the industry and its professionalization.

Training is important. At an awards ceremony, a speaker emphasized that some people only get two certificates in their lifetime – a birth certificate and a death certificate.

I’ve learned that there are predictable experiences in different provinces. The Gauteng groups were diverse and the conversations were characterized by openness and inclusivity. Many were probably enthusiastic about former President Thabo Mbeki.

In the Free State, discipline was to be expected from the group – quick and edifying. Initially, admiration for former Prime Minister Ace Magashule was evident. Those voices have fallen silent.

I could look forward to the group’s unique Afrikaans in the Western Cape, although the procedures were less disciplined than in the Free State. Here former President Nelson Mandela was admired.

KwaZulu Natal was a new experience. This is the world of former President Jacob Zuma, although I’ve clearly seen growing support for EFF leader Julius Malema on eThekwini.

I heard their frustration with routes and licensing. Also about her dissatisfaction with every Tom, Dick and Harry who gets a settlement and puts a cab on the street. The despondency with a government that doesn’t support or appreciate them. And if you’re a taxi boss, someone will always knock with a begging bowl – they know you’ve got money. It’s not easy out there.

Must have an article in this week’s Vrye Weekblad

Read >> Browse the full June 24 issue

TIME TO TRUST DEMOCRACY | The long and short of the Phala Phala saga is that the law has been broken.

THE WEEK IN POLITICS | Max du Preez addresses Lawyer Dali Mpofu Mini-Mes, the destruction of Western Cape Chief Justice John Hlophe and the thick middle finger of Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu.

INVISIBLE WOMEN | In a culture where women’s desirability for the opposite sex diminishes by the time they are 18 (it’s true, it’s been researched) and men not until 50, every woman must define her identity at some point in her life recalibrate, writes Anneliese Burgess.

TONFEET |It should have been the great triumph of President Cyril Ramaphosa: the glorious victory over the state conquerors, the final end of the scandalous Zuma Era. But that’s not how the Zondo Commission turned out for him.

THE CRYING BRIDES | May brides marry at the right time of year and may her father live his life with a song in his heart;andante cantabile, like a farmer whose harvest has been shipped, writes Dominique Botha.