Not too long ago, I wrote about the condition of my friend and fellow dancer who now has passed. What baffles me is the volume of condolences and sympathy that poured out on social media and mainstream media.
Fast forward to six months ago, nobody cared to offer him free shelter, neither food, because he had been homeless and moving from home to home for the last two to three years.
Nobody considered him worthy of cash assistance, even knowing that the entertainment circuit sucked and gigs and opportunity had dried up. No grouping, or ministry thought it prudent to set-up a fund for sickness, or to set up a special fund to help artistes and to give assistance if one became sick and needed special support or assistance.
It is always after the fact that we react. We pretend not to know, we care not for the unfortunate and we always claim to be sorry, yet we do nothing.
In the old days, even basic communities knew about having ‘a friendly society’ that they would pay contributions to during your lifetime, knowing that it would come handy at death.
The absence of guilds, clubs, associations and foundations, does not help in creating the type of foundation that looks down the road. It is whilst we are alive that we need help and support and love is better appreciated when kindness is given when it is really needed.
We live different stages, at different times, in our lives, we do not remain strong and robust all the days of our lives, circumstances in life forces conditions to befall us and the unpredictability of life, as in death, is not of our doing sometimes.
The artists of this country suffer from one common illness: the absence of togetherness. Working with each other is a sore point, having the same objective and purpose seems to elude us, we fight each other rather than offering support.
The state, on the other hand, only offers lip service to art and culture and we are only remembered when it comes to making others happy and proud. We praise and glorify achievement, but when the tables turn and one’s output is no more as productive as in previous times, we forget and neglect those we previously applauded.
We need to be real supporters — the type of support we give to political parties and certain candidates should be transferred to our common folk and achievers. Love never fades away, so appreciation should be a lifelong thing. We cannot love today and despise tomorrow. We must stop being pretentious and open our hearts.
If you don’t do for yourself think of those of tomorrow, open doors and set the structures that will remain the foundation of our stability, selfishness and false representation will not ease our pain and history will record your inactive behaviour.
Tomorrow depends, on what we do today and if we do nothing today we are responsible for the nothing tomorrow because change does not always have to be a thought, it can become a reality — but only if you care today!