Tuesday, October 22, 2013


We work very hard every day to live what we all consider our dreams. For some of us it’s just the basics that matter, a roof over our head and food on the table, anything else you can afford after that is I suppose considered wealth.

Now back to the “roof over our head” bit. It seems in South Africa, one of the best, let’s call it living situations is in what we call Townhouse Complexes. These complexes provide a safety net or safety in numbers. Lots of families, living in bricked up houses and feeling safe behind six foot walls with electric fences. These complexes are common place and litter the landscape all along our cities. Even these have levels relating to wealth, with the extremely rich having all kinds of protection against the outside world including fingerprint / handprint identification, guest verification and so on.

Why would we hide behind these electrified walls? To be safe against whatever the world may throw at us? While living like this may be considered freedom and really, few of us even know our neighbours or even their names other than a smile and a wave now and again, this is really sub-conscious prison walls we’ve thrown up around us.

Let’s look at the differences or similarities. Electrified fence – CHECK. Guards at a gate – CHECK. Walls higher than we can climb – CHECK. Perhaps the only difference is that unlike jail, we report to landlords instead of jailors and we’ve chosen to live like this, whereas in jail there’s no choice. I’m sure I could go on and on about the similarities but I’m sure you get the idea.

We have now as a civilised nation really jailed ourselves all with a notion of safety. Whilst I realise that South Africa is one of the most crime infested countries in the world, I find myself asking how is this living if we’re all cooped up in these self – inflicted jail cells? Guess at the end of the day it’s all a matter of perspective isn’t it?

Check out the into song for the TV show Weeds, I think it describes it aptly...


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