A South African has written a letter to the President asking who will look after the voiceless and forgotten during the lockdown?
Cape Town, South Africa (26 March 2020) – In 2019 Carien De Villiers sat on her pavement in tears, a single mother with two children was watching her life being ripped from under her feet. She was about to lose everything, with no plan in place. Her worst fear was being realised right in front of her eyes. For the first time in her life, she would be homeless, and the thought sent chills through her whole being.
Good Things Guy featured her story which landed up being shared on mainstream media sites and even radio shows around South Africa.
Her story reminded everyone that perhaps when we lose everything, we somehow find everything that matters again. Humanity and kindness!
But her experience of losing everything also introduced her to the “voiceless” people in our country; the most vulnerable of our nation and De Villiers wants to know who will look after them during this lockdown?
Read her letter below:
Dear Mr President,
I have the highest respect for you as our leader. You looked tired and stressed when you addressed the nation, but you are not the only one who’s tired.
Tonight I’m incredibly sad. A heartache that grips my heart like a fist, suffocating me.
You don’t know me, you also don’t know my Angels & Heroes, but I do.
They saved our lives. Myself & my kids’ lives. They opened their hearts, arms & home for us when we had nowhere else to go. When Ma put her arms around me that rainy night, saying “Jy’s nou by die huis. Waar jy hoort. Die Here sal sorg….”
The ultimate show of Ubuntu. Their house became our home.
I’m writing to you, Mr President, because just like once before, sitting on a pavement crying in the rain, I’m crying again. Only this time I’m crying for my Angels & Heroes.
I went to say goodbye to them today. I had to say goodbye to Ma, Mkhulu, my skoni, our kids. My extended family.
On my way back, I watched the sun go down over my home. Like I’ve seen thousands of times before but tonight was very different.
I think Mama Africa felt my pain, and she showed me her beauty.
I’m crying, Mr President. I’m crying for my Angels & Heroes and for every single person who can’t put bread on the table for their loved ones, whose kids study by candlelight or a paraffin lamp — the people who in winter, sit around a coal stove to keep warm. The ones who wake up at 4 in the morning to look for employment. Who do odd jobs for a few rands; the hustlers, the lady who sells her vegetables on the street corner, the ones who cut & braid hair for a living. The ones who don’t have water unless they walk miles to a river, or wait for hours in the burning sun for a water tank, struggling with heavy water containers.
Those are my people, my Angels & Heroes. But they are also your people Mr President.
The Forgotten ones. The voiceless.
The ones we don’t acknowledge or care about because they live in poverty. Far away in townships and rural areas; tucked away far from our comfortable lives… stuck in misery and hopelessness.
Please, Mr President, tell me what are you going to do to help?
Twenty-one days are an eternity of no income.
You are the leader, so please lead! A good leader looks after his people. He cares. He understands. He helps. He acts. He steps up.
He shows up. He shows Ubuntu.
Can you do that, Mr President? Can you step up? Can you practise Ubuntu?
I’m heartbroken. I’m worried, and I’m scared. I’m scared I might not see my Angels & Heroes again, feel Ma’s arms around me or Mkhulu’s smile. Will our kids play together again? I’m worried because they don’t have running water. I fear for their lives.
A 21-day lockdown is necessary. Its hopefully going to save many lives, but some will pay with their lives for being forgotten…. for being poor.
Do you think that’s fair, Mr President?
They trust you. They believe in you. We all do.
Please, Mr President, I beg you. I plea with you… don’t forget them.
They don’t deserve it! Because they are somebody’s Angels & Heroes. They are tired too. Look after my people, my family. Make sure they are okay. Give them food and water.
Please, Mr President!
I’m not as important as you, but I’m standing up… even if I’m the only one standing, I stand!
Will you stand up with me, Mr President?
Can you do that please?
The people need you.
I need you.
Carien de Villiers.