Reflecting on challenges in a bittersweet world


FEW WEEKS AGO I SAID MY next blog post will be about communism, whether the system would work for us today. But I’ve had a very bad week, to an extent that I lost my appetite for writing. So instead of devoting time reading and trying to understand what’s happening around the world, I decided to reflect on the headwinds I’ve been having lately.

My obligations at Accenture come to an end on July 31st, this month. I’ve had great time there; the opposite is true. There were challenges and I learned a lot from them. The dream I had at 3rd year level in college, being part of a remarkable company such as Accenture, did come true. In my first blog post titled “Why education must be a priority for black South Africans”, I spoke about the importance of education. I echoed how privileged I was to be part of Accenture and how education had drove me there. It’s a great company to work for, that I have said repeatedly. But it wasn’t my place, honestly speaking.

I have not been well lately, physically. But I will not, of course, disclose my medical situation here. Having gone to the doctors and attending regular meetings with them, I’m proud to say that I’m doing much better. I have to be better, because I believe I’m too young to be constrained by sicknesses.

The situation came to a head this last Monday, when I was involved in a car crash. I was from work, and crashed against a Land Rover Discovery. Surprisingly, her car had almost no damages, mine was severely damaged and undriveable. I walked out of my car with no injuries, although I did feel that my body had hit against something. I thank God I’m well.

We live in an ugly world. According to World Health Organization, about 1.24 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes. I was almost part of that statistic. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among young people, aged 15–29 years. 91% of the world’s fatalities on the roads occur in low-income and middle-income countries, even though these countries have approximately half of the world’s vehicles.

But it’s also very important to acknowledge that, to some extent, we live in a beautiful world. It’s basically 2 sides of the same coin. Why do I say it’s ugly?

Look at what’s happening around the world – the conflict between Israel and Palestine has lasted for more than 40 years, Eurozone is still mired in recession, high rates of youth unemployment across the globe, at least 6 of the world’s top 10 failed states (according to Foreign Policy) are in Africa, HIV/AIDS remains a threat to our generation, I could go on endlessly.

South Africa is not immune to these global challenges, and I’m yet to see material policies to help us thrive in such an ugly world.

On the other hand, it’s a beautiful world. Civil conflicts have declined across human history, we’ve seen the rise of the West in the 19th and 20th century, now we see the rise of the East, gradual convergence of incomes across the globe, staggering Arab Springs to highlight the hunger for freedom, in just more than 20 years global poverty has been reduced by almost 1/2, today we live in a small world because of significant advancements in technology, again I could go on.

So even though I was involved in a car accident because of my carelessness, I still believe that there is so much beautiful about the world we live in today.

I’m an ambitious person, and I’ll continue devoting my time on researching and writing about the changing world order. I will work tirelessly on my new initiative, called ULwazi Foundation, because it’s what interests me the most. Life is more than what’s been happening lately, it is. Today, it feels good to be part of this bittersweet world. PM


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