On my way to work I was listening to my regular programme on the radio. The guest speaking that day really caught my attention and had me glued to the conversation. He began to unpack the life of a gentleman called Roger Lucey.
He was so deep and powerful as he began to tell this story. Now Roger Lucey can be considered as one of those South African heroes who don’t feature much in our history tales. But the South African music industry decided that the time to celebrate this unsung hero was long overdue.
He recalled how Roger Lucey played an integral role in the fight against Apartheid in South Africa. What fascinated me about his story was that Roger Lucey was not even a politician but a brilliant musician.
He used his craft to raise awareness about the social injustices happening in South Africa and he was so adamant about his stance against it in his music. He did this so much to a point that the Apartheid Government Security unit made his music career and life miserable. They disturbed his concerts and stopped his music from playing on media platforms.
He had no other choice but to cut his music career very short. Someone may say but Bongeka, there are so many other musicians and even black South Africans musicians who did the same thing to a point where they had to go into exile.
I completely agree and all these heroes played a pivotal role and all the books in the world will not be enough for us to reflect on their lives.
But there is a lesson I wanted to draw from Roger Lucey story… you see my friend Roger Lucey was a white man. And if we look into the Apartheid context, he really didn’t have to do this.
But he chose to literally put his own life in the line for the cause of human rights. Most people of colour in South Africa fought because the system hit home and they were the ones suffering.
After the speaker had finished on the radio, I was so touched by this that I began pondering and asking myself honestly, have I really been a true advocate for my fellow humans? I recall instances in my life where I have witnessed varying degrees of human rights violations in different social contexts. I have stood up for some and yet have been too silent in some.
In this “me” and “I” driven generation we can be so absorbed into our own realities that we forget about those around us. I recall instances when after I had graduated and started working. Most of my peers would gather every weekend, showing off their new cars and talking about their amazing corporate jobs.
All of a sudden there was an emerging class of young black professionals, whose common thread was that the township had been their nesting place. But now they had “made it”. And to celebrate their achievement meant creating an “elite” society that thrived on social gatherings.
But one question that always lingered on my mind was, okay yes, “we have made it” and then “so what?”
I find that the more advanced and sophisticated we become the easier it is to forget the “human” element. We become so ignorant of world affairs and even the things happening in our own countries. Even those of us who are part of powerful society transforming institutions like Corporates, the Church, Democratic/liberation organisations can be so inward looking to a point that we forget that we exist within a society that has many issues.
No matter the race, the country, the continent, the social status, the physical appearance etc. – an umbilical cord that binds us all is the fact that we are HUMAN.
My enjoy life tip is this: as long as you breathing find a cause that will benefit the next human. Now I am not suggesting we step outside of our comfort zones. But in our different industries and the places of influence we find ourselves in, “be aware of the Human” and in whatever way feels true to you touch the next person’s life.
We ought to stop being so inward looking. Care, Greet, Give, Teach, Be generous, Build, Love, Respect and most importantly let’s learn to celebrate every one’s differences and uniqueness. As Joyce Meyer rightly puts it “The best way to get along with everyone is not to expect them to be like you”…