It takes a village…

Arthur Minnaar, Hazendal

On Wednesday morning, I woke up with the thought of our neighbour, Wilhelmina Keneur, who died at the hands of her killers (“Athlone granny killed in home,” Athlone News, June 29).

I then read my daily thoughts, Isaiah 6: 5: “Woe to me! I cried, I am ruined! I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

In reference to this Bible verse, I was reminded about the African proverb: “It takes a village to raise a child.” We, are all part and parcel of the community.

Our parents taught us the basics and raised us, but the greater community also had an impact on our upbringing.

Each one of us had our obstacles and challenges, but we were shaped accordingly.

While celebrating my birthday on June 21, which marked the winter solstice, I was rudely disturbed with a call from a caring neighbour who informed me that our beloved elderly neighbour was tragically killed in her own house that afternoon.

As shocked as I was, I immediately notified everyone present of this terrible news, as I recently gave her a lift with my car, knowing that, being a cancer sufferer and aged, she could barely walk and she even thanked me for the short ride.

My appeal to the community in the Hazendal/Bokmakierie area and even in the broader South Africa is to those who have drug addicts and gangsters as children, friends, relatives or even boarders, to return to basics and report crime immediately.

Parents, who have school-going children, please teach your children to respect elders and to assist and help where possible.

This is the only commandment with a promise, and it costs nothing, as you will always be blessed.

Michael Jackson’s song, “Heal the World”, needs to be fulfilled by all of us who are still living here on the earth, which God gave us to occupy.

The Afrikaans poem Die Pyngedagte by Totius came to mind, and I want to change the wording slightly in Afrikaans as it gives you a better expression than in English as follows:

O, die Pyngedagte: My buurvrou is dood!

Dit brand soos ’* pyl in my.

Die Tikkoppe sien daar niks nie van, maar die Here alleen die weet wat ons ly.

Die dae kom en die nagte gaan die skadus word lank en weer kort;

die drywerstem van my werk weerklink

en ek gaan op my kruisweg voort.

Maar, daar skiet aldeur ’* pyn in my hart,

so, dat my lewe se glans verdwyn:

Jou buurvrou is dood met * vreeslike dood!

En ek gryp my bors van die pyn. O die bliksemgedagte!

Ja, lieflingsvrou, een kopsteek wond het jou skone liggaam verstrooi, maar bliksem messteke sonder tal laat ons binneste brand en bloei.

Sy was so teer soos * vlindertjie, sy’t lugtig omheen haar bure geswerf;

’* Kankerpyn kon haar vlerkies nie breek, maar-kyk watter dood moes sy sterf?

Hoe weinig die Bejaardes wat so moet sterf, dis tien uit ’* honderdtal, en ag, dat dit sy was, en ek moes sien sy dood op die kombuisvloer le.

Maar daar skiet aldeur ’* pyn in my hart,

so dat my lewe se glans verdwyn:

Jou buurvrou is dood met ’* vreeslike dood!

En ek gryp my bors van die pyn.