My date with CopeComment on this story
Realising that choosing a party to vote for was a bit like finding a life partner, Lali van Zuydam decided to go on a dating spree with representatives of the organisations that will contest the May 7 elections. This is her fifth report about her hunt for a political partner.
Pretoria - The end of my dating spree is drawing near. It’s been an exciting time and with the end in sight, I am forced to think carefully about who my partner will be for the next five years.
My fifth date on The Great Adventure Towards Finding The One was with the Cope Youth Movement.
His name: Kgaugelo Moxwale aged 28.
His first words were that some of the things I was promised had not yet been delivered on and I deserved better.
He conceded we had come a long way in the past 20 years and I agreed.
But my question is where to from here?
He joined the dating game in 2008 as the “corruption-free alternative”.
Being corruption-free is admirable, but does anyone strive to be corrupt?
He wants a better life for all of us, not just a select few.
He said it did not matter if I chose him or not, but I had to be sure my core values and beliefs were in place and I had to fight for them.
He said decades ago people had to lay down their lives to have the freedom to choose a partner.
Now all I have to do is choose one.
I just have to get in the game.
He said I was responsible to “protect and promote” my rights and values as enshrined in the constitution.
I also have to respect and protect his values and rights because we are equals – thanks to our parents and grandparents.
Because we are equal and strive to be united as a couple in our communities, we have to realise that the future depends on us.
He wants me to be passionate about my future and our future together.
“Apart from being passionate about our relationship, we first need to be passionate about our country,” he said.
That makes sense – the country before politicking and relationship drama.
We need to be worried about the young people in our families and communities too.
If they do not receive what they had been promised, they might break down the homes or schools we go to.
We also have to make sure that our success is shared with the young people around us.
We have to share our knowledge and skills with others and help others so they can stand on their own feet.
“Young people don’t need handouts, they need a hand up,” he said.
Yes, but how do we do that?
Instead of just educating the youth, we have to empower and equip them.
Moxwale tutors young people in his field of expertise so they get a taste of “the real world”.
We have to, through our success, provide opportunities to the young ones around us.
“We have to make a difference in their lives so they can be better.”
If young people are better, the country will be better.
Look at the youth of 1976, they held hands and they were victorious. We can learn from them and our generation of young people can unite against our challenges.
I have had enough of division and constant references to my past and appearance (specifically my skin colour).
He agrees and says our future will not be polarised racially.
“I am talking about a diverse, non-racial and democratic relationship,” he said. I love the idea of non-racialism.
“Let’s look ahead instead of focusing on our bad past. The things that unite us far outweigh the things that divide us.”
If we do not focus on unity, we will be both to blame if things go wrong.
But things won’t go “pear-shaped” if we just communicate.
A lot of our fights and protests are a result of non-communication.
He said he didn’t want to wait for me to seek attention by being destructive before he listened to me.
“If we don’t talk to each other, one might think he or she is not a priority. Communication is the single most important element in any relationship,” said Moxwale.
Much of our misunderstandings can be avoided if we just speak to each other.
He promised me that despite his parents (Mbhazima Shilowa and Mosiuoa Lekota) splitting up, a long and happy future was within reach.
He’s not going anywhere and I should not be discouraged by his parents’ messy divorce.
“The dust has settled and you should want to spend your time and talents on me,” he said.
He is asking me to be a Coper.
We’ll see about that.