#PoeticLicence: Think twice before posting pictures of your child online

Author and poet Rabbie Serumula. File image.

Author and poet Rabbie Serumula. File image.

Published Jan 8, 2023


Johannesburg - The window is once again opening, be careful what flies into your home during this seemingly “innocent” time for our bundles of joy to be auctioned out on social media on their first day at school.

Little humans in their uniforms will pose in front of their parents' phones, not all of them willingly, it is really a vanity project by parents peddling a self-serving reason to ascend into immortality, lining up their lineage to be paraded and exhibited on social media posts.

Here is my child, it’s their first day at this school, at this location, where I will be dropping them off every day.

I will repost this same picture when they go missing. I will not know how this could have happened to my child, it's not like anyone knew where to find them.

Nobody told me that my child’s identity could be stolen, I post my pictures on Instagram every day and my identity is still mine. I was never taught that my child’s pictures could be photoshopped and used on pornography sites. They definitely said nothing about trafficking cartels identifying my bundle of joy, whose location I have naively exposed, as fitting the criteria of its child-selling and buying clients.

I thought children disappeared only in opportunistic kidnappings, ransom-related, stranger abductions, criminal vendettas and scams perhaps - but, you see, I always know where my child is, I am not wealthy, and therefore ruled out of opportunistic, ransom-related and stranger abductions. I am not a criminal, no one would want vengeance against me through my child.

Wake up! Two likes on your Facebook post are not worth the trouble.

A child goes missing every five hours in South Africa, and we are one of the countries with the highest number of human trafficking cases.

Why aid paedophiles, child abductors and traffickers?

The window is once again opening for illegal organ trade and trafficking, and your child is no exception to organised crime groups and organ brokers who exploit your naivety.

The black market keeps getting darker, organ trafficking keeps expanding worldwide and it is the underprivileged and vulnerable in developing countries who are a major source of trafficked organs, and illegal organ removal and trade.

The bundles of joy are at more risk of exploitation.

Do take the story of the Thembisa 10 with a pinch of salt if you only want photo evidence of the babies’ existence, or lack thereof, if you will.

But do not disregard the confirmed existence of this dark underworld, its reality is shocking and undeniable.

Close the window, you may not like what flies into your house. Let bundles of joy have joy in their lives. Don’t live vicariously through them for likes. Don’t feel pressure to fit into trends. Save yourself the trouble and send those pictures to your family. Happy New Year.

The Saturday Star