What are YOU doing in 2019?

Category General News

Myles Wakefield, CEO of Wakefields, lays down a challenge for 2019: "What if we went into the new year with a different mind-set? What if each one of us did something meaningful to contribute to our country? Could be small, something regular, something doesn't matter. Just do it. Whatever your capacity, your skills or your network. Do something positive to effect change

We have short memories.

Cast your mind back to February 15 when we all sat down to listen to our new president Ramaphosa deliver his state of the nation address. There was a great deal said, but one of the most memorable moments was towards the end, when he recalled the words of Hugh Masekela's song, Thuma Mina, a Zulu phrase for Send Me. In essence, Hugh Masekela wanted to 'be there' to witness all the changes, but importantly, he wanted to 'be there' to effect those changes. Not wait for somebody else to do them. The song ends on "I wanna lend a hand. Send me."

We all remember President Ramaphosa saying, "Now is the time to lend a hand. Now is the time for each of us to say 'send me'."

Most of us felt uplifted by it, energised to do something, to make a contribution, to help build the South Africa which Mandela painted for us.  

What happened?


We all know what happened. We absorbed all the political noise, began to make some of our own, allowed negativity to prevail, and at the very time when we should be looking to see what we can do for our country, we're not 'being there' at all, nor are we asking to be sent into the fray.  

Behind the scenes of course, there are very many South Africans who are 'being there', and achieving the most astonishing results, some among young disadvantaged children, particularly in the fields of education. These South Africans are unsung, working quietly to build a better country.


As large corporates or businesses such as Wakefields, we have charitable organisations and causes which we support. All the staff throughout Kwazulu-Natal are involved, and play their part.

Are we doing enough? As individuals, are we?

Can we do more? Are we 'being there'?

Whatever it is we're doing, we simply have to do more.


As a country, we've experienced a great disappointment. The last ten years should have been full of progress and positivity, and it's largely been the reverse. The impact on our society has been dire.

But, by far the biggest impact has been on the poor, the uneducated, the unemployed, the orphaned, and so many other forgotten South Africans.  

It's for them that we need to rethink our approach to 2019, and by doing something for them, we do it for us all.  

We simply can't expect our politicians, our political parties, our councillors, our community leaders, and so on, to fix everything. Or even anything. It's not going to happen. We have to lead. 

Legendary anthropologist Margaret Meade said, "Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing which ever has."

Come on. We have to change our own world.


There are very many ways to step into 2019, and make a real difference. If so many others are assisting in childhood education centres, helping illiterate adults to write matric, providing valuable entrepreneurial skills to small one-man bands, raising funds to establish small manufacturing facilities, facilitating recycling as an income stream, and a host of other skills being can too.

Yes, we have the time. Yes, we have the education. Yes, it's imperative.

And yes, we want South Africa to be the success we all dreamed of. It will only happen if we stop expecting others to create it, and realise it's up to each of us to play our part.


Negativity and the sense of powerlessness which abounds, can be turned around. There's no doubt if you do something positive, you'll see and feel the impact - that powerlessness will dissipate.

 You may not be a solo player. Then support others. Play to your strengths. 

Going into 2019, it's a good time to remember Ubuntu - the belief that we are defined by our kindness and compassion towards others.

Be there.

Author: Anne Schauffer

Submitted 14 Dec 18 / Views 766