25th Apr2012

Don’t pass me by

by admin

Last month, I celebrated my first anniversary in silence as the memory of having a gun put against my back re-entered my thoughts and left me cold. Our relationship began, ironically, on the day the rest of the country was enjoying their freedom on Human Rights Day while mine was stolen from me on the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge. Because of the many feet that trod on the bridge which belong to the good people of the New South Africa, I had hope so fear passed me by. Minutes later, I quickly discovered the only thing those feet were united in were the diverse ways in which they all turned a blind eye to the gun that hugged my back and the intoxicated young man that held it. An older man approached and again, a rush of hope overcame me…and quickly vanished with his: “excuse me, you’re blocking my way”. My heart sank. The society of the New South Africa that stands together against crime was, at that moment, merely passing me by…

“What would you do?” is a powerfully provocative programme that shows the world what the ordinary people of America would do if they were in the presence of a child being abducted, a woman being thrashed by her boyfriend in public or maybe teenagers stealing a car. This ‘Candid Camera of Ethics’ reveals that their society is full of evil which good men and women just walk past and ignore. Shame on America, the West has no morals. Oh no but wait…

Our own government is splashing millions of rands into campaigns that aim to eradicate the abuse of women and children or to buy more rape kits which are merely means to try salvaging spilt milk. Wearing a t-shirt that says “I am against violence and the abuse of women and children”, and then telling a young girl with a gun pressed against her to excuse you because she’s blocking your way is hypocritical and darkly humorous of you.

Honestly, you can spare me your 20c that you donate with every McDonald’s meal you buy (which is used to fight against crime) if you’re going to just pass me by when the real crime is happening under your nose. Spare me your intellectual speeches about getting criminals off the streets if you’re going to increase the volume on your TV to hide the screams of the lady next door screaming for help while her husband beats her unconscious in front of her children.

Fortunately, I escaped unscathed because a young man decided not to keep quiet and pass me by. But listen, you can turn a blind eye to the evils that surround you or better yet excuse yourself from the reality of a young woman almost being gunned down or raped in public. It’s okay, I mean it’s none of your business. Until your daughter who took the taxi in the morning to school turns into a rape victim or your sister, your mother, your girlfriend screams for help…and the very people we so highly praise of having ubuntu just pass her by. All I’m saying is evil triumphs when good men do nothing. There is nothing golden about silence!

Tanyani Daku


31 Responses to “Don’t pass me by”

  • Siyanda Mavuso

    I am baffled sincerely I am.I for one as frameless and closer to the ground as I am wouldn’t have passed by. Braam is riddled with security guards,not knowing if we can fully trust them is now the only big issue,but point is they are here essentially for our safety. To all the ladies let’s us now please from this learn to be more aware of our surroundings n those who thrive in lurking in our personal spaces. Fear not to scream! If he is tOo close and you feel threatened,Mariah got it n so do U,its the Octave let it be heard! Nonetheless I pray for all our safety n the swift rebirth of ubuntu for real! Until next time….Peace. Love. Happiness.

  • Anointed One

    Ms. T, u r a true wonder. This is the reality of our beautiful beloved Mzansi. The scourge that is overtaking our society is so surreal!May God help me not to pass anyone’s child by…thank you for the reminder:)! Love ur writing my angel, continue to champion the cause of the “young” and disadvantage and remember that God is on our side.

    • Tanyani

      On that day, I lost my hope in people. We subconsciously feel somewhat safer when there are many people around but the people of SA showed me otherwise. Only God is faithful. Thank you so much for your continuous support!!

  • Gwen

    This is a real issue in dis country, I love the way u pointed it out!! Nd yet soooo emotional I love ur writing tanya u are amazing nana. Its journalist like u dat are needed in dis country!Can’t wait for de next article 🙂 xxx

  • Mpho Madiba

    Dear Tanya,

    What a fabulous job you did with this article! Its is rather sad that we live in a society just like the one the story of the Good Samaritan describes.I need to say the good samaritan teaches us that you should help others no-matter who they are, but it unfortunately does not happen.

    Well done my love, you wonderfully articulated your experience and it is a beautifully written piece.

    Heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for your continued success.


    Mpho xoxo

  • Kamo

    Tinana, this is a well written, thought provoking piece. keep writing, keep them coming. You write so well. You were born to do this! Ke proud jwang ka wena and to think that this is the beginning??? Keep it up Sweetpea!

  • mbonenitrim ratshikomba

    wow, yeah your article opened my eyes to the reality of life, how ignorant we as black people can be. I’m sorry for allowing evil to prevail when i can do something about it, God have mercy… Super article ms_daku 🙂

  • Lindokuhle

    that is so sad to think there is such a high emphasis on unity and togetherness but there are still horrible things that happen in this country. My friend also got mugged and everything of hers was taken and no body did anything. I think there should be more focus on combating crime rather than spending money on unnecessary things like e-tolling. the government needs to take more action and not just put money in things that they themselves do not even monitor if they are proceeding well.

    it is very shocking on bow crime seems to be getting worse in this counrty which can be seen as proof that government policies are not working. I guess then something shoul happen to one of them then maybe they will see how bad it is living in this ‘rainbow nation’

  • Mmabatho

    Tanya once again you have blown my mind my sister.I am so saddened at how we live in a evil society where people just don’t care anymore nor treasure the gift of life.I thank God for keeping you safe.You are a true inspiration.May the Lord continue to bless the works of your hands.

  • Gaborone Mojafi

    Well done Tanya,its amazing that people preach about stoping crime and yet they don’t practice it when it happends,we must also know that police officers are not always at the crime scene when something like this occurs.

    I so wish I was on that bridge when this happend I was going to kill someone.

    Keep writing they can never take that away from you…

  • Khethiwe

    Its so shameful what is happening around us people are so quick to point a finger, but when it comes to acting everyone pulls back and watch.
    being a victim of a crime myself it hurts when you knock on someone’s door and they tell you to go away, watch you being beaten and do nothing about it not even call the authorities… mmmmhhhhhffffff “flooded with bad memories”.

    • Tanyani

      It really is a shame what atrocities our country has deemed normal by its very citizens. We are the ones that complain and then keep quiet when we see it happen. It can’t continue like this

  • Khethiwe

    ubuntu is a distant memory.

  • Phumla

    I’m glad that you wrote about your traumatic experience because I’ve heard about armed robberys happening at Mandela bridge countless of times but it seems that nothing is being done. I’m so sorry that you went through that. Well written.

  • Thato Coetzee

    indeed there is nothing golden about silence i like and agree with that,i mean most people want to play safe and opt for silence when they can blow the whistle and save or spare a life..we need to intentionally act to ensure that everyone in South Africa can truly enjoy human rights,lets report crime,help the screaming lady next door when she gets beat up its the right thing to do.

    Tanya you are talented keep writing and provoking us to do right,your thoughts are compelling.well done

  • Nozib

    This is a beautiful piece darling, I love how you write something so tragic, so matter of fact…I love the way you engage us, yet keep it real….You have so much talent, I love that this is personal, yet in a world’s view, so international…its about crime and good people who do nothing…from a citizen with first hand experience, I love it, keep it up. Sisi you have a gift.

    I am mighty proud of you.
    Keep on shinning, hope that Macbook comes soon.

  • Nozib

    This is a beautiful piece darling, I love how you write something so tragic, so matter of fact…I love the way you engage us, yet keep it real….You have so much talent, I love that this is personal, yet in a world’s view, so international…its about crime and good people who do nothing…from a citizen with first hand experience, I love it, keep it up. Sisi you have a gift.

    I am mighty proud of you.
    Keep on shinning.

  • Gugu Baloyi

    Very emotive amd moving piece indeed. It is a real tear-jerker. The SA we move in is no longer the SA we live in. We as South Africans need to consciously own the space we are in and rid SA of all the nuisances that spread fear in the streets, and eradicate hope in the lives of many South Africans. Let us as future academics rise to the occassion and say “No!” to crime on the streets.

    • Tanyani

      “We need to consciously own the space we’re in” I absolutely love that!!

  • This passage brought back memories I wish I could forget, people need to understand that when such a thing happens it strips You of all confidence in humankind, and wonder when did we stop feeling, when did we stop being human! I totally feel this piece… The irony of human rights day, We have a right to be human, and unfortunately the right to remain silent…

    Do your thing girl, You were born to do this… Pen and paper are your weapon of mass destruction…

  • Yoh Deep stuff hey Tee and gotta say the last line hits home hard even

  • Noni Zwane

    I’m so sorry about what happened to you.
    You are strong, I believe it.
    We can’t excuse other peoples actions, unfortunately it is what it is.

    Lovely piece…like always.

  • Jabulile

    I’m flabbergasted really, thank the Good Lord for his divine protection regardless.What a moving piece though Tanya.I love your tone and choice of words well written, you really drew a clear picture for me.

    Sad enough we the ones always complaining, but when something “Tragic” happens like this we take a sit back-it all goes back to “ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS”.

    This was eye-opening,I hope I lend that helping hand.
    I want to stress that articles you write can change the world -THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD. Keep doing what you love girl.

    Be Blessed

  • Landi

    Hi Tanya

    I truly bless God for awarding you the talent of writing, I’m really moved by the article and realised how we as society have failed to address such impactful issues that affect our community.

    I have since taken a stand after the big outrage of the teen girl that was raped by teen boys in Soweto to mentor young men. Starting at home with my nephew who is in his teens. I believe the education must start at home within our families and break the silence!

    Well done on writing such a good piece, I’m so proud of you my little nunu!


  • Mogani

    Excellent structure to your writing which offers a very realistic and profound view of human behaviour in the face of danger. Well done, I enjoyed the read. Keep it up.

  • D'Niel

    Wow, powerfully articulated. After reading this, one can’t help but do some introspection and ask that honest question.

    “Would I walk on by, or would I risk my own safety by interceding?”

  • Thenjiwe

    Wow Tanya…wonderful piece indeed.

    Continue on writing 🙂

    God Bless.

  • Penny

    Tanya, I am truly speechless…your words paint pictures, your words evoke emotions, you are truly gifted.

    This piece is very powerful and profound.

    Let your words reach the minds and hearts of chained souls…let your words cross boarders, races and cultures…let your words emancipate the world.

    Keep up the wonderful and colourful pieces.

    Peace_Love & Happiness

    God Bless

  • A writer in motion.

    I am definetly in awe. Totally inspired…this is why i want to be a writer,to revive people’s minds just as u have done Tanya. Thank you 4 the motivation.<3

    • Tanyani

      Thank you! We need more writers who inspire change in the world. I wish you well in your path. God bless you

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