A Few days ago, I asked 62 #African Students at Rutgers University in Newark New Jersey to think of the most recent event they attended and tell me if they were on time for that event. Only 3% of this group of students could boast being on time. Yes it is true. Africans have a problem that has plagued them for many, many, years. It is a cause for concern. In some cases it is fashionable to be late and lateness actually works in our favor but in most cases, it doesn’t. This has fast become a part of our daily livelihood and desperately needs to be addressed.
Is it life threatening? To some degree-NO. Is it a habitual problem? YES. Does it benefit us as a community? I say – Absolutely NOT.
Sometimes it is referred to as “African Time” but I will label it a disease and name it “African People Always Late Syndrome” (APALS). This disease runs widely through the African community. Do I hear a guilty chuckle? Are you one of those that fall in the 97% group diagnosed with this syndrome?
Think about it …
How many times did you wake up at 6am (giving yourself an extra hour) to get ready for work and did not leave your house until 7:55am despite the fact that you have to be at work at 8am?
How many times did you ever have the pleasure of seeing the bride and groom actually walk into church at the beginning of a wedding ceremony?
How many times did you ever make it on time to your doctor’s appointment?
How many times did you tell a friend or date that you were on your way when you know darn well that you still needed to hit the shower?
How many times have you shown up for a party 2 or more hours later than the time it was scheduled to begin?
How many flights have you missed and convinced yourself it was traffic when you know you could have planned better?
I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. This is not to you Africans who are almost always on time but I can bet that your boyfriend, husband, girlfriend or wife, brother or sister should be reading this article. Yes, I mean the one who runs late to almost every event.
APALS poses a potential problem in our African community and hinders our growth in a society where time is money. Imagine not being chosen for a lead position at your job because you are always 2 minutes late for work. You think people don’t notice? They do.
Imagine always coming late to church. You think its cool to make a grand entrance? Not in the eyes of God! Imagine arriving late on your first date with a friend or someone of interest. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth. How about that job interview? Being late could easily ruin your chances.
What we owe each other Is respect
We cannot keep expecting that everyone else will be late to a function. No matter how you see it, it is a bad habit. We need to reflect within ourselves in order to fix this problem of time and lateness and not dwell on the fact that Africans are always late so it’s acceptable, because it is not.
I don’t know about you, but I hate waiting on people so I don’t make them wait on me. This is about respecting someone else’s time. If you say you will meet someone at 3pm, be there at 3pm. If you show up at 3:30pm, then you show no respect for the other person’s time. They could have been doing something else other than waiting for you.
It is time we realize that little things such as APALS can lead to bigger issues that might not be solvable. I will like to challenge all of you reading my viewpoint to go to your next event on time. Do not be late. I’m share many other vibers will like to learn about your on-time experience so drop a comment when you have one.
A teacher at South African school, Laerskool Schweizer Reneke, took this photo and shared it with parents on WhatsApp in an effort to reassure them that their children’s first day of school was going smoothly. However, the teacher did not have the intended outcome as the photo revealed a detail that was unexpected. The students were separated by race in the classroom.
Students at Laerskool Schweizer were sent back home after South Africa’s North West Education Department suspended the teacher, Ellen Barkhuizen, who is suspected to have separated the children according to race at the school.
Barkhuizen is reported to have taken the photo of the separated children, which is circulating on social media and has gone viral.
The school has been suspected of discrimination by parents for some time. One parent had this to say to SABC News.
“I have applied on time, but I was so surprised when they said they can’t accept my child, he is on the waiting list. So, I requested to see the list of the white people. They say there is no waiting list for the white people. That’s where I started to worry. Where are we going to take our kids because they are still young? We didn’t want our kids to go far because we are residents here. I came here in March. They told me I must come on the 1st of May. When I came they say I must bring the documents, I bring them. Eish mama, I feel pain.”
Speaking to SowetanLIVE, some of the white parents said black parents who are not happy about how the school operates, must take their children to township schools.
If you are not happy here, take your child to another school, nobody is forcing you. Now they want to make this as if it is racism, everyone just wants to make white people racists. We are not racists, we just want what is best for our children,” said one parent.
“Blacks don’t put their children first, we put our children first, and their safety and education comes first. This is the only white-dominated school in this town. There are over 10 schools in the township. If they are not happy, let them take their children there,” said another parent.
After meeting school staff and education department officials, North West education MEC Sello Lehari confirmed that the teacher in question had been suspended.
“As government, we would like to condemn any form of racism, alleged or not, and we deeply regret this unfortunate incident taking place in our country 25 years into democracy,” said a spokesperson for the local government leader, Job Lekgoro.
Blantyre district health office director of health services Dr. Gift Kawaladzira has confirmed the suspension of Patricia Mulichi who works at Ndirande Health Center.
Mulichi came under intense fire on social media platforms on Tuesday for taking a selfie which went viral.
The picture drew anger from people who feel the government is employing immature and irresponsible people to handle sensitive matters.
The Controversial Selfie
The controversial selfie showed a masked and exposed pregnant woman with wide open legs ready to give birth in a labor ward.
Executive Director of Malawi’s Nurses and Midwifery Councilm, Isabella Musisi says Mulichi deserves disciplinary action and has since banned mobile phones in labor wards.
“Our clients are looking for respectful maternal services. This will hinder achievement for universal health access in Malawi. Let’s see to it cell phones are not entering our labor wards. This is unacceptable behavior by our profession,” she said.
Mr Liu Jiaqi, a Chinese immigrant business man in Kenya was deported after a video emerged of him making racist comments. An employee filmed Mr Liu, a motorcycle trader, saying that he disliked Kenya because it “smells bad and [its people are] poor, foolish and black”. When the employee asked why he wanted to stay in the country, the trader said he was only there to make money. The Kenyan authorities arrested him hours after the video was circulated online on 5 September and revoked his work permit.
The Chinese national was deported the very next day. This was revealed in a tweet by the kenyan immigration department. This is the first time an individual has been deported for racist rants although it is not the first allegation of racism. BBC reports that In 2015, the owner of a Chinese restaurant in Nairobi was arrested after public outrage over the restaurant’s alleged policy of banning African customers at night. However, the restaurant owner ws never charged with discrimination or racism.
This wisdom is applicable regardless of what part of the world you find yourself in and it is of course no surprise that this young Chinese man quickly found out the hard way that you cannot benefit from the Kenyan economy while holding and expressing racist views. Discrimination based on color is against the law in Kenya. With that said, was the reaction of the Kenyan government too harsh or was it adequate for the offense?