The Slum dwellers

Written by: Vicky Tsiluma

There exists a world where the traffic lights don’t work…. Welcome to the Slums We the slum dwellers… The ones condemned at birth by virtue of our parents biting poverty The ones with no prospects, no options, no apologies This is our story…. Morning light ushers in a crude awakening to realities better left in nightmares. The dash to the community bathroom - for those brave enough to risk tainting by the oozing, bubbling faeces (provided of course that they have the cash to pay for the toilet) The rest of us make use of polythene flying toilets –woe unto anyone passing nearby. Forget about breakfast – meals are a luxury Next stop: Trek to the industrial area Goal: To find any work needing muscle and employees too poor to care about meager wages and industrial law. Sweat, sweat, and more sweat. Work overtime, without protective gear, without lunch break, without job security. And for what – peanuts. Hand-to-mouth: Live for the day. The wheel of poverty rotates at superhuman speed. Alighting equals death – death in the form of the way out - Boy child: Criminal gang Girl child: Sea of prostitution The only reprise comes from the misfortune of others. Siphoning fuel from a tanker, death is death is death, be it from petrol burns or starvation. Tapping electricity from faulty lines – it’s not as if the council will willingly connect us with the commodity. Being used as mercenaries by greedy businessmen and powerful politicians – work is work, right? Free primary education –don’t make me laugh. Rapes, murders, theft –just another day gone by. In a world where people are a rule to themselves, only one rule remains: Do what you have to do to survive another day. Period.