Amidst the ocean of black we all swam in yesterday, did we ever stop to consider what Black Monday actually is? What is the symbolism behind the term Black Monday? Was it just about being #Anti-Zuma?

On Monday the 19th of October 1987, stock markets all around the world crashed devastatingly. The crash began in Hong Kong and, like an infectious disease, it spread  west across Europe and the Americas. Although markets were expected to be affected worse than in the 1930s, there was a surprising twist of fate.

The economy was barely affected and the growth actually increased throughout 1987 to 1988.

Is this what the Black Monday group is referring to? Hope; that no matter how bad a situation seems, there is always the ability to turn it around completely.

Isn’t it so fitting that we were declared “Junk Status” on the day of Black Monday? You know what they say, history repeats itself.

We wear black to show everyone what is happening to our economy. To express our distaste for the current President’s decisions. But most importantly, to show that there is HOPE. Ordinary South Africans are capable of uniting and working towards a single cause, the betterment of our society.

This is what Black Monday represents.

“The ANC is more important than the Constitution.”

“The Constitution is only there to regulate matters.”

— Jacob Zuma

He has made this view very clear.

In the past, there have been many occurrences, led on by our president that have made us question Jacob Zuma and why he’s in authority.

The Nkandla saga, Nhlanhla Nene (who lasted a weekend) and, if we look way back, the rape trial.

“A shower would minimise the risk of contracting the disease.” — Jacob Zuma

From these events, infinite memes and cartoon shower-head figures have sprung up. As good as it is to find humour amidst troubled times, we cannot help but be a bit taken aback by looking at the things he has said.

About Robert Mugabe…

“…The people love him. So how can we condemn him?” — Jacob Zuma

Black Monday has helped us to open our eyes to what is happening in our country. It unified us and showcased us as one body, clearly portraying to the government that ALL the people believe in a democracy and a government that seeks to better the country. We do not condone a president that seeks to make life more pleasurable for himself – a clear contradiction to what Zuma has been showing us.

People who are afraid of voicing their political stance were able to see what other South Africans believe in, thus, providing an opportunity for those who are generally unwilling to do so.

Although Black Monday doesn’t guarantee that South Africa will have a more efficient president; the hope it brought gives us substantial reason to fight for better days. Seeing everyone fighting for the same cause ignites hope in the citizens of South Africa. It motivates us to fulfill our goals and work towards a stronger, happier South Africa.

Many South Africans seem to be ticking-time bombs when it comes to the issue of why are most South Africans only fighting/protesting now? Where were they when the Marikana massacre took place? Where were they when there were glitches with the social grants? Where were they in the fight for fair land ownership?

We need to acknowledge that in these cases South Africa was wrong not to protest and that the people affected have the right to be angry. But we cannot let that deter us from taking a stand now.

It is important to ensure that people are aware of their neglect and it is important to keep that aspect of the situational dialogue going. People need to understand that we want to change the system in order to benefit the majority who are affected the worst.

We also need to keep in mind that we can never fight this battle alone. The target group of people fighting as part of this movement should be the ones who are directly affected.

Having black Monday can easily be seen as a passive fight against Zuma but in the long run it is a fight for all the wrongs that need to be avenged. It allows for the acknowledgment of the injustices inflicted upon South Africans by the person who is meant to be nurturing us and shedding a bright light. It is a sign that as South Africans we understand that we’ve sat back and watched for a long time now. It is a sign that we understand what the implications are and that we are keeping those who will suffer the most in mind.

We must also remember that the goal is to ensure equity for all people. All races must be equal. Black Monday was somewhat exclusive or neglecting of the fact that black South Africans, in many cases, still do not reap the same benefits that white South Africans do. These are the people that this will affect the most.

We cannot stop here. We cannot stop at wearing black clothes.

Passive activism is a paradox and although it raises awareness and unites people, alone it is not enough.

TSA urges you to start campaigns, organisations, to organise events, to address government directly and to do whatever you can think of that will make a difference.

Protesting, striking, speaking out, sending letters to government or to the president himself!

South Africa, allow these events to light your inner flame. Allow yourself to starve for the right to human dignity, for yourself and others. Keep in mind and heart those who have lost jobs, salaries, lives because of the actions of our President. This not only about a better economy, it is about the lives of people who are already struggling to survive.

This is about what South Africa is.

And we are definitely more than Junk.

We are like the world after the original Black Monday. We can rise again.

“Me? Well, I don’t know, I must go to a dictionary and learn what a crook is. I’ve never been a crook.”  — Jacob Zuma


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