Guest Column: From somewhere to being something, the ghetto story by the former SRC TREASURER GENERAL INNOCENT GOTOSA TG
Born and bred in the jaws of poverty where the family relied on hand to mouth and handouts. The story of a boy born and raised by a single mother in the ghetto streets, who left her family to go outside the country in search of greener pastures. Having to play the role of both father and the mother made it even more difficult but she managed until death knocked on her door. May her soul Rest In Peace, the unsung heroine of our time.
I remember her saying, “Mwanangu hapana anokuitira, ndiwe baba vacho” – meaning the future is in your hands my child. It meant very little but it has grown to be the motto of my life. Life wasn’t easy staying away from her, got to see her once or twice in a year. This would mean most of the time I will be with the immediate family. This scenario posed challenge after challenge.
At its peak especially without enough cash flow, nobody really understands the situation at hand; you are accused of being naive, selfish and above all treated like an outcast. The only time you are seen as a family member is when you don’t create value in yourself or when you give them all your income/revenue or when your unsung heroes remit funds.
Living in the jaws of poverty leaves one mentally, emotionally and psychologically disturbed. Instead of seeing life as a blessing, it’s like a curse as every move you make – which is done for the betterment of yourself and not family is regarded as treason to the highest level. The cry of a child in the ghetto is to excel, make it in life but face the jaws of family politics.
Life in the ghetto with family politics taking center stage meant you can either live by their rules or sink. Playing by their rules was a means to make you a beggar – in this essence worship them for your bread and butter or sink which meant playing according to your rules till you reach the top.
Not all parents see the vision of rising from rashes as a realistic, why? It is because the environment taught them the divide and rule tack tics, hence the struggle of a ghetto youth continues. Drug abuse, crime rates and prostitution to name a few have come as a result of different struggles faced struggles. Imagine when you tell your guardian that you want to pursue a certain career and before you know it, shades and stumbling blocks are already thrown out.
The father wishes the child to excel but the mother especially the step moms think otherwise and vice versa. Family relations are torn apart, hearts are broken, regrettable mistakes are made, enemies and alliances created and in the end there’s not much left.
Some may ask where there no mentors, kind family members to help you out? The truth is the road to success is mainly driven by friends, associates and above all The Lord Almighty God. Mentors are there to give you direction in business ventures and this does not normally extend to funding your dream.
Close family members are there to keep you company and give you a place to put your head – which you should forever cherish. The Eagerness to excel does not come on a silver platter as who you consider family can be those working for your downfall especially when you’re a breadwinner or your parents are no more.
We all live life but we live differently although it is every parent’s dream to have his or her children walk the same path to greatness, and in her dream as a single mother was and continues to be seeing her children succeed in life. Her dream was to see her children reach greater heights.
The ghetto struggle continues but being in ghetto doesn’t mean you live the ghetto way. Hustle like a ghetto because it will always be a part of you and your journey. But don’t let it hold you back from greatness; there is always light at the end of the tunnel.