Zolani Mahola: We are so used to separating ourselves, this lockdown will unite all of humanity

Zolani Mahola reflects on the social implications of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zolani Mahola reflects on the social implications of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Image: Gallo Images/Oupa Bopape

Freshlyground singer Zolani Mahola believes the current 21-day lockdown in SA will do a lot of good for the nation by bringing people closer together.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lockdown last week to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

While the decision has caused panic and anxiety among some, Zolani believes that it may unite the country.

“We have over the ages had reason to delight in highlighting our differences and have used those to separate ourselves from each other. This time unites all of humanity and we are called individually to make choices which affect all of us.”

She said it was a time for people to reflect on what isn't working in their lives, and in society at large.

“Can we still pretend that overcrowded under-resourced communities with below-par educational facilities are a reality we can afford to live with? Could we imagine a more self-sufficient reality where people grow their own food and exchange trade based on their talents and skills; not merely functioning as cogs in machines?

“What innovations can we make real in this time when we are forced to a standstill the world over? I’m interested in the new realities we can dream and fashion into being right now.”

She said she had been keeping up her spirits during this time by taking a few minutes each day to just stop and be still.

“I am such a busy body! Mindless busy-ness as a way of distracting myself from myself has become a crutch I’ve been weaning myself off for a while now. I reschedule my days, I spend way too much time on devices and I try to escape stillness in many many uncomfortable ways.

“This time is a really welcome break from the noise I so easily create. It’s a reminder that I actually love to write and play music, that I actually love to spend time being silly and laughing with my husband and children and that I’m actually a human being — not a human doing.”

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