Drooling beg to Saffer family

Published May 26, 2024


Durban — Begging is not allowed on the couch, but this is so important we’re making an exception.

Well, the human rule enforcer is anyway.

Heart-melting eye-pleas for some tasty mommy-food morsel fail because the other occupants know the rules – if there’s something to share, we’ll do it in the kitchen, not on the couch.

The big guy sometimes pushes the boundary, sitting alongside me with our heads level, making it difficult to avoid those eyes. Even more tricky is keeping the nearest knee drool-free. But he has never pinched anything without express permission.

I’m begging for something with that same desperation: your vote. Consider your knees drooled upon. Not on behalf of anyone, but so we can all lay our cards on the table and know where we stand.

Whether you like it or not, we’re a big Saffer family. We fight, sometimes horribly, and bicker and play no-speaks until there is a family crisis. Then, most of us put aside those rifts to help one another and find the best solution.

Key to resolving many of these rows is being able to talk to each other. Plainly but, if possible, diplomatically. Sometimes it is necessary to have loud, shouty arguments.

Painful as it may be, honest heart-to-hearts expose festering wounds so healing can start. Even if there’s no bridging the divide, closing the gap by agreeing to disagree on an issue or opinion can lead to better things.

A united family can stand against intolerable behaviour and re-establish order.

We have to rediscover what we have in common: our centuries of shared, bloody and sometimes ugly history; pride when any Saffers make their mark on the world; love for the beauty of this country, the most beautiful flag in the world and the soaring prayer for Africa that is our national anthem.

Some in our family have been deprived of the nation’s spoils and some have fed to the brim on every possible scrap.

There are many elders, meant to guide and guard us, who have instead gouged us and bled us dry. Rather than leading by example and setting high moral and ethical standards for us to learn from and live by, they have become a stain on our family.

The real power of a family does not lie in its head. It is in the unity of the collective which allows that head honcho to make choices for it. No single entity has all the answers, but needs to consult, reason, debate and consider before making decisions. A strong family has a say in its future, gains its strength from shared bonds and interests.

Nobody’s voice should (but often does) go unheard. Or is not listened to. Which is where so many of us feel we are.

Our voices must count, literally in this case.

Our family faces its biggest test since we last embraced each other 30 years ago.

Millions of our family members – blood relatives and Saffer kin – have moved away to search for a place they might be able to call home away from home. The very fabric of our family has been, is being, ripped into shreds. Last weekend, thousands spent big money and hours or days travelling to take their seat at the table and have their say.

You won’t agree with everything being dished up, but you have to eat.

Enjoy the public holiday servings, but we must never forget that members of our family died and bled for every vote on Wednesday.

I beg you – use yours.

Independent on Saturday