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Discard the old and make way for the new

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DISCARD THE OLD AND MAKE WAY FOR THE NEW Amidst the hustle and bustle of the dusty crowded sidewalk, I caught sight of an ancient black man, his arms and legs bent and folded in a tight seated position on the curb of a traffic lined street. His rough gnarled hands appeared to take on the weight of a troubled life of hardship, poverty and despair as they cradled his almost bald head. He sat motionless and even the few tufts of white hair remained still in the breeze as it channelled its way down the road between the buildings. What made me forget the urgency of my errand? ...read more.


His dry parchment like skin was dull and lay in loose folds around his neck and limbs. Where his bones protruded through the skin it became taught and smooth which seemed to shine whitely in the harsh midday sun. His tired and emaciated arms belied their strength no doubt due to a life of toil and drudgery. His clothes, though old and ill-fitting were neat and his faded threadbare white shirt was proudly tucked into his baggy trousers. His shoes were as worn out as their owner threatening to fall apart before the day was through. I wondered about his life. Had it been all hard work and drudgery, or had it been interspersed with more than a few happy memories? ...read more.


Instead, he was caught up between the old traditions and the new westernised ways, just another tragic victim of colonisation. What was he feeling? What was he thinking? Was he in pain, hungry, sick, alone or homeless? What was he waiting for. Was he wishing for death as an escape from his miseries? I imagined his body being unceremoniously dumped into some nameless grave. I couldn't bear thinking about it any longer. I felt helpless and the coward in me wished to flee before I had to endure the sight of his poor face. Depressed, I moved away and wondered as life continued to pass him by whether anyone would notice if he were to die on that street curb. Would they even care? ...read more.

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