The Burning Question
My burning question remains the same: why do people think they can treat Africans anyhow and in Africa and continue to get away with it? When are we, Africans, going to speak out against this racial segregation that is getting more and more apparent? It has gone on for far too long and we need to speak out now and put a stop to it!
And now, with Covid-19 taking its toll on us, the same business owners have found another easy way out; a way to exploit the already exploited ordinary man in Africa. Under the pretext of failing businesses and ailing turnovers workers are being relinquished of their jobs or even getting salary cuts by anything between 5% and 50%.
The salary cuts are happening even when the workers are still performing their duties in full: working hours remain the same, duties to be performed may even increase! So, why the salary cuts?
Why the differences?
What makes it all dubious is the fact that in the same country or town you find, on the one hand, employers who ‘claim’ that they have been hit hard by the pandemic and are being forced to cut salaries and on the other hand, an employer who asks all workers who have underlying illnesses to work remotely (from home) without setting foot on the business premises and still receive full salaries and benefits. How does one explain these glaring differences?
When a country is going through the same challenges and conditions, one would expect uniformity where the effects of Covid-19 are concerned, especially in the same line of business. But, hey, what do I know?
Take Zambia, for example. The country never had any lockdowns and it has been business as usual. So, economically speaking, the country did not experience massive drawbacks. So, how do those employers who effected salary cuts while expecting workers to work the normal hours justify these severances?
Use what is inside you to survive
Despite all these unfavorable working conditions sprouting all around us, we need to find a way to rise above all the challenges. If our day jobs are not going to allow us to make ends meet, then we need to rise to the occasion. Complaining will not get us answers. However, trying to figure it out will bring us those important solutions.
I believe that every one of us was created with more than one talent: we have those hidden ones. So, in these trying times, we need to dig deep into ourselves to bring them to the surface for our survival.
This is not the time to be shy or to worry about what people will say. If it means we must do those “odd jobs” we believe to be beneath us, so be it. Become a domestic worker if you must, tend someone’s garden, do someone’s hair, or run errands for them.
It is all about doing what it takes to survive. Let us make it work, somehow!