I story:  Finding joy in the midst of agony!

I story: Finding joy in the midst of agony!

Date: April 30, 2020
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By Miyanda Kambande,

Johannesburg, 30 April: Covid -19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill, disrupting the global economy and negatively affecting people in different ways. The first case of Covid-19 in South Africa was recorded around the first week of March 2020 and as the numbers were increasing president Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national lockdown on the 27th of March as a curb to reduce the spread of virus.

Since Covid- 19 hit South Africa, life is no longer the same. It affected a lot of things negatively in an unexpected way. The way of living has changed as people are living in constraint, panic and fear.  Not only that, people are distressed, there is so much negative energy as the numbers of the people testing positive are drastically increasing daily as well as the numbers of deaths. Indeed, it a difficulty moment. South Africa is currently in level 5 of lock down phase where only essential services are operating.

As a student, I’m affected in my studies as I’m no longer attending classes, no group discussions with my school mates and no access to the school library for internet.  Another predicament that is draining me and other students is pertaining to writing of our semester exams whether it will be possible or not.

I have however, realised something good hence I decided to write my story based on the good side of the pandemic.  I have learned to appreciate this moment which we will probably not have again, being quarantined with our families. It has given us this unexpected opportunity to bond or reconnect with our loved ones in this busy world we live in. I find this priceless and worthy more than the complaining or distressing. In the midst of this rife, I’m enjoying spending more time with my family. If it was not for Covid- 19 we would not have this precious time as everyone would be busy with their work and other things and taking for granted the value of family time.

One of my favourite experiences during this lock down is enjoying simple things like having a meal together as a family. Everyone in my family is busy and most of the times my family members get into the house at different times so it makes it difficult for us to have a meal together. However, the lock down, has brought this olden memory in our house again.

Covid- 19 has brought us together as a community of in my street in Croydon- Kempton Park in an amazing way that no one has anticipated.  We didn’t know each other as members of the community or care that much for one another but we now know each other, and constantly check each other almost every day via WhatsApp group that we have created.  It is now our new culture that we have adopted as a result of Covid- 19 that we are one big family.  In short Covid- 19 has brought us a culture that we never realised was within us.

In addition, through the lockdown in South Africa, I have realised that we still have Ubuntu, the love and caring for one another even in the midst of hardship.   A number of individuals in my community are volunteering to do the grocery shopping for our elderly people and ensuring that they are safe and not exposed to the risky of virus.

 Every member of my community is carrying the responsibility of ensuring that each one of us is safe, sharing the necessary information so that every member is aware of what is happening around. Moresosharing ideas to spice up our days of lockdown, like sharing books to read via emails and WhatsApp. It is through this lockdown that everyone in my community has really felt what it means to belong to Mahogany Road Community.  Therefore, this pandemic has revived the spirit of belonging amongst us as members of our community and being there for each other as one big family.

Again, individuals are arising at their personal capacity to assist other families of our community who are in need of food stuff.  This is quite amusing standing together and showing kindness to one another.  I would like to believe that through Covid- 19 we have become a better a better people. I’m proud that I belong to Mahogany Road Community

 In as much as my studies are affected, I’m still studying although virtually connected, attending classes and more so doing group discussion with my school mates via teams or zoom.  My community has inspired me in making an impact to other people’s life during the hard time we are in, I started assisting my fellow students who does not have access to internet with submitting their assignment, as well as sharing notes with those who are failing to attend classes because they cannot afford data to connect virtually.

In this lockdown I have learnt that love is stronger than this pandemic, in the midst of it, people are extending help, showing kindness in all they can and above all standing in oneness to fight against this virus.

I would like to believe that if people would shift their focus from the negativity and start appreciating on what is more valuable, Covid 19 pandemic shall be a different story and shall be remembered with amazing memories as that period we spend more time with our families, that period when new cultures was born and that period when we improved our health by having home cooked meals every day. Isn’t it beautiful!

 My encouragement is that let us embrace this period and try in all we can to focus on the good instead of the negativity. Together we shall win.

Let’s all be responsible and keep safe.

Miyanda Kambande is  a 3rd-year law student in South Africa

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