Ziphezinhle Msimango
3 minute read
12 May 2020
4:00 pm

COLUMN: Free the toys!

Ziphezinhle Msimango

Things you can't do in lockdown: Get your child a birthday gift.

Since last year in 2019 my daughter as been talking about her birthday and as a parent you’ll know that it’s perfectly normal for a child to be talking about their birthday like its happening tomorrow meanwhile it’s actually only in mid-2020.  My daughter initially wanted to have her birthday at bounce and I’d agreed to that. We had made a list of all the friends whom she could invite and had finalized it. Then when the lockdown started I had a sense that this Bounce party we had planned was out the window. Of course, I didn’t let her know yet because I don’t want to disappoint her then find that actually the lockdown restrictions were lifted sooner than Id envisioned.

Also Read: ‘I leave my son at the door…to grab a few groceries’- single moms open up about their lockdown experiences

But as the lockdown was extended, along with the many regulations that have since been announced with the implementation of the lockdown I began rehearsing the ”your birthday party is canceled speech.” The aspect of not being able to get an actual toy for her birthday had not even entered my mind as a possibility at this stage.

But as all these rules unfolded I realised that not only was I going to have to tell her the party is canceled, but I would also possibly not have a gift for her to mark the day at home. Anyway I finally plucked up the courage to tell her party is canceled and consoled her with the fact that because we’re on level four  lockdown her treat for the day would be to order in whatever takeout she wanted ( that didn’t end well either because she wanted McDonalds and the only one that’s actually open is in the north, while we live in the west.)

I wanted to buy her a bicycle so I called my local Pick n Pay and was told they’re not selling that and toys in general. The only place where I could actually get a bike is one that sells a simple children bike for 1 million (lol) so that wasn’t an option ( I won’t mention its name but parents know).

I eventually got luck as a friend had a children’s bike that was new-ish that they had meant to return after their child didn’t like the style so I bought it from her and used it as a gift for my daughter.

So after having gone through so much damn admin to get a birthday gift for my daughter I fully stand with parents who have come out on social media questioning why children, who are actually staying at home and adhering to lockdown regulations, are also not supposed to have toys they can play with while they’re home. Someone start an online petition where we can say: Free the toys!!! Free the toys!!! Free the toys!!


Please help me understand this.???? But kids are meant to be locked up inside houses/ flats during lockdown?

Posted by Abduragmaan Mohamed on Saturday, 9 May 2020

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