News / Opinion / Columns

Thamsanqa Mkwanazi
2 minute read
2 May 2017
3:12 pm

South Africans toyi-toyi with the best placards in the world

Thamsanqa Mkwanazi

While scores of air passengers were stranded due to the protests last week, I saw something else: the best placards at a toyi-toyi I have ever seen.

Thamsanqa Mkwanazi.

Progress. That is what I call what our country is going through right now. I am an eternal optimist, and I always make it a point to find the positive in all the muck that we have to live with. While scores of air passengers were stranded due to the protests last week, I saw something else: the best placards at a toyi-toyi I have ever seen.

Strikes used to be monotonous where we all expected badly crafted placards that made very little sense and there was no theme to them. There was no consensus on who would say what and how to grab the maximum attention.

With this one, firstly, they were like air hostesses: uniformed and pristine. They were all printed by the same company, they were all white in colour, and they were all the same shape. Best of all, they were clever! One read: “Keep the chicken, this is serious beef!” Another read: “Crew has been on junk status for too long,” while my funny bone was tickled by one resembling an announcement: “Emergency! Emergency! No money in our pockets!”

Creativity, impeccable organisation and coordination were the order of the day and this led to a whole lot more people taking heed of their messages. They even got a mention in a column in The Citizen!

Just when I thought I was having a great week, it got even better. A Gauteng-based taxi association announced that it was introducing a hotline for complaints and compliments. Imagine that, the notorious taxi industry caring about what its commuters think: unheard of! Taxi drivers are known for being abrasive individuals who do what they want, when they want and how they want.

There are horror stories of passengers narrowly escaping with their lives just because a driver is driving recklessly. Hopefully, this hotline will assist taxi association in disciplining their members, which result in better service for passengers.

I am going to park the car soon and take a taxi, just so I can test out the hotline. I would like to see what they will do about those overweight mamas who take up more than one seat; those who think they can take a ride without consulting a shower/bath and then forcing fellow passengers to hold their breath for half the trip; being forced to do math sums without a calculator when you have to count the change – while the fare is R4.48 and people all give you R5 coins; as well as not being able to choose what radio station we can listen to.

Now I know why Ukhozi FM has so many listeners in South Africa, they are all taxi passengers!

To be fair, I was once in a taxi and left my wallet, and to my surprise, the driver found my business card in the wallet and gave me a call and gave it back to me. That is worth calling a hotline for!