“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” Juliet said to Romeo. This just goes to show there really is nothing new under the sun.
One of the games I grew up playing was called “statue”, and one of the variations required all the players to freeze for a few seconds, and whoever was the last to move, would win. Fast forward to 2016, and the same activity is back, but under a different name. The name was changed to confuse those who find spelling difficult, the obligatory hashtag was slapped in front, and now it includes a short video clip. I present to you the #MannequinChallenge.
The previous viral craze, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, is also not new to some of us, as we used to do something similar back in the day as well. This is how we used to welcome the first day of Spring ekasi. Unsuspecting residents would be disembarking from a taxi or a bus, and the next thing they would be greeted by the coldest bucket of water. Of course, we had no fancy GoPro cameras to record all of this, but we were excellent at retelling these stories all over the hood.
Luckily, the great aspect about rehashing and hashtagging these activities is that most of them are tied to a good cause of some sort, such as a charity.
Rather unfortunately, due to a handful who continue to mislead their congregants, the words “preacher”, “pastor”, “reverend”, “umfundisi”, “dominee” have lost their sweet smell. These irresponsible individuals use the Bible to lie to those who believe God wants them to eat grass and snakes, have sex with them, walk around naked in church and, lately, to be sprayed like insects using Doom.
Again, there is nothing new under the sun, as these are not the first people to lie and get away with it, nor are they the last. These people prey on the helpless and desperate, pretending to offer hope, while they are actually doing the exact opposite. What good can possibly come out of being sprayed like a pesky mosquito? If there was, surely we all would have done it a long time ago and been “blessed” by now?
We are a few days away from the silly season, and unfortunately, people are going to be scammed out of their bonuses, stokvel money, investments, tax refunds and livelihoods. These will be the same scams that have been used for the last few decades but just made to smell a bit sweeter by changing their names.