Down with life’s referees!

Charlotte Chipangura

Being the wanna-be scriptwriter I am, I watch a lot of local soapies, especially Generations. My heart always breaks when I read comments made about talented actress, Maggie Benedict, who plays the part of Akhona, on social networking sites.

People seem obsessed with her looks and call her ugly. Some of the unpleasant comments include@khuts7 who said: “Generations is nonsense no beautiful women watsover only noluntu and dineo that’s it everyone else is just a WOLF especially Akhona”(sic), @ZinDj: “How could they show Akhona crying without an age restriction?” TheRealGeeStar: “Akhona arrested for scaring Kids to death at a birthday party.”

I think she is a fabulous actress. She even made her debut in New York, sharing the stage with Morgan Freeman! There are many great people out there who are not known for their good looks, but people celebrate what they do best, be it sport, music, or acting.

It was while I was watching the Afcon games over the past two weeks that I detected how similar those who pass ugly comments are to referees. (No offence to all referees out there. I know they are paid to do what they do and that is the nature of their jobs.)

When a soccer player commits a foul, the referee springs into action and sprints across the field with a yellow or red card to punish the player. But when a player scores a goal, the same ref simply blows his whistle with a stern face to show he saw that too. He doesn’t join in the victory dance, nor does he even give the scorer a pat on the back to congratulate him.

There are people who live like that: people who never celebrate when other people do well, especially when these people outdo them. They feel better about themselves when they see the bad in others.

Instead of focusing on what others do well, they would rather search hard for what they are not. They don’t stop there either. They need to trumpet to the whole world how awesome they are and what a bunch of losers other people are.

This is what I’d like to tell them: you don’t brighten your candle by blowing out somebody else’s. People who are comfortable in their own skins don’t feel the compulsion to keep singing about themselves or proving their awesomeness. They just chill.

It’s those who struggle with their own demons who feel they always have to speak out negatively about other people and make them feel so small that, sometimes, they fail to realise their potential.

So to all Akhonas out there, watch out for the evil people following you around constantly shouting about your ugliness – instead of seeing your inner beauty and your achievements. You have your own place under the sun and you don’t need anyone to validate your existence.

Published in Wits Vuvuzela 1st edition, 6th February 2013