Kenny Kunene is no zaleb?

By  | Jun 22, 2020, 01:48 PM  | Kenny Kunene  | Drama

Mmusi Maimane who is the spokesman of the Democratic Alliance party has recently written an open letter, in which he expresses his disappointment towards businessman and former criminal Kenny Kunene who in the past week boastfully revealed that he has a maximum of 15 girlfriends that live with him in his house.

In this letter Maimane shows great concern towards what this generation has been exposed to and calls on all zalebrities to be careful in what they reveal to their young followers.

Here is what Maimane had to say:

I often wonder who the role models for my children will be when they grow a bit older.

As parents, my wife and I will do our best to be positive role models for them, but one cannot deny the external influence of other individuals in how they view the world.

Some of them may be teachers or school principals, who interact with children daily. Others may be high-profile public figures who communicate with children through the media.

I was lucky enough to have an extraordinary school principal to look up to. Her name was Christina Motlaung. She was a Catholic nun and an anti-apartheid activist.

She is one of the most principled individuals I have ever come across, and she ended up being imprisoned by the apartheid government for her principles. In many ways, she was the inspiration for me to enter politics.

But not everyone is lucky enough to have an inspirational school principal or teacher, or even parents, to look up to. Many children are forced to look elsewhere for such guidance.

I worry that many of our public figures today don't set a good example. There is a growing trend of glorifying opulence and conspicuous consumption in popular culture.

Don't get me wrong. I think it is excellent for the country and for the youth to see an individual such as Kenny Kunene succeeding. We must celebrate success, especially by self-made individuals like Kenny.

But those individuals who succeed and enter into the public limelight have a responsibility to project constructive values to the country, and especially to the country's youth.

We come from a divided past where we were told that each group of South Africans had unique values. While it is true we are a culturally diverse people, there are still universal values applying to us all.

Successful individuals are, of course, free to do whatever they wish with their fortune. After all, this is a free country.

But I believe an opportunity is being lost to project a constructive set of values. Individuals such as Kenny provide a destructive example of what success means.

Unfortunately, many of Kenny's detractors have gotten it all wrong in the past.

So the lost opportunity inherent in Kenny's actions has not been spoken about enough. The problem is not with Kenny's financial success.

The problem is with what he is choosing to do with that success.

Kenny and others could be using their success to promote solid values. But instead some choose to promote opulence.

Unhealthy subcultures such as izikhothane - where a group of young people burn expensive clothes to display wealth - sprout up as a result of this.

If I were ever to meet Kenny, I would want him to realise the significance of his influence on young people.

The level of exposure he receives comes with responsibility. It's tragic that he would use his high profile to promote such destructive behaviour.

I was reminded again of the negative impact of these values this week when a series of stories surfaced about the prevalence of "sugar daddy" relationships between young girls - many of them still at school - and older men.

The common thread through all of the stories was that the men had essentially been using the girls for sex, buying them off with gifts and money.

Many of the girls ended up pregnant and having to leave school.  When that happened the sugar daddies were nowhere in sight.

This is obviously deeply destructive to the lives of school girls who miss out on education.

It is a symptom of a society where we believe money can buy anything.

It can buy the dignity of a young woman who serves sushi on her body, or a schoolgirl who sells sex for gifts.

People who have achieved success can use it to promote constructive values - the values of hard work, personal responsibility, respect and compassion for others.

Businessman Patrice Motsepe exemplifies the use of success to promote the right values.

He made the principled choice to give back to South Africa through philanthropy, even though it is not required of him.

Motsepe explained that given the prevalence of poverty in South Africa, he could not go on in good conscience without giving back to the country that had made him so fabulously wealthy.

Not everyone needs to give money away.

But those who are privileged enough to be in the limelight should use their voices to promote values that will make South Africa a better place for all - in whatever way they can.”

Source:  Sunday World