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  • Writer's pictureSebabatso Madibu

Outreach: Stationery Drive

Slow Start

Hazy 2021 has so far had the bitter sweet mannerisms of a new and undefined love - cautiously confident; which is understandable given our last relationship with 2020. Muse Afrika’s January was consumed with the gratifying and messy challenge of running a collaborative school shoe and stationery drive with ReYaGoBona, an NPC working to assist impoverished South African communities in their daily struggles.

We started off strong with 3/4 rejections and a second lockdown - which had a lot of citizens

feeling like they were walking into yet another year of frustrating restriction. Yep...2021 was

already shaping up to be the year of the century! I would like to shield myself with naivety and claim the blind ignorance of hope, but the truth is the truth, and an irresistible tale I would rather not bend.

Unfortunately, nothing felt new, right or safe about our latest last-digit upgrade from 0 to 1.

‘Why?’ I thought. ‘Why this again?’ - the question we dread facing after having made seemingly productive changes in our life.

The weekend’s routine resumed, and I was once again at PNA Killarney collecting textbooks

and stationery on behalf of Muse. This time however, I was unexpectedly asked to make my

way towards the offices at the back of the store. Upon arriving, I felt uncomfortably understood by the short grey walls and exposed metal of the grim entrance hall that led towards a smaller and greyer room. Inside the miniature space, was a two-door metal cabinet with a light brown chest of hidden textbooks that looked like the perfect unwrapped gift of an intensely studious 8-year old girl, with a spelling test to achieve.

I gaped at our trunk of educational treasure and found my second-hand rescue remedy in the cream-of-the-once-crisp-white of it all. My heart filled with gratitude as my Uber app began its untimely reminder of the car’s close proximity to the mall. I made the hesitant decision to leave and sprint, when a thought as soft as the sound of drizzle blanketed my focus: If there was enough good in the world to make stationery drives successful, there might still be enough left for it to be okay to dream after 2020.

On the Monday after our eventful collection, I was walking misery. But it was okay, because

when I looked at the stillness of my neighbours' perfectly painted garden, and the beautiful

crystals I found in the pebbled rain water, I grew a little faithful and started to believe that things with 2021 might just work out.


- Stay safe. Stay home.

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