The Daily Voice team hit the streets of Cape Town this week to capture the tradition of Muslim children doing their rounds in the community, saying slamat to neighbours, family and friends.
It really is quite a spectacle, especially with laaities uitgevat in their snazzy Labarang suitjies and fezzes.
It brought back fond memories of Munier’s childhood.
On Eid day, all the little ones used to trap die hele buurt plat, knocking on every door, saying “Eid Mubarak” in their sweetest voices.
At the end of the day, we used to tally up all the money collected. We made sakke vol geld – and sweets.
This Eid, however, the Voice team said they noticed a drop in the amount of kids on the streets of the Cape Flats.
It could be a sign of the times, we concluded.
Nowadays the streets are not as safe as they used to be for children.
Not for playing, nor for walking around with expensive outfits and pockets full of money.
In some neighbourhoods, people live in fear of gang violence and shootings.
It’s always the innocent who get caught in the crossfire.
There’s the danger of skollies, alcohol and drugs being peddled on the streets.
Then there’s the threat of child predators – kidnappers, killers, rapists and paedophiles.
It’s no place for little ones to grow up.
Not even the schools are safe anymore.
This year, we’ve reported on some horror stories of missing children who have ended up dead.
In the first half of 2017, 19 kids were reported murdered in the Western Cape.
So it’s understandable that parents would prefer to keep their laaities behind closed doors, safe from harm.
Instead of playing sport and games outside, some kids grow up in front of the TV, or with mobiles and tablets in hand.
The Voice team noted that a lot of Muslim kids who did venture out on Eid were accompanied by adults.
It’s the sensible thing to do.
But it’s not just our city that has changed, our youngsters have changed, too.
Yes, they grow up far too quickly, they’re exposed to much more, and old-fashioned values of respect and hard work seem lost on them.
But they’re also much more involved in crime.
Back in the day, the skollies were groot manne and ou roekers.
These days, teenage terrors rule the streets.
Fearless immature wannabe dik dinge, armed with guns, who don’t think twice about putting a bullet in someone, or taking one themselves.
Yoh! The laaities are scary.
Give them a pak and you could end up dead.
Take Cameron Wilson as an example.
The Heinz Park laaitie is barely 20, but he’s facing five charges of murder, four counts of attempted murder, four of rape, two of assault, and a couple of weapons charges in the High Court.
As we know, that apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
Cameron’s dad Abraham was bust earlier this month on three murder charges.
Ai, die mense. It’s a sad state of affairs.
People are quick to point the finger and say it’s become a lawless country, and the police are slapgat and corrupt.
Yes, the cops could do a better of job of putting more bad apples behind bars.
But it’s the police’s jobs to make our communities safer.
It isn’t their duty to teach our children morals, respect, good manners and life skills.
That’s the responsibility of parents, the family, schools, teachers and groups like churches and the ulamaa.
We, as a society, need to do a better job of raising our children.