The past few weeks have been tough on South Africans.
November seemed like it did not want to end, until it did yesterday.
It has been a tough 11 months.
The extent of state capture has been laid bare at the Zondo commission, the economy has been stagnant, unemployment figures just skyrocketed while inequality remains high.
The drought and threat to food security are real.
Politics provided yet another spectacular year and gender-based violence continued to show its ugly face at every turn.
And yes, we survived it all.
Today is December 1 and for some people it marks the start of festivities – when we binge on alcohol, food and anything else we can lay our hands on.
We become reckless and overdo everything because we have been paid early or received bonuses.
Yet, in January we count the losses – the many lives lost due to reckless driving and drunken misbehaviour and careless spending. Others will lose life or limb due to alcohol-fuelled violence.
As we begin this festive season, South Africans need to know that this is a short period which comes and goes every year.
We need to limit the booze intake, reduce speed on the roads and minimise the junk we feed our bodies.
What we need to practise is tolerance every day, especially on the roads.
Let’s allow the speedsters to drive past instead of racing them. It is not worth it.
Let’s practise self-restraint when provoked by those who feel that fun cannot be had without being involved in fights.
When we go out, let’s leave the guns at home, the watering holes are for fun and not war zones.
Above all, we should have fun but let’s be mindful that a new year starts in 30 days and the problems we have cannot be wished away.
This requires all of us to do something meaningful to ensure that we have a prosperous country.
Let’s not take “monate mpolaye” literally.