On April the 8th the Argus had a huge photo with a caption “Lady Gaga represents what it is to be a proud, strong and independent woman”. This was interesting because it was an obvious misnomer.

Describing Gaga as a “proud and strong women” is probably the worst insult to womanhood. Gaga is defiantly no lady and her behaviour cannot be interpreted as proud. Gaga who built a career by simulating and gyrating half naked in public cannot be a progressive example to modern woman.

While celebrities often have to behave bizarrely to invite attention, I believe that Gaga has crossed the line into demented perversion. How else can one describe a person who is afraid to be alone and hires people to watch her sleeping, is this behaviour that of a “strong and independent women”?

Since we live in a free and indulgent society, people are at liberty to exercise whatever lifestyle they choose as long as they accept responsibility for their actions. Within this context of limitless free-will, I am struggling to understand what constructive value and positive impact Gaga and others like her has on Cape Town’s nascent post Apartheids society.

Example, recent media reports confirmed a new societal trend on the Cape Flats where young girls deliberately binge drink alcohol for the purpose of bearing disabled children. According to the report, a disabled child allows the young mother easier access to extra government benefits. Globally, Cape Town also has the most prevalent methamphetamine and mandrax addiction rate. This has already created a generation of mentally challenged children and one in five school kids are addicted to drugs in this Province. Tik busts have skyrocketed by more than 4000 percent in just 6 years.

In Cape Town the average annual income is between R19 000 and R38 000, there are also 146 547 households with no income. By promoting Gaga and others like her as heroes, what type of behaviour can we expect from youth who admire them? As a society, are we suggesting that it is suitable for youngsters to be unruly and engage in anti-social behaviour as a norm? Do we want to promote the idea that materialism should be the definitive goal and should be acquired even when important social values and dignity maybe lost? Do we not have enough problems with uneducated, drug addicted, jobless, violent youth who have no sense of purpose?

In the words of Joel Coen the American film maker “We create monsters and then we can’t control them”. Since everyone cannot be Nelson Mandela, where are the other role-models that youth can admire? To save our society from a downward spiral, is it not in our collective interest to promote or create more respectable champions for the youth?

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress

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