Home Opinion and Features Keep your dignity and teeth

Keep your dignity and teeth


There comes a point when you know it’s time to just zip it. You don’t want to come across as a nagger as well as a big mouth.

Patricia de Lille Picture: Tracey Adams/ African News Agency

THERE is another Afrikaans saying I like. “‘* Stil bek is ‘* heel bek.” Loosely translated, “Keep your mouth shut and keep your teeth.” Or dignity, whichever you might find applicable.

To me it is kind of obvious, but I guess for some no matter if it hits you square between the eyes you are: a.) not quite understanding the phrase, or b.) you just don’t care if you walk around with a passion gap because it is quite clear you don’t have any dignity and you are going to run your mouth anyway.

Yes, I know they say women always have the biggest mouths. But we have to in order to keep everything running smoothly – the husband, the children, the boss

However, there comes a point when you know it’s time to just zip it. You don’t want to come across as a nagger as well as a big mouth.

Now, take Aunty Patty (de Lille) and Aunty Helen (Zille). Aai (rolling my eyes).

Instead of taking up knitting or something like that Aunty Patty and Aunty Helen keeping your botox and cocktail dates, you two just don’t seem to know when enough is enough.

I honestly thought Helen had learnt her lesson when she was running her mouth off on Twitter and when the proverbial hit the fan, she said in future she would just Tweet about her grandchildren. If only she did she is busy walking a very fine line at the moment.

Aunty Patty a whole lot of people looked up to you, wanted to be you and yes I get you fighting for your very life and livelihood, I get that you are going to fight to the bitter end to continue to sit on your mayoral chair, have your name on the plaque on the door to the mayor’s office, wear your mayoral chain, swan in and out of council meetings in your red velvet dress.

I really get that. Nobody wants to give all that up. But, don’t make a spectacle out of yourself.

Don’t go where some others have gone who fought to hold onto power no matter what the cost.

One thing I have learnt in all my years is to know what battles to pick and which to just leave alone.

I can just imagine if I had to take on my employer the way some have done. I don’t think I would even have the chance to grandstand and throw my two-year-old tantrum before my ass was truly grass.

But, I don’t think I would want to. Don’t misunderstand me, if I was being fired for something I didn’t do, I would fight it tooth and nail.

Seriously ladies and some gents, I’m talking to those in politics now, who will remain unmentioned for now, have a little dignity. It really isn’t all about you at the end of the day.

Anybody involved in government or politics are there because of the people and for the people. You chose that life because you want to serve others, so it’s just time you get over yourself and keep your dignity and teeth.

One person though who maybe needed to open his mouth is Tefelo Dikole, the man accused of killing hero boy Kutlwano Garesape.

Dikole has opted not to take the stand. I can’t say, but if it was my little boy that was killed, I would hope that something that the accused said would bring closure.

Sometimes a “stil bek” is not always an option …