A life lived in poverty is always about scrambling.

A life lived in poverty is about another kind of possibility, the very real possibility that there be no food tomorrow, no shelter, no emergency health care for the children.

It is always about scrambling.

Poverty steals people of their self-worth. It erases hope, self-respect and even fleeting moments of peace of mind.

The latest statistics say that 21.7% of South Africans live in extreme poverty, not being able to pay for basic nutritional requirements.

12 million people in South Africa live in extreme poverty.

Reducing poverty is seen as the world’s greatest challenge and in South Africa it is counted as one of the country’s triple threats, the other two being unemployment and inequality.

Poverty is a design failure of an economic system that is broken.

Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction.

We don’t talk or write much about poverty because it is not a sexy topic. You hardly find newspaper headlines about the effects and hardships of poverty on society.

Cursed with poverty, people (not simply people, they are our relatives, our distant cousins, friends of friends, people just a few handshakes away in the global network in which we are all connected) waste opportunities because they cannot see them.

We are used to the presence of poverty that we are immune to the consequences of what it does to society.

Try spending one day without shoes.

Poverty is an iron ceiling, a ceiling four feet off the ground, a ceiling that forces those who live with poverty to spend their days hunched over, on the edge of fear and humiliation.

Life enslaves the poor by giving them problems that money can resolve, or, dissolve.

I believe that poverty is not a natural consequence of life, it is man-made. It is made from bad economic policies of governments,  incompetent leaders, unnecessary wars, poor execution of brilliant policies, corrupt leaders, greedy capitalists etc.

The idea that some lives matter less contributes to poverty.

People are poor not because they were stupid or lazy. They work all day long, doing complex physical tasks. They are poor because the financial institution in the country does not help them widen their economic base.

I believe that we can create a poverty-free society because poverty is not created by poor people. It has been created and sustained by the economic and social systems that we have designed for ourselves, the institutions and concepts that make up that system, the policies that we pursue.

Work ethic is important for people to deliver themselves out of poverty, but the system under which they work should be conducive to possibilities of hard working people to strive.

“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings” — Nelson Mandela

In my TEDxJohannesburg talk, I share my thoughts on how we can eliminate poverty using innovation:

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