Gambling blues

One of the challenges faced in the Chinese community of Cyrildene, which is Johannesburg’s second Chinatown,  is the scourge of gambling.

When I was speaking to Frank who coaches the basketball in Mandeville he mentioned that it was true that this was a challenge for them as a community.

Today I spent most of the day working on editing my photos and as I thought about what to blog about it was apparent to me that I had nothing except a lift conversation that I was eavesdropping on that made me think.

The one guy told his friend that he had been stopped by a guy that morning who tried to sell him an iphone and a Samsung S3. He told his friend that the guy told him he was really desperate and needed him to help him as he had lost all his money gambling the night before.

“Dude. He was serious he even showed me his card from Monte Casino,” the guy explained to his friend.

He then said the man was Chinese. As soon as he said that warning bells went off in my head reminding me of what Frank had said.

This man was on the street begging someone to buy his stuff so he could make it through the day. Frank said his mission was to keep young men occupied with other things so they wouldn’t end up with a gambling addiction.

Addiction is one thing I pray I will never be faced with. I cannot imagine being so reliant on something that I would be put it before my livelihood. When that man was gambling the night before he was well aware of the fact that he needed to eat the next day.

The sad thing is whenever he gets money again he will probably spend it on gambling again.


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