What is the first picture that comes to mind when the township coined term “TOP SHAYELA” is uttered? I remember whilst growing up adults used to say so-and-so behaves like a “TOP SHAYELA” or that they think of themselves as one.
I know of a TV program with a similar title on VUZU, this program showcases the glitzy lifestyles of Mzansi’s A-list celebrities. It is almost like a Mzansi version of the American’s MTV crib. Right now though, I will not be discussing the TV show, what I will rather be reflecting on are real life Top Shayelas. You know, the ones that are in your world, your personal space, the ones you rub shoulders with on a day to day basis.
Seeing that people are always using the term loosely I did a bit of research and went around asking people what a “Top Shayela” is. To my surprise no one actually gave me a clear definition, so I decided that everyone can have their own definition.
That said, I came up with my very own description, a “TOP SHAYELA” is someone that flaunts their wealth or possessions in the faces of those they consider inferior. “TOP SHAYELA’s” are a subtle version of “IZIKHOTHANE” for the benefit of those who do not know what “izikhothane” are, (they are a group of youngsters that buy expensive designer clothes and premium alchohol only to tear, spill and burn them down). Did I mention that they also tear and burn money? Yes all in the name of showing off.
In essence “TOP SHAYELAS” are show-offs that like bragging, rubbing their wealth in people’s faces. I have come across a few “TOP SHAYELAS” that fortunately or unfortunately for them do not have a cent to their names, somehow they seem to think they are better than everyone else. How sad is that? Most of these people live beyond their means in order to look rich to the people in their small world.
I blame all this on the materialistic mentality of our society, especially these TV shows that push such a like minded agenda like MTV cribs or the rapper Xzibit’s Pimp My Ride still on MTV. People who haven’t seen you in a long while seem to relish in questions like “So what are you driving”?, “How big is your house”, “Which surburb are you living in now”?. Instead of the good old genuine “how are you doing?”.
I personally think we need to go back to the basics and learn to really be real. This whole top shayela business is not going to get any of us anywhere, holding hands and building our communities should instead be our focus, solving world hunger and finding a cure to the diseases that are plaguing our demolished communities in society should be our top shayela mission.