Majority dwellers of South Africa were subjected to racial segregation in a land of their own.
Apartheid was a well-structured and calculated system which oppressed many a black men and black women from 1948 to 1994.
‘Divide and rule’ was the regime’s armory to oppress the many a millions that were the majority.
Pre-1994 cadres and activists alike engaged in never-ending bloodshed and gunshots; which was the only thing perceived to deliver us from the hands of the oppressor.
Decades of fighting between the movement (cadres) and the regime delivered democracy to the people; everyone granted the right to vote, white, black, man or woman.
On the day we all cast our first democratic vote, in 1994, it was the beginning of new things to come and streets of Soweto Township and towns such as Matatiele sang song of joy.
That marked the end of that era.
This was the end of a war that many liberators fought with their lives and hearts. And the formula to solve the oppressor’s regime needed some blood to be shed for the southern tip of Africa to be free.
Now that we are free and almost twenty years into democracy, don’t you think it’s time for the formula of success to change?
What was done for us to be a free country was relevant then and not so relevant now.
I'm speaking on behalf of the Alexandra Township residents that still call shacks their home. I am crying out for the street kids whose next meal is a mystery. Let me take this opportunity to thank the African National Congress (ANC) for liberating us.
But I am saying the rules of the game that applied pre 1994 have lost relevance in the current youths’ daily tribulations.
For the youths of the new millennium apartheid is long gone and we are confronted with different battles to fight.
Just because a ship got you to the shores of Indian Ocean, doesn’t mean that it will still be able to transport you inland. The ship (ANC Movement) stood firm despite the winds and turbulence of the waves in the ocean, but now South Africa needs something that can move on land and stay on the road to defy the potholes, curved roads that we currently face.
Truth be told, the ANC ship has capable cadres, it is just the rules of the game that leaders need to familiarize themselves with.
My cry to the youths of today is to stop voting for any political party.
We do not owe anyone our vote. They have to earn it.
Almost two decades into this thing called “The Rainbow Nation”, apartheid cannot and should not be used by anyone as a fuel for us to vote for them.
That excuse has long gone past its sell by date. Our leaders should start delivering services to the people and get out of their hospital gowns.
They are only covering their fronts and their backs are fully exposed.
We have, for so many years, voted for political parties based on their history. As Marlon Smith said, “History is in the past, future a mystery and the present a gift”
As a new democracy we should shy away from giving our votes cheaply to people that do not deliver on their promises.
The power and the right to vote did not come cheap, we owe it to the likes of Nelson Mandela, Helen Suzman, Oliver Tambo, Max Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Desmond Dube, Steve Biko and many more other worthy leaders. The failure of today and mishaps that we meet nowadays cannot all be blamed on apartheid, not anymore. The questions we should ask ourselves are:
· Do you have what it takes to take what I have?
· Are you worth the cross I am putting on the side of your name?
· What have you done so far, don’t tell me about liberating us from the oppressors?
· What are your values, and most importantly do you abide by those?
As a nation, a 19 year old democracy, and diverse society, we should device a new formula which will address the challenges we face today; unemployment, poverty and inequality. Apartheid and liberation credentials are no longer valid for us to move forward as a people.
As our former statesman, President Thabo Mbeki once said “Together we have travelled a long road to be where we are today. This has been a road of struggle against colonial and apartheid oppression.”
Amandla! Power to the people! Matla! I thank you