I recently read a very interesting post about the African Revolution and this article made me think of where exactly South Africa finds itself in its political growth phase. I was then surprised by Juju’s announcement that he has retained the services of a white tea boy, o come on Juju it is only because you are jealous of Helen. That was followed by an old e-mail link to a article on News24 about some right wing camp that trains white youth to go to war and then an article of a black pastor wanting to kill whites. Are we as a so-called rainbow nation living in vacuum of ignorance, are we really a rainbow nation or merely opposing groups that lie to each other and ourselves whilst the melting pot is boiling vigorously under the veil of “rainbow love” and is this pot is edging closer to an explosion daily.
Leaving my office I felt a bit despondent and worried. Despondent that such a powerful nation shows clear signs of anarchy and self destruction and worried about my children’s future in this country. As I went about my day I found friendly security guards, fairly friendly ladies at the Spar and a call from my friend (from another race) to discuss potential lunch plans. That is the point when I had an epiphany. Like some crazy lunatic I started questioning random people on the street, white, Indian, black and some guys that can only be defined as South African. I spent some time with “the people of SA” and I felt a wave of positiveness hit me, but the despondence I felt was clearly an emotion shared by many, but for a different reason.
Helen Zille once said that people get the government that they deserve, after all it is our votes that elect a government. In South Africa however I believe this statement to be far removed from reality. I believe that our citizenry is held back by a lack of leadership and a false pressure to be one nation. It has become taboo for people to celebrate their heritage and their own customs. It has become politically incorrect to call yourself by a nation or race and suddenly it has become an insult to call someone else by their race.
I believe that in a true multi cultural country, like South Africa, every person should be proud of their heritage and people from another ethnic group should strive to better understand that heritage. When a black man slaughters a sheep in his custom white people should first try and understand the custom before ridiculing him to the world of barbarians and buffoons. When a group of white people want to celebrate their heritage the custom should also be understood before it is labelled as a gathering of racists and murderers. Imagine how rich all our lives could be if we truly understood at least one of our very rich cultures, apart from our own. Before we all smile, nod and agree or attack me lets think why this is currently not possible.
Why can’t we celebrate our own heritage without fear of persecution or at least judgement? Why are we turning into a faithless, heritage-less nation with pride levels falling like a stock market crash?
Politics and Leadership, yes there come leadership again. Politics has entered every realm of our lives. We have chosen a part of our identity linked to a political party, system or politician. Criticize our political believes and you could just as well be the big bad wolf knocking on the door and we will not let you in. On the days that we wish to ignore politics, the politicians make it all about politics again and that is where I come to leadership. Every time more than 20 people gather someone is fighting for leadership of that event and the tragedy is that we have a massive shortage of true leaders. Not everyone that is comfortable to stand on a soap box and can speak with passion and flair up a crowd is a leader, not everyone that can get a group of people to dance and sing is a leader. If that was the case actors and DJ’s would run the world.
However “our” leaders constantly assume the position of leadership and then gain momentum by inciting fear and hyping up small crowds, whilst purporting to speak for the nation or an entire race. Many times most people of that race do not agree with him/her, but accept his statements because he/she is a leader. If South Africa is to become the nation it is destined to be we need calm leadership, we need the open minded people to raise their hand for leadership, we need visionaries and the person who can embrace other cultures to step up against buffoons that claim to be our leaders. Importantly we as a people MUST support them. We need to de-politicise everything and see a funeral as a funeral and a gathering of people according to their customs as exactly that; A gathering. Every sentence spoken by our leaders should reflect the nations real pulse and not political ambition and incitement. Every speech should contain at least one message of tolerance and peace and promote patriotism and pride. Then only we can, as one nation, stand up and claim our rightful place in the world.