PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Comfort_Zone
 
Comments: 13
Article views: 1992
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all Comfort_Zone's badges.
 

What heritage do I have to celebrate

21 September 2012, 18:41
Heritage Day weekend has started, it is time to reflect on my personal heritage and what I will be celebrating.

The past eighteen years of our New Democracy has been good, it has given me the opportunity to develop and understand that much of my guilt that I believed I should feel about my heritage, was unfounded.

I personally never did anything wrong, never hurt anyone, never stole anything, never voted for the N.P., always treated my employees well. 

It was only a very small band of white people who were privileged, the rest of us were also made to work hard for everything that we own, and it is still only this small band, plus a few blacks, who are privileged.

Hell, I was born into a family who lived in tin-shack in my grand-father’s back-yard, when my parents, who both worked, could afford it, they bought a two-room in Westdene, we bathed in a zinc bath, we use the bucket system, and on a Friday my father brought a liter cold-drink and a packet of sweets home for the six of us to share.

My father was a shift-supervisor at the Gas Works all his life, I visited him often, working in the black coal-dust and soot, the dirty white coat was all the separated him from the black males shoveling coal into the furnaces. My father worked in those conditions all his life, he died at an early age, the conditions plus the many double shifts that he needed to work, contributing.

At the age of sixteen I was sent to the municipality to find an office job, and before the end of the day, I was already in the filing room of the HR section, those days called ‘Staff House’ or something similar.

Nearly fifty years later, I have not stopped working, still battling to survive. I can rightly claim that I am not guilty, that I worked for everything in my life, and that I am not part of the small band of privileged whites in the country.

“What heritage do I have to celebrate?” I ask myself, could my heritage have been different if I was one of the small band of privileged?

I look back at my life, what could have been different?

What if my father was not white? He would have been shoveling coal. 

Lucky I am white, model C school education, and access to a clerical job-reservation position with the City Council. 

Shit, if my father was black, I would be shoveling shit today. 

I am relieved, I smile, yes, I have a lot to celebrate, for the first time I realize who the whites are referring to when they describe the small band of privileged whites, it is me, my family, all my peers, we are the small band of privileged whites.

Today I find reason to celebrate heritage, but it will not be with a braai, no, today I will get out of my comfort zone, and help build South Africa’s legacy.  

 

Cedric de la Harpe

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
13 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Danie Strijdom
AIDS, Acronyms and Game Theory

Last night I attended an interesting event hosted by a society I belong to. Our speaker was a young virologist, Dr Britta Flach, who told us all about the HIV virus and how finding a vaccine for HIV has been a very tough road to navigate for scientists working in the field.  Read more...

9 comments 554 views
Submitted by
Wayne Russell
Consequences for misbehaviour

I attended primary and high school in the Eastern Cape. I remember receiving jacks from teachers and administrators until Grade 10. Not many smacks, but enough to recall a few. Read more...

22 comments 1375 views
Dat Plane in Ukraine, Putin & a C...

As a last word... I crack myself up! Hysteria is the only option. Read more...

26 comments 624 views
Submitted by
Rools
Submitted by
Soka Mthembu
Submitted by
Lion87
A Letter to Danny Jordaan

The administration are so incompetent it makes the ANC seem like the excellence of the Swiss!  Read more...

19 comments 2312 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.