Hungry for our own stories

2016-10-20 06:00

Twenty-two years after the advent of democracy, and as a young person, I felt I should just point out the significance of the months of June, July and August, in the anals of our history.

I write this with sadness, especially looking at how we celebrate a little of this country’s milestone.

The past three months have proven just how our rich democracy works.

However, we seem to have forgotten our recent past history as a country, and instead focus or put too much emphasis on Western history, either in our schools curriculum or social media.

We need to investigate our history by asking pertinent questions, and also ask ourselves what has happened that Ubuntu has died down, and how do you expect to revive respect and Ubuntu when we are not taught our African history nor celebrate African history, instead of being told of Napoleon Bonaparte or Jan van Riebeeck, who oppressed our nation.

When are we getting the history of people like Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani, Govan Mbeki, Albert Luthuli, Steve Bantu Biko and many struggle stalwarts who laid down their lives in pursuit of freedom.

Are we so ashamed of our history that our schools teach our children Western history, which means little to us because it discourages us from following our cultures and traditions.

June 1976 was special because of the uprising of the kids from Soweto and surrounds.

Seth Mazibuko was one of many leaerners who was instrumental in that march.

This day was inspired by a movement called the Black Conscious Movement led by Steven Bantubonke Biko.

In the Western Cape, the riots started in Langa on 11 August, and Xolile Mosi was martyred.

The son of a domestic worker, he grew up along with the Yoto siblings.

Xolile started out as a boy scout and then later shifted to boxing.

July is also a special in this country’s history.

For in it, way back in 1918 was born a true and selfless leader, in a small village called Qunu.

His name, Rolihlahla, basically means a strong person with a strong character. He grew up in a family of royalty, so leadership was inherent him from a young age. He was later to be expelled from the University of Fort Hare for his political activism.

After a while he went to Johannesburg where he worked as a miner.

He studied further and after qualifying as an attorney, he met up with a life-long friend called Oliver Tambo, with whom he opened the first Black law practice firm in the country.

But, are this stories celebrated or taught in our schools; no, I say.

Instead, we are fed Western history that means nothing to our past.

The question I ask myself is: Will we ever have another selfless and true leader like Tata madiba was.

I think not. It’s time we focus on our history in order to produce more leaders because this Western history prevents us from respecting our culture.

It’s time for African people to be proud of our history, so we can uplift our kids. “Bring back our Africa history”

Wonke Mapeyi via email

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