Knowing the AU’s anthem won’t end xenophobia

2015-03-01 15:00

The call by the minister of arts and culture for South Africans to learn the African Union (AU) anthem as a means of eradicating xenophobia is not enough.

It is evident that many South Africans can’t even sing the national anthem.

How do you expect people to sing the AU anthem when they fail to sing their own?

The South African national anthem does not include all the official languages.

That on its own exposes our failure to celebrate the diversity that underpins our democratic principles.

What are we saying about the languages that are not included in our national anthem?

Do you expect the speakers of those languages to sing the national anthem with pride?

Eradicating xenophobia requires a lot more than the rhetoric we are made to believe. Social cohesion requires more than singing the anthem.

More emphasis should be placed on teaching children African history. History should be made a compulsory subject in our schools to attain social cohesion.

It is not a secret that the apartheid system projected South Africa as a province of Europe, which resulted in the isolation of our country from the rest of the continent.

The underlying result of this isolation is that most South Africans have no connection with other Africans on the continent.

Rewriting African history will enable us to change this and eradicate xenophobia.

Tiyiselani Bevhula

Malamulele, Limpopo

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