Let’s get dekaffirnated

2013-03-10 10:00

It’s time blacks shrug off the stigma that’s yoked them for so long.

The apartheid system emphasised the notion of separateness.

One wonders if this system is still alive among us today, continuing to poison our minds and actions, only in formats that differ from what we would easily identify.

If I were to move to another country, I would be delighted to be accepted as the person I am, rather than be described by the colour of my skin. In some parts of the world, I would be referred to as a person of African descent.

This brings me to the topic of the classification of our new rainbow nation.

How do you classify a child born of mixed parents who has a father of Indian descent and a mother born of African parents?

When you have official forms to complete, either during a census or maybe when a child is enrolled in school, how do you choose to classify your child? Hmm!

This classification business looks so outdated to me.

Can we just rather face the wrath of our statistics experts head-on and throw away this system in favour of a singular code to say African?

We are all born on African soil after all.

Another bad thing about apartheid was how it played down people’s abilities and talents.

Those of us who were brave enough to go overseas to sing or write for publications based outside the country were automatically banned from returning.

We need a system that will highlight people’s abilities, whatever they are, and encourage the development and the sharing of their talents.

There is no apartheid system to blame any more, but there is a new thing called “ageism”.

Our workplaces have suddenly turned against older people.

Are we not creating another apartheid-like phobia in the workplace, of people who belong to a certain age group?

Is this not another apartheid-like separatist ideology, which is perpetrated widely in the corporate world?

Where is the patience with older-generation colleagues and an ability to share and learn together?

We cannot change the fact that the world is being taken over by technology.

Yes, we are moving at a faster pace and the speed of doing things is paramount.

We have been thrown into the 21st century and have moved from our family bases, where everybody was around us and our children were growing up among their nieces and nephews, and were getting care and guidance from grandparents.

This has led to a situation where we have a new generation of children who do not speak their mother tongue and they hardly ever see their relatives.

What a pity.

At kindergarten level, our children mix and learn together, yet some of our indigenous languages are not even valued or spoken.

We drag this situation into our homes, where we all speak foreign languages and forget about our own languages.

Yes, the children are growing and developing together in one environment, using one language, but the compromise is at the cost of our indigenous languages.

We are one nation, so let us learn and develop together.

Let us encourage the equal treatment of our older generations just as much as everybody else we encounter in our common spaces.

Let us grow and develop together, and get rid of the degrading descriptions that divide us.

Let us get dekaffirnated and throw away the poison that was imposed on us and was part of our development DNA for so long.

My list is longer, but I will end here.

»?Miya is an entrepreneur and has published a debut poetry book DeKaffirnated: The Rise from the Ashes of Apartheid

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