DURING the apartheid era and the struggle for political freedom, there was this leisurely effort to ignore people’s pride, history and cultural practices that emanate from their tribes, because there was a bigger fight. The fight for political freedom.The danger of tribalism is at our doorstep. It is so scary that in the current situation it is associated with our previous kings.The Sesotho speaking people will not be given high seats or ruling power because they are associated with King Moshoeshoe, who was believed to be a negotiator. He was a humble human being who managed conflict with ease and at the same time chose to communicate with his subjects. The Zulu people will not be given the same status, as they are associated with King Shaka Zulu. He is believed to be a conqueror, decisive, strict and knew how or when to use power.The Xhosa are associated with King Hintsa Ka Khawuta, who was often compared to Shaka Zulu.Tribalism is the next apartheid, because we as a country have a very good habit of dressing the wound and not doing anything to heal it or face what caused that wound. We somehow have this belief that since 1994 we are one. Yet history shows us that each tribe has staked its claim on our beautiful country and fought other nations to defend its territory. If you believe what is happening in Vuwani, Limpopo, is due to demarcation, you have another thing coming. What we see in Vuwani is the new apartheid, aka tribalism, where one tribe does not want to share its municipality and space with other cultures, whose practices, ways and language are different to theirs. The looting and burning in Tshwane is tribalism. Why say they do not want Thoko Didiza because she is a Zulu? Yet, she has been living in Tshwane for close to 20 years. Why must one need to prove their origins in a cosmopolitan area like Tshwane, where so many different people meet? We as a country should cease this notion of overlooking our deep-seated problems and confront it head on. We are still shocked when we see racist outbursts from the likes of Penny Sparrow and we wonder why. No one can deal with the future if they have not confronted and dealt with their past. We as a nation need to start now, before the country burns to ashes, as we are not identified as South Africans first, but rather from which tribe we come from.If we do not heed this call, we are heading in a direction where one tribe will be ruling the entire country.