As we emerge from the ghettos of our past

2015-02-06 10:01

As a Muslim by faith, I was fortunate,during my formative years to have had a fairly varied cultural and religious experience.

I was born and bred in Warwick Avenue area in Durban, a multicultural and for quite a while until the Group Areas Act dispossessed us, multi-racial location and I was brought up in the home of a Tamil. I fire-walked, ate sour porridge, fasted when it became necessary in the Tamil culture. I lit the lamp and stood in prayer religiously. I participated in their functions. I remained a Muslim enriched by all this. My Hindu,Tamil and Christian brethren reading this will easily identify with this.

During Easter and Christmas, I spent time with Christians. During the religious month Muharram in the Islamic calendar , my Tamil,Gujerathi and Hindu friends joined in the religious festivities. All this made me strong and wise.

To find out where we went wrong one could very easily blame apartheid and the Group Areas Act that uprooted communities, for verily we became scatterlings and prey to its prophets.

But the answer did not lie there. That is not the reason. Apartheid was an aberration but it cannot be blamed. The blame lies in us.

As apartheid began to crumble in bits and pieces and we moved towards freedom and democracy, internal forces kept our insularism intact. We forgot who we were, and conditioned by history to think and act in compartments, we continued and still continue to look at our neighbour as ‘the other’ if he was not in our compartment.

We chose to educate ourselves to evolve, but to remain in those compartments, occasionally breaching them for cosmetic purposes. When apartheid uprooted us, we also got uprooted from ourselves. We became sophisticated in ‘ghettoisation’ thinking.

We still are but slowly, inexorably emerging from our ghettos..........

News24 Voices Terms & Conditions.


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.