I realized last night that there are unique events related to our country that other human beings haven’t encountered.
South africa had Apartheid, freedom fighting, lifting of sanctions to only name a few.
Apartheid was created to separate people: white. black. coloured. Asian. Other.
My grandmother told me stories of how the people lived happily together before apartheid and the land act took place, displacing many families, relatives and relationships.
I remember the first time the television came on in the 80’s, it was a miracle for me, so much so – that I stayed up until 12pm to hear the anthem and watch the tv being switched off. There was no more radio at night, as tv took over.
We were also living in an apartheid society, curfew and lights were out early.
Being black, white, coloured – apartheid was law, many people suffered. Loss of a loved one’s, torture and death. People often disappeared if they were a threat to the system. Gay people were tortured and experimented on. Saps – south african police force and the political government enforced that whites were superior and anyone else was less than human.
For me, as a humanitarian, this didn’t go down well with me, even though I was a teenager. I felt it was wrong to the core of my being.
My grandmother forbid me to play with any black kids, I never understood what black was, all I knew was that my friend was beautiful and had skin which made gold shimmers that shon in the sun. (I played with my friend anyway, and got punished regularly, I didn’t mind.)
My grandfather’s best friend was a blackman, Niels. When he visited my grandpa “sneaked” him in and they drank whisky together, they ate olives, cheese and gherkins, served by my grandma. His friend was the fattest person I knew. He often broke our toilet seat, and my grandpa’s shocks on his car.
Many years later, he had to have an operation – to remove a mutton chop from his ass, as he had swallowed it in error and it could be fatal to his intestines. He also broke his coffin when he died, somewhat embarassing. My lesson from my grandfather was to accept everyone equally no matter who the “law” says you shouldn’t.
I was an activist, I remember “toi toiing” for freedom of apartheid.
(Toi Toi is a type of african dancing)
I remember my first march from Langa to Athlone stadium. There were so many people, I remember wearing new shoes that weren’t comfortable yet, I walked for hours in them, against prejudice, violence and intolerances in our country.
The police were monitoring the march and it was the most tense experience ever.
I wanted freedom for all.
I voted for the first time in my life, and it was in favour of the Anc, freedom for Nelson Mandela the activist and righteous person.
I was delighted when we won freedom from apartheid and the country as we knew it, changed.
A democracy grew from then onwards. People are treated as equals. Perpetraters were punished and justice prevails.
South africa is mentioned in movies. Athletes are in the olympics.
Mix race kids are born, I call them,
the “tomorrow” people.
A mixed race nation is a new nation, filled with equality, humaneness, rights for all living beings.
One man without a title stood up for what he believed in and changed a nation, healed us in so many ways, Nelson Mandela.
He dedicated his life to others, to save a nation, to do what he felt was right, this took perserverance, love, and a deep inner strength.
He saved a country by choosing to heal it rather than being bitter and angry, he forgave and changed our existance.