Apartheid, the name given to separation of cultures and races by an oppressive and elitist government. Since 1995, when the battle against Apartheid in South Africa was finally won, did anything change? Well, I believe a lot did change, but a lot stayed the same as well.
It is understandable that a lot of people who suffered under Apartheid are angry, but it is the young ones, who do not know the hardship of Apartheid; who is making the most noise. Older people, those who were the casualties of many years of separation and suffering, they are just too happy that Apartheid is now abolished. They are also the ones who are willing to forgive and allow life to go on. In fact, many of the older generation are complaining that things were a lot easier way back then, that they were cared for and that the economy was a lot more bare able. Today, as the smoke of the struggle has cleared up, South Africa is riddled with selfish, greedy political leaders who are always out to make a buck somehow. Around every corner there is a government official looking for some or other kind of bribe. One man stands out above the rest, a man with integrity, a man who will leave a rich legacy behind. Nelson Mandela.
This country still struggles with racism. White extremists, black extremists, from all sides we see the signs. Many people who grew up in a country where racism was forced down their throats by government and church, are today still struggling to get over it. I am happy to admit that they are in the minority, but it is still a huge number. From the other side, anger drives a hate for whites and it is clearly visible when chants are sung at public gatherings. Chants rise up with words like “kill the boer(white farmer), kill the boer, one bullet one boer”. Racism is not dead and the fruits of this sleeping monster might one day be visible to the whole world.
As Nelson Mandela lies in hospital, being kept alive by machines, a cold chill creeps through the country. A couple of years ago, supposedly leaked information, was circulated electronically, claiming that, as soon as Nelson Mandela dies, all white people will be slaughtered. This event is known as “The night of the long blades”. People are scared, nervous and tensions are building up everywhere. Some blame extreme right wing groups for conjuring up this false propaganda, others hold on to their faith in God saying that God will protect them. Some are collecting tinned foods for their long time they might have to spend in hiding, other are collecting weapons and ammunition to take up the fight. On the other side we see tweets about it, like “on the night of the white genocide, collect the long hair, it would be worth a lot” – whether these are jokes or serious, no one knows.
One thing is for sure, the country is divided, tensions are running high, and any small incident might have the capability to set off a major war in this country. In the midst of all this, I believe there are more people in this country, black, white, brown and yellow, who are living together in piece and harmony. Whether these threats are real or myth, no one will know until time finally exposes the truth. Until then, I live in the greatest country in the world, I will not run away to Australia, England or USA as so many South Africans do. I love my country, I have faith in its people. I thank God for people like Nelson Mandela who was able to pull this country’s people together.