By Noluvuyo Bacela
“We live with the hope that as she battles to remake herself, South Africa, will be like a microcosm of the new world that is striving to be born. ” Nelson Mandela Nobel Prize acceptance speech in 1993.
When I was little I would often sit by myself and try to figure out the patterns made by the cracks on the wall in my mother’s house. Sometimes they would be animal shapes or just simple, bumpy lettering that resembled our continent but it was never something I did knowingly. I would just find myself seated quietly searching every inch of the wall with my eyes trying to find something worthwhile. It’s a very strange habit but I guess it has helped me over the years to sort through thoughts that seem to just muddle up into one giant question mark every day.
Questions about people, the world and how we will ever wake up from what is currently happening in our country. Last night I had a dream about being stuck in a deep, water-filled trench in the Congo running from what seemed to be a group of soldiers who were hunting us for rescuing two children from their army camp. I woke up wondering, and I tried to understand what could possess a man to kill another in cold blood as the people looked on. I tried to understand the little feuds between the Xhosa’s and the Zulus on social media and how marching in the open streets of Johannesburg could possibly change the fact that our brothers across the border do not look at us with love in their eyes anymore; How there is blood wrapped with resentment when they think of us. I wondered if a soccer game might help unite this nation once more.
I love my country but I love our continent more. These are just the fruits of the history we try to keep hidden from our own selves as South Africans. Our brothers in Zimbabwe wonder about us or our education system which is a mess. I could list many things but I don’t want to air anymore of our dirty laundry at this moment.I thought of my country and how far we have come and how confused we are right now. I thought of our first democratic president and wondered what he would have done differently, I wondered about us. How we are afraid of a group of nameless characters in Kwa-Zulu Natal defacing our country as we stood aside and looked. The welling arrogance that we got from knocking down and vandalizing statues.
I wanted to wake up from this dream but the radio news bulletins wouldn’t let me, till I realized our country is in ruins and we must help our government fix this. South Africans are not independent of the rest of the continent, we are all part of the same beautiful, brown land that is filled with the most engaging stories of brave men and women. We all have a responsibility to ensure that the ignorant minority does not colonize the young minds once more.
We can do it, together.