South Africa: Where To From Here?

[spacer height=”20px”] What does progress look like for South Africa going forth? That is the main question we are faced with as a nation. Terms like radical economic transformation, free decolonized education and land expropriation without compensation are the current buzzwords for South Africa’s woke generation. It’s truly inspiring to watch us pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off after Apartheid.

Nobody can take away from what the Liberation Struggle heroes have achieved; because it is a lot! But we still have quite a road ahead of us. I believe we’re finally asking the right questions and dealing with all the elephants in all the rooms… well on social media at least.

I personally enjoy seeing Africans starting to pride themselves in who they are, in their rich heritage and culture… no longer believing themselves to be inferior to anyone! I believe diversity is what makes us a beautiful nation, and that we can be united and diverse at the same time. Like many, I’ve taken to reading up on African history before colonisation, and I still hope to read more of our history as told by African historians and archeologists and scientists. I struggle to find much material however. It’s either I’m not looking in the right places, or there’s a gap that we need to fill. We need to start documenting future history today, so that our stories are never again changed to suit agendas that aim to destroy us as a people.

I’m not pulling these statements out of thin air… tribalism is still a serious issue in South Africa – as is xenophobia. To this day there are people who hold firm to stereotypes like “Zulus are warriors and love fighting,” or that “Xhosas are the smart ones,” or even worse “Black youth hate school and are violent”.

Shows like ‘Emzini Wezinsizwa’ and ‘Yizo Yizo’ cemented these stereotypes… tell me again how the role of media is entertainment? People still believe these things, these stereotypes portrayed on black television have shaped society as we know it today. The media will continue to shape society; and if we don’t actively shape media narratives for the better we’ll continue to face these problems.

The worst to watch is how quick Africans are to acknowledge and even celebrate British royals but shun their own. I’m no royal fanatic but isn’t it crazy how normal it is for the British royals to govern and rule but not royals here because “that stuff is outdated and democracy is so much better”?! All these politicians and we still have no actual say… just more hidden agendas. I’m venting now, aren’t I? My point is we still have shackles holding us back from reaching our true potential; and we have to deal with them if we want to make any further progress.

We can be key players globally without becoming a half-baked version of the West. Asia is doing it, so can we. African history (the little that I’ve read) gives me hope. Africans were major contributors to modern civilisation and should continue to be. We can make great scientific discoveries while preserving the knowledge that a young Zulu maiden does not wear isidwaba (traditional regalia), for example.

Progress doesn’t have to mean shunning who we are.

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