My South Africa Today 24-Oct-15

I am astounded by the black or white of people’s thinking. I am astounded by the greyness of my own.

I am incredibly inspired, proud and awe struck by what the youth of this country have achieved.

I am equally saddened, disgusted and appalled by some of what I have seen this week.

I am incredibly affected and effected, empathetic and understanding of all views and fears and hopes that I have encountered over this week, from all spectrums – I like it when I do that.

I am equally disgusted by the arrogance and inability of people to empathise, to listen, to receive and to so easily disregard, no wait, demean and dismiss those who may not understand a particular view – sadly I do this too.

I am a father of one (he is white, as am I, not that it matters, but apparently it is very important to attach race to your views on everything), and I have concern for his future.

I have parented another two (they are black, they are female, and as much as I have raised them they have and continue to teach me much too), and I am delighted by the prospects at hand for their lives and for what the future has in store for them because of what has been achieved this week.

I am well aware of what systemic racism is and know it is real. I also know that systemic racism is not the only issue at play here, what it is, is the most prevalent and tangible product of our times which befits the argument and most urgent concern of the majority of our people, let alone the greater world. But I know, it is not the only issue at play here.

I am a South African, the bones of my ancestors lie within it’s soil. The dreams of my family are tied to and invested in the dreams of a nation and this place. My definition of family is unique, it exceeds and extends beyond blood and colour, and is mine to own and define. I love as a South African, I mourn as a South African, I worry and fear as a South African, I am arrogant as a South African, my daily mood is effected by the headlines of this land. I have been shaped within these borders, by the history of this country, and my hope is bonded to it’s future. I am Beautifully South African.

I am Imperfectly South African. My prejudices, and I am ashamed to admit them, but I know that I am man, that I am South African, that I have them and that I can own them, they too are uniquely South African – and I challenge them, constantly, I work and live with them, they shape me and those around me.

Today, I am proudly South African, today I am proud of my fellow young South Africans (and yes, it’s worthy of repetition), and hopefully tomorrow I will be equally proud of my fellow South Africans on the Rugby field.

Today I am also a disappointed South African, I am disappointed by a quality of my fellow South African which so quickly dismisses any point of view and declares it invalid simply because it is not populist, or popular, or yours – and it’s everywhere, we are all guilty of it, fighting the good fight or fighting the bad, black or white.

We are South Africa, our thoughts are South Africa. We live South Africa. And so it makes me sad that we can so easily dismiss the views of another, that we are not inclusive, that we foster and continue to perpetuate a divide.

Fact is, there is no “it” to get, there are lots of “it’s”, plural. Me and my South Africa are dynamic and varied, like the people, the creatures, the terrain, the history, the legacy and the possibility of this, my home.


Full Stop