Change comes from inside?

5 04 2008

Transformation in our minds only!

The political environment of South Africa has improved, but economic apartheid and separation in our minds still exists. I’ve been in Grahamstown for a long time now and the economic apartheid and divisions still exist in a lot of people’s minds. I’m trying to say that the consequences of apartheid along racial lines are still in place today. Some people might disagree with me, because I don’t have statistical evidence with me and accuse me of generalisations.

But my experience in Grahamstown says it all. My point is that the attitude between students is different towards each other, not all of them of course. But, mostly Blacks from remote areas socialise along their lines and their attitude towards middle class people whether white or black is more or less the same. For instance, if you eat in dining halls this is no strange to you. There are whites, Zimbabwean and black South African dominated tables. Besides the socialising point, we greet each other along racial lines, for example, when a black person meet a white person, it’s that hi greeting for the sake, but when he meets a fellow black person the greeting is different.

Look at places like Friars Tucks it’s dominated by rich English first language speakers and you can only find few African middle class elite. Put the issue of money aside, if you go there as a black person you will really feel lost. Grahamstown has two market black markets and white market, for example, Shoprite is dominated by blacks and Pick ‘n Pay dominated by white and few black middle class people. Township is seen as a place of entertainment by tourists just because is different from town. For example, rich white people visit townships as it is a game reserve!

rainbow nation unrealistic

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7 responses

6 04 2008
alna

ghettoverit because no one else is ever going too.
You say that economic Apartheid is still very much an issue in South Africa, but isn’t/wasn’t it the responsibility of the post-Apartheid government to spend more time and effort on development rather than capitalisation? We all know what the ESKOM CEO gets as a bonus every year…
You call the rainbow nation unrealistic. Do you want us all to be a part of one united South African culture? Isn’t that unfair to those of us who are actually proud of our heritage?
You are very mistaken if you think that the blacks are the only marganilised groups in Grahamstown. I have Indian friends who do not speak with anyone from a different cultural orientation because of the way they have been treated in the past. And if you think being white is such a great thing in Grahamstown you are very very wrong. I have to hear how stupid and ignorant my Afrikaans people are everytime someone finds out that I am Afrikaans. I’m not even South African so it makes matters worse. I don’t see why I need to feel guilty about anything because neither me nor my ancestors were responsible for Apartheid.
Friars is Friars. I don’t even think most of the white people who go there like it. And as uncomfortable as a black person might feel there, I’m sure many white people feel the same when they walk into EQ. And if memory serves me right, there have been places in the past such as the Suite where people partied together regardless of their skin colour.
I am personally very tired of people who complain and complain but don’t do anything in the slightest to change what they are complaining about. How many “other-raced” friends do you have? Do you make a point of it to go to “other-raced” clubs? Are you going to go out of your way to a different side of town where there only live white people in order to break racial norm?
Cry me a river. Build a bridge. And ghettoverit.

7 04 2008
Rhiniboy

Mkateko bro, don’t worry just go to the wall and draw five tigers. Then go to Kulati or 12 do, I’m sure you’ll get 7 black labels (enough to get you drunk). The fact that you are a university student doesn’t mean you have to live life like a rich person (which includes drinking in at the Rat or replacing ship sherry with Foundry or Windhoek). Mna I don’t care whether a middle class person greets me or not, after all I’m me and they are themselves.
So, Mf’ethu stop complaining there is life in Joza, Fingo and Tantyi, just enjoy it.

8 04 2008
lmkateko

Rhiniboy, taverns in townships only sells black labour, it’s highly unlikely that you can find Foundry or Windhoek as you claimed. There is no life in Joza, Fingo and Tantyi, but there is death. You boys from towships you travel with knives in your pockets even if you don’t have enemies. If you disagree with me that there is death in Township, why do boys carry knives with them, there is no such thing in urban areas.

8 04 2008
Ngamla

Look Mkateko, most of us are fruitarians (hope I’ve used a right word), so we carry knives because we may bump into an apple or pineapple along the way. Now that you have relocated to the surburb you claim that there is no life in Joza. How ungrateful. In case you don’t know, I’m a white man who enjoys staying in joza and carrying a knife.

8 04 2008
azwihangwisie

Well, it depends on how you look at the world. I mean, people choose to look at the world using different lenses. For example the writer of this article was using the racial lens to look at the world. What the writer referred to as a racial greeting is absolute garbage. What conversation are you going to start with somebody you don’t even know? It is better to start it with someone that you know, I’m sure the writer of this story knows that by now.
I agree with the writer on townships being game reserves for tourists. It annoys me too. Who said we need tourists in our neighbourhoods? They should go to the suburbs and have their tours there. I’m sure there are many historical sites to be looked at there.
We are not allowed to touch anything because it’s made to impress them. You ask to use the hall, “no it’s a heritage site. Then the gym; “no it’s a tourist attraction site”. Where are we going to get something that is created for the locals?

8 04 2008
Anon

Don’t get the writer wrong, what I think he was trying to say is that, to say hi from your heart does not cost even a Zim dollar.

11 04 2008
Karen Thome

Whilst doing one of those slightly painful academic readings the other day I was surprised to come across something that really stood out for me. It was a quote by Larry Strelitz which pretty much explains why we as South African’s struggle to be united. He said that it’s because of the“lack of a sense of common decent, culture and language necessary for the creation of a communal/ national culture”. I think this is so very true, because as much as people’s hearts and attitudes may have changed towards each other, one can’t change the fact that people’s languages and cultures inhibit the process of us uniting. People will always gravitate to others who are similar to themselves, whether those similarities are based on culture, language, background, economics or general interests. And the fact is, more you have in common with a person the more likely you are to bond with them. I think that people need commonalities for conversation. I don’t think skin colour is really the problem, I think (or atleast I’d like to hope) that most people are over that. Now I think it’s just up to the degree to which people can relate to each other on the basis of other factors.

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