I’ve just returned back from a short (very short) trip to South Africa. The trip itself is nothing to write home about. I simply just spent the time with home the family, eating my mom’s awesome food and relaxing.
Considering that I’m barely in SA, some of newer cousin’s reaction to seeing me can be quite funny. My one cousin is more than happy to come over to me (though I think that had more to do with the fact that he could possibly go for a car ride, then actually caring who I am), while another little cousins reaction was to scream bloody murder and hide behind her aunt while her supposed bearded cousin approached her. I makes me sad at times that some of my little cousins barely know, but I guess it is part of living abroad game.
Though there was another thing I saw that I think is worthy a mention. I was driving towards an aunt’s house when I saw something along the way which made me very happy. There were two kids walking home after school. This in itself is nothing new. What was it that made this picture different? One kid was black, the other white.
For a lot people reading this, this should be something normal in their home countries, and even for South Africans in the cities this might be a normal occurrence. However, in rural South Africa where I am from, the racial divides inflicted on us by Apartheid are still very strong even 16 years after the end of apartheid.
So to see this image is something new to me and very encouraging. South Africa is slowly moving towards future where a black kid and white kid walking home together from school is not something to write about anymore. There’s a song by a South African Afrikaans group Zinkplaat called Sterkte (Good Luck) which perfectly depicts the sentiments of South Africans of all backgrounds towards each other, the mistrust created by not only Apartheid policies but also our former colonial rulers. My favourite verses in the song are blow, translated into English
It’s a make or break situation,
A lack of communication
Strange voices that separate us
I’d call him my brother, sister
Even though he had another yesterday