Thursday, 2 October 2008

where is my home?


I've been spending some time pondering, lately.

Is there such a thing as a white African? Or are those of us with only one passport destined to be rootless, stateless people?
Are we holding onto a land where we don't belong? And do the ordinary white South Africans have any real hope of understanding the revolution?

The pondering has been brought on by a number of things.
A few conversations in Uganda like this one:
Me: I'm South African. That makes me an African
Various delegates: No really, where do you come from?
Me: I'm South African
Delegates: No, I mean, where is your home country?

A snippet from an article in the St Georges Cathedral magazine this month, written by a Zimbabwean refugee:
"Economic Emancipation is the third and final stage of any liberation struggle; we still hear stories, about Kenya, and Mozambique etc. How people just left what they had and went with the clothes on their back, any where they could find refuge. In all these instances, the economy was aggressively dismantled. The underlying principle was to force out the oppressors and allow the previously disadvantaged minority access to the national wealth. Such an exercise is costly, economic decadence takes years to rebuild. The economic liberalization struggle impacts negatively on the surrounding countries, as it creates a black hole in the region. What took place in to Zimbabwe is not new to Africa. "

I'd never thought about it like that. And having read it, I got one of those lightbulb moments "Aaha! maybe that's what Julius Malema is talking about when he mentions the ongoing revolution!"

And if it is, what does it actually mean? Is there an agenda which is going to see us heading down the same road as Zimbabwe, where food production is less than 10% of what it was a decade ago, and people have to get up at 2am in the morning to get into the bank queues to draw enough money to buy a bread roll?

BBC News put out an interesting question here, asking which systems left the best legacy for Africa - an Anglophone, Francophone or Lusophone system of government. I was interested in how many of the respondents were calling for Africa to be left to the Africans.

Makes interesting reading, and gets back to my first question: Do white Africans exist?

I'd really like to know.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

A good question. If you are very spiritual the answer will be, with God my father.
I believe the question is in relation to what place we call home.
Born in SA and believing in a future for all after the 1994 elections. I am sad this day as it appears that the dream for a future for all in South Africa is over. Mzanzi has awakened. Africa is for Africans, black people not any other race. Other races will get caught between the tribal fight for power between Africans but me as a white African have realised that I have no country to call home, I am going to be an alien until I am accepted by another country who does not practice discrimination and believes in mankind.

White African

Larissa said...

I am proof that white Africans exist because I am one. I was born in South Africa.
if you believe in genetics and evolution, then you'll find that we all share a common, original root family - a small group of people who lived in Africa in the distant past.
So, in essence we all come from the same thread.

As long as people continue to see colour and differences, there will always be problems. Why don't we all celebrate being humans on this beautiful Earth that we all share for once?

Also, the way I see it, we are all humans. I do not see colour. Imagine how boring life would be if we all looked the same? Wouldn't be robots or clones then? If we all had blonde hair, blue eyes and white skin, how boring would that be? Similarly, if we were all black, with brown eyes and dark hair?

In addition, it's not like there are two or three or five different species of human. We are all the same species. We are all human. And that is what I celebrate in my fellow Earthlings.

I call Africa home very simply because I was born here. But, on a deeper level, the intense love I have for this country, this continent and it's many people (my fellow Africans) is why I continue to call it my home.
However, I have no problem with other people, like Europeans and Asians coming to African and making a home for themselves here. Who knows where my itchy feet might take me one day? Who knows if I might want to move somewhere else one day and carve a special place for myself in another corner of the world? Isn't that my right? Isn't it your right to?

I might be African, but I was also born on this plant, so I'm an Earthling like everyone else. This world is for us all. That's how I see it.

One love!

Lynne said...

maybe the question should be: Do Black Africans realise White Africans exist?

Anonymous said...

I don't think a black African would accept that a white person could be African. If I were black I would have a problem with that. However, I do think that first and foremost we should acknowledge that we are earthlings and humans with a common bond and co-dependent for our survival.

As a white person born in Africa... hmm ... no I don't really feel African or South African. I feel more like a transient observer.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Larissa said...

One wonders why "if anonymous were black he would have a problem with a white person claiming to be African"...
Why?

If my grandmother's mother and her mother and her mother before that was born in Africa, am I not genetically then African?

Logan said...

My family has been here since the mid 1700's, they were French Huguenots (sp?)fleeing persecution in France. We've been here so long the mozzie bites I get are just tiny dots. Haha. If you make the question: who is a South African, then it gets interesting, because in the mid-1700's for example, the Zulus were only just expanding and some of SA's peoples had not settled here yet either. On a continental level, who are North Africans? 1200 years ago or more the Arabic invasions of North Africa hadn't happened yet. However, on an ethnic level, we cannot be Africans yet, maybe South Aficans of white & black mixed parentage are. However, if you step into North America, then the debate is meaningless, I mean who is American? Who is Canadian? However, as whites we really urgently need white political leaders to do public apologies, (maybe pay reparations), learn Zulu etc and we all need to start respecting black Africans in a very real practical way. This is what it will take to defuse this debate and 'buy' ourselves a bit of Africa. Of course, God is still in control, but to be honest, most whites have not made the transition to becoming African in some meaningful way. You know, we're only here because our ancestors had better weapons, any other explanation is untrue, so let's try to be nice.