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.