Happy Birthday Madiba

Today is Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday. In honor of his 67 years of service for the amelioration of his peoples’ conditions, all 49 million South Africans were asked to do 67 minutes of good work. 

As a tribute to Madiba and his 67 years of service, I decided to donate and volunteer to Shawco. Their mission is to improve the quality of life of individuals in developing communities within the Cape. This brings me to another interesting part of South African history. The distinction between black, coloured, Indian and white and their separate communities. Without a doubt, whites are on the top of the pyramid. Coloured and Indians share the middle stratum, while blacks sit on the bottom of the hierarchy. 

What is the difference between black and coloured? While coloured may be highly unacceptable in the states, people are proud to be coloured. Instead of being a small nuance, this is a difference that is emphasized. Coloured means that you are mixed with white, black, Indian etc. It is a distinction that is emphasized because no body wanted to be black in the days of the apartheid. 

Even though the apartheid is over today, these separate spheres still exist. Blacks still live in townships with blacks, coloureds with coloureds and Indians with Indians. The irony of this is indescribable. The Republic of South Africa has one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, written by Madiba himself in 1994. Yet, the state of the communities still face unjustifiable adversities. Communities are haunted with alcoholism, illiteracy, HIV/AIDS, and crime.

Though Rome was not built in a day, I hope that these 67 minutes really encourage the people of this country, not just the Cape, to dedicate 67 minutes everyday and try to ameliorate their communities, and their country overall. Just some food for thought. 

  1. smaakvol posted this