South Africa, my country.
I was born here, I live here, and I bear the marks of my country's history; a history so rich, and well known, a few Americans could tell you the name of at least one of our presidents, with all the pleasant, vague conviction in their hearts- thank you Tata Mandela!
My parents keep reminding me of how far our country has come as a nation, a mass community.
There will always be the occasional racist individual, a whole town in some cases, but not much can be done for another person's ignorance, or insecurity.
In many ways, I am being taught to look past color, and see the content within.
South African history is a topic our government ensures we are all very familiar with.
For as long as I remember, we have been taught the dates of significant events, and given many 'bits' of information on the tragdey that once was, Apartheid- over and over.
I don't remember, not once, hearing about a white, indian, asian or colored person, in our history lessons that is, who faught actively in the struggle, for the equality of all men.
That kind of information is left in textbooks, on dusty library shelves, in schools, where the curious learner will go, to read in detail, the ins and outs of politics in that day.
As for the rest of the student population, as far as their concerned: Apartheid was for the black and white communities alone, and maybe just a little for the other races.
Now, I turn 18 next year, just in time to vote(if my calculations are correct), and for a while, I have been thinking about who I would vote for, if I was given the opportunity.
In grade 7, four years ago, I decided that the Democratic Alliance would win my vote: "hands down".
Hellen Zille just seemed to have it 'all together', it always seemed that, no other name appeared on the front page of my dad's newspapers as often as Jacob Zuma's did, with negative headlines, causing me to question why a whole nation would vote for the 'bad guy".
All he had afterall, was a few catchy songs/anthems and a good number of scandals to his name.
The news would show, just before our family soapie, Generations, telling news of children going to school under the shelter of trees branches; families waiting for many years for RDP(Reconstruction and Development Programme) houses they had registered for; corruption; sacks of money being spent on decorating the country for an event that wouldn't generate equal profit, etc.
How I disliked this president! He was 'unwise', and selfish: how could children not have their own desks like me?.. and air-conditioners in their classrooms as I did?
Today, I see tweets about Zuma declaring that caring for pets is unAfrican, when, what he really meant was, in my opinion:
For a person to care more about an animal than they do for a person, is unAfrican. Someone explained it this way: a person(Angelique) owns a dog, and has a maid(Zodwa). Zodwa earns whatever amount per month, and Chase(let's call the dog that) is probably consuming the same amount in food; baths at the dog parlour and check-ups at the vet. Spot feels sick, and needs to have an operation performed on him, costing ±R6000. Angelique, without thought, willingly swipes her debit card to save her dog's life, yet Zodwa, the woman who raised Angie's children, washes her underwear, sacrifices mornings to send her children off to school and feeds Spot, has to count months before she can say she has that amount of money to her name; or the simple scenario of a dog given the front seat in a bakkie, and a worker, put in the back.
That is unAfrican: to value animal life, over any human life, whatever the color.
The DA now governs the Western Cape. I have only made it to Cape Town, and boy, what a city!
The beaches are impeccably clean, there are very few/no potholes, I see people riding horses to the nearby store to get bread, and everything just seems all THAT much better- yet, when you fly in, there's a beautiful aerial sight, of lovely homes, each with a sparkling blue swimming pool, a car/two and a lush, green garden- a few minutes over, is a large block, of run-down shacks, little mounds of litter, a sense of abandonment and hostility- unkempt basketball courts, and patchy soccer fields.
I keep hearing the DA, pointing out all the faults of the ANC, but don't recall a time when news broke out, about things the DA is doing to improve the situation of the poorer majority in their province. Hellen, and Lindi may march occassionally with the masses, endorsing the image of a genderly and racially equal country.
When I see Cape Town, I don't think South Africa. In my head, it's better than that.
When I see little shacks though, and a large population, struggling to make ends meet, it makes me question how, "out of this world or country", rather, Cape Town is.
Their services are up to scratch, and they are highly efficient in the public's eyes, but to uSis' Aviwe, living in a shack in a Khayelitsha, with her 5 children, what is the DA?
It's a never ending struggle.
The ANC, the party of my parents and grandparents, is no longer built on integrity, justice, passion and respect. Instead, it seems like a party of children on the playground, declaring, "every man for himself", and running off into their different corners and hiding places for 'den', never looking back to see who is 'on', and going to make sure the game is played. We find that certain sectors do better than others. It is as if, our ruling party is a team of players who constantly need to be reminded that there is no 'i' in team, and no justice in self gratification, before a nation you promised to have best interests politically for.
The DA, the party of my dreams, and the thought enemy of my elders, is riddle ridden.
They keep a good image, but under all the perfume, manicured nails and make-up, they hide a majority community of people(I said people), living like strangers or squatters, in their own land.
I want to know who to vote for. I wish these political parties would give me a reason to mark that x next to the formal portrait of either of their leaders.