Monday, 24 October 2016

The Apartheid Lives On | By Harrison


ApartheidAAfrikaans word meaning "separateness", or "the state of being apart", literally "apart-hood", was a system of racial segregation in South Africa enforced through legislation by the National Party (NP), the governing party from 1948 to 1994. 

***

As you know all know, I have recently returned from a trip to South Africa. It was always somewhere I wanted to go and Cape Town specifically has always been on the top of my bucket list for years. Before heading there, everyone warned me about the safety of the country, watch out for the crime in Cape Town, look after yourself etc. So going, I had a preconceived idea as to what the place was like. Let me tell you, all the rumours, from what I saw were false. I never once felt in danger, never once felt on edge or threatened, it was a beautiful country filled with beautiful people. 
I was highly and pleasantly surprised. 
Nothing surprised me more than the topic of this blog post. 

From the very moment we stepped off the plane, I knew life over in South Africa was going to be very different to my world back in the UK. I knew everyone and every place is very different, but I don't think I was quite ready for the difference I saw in South Africa. 
Everywhere and anywhere we went, I never once saw a white person working. Not once. 
Shops, restaurants, cafes, you name it, it was black people working. I was completely blown away by this and actually quite disgusted. 

Throughout my time in the country, this theme became very apparent everywhere we went and it really started to bother me. From the impression I got, there was still very much a separation of classes. The black people did the medial work while the white people had all the high paid jobs. 
COME ON! WE'RE IN THE 21ST CENTURY!!!!!
One of the days we were there, we made the trip over to Robben Island to visit the prison in which Nelson Mandela was held during his last years of incarceration. Today more than any, we learnt what the apartheid was like and what it really meant. 
Apartheid literally translates to 'Apart-Hood', It is an Afrikaans word for separateness. 

Dad and I had countless conversations about how this separation is so wrong. How wrong it is for white people to think they deserve the higher jobs, to think they're better than others and to think they deserve to cause a this class separation. Why can't someone of a different race to them have a higher paid job, why can't they be in power? 

At one point, we thought it might just be us. But one day on our safari, we asked out tour guide Bianca if this was the case. She confirmed everything we suspected. 
"The only thing that has changed is black people can sit in the same restaurants and go to the same schools as white people."
To think, It's been 22 years since the apartheid was abolished and the only thing to have changed is that black people can sit in the same restaurant as white people. Is that all they fought for? So they could all sit in McDonalds together? I DON'T THINK SO!

Some of the nicest people we spoke to out in South Africa happened to be of colour and some of the most rude people happened to be white. The whole idea of white people being better than black people or rich better than poor, is old. It needs to stop and something needs to change. 
I apologise if this post offends anyone or if I've not used the 'politically correct' terminology, but it's something I feel very passionate about.

If anyone goes to South Africa and notices the same thing, leave a comment below, I'd love to hear of your experience in 
'The Mother Land'. 

| Harrison |