There is alarm and despondency in the major cities of this land. We observe the violence unfolding between poor locals and Africans from the sub-Saharan region, and are engulfed in pain. Whilst it is founded on competition for survival resources by those at the bottom of the food chain, the roots of this conflict are grounded in the fertile soils of colonialism. For it was in these times that the potential power of the majority was neutralised through accentuating tribal differences among brothers.
Such was the case in Rwanda and other places where ancient smouldering rivalries were and are fanned into consuming infernos of genocide. But the blame is not on the opportunists. They exploit only what is already there. What is desperately needed is that realisation – and the willingness to counteract it.
The crucial problem with a post-colonialist society such as South Africa in particular, is the glaring fact that the edifice of colonialism is still standing. Its foundation, walls, roof and interior decorations are as they were more than 2 centuries ago. Throughout its historical phases and appellations, from Native Administration, Non-White, Bantu, Cooperative and Black phases, it has always been, and remains the architecture of divide, subdivide and rule. Thus any lasting solution must take these facts into consideration.
There is not, nor can there be a blueprint or manual that one can go through to arrive at the point of solution. For these are matters of the mind and the heart, of the mind telling the heart to love the body it’s in. It is the mission facing Africans throughout the diaspora, and in South Africa it faces all who call this land home, whatever our origin or colour.