Formerly 'Rambling with a cantankerous old mule"
The rainbow nation
Black and white in living colour
At war with itself
A democracy. A country I’ve called home most of my life. A diverse nation of more than 50-million. Multicultural. Multiracial. Distinctive cuisines. Lush, tropical coastland; verdant bushveld; jagged mountains; virgin beaches; abundant wildlife. Mineral-rich. Eleven official languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. Warm. Colourful. Hope-filled. “The rainbow people of God.”
And yet. Tragically, sadly, it’s tearing itself apart. From the inside out:
Gross corruption and irregularities at government level. An education system in turmoil. Self-seeking politicians. Income-equality rising. Increased lawlessness. Violent strikes. 24.9% unemployment rate. 5-million to 8-million illegal immigrants. One quarter of the adult population and around 40% of the children on anti-retroviral drugs. An estimated 885,000 orphans. Over 1300 rhinos lost to poaching in three years. And the list goes on.
As emeritus Archbishop of Cape Town Desmond Tutu was reported to have said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” And this from former president Nelson Mandela: “Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.”
I do have hope for this rainbow nation. I do see ordinary people all around me refusing to sink into a grey existence – not waiting passively for politicians or government to take responsibility for its people – but joining hands together, choosing to stand up for justice, choosing to tackle poverty, choosing to treat others with dignity. Where they are.
“… in this community, filled with it’s brokenness … the most needed response is love. Love is our most powerful weapon. Love is the only force behind true healing and restoration. Love looks prejudice, hatred, violence, indifference and injustice in the eye and overcomes.” Nigel Branken
Can you see it? Indeed, can you be one of those bringing more colour, life, love and light into others’ lives? It’s actually quite easy. Just try it. Where you are …