“and suddenly you know… It is time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings”
South Africa has always been my home, I have never lived anywhere else. I spent my life growing up wanting to leave and wanting to live in a “better” country. However, now that I am 21 I sit here and think is there a better country?
I was born after Apartheid which means I was born into a free and equal South Africa. The reality, however, is that there is no such thing as a completely free or equal country. I remember when I was in school and everyone was talking about Nelson Mandela and I had thought he had already died, I also thought Micheal Jackson was dead when I was 10. That was the first time I was made to be aware of the political happenings in my country. I remember how teased I was that I did not know Nelson Mandela was still alive, so I made sure I knew what was going on after that.
The next big thing I remember was Zuma coming into power and everyone was talking about his shower scandal and all his corruption. I did not really understand why, if he had so many bad things about him, he was our president. The whole thing had me very confused.
In about grade 9 we were talking about black and white, how the black got “advantages” now because they were “disadvantaged” before. I got the concept but how it was executed made me so angry. In school, the black girls would shame me for being white, accuse me of destroying their lives, make note this was a private school they could pay for and they drove cars that cost nearly a million bucks. The point is I was angry because it was not me who did anything yet I was being punished. This is when I decided I would be moving as soon as possible.
Grade 12 came and with that applications for varsity. This is when I really started to get angry when I was told there was a quota that had to be met when accepting students and that meant I might not get in. I remember how angry I was to find out that someone with marks lower then mine would get in over me because of my skin colour.
University opened my eyes to how our government was a total waste and could not do anything worthwhile. Here was our president with an R500 000.00 house and so many people dying from hunger. I started to pay attention to the news to try and understand what was happening, all this did was make me realise all the countries are in trouble. There was America electing a man who abuses women and thinks its okay, the UK being attacked more and more by terrorists and now the rest of Europe not being that finically stable.
This all hand me in a panic of where do I move to? I felt like I could not stay in South Africa because firstly teachers do not get paid or treated that well and secondly I am competing against a race war. I understand the need to equal things out but in this process, a generation that did nothing is being punished, my generation. Then change started.
Zuma was under pressure and soon the ANC had elected a new leader but the country still had Zuma as president. The new ANC leader was said to be great and would help mend the country. I was excited, I knew that I would like him if he had the strength to take over from Zuma. But he did not, he took his sweet time, in this time I came to wonder if he is really the leader we need as a country.
It is hard being 21 with your whole life ahead of you and not knowing where is best to go. I am about to build a life but I do not know where to because I do not know firstly where is it safe and secondly where is the best economically to invest. People want to go to America but for me with that leader, no thanks and today alone marks the 18th school shooting in 2018. England has always appealed because its cold but the bombings and car killings put me off. When I look at it like this I wonder maybe sticking it out with my own countries issues is the best. Why move to a new country to inherit more problem.