Wednesday, July 9, 2014

We Probably Grew Up in Different South Africas

Siphumelele Zondi

Sitting in an airport in Hong Kong, I had a chat with an Afrikaans South African woman who is about the same age as I am. The woman and I are pretty similar on tastes in music and other interests. We both pretty much grew up in post-apartheid South Africa, but are vastly different on our knowledge of South African movies. One would think we live in two different South Africas when they analyse the movies we watch. I spoke about Jerusalema, iNumber Number and The Forgotten Kingdom. She told me about Grens Pos, Skoonheid and Leon Schuster movies.

We also differed on our views of employment equity laws as she told me she was changing jobs so she could work for an organisation that is opposed to Black Economic Empowerment as she feels her white skin never gave her any privileges. She told me about how she grew up poor in Bloemfontein and she and her brother had to get student loans and bursaries to get through university. I asked her how many white school children in her school or university were going through what she had gone through and that’s when she admitted to me that she realised her views could be biased to her situation at home, but still didn’t think that capable black South Africans should get preference over white South Africans.