Racism is like that one parasitic being that just refuses to die. Like any other being, it get bruised after every battle it fights. After every battle it creeps away into the silence. It eventually wears a façade and blinds us to believe it is gone for good. It is in the nature of every parasite to eventually strike back in search of revenge and when it does, human nature will fall on its knees according to the paint on their skin that defines them.

It is painful to see people suffering in the hands of others just because they are different. Because one can never be humane enough to live in this cold world especially while knowing that they can be a victim of discrimination at any time. Out of the thick blue skies of our very own beloved South Africa, racism was like our slogan in which other nations were able to see our thirst for blood. So many died simply because their nationality on their identity document was not written South Africa.

Racism is a disease that befriends hate that is found deep in our hearts and over time that friendship can enslave the last of our unity in humanity. We see things happening in front of our very own eyes and we still do nothing. We create campaigns that says no to racism just to get the good picture in the world. It is like a choir member who sings in church just to give the impression that she loves God while behind closed doors she is an atheist.

It is true that at times we can be hypocrites as humans. In search of being liked by the society, many people will turn to be two faced i.e. they will favour the opposition and still be the attackers. This is the result of choosing to go with the crowd and being a part of that whatever they are doing. According to my observation, people go with the crowd because they just want to fit in. In this modern world of civilization people are still using the laws of the jungle were it is the survival of the fittest.

The laws that will teach violence and greed that will eventually be passed on to the offspring in the next generation. Laws that will teach that the strongest will dominate and live on and the weakest will die. Laws that will make the world to always go for an eye for an eye which makes us to neglect what the complete quote states. It states the ‘’an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’’. The world we live in is truly blinded by its hunger for revenge.

The rage of the people around us makes us believe that one can become a victim of racism at any time. I can recall a moment when I became a victim as well. Somebody told me I am a vagabond and I am just an illegal immigrant. I guess he said all that because I didn’t look South African enough. This makes other people to live in fear because in order to become a victim, all you need to do is just to look darker than the other South Africans.

We all see these things happening in front of our very own eyes but we choose to turn a blind eye on these matter. This could be because of one of two reasons. Firstly, it may be because of fear. People tend to become scared to get involved since they fear to become victims as well. But little do we know that we are involved whether or not we react to what is happening around us. Secondly, people just just do not care. It is so unfortunate that one person defines the entire community.

One person’s complexion represents the entire nation of that race. It is so unfortunate that the understanding of one’s skin colour has been made more complex to understand, while the fact of reality is that we are all the same. Like Lucky Dube said ‘we are one people with different colours’ and the nationality of a person does not make a person an alien from the other but instead, it just shows which part of the world that person comes from.

You do not have to be a politician or an elderly person to make a change using your words but all you have to do is just to speak out and say no to something. The word ‘no’ is protective therefore when you say no to something it means you are protecting yourself from that thing. Which is why saying no to racism makes a difference to the world that revolve around all of us and also to the people around us.

Tolerating is less distinguished from allowing or letting things to happen, therefore tolerating racism is the same thing as letting people discriminate others because of their skin colour, their beliefs, their gender or whether or not they need a visa to be that country. South Africa has evolved to being the total opposite of what all the freedom fighters had in mind. Even though apartheid has ended, there is still that silent tension between people of different skins.

Nothing bad ever dies, therefore the monsters that were created in the apartheid days are still living within people today, they are just waiting to find themselves a victim to prey on. But if people are changed and truly gotten over what has happen as they say they are, then we can truly say that the next time racism sends its hideous disciple named xenophobia, we will be prepared to stand and say no to its customs.

But then again, can we really put our faith in people? If racism had to be a person, how many people would want to romance with that ne’er-do-well?  Well the scathing truth is that thousands of people would. People tend to forget that voicing out really makes a difference and a huge impact. The difference that voicing out makes is that it makes a person and those around him to know where he stands with the situation and also helps to express his views about it.

It only takes one person to complete the long walk that Nelson Mandela has started, but it only makes the journey easier if we were to walk together and the one way there is to dwell in unity, to embrace the spirit of Ubuntu and to stop tolerating racism because that only makes us racists. Racism only separates people from each other, if we can find a way to eliminate racism then our South Africa can become the dream land for the freedom fighters.

The South Africa that Nelson Mandela had in mind can be made a reality through allowing the rehabilitation of our mind from racism to occur. This country could be a better place to be and to live in, only if people could learn to live with each other. It is time to desegregate and truly paint that rainbow nation Nelson Mandela spoke about, and the only way to achieve that is through the unity of people. This will also help with the self-building of people.

The unity of different people with different complexions inspires change and love amongst those individuals, the building of one depends on the other which is the reason why in my language they say ‘’MUTHU NDI MUTHU NGAVHATHU’’. Trust, respect and loyalty is what we need to make south Africa a place that unity truly exists. Therefore a direct initiative would have to be making south Africa a place free from racists who tolerate racism.

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ABOUT FOUNDATION

In pursuing its core objective of deepening non-racialism, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation will:

Promote the values, rights and principles enshrined in the Freedom Charter and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa;

Collect, record, promote and display, through historical artefacts and contemporary material.