South Africans can get quite obsessed with heritage. As in: Where are your ancestors from? Which group do you belong to and associate with? Which region are you from? Is your surname German?
Yes, my surname is German. I think. But it’s my husband’s, so what does it say about me? Nothing. Similairly where my ancestors are from says nothing about me. What does define me though is the fact that I am South African. Yes, that’s it. I may have a different skin colour to you and I may talk differently and I may not pray to that same god as you but I am South African and I wish you would consider that as true identity.
South Africa is a country with a history rife with segregation. Long before apartheid the Dutch and the San were different, the Dutch (now Voortrekkers – eventual Afrikaaners) were different to the British (English) and the Zulus and the Xhosas and everyone else they encountered on their way inland. Then white (still split between English and Afrikaans) became different to black and indian and coloured and chinese and the government would allow/force you to live a certain way depending on that. And now we have a rainbow nation and we’re all still different because somehow being just South African does not come inheritanly to most people despite living in a “New South Africa”.
Well, I am South African. I want to tell you about South Africa from that point of view. I want to tell you about the things that make me proudly South African and literally make me cry with generally positive emotions. I love this ground, my people and our sunsets. I am reminded just about every day why I love this place and I want to share these anecdotes here. Maybe you’ll find it interesting.