Where do you come from African woman? Where do you come from African man? When I say African do you look at your pale skin and feel inferior to those with their dark skin? Why?
Why can’t a white girl born in Africa refer to herself as African? What makes her European? It doesn’t make sense to call her European if she has never set foot on European soil. In our desire to be politically correct have we gone and alienated people even more?
My dear white friend, you are an African. The fact you have less pigment than I do is completely irrelevant. Your ancestors may have lived in Europe many years ago but why does that determine who YOU are or what YOU are defined as? For all I know my ancestors could be traced back to Congo. Would that make me Congolese? No. And not a single person would expect me to refer to myself as such. How long will it take for white people to be able to lay claim of Africa?
Jan Van Riebeek arrived in South Africa in the 1600s, this means white people have been in South Africa for centuries. So when will they be allowed to trace their ancestors as far as that? Why do we find it necessary to exclude them from something that they have shared with black people for so long?
Is it the oppression? The struggle for the land that keeps us from embracing the idea that a white person can claim to be african? But then can you claim forgiveness? If that stands in your way then have you really embraced the “New South Africa”? Which by the way hasn’t been new for quite some time hey.
The thing is, as soon as you want to describe people by the continent they are supposed to have come from then we have a problem. What about Coloured people? Are they just coloured and have no actual roots? I mean by the definitions our Politically Correct race classifications have created? Come on man!
And Indians and Asians? How long will it take for them to be considered African? How long before telling them to go back to where they came from is a reference to Durban or Cape Town and not India or Korea?
Heritage Day is a celebration of where we come from yes. But it is also a focus on what our traditions are, our cultures, our values and our norms. It is unfair to expect someone to embrace a heritage they do not know or have never been a part of. A couple of years ago Oprah had her ancestors traced and somehow she ended up being zulu. Of course you can all detect the sarcasm in that sentence and many of us laughed hard when we heard that. Ludicrous right? Then why do you expect John to call himself scottish? John may be of scottish descent, that’s great he know where he comes from but is it fair to expect him to call himself scottish?
You are a South African, whose blood line could be traced across the Indian ocean, the Pacific or Atlantic.
We allow people to define who we are or who we should be that is one of the main roots of any kind of oppression. The identity of a woman has been defined by a man, white man decided who black man should be, now the white person is defined by a black person. Hitler defined the perfect race. Can we all just discover our own identity and root ourselves in it. Until you know where your identity lies, you will forever be swept away by what someone else thinks it should be.
So the idea of your Heritage boils down to this: Ni nyi inwi? Ungubani wena? O mang wena? Who are YOU?