03 November 2008
There are among Africa's leaders, those who work, knowingly or unknowingly, against peace.
These people are the children from a time of struggle and human injustice.
We all know that children learn by the knees of their parents and grandparents. That what is accepted as the truth (or the norm), in childhood, may influence the rest of their lives. This influence persists, even if, for a time, different values are adopted.
Children, who were taught that people from a different race are the enemy, inferior or untrustworthy will be influenced by these misconceptions, when choices between people of different races are to be made in later life.
Hidden childhood desires for revenge and retribution may remain dormant for many years, while giving the impression that the individual is an ambassador for peace. The Zimbabwean struggle is an example.
It is therefore very difficult for children of the apartheid era, in South Africa, to be non-racist.
Our hope for unity lies with children who entered mixed schools since 1989, and are today entering adulthood, as well as those elders who were educated overseas. Many of these youths accepted people of different races as equals in spite of the prejudices of their elders or colleagues.
The Freedom Fighters may not feel comfortable with peace for too long. They may feel that they lost their purpose in life. From early childhood they were taught how to retaliate and fight back. They crave for the adrenaline rush during an unrest. Their heroes carried a gun, and not a banner for peace.
"One rainbow nation" was born with Nelson Mandela's walk to freedom. For many that is a new concept.
Freedom fighters on both sides of the fence try to relearn their ways for the sake of peace, but many fail.
We hear words, like Great Britain is the enemy, when the reality is that Great Britain cares little about what happens in Africa today.
We hear words like "Killing for Zuma", when all that is needed for peaceful governance is an election where the people decide who should rule.
We see political parties split, because peace is so difficult and un-stimulating. We see governmental interference on all peaceful prosperous levels of society in order to create hardship and unrest under the banner of "leveling the playing fields".
During times of struggle the freedom fighters have a purpose in life. In peacetime it is as if they try to create hardship and struggle. Fighting for freedom is in their blood. Peace makes them uncomfortable. Victory, in their minds, needs to be preceded by a struggle.
Their parents could not teach them how to be victorious and embrace peace. They could only teach them how to overcome hardship.
We need to understand this.
We need to recognize this.
We need to ride this stormy political wave.
Many of our leaders are good people who were damaged by society as children. Many of the youths at high school today still nurture suppressed anger because of damaged adult role models.
It may take a few generations for peace to become a permanent reality. Yet we are slowly moving towards peace, even if life in Africa reflects a sentiment of war.
Mandela's rainbow nation will one day be a reality, even if it may not happen in our lifetimes.
The world will remember Nelson Mandela and his Rainbow Nation.
Perhaps one-day South Africa can be named "The Rainbow Country" - "Mandelaland".
Ex Unitate Vires 20 October 2008