Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

It is good to note the publication of a book by an educated young man from what we still call the disadvantaged group.

Rekgotsofetse Chikane’s Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation is especially noteworthy from my personal perspective as the son of white colonial missionaries who, faced with teaching where no alphabet or written language existed, had to learn the language, develop a phonetic alphabet, translate and write text, and then teach people how to read their own language.

There has been progress. It is a pity, however, that so often such writing 24 years after democracy is really just a bleat about disappointing material progress. 

Chikane states that “we face a different kind of discrimination. It can be difficult to describe or pinpoint yet you can always feel it in the air.” Difficult though he finds it, he nevertheless states dogmatically that it is still “the systematic oppression of black people”.

If after a quarter of a century of rule by a substantial majority a tiny  minority of another race can be blamed for the lack of material progress or even be accused of somehow maintaining a system that oppresses the majority, there have to be some questions about the competence of the rulers.

We have just been through a decade of disgusting official corruption at the highest level, which alone will take another quarter century to erase — but only if integrity, enterprise and a work ethic begin to dominate the behaviour of the majority.

Perhaps a modicum of introspection would not go amiss and at the same time reduce the bitterness of the continued finger-pointing at a minority group.

Gavin Barnett

Somerset West

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