Opinionista Sabelo Chalufu 16 July 2014

I, too, have a dream

Dr Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream once. I have one too. But this one is for my own country, and it’s had to grow, adapt and change to accommodate 20 years of complication in our developing democracy.

Like Dr Martin Luther King Jr., I too have a dream.

I dream of a peaceful South Africa, with all its people living together in harmony, mutual respect and forgiveness.

I dream of a South Africa with universal social justice and where joining a party other than the most popular one(s) does not amount to putting a target on your back.

I dream of a South Africa where trying to make a difference in the political arena as a young black person is not such a pain – where joining a certain party does not mean you are corrupt or a traitor.

I, too, have a dream.

I dream of a South Africa where all political parties take proactive steps to address centuries of systematic oppression of the many by the few, once and for all.

I dream of South Africa where the old white lady will not feel the need to hold her handbag a little tighter when I walk past her.

I dream of a South Africa where transformation does not mean the deployment of majority party cronies into government or the continued enrichment of an elite that is close to the rulers of the day.

I, too, have a dream.

I dream of one day going to a rugby match and not feeling unwelcome, simply because an accident of birth made me black and not white.

I dream of a South Africa where non-racialism is not made to mean colour-blindness – which denies the legitimate struggles of the different races and insults the intelligence of everyone involved.

I dream of a South Africa where the governing party of the day is unafraid to spend 10 times more in developing and maintaining public facilities and services in townships than in suburbs (which are already light years ahead).

I, too, have a dream.

I dream of a South Africa where we can have frank discussions about every hot-button issue without reverting to our respective corners and hurling insults at each other, but where we can be respectful of each other’s views – even where they are divergent – and work towards conclusions that work for us all.

I dream of a South Africa where white people, in general, can understand that the wounds of the oppression that black people suffered are deep and raw and that every time someone says or does something offensive it only hardens attitudes and makes it that much harder to reconcile our differences.

I, too, have a dream.

I believe my dreams will be a reality one day. I can feel it getting closer. As a result, I am not going to give up the good fight! I am staying the course and will work at earning the trust of the necessary people and try to convince them of my ideas, one day at a time. I want to see change in my country and I am starting with the man in the mirror. I may make mistakes along the way, I am but only human – as the maxim goes; to err is human, to forgive is divine. I’m just trying to help build a country where we all have a good and fair chance to make the best of ourselves.

I believe we can be a country that unleashes the potential of its people, but that’s not going to happen on its own – it will take a concerted effort on all sides to work towards common and mutually beneficial goals and compromises that will have to be made by us all.

I dream of having a fair chance to make a meaningful impact. Isn’t that what we all want? A fair chance? DM


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