South Africa: A rainbow nation

South Africa is called The Rainbow Nation because of the beauty of the unity in our diversity. All colors, creeds and cultures come together in peace. Or do they?

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, 10 July 2012 - South Africa is a country that fought long and hard for democracy. Lives were laid down for this very cause – and today we have many holidays to commemorate these sacrifices.

In fact, today South Africa is called The Rainbow Nation because of the beauty of the unity in our diversity. All colors, creeds and cultures come together in peace. Or do they?

I have recently entered in to a relationship with the most amazing gentleman in the world. He’s perfect. He’s funny. He’s good looking. He’s kind. He’s generous…

Sisi…focus!

Ok, my point is that he is all types of perfect and perfect for me. There’s only one difference…

Using this rainbow nation analogy, let’s just say that he’s red in color. Yes, I’m blue and he’s red. Red and blue form part of the rainbow so it should be ok, right?

Wrong.

I can feel the stares when I walk hand-in-hand down the street with him. And yes, half the stares are probably caused by our striking good looks, but I’m pretty sure the other stares are based on our contrasting skin tones. South Africa has come a long way in terms of racial prejudice and laws. A few years ago, our relationship would have been illegal.

But at the same time, we can’t claim to be a Rainbow Nation and settle for this underlying prejudice and racism.

Why is it so abnormal for blue to mix with red? Or for orange to fancy indigo? Why must skin color still cause such a negative effect in a society that claims to have conquered that war?

It seems since perfect boyfriend and I began dating, race has been thrown in my face at every turn.

“Hey how are you?” I greet a cashier at a grocery store.

“I’m alright. Recovering from getting mugged by two black guys last week,” she responds.

Right.

I pray that somehow this country and even this world can begin truly embracing the concept of a rainbow nation.


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Sisi Lwandle

Sisi Lwandle is a journalist, a sister, a daughter and a South African. She loves God, people, telling stories and having cereal for dinner.

She loves music and is a struggling musician. By struggling she means she can't play much more than a few feeble strums on the acoustic guitar.

She spent a few years as a medic, and even lesser years in a City jail (during visiting hours). She hates having to describe herself in less than 1000 words. 

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