I’ve felt many things as a South African, but never shame. I’ve felt pride, when I’d look back on our history and seen what we’ve overcome, so courageously. I’ve felt joy, like the day it was announced that we’d be hosting the world cup and we all ran into the streets and leaped into the air. I’ve felt hope when I’d visited primary schools and seen the many Colgate smiles hard at work. But never shame. Ya sure I’ve felt sadness, deep sadness when another news report writes of another raped little girl, sure I’ve felt fear sometimes, when looking out the window and locking the doors at night, but never ever shame. The crime, the unemployment, the politics all those you could explain away, hypothesize about, debate about. But this? What is this? Go etsagalang ka rena batho ba bantsho? What are we doing?
Each time I bump into someone, an aunt or an uncle that perhaps was not born here but lives here now and is thus family, I find myself casting my eyes down pretending not to have seen them. I am so ashamed to be South African today. I do not know how we got here nor care to understand, because no reason will suffice the horrors that have been and are being committed towards ‘foreigners’. I do pray though that somehow all this mess can be rectified and that someday our cousins, grannies, nephews and sisters from (might one note) not so far, will be able to forgive us.