Strictly speaking I live in the diaspora. Even though I was born in Johannesburg, my homeland is many miles away on the sandy shores of the Mediterranean. And difficult as it may be to fathom, especially here in South Africa, given the painful political past, I am an African, pale-skinned as I am.
I personify the consequences of colonialism and privilege.
However, these opportunities and advantages I would like to put into parenthesis if not surrender. They make me prone to cynicism and they stand in the way of my ambitions and aspirations. You see, no matter my birthright, I wish for nothing more than to be an African and to play a part in the growth of this fragile continent of Africa. And, the African National Congress (ANC) has provided me with this platform to engage with my dreams.
How true the words of the great comrade Nelson Mandela, “there is no easy walk to freedom, anywhere”. As I sit scripting this personal account of my yearning to join the artery of African Nationalism in South Africa, it is my history that precludes me from becoming what I want to be.
How much harder, I wonder, did Joe Slovo, Ruth First and Rob Davies have to work to become influences in the party of the African National Congress?
My freedom to support the political party of my choice seems to be challenged at every junction. After 22 years of a democratic and free South Africa can we honestly say that we live in an equal country, if a white man cannot be a member a historically black political party?
As a young man growing up and in search of a moral framework upon which to base these difficult years of my life, it is the Freedom Charter of the ANC that guides my way.
In my own community and indeed amongst my peers, my political affiliations make me an object of ridicule and I find myself in the absurd position of not been taken seriously by both my friends in the Greek community and within the youth structures of the very political home of my choice, the ANC. These distractions have never dissuaded me otherwise. Passionately, however, I support the ANC because I believe that the philosophical traditions of Africa offer an important contribution to the theory and practice of leadership in the world today.
Today, 3 August 2016, is momentous in my life as I exercise my hard earned right and vote for the first time! I can openly state that a vote for the ANC is a vote for equality. A vote for the ANC is a vote for freedom. A Vote for uKhongolose is a vote for better services and a brighter future for all!
Central to African philosophy is the Zulu proverb: ‘Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu.’ A person is a person because of other people. In South African politics, it is only within the structures of the ANC that the reciprocal relationship with the individual and the mother body is central to the political party itself. This is the essential difference between the ANC and the main opposition and it is for this reason that I choose to be a fish out of water.
By no means is the ruling party excluded from making mistakes. However, these mistakes can only build us as an organization and allow for greater growth as a whole.
Ngifuna ukuthatha leli thuba ukubonga ubaba wethu UJacob Zuma.This revolutionary has provided South Africa with a clear path towards economic emancipation of all our people through the NDP.
Unlike the majority of my peers who elected to do Afrikaans as their second additional language, I chose Zulu, a far more difficult option. But, at the end of my high school career, I am very grateful that I made this decision. In studying the dynamics of this language, I have come to appreciate the beauty of its culture. Being part of the collective is the very essence of the Zulu way of life.
And as Thabo Mbeki once said, “I should concede equal citizenship of our country to the leopard and the lion, the elephant and the springbok, the hyena, the black mamba and the pestilential mosquito…I know that none dare challenge me when I say – I am an African!”
CDE. ELIA ROUSSOS IS A STUDENT AT WITS UNIVERSITY AND A MEMBER OF THE ANCYL