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← The limitations of the single narrative

wynn's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by wynn

There is an argument raging in South Africa at present, that you cannot be African if you are not black, I saw somewhere recently that you cannot sing the 'blues' if you have straight hair?

I am a non African South African (second generation whitey) I grew up in Capetown, where there is a large Muslim community and I have spent the majority of my adult life close to the Transkei where the Xhosa people come from. I can say that in my experience, both Communities have a majority of good conservative people with the occasional hot head.

Both of these communities suffered under the Apartheid yoke.

The one thing that most Westerners, in fact a large number of white Africans don't understand, is that most black Africans make decisions as a collective for their communities. So even if it is wrong according to western standards or local individual or minority beliefs the collective decision holds sway.

The other thing is Tribalism, although in larger cities this is becoming less so, is still a strong indicator as to how well you do in a local society.

Xenophobia is raising it's ugly head among the crowded slums and people from other African countries are being discriminated against and in certain instances persecuted.

Africa, at least the part I know, is very complex and even though it has a Western shine on some of it's faces it will take as long as Europe took to leave the 'Dark Ages' before it reaches it's full potential.

Fri, 28 Jan 2011 11:02:05 UTC | #585183