Who killed Mandela’s rainbow nation of South Africa, was it the people, the African National Congress (ANC) or corruption? Mandela’s rainbow nation formed to unite the various ethnic groups did not stand a chance of survival as the diversity was too great to make amends. The rainbow associated with hope and a bright future was intended to encapsulate the unity of the diverse cultures uniting as real South Africans. The rainbow nation is more political, and not a sugarcoated metaphor of hope and peace served to reconcile a national identity, and as a result, real reconciliation and transformation has been eluded.
Nelson Mandela, the first democratic president, was gifted with voicing exceptional public speeches. He was a man who spoke words of inspiration to the majority. Mandela claimed the rainbow nation was a dream but did little to make it real. In the minds of some he appeared to be always speaking but never doing. People will always say Mandela said this and Mandela said that but people rarely say Mandela did this or Mandela did that.
In the early days of Mandela’s rule, there was the inspiring reconciliation of different cultures to merge into a real democratic society. Mandela was a reconciling President, striking at the vast social instability in an attempt to blend the country into a harmonious land. However, allowing South Africans to sink into the smug rainbow nation proved to be a terrible betrayal of the possibilities of real reconciliation.
There was never a rainbow nation; instead, an illusion was set up to mystify the majority and create a submissive reality for the marginalized minority groups. The charming Mandela set out to unite people under the rainbow nation myth and almost convinced the entire population that it was possible to forgive the past and move forward in harmony. What went wrong and why did the rainbow nation not progress into a peaceful and flourishing country for all the people of South Africa?
South Africa is not a rainbow nation and will never be one as long as humans have different social and cultural diversities that divide rather than unite. The reality suggest that the difference is too great, which makes reconciliation nearly impossible. Attempts to unite the nation have failed, and progress is dormant, demarcating a bleak future for all who remain under the illusion of living in a peaceful rainbow nation.
The mystical rainbow nation is hidden behind a reality that determines one’s quality of life in terms of skin color. Democratic elections are a farce. Black and white people dance together like old friends pretending that unity in South Africa is solid. They also pretend that the African National Congress (ANC) government is leading the country into a bright future. Thanks to Mandela, the ANC had 21 years in which to turn South Africa into a richer, peaceful, thriving country.
Everyone agrees that Apartheid was wrong, yet, the majority thrives on blaming apartheid for the high crime rate, high unemployment, uncontrollable corruption, and despicable crumbling infrastructure. Did the ANC kill the rainbow nation by allowing greed to cloud good governance? The ordinary citizens of South Africa are not without blame, particularly, the majority who are blindly led by the ruling ANC party into believing apartheid killed the rainbow nation. It appears that the ANC has brainwashed the ignorant and uneducated into thinking that they are entitled. The ANC and other political parties in South Africa stir up the crowds into believing that the minorities do not belong in the country.
It is all about money and controlling the resources. It is about keeping the people divided while the controllers remain hidden. The rainbow nation is a hype crafted to deceive the disadvantaged and prevent the majority from realizing the truthful situation in South Africa. Mandela was rational and understanding yet the controlling party have destroyed the dream of uniting the people of South Africa. The majority were attentive to Mandela and willing to follow the noble leader and make the dream come true, a rainbow nation of unity. The ANC have killed it.
Opinion By Laura Oneale
Dreamstoreality – The Rainbow Nation
Photo Courtesy of Celso Flores’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons Licence