mandela: in alexandria, life was exciting and, although the racial policies of the apartheid government went about destroying its social fabric and reduced it to a ghost town, thinking of it always invokes in me fond memories.
divine postman: it is where you learned to adjust yourself to urban life coming from the village in qunu and you came into physical contact with all the evils of white supremacy.
mandela: although the township had some beautiful buildings, it was a typical slum area: overcrowded and dirty, with undernourished children running about naked or in filthy rags. it teamed with all religious sects, gangsters and shebeens.
divine postman: yes nelson, and not much has changed my day either. the injustices of the past continue to echo in my own youth. life continues to be cheap and rough, and the gun and knife rules at night. westerners still do not have the faintest clue of what township life is like.
mandela: i assume they continue to segregate themselves and visit the places that were assigned for them during the apartheid regime.
divine postman: indeed nelson, you would find that tourists have a deeper vested interest in making a difference in the townships as compared to local westerners who can barely say a word in an african language.
mandela: i’m sure a sense of fear and uneasiness still persists among the various racial groups.
divine postman: yep! apartheid is not something you can openly talk about with your westerner neighbour in the suburb, or your school friend in the gym lockers. it is considered taboo to talk about such issue.
it’s interesting how after the economic dispensation of 1994, the dirt of the apartheid regime ended with the truth and reconciliation commission.
mandela: many things were swept under the carpet divine postman, the focus shifted from freedom to material matters, however the fabric of apartheid the customs and traditions that were instilled continue to persist in the mind.
biko: the most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.
hani: indeed biko, and apartheid not only destroyed the mind of the african, but the ability of the westerner to critically reason was also changed.
divine postman: they continue to remain in those confines even today.
mandela: laws may change yet the consciousness remains the same.