Our collective tale as a nation starts at about the time Van Riebeek set foot on these shores, ostensibly to build a fruit and vegetables stall. He was welcomed by the curious natives not too familiar with seeing people so heavily dressed up in secondary skins, so awfully pale and speaking ‘amakwerekwere.’ It turns out he (Van Riebeek) wasn’t being completely honest. Well actually he wasn’t being honest at all and soon enough he attracted more people who looked like him, and some even spoke other languages. Like with all human conflict, it started out with trading, some socializing, then the inevitable inter-marrying, squabbles about COP, Community of Property, then skirmishes then wars. But, an important point is that none of the wars to date were on the scale of European wars, evidently even the European wars against the lot that defined themselves as farmers, the Anglo-Boer War, 1 & 2, were both mild by European standards.

Oh, by the way, in fairness to our darker hued brothers, it should correctly be called ‘The South African War’ 1 & 2, on account of so many of our brothers being involved, not that you’d think this if you read our history books, but that’s another story.

Now, all wars are preliminary dances to a divorce, so the farmers, fortified by copious amounts of a particularly rough type of booze, euphemistically called brandy, and a sufficient arsenal of prayers to a rather conservative God, who happens to be pale as well, up and leave in a huff for better climes, together with their retinue of mixed groups made up of ‘kept women and men’, some cast iron utensils, frustrated housewives and a few of our people itching for a free hitch up country.

Now here’s where the trouble starts according to the history books that they wrote. A particularly moody chap, who was doted on by his mother, and who happened to have the worlds most disciplined army of eunuchs and celibate young men with no hobbies gave them some troubles. This for the first time starts with ‘Black bogeyman’ affair the pale kind would have with our brothers, leading up till the present. By their account, they ‘defeated’ him and settled in their holy land, which conveniently hosted the largest known deposits of a weird yellow metal that kind of lasts forever. The pale lot then set themselves ‘Apart’ from the rest, and wrote things about why it’s good to be apart.

So, the pale ones figure it’s easier to take all the land, well at least the best parts where you can extract things that make you rich and grow other things to sell. Unfortunately for them, our brothers hate not being consulted on these matters, on account of them being here first. Thus ensued the longest running spate, called ‘The Struggle’ with many casualties, mainly our brothers and finally, come the big day, all things are ‘settled’ in a ‘Big Debate’ that ends in 1994, and supposedly starts a ‘New Dawn’ promising peace and prosperity to all. But wait’ all along even the pale ones had the inexplicable need to listen to authority, for no other reason than they said, they’re ‘The Authority’ and should be obeyed? See, they used a weird process called voting. A bit like voting online who’s your favourite star, and on the basis of fame alone, determining that the Kardashians should rule the world. Of cause this is strange because you’d think it would go to the most qualified, honest and fairest person, but anyways, this democracy thing takes a bit of getting used to.

So after this democracy thing, a kindly, soft-spoken, but oldish gentlemen, who reminds every one of their own loving grandfather suddenly appears on TV promising the land back and other really nice things like houses, water, electricity and jobs. Not being used to this democracy thing, his promises doesn’t happen because no surprise, he passes on and someone really clever that speaks funny, because he’s always talking about other people appears on the scene and it looks like he means business. Soon enough, because of some weird kink in this democracy thing clever people haven’t managed to iron out yet, he gets chucked out and hey, they speak ill of him. Something along the lines of him always visiting other people’s countries and being too educated?

Anyways, as this democracy thing works, his senior who was his junior suddenly becomes his senior and starts promising the same things the old man promised so many years ago. Our people are elated, here we have someone who speaks our language, sings with us and even dances on TV and heck, it doesn’t matter if he’s not as smart as his junior who was his senior, we understood him. So we happily continue waiting for our houses and land and jobs and all the nice things the old man promised, because we figure that other people, the pale ones all have these extra things, so it’s not being unreasonable surely? Well, turns out the laughing, singing, eating, smiling guys in charge seems to entertain lots of other people from another country who amazingly become very rich, just the things him and the others were promising all of us for so many years.

Turns out he didn’t give us those things but preferred his new friends to us, so he gave them quite a bit, well actually, a helluva lot. Well, things didn’t work out so well for him either, so his junior was hired. Now, his junior is this bug-eyed, sweaty rotund person, that reminds one of the naughty uncle from prison our mothers warned us kids about. The one we had to avoid because he wanted to do ‘grown-up’ things with them. But hey, all the pale faces who by now started to look a lot like us, liked him because he spoke well and was rich, very rich like them. Now this junior seemed to know his way around ‘how to trade’ and quickly sent well-paid friends of his around the world to ask for money, because the previous guy in charge stole it all and broke things. Well, that’s rather odd because they, ‘The Authority’ are always telling us how rich we were, so how could he have stolen everything, surely that would make him the richest person in the country, isn’t it?

To be continued.. Part 1 of 3