South African people need each other - that is all

24 April 2013 - 14:54 By Nikita Ramkissoon
Image: Nikita Ramkissoon

I’ve been a bit irate with the banter going on after the ‘Blacks need white people’ reader opinion piece was published.

This country, for all its utterly messed up past, very dubious present and highly uncertain future, is the rainbow nation for a reason. Every race is part of its beauty, and every race is accountable for it.

Yes, we have a seriously disastrous history. Yes, the white man came here and messed shit up. Yes, the majority black party that is in power right now is messing shit up. But now, it’s time to shut the hell up about race, look past skin colour and get over ourselves.

We need each other.

Black people don’t need white people. Black people don’t need black people. Indian people don’t need white people.

We bloody well need each other, else this country would be, well, boring.

When I was almost hijacked, I gave a full description of the hijacker and his breaking-down getaway car to the cops. He asked me after my detailed description: “So what was he?”

I didn’t understand what he was saying.

“What was he?” The cop repeated it a couple of times before asking: “Black, white, coloured, Indian?”

Then the penny dropped. I described a person right down to the scar on his left ear, but never mentioned his race.

It was a white lady who heard my screaming and made me a cup of tea while waiting for the cops. It was a coloured lady who brought me a blanket and a black man who lent me his cellphone to call the cops.

What were they? All South Africans who wanted to make it better for a little Indian girl who had just had a gun held to her head.

Race didn’t matter then. It was humanity that mattered.

And it’s not our race that matters – ever. Though it does play a huge part in our upbringing, worldview and philosophies (to an extent), it’s the fact that we’re all looking for a way to make South Africa a better place.

We’re all frustrated with our current government, and we’re all very, very hurt by our past, but there is a future ahead of this country that is so colourful, I can’t wait to see what happens with the next generation.

But first, we need to get over our hang-ups about the past and see past the pigmentation to get to the colour of each others’ souls.

I seriously can’t remember the race of the guy who held me at gunpoint. He could have been black. He could have been coloured. He could have been Indian. He could have been a foreigner. I don’t know.

What mattered was that all races came to my aid and that is the future of this country.

We need each other. That is all.