In the 19th Century the continent of Africa was known as the Dark Continent because nobody really knew much about it. Today, in the 21st century the perception is that it is still the dark continent but for different reasons. I am writing this as a concerned white Christian South African of our continent.
As we look at our continent today there is hardly a region that is not involved in some conflict of some nature or other. There are about ten million refugees throughout Africa and I believe that this is a very conservative estimate. Just think of Ruanda, Darfur-Somalia, the Congo, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast and Ethiopia to mention just a few. We have read about and seen on the news of some of the terrible atrocities that have been committed by humans against other humans. In most cases these have been black on black violence. In some instances they are religious confrontations but more often than not it is just plain tribalism and black racism. The politicians will have you believe that tribalism is no longer an issue. I have bad news for them; it is very well and alive on our continent.
Politicians are forever talking about the legacy of colonialism and apartheid and are always looking for retribution in the form of massive payouts. This grandstanding is to hide their own short comings in the way they are running and governing their countries. In real life the Congo has been “free” since about 1965. Where are they, fifty plus years down the line. They are in a big mess, fighting and killing each other and, in all probability along tribal lines. Zimbabwe has troops in the Congo supposedly keeping the peace. Rumour has it that they are actually looking after Robert Mugabe’s diamond mines. Who is the colonialist Mugabe or the Belgians.
Just for the record I am of Irish, Scottish, British and German extraction. I have no love for the British. My wife is Afrikaans and Middelburg in Mpumalanga where we live, was one of the British locations for a concentration camp for the Boer women and children. There was incidentally a concentration camp within a stone’s throw from where the Boer women and children were held for black people. Records show that over 900 Boer children died in this particular concentration camp. No wonder the Afrikaans people have no love for the British. The Afrikaans people through hard work and diligence took over South Africa in 1949 through the ballot box. They were a very important part of the engine that built up South Africa into Africa’s foremost economy.
I would appeal to my fellow South African citizens to stop looking for retribution for past deeds by the British and Americans. Forget it; they are not going to compensate you. The politicians and those with an axe to grind will fan the flames of hatred with their constant rhetoric on this particular issue. Hate, like jealousy and greed, are emotions that are all consuming and are likely to destroy you. In any event if there was a massive payout what assurance do we have that the politicians would not further line their nests? I think you will now realise that I have very little love for politicians. They are masters at diverting attention away from the real issues in our country at which they are performing so badly. Here I refer to service delivery, crime, education, job creation and health to mention some without going into too much detail.
As an English speaking South African I was also victimised by apartheid. It was difficult for me to get a job in the government of the day. I certainly was not really a supporter of the apartheid system. My mother was a member of the Black Sash movement. Anyway, enough of the doom and gloom. In South Africa we profess to be a predominantly Christian country. There is a solution to our problems that we face in this country of ours, and indeed, through the whole of Africa. There is a wonderful piece of scripture which can be found in 2: Chronicles 7: 14 and this reads as follows:
” If My people who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and I will heal their land”.
Is this not a wonderful piece of scripture with a very specific message. God does not say I may forgive their sin and I may heal their land. He emphatically says:
” I will forgive their sin and I will heal their land”.
In conclusion, should we not turn from our wicked ways, humble ourselves and truly pray and seek his face asking for His forgiveness so that our beautiful land can be restored and healed.