Human Rights Day, as that is what this day signifies in South Africa, but how relevant are our human rights in South Africa in 2016, with our country in so much turmoil? The #FeesMustFall campaign not seeming to reach its end, three months into the year and the struggle still continues. Racial slurs amongst black and white South Africans on the rise, and xenophobic attacks on an all time peak. 22 years into our democracy and we call South Africa a liberated country… But how liberated are we? When will all of this come to an end? When will the human rights of all those that live within this country be recognised?
This day is meant to bring unity amongst South Africans who share the same history of apartheid, where certain individuals of our country were subjected to more rights than others, leading to a lot of bloodshed and lives lost on this day 56 years ago. However it seems we are fighting a losing battle as when we think we take five steps forward into our healing, we actually find ourselves being pulled seven steps back.
Today we celebrate the rights of South Africans, but how many of those South Africans and all those that live within this country actually rip the rewards of those rights? Having people being compared to animals, having non-South Africans living in South Africa being called derogatory names and then burning them down because they don’t belong in this country. The question is: who does? As the truth is we all are foreigners in this country in some way, trying to find our own way through.
The honest truth is: this country is not yet uhuru, and it does not seem like it will be anytime soon. In order to change this country into what our forefathers fought for all those years ago, the change will need to start with one individual, who will then influence the next to change. The rights of South Africans are not yet liberated, and the unfortunate fact about it is that our issues stem from deep within.
As we celebrate South African Human Rights Day today, may you be the change that you would like to see in this country.
Happy Human Rights Day South Africans…