(The myth of) The New South Africa


I certainly don’t want to wander into racial politics in South Africa – this is an extraordinary complicated subject that I really know nothing about.  But I do want to share a brief anecdote that was both a little funny and a little sad.

A few days ago I was sitting with two friends (one white and one black) at a bar near the beachfront in Durban.  An English man came up to us, quite excited, and asked to take our picture.  He said he was so pleased “to see this demonstration of the New South Africa.”  I wasn’t going to say anything, but my friend laughed and gave the punch line: none of us were actually South African (American, Botswanan, and, well, me).  The man didn’t ended up taking the photo and walked away somewhat disappointed.

Maybe the New South Africa is here… maybe it’s a continual pursuit. But either way, it’s apparently photo-worthy whenever it’s spotted.


One comment

  1. Kewal and Neeta Saluja

    Great piece – I wish you would have taken the photo and posted it – it will be great to see where the world is heading to – porbably no religions, without race, opportunity for education and intelletual advancement, and sufficent health care support for everyone.

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