Me, Hlabirwa and our host for the evening are out eating supper at the restaurant Spur. It´s a very cold summer evening but the Afrikaners still sit with their compulsory shorts barefoot and the African people sit with their 5000 kg meat. They are happy and smiling, as if the problems were none. And maybe they are if one compares it to how it was. While we´re eating we talk about our guide we had two months earlier who sadly passed away one month ago. That super charismatic gentleman that repeated every statement 437 times so you never ever could forget it. He had been a police during the apartheid era but it was nothing he told us then. Our host tells us about it and the time our former guide had arrested a man for raping a black man. In the end our guide got fired. Not because he had arrested the guy to violently or wrongly. He was black and had arrested a white man.
In that case it was just a rape but basically a white man could murder a black man in front of a police if he was black. And this is 22 years ago. When I look around in the restaurant I see that we three are still the only table with both blacks and whites but otherwise everyone is mixed. Our host sits in front of me and I realise when I hear his age that two thirds of his life he has been forced to live that primitive life without any rights. And now we sit hear. Even if the journey just begun we have still reached far and in that moment I felt that all throughout my body like a missile of happiness penetrating me from top to toe. We are on our way.
One of our hosts is a rich 38-year-old man. He has been working in the minds for a long time as an engineer and has now one of the top positions within the mining in South Africa. It´s nothing strange with that, except that he´s still quite young for those achievements. But when I thought of it closer and the fact that during the apartheid blacks could only educate themself to either nurse or teacher. “When did you start your university studies?” In fact he was, together with his colleagues, the first black engineer in South Africa. Then add that he has made a comet carrier. The future is beautiful.
South Africa is a country with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, one of the most murdering countries in the world and one of the countries with most alcohol and drug abuse in the world. Add the corruption and one will have an ugly picture of this country. But it´s also the country were you sorrow your dead fellow a whole week, with one of the biggest nature resources in the world and it is the rainbow nation where people accept one another. Not fully yet, but I can only imagine how amazing this country will be in the future. It is beautiful.
The meetings I experienced here also inject hope in me. I have just touched or passed by so many people’s lives and souls. But that short reunion of our existent is enough for me to carry on my faith that the future is beautiful for the whole world and especially for South Africa. The goodbyes tears me emotionally apart because I realize that I only got three months to share my life with this people. But I know that we´ll always stand by each other’s sides and hold each other’s hands fighting and striving for a better world. And when the time is right, we will meet again, either in this life or the next. Until then, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.