In many societies there are certain conversations that are taboo or that, by the very nature of the topic, are glossed over with platitudes and empty statements. In southern Africa, “race” or rather racialism and racism are increasingly regarded as topics that seem to be left undiscussed publicly. Not because “race” isn’t an issue, but rather because it is such a divisive issue.
When the story of institutionalised racism in southern Africa is told, it is often through the lens of the scourge of apartheid that directly affected South Africa and Namibia (then South West Africa). Few know, or appreciate, that the colonial enterprise was inherently racialist and so, even in countries where apartheid was not called apartheid, it still existed. A rose, after all, by any other name is still as sweet. In this case, not sweet at all.
It is against this backdrop that a conversation on race…
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