“We were foolish to think we could build a society without first determining which beliefs we had in common. We put what we thought was the best version of our collective beliefs into the Constitution and took the next steps for granted.”
So writes Zama Ndlovu, a social activist, columnist, working professional, founder of Youth Lab and vanguard for the #badblacks. In her book A Bad Black’s Manifesto she talks about failed education and revolutions, dating on the interwebs, white people and their braais, women’s empowerment and Black Consciousness and identity.
Ndlovu, who currently works at the National Planning Commission secretariat, makes a call for a collective ideology in South Africa in her most recent column for Business Day, reflecting on the results of a lack thereof in our modern context. She writes that old debates about the country “have grown stale” and that “the time has come for new participants, a younger crop of exceptional leaders, to reimagine SA”.
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We can continue these unproductive debates or we can decide to build a country that has a place for all of us. Our survival depends on the bravery to suspend our preferred blueprints to genuinely interrogate alternatives.
However, too many are invested in this destructive political economy, negotiating in bad faith to detonate an already volatile situation. SA is structurally and morally unsustainable; we should all be willing to agree on that at the very least. Nothing fruitful can come from a discussion between people who will not acknowledge this, nor let go of their tinted glasses. Arguments over old ideas have grown stale, and are impotent against the challenges we face.
Clearly, the time has come for new participants, a younger crop of exceptional leaders, to reimagine SA. These leaders are already here.
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