Words by Kenisha Taylor
He spent 27 years of his life in prison fighting for the ideal of freedom. When he was released he changed the world’s views on apartheid, inequality and discrimination. However, it is debatable whether he was the only obstacle that prevented the restart of apartheid. Upon Mandela’s death, the question is, could the apartheid regime return? If so, could it happen within this generation?
If a video were to emerge now showing violence between black and white South Africans it would be quite easy for the media to suggest that it was only Mandela keeping their savage behaviour at bay. Without Mandela, and following this chain of thought, it would be possible to justify the need for blacks to be separated from whites as a means of survival. This type of video would go viral and there would be global outrage. People would watch the video, maybe share it on Facebook or Twitter but wouldn’t act to change anything.
This generation can be ignorant when it comes to research. Many people don’t even know who Mandela is or understand what he did for South Africa. Apartheid officially ended in 1994 – this just goes to show how much has changed within 20 years. However, the internal prejudices are still there.
Equal opportunities cannot exist when people still hold internal prejudices. I believe this simmering conflict will spark an uprising – perhaps not this generation, but maybe in the next. As people increasingly forget what Mandela stood for, and as they only remember the racism and inequality, tension will build up and a new system will arise. It may not be apartheid but something may change now that Tata Madiba has gone.
Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (Lord bless Africa).
Kenisha Taylor was born and raised in Manchester and studies History at MMU. She enjoys playing netball and basketball, travelling, and visiting various UK cities with her church for social events.