Today, South Africa is called « the rainbow nation » because it is known as a multiracial and multicultural nation. But it hasn’t always been like that…
In 1948, Apartheid took place in South Africa. It means « apart » or « separate » in Afrikaans which is a language spoken by white people from Deutsh origin in the country. It was a system of legal racial segregation which separated black and white people.
The black people had to live in townships whereas the white people could live in the city. For example, Soweto is a famous group of townships in the South of Johannesburg which became more famous in 1976 because of riots between black students who protested against the government and the police.
Nelson Mandela stopped it when he was elected as president in 1994. Thanks to him, things have changed because he thought sport could unite the country.
Consequently, some people could think violence and riots haven’t happened since this election but they are wrong. There is still a persecution against the black. For example, white police officers have shot a black man in the public toilets.
But now, contrary to the past, there are more positive points than negative ones ! South Africa can be characterized by one word : diversity. Indeed, there are 11 official langages spoken by different people : 79% which are African, 9% coloured, 9% White and 2,5% Indian, on a population of 52 millions inhabitants. Moreover, there are 3 capital cities : Pretoria is the administrative one, Capetown the religious one while Bloemfontain is the judicial one.
Likewise, lots of tourist who went there said if we went in the streets of Johannesburg by night, we could observe, all the people drinking, eating and playing together, whatever their coulour or their nationality.
That’s why South Africa’s nickname is « The Rainbow Nation », even if sometimes, a segregative spirit may remain…
by Valentine Le Pan, Siobhan Martinez De Leon & Léa Raina