By: Jabulile Mpanza
When writing a politics piece, one has to be careful so as to not step on any loosely exposed toes in a democracy whose press has come under much scrutiny. Ironic is it not, that the media that is meant to be the critic tool has now come under the microscopic glass itself. I write this article, hoping to escape a few bullets that may come from those whose opinion may differ; it is after all ‘a free country’.
The question I aim to explore is whether or not South Africa is ready to be governed and lead by the model C generation. Is the next step in the growth and development of our country one that is ready to accept the “twang’ and the ‘you-almost-sound-white’ black leader, who grew up privileged with a silver spoon in his mouth? Now before you quickly answer that with a sentence that begins with “our rainbow nation should embrace…” I deem it vital to investigate a few imperative ideas such a question may overlook. I would like to begin by defining the model c child and what sets her apart. Secondly, I want to look at her place in modern society and whether this is embraced by a majority of the population.
The “Model C children” is commonly known as the South African child who attended a suburban or multiracial school. This child is said to be more articulate than his township educated mate and expresses herself better in English than her mother tongue. The Model C or “born free” as they are commonly known are those with no connection with the apartheid struggle, except the stories from relatives and the brief history lesson in grade five. They know not the lifestyle of worrying where the next meal may come from or only wearing shoes to school or to church on Sundays. This is the generation that finds no fascination in the Carlton Centre building as malls and shopping centers have become a norm in almost every neighborhood. The Model C prides herself with her level of education and strives to be more than just a wife one day. This individual has white friends, sleeps over at their homes and is not even scared of their dogs (well, not always).
Merely through the illustration of the model C prototype, one is able to assess her position in society. When comparing her to the vocal political representatives of this nation, the difference is undeniable. From the accent to the background, differences exist as the rural or township lad represents the image of a vast majority of the South African population. The born free who did not attend the white school, who was without the multiracial circle of friends, yet fought against all odds to be somebody, knows suffering and sacrifice thus her story resonates with more people. Both have been afforded the opportunity to be political leaders in their own right, both may be ready, well-informed and passionate about serving the South African people, however it is usually only one who receives a warm reception when taking the stand.
The Model C in her own capacity is prepared. She may not have the harsh and heart-wrenching story, but she is ready. The only blemish in her quest, one that she has no control over, is the lap of luxury that she was born into. People tend to affiliate themselves with other people with whom they share common interests with, usually people who sound like themselves or have similar attributes. The Model C may have the bow and arrow in hand, ready to strike, however the target is not yet in position, next better player please!