Time Flies

News headline this morning said "Former president Nelson Mandela celebrates the 15th anniversary of his release from prison this week."

Geez - has it been 15 years already?

I can remember the run-up to his being released, the poll we voted for under the president before him, the excitement of the nation (and some trepidation) as change snowballed into the New South Africa. But it certainly doesn't seem like 15 years ago!

In many ways we're still getting off the ground as a nation, going through those "birth pains". There are still many (especially of the older generation) that struggle with issues of the past. The younger folk only know the now, the battles of the past are the tales of the elders. In other ways we've been around forever unchanged. Africa is an ancient continent, and the rocks and soil that our feet tread have been here beyond memory.

But there is a positive vibe in this place - an optimism that pervades society. Yeah, we have crime, we have issues, we have more than a few corrupt politicians. Other countries may try to tell us what's wrong with us, but we also see what's right. And many others do too - they keep coming back to this land because there's "something here".

It may have started with Mandela's Long Walk, or it may be the way our citizens just are inherently. No matter what our colour or culture, we've struggled with, against and for this land. It's ingrained under our fingernails and worn into our hearts. We are, collectively, South African. And proud of it.

A couple of South African blogs I'm currently reading (links don't open in a new window), in random order:
Schroedinger's Cat
The Other Side of the Mountain
Husbands Anon
(and his wife) Me Time
Aquila Online
Coming Down the Mountain
Pom du Cap