I am an Afrikaner, I have no leader

June 15, 2009

I am an Afrikaner, I have no leader. I am in a tribe at the southern part of Africa, although people from my tribe have spread out all over the world by now. The second last leader my people had, was an oppressor, a tyrant, a racist. The last leader my people had was a liberator, a freedom fighter. The second last leader we had said: “Apartheid will never end”. The last leader my people had said: “Let us free Nelson Mandela”. But now I have no leader. Our last leader gave away the position of Afrikaner leader so that the oppressed can be free in South Africa.

My people seem to think we have no heroes. They sing of a guy named De La Rey, who lived 100 years ago. Some say that we sing of De La Rey because there has been no heroes after him. But they make the mistake to read history as the story of those in power. Because we have heroes. They are the thousands of Afrikaners who fought against the oppressive system called Apartheid. They are the thousands of people who could take advantage because they were Afrikaners, but instead they chose to fight the system that made them important. Those who were willing to give their position of privilege by fighting their own tribe who was oppressing others, they are the heroes that I have.

I come from this tribe that had people who fought even against their own flesh and blood because they believed in equality. They might have been a minority, but they are my heroes. I am an Afrikaner.

2 Responses to “I am an Afrikaner, I have no leader”


  1. I am an Afrikaner too. With ancestors who fought and died for noble values and ideas… like you descibe.

    But here’s my take on the leadership issue: why do we have to follow a leader who looks, thinks and speak like we do? Does that type of ‘ethnical’ bond implies that someone will be “my” leader?

    I am an Afrikaner. I have a leader. He is from a different tribe. He has different roots. Some of his values and beliefs are much different than mine.
    But he is my leader by choice – because the world changed too much to still believe and long for tribal leadership…

  2. cobus Says:

    I don’t think I’m implying that I need an Afrikaner leader. on the contrary. This is just part of struggling with accepting my own heritage, and making that part of this African conversation.


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