« prev   random   next »

0
0

Some Reflections On South Africa 40 Years After My Arrival


303 views  11 comments             share      

by ohomen171   $0.10 total tips   💰tip   follow   2021 Apr 19, 4:26am  

#southafrica40yearslater Yesterday was a day to reflect on what has happened in the 40 years since the Swissair flight from Zurich dropped me in South Africa. The airport was called Jan Smuts Airport. It is now called Oliver R. Tambo International Airport.
I found myself finally in Africa. I had dreamed of coming here since I was a university student with a dear college friend from Zimbabwe named Mutizwa Chirunga. I saw no jungles or wild animals. Johannesburg is a lot like Denver. It is 6000 feet above sea level. Even 40 years ago it was amazingly modern. I had no hotel reservations. I sighted a shuttle with a familiar name-Holiday Inn. I got on and was taken to the hotel that still exists to this day. I checked in and rested. That night I went down to the hotel dining room. Ironically it was called "The Confederate Room." I met two incredible British people named Graham and Sue Harris. We became fast friends.
Early 1981 was a heddy time for South Africa economically. Gold went to $800 US per ounce. One South African Rand equaled $1.00 US. (As of this morning you would need 14.25 South African Rand to buy a dollar.) It was also a sad time when Apartheid was still in place. Africans and Indians were hit with terrible discrimination. Chinese, on the other hand, were called "Honorary Whites" and treated decently.
After five days in the hotel, I rented a room in the home of a wealthy woman architect in the upscale suburb of Northcliff. Her name is Barbara Broadhurst. We stayed friends for many years afterwards.
I worked at an insurance brokerage named Price Forbes Federale Volkas. I had an Audi company car with all expenses paid. I lived the life of white privilege with servants in the house, etc.
I soon learned that all was not well in this seeming "paradise." South Africa was engaged in its own Vietnam war in Angola and Southwest Africa (later Namibia) The six o'clock news often contained reports of young men killed "on the border."
Fear and unease permeated the air. South Africans believed a scenario about the Soviets taking over South Africa. In their minds, a large fleet of Russian Navy ships would appear off the coast of South Africa. The Soviet equivalent of the US Marine Corps would storm ashore. Russian aircraft armed with nuclear warheads would circle overhead. An ultimatum would be given: "Surrender or face nuclear annihilation."
The US and Europe would view these events as deeply disturbing. They would not come to South Africa's defense because they would not see it worth starting World War III. All would be lost.
I soon found a life with a different party every night. It was,as the old saying goes: "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die!" If a man met a woman and did not try to take her to bed on the first date, his sexual orientation was questioned. Under the puritanical laws and attitudes was a wild sexuality. Everyone, South Africans know how to party and have fun!!!
Let us fast forward 40 years. South Africa survived the difficult transition to black majority rule. It has some economic and political problems. The crime rate is high. It is surviving and viable. My old employer is still going strong. It is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as Price Forbes (Pty) Limited. My company Waltradecc is still active in South Africa. All the old buildings that I knew well are still around. My beloved Indian restaurant The Curry Tavern is long gone. Anna you and I still have an investment presence in South Africa. It is good to have a story with a somewhat happy ending.
1   Heff   2021 Apr 19, 4:42am  

"...difficult transition to black majority rule. It has some economic and political problems."

Really?
2   AmericanKulak   2021 Apr 19, 5:08am  

Heff says
"...difficult transition to black majority rule. It has some economic and political problems."


From Liberalese into Normal Talk: "SHOOT TA KILL DA BOER".

Check how many Rand you need after Apartheid, to the dollar.
3   HunterTits   2021 Apr 19, 6:47am  

MisdemeanorRebellionNoCoupForYou says
Check how many Rand you need after Apartheid, to the dollar.


About as many rapes happen over there.
5   RWSGFY   2021 Apr 19, 8:07am  

Heff says
"...difficult transition to black majority rule. It has some economic and political problems."

Really?


It's a nice way to say "the country has turned into a shithole".
6   komputodo   2021 Apr 19, 8:44am  

ohomen171 says
I lived the life of white privilege with servants in the house, etc.

White privilege...LOLOL....I think he means the life of a financially well off person..
7   komputodo   2021 Apr 19, 8:45am  

I'm sure the infrastructure has vastly improved since the change.
8   RWSGFY   2021 Apr 19, 8:45am  

komputodo says
ohomen171 says
I lived the life of white privilege with servants in the house, etc.

White privilege...LOLOL....I think he means the life of a financially well off person..


Now Mandela's offspring live "the life of white privilege".
9   just_passing_through   2021 Apr 19, 8:50am  

komputodo says
White privilege...LOLOL....I think he means the life of a financially well off person..


Ate lunch with a S. African white guy and a guy from India at work a few years back. Both lefties, knocking gun owners. Later, they both started complaining that they couldn't get servants here in the US.
10   RWSGFY   2021 Apr 19, 8:51am  

just_passing_through says
Later, they both started complaining that they couldn't get servants here in the US.


What? Not enough illegals?
11   just_passing_through   2021 Apr 19, 8:53am  

It seems illegals aren't slavey enough.

Please register to comment:

about   best comments   contact   latest images   one year ago   suggestions