Reflections on Cape Town South Africa

I recently came back from an exciting trip to Cape Town South Africa. There were many highlights of these journey which includes, spending time with the people that you love, observing and wowing at the wonders of God’s creation, the beauty and strength of wildlife animals, two different but blessed weddings and lots of sea food! One of the exciting things about Cape Town is that it has lots of stunning scennery to remind people that God masterfully and creatively design this part of the world. The beauty here is not artificial but natural such as beaches, mountains, lakes, waterfalls and so on. But as we travel round the different parts of the city, I cannot but help observe the effects of aparthied and its devastating legacy on the people.

Aparthied was officially abolished in 1994 through the efforts of the then  President of South Africa Frederik Willem De Clerk culmination in Nelson Mandela becoming the first democratically elected black president. While it is fair to say that since then, aparthied has been politically stopped, in that an end was brought to racial segregation, from my observation, socio-economic aparthied still exist. This is in the form of where people live, what jobs they do, thier circle of infleunce and friendship, what transport system they use or chose to use and what school they attend or what kind of education is available to them. For example, I observed that most of the restuarants we ate in had black people serving us while it appears that the managers were white. Another example is that people serving us at the petrol station were either coloured or black (coloured as used during the aparthied regime is not a synonym for black but used to describe a people group based on their physical features as such hair and lighter skin. They will be similar to what we referred to as people from mixed heritage). As we travel around, we saw huge mansions, villas, and really big houses owned mostly by white Afrikaans or Europeans, while most coloured people appear to live in equivalents of council estates and black people lived in shanty towns. This could be a generalisation as there are few successful coloured and black people, but the point is that you could easily tell the difference in terms of where people live.

As I read the local news paper, one interesting article (Selective Amnesia Poisonous for SA by Professor De Vos of the University of Cape Town) I came across was about how some white elite in the society will like the country to move on by having selective historical amnesia. That is, they would like to forget those bad things that happened during the aparthied system and romanticised the past. This is sad as I do not think there could be a forward movement with such an obvious effects of aparthied still well written in the streets of South Africa. One hopes that the struggle for political freedom and socio-economic equality will continue so that the labour of the likes of Steve Biko will not be in vain!

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About israelolofinjana

Rev Israel Oluwole Olofinjana is an ordained and accredited Baptist minister and has pastored Crofton Park Baptist Church (2007-2011) and Catford Community Church (2011-2013). He is currently the pastor of Woolwich Central Baptist Church, a multicultural church in south east London. He is Nigerian coming from a Pentecostal background. He holds a BA (Hons) in Religious Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and MTh from Carolina University of Theology (CUT). Israel is the editor of “Turning the Tables on Mission: Stories of Christians from the Global South in the UK” and author of “Reverse in Ministry and Missions: Africans in the Dark Continent of Europe” and “20 Pentecostal Pioneers in Nigeria” He has spoken in a number of conferences regarding reverse mission and Black Majority Churches (BMCs) and has also contributed to academic journals and Christian magazines on the subject of Black Majority Churches (BMC) in Britain. He is currently co-opted as a member of the Baptist Union Council. Israel is also one of the Directors of Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World an initiative design to train and equip pastors and missionaries from the South. He is a member of the Global Connections council. When he is not preaching or writing he is playing with Lego! He is happily married to Lucy who works as an administrator and research co-ordinator for the Evangelical Alliance. She is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), earning a BA in Social Anthropology and International Development. Lucy loves baking and watching movies!
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