Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Department of Colored Opportunity
By Nicole Hodnett

A man of 16 waits to complete his arithmetic exam for his apprenticeship. He has a heart of gold and the intelligence that had the potential to exceed boundaries. He has one thing in mind when completing it,

‘I am doing this for my family’

According to South African history, South Africa was colonized by the English and Dutch in the 17th century .English of the Dutch descendants (known as the Boers and Afrikaners) resulted in the Dutch establishing the new colonies of Orange Free and Transvaal.

With the enactment of Apartheid laws in 1948, racial discrimination was institutionalized. Race laws touched every aspect of social life, including a prohibition of marriage between non-whites and whites, and the sanctioning of ‘white jobs only’. In 1950, the Population act required that all South Africans be racially classified into one of four categories, black, white, Indian and coloured.

According to South African History, long before the inception of apartheid ‘Coloured ‘people in South Africa occupied this precarious position between white and black South Africans. This position was intensified during Apartheid by the creation of a separate identity, reinforced by the various apartheid laws that strived to keep racial groups apart. Some of these laws included the Mixed Marriages act, immorality act and the Group areas act.

As a journalist of the arts I get inspired by everything I witness whether its good or bad. I still take it as an experience and inspiration for my future articles. My inspiration for choosing to be a journalist was an inspiration from my parents and everything they went through to get to where they are today. Apartheid was a true struggle.

I spoke to that man that was once 16 years old as he sits in his home.

“If I lived in your age of generation, I would of definitely went to University, but coloured men were limited with what they wanted to study’, he said.

Back in the day opportunities were limited for the person of colour. Nowadays with Democracy in our grasp, the world is our oyster.

A man of 60 waits at his daughters PhD graduation at the University of Cape Town .He has a heart of Gold and the intelligence that he passed down to his children. Even though opportunity was restricted for him during apartheid he always had this in mind,

‘I am doing this for my family.

His name is Stanley Hodnett and He is my father. I love you daddy!!!



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