Category Archives: Culture

How Sports Helped End Apartheid

how-sports-helped-end-apartheid

Apartheid was a segregation system in South Africa in which people were divided according to their racial group. There were four racial groups in the country namely the whites, blacks, Indians and coloured. The whites dominated everything and were given more than what the other groups were provided. From medical care to beaches, education and other services, and even the best running sneakers, the white people were always superior to the other races.

This segregation began during the times that the country was under the rule of the Dutch Empire. However, it only became an official system after the election in 1948. In the 1950s, people who were against apartheid started to fight against the system, many of which resulted to violence. Opposing groups were banned and leaders who were fighting against the said system were put to jail. However, the opposition and resistance continued. Reforms were made in the 1980s but this didn’t stop the growing number of people who were fighting against apartheid. President Frederik Willem de Klerk began talks on the end of the apartheid system in 1990. It was abolished the following year, although it was only in 1994 that the non-whites were allowed to participate in the elections. Nelson Mandela was elected the President. He was the first black South African to hold the position.

The Role of Sports in the End of Apartheid

Aside from the resistance and oppositions of the non-whites, sports also played a huge role in the end of the apartheid system. Under the said system, South Africa had different sport institutions that were also based on race. For instance, there were different football institutions for whites, Indians, blacks and coloured during those days. White players had more support and got what they needed compared to the other races. This led the blacks, Indians and coloured to merge and create one football institution in 1951 so they could have more funds by sharing their budget and finances. It was named as the South African Soccer Federation (SASF).

The government even tightens the law concerning the segregation of races, making it even more difficult for these merged groups to play together. Competing in football games also became more challenging after a policy was made that opposed the merging of races in sports. Non-whites were not allowed to participate in international sports competitions and represent their country.

This didn’t stop people who were against apartheid to fight against the system. Media was used to expose the problems that the system had and questioned why non-whites could not join the South African team. Sports united the three racial groups against the white leaders that were not giving them equal rights. This sparked the sports boycotts that international sports organizations made on South Africa, which eventually helped in ending apartheid in sports.

International Sports Organizations that Banned South Africa Due to Apartheid

Several international sports organizations didn’t approve of the racial discriminations going on in the South African sports team. This is the reason why they banned the country from joining their competitions.

1. FIFA

Fédération Internationale de Football Association or FIFA suspended South Africa from joining the games in 1963. Proposals for an all-white and all-black team to join in the 1966 and 1970 World Cup respectively were also rejected.

2. Olympics

The International Olympic Committee did not invite South Africa to join the Olympics in 1964. After assuring that their teams would be made up of different races, they were about to be included again in 1968. However, this did not push through as African and other countries threatened to boycott the event if this happened. The country was officially removed from Olympics participation in 1970 as it was against apartheid sports.

3. World Chess Federation

The World Chess Federation expelled South Africa from joining the games as many participants protested against them because of their racial discrimination. It was only in 1992, during which apartheid has already ended, that they started competing again for the Chess Olympiad.

4. Golf

During the 1979 World Cup held in Athens, Greece; South Africa was banned, although they were able to compete again the following year in Caracas. The competition was cancelled the following year in Ireland because of their possible participation. Like with chess, they only joined the competition again in 1992, when apartheid was already abolished.

These were just some of the game organizations and events that banned South Africa from joining because of sports apartheid. This helped in ending the system as it put pressure on the pro-apartheids to end racism and give equal rights to non-whites to participate and represent the South African team.

Also read: How Nelson Mandela’s Dream Lives On

How Nelson Mandela’s Dream Lives On

nelson-mandelaSome people say that Nelson Mandela single-handedly changed the course of history.  Others refuse to think of him as anything less than a saint – a revolutionary man who led a group of desperately oppressed people through numerous bouts of civil turmoil. Either way you look at it, Nelson Mandela is an impressive human being whose dream still lives on in the minds and hearts of those who agree with his enlightened views.

Who Was Nelson Mandela?

For starters, the man was a philanthropist and a genius.  After all, his political positions on controversial civil rights issues lead him to become a beacon of hope for an entire nation of people.  Although he was threatened by numerous sources and ultimately jailed for 27 years, his legendary commitment to the fundamental rights of man ultimately made him a modern day martyr.

Mandela was eventually elected as the first black president of South Africa.  Although he passed away at the age of 95, his name is synonymous with undying courage today.  In fact, Nelson Mandela is recorded as saying, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”  Indeed, it was encouraging words like those which ultimately made Mandela’s dream of racial equality an international concern.

How Mandela Made the Impossible a Reality

In a time when establishing racial equality seemed like an impossible task, there was Mandela.  His inspirational words still ring true to this day, resonating in the consciousness of the entire planet.  “It always seems impossible until it’s done,” he would say.  While the nay-sayers and skeptics were constantly waiting for him to fail at his mission to free his people from the chains of apartheid, Nelson Mandela achieved what so many before him had said could never be accomplished.

How Nelson Mandela’s Dream Lives On

Nelson Mandela was such a successful world leader because he believed in the power of the educated and enlightened mind, and because he made sure to share that opinion with the world.  Despite the fact that he was imprisoned and persecuted for his views, he never gave up on his mission.  He never stopped believing that he had the power to change the world, and so he did.  It is that steadfast attitude which allowed him to not only make drastic positive changes but to also inspire future generations to do the same when the time came.  Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  He was right on such a fundamental level, as can be seen in the modern world today.  It is obvious that his dream lives on through those words alone, especially when one considers how successful non-violent, well-organized movements have been in recent years.  Nelson Mandela may no longer be alive, but in the right hands his dreams will most likely live on for eternity.

How Coffee Culture Took Over South Africa

coffee-cultureSouth Africans love coffee and they now drink more of it than they ever have before. Coffee culture started to boom in the nation quite recently, in 2012, and it continues to be a significant trend.

Today, South Africans love visiting coffee shops, although Starbucks aren’t found on every block like they are in North America! They also love preparing coffee at home.

Now, let’s talk in greater depth about how coffee culture took over South Africa…

What Caused the Coffee “Boom”

It’s believed that the rise of South African coffee culture is linked with the emergence of boutique roasting companies. Since coffee being produced in the country and imported from other nations is of a higher caliber than in years past, it is perhaps more enticing to South African clients.

As well, more choices are out there in terms of coffee machines, coffee grinders, coffee pods, coffee beans and ground coffee. This opens up a world of choices for even the pickiest South African coffee drinkers. Basically, global trends in artisan coffee production hit South Africa before 2012 and coffee shops started opening up in order to meet increased customer demand.

Statistics show that four times as many coffee shops existed in 2012 in South Africa than were present in 2007. This is a huge change. Most South Africans prefer independently-owned coffee shops with character and uniqueness and this is why Starbucks hasn’t made an aggressive foray into the country.

While Starbucks coffees are available for home usage, Starbucks coffee shops are in short supply and there’s no reason to anticipate any change in the future. VIPs at Starbucks understand that South African coffee fans want to support local coffee shops as a rule, so they hold back from building their coffee shops in the country.

The desire of South Africans to support independent coffee shops is admirable. It’s all about supporting local entrepreneurs. This aspect of South African coffee culture is an important one, as citizens of many other countries tend to go for convenience and low price, rather than paying a bit more for artisan coffee from independent coffee shops.

Coffee shops of all types are found in South Africa, including the popular Bean There coffeehouse, which features minimalist décor and tasty brews, as well as the fun and unique Shift Espresso coffeehouse, which allows visitors to dream up their own specialty coffees, by offering an array of ingredient choices, from Oreo cookies to condensed milk and beyond.

If you’re planning a trip to South Africa, be sure to enjoy many cups of coffee from independent coffee shops while you’re there. When you do so, you’ll love the taste and you’ll also be exploring one of the nation’s hottest trends.