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Globalisation and the importance of multi-ethnic stories

Kgebetli Moele, a South African writer best known for his novels, Room 206, UNTITLED, and The Book of the Dead, writes about the effects of globalisation and the importance of engaging with our stories in this multi-faceted country:

There was a man who once wrote a book and titled it Cry the Beloved Country, and then another man, amazed by our fake selves, said: “Oh! But your country is beautiful. Why would a country as beloved and as beautiful as our South Africa ever have to cry?”

It is when we lose ourselves. When we unknowingly become void because we find ourselves replaced by others and other countries. We absorb their culture, subconsciously and consciously, and then we are no more ourselves but only shadows of others.

Rather, we need to hear and tell our own story because it is our story that will nurture us at this tender age. It is that story buried within us that can individualise us as a nation and a country within this Global Village of cultural colonisation.

It is our story that needs to be told to empower the future leaders of this beautiful country to understand and love this beloved nation. It is that rhyme, rhyming in our heads, that needs to be harvested so that the music and the rhythm can be our own and allow us to have a stand in this Global Culture.

So if the solution begins here, with a story, let us read as farmers turn old trees to rejuvenate them! Reading is not a culture foreign to us, our grandparents told and retold great tales that we all related to, interrogating our inner beings while we were laughing and smiling. The tales made us moral for we were nurtured by these great tales to be better human beings. It is that tale of Tsodio, he who killed his brother, the tale of what had happened in kwaZulu-Natal that we now have the thousand hills, tales of that woman who created a language with what she had – a language that became the youngest language in the world. These are the tales that tell us who we are, and, if we don’t tell them, will become the tales that we don’t know.

This is a call to arms in our country of beautiful multiplicity and beloved multi-ethnicity: to read of ourselves because, to do this, is to love ourselves, and reading is the rain of wisdom and the resulting water is the knowledge that nurtures the green that sprouts out and yields love, power and pride.

Read to your young ones so that we may recoup ourselves from those that have so impaired our minds and thinking ability, so we remember how much beloved and beautiful we are.

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