- Herman fondly recalls growing up with the children of the Zulu workers on the farm
- He says he doesn't remeber bitterness because he was young
- His story reminded Mzansi that hatred is taught
A elderly South African man shared his fondest childhood memories, which reminded South Africa that hatred and prejudice is not inherently within us, but is taught and inherited. Herman recalls pleasant memories from his childhood days on the farm, when he would play with the Zulu children and workers in his community.
Herman shared a fond memory of his friend, George, who used to work for Herman’s mother helping out in the kitchen. He shares how all the Zulu people who lived and worked near him soon became his family and taught him important lessons about nature and life, Briefly.co.za found.
Herman says that in his day, many white children played with the Zulu kids and shared each other’s knowledge and experiences. He fondly recalls how the kind-hearted Zulu kids would freely give and share whatever they had, believing that any little thing had enormous value.
He says that he learnt about understanding nature and the environment from his Zulu playmates. He shares how the people in his community would tell stories and superstitions about their environment, and how easily they could tell different plants apart for their medicinal uses.
Herman reminisces about the beautiful myths and legends that his friends would share with him, which gave him an imagination that could create the most exciting worlds.
Herman recalls how his younger sister was taught to weave red mats. Impressed when she showed some talent in it, the girls brought his sister her own loom, homemade and full of character.
More importantly, Herman recalls that he learnt morals, modesty and ethics from his Zulu family.
Fondly recalling Karina, a woman who helped raise him and his sister, Herman writes,
“I remember how my sister had conversations with Katrina. Now that I am older, I often wonder what Katrina really thought of us. I know she loved us like her own family. But still, we were different, and there were significant things that often went unsaid.”
Although Herman writes that he was unaware of the differences between him and the other Zulu kids, his is just one story in an anthology of heartbreaking, heartwarming and inspiring memories from the past era.
“Perhaps I remember it differently because those were still my childhood years. But the way I experienced it, it did not have much to do with colour. It had to do with culture. Inside each other's homes, we had little common ground.
We were still separated by the deep canyon of the ages. Two cultures that would greet each other across the abyss, exchange gifts and shake hands at times, but never cross entirely. We were after all, still citizens of two separate worlds.”
Herman’s story served as a beautiful reminder to South Africans that it is never too late to build on past relationships and work together to create a pure vision of a united Africa. His story encouraged other South Africans to share their lovely experiences growing up with children from diverse backgrounds.
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