Tags (Key Words): South Africa, books, good books, ‘Beyond the Miracle‘, Allister Sparks
Follow the dream
“It is not given to every generation that it should be present during and participate in the act of creation.“
– former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki (April 1997)
“Mandela’s dream was of a non-racial democracy, and this book is a realistic assessment of the status of that dream as the new South Africa nears the end of the first decade.
But Sparks also suggests that it is much more than that. South Africa also represents a unique negotiated resolution to a historical conflict that had its roots in rival claims in sovereignty over the same piece of national territory. Whose country is it? This is a conflict that repeats itself in many of the world’s most intractable trouble spots – between Israelis and Palestinians, Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, Greeks and Turks in Cyprus. In that respect particularly, Sparks suggests that the great South African experiment is of abiding global importance.”
As Nelson Mandela was to write In a foreword to a book by Wilhelm Verwoerd (a grandson of the chief architect of Apartheid, Hendrik Verwoerd) about his political conversion:
“May this record of personal courage inspire us all to join hands with one another in building a nation, in which each and every individual feels at home.”
From “My Winds of Change by Wilhelm Verwoerd (Randberg, 1997)
“It was time for me to return as well. I felt a need to be more directly involved in the transformation of my country, which I had analysed and written about and advocated and longed to see take place for so many years.”
About the author:
Allister Sparks is a fifth-generation South African, born and educated in Eastern Cape Province. He was editor of the Rand Daily Mail from 1977 to 1981, and South Africa correspondent forThe Washington Post, The Observer and Holland’s leading newspaper, NRC Handelsblad, from 1981 to 1992. He was named International Editor of the Year in 1979, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting of racial unrest in South Africa during 1985, and won Britain’s David Blundy Award for foreign reporting in 1985. His first book, The Mind of South Africa, won South Africa’s 1990 Sanlam Literary Award, while his second, Tomorrow is Another Country, formed the basis of a three-part television series on South Africa’s political broadcast by BBC2 and the Discovery Channel. His most recent book Beyond the Miracle – Inside the New South Africa was published in 2003. In 1992 Sparks founded the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism, in association with the University of the Witwatersrand, to upgrade the standard of journalism in South Africa. He lives in Johannesburg with his wife Jenny Gandar.
Thanks for the great book, dearest mom
Pursue the dream , YOUR dream with passion and persistence
Dreams can and DO sometimes come true
Shared by craig
Let’s look for solutions closer to home
While it has become fashionable to extol the virtues of the fast-growing BRIC countries I would like to suggest that we cast our gaze a little closer to home.
Published: 2010/10/27 08:51:18 AM
While it has become fashionable to extol the virtues of the fast-growing BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — and for our policy planners to enthuse particularly about the “developmental state,” which they seem to regard as a blueprint for economic success yet have still to define it properly, I would like to suggest that we cast our gaze a little closer to home.
To Africa, no less. Ten years after The Economist in its notorious cover story declared Africa to be “The Hopeless Continent,” McKinsey and Company, the prestigious global management consultancy, has rated it as delivering the highest rate of return on foreign investment of all developing regions.
“Global executives and investors cannot afford to ignore this,” the company writes in its latest quarterly report. “A strategy for Africa must be part of their planning.”
Now I am not trying to decry the merits of the BRIC countries. Brazil in particular has long fascinated me, both by the way its departing President, Lula de Silva, succeeded where Thabo Mbeki failed, which was to take his radical socialist party through an amazing policy U-turn to produce stunning economic success, while at the same time bringing his followers with him to the point where they are not denouncing him for betraying the “national democratic revolution” but applauding him as he leaves office with an 80 percent popularity rating. That is what I call masterful political leadership.
I have long believed that what is now recognised as the Lula formula offers developing countries the best prospect for success – using market economics to generate the wealth needed to sustain a healthy welfare state, which can take care of the most vulnerable elements of society.
Tony Blair coined the phrase, “The third way”, and it captured imaginations for a time. But then Blair’s ego ran away with him as he sought military glory by following George W Bush into the Iraq war which he thought would bring quick “shock and awe” success, but turned instead into a catastrophic quagmire that has weakened the whole West — and in the process sadly discredited Blair
’s policy idea along with the man himself.
’s population lived in cities; today 40 percent of the continent’s 1-billion people do. That has brought about a considerable expansion of the labour force. The continent now has more than 500-million people of working age, and by 2040 that number is expected to exceed 1,1-billion.
’s urban population is expected to rise to 50 percent of the total, by which time the continent’s 18 largest cities will have a combined spending power of $1,3-trillion.
’s annual private infrastructural investments have tripled.
– the year the boom phase ended and the global recession began. This surely gives a flattering impression of comparative performances.
Man is a great wall builder
The Berlin Wall
The Wailing Wall of Jerusalem
But the wall most impregnable
Has a moat
flowing with fright
around his heart
A wall without windows for the spirit to breeze through
without a door for love to walk in.”
– OSWALD MTSHALI, Soweto (South African) poet
from ‘My Traitor’s Heart’ by Rian Malan (published by Vintage 1990)
A story of miraculous transformation through a “negotiated revolution“: “the birth pains of a new nation struggling to emerge from the ashes of it‘s scorched past.” (As Pamela Cox said so well)
“Whilst we can (and should) cherish and celebrate our ‘unique’ differences, let not our different beliefs divide us, but let the Spirit of our shared humanity be what defines and unites us as common inhabitants of our planet.”