6 November 2008

A Change May Have Come

A Change Is Gonna Come is one of my favourite songs of all times. It’s been remade several times but maybe with the exception of Otis Redding, no one has quite put as much feeling in it than the original singer and writer of the song Sam Cooke. The song was made in a different time during the North American civil rights movements and many of the people who felt the words since their birth are no longer here, but change is - finally. Well, we hope that the change is here, but in all honesty some change definitely has already happened. It’s the change in climate. Not environmental, which we don’t like so much, but in a political climate. I welcome that.

The South African political analysts already commented that there isn’t so much to be expected directly for Africa from Obama’s presidency. The man inherits wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and awful mess of an economy which may keep him busy for a good while, and the job description of the post he applied for is tricky. Contrary to popular belief I don’t think he’s a superman and I don’t think that’s pessimism, but realism. I still feel that he’ll be a great leader and that the change is very positive and international dialogue will almost definitely improve.

But for South Africa there is more. Elections are knocking on the door in less than a year and this weekend will see people registering to vote. I will participate in that only as my wife will have to register in our new area, but it’s exciting nonetheless. It’s exciting because of the new climate. Not only has there been a new winds in SA politics in a form a new political party, which may or may not be better than the old ones, but at least it forces sides to be taken and everyone to step up their game. It is a beautiful moment in a history of young democracy as far as I see it. It is also new as voting, through the circus that is US election process has become probably a lot cooler for young people and change is seen as a possibility, not as a theoretical concept that would be nice if it ever happened.

Of course, change is not a new phenomena for South Africans. Out of all the countries this one has seen some amazing changes in our living history and that revolution is still ongoing. A lot of great things have happened since Mandela took the office, but now, these recent events here and elsewhere may give this forward movement a new momentum; a new excitement and hope. I firmly believe that it is all good for the people who have long suffered. In never dying words of Sam Cooke: It’s been a long time coming but I know the change is gonna come - Yes it will.

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