2020 South Africa 80s'
By Tom Brown
There have been many stories and books movies and documentaries about struggle heroes freedom fighters and the terrible suffering under apartheid and courage of our people but another side of the story ended up being very neglected.
This is a description of life from viewpoint of a young white male South African in the time of the struggle and has very little to do with race or racism.
The army the church education and sport were solidly fused in high school.
Cadets in high school were every week we were issued a uniform like real soldiers beret army shirt and shorts to wear every wednesday and they took it to the extreme.
Marching in full sun, learned survival skills even target practice all of it almost like in the real army. Mostly marching and each wednesday three hours I think it was. There was a school military band. All this supposedly preparation for compulsory military service there were camps too every year army style. Playing soldier-soldier.
This “cadets” was often abused and boys victimised by teachers “officers” cowards chasing us around and all over. And public caning because your shoes were not shiny enough or your hair was “too long”. On the spot pain and humiliation. They don't do that in the army.
Girls marched a bit had many serious pep talks also, nobody knew what this was on probably how to be a dutiful wife loving mother decent member of society and good christians. Perhaps they learned some useful stuff like needlework knitting and cooking and ironing who knows. Maybe? Could be essential knowledge like family planning but I doubt it.
All this of course was thorough brainwashing but I think Afrikaans schools had it worse.
Verwoerd is called the architect of apartheid but with his assassination the white people were at loss. Without strong leadership they did not know what his plans actually were and where he wanted to take the country. The system affected almost every aspect of society it was incredibly efficient. It was during the cold war, a time of faith and hope and courage in the west.
The real enemy was communism and they spoke of the total onslaught and the great black danger the “swart gevaar”. South Africa had been of a handful richest countries in the world in gold reserves but this changed overnight with America abolishing the gold standard.
There were many new scientific discoveries and inventions such as high quality colour tv, video machines, pinball abolished as gambling, then tv arcade games and skateboards the first computers microwave ovens soda water machines.
New were walkmans as portable tape players while it was urgently warned, and sadly it was so and internationally “home taping is killing music” and the prophetic “the day the music died”.
The rock music of the 80s was brilliant and for the reason that the industry could and did make a great deal of money out of it. Eventually I fear films are going the same way as well and as all the more much more blatant propaganda.
While young men of even 16 and 17 were given guns and trained and were dying and killing people in the border war, the age restriction on the film “The Wall” was 21.
A large contributing factor of my insanity was the little stars and many young men suffered. It was the duty of the sensors the “sensuur raad” to paste little stars on the girl's nipples in every girlie magazine and scrutinise all films and music and editing wherever necessary. They were absolutely fanatic and relentless in their hunting out of these offensive subversive Nipples.
Everything was so new and exciting everyone looking forward with expectation. We were to have a moonbase by 1999, colonised Mars and sent manned missions throughout the solar system and beyond. Robots were to be commonplace and computers understood ordinary language and spoke fluently. Friendly spacemen aliens and UFOs everywhere. Yes and think of a cell phone and the amazing wrist watch "beam me up Scotty!" It was that hole in the ozone and facing the energy crisis.
Tea party old ladies everywhere down to children believed the whole enemy and totality of evil was embodied in the “One” and the satanic cult the New Age. The end of the world and judgment day were expected with the millennium (New Year's 2000) with the arrival of the antichrist soon followed by the second coming. Clearly this popular doomsday scenario was helped on by many popular films.
Everything was so new and exciting everyone looking forward strong of faith and expectation. As it should be, everything was so new and weird and wonderful. Of course that easy fascination was also because we were young. Forever young.