When Obama was yet to become president, I remember sitting anxiously in lecture, watching our laptop screens plastered with maps of the U.S. covered in red and blue. Who cares what Marx and Durkheim had to say, when the future of our country is at stake. Unlike in South Africa and in most places of the world, Americans don’t get the day off to vote and commiserate afterwards in a divey Berkeley bar where they can freely yell at the TV screen with their fellow Obama supporters.
Flash forward to 2016, and it’s the day after what many journalists are calling the most important election since 1994. I’m not talking about Hillary and he-who-shall-not-be-named, but the municipal elections in South Africa. This election will determine if the African National Congress, the liberation-cum-political party now seeped in corruption charges, and service delivery woes, will continue to capture the majority. Their main opposition? The Democratic Alliance, a party many South Africans feel does not promote undoing the inequalities set forth under the apartheid regime. (There’s also this party, but that’s another story that I won’t justify with another word.)
I’m not able to vote in this election, but an electoral map, in all kinds of colors, covers my computer screen as I watch anxiously again the future of the country, one that I have grown to love and call home. Off in a corner, a small minimized window of pessimism follows the rand-dollar rate and I wonder what Vivas! we will sing later this evening when the final votes are tallied.