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I (Zac) had the opportunity to interview three people from three different racial groups about apartheid this month. Some of the results weren’t quite what I expected, for example, I was shocked that a young black lady described apartheid as,“fine.” Maybe its because she was born into apartheid and grew up with it so she didn’t know any different, but I couldn’t help wondering whether things have actually changed that much since apartheid, in terms of education, living conditions, job prospects and opportunities, for her or other black people.

The white woman I interviewed shared how her friends and family didn’t really talk or think about apartheid, it didn’t affect them. The media was censored and black people weren’t seen very much because of restrictions as a result of the Group Areas Act. I was not surprised to find that white people enjoyed the best education with facilities such as science labs, libraries, sports fields, swimming pools, tuck-shops, as well as the basics like toilets and classrooms etc. Coloured schools weren’t as well resourced as white schools, but, to quote the coloured lady I interviewed,

“…they were also not as poorly resourced as the black schools – so we were really in the middle.”

The black woman I interviewed was educated along with 60 students in her class (I know some of the classes Soul Action works in have as many as 90 pupils).


The black lady was very happy when Nelson Mandela was to be released in 1990.

Interestingly, the coloured lady said that she wasn’t that interested in politics, whilst the white lady said that it didn’t affect her that much – she didn’t even know who Mandela was at the time.

Zac, aged 13


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