In 1977 I was 8 years old. I knew nothing of Apartheid. All I knew was that Cape Town was beautiful, and we could afford a large house with a garden (as opposed to the tiny flat at the top of many, many stairs, where we’d come from).
We had a full-time nanny, one rand was worth as much as one U.S. dollar, and we lacked for nothing … except TV because back then the South African Broadcasting Television only broadcast for about 2 hours in English and 2 hours in Afrikaans every day. (Since I couldn’t understand either language at that stage, TV didn’t impact my life much!)
It’s hard for people to understand that South Africa is a very large country with 9 distinct provinces. Cape Town was spared most of the riots, police clashes and other human rights abuses which happened elsewhere in the country. We did not know what was happening at the time due to the total censorship of the media. (more…)