Born ‘yawn’ free


In case you’ve never heard of the term “bornfree”, allow me to briefly explain what it is. As you may already know, South Africa since 1994 transitioned from a system of apartheid to one of majority rule. Citizens born from 1994 onwards are known in this part of the world as the born-free generation or just bornfees.

Now, I don’t mean to undermine the joys that freedom brings to an individual but after a while, all this “bornfree” rhetoric gets a little nauseating. I’ve lived in quite a few countries and nowhere is this whole “bornfree” stuff more hyped than here in South Africa.

Last night I had a drunken debate with some friends about it; among them three South Africans…none of whom were “born free” might I add. There was all this talk about “it’s time for the bornfrees to rise and excite the rainbow nation”…”the struggle heroes see their victories in the eyes of the bornsfrees”…blah blah blah. Like I said earlier, I’m not trying to undermine freedom, but at the end of the day, it’s just a concept. It’s the living that happens between these conceptual ideas that matters. Coining marketable terms to make yourselves seem different and more special than everyone else is just an unnecessary distraction and is borderline gimmicky to be honest. I mean WTF is a rainbow nation? Every country has loads of inhabitants from loads of varied backgrounds, cultures, tribes, etc. We live in a rainbow world which you’ll probably find is in a rainbow solar system. Shout out E.T. and friends out there. We see you.

The argument became very volatile as you can imagine. These types of debates always do…the alcohol doesn’t help either. But I stuck to my guns. Bornfrees are just people born in a particular period like those born in any other period. Being a bornfree isn’t anything you’ve achieved or a badge that makes you more special than those who came before you. Every country in the world has born frees. For instance:

Anyone born in Kenya after 12th December 1963 is a bornfree. Those birthed in Mozambique after 25th June 1975 are bornfrees too. In fact, anyone born in the USA after 4th July 1776 is a bornfree. Come to think of it, I was born in Zimbabwe after 18th April 1980. That means I too am a bornfree. Well, I’ll be damned. Who would have thought little old me would be a bornfree. I feel kinda different just thinking about it. I feel…I feel FREE!!! ☺

So yeah, if you think about it, every country in the world has bornfrees….well except for the Brtitish who were out colonising everyone…oh, and the Ethiopians too, what with the whole “never been colonised” thing. I guess the Brits, Ethiopians, and whoever else was never colonised or apartheidised could call themselves “ever frees”…or “always frees” whichever you think is catchier and more marketable. I’ll coin them both just in case.

I guess at the end of the day, if South Africans want to hype everything up, there’s no law against that. Born free, democracy, rainbow nation, etc. If it gets peole to smile at each other. I guess it’s worth it. But after a while of constantly hearing about it, you can’t help but yawn. It is after all just democracy. It’s not going to raise your kids or massage your balls after chemo…do balls need massaging after chemo? I dont know, but you catch my drift right?

Last night, after we all calmed down, one friend said to me, “at the end of the day, South Africa is a very unique country”. “Yes it is” I responded…”as unique as every other country”.

*just scribbling my international relations thoughts*

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4 comments on “Born ‘yawn’ free

  1. Reblogged this on movingblack and commented:
    I think it’s healthy to have a second opinion on most things. So here’s one on the generation of voters in the last South African national election, who were voting for the first time a few weeks ago and the focus of a lot of media attention. Being born after the end of apartheid, punters asked if the ‘born frees’ would vote for the ANC or if after twenty years in power and without Mandela’s physical presence, the ANC might lose.


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  4. Lethabo says:

    I totally agree with what you’re saying. Can’t stand all the boasting, bout being so special and born free. All it does is deceive us into thinking everything is alright, we are free and have the chance to achieve whatever we’d like to achieve. In reality none is the case.
    Don’t call me a “born free”. I’m not a “born free”. I grew up in the post-apartheid era, but that’s about it.


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