The cultures of the Whites
Although official policy said that South African Whites were part of the same community, in reality, their economic status, their history, their language and their culture separated the Afrikaners and the English. Each of these communities had a lifestyle similar to ours and some preserved the traditions of their own country. In spite of their differences, the British and the Afrikaners were united in their desire to maintain political power. They did this in spite of democratic principles in a country where 75% of the population was Black. For example, Whites controlled television and most newspapers.
The languages spoken by Whites were English, for people of British heritage, and Afrikaans for Afrikaners. Afrikaans is a language derived from Dutch.
In spite of everything, many White artists engaged in the anti-apartheid struggle. Writers such as Nadine Gordimer and André Brink described and criticized life under apartheid. Some White musicians like Johnny Clegg, also defied the regime and continued to perform with Black artists, especially in jazz clubs. Johnny Clegg, whose real name was Jonathan, was a White singer-songwriter (of English origin). He had grown up in South Africa under apartheid. In the 1970s, he teamed up with Zulu musician Siphno Mchunu with whom he created music that mixed Zulu culture and western tunes. During the 1880s, Clegg and Savuka, along with their group known as Juluka, would know worldwide success with their Métis songs that denounced the apartheid regime.
Author: Alexandre Lanoix
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