A new generation

I ‘VE often wondered about what makes people hold on to their past. And more to the point, what makes people unwilling to change and move on with the present.

I’m thinking specifically about the racial and cultural divides in our country. Before you all groan and click the X tab… I want to say that I’m encouraged.

There’s a burgeoning youthful generation in South Africa that’s free. Young people who look like they’re free. It’s not that they’re colourblind – they see colour and they see culture. But it’s not steeped in baggage. They see each other and accept each other as they are.

It’s a generation of sons and daughters who are leading their fathers and mothers. Influencing them to cross the divides. Showing them how it’s done. And it’s exciting.

I love Joburg. It’s cosmopolitan. It’s a society in which you can walk into most social environments – restaurants, cafes, hotels, pubs – and there’s black, white, Indian, Asian and everyone else at a table, having drinks together, sharing life together.

Durban has an underground culture like that.

About two years ago, the RCB played a show at Alliance Francais in Durban. It was a memorable experience for me. There were about 50 people in a small venue, on a Friday night. They were sitting around tables and there was a beautiful cosmopolitan sea of faces. Young faces. A generation who was there for a good time and the music. A generation that was there for a shared experience.

That evening rocked. The gig was amazing, but the togetherness was on a different level.

I’m excited. There’s a new dawn on the South African music scene, and it’s being birthed from the psyche of this generation. It’s going to start influencing and shaping policy. It has the power to change the economy in direct and indirect ways. And more than anything, it’s going to change lives for the better.

Why move forward while looking behind you? As of this moment, we are free. The possibilities are limitless. Anything could happen now.

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