Apartheid, racism, discrimination. We hear all these words and many people are having serious trouble with it. But most of us, the bystander just watch that happen. Apartheid was a harsh and difficult time for the Africans. Treated like slaves and toys by the whites and discriminated just because they were ‘different’ from them. In English, our unit is about the relationship between text and the real world and for the past few weeks, we have been researching and finding information about the apartheid in different perspectives. First as a reporter, then as kids living in the world of apartheid, and lastly as the president of South Africa. We looked at different text sources like feature article, historical fiction and a movie based on true events. First I researched about a Nelson Mandela and wrote a feature article.
We first focused on these 4 subjects; Apartheid, Nelson Mandela, Colonialism and Soweto Uprising. I researched about Nelson Mandela and wrote a feature article of him. Feature article is a news article, with all the real facts, but it has more emotion and more interesting than news. Before I did a research I only new he was the first black president of South Africa. Throughout my researched I found accurate, precise facts, with dates and names of the real people involved in that event. This made me know more about Nelson Mandela and about the real life problems he had. When I was researching, I came across some harsh event and facts about the apartheid. These fact made me feel bit scared because all the facts I read are mostly real, and it happened just few decades. The emotions I feel when reading a facts is very different to the emotion when I read a book. When I read a fact, I feel shocked, or surprised or even scared sometimes, but when I read a book, it makes me feel sad, and angry and sometimes happy. I think stories stops you from knowing facts and information about the historical event, since the reader is more concentrated about the character instead settings and background information. I think researching for facts gives you a clear and detailed fact that would help you learn more, but it might be not interesting for some people because its just facts and most of them are bit plain and boring. after we researched about apartheid, we changed our text style from fact to historical-fiction.
Next we read a book called ‘Journey to Jo’burg’ written by Beverley Naidoo. This book was about 2 black kids, Naledi and Tiro. Their little baby sister is sick, and they need their ma’s help, but she is working in Jo’burg which is far far away from their house. As you read they meet new friends, encounter problems relating to apartheid and learn the relationship between people and races. In the story, all the character were very interesting, since they had a real life problem and felt so real, even though they were fictional character. Story was based off of a real event like the apartheid and the Soweto uprising, but they were told indirectly, so if I didn’t know what Soweto uprise was or what apartheid was, then I might not understand the story completely. I didn’t get clear, precise information from story, and a specific names and dates, but I got to learn how the kids and the people felt during the apartheid. I think stories teaches you more about how people felt when they were in the event, and it makes you empathize about the character and feel sad or angry rather than shocked or overwhelmed. Stories might not give clear informations and you might even need to know about it before you read it, but it makes you think more about apartheid than facts. I also think stories can change your thinking. You might first don’t feel that bad about the apartheid, but after you read this book, you might feel mad about apartheid. Maybe if more people read books about these problems than just reading a fact about it, people will start to think differently and it might make a cause to change the world to make it a better place. After we finished reading the book, we changed our perspective from a average black kids to the president of South Africa.
Lastly we watched the movie called ‘Invictus’. The movie is about the first black president, Nelson Mandela and the South African rugby team Springboks. After South Africa became a place for both black and white, it became a equal place but not everyone was happy about it. In this movie you can see how apartheid related with rugby and how the black and white work together to try to win the rugby world cup. The main character was Nelson Mandela and it was very interesting to watch his life style and the problems he faced after becoming the president because I thought everything was happy and going great after he became the president, but actually it was not. This movie taught me that apartheid can relate to almost anything, even sports. But because it can relate to anything, it can help the black and the white to unite. Nelson Mandela used rugby to unite the South Africa. One of the quote I really like from the movie, is when Francois said to the reporter,
“David, we didn’t have the support of 63,000 South Africans today, we had the support of 42 million South Africans.”
This really touched me and I felt attached to Francois and Nelson Mandela, but also the South Africa it self.
I think movie is a great way to learn someone or a event because it gives you out the clear images and its way more interesting than just reading a boring fact. But movies can confuse people for what is real and what is made up. Thats a disadvantage for the movie because it can give you false information, or misunderstand things.
In conclusion, I learned about apartheid and racism through historical-fiction, facts and movies, found out different informations through fiction and non-fiction. By researching facts, I got to find detailed and accurate information with specific dates and peoples name, which well help me understand what the apartheid was, but most of the facts are straightforward and bit boring, and some people won’t find it very interesting to read a paragraph full of uninteresting things. When reading ‘Journey to Jo’burg’ I learned how average black kids lived like during the apartheid. Reading stories makes you empathize about the character and feel the same way as Naledi and Tiro. Stories can teach you how people felt when they were living during the harsh time, but you need to know what apartheid was, or you might not understand the story well. Watching a movie helps you learn a one specific event or history, and it gives you a clear image of what is happening. Watching ‘Invictus’ taught me that Nelson Mandela used rugby to unify South Africa. I think all of these text style are good for learning but I think researching is the most useful text style to learn things, since when reading a book, you have to research about it to understand the story, and when watching a movie, you have to research before to know what is true and what is made up.