The winds of change
It was in February 1960 that British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan delivered his historic “Winds of Change” address to the Parliament of apartheid South Africa. The speech was the clearest declaration of intent on the part of the British government that it was ready to loosen its iron hold on African nations which it had conquered as part of its vast empire. It was a time when many African nations had begun to rise up against the colonial master in a determined push for freedom and the right to selfdetermination. In his speech, Macmillan spoke of “the winds of change blowing through the continent [Africa]”. Not only did the apartheid government ignore Macmillan’s unsolicited advice, but it held out for another 30 years.
Now, in 2018 SA, a wind of optimistic change is again blowing – not just through SA, but through the subcontinent. I was recently among those fortunate enough to hear former American President Barack Obama’s Nelson Mandela Lecture at The Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg. Memorable as it was, however, it was our own President Cyril Ramaphosa who made the biggest impression on me – not so much for what he said, but for the standing ovation he received from the crowd as he stood to introduce Obama. One sensed the palpable relief that our nation once again has a President we can trust and be proud of.
As I write this, Zimbabweans have just voted in a landmark election in their country. For the first time in nearly 40 years, our northern neighbours can believe in the possibility of real change. It’s remarkable that despite the country’s violent history, Zimbabwe’s latest transition has been relatively peaceful, although serious questions must be asked about the legitimacy of the election process and the subsequent provocative rhetoric by opposition leaders.
In Angola, the man nicknamed “J-Lo”, President
João Lourenço, has embarked on a project to transform a country modelled in the image of his kleptocratic predecessor, Jose Eduard dos Santos.
He’s systematically dismantling Dos Santos’s vast patronage network and hasn’t spared the former President’s family in ringing the changes. In our Spotlight on Africa feature in these pages, Victor Kgomoeswana also examines the new wave of optimism which is sweeping through East Africa.
I also draw great inspiration from the stories of people like Khosi Jeffrey Ramovha, who’s embracing entrepreneurship in a bid to uplift his people. Check out our Entrepreneurs feature for more about his ambitious plans for the village cluster of Mulenzhe in Venda. Coincidentally, our Powerhouse feature is about another Venda man from Limpopo: Ndavhe Mareda, the driving force behind the Makole Group, a burgeoning conglomerate which has its roots in the construction industry.
And then there’s our cover story. Love him or loathe him, there’s simply no ignoring rebel rapper Drake. Having defied almost every stereotype that defines the genre, he’s charted his own path to success, crafting a unique sound and identity which has catapulted him to global superstar status.
Enjoy – and happy Heritage Month!