Rest in peace our dear, beloved, democratic South Africa, 1994-2020.
She was barely 26 when death’s cruel hands ripped her from us.
Still an infant in the greater scheme of things, but destined never to fulfil her potential it seems, her life was the stuff of fairy tales, and nightmares.
She overcame indescribable hardship, wooed the world and proved that dreams can come true.
But she fell from grace, her death barely mentioned by the world’s media. No obituary in the New York Times or The Guardian – only a mention by some obscure columnist on page 13 of a local paper.
Even before her birth, her imminent arrival was celebrated; her first breath anticipated around the world.
She was utterly adored and, as a toddler, showed immense potential. The world would surely be her oyster.
Gifts rained down on her – gifts of biblical proportions. And the wisest of men proclaimed that she was indeed a miracle child – one that would set the masses free and bring dignity and wealth to the oppressed.
And she could have.
She should have.
And she most definitely would have, if she had only reached maturity.
But fate is cruel and darkness can extinguish even the brightest light if the guardians of future generations dare forsake their duties. And so it was with her.
Slowly but surely, her potential was wasted on selfish exploits aimed solely at enriching a few.
She really did become the prodigal daughter, ensuring a life of wasteful extravagance for only a few, while the hopes of the majority were quashed.
Eventually, she was forced to fend for herself, alone in a world where crime became the norm, celebrated in the guise of liberty, but sucking the very life from her.
And all the while, the world watched, but did not act.
Whenever her masters demanded more of her, she provided, ultimately burdening herself with a weight too heavy to carry.
It was the last straw that broke her.
So, rest in peace our dear, beloved, democratic South Africa, 1994-2020.
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