By Donald Kip
Lessons from my South Africa Visit
For my December 2018-January 2019 Summer Holidays, I spent it in Cape Town, South Africa. As for each country that I visit, I study their History and its current state and what Kenya can learn.
South Africa is Africa’s most advanced and richest economy. Oooh, don’t worry about the statistics placing Nigeria as Africa’s biggest economy…. Without Oil, Nigeria will be Africa’s biggest slum.
South Africa’s economy is due to the ingenuity of its White Population. With little water and mostly stem arid land, RSA is the bread basket of Africa. Its wheat, maize, fruits and vineyards are unrivaled in Africa. South Sudan, DR Congo and Nigeria have more arable land and more water but can’t even grow tomatoes.
South Africa Cities and especially Cape Town where I stayed are planned and organized. I didn’t see kiosks or hawkers in Cape Town. I never missed water or power even for a minute. Government Hospital within your walking distance is World Class. And so are public schools. In the upmarket areas of Camps Bay, Constantia and City Bowl, maximum height is two floors.
My only fear for South Africa is the ill-informed fight by its black population. Blacks falsely claim that South Africa whites are foreigners. History shows that indeed, Whites arrived in Western Cape nearly 300 Years before the Nguni (Zulu and Xhosa) established themselves in Natal in 19th Century. Whites and Blacks engaged for the first time in the Battle Of Blood River in March, 1838.
South Africa Union as we know it now, came to being only when the sovereign states of Cape Colony, Orange Free State , Transvaal and Natal came together on 31st May, 1910. Before 1910, there was no South Africa. Without the Union, most Blacks would have had Natal only.
What can Kenya learn? For 55 Years, we have been independent and nothing much to show. It is time, we opened our borders to Europeans. I suffer no inferiority, but we have nothing to show we will succeed. I have argued repeatedly that we can experiment by allowing Malindi, Diani, Lamu, Naivasha and Nanyuki to be “ceded” like Bali to Italians, Central Europeans, Germans, British and British/Dutch respectively.
We have been unable to follow basic Planning Laws. We can’t supply water to Kenyan homes. Power is intermittent even though we have no industries that consume power. The Hospital nearest to you can’t do open heart surgery. There are no roads in a Northern Kenya. We can’t feed ourselves. Corruption has killed the soul of the Nation.
Kenya awaits its Jan Van Riebeeck moment.