The Christian Science Monitor

Not just apathy: Why young South Africans are skipping a big election

For Jabu Simelane, things were supposed to be different.

Yes, when he was born in 1994, his mother still mopped the floors and scrubbed the toilets of white people. Yes, his father still laid the bricks to build their houses.

But Jabu, their youngest son, was going to grow up in a different world from what they had. A world where Nelson Mandela was the president instead of being a prisoner. A world where the people in power looked like them, and spoke for them.

Apartheid was over, and as the couple rocked Jabu to sleep in their tiny Johannesburg cottage, a new South Africa was rushing in to take its place.

Suddenly the son could go to the same posh suburban public schools as the family his

Post-apartheid expectationsNot voting, but politically active

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor2 min read
Antidote To Coronavirus Fears: Trust In Leaders
The global outbreak puts a useful spotlight on governments that have built up credibility, transparency, and other traits of trustworthy leadership.
The Christian Science Monitor2 min read
Katherine Johnson: Remembering A Brilliant Mathematician, Role Model
Katherine Johnson blazed a trail into STEM for women and minorities through a three-decades long career at NASA.
The Christian Science Monitor3 min read
Next Up For The World’s Museums: Social Responsibility
Post-Hurricane Dorian, the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas offers an example of an evolving art world.