Africa vs South Africa
How do you find the difference between a Ford and a car? To find the differences between Africa, and South Africa, which is a part of the African continent, albeit it’s southern tip, is just as difficult as differentiating between US and America as a whole. However, despite being a part of Africa, there are differences in culture, language, currency, political and social structure etc of South Africa that will be highlighted in this article.
South Africa is a melting pot of races and cultures, and it is not a monolithic society. This is perhaps the most important factor that differentiates it from rest of Africa. Another point of difference lies in its history. Though Africa is unequivocally regarded as the birth place of humans, South Africa is one country in the continent of Africa that is believed to be a cradle of human civilization with evidences of human existence as early as 170000 years ago. However, Europeans first contact with this southern most nation in Africa was in 1487 when Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu reached the tip of Africa.
The difference in culture between South Africa and the rest of Africa can be attributed to the fact that it was conceived as the Union of South Africa (a dominion of the British Empire) in 1910. It comprised preexisting British colonies of Orange Free State, Transvaal, Natal, and Cape. It became the Republic of South Africa only in 1961 with the adoption of its own constitution. Despite having a black majority, the country was ruled by whites and the members of the parliament were mostly whites. Till 1961, the crown was represented by a Governor General, but after that it became a republic, it severed all ties from the Commonwealth and followed the policy of apartheid that was condemned by the world in unison. It took decades of struggle by Nelson Mandela and his Congress party to bring to end apartheid. Mandela himself became the President of the country post apartheid signifying the collapse of apartheid once and forever.
What is the difference between ?
• Despite being a part of Africa, South Africa has remained different from the rest of the continent, as it was under British control,
• Despite having a black majority, traditionally, the country was dominated by white minority,
• Discrimination against blacks on the basis of their skin remained a prominent feature in South Africa, and a talking point in the world for a long time, until the struggle of Nelson Mandela brought an end to apartheid.