South Africa's identity crisis: Do we know who we are?

Friday Stand-In Ndumiso Ngcobo spoke to Professor Elirea Bornman about which identity South Africans connect with most.

Are South Africans experiencing an identity crisis? Is there a tension between an individual cultural identity vs a common national South African identity?

CapeTalk/702’s Friday Stand-In Ndumiso Ngcobo spoke to Professor Elirea Bornman, Department of Communications Science at UNISA about which identity do South Africans connect with most.

The results of the 2012 Development Indicators Report shows that the percentage of people who see themselves as Africans increased from 18.4% in 2004 to 29.1% in 2012. The report also suggests that the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup could have partly contributed to this increase in national pride.

According to Professor Bornman ethnic identity is often our primary identity. She says people often choose their ethnic identity more than the national one because it’s so much closer to people’s hearts.

Listen to the full conversation below:

National identity is so large it doesn’t give the same kind of social support that the ethnic or cultural identities give.

We can only be South African as long we feel safe also with regards to our ethnic identity

When people say I’m 100% Zulu they claim their culture and language and a relationship with a certain part of the country.

We can only be South African as long we feel safe also with regards to our ethnic identity

We can only be South African as long we feel safe also with regards to our ethnic identity

We can only be South African as long we feel safe also with regards to our ethnic identity

This article first appeared on 702 : South Africa's identity crisis: Do we know who we are?


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