The ethics of genuine friendship (and breaking barriers)

What are the markers and demands of true friendship? Particularly friendships that bridge divides such as race, class, culture, sexuality and other identities.

Writer and commentator Sisonke Msimang believes the structure and emotion of friendship can build respect and foster reconciliation in South Africa.

She says it is important to remove denial from interracial friendship and instead acknowledge the differences in lived experience, power and privilege.

In a society like South Africa, if you don't see race, you're either not telling yourself the truth or you're trying to wish away something about the other person you want to be in a friendship with.

Sisonke Msimang, writer and commentator

According to Msimang, friendship is more than just about fun and lunch dates.

She says that true friendships require an empathy that recognises race, class and other divides - not one that seeks to ignore or make invisible.

Friends are also people from whom we draw great strength and from whom we expect great sacrifices when it is necessary to happen.

Sisonke Msimang, writer and commentator

Meanwhile, journalist Karyn Maughan has been reflecting on her experiences of friendships and the support needed on both ends.

She explains that friends should love you enough to challenge you and your assumptions of the world.

As soon as you start understanding the realities that exist beyond the frame of your window, life becomes so much bigger, so much more extraordinary.

Karyn Maughan, journalist

Maughan maintains that it is not that difficult to forge friendships outside of one's own values and demographics.

I realised that I can't be a tourist in other people's existences if I call them my friends... It's about showing up. Being present in people's lives and knowing the realities of their existences in a way that genuine friendships require you to do.

Karyn Maughan, journalist

Take a listen:


Recommended

by THE NEWSROOM
Read More
Callers weigh in on racial profiling and what constitutes racism

Callers weigh in on racial profiling and what constitutes racism

CapeTalk listeners have shared their opinions on the most recent incident which has been labelled a race row in the Mother City.

Bungalow restaurant feels the heat after referring to patrons as  "2 Blacks"

Bungalow restaurant feels the heat after referring to patrons as "2 Blacks"

The restaurant is adamant that a repeat of this incident, where patrons are identified by race, will not happen again.

Leon Wessels: On racism and hope for the future

Leon Wessels: On racism and hope for the future

Former NP politician Leon Wessels talks to Melanie Verwoerd about racism in South Africa and how the nation can move forward.

Another lewd Facebook rant over Durban beach goers

Another lewd Facebook rant over Durban beach goers

A Joburg man's 'racist' Facebook post causes an outcry and Saldanha Bay residents accuse the DA-led municipality of racism.

Coffin assault accused denied bail

Coffin assault accused denied bail

The presiding magistrate said it is not in the interest of justice to grant bail and their lives may be in jeopardy if released.

Twitterstorm and charges opened over Hout Bay woman's 'racist' Facebook post

Twitterstorm and charges opened over Hout Bay woman's 'racist' Facebook post

South Africans have responded with outrage to the offensive comments made by Cape Town local, Vanessa Hartley, on Facebook.

Teachers called out for racism at Pretoria Girls High

Teachers called out for racism at Pretoria Girls High

Disciplinary and mediation processes have begun to make the school more accommodating of racial and cultural diversity.

White South African raises money for coffin assault victim

White South African raises money for coffin assault victim

Lizzie Allan says this is a concrete way of showing not all white South Africans are like the racist men who assaulted Mlotshwa.

Racists and bigots 'minority voice' in SA, says Institute of Race Relations

Racists and bigots 'minority voice' in SA, says Institute of Race Relations

Too much media attention is given to bigots - mostly online, and they do not reflect the true attitudes of all in SA, says SAIRR.

Popular articles
NICD: Listeriosis cases rapidly rising in SA, death toll at 172

NICD: Listeriosis cases rapidly rising in SA, death toll at 172

National Institute for Communicable Diseases says all cases traced back to the same bacterial strain and source needs to be found.

'Foreshore development plan will exacerbate spacial and social divide'

'Foreshore development plan will exacerbate spacial and social divide'

UCT planning expert raises concerns over bidder's proposed plans for Foreshore development.

UK issues terror warning against SA after Brit couple abducted in KZN

UK issues terror warning against SA after Brit couple abducted in KZN

The British gov issued a travel advisory‚ warning of possible attacks when traveling to SA, after a UK couple was kidnapped.

Saps: Attackers spared 5 female cops in Ngcobo police shooting

Saps: Attackers spared 5 female cops in Ngcobo police shooting

E Cape Saps says they are investigating the murder of five police officers and one retired soldier at Ngcobo Police Station.

How to make your first million

How to make your first million

Warren Ingram discusses his new book in which he shares practical ways for ordinary people to achieve financial freedom.