I’m going extinct. Talking about my white skin in South Africa…
With my mom dying, my dad retiring and my lungs have become ultra-sensitive to irritants in my home town of Knysna (e.g. smokers), I’ve spent a lot of the ‘holidays’ thinking about death and, more importantly, how to make the most out of life.
Colour is overrated. I wish we were all coloured so that we had to be honest why ‘we’ hate one another… and be forced to point fingers at ourselves instead of others.
But I do find colour interesting e.g. that extinction I was talking about. 23.7% of 65 to 69-year-olds in South Africa are white. That drops radically when looking at those in the under 5-years-old demographic where only 4.7% are white (80% drop in whites as a percentage of the population). There are now more coloureds than whites from birth to the age of 34.
What has been a radical shift!
The average age of a South African is 24.9 years – that’s insanely low. As a comparison, Japan’s is 44.7 years. Our high child versus low adult rate is made worse by the high school drop-out rate.
Our average age of death is 49 years!!! We rank 209 out of 222 countries on the CIA’s life expectancy list. That’s 49 versus Monaco’s 89.73, Japan’s 83 and Cuba’s 77.70. Even screwed-up countries live longer than us (Gaza Strip – 73.42, Egypt – 72.12, Iraq – 69.94, Ethiopia – 55.41, Afghanistan – 50.11). People in neighbouring Botswana live 12 years longer.
There is something fundamentally, and disturbingly, wrong with our country. Statistically, if we don’t fix it, our country’s future is looking tragic.