You'll need luck, Mr Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

President Cyril Ramaphosa wants to improve race relations in South Africa. Good luck to him. We'll continue having strained race relations in this country for as long as racist whites continue to think they know what is good and bad for black South Africans.

I once posted a tweet suggesting that English cricketer Ben Stokes seemed to abuse black cricketers more. It was my personal opinion.

A white South African posted a reply saying my tweet shows that black South Africans can't see anything beyond colour.

I was shocked because I'm very capable of defending my opinions and I also didn't understand why my personal opinion had to affect fellow black South Africans. But then again, if you analyse history and social networks, we've always been defined by what racist whites perceive of us.

I guess it's one of the reasons why black people continue to be paid less than white counterparts for exactly the same job. Maybe this is because they know our needs.

This is the reason why our great musicians and actors die penniless. It gets crazier in areas like Xolobeni where people are fighting over whether they want mining or not.

What troubles me is when white folks, who are outsiders, forward arguments that the lifestyle of people will change, but there's nothing glamorous about being poor.

If by taking tourists to informal settlements the message is "this is how real blacks should live" then I don't want any part of it. White people will never know how patronising "you people" is. If Ramaphosa really wants to succeed in improving race relations, people defining us based on being black must stop.

Richardson Mzaidume