Last week we paid a visit to the Eastern Free State. Back in the 90’s, my father helped to build the Katse Dam, and we lived in Ficksburg during my university years.
It was wonderful to Airbnb on Saxon Park, the beautiful farm of Friedl and Lindie von Maltitz, after more than 13 years. Friedl told me a little more about the family history and how his grandfather started the farm.
At the turn of the century, these farms were easily obtainable pieces of land, but in return the former government expected families to fulfil the role of ‘border police and army’. This role was largely performed by women because the men were compelled to work on the trade routes (for survival). The women and children were alone on the farms for months.
In due course these farmers experimented with various types of agriculture (trial and error). Over the years, Ficksburg became known as cherry- and asparagus-farming country, but this heritage was bought with blood and sweat.
So what is my point:
It’s very easy (and I’ve made this mistake too) to look at the success of people or businesses and assume that they have achieved that success easily or overnight. But there is always a price someone had to pay. Perhaps you are paying the price? That’s why the words ‘white privilege’ are a ridiculous new creation to me.
One of my favourite witticism is, ‘It took him ten years to achieve overnight success.’