Episode 15: Lessons of Oppression and Injustice w/ Naniso Tswai

Naniso shares his experience growing up in the generation following Apartheid and describes the difference between institutionalized and systemic racism versus other forms of covert oppression. We talk about a particular instance where he was physically assaulted and detained at an airport and how the attack figures into his consciousness, as a thought leader and in how he interacts with the world.

The way that we see ourselves in the world begins with our family, where are we in the pecking order. As we grow up, we learn more about who we are and where we come from. Even as children, we internalize our individuality through the subtext and organization of our communities and in the context of other social constructions like gender, ethnicity, and nationality. Consciously and unconsciously, how we see ourselves is shaped by how we fit into the world. But, what happens when your identity, the way you see yourself is shaken beyond your control, how do you reckon with this realization- maybe you aren’t who you thought you were? Or maybe the way the world sees you is not the way you’ve always seen yourself.

Naniso was born a few hundred kilometers north of Johannesburg, South Africa in the homelands or rural villages established during Apartheid. We talked about his early life and what it was like growing up in the generations during and after Apartheid and the difference between systemic and institutionalized oppression versus covert racism.

About Face is a member of Bear Radio, the premier English speaking podcast network of Berlin. 

Music for this episode was provided by Miss Kenichi

And the song "What She Thought of Herself," by The Space Where She Was.