I finally made it home at the age of five.
Home - the country from
which my father had been exiled for sixteen years when he actively opposed
apartheid. Home - the land that he could only hope to one day see again.
When apartheid finally
ended my family moved from Poland, the birthplace I share with my mother, to
live with my grandparents in the bustling township of Soweto, in the heart of
South Africa. For the first time in my life, I would see for myself the new
South Africa that Mandela had emancipated.
I walked the dusty-red
streets, looked in the faces of our extended family and neighbors, saw
difficulty and struggle scars that were more than skin deep. But most striking
to me was the palpable sense of hope and optimism embodied in each person I
encountered. With unwavering certainty they told stories of a better tomorrow:
one filled with equality, prosperity and greater opportunities for all.
Today, when I visit my
grandparents, at that very same house in Soweto, I marvel at the great strides
that have been made toward political equality. But I realize we are still far
from the socioeconomic equality of our promised tomorrow.
So I'm again returning
home – to the economy that I am determined to actively grow into a powerhouse
that can fully support our shared needs. Home – the land where I strive to
create opportunities for better education, jobs and prosperity for our
am going home – where our dreams of tomorrow, I will build into the reality of