MYOPIA: GROWING UP WHITE IN APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA
Malcolm Gibson grew up as a privileged white Anglo South African kid, not questioning the basis on which his advantaged position was founded – like most South African whites, who could not or would not see the inequities of their favoured position, nor the growing threat to it. This myopia mirrored Malcolm’s nearsightedness caused by congenital cataracts in his early years.
While these issues form the backbone of this story, it is also an account, often a very funny one, of a boy growing into manhood in a beautiful country. Trying to compensate for his early inadequacies and poor self-image, young Malcolm created a Walter Mitty-like world of fantasy, followed by a phase as rebel that did little more than irritate those close to him. Later he anaesthetized his growing feelings of guilt and unease about the political situation by embracing alcohol, partying, and a series of passionate affairs with beautiful young women – a lifestyle that more than once came close to disaster.
As he matured, his concerns about life in South Africa grew; though white, he identified with the aspirations of blacks. Where would he stand in the inevitable racial clash he saw looming? This dilemma grew into an obsession he believed could only be resolved by escaping from it.
Malcolm Gibson, CPA CA, was born in South Africa and left when he was a young man for England and then Canada. Appointed general manager of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), he moved with its head office from Toronto to Kingston, Ontario, in 1980. Now retired, he spends summers with his companion, Kate Roeder, at their lake cottage.
MEMOIR/ CREATIVE NON-FICTION
$15 paperback 270 pages ISBN 978-0-9940172-2-2
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