Our Rainbow Nation

Okay this is…..probably…..maybe…..perhaps  my last blog with political content…..promise…..probably……for a minute….let’s see……definitely for the moment. You see, what happens with me, is that I get the itch to write on a topic. Invariably once I start writing, I start waffling on about one particular aspect of the topic, and then, Bob’s your uncle, I have written a full blog, without having written on the various other aspects. So……..there you have it…….the behind the scenes workings of a Master Blogger!!

So, I am just going to say it…..shout it from the rooftops….even better, from the top of Table Mountain…..I live in THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!!! Yes, damn straight it is South Africa. We have the BEST climate, the BEST food, the BEST cityscapes, townscapes, seascapes, waterscapes….EVERY CONCEIVABLE SCAPE!!!!! And if that wasn’t enough, we have the BEST PEOPLE…..hands down!!!

Yes, there is crime. This I cannot deny. However this  should not define our country!! Now, before you (most especially South Africans….. unquestionably the HARSHEST CRITICS of our beautiful country) start waving your hands in the air, hollering things like……

“What about the corruption? What about the poor standard of education? What about the economy and the frightful rate of our currency…….”

Let me just say the following…..

Corruption and crime go hand in hand, so for me they need to stay under one grumble. But having said that, there is crime everywhere in the world. Where there is power, there is corruption. True, South Africa has one of the highest crime rates worldwide….but we have found ways to live with it, and work around it. Not justifying it, but it is our claim to fame (crime), that has actually brought the majority of our people together. You know how trauma shared between  people can bring them closer together? That is essentially what has made the South African people so strong, so connected and so remarkably warm and friendly….you know….. everything everyone doesn’t seem to hear about, and everything a lot of South Africans just don’t seem to recognise.

The critics living here choose not to see (or for that matter, partake in) this phenomenon. To them, I say shame…you are missing out on so much. Being able to comprehend what another person is confiding, by having gone through similar experiences has created such strong bonds amongst our people.

Our currency rate is horrendous, but our standard of living is higher than most places. So for those middle to upper class South Africans living in South Africa, we all admittedly accept that if we were elsewhere, earning elsewhere’s currency, our standard of living would drop dramatically. For the South Africans living below the breadline, they would not be able to leave, so they have no choice but to remain here. Interestingly enough though, those are not the harshest critics. 

As far as our “poor standard of education” is concerned, I find it interesting that scholars from South African educational institutions, from my observations, are not required to repeat grades when moving to another country. If our system was so poor, surely they would not be able to cope without being held back? Furthermore, from what I have seen and heard, graduates from South African Universities are highly sought after internationally. This has been my personal experience. Perhaps you have opposing experiences to this, which I would be gladly be willing to hear.

Look, I do not profess to be any sort of seasoned international traveller, or unseasoned one at that, but I do have a brain, eyes, ears and common sense. So I kind of feel this make me qualified enough to have this discussion!

Thirty years ago I was hearing “this country has five years left”. Thirty years ago I was hearing “if we don’t leave now, in five years we’ll be leaving with just our clothes on our backs”. I have heard these and similar statements from way back then up until now. Not sure why it is always “five years”, but nevertheless “five years” it always is.

I constantly hear people saying “We have to leave this place”…..well…… off you go….why are you even still here? In fact, some of these people were saying that thirty years ago, and guess what……STILL HERE!!

“There is no future for us here”, said thirty years ago. Still here? Well clearly there has been, at the very least, a thirty year future so far? And you have survived? Made a living? Had and educated your kids? Lived well? Blow me over with a feather!!

Quick question though…..would you have survived, made a living, educated your kids and lived as well, if you had left all those years ago? When this question is posed to whomsoever dares say this in my presence, the general consensus is no, but their children would have been safer and had a better future. They know this how??

The most dispiriting aspect, is that most of the gloomy, pessimistic and negative naysayers, are those that are still living in and off this beautiful country of ours. It is either these people, or the ex pats, who just seem bitter and angry that they no longer live here. The people that have left, and are happy and comfortable with their decisions, do not talk about this country in a negative light. No need…they are happy and content..….The people that have left, and wish they had not, but cannot (for whatever reasons) come back, are the ones who have only good things to say.

So, when foreigners come and visit our country for the first time (generally they come back again), I always hear them say how much they love the country, and how they cannot believe how differently it was painted to them. The artists painting the picture, were either the people still living in and off this beautiful country, or those who still long to return, but cannot. 

I really find that sad. Worldwide people are so patriotic when it comes to their countries of birth or residence. Not for so many here in sunny South Africa….nope. Personally I believe that this lack of patriotism is one of the biggest problems in this country. Yes, it has been said that dissent is the highest form of Patriotism….but I speak not of dissent….I am speaking of negativity, PESSIMISM, DOOM AND GLOOM. If you don’t like the country, for crying in a bucket……. LEAVE!!!!!  

Now that we have cleared the air, allow me to move on to the biggest positive about this amazing land….the people. Yes the resilient, warm, playful, funny, generous, self-deprecating, resourceful, entrepreneurial and FRIENDLY melting pot of cultures. We are affectionately known as the rainbow nation, and that is exactly what we are! This of course applies to the majority of people. The minority should be shipped off to those greener pastures they incessantly refer to. It is that minority of grumbling Gerties that cast a shadow over this country!!

We have proven ourselves time and time again. When everything matters, we come together as a country and shine!! We shock the world, which is understandable, but the fact that we have to prove ourselves as a country to the negative and pessimistic South Africans themselves, is just downright sad!!  

Off you and your children go… all probability, I will be here to turn off the lights……me ‘n those clothes on my back that the grumblers keep referring to…..oh….and my children of course.

I pray that one day I will not be eating my words. I have no doubt that there are a lot of people waiting in the shadows to tell me “we told you so”. However this is my beautiful country with it’s beautiful people and it’s beautiful climate, food, landscapes and its beautiful melting pot of different cultures. I embrace everything about South Africa, and hope that the people who only have negative to say, start changing their negative mindset, and perhaps this country will indeed be what it already is for me…..the best country in the world!!

South Africa, I salute you!!

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