Why still stay in SA????

March 15, 2007

My very dear friend Terri posted a question on her blog and I tried to leave a comment, but wasn’t able to.  It made me think very deep and very hard.  I quote her question..

“So here’s a question for all you South Africans still living there:

What’s it like to live there now? ”

In my honest humble opinion, it is still great!!!!  Yes, nunnies!!!  We still have sunny skies, braaivleis, rugby, cricket, parties with friends, nice long rides on the motorbike, big homes with big gardens, beautiful green trees in our suburbs.  We also still have the sounds of children playing soccer in the streets or the sounds of the two ancient half deaf neighbours’ conversations.  I quote one from last night..

Man:  “Madge!!!”

no response

Man:  “MADGE!!!”

no response

Man:  “M-A-D-G-E-!!!”

Wife: “Yes, dear”

Man: “Where did you put my paper!!”

Wife: “What paper??”

Man: “My fucking newspaper.  What other paper can I be talking about you stupid woman!”

Wife: “Check the bathroom you idiot!!”

Now this couple must be close on 90 and have most probably been married for 70 years.  They don’t walk anymore.  They simply just scuffle.  Believe it or not.  This old man still has a job that he goes to every day!!

What else do we have that is great?  Our beaches for one.  We have so many filmstars and famous people from all over the world owning beach houses here.  I doubt if there are any left for us South Africans. 

Despite all the reports of violence, SA is still one of the most desired places in the world as a holiday destination.  We have beautiful game farms and national parks.  Very popular tourist destinations.  Come see how the lions rule the jungle.  No, we don’t often get to see them roaming our streets as some people still believe.  We do get to see the occasional monkey or snakes or some other form of reptile. Simply take a drive from one city to another and you will encounter buck and rabbits or some other form of wildlife just by looking out the window.  We love to take a ride at night down the marine drive(coastal route around our city).  You get to see so many little eyes staring back at you. 

So who cares if we have to drive with our windows shut and doors locked, if we still get to see those little eyes? The worst problem apart from house breaking in our city is smash and grab incidents.  They(the bad people) smash your front window or passenger door window and grabs your handbag or cellphone or whatever is within easy reach.  The solution is simple.  Don’t leave anything there for them to grab.  It is simple common sense!!! People need to be aware of where they are at all times and simply pay attention.  We don’t have to live in fear. Be prepared and be alert.  Isn’t that someone’s motto???

I know I have considered leaving South Africa.  After putting a lot of thought into it, I realized that it is merely because I miss my friend so much that I am willing to shake the African dust off my feet.  I know I won’t be able to make a permanent move.  So what if our taxes are high?  So what if petrol is soooo expensive? So what if owning you own home is becoming a luxury? So what if telecommunication here is probably the most expensive in the whole world? 

I’ll tell you that we definitely still have our braais with our friends.  We still drive to work every day.  We still talk and communicate over the phone or internet every day.  We all live somewhere that we call home.  The fact that you own or rent hardly ever comes up in conversation.  Life is carrying on as usual.

 The only thing that has changed is the fact that our country is short on qualified people to do the work required. A lot of our top level professionals have left the country.  A prime example is Mark Fish.  One of our soccer heroes.  He left our country because of violence.  You know what, he returned to our country because of exactly the same reason?

Violence doesn’t only happen here.  It happens everywhere. 

One problem that does worry me is drug addiction.  I am more afraid that one of my kids will choose that road than I am of one of them being affected by violence.  I am not going through life with blinkers on.  I also don’t harbour the attitude of “it won’t happen to me”.  I know all the risks.  Chances are higher of the first happening.  That is a serious situation.  A child was caught with dagga in his possesion at school last year.  The education board overturned the school’s decision to expel him saying that it is within his right to sell dagga at school.  What message is that sending to our children???  It is situations like this that makes me scared in our country.  Our supposed leaders make the strangest decisions and that is why we need the Saffas back. 

The other scary thing is that I am a white South African who went to school during the apartheid era.  If I now look at the text books used by my children, I realize how much has changed. The history I studied at school is not the history being studied by them.

I have sent this question posted by Terri to some of my friends and I will do a follow up post containing their answers. Let’s see what they come up with.

Maybe I am living in a dreamworld. Maybe I am still here because I want to believe that everything is going to work out. Maybe I am still here because I want my children to grow up in the beauty of our country. When I look at how the teenagers of today interact with each other I have hope for the future. When I see black, white and coloured children party together and socialize, I believe that there is hope for our future. They are all the same. They have the same dreams and ideals. They love our country. They aren’t talking about leaving South Africa and finding there wealth elsewhere. They want to make South Africa a force to be reckoned with. They want to play rugby and cricket for South Africa. They are talking about going into politics because the polititians of today “don’t have a clue”.

I believe that there is hope because the children have restored my hope.