18 December 2019 | 1931
Who’s still leaving the COW-NTREE?
When I was in high school, my Technical Drawing teacher always proclaimed that he was leaving the country and relocating overseas for a more pleasant stay. He certainly wasn’t the only South African who threatened to leave due to dissatisfaction with governing structures. So many people insisted on leaving, even comedian Trevor Noah, in one of his shows made a joke about people who always announced their apparent departures. Unlike SA, moving to another country isn’t child’s play. Besides, we’ve got a lot to celebrate in Africa and we shouldn’t buy into the whole “third world country” talk – those who’ve traveled abroad say there’s no place like home. It is a great season undoubtedly for citizens taking into consideration all the international titles awarded to our icons. There’s even a Facebook page called “#I’m Staying” where proud South Africans post daily about the joys of being a Southy. South Africa is now a force to be reckoned with – next time people from overseas think Africa, they won’t think monkeys and elephants but they’ll think strength and power.
I don’t want to make the mistake of individually naming some achievers who have been putting us on the map, lest I forget to mention others, however: South Africa has been making it big in the past couple of months after a rocky start to 2019, with all the vicious killings of women. Our country reached a point where women didn’t feel safe (they still don’t) in the comfort of their own homes: as men were out for blood and not that alone but brutally torturing the victim before ending their short life. Even joggers on our roads gained a few kilos or two because no place was safe – they could no longer enjoy their daily run.
It has become rather challenging to practice ubuntu: like greeting your elders especially for young girls because if they greet male figures, before you know it, a simple hello could send an unwanted invitation to the opposite sex. No wonder the “born frees” are labelled ill-mannered: I’m not speaking for them but they’ve been born into a survival of the fittest generation. They’ve been born into a time where they need to fight to keep their bodies alive and if not standing up for an elder in the bus is their way of owning their space, so shall it be.
Enough of the bad, we are trying to find something to be happy about after a year of mourning. We are trying to make the most of life because dwelling in the past will only cause regression. We are trying to move past segregation as Southys and we’re embracing our new identity of being world champions on multiple levels.
So, as much as Africa is in dire need of help within its different sectors and countries, we’re not under siege. We are fighting and Africa is slowly rising. Not all hope is lost, not all is doom and gloom.
!KE E:|XARA ||KE
**”Southy” is a colloquial term for “South African”**
**The term “born free” is a local term referring to those born after South Africa received its democracy (from 1994 upwards)**