It’s inevitable that if you’re South African or you’ve lived in South Africa or you know a South African, you’ve been a victim off or heard about the staggering crime rate. South Africa has become synonymous with crime. Just travel overseas and you’re very likely to experience wide-eyed foreigners who gasp at stories of burglaries and hijacking’s – every day occurrences in South Africa, barely causing a flinch for most SA natives who’ve come to accept it as the ways of the country.
I’m painting a rather bleak picture of my birth country, aren’t I? Alas, that wasn’t my intention at all dear reader.
However, before plunging into the reasons why South Africa is one of the greatest countries in the world (in my humble opinion), I thought I would face the reality of why I don’t currently live in the country and why my parents saw it fit to leave behind their family and friends so their little protégée (a protégée of greatness, mind you) could have a chance at something better.
For those of you will little knowledge of the country, take fifteen minutes and Google ‘apartheid’.
Have a somewhat sufficient understanding of why colonisation screwed us over?
We aren’t a bitter lot though; just ask our future Dictator Julius Malema.
I joke, I joke.
Most of us aren’t bitter. Certainly my generation has no need to be. We are the free ones after all. The engineers of Mandela’s great plan. The architects of the Rainbow Nation.
Unemployment rates and generally being screwed over if you’re a minority tends to create a few dents but we aren’t bitter. No sir, we aren’t.
Again, I’ve gone off on a tangent. I guess this whole love thing is harder than I thought. Bah humbug, as they say – you are what you eat! (Mother-in-law’s tongue, am I right?)
South Africans are pretty amazing though and most of my riling comes from a place of deep love and admiration.
Oftentimes the achievements of South Africa’s citizens have gone unrecognized.
So let me give you a little reminder… (okay, who are we kidding? You probably didn’t even know that we took up so much space in the world).
Believe it or not, the Civil Rights movement of the 60s that took place in the US was actually based on Satyagraha (or insistence of truth), a teaching that originated in 30s by Mahatma Gandhi in today’s Durban, South Africa.
Later, Nelson Mandela would also incorporate it into his movement and free the very soil it was founded on.
Many victims of the Jewish Holocaust also found refuge in the teaching, using it as means to find inner strength and courage.
Along with Ubuntu philosophy (“I am what I am because of who we all are”), South Africa is home to two of the most profound philosophical teachings in the world.
How’s that for being all intellectual and thoughtful and shiz?
Next time your grand-daddy sits you down to tell you how much of a disappointment you are to the family, you should also feel free to thank us.
Without the pioneering South African Dr. Chris Barnard, who performed the first open heart surgery, many a nagging parent or grandparent wouldn’t be around today! Just think of the years you have left to convince them you should be included in the will.
Okay, so we had Apartheid, but we aren’t all that bad. I mean, even the Apartheid government was all like, “Dude, oppression and generally being a bastards to anyone who isn’t Aryan looking is good in our books but weapons of mass destruction – hell no!”
In the midst of the US trying to take over the world and Saddam trying to take over Arabia and China just chillin’ in the East starving its citizens, South Africa destroyed its Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Thaaaas right, we pioneered nuclear non-proliferation.
At this point though, you might be asking, “but what have you done for us lately?”
Remember that day during the summer when it was all hot and you went to the cinema for free air-conditioning and the only film with seats was ‘The Hobbit’?
Turns out JRR Tolkien was a bro too. Proudly South African, nerds.
So there you have it, my reasons why South Africa is awesome aka a blog post to make me feel productive while I procrastinate.
Hopefully this will also remind you of DBO – Days before Oscar.