“I don’t do politics. Instead, I naively believe a government should run the country, make sure we have schools, roads, health care etc and are safe. Sadly, I think most are pretty crap at doing just those basics. George Orwell’s book, Animal Farm, always springs to mind, where greed and power turn even the best into just another set of pigs. But enough about that.

What does worries me is the how much we ordinary South Africans buy into their crap. I have been wanting to write this post for ages. I was thinking about Eugene Terreblanche last week actually, as a comparison to Julius Malema, another raving lunatic in my eyes. I was going to say that at some point they all fall off their horses, but that seems a little insensitive now. My point is that we will always have loud mouth outspoken extremists – we’ll have to deal with that. We do not muzzle them by getting outraged and fighting them. You can’t fight hate with hate. They have no power if we, the people, stand together and say

“No. We don’t believe you! We will fight and we will work to make this country better!”

They can turn us, one against each other, ONLY if we let them. We have the power to decide what we buy into.

As I said at the start, I am not all that interested in politics. I AM about people, the real people who get up each day and who work in this country. We went to bed last night and we woke up today, no different, despite the events and the clamour. Yes, leaders and media and propaganda now try to build bigger divides between us.

That needn’t be. There is a vibe about this place that you do not find in other countries. A feeling of potential and hope. If only we could look each other in the eyes and work together.

I believe that we fight this hate by knowing each other. It is hard to hate people you have connected with. But it is easy to hate and fear the nebulous “them”. We don’t fight crime with higher walls, more razor wire and armed guards. But these barriers will give way only after the ones in our hearts have been removed – we do that by listening and learning about each other. Yes I know I am an idealist and I know it sounds too naive and silly, but I have seen the power of stories.

We own South Africa. We are the people and we choose if we listen to this or if we choose to stand together – I think we need a new song, a new slogan, a rallying cry.

I’ve always wanted to collect stories (that’s another post), but for now I would like to try the 6 word idea like I did here . Please send me, your 6 words, why South Africa is worth fighting for, or the good, or why you love it. Be creative. Maybe we can even get some proudly South African companies to kick in some prizes, who knows?. I will leave the comments open to enter for a week and then we’ll have a week of voting.

I’ll start the prize basket, with 2 bottles of organic South African wine from Lazanou farm, and I hope others will add stuff.
But most of all, I’d hope that you would add your words, your strength, your love of our country.
It’s ours. Let’s take it back from these fools.”


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  2. fear, hatred, folly, racist, highway. hell. I know this is not what you are looking for but the light at the end of the tunnel is a train. Stupidity will always win over intelligence, There is way too much of it. Radicalism will win ove moderation because its so much louder. Sadly the six words are, last one out turn off lights.

  3. thank you Robi, Norah, Cazpi and Caz
    Guy: I can totally understand. I left SA thinking it was all terrible but there is something about this place that gets under your skin and I came back, I am just not ready to stop fighting yet. I believe their is so much potential in the people. the real people.

  4. I also came back 8 years ago after 4,5 out. If I had stayed by now I’d have been moderately wealthy, Unconcerned about whether the education system was going to fuck over my daughter in this her matric year, unconcerned about that fuckwit Malema, Overall, not the best decision of my life.

  5. After living in Nigeria for a month, there is a lot of positive things about South Africa.
    24/7 electricity and with load shedding it was still scheduled
    drinking water out of the tap, that you dont need to boil to avoid deadly diseases
    traffic that is organised, 3 lanes, stay 3 lanes, here 2 lanes is turning into 5 lines
    lovely weather, not too hot, not too cold
    shopping centres in almost every town, even if it is just a convenience store
    Proper healthcare and clean hospitals
    Proper education for children

    I can go on and on, but this is turning into an essay.

  6. “Pull it back from the brink.”

    There is nowhere & nothing quite like South Africa
    Its people.
    Its beauty.
    Its tastes, its colours,
    Its sounds, its laughter
    The things we laugh at.

    It has soul. You can feel it in your feet when you walk here & in your heart when you are away.

    I could have left South Africa many times. I still could. I stay by conscious choice, not by circumstance. I’ve seen what the rest of the world has to offer & it doesn’t impress me much.

    It saddens me when I see political idiots hashing up a good thing with their self-serving agenda’s.

    We pushed the envelope in the 80’s …. Almost going over the brink… To an unfortunate political future…I lost loved ones in the process…like many people, I had “reasons” not to forgive….it was not easy.. But through a reconciliatory attitude – we pulled back….

    I feel we are starting to push that envelope again.
    We need to pull ourselves back from that brink….
    Through constructive attitudes & positive engagement.

    There is more positive spirit and goodwill on South Africa than there is bad.
    We need to make sure that prevails..again.

    I believe we can do it.
    We have done it before.
    I think it is worth the effort.

  7. Elaine have you been to a hospital recently? I am not talking about the Medi clinic or the Park Lane, Visit Helen Josephs, Edenval Hospital or the Rob Fereira in Nelspruit. Then tell me about proper health care and clean hospitals.

    Do you have kids at school where the teacher is more concerned about her rights and union than teaching the kids. I am not talking about some backwater school under a tree here but a former Model C school in a city.

    Oh yeah read my blog about driving in Jhb.

    Try Malelane for absolutely awesome weather.

    PS they scheduled your load shedding?

  8. My 6 words for my country:

    Home, Beautiful, Passionate, Melting-Pot, Diverse, My Precious !

    I love my country and will fight for its independence and democracy till my last breath…

  9. Guy, the hospitals in SA, government included has at least doors, here there is only hanging a curtain where the door is suppose to be, that is the entrance.

    My kids were in a very good school in SA, where they were the biggest concern.

    I dont think you have any idea of how bad the traffic here is, you have to see it to believe it. We had JHB and PTA traffic regularly in SA, but this is way different. On a normal day the traffic hold up out of the main city is from 16:00 till 23:00.

    Malelane is nothing compare to this heat.

    I dare you to come and visit here, then you will know what I am talking about.

    Believe me, I use to bad mouth everything about SA too, but after living here I cant wait to go back to SA.

  10. Guy McLaren, my second son was born in Rob. It’s not called Vrek Ferreira for nothing. But the ICU he was in was excellent and personnel very caring. I just don’t ever want to repeat that experience (during the InnieBos Fest 2008). Steve Biko in Pretoria is still quit new, stayed there 4 days in 09/09 and now one night with my child.
    While I sometimes wish I could run I don’t think I will. This is now my country to which our family immigrated in 1963.

    So go for it, South Africa!!!

  11. Cool post. I really do think that the people living in SA have a quite different experience to the noisy politicians, and it is they who count. I want to come home because of the people, not the politics. My 6 words:

    Freedom is better than Apartheid, period.

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  13. Po: what freedon? you can’t walk alone in lots of areas, you can’t leave your house unlocked, you can’t let your kids play and wonder around, how is that freedom??? When I go overseas I truely feel free, it is a lovely light feeling, walking through town on your own, taking public transport late at night, etc. Here I feel bottled up, always looking over my shoulder, freedom my ass.

    6 words: Narrow-minded, corrupt, dirty, lawless, great weather

    And to all the people who say they will “fight” for their country, ermm how do you propose to do that, all you do is go to work and pay taxes which are used on stupid social grants and to line politicians pockets.

    Sorry for the deviation pinkhairgirl, but I can’t be positive when everything is going to shit in this country and you have morons in power.

  14. Sadly I am not a proud South African and I agree with Guy. I would love to add six positive words but at the mo, I only have negative ones. I suppose if I’d not experienced all the break-ins, threatening of my child and the wonderful experience of the bridge rock throwing, I’d feel different but I unfortunately don’t.

  15. Grey. But that previous freedom came at the cost of millions of non-white South Africans. I would still choose the way South Africa is over Apartheid, with it’s police state and tanks in the townships. Would you prefer the police state days?

  16. it is naive to believe the grass is greener elsewhere.
    Yes we have problems – some massive ones in fact – but that does not, should not, can not define us. In my EVERY DAY life I am surrounded by the exquisite beauty of the Cape, the vibrancy and generosity and love of her people and the vibe that is SA.
    Malema can not rob us of that. Criminals can not rob us of that. (have I been a victim of crime? too often – just ask outsurance!!) but the overwhelming, overriding spirit of this place is still GOOD.
    Perhaps if the media used their heads a bit and ignored malema (instead of “creating” him – he is, after all, pretty much nothing without them) our country would be in a better place.
    Wise up journos. You are being used as pawns.

    Meanwhile, the rest of us can be what we want South Africa to be: non-racial, alive, inspired.

  17. @Grey “And to all the people who say they will “fight” for their country, ermm how do you propose to do that, all you do is go to work and pay taxes which are used on stupid social grants and to line politicians pockets. ”

    Being a law abiding, positive citizen IS fighting for your country. Speaking positively rather than spreading fear and negativity is fighting for your country.
    My taxes also pay for great street maintenance, great park management, a whole bunch of services for the poor, etc etc etc. Are there crooks in government? Sure – but that’s a problem with politics, not specific to SA SADLY!!

    Anyway, at least we aren’t living in constant fear of terrorist attacks. The irony is that that fear from an EXTERNAL evil has united americans and taken their patriotism to new heights.

    Right now we have an opportunity to respond in one of two ways – give up, give in, slander the country, expect the worst, contribute to the worst OR stand up, fight for the good, reclaim the nation.

    #SpeakZA #Pray4SA

  18. 6 words? there is no place like home.

    It is easy for me to talk living somewhere else, but despite the issues in South Africa, there is no place like it anywhere else in the world. I will be back one day.

  19. Very good post.

    I do politics alot, can I copy this post? Obviously I will give you full credit for the inspiration!!!

    Cause South Africa Rocks Big Time

  20. I saw your blog on Voted!’s post. Very good! I think it’s what we all believe and haven’t put in so many words.

    South Africa could be the greatest

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