“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.”