APRIL 27, 2019

Happy freedom day!

Happy Freedom Day!

So happy it is weekend. My week started badly. Getting out my car to do a home visit, a Zulu woman greeted me warmly with, ‘hello fat lady’. She actually held out her arms to demonstrate just how fat! Apparently in Zulu culture it’s a compliment. But the mix of cultures is just one part of South African life that I love.

It is a beautiful country. A drive to work with a frequent sighting of zebra or giraffe brightens my day. Fighting with a cow or a goat for a parking space, is less fun but still beautiful.

South Africa is a land of people crazy enough to eat koeksusters – deep fried doughnuts drowned in sugar syrup. A place where you can order a side of ‘walkie talkies’ which are fried chicken feet, with your stew.

It’s a magical country where you wouldn’t be surprised to see news headlines such as ‘dead man dies again’ or ‘ghost children claim social grants’.

Of course there is plenty not to like. Recent floods have highlighted not only the vulnerable conditions in which so many live, but also the pollution and litter problem. The crime is truly horrendous; we live with house alarms and electric fences. We even have to label the stools outside home affairs asking people to not steal or abuse them! Our public services are corrupt and inefficient. I have tried 4 times to get a new identity document – each time queuing in the unbearable heat and not even making it inside the building.

But it was standing in that home affairs queue, that I really had time to reflect on just how wonderful this country really is; such a mix of ages, cultures and races, chatting and enjoying the water and sweets handed out by a self-appointed service delivery volunteer. There is nothing like shared suffering to promote comradery.

Today, on the 25th anniversary of the first time people of all races were allowed to cast their vote, my Facebook news feed is full of positivity and South Africans doing ‘their bit’. There was an army of volunteers collecting litter on the beaches today and multiple collection sites for food and clothing items for the flood victims. The country is full of amazing people doing incredible work with children, the elderly, animals, literacy, hunger alleviation, gender equality – too many to mention. All of this leaves me #Hopeful and #ProudlySouthAfrican!

So Happy Freedom Day South Africa full of hope and promise!

Love this video of hope #hopejoanna

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