Saturday, April 11, 2015

Why? The Beloved Country

It's been too long since I last came to dip my toes in the pool of thoughts that is my blog.
Since then, so much has happened and so much is still happening.

I read a headline just the other day that said "South Africa Up In Flames!"
Well yes we've been having some issues with fires lately, but our firemen are world-class and our mountains are resilient. My international visitors to the blog (yes both of you) will be glad to know that Signal Hill and Table Mountain are just fine, thank you very much.... and through it all, we as a nation continued braaing. (That's Barbecue for my European crowd.. both of you).

The same probably can't be said for the foreigners who call South Africa 'Home'. It's been a frightening and distressing time for many Somalians, Zimbabweans and other foreign nationals living within our borders. For the first time our brothers living in the capital of Nigeria, Hillbrow, are looking at each other going "What drugs are these people on?"
I drove through Hillbrow the other day and this guy shouted into my window "My friend, ged auwt of my cowntree!"
He called me his friend.
But then he also told me to 'ged auwt of his cowntree'.
I was about to correct his pronunciation but he looked at least twice my size. Also he said it so threateningly I was almost convinced that I had gone too far down the N1 and instead of taking Rivonia offramp like I intended, maybe I had taken the Lagos offramp.
The chain he wore around his neck convinced me that he didn't give two f@#ks about the price of gold.
Like my Indian friend who's cooking convinces me that he doesn't give two f@#ks about the price of oil.

I have a deep love and respect for the treasure chest that is Africa, but an even deeper love and admiration for the Pandora's Box that is South Africa.
Africa has always been regarded as this beautiful continent beset with evils and riddled with war-zones. The next piece I write will certainly discuss this further, suffice to say that I have traveled enough across the globe to know that the suffering of Africa's people and the pillage of her resources were carried out by the very colonialists who now mock her sorry state.

Yet this melting-pot of all the planets evils and good and crime and beauty and madness and awesomeness still welcomes the world to her shores with open arms.
People across every continent know South Africans for their warmth, their generosity, their spirit and their fine spirits. We are like the grandmother to the world, always embracing and never closing our doors.

For those unfamiliar with one of the most brilliant political documents to ever have been penned, The Freedom Charter, I quote a line from said document which reads
We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know:
that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people;
The complete document can be found here

I wish more people would take the time to read this document, and by more people I mean specifically those who are committing xenophobia without even knowing how to spell it.

The first rule about committing any act, legal or illegal, should firmly be :

#If you can't spell it, you can't do it!

If you can't spell Hijacking, you have no right being a Hijacker.
If you can't spell Polygamist, you have no right being one.
If you can't spell Corruption, then Corruption is not for you.
If you can't spell Statue, you shouldn't attempt to demolish one.
The same applies to Xenophobia.

I've decided to vastly increase my political knowledge this year, in the hope that I can better understand the socio-economic issues facing my fellow countrymen. I have become increasingly critical of all political parties and their manifestos. I have an allegiance to one political party simply because I firmly believe that their manifesto and Bill Of Rights is inherently a sound document which speaks to my ethos and beliefs. The Bill Of Rights can be found here
But I am critical of my party as well.
Extremely so.
For blind faith ultimately leaves everyone blind.

While I understand that my country is burning, I am also aware that there are very many within this beautiful land I call Home who's passion and commitment to making South Africa work burns even fiercer. I have seen and engaged with the youth who have such an amazing belief in the future of South Africa, that I am left with no option but to encourage and support that dream and vision.
And while crime and poverty and corruption and every other societal ill known to man seems to grow like a cancer amongst us, my faith and conviction will never allow me to throw my hands in the air and give up.

As William Wallace so famously said in Braveheart,

"Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!"

There are many scourges that we need to rid our country of, and the divide between those who see it purely as criminal and those who see it as a socio-economic problem is so vast. I'm really trying to understand it from both perspectives.
Sometimes it's like reading the Kama Sutra in the dark.
You know what's in there, and you know that it's damn exciting, but the darkness prevents you from actually seeing anything.
We know the problems we face, and we're intelligent enough as a nation to understand them, but the solutions evade us. I think we as a nation need to start looking at our problems through the eyes of someone sitting in the dark, trying to read the Kama Sutra.
Focus so intently on seeing the bigger picture, that nothing else really matters.

Until then, I will continue my political education and corrupt it with as much sexual innuendo as I possibly can. Only because these are two topics I am passionate about.