Just for the record, I am South African, as some people ask me how I managed to escape the xenophobic attacks…twice.
One of the reasons why I am smitten with this part of the world is that you do not have to travel far to be amazed by the myriad of experiences. I was in the Limpopo province in an area that Isidingo viewers will know: Zebediela. Besides the striking natural beauty which is abundant in the whole of the region, this was also where I was faced with difficulty, considering just how badly I wanted to urinate.
You see, the mall there charges R2 to use the PUBLIC toilets, a feat I found ridiculous, to say the least. The tjatjarag journalist in me immediately asked the toilet attendant about this practice. Was it a flat or were the facilities managed on a per litre basis?
I even asked if it was possible for people who did not have enough money when they were pressed to pay off the debt in instalments. The answer to all of these was that the attendant did not have change for my R100 note. Being in Limpopo, the good thing was that the attendant’s uniform did not include a red beret or a red overall.
One of my favourite parts of the country has to be Cape Town, as everyone has a voice there. The last time I was down there, I noticed a number of puzzling road signs, including one pleading motorists to be careful of squirrels. Yes, squirrels. This is also the same republic that brought us a limit to the number of times a dog can bark in one day. With such interesting bylaws, I always ask the question of who keeps score of all of this?
There are some things I wish I could change though. One of these has to be how we view each other just because of what we look or sound like. In my very own circle of friends, I have mates who laugh each time they hear someone say “cowntry” instead of “country” and “determyn” instead of “determine”.
As we say goodbye to Mandela Month and usher in Women’s Month, let us remember that we are a nation that is diverse as they come. That is what makes us so resilient and what makes ours the best country in the world. All we have to do is prove this fact to the rest of the continent and the world will throw away the inferiority complex.