It’s the small things that make SA home – the friendly greeting you get from a cashier, being escorted by a taxi driver while lost in Joburg and trying to establish along with the rest of social media if Hugo ever phoned the police after that brawl.
#ImStaying – a Facebook group which according to its description is dedicated to the South African women and men of all races and all religions, who remain loyal to South Africa – celebrates this and has within two weeks gained over 50,000 members who share their good news and day-to-day proudly local encounters.
“This group is to honour all those who still believe that we as a nation can turn things around. To all those who choose to stay and work together to save this beautiful country we call home! This group belongs to all willing to make a positive difference!,” the about section reads.
Created by Jarette Petzer to “make people feel good and steer away from the Plan B narrative”, it has since morphed into a group inundated with messages of hope, positivity and what makes Mzansi home.
“We never anticipated for a second it would grow the way it did,” Petzer told News24.
“This group is proof that people want to help and come together for change. It’s breaking down the divide between black and white. These heartwarming posts show we are getting past colour, politics and other nonsense.”
While he is being credited as bringing a breath of fresh air to the doom and gloom on social media, Petzer points out that he and his team are not doing the work.
“The content is just coming in. All we do is guide and steer the message.”
Petzer said the group has also become a platform for investors to connect with entrepreneurs and small business owners as well as skilled people offering mentorship for up-and-comers.
On Friday alone, over 500 posts about positivity, ubuntu and unity were made by active members – some funny, some moving, and all proudly local.
Marcelle Du Plessis posted about an experience a few years ago where she had been driving her mother and sister around Queenstown in the Eastern Cape.
“We stopped at a traffic light and a taxi squeezed in on our left where there wasn’t any space. We had our windows open and so did he. As I glanced over I expected some kind of rude remark (because of previous experiences) but all he did was laugh and point at the peach my mom (now 81) was munching on,” Du Plessis wrote.
“She didn’t hesitate for a second and passed him one through the open window. His smile was wider than the Nile. Gave us all a good laugh and made us feel better after a long hot morning of shopping and traffic.”
Liana Prinsloo wrote about how she was able to buy two shirts at a traffic light – electronically, nogal .
“Didn’t have enough cash on me, but the informal trader quickly gave me his Capitec-linked number, I EFT him, and off I go as the light turned green. Turns out one shirt was too big and I called him requesting a smaller shirt. ‘No problem, I’m just one robot further today, will look for your car.’
“Stop there, exchange the shirt, thank him and drive off. It’s drive-through shopping.”