Stand for Something or End up Falling for Anything….

It’s a very difficult thing on occasion to ignore what’s going on around you. Or at least, not to react too negatively towards it. Being one who doesn’t read the newspaper or watch the news on TV, I pretty much get wind of happenings on social media (cue Facebook and Twitter…)

With everything that’s been happening in South Africa in recent weeks, it’s interesting to see the different sides putting forth their thoughts.

The knack is to filter out those who have no interest in furthering the wonderful legacy that Nelson Mandela put into action, but merely to pay lip service to the current party line or hold on to outdated ideology.

I put up on Facebook that: “I support the ideal that our Constitution espouses. I refuse to allow this to become for me a black/white issue. It is entirely that we have someone in power who isn’t holding his own party’s original ideals in high regard that we should all stand firm against him. Viva SA.”

And that’s what it is for me. To see this for what it is. That one person is seemingly determined to destroy our beautiful country, and the hell with the people that live in it. Whatever colour they may be.

The amount of negative comments I garnered after putting up pics of my kids and their friends on their way to meet up with other friends at the Johannesburg marches on 7 April (yes, we joined a couple of them in the northern suburbs) pretty much got my blood boiling.

Until I realised that these are people who are so stuck in their un-constructiveness and racism that they can’t – or won’t – work towards a positive goal.

They’re probably the ones who foment unrest, so frankly, there’s no talking to them, even if you’re trying to do something small for the whole country, not just for yourself.

And the amount of comments here and there about all these ‘whiteys’ looking like they’re out for a party, smiling so much while they’re supposed to be marching against something bad. Why? Why should we look angry? What was it that the Hippie generation taught us, that sometimes peace is the answer?

The vibe out on my Joburg streets was fantastic, but I’m guessing a lot of those unenthusiastic people making those statements were holed up in some dark cave, staring at their phones instead of getting out and being part of the unified movement that those of us who give a damn were part of.

My kids just told me to respond that it’s their right to march as they are the future of the country, and why on earth would anyone think that they’re better off going to ballet classes. (Amazing what people will write when they have no idea who they’re talking to *sigh*.)

So, my ploy these days is to act the ditzy blonde, and only respond with happy, positive answers to those trolls who sit around and think of ways to ‘stick it to the man’ – whoever The Man may be these days.

And to say to everyone – don’t think you can’t make a difference. Get off your butts and be part of the change that you’d like to see.

I particularly loved  Menzi Solomon Shange’s poem:

‘On This Day I am a Thief’

On this day I steal every South African’s voice, and with one sweep of the pen I take advantage of this moment to humbly speak for everyone.

If you were born in South Africa, you are African.

If you were raised in South Africa, you are African.

If you were invited to work in South Africa, and did so, and became enthralled with this country, then you are African.

If you were not invited to work in South Africa, and did so anyway, with love in your heart and with good work ethic, then you are African.

If you dream of South Africa, then you are African.

If tears come to your eyes when you think of anything that is South African, then you are African.

If you have begged in the streets, you are African.

If you live in a one or a six room house, you are African.

If you at times hate South Africa, then you are African.

If you are willing to pour your heart and soul into building your children’s future in South Africa, then you are African.

If you were abandoned and left in South Africa, you are African.

If you are willing to unconditionally share all your love for South Africa with others, then you are African.

If you consider yourself African, then you are African.

If you want to free yourself of this oppressive, inept, corrupt and reckless government, then you are African.

If you feel that our current leaders have the African people’s interests at the bottom of their priority list, then you are a real African.

Now I humbly return your voice back to you and with bated breath hope that my penned words give you courage to help seize control of our country, select honourable African leaders, so that we may be proud African citizens again.

Word.

Rant over.

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I’m one of those odd people who, despite travelling the world, hasn’t actually moved all that far. I’m living in the house I pretty much grew up in and doubt that I’ll ever really leave it! Like most people who live in ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’, I have a love/hate relationship with the city. The thing I hate the most are the obnoxious drivers who litter our road, so if you’re ever in my hood and you’re confronted with a blonde who stops to point out you're in the wrong, steer clear.… I love that we have so many trees (and if one more person points out that, hey, like, shoo wow, we have the largest man-made forest in the world here, I’ll throw up on myself!) and that so many people are getting into the groove and getting not only indigenous but endemic – after all, I’m a serious gardener…