south africa

Here’s a beautiful prayer poem written by South African expat HERMY BALCOM who is based in Denver, Colorada, USA.

She originally wrote the poem for a book specifically for the children of South African expats, “to teach them about the magic of our home country through a sensory experience”.

But today the poem is just as relevant for adults with South Africa’s (and even America’s) current political tension.

“Although the start of this children’s poem may not be the answer to all of the world’s problems, I believe it’s a great reminder of what makes South Africa The Rainbow Nation and an inspiration to the rest of the world – when we follow the rainbow’s lead and create unity out of our collective diversity… through important South African traditions that we have come to love and honour,  as South Africans – nationals as much as expats alike.”

Prayer about unity through diversity… 

by Hermy Balcomb (H.L. Balcomb)


“Follow the rainbow,”

Mama Africa sings.

“It will lead you

To a place in my heart

Called the Rainbow Nation.

Many know of this world as South Africa,

A place of rich colors, shapes, and textures.

It is there that you will find me waiting for you.

Around an open fire, as we cook pap

maize porridge

Together in my pot of unlimited blessings.

It is there in the shade of our friendship,

I will share with you

All of the things that makes this nation so great.

Together, we will brew ourselves

Some rooibos tea and drink from

This cup of deeper understanding.


As the fire burns in front of us,

And we quiet the chaos of the world around us.

And search for that common thread that connects all of us.

To these words from the Khoisan language

That says… Diverse People Unite.


“For when we unite, we create

A rainbow of hope, light, and combined might

Through our sense of compassion,

That both honors and reflects our individuality

In a safe space that stills the darkness of judgment.


Yet, since there’s so much to love about

South Africa,

I’ll only be sharing a few of my favorite aspects,”

Mama Africa reminds me…

Under the starry glow of the Southern Cross,

As a spotted hyena echoes her excitement,

By fearlessly laughing far off in the bushveld.

Mama Africa isn’t fazed by that sound,

As she stretches out her hand and says,



Hermy Balcomb’s website: