A new South African expat, living in the Netherlands, has recorded a heartbreaking message for SA’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC). The video is going viral as it’s struck a chord with so many young South African parents faced with a similar decision to emigrate, if they can, when their heart and soul still belongs in SA. Watch below.
Lorraine Blauw wrote: “My heart will always belong to the African soil… Our final chapter of our journey to a foreign country.”
A tearful Lorraine speaks in Afrikaans in the video, as she drives on the “wrong side of the road”. Loosely translated into English, this is most of what she says:
“So today marks the last chapter of our immigration. Our container is here.”
She says at first she kept thinking South Africa would improve and since the container was not yet there, and her life not yet there, there was still a chance they could go back.
“I miss my mother, I miss my father, I miss my family, I miss my animals that are there.”
But today, she says, with the announcement by “Mr Cyril Ramaphosa” that the government will start taking “our land”, her container has arrived in a foreign land.
“It has my personal things, my wedding albums, my children’s baby things – my life is now here. My life is now in a foreign land. Some may not understand.
“All that I know – my children will have a future, my children will be safe.
“A message for the ANC – I never did anything wrong to you. Nor did my children. I must come live in a foreign land. I never did anything bad to a black person. I was a teacher, a good teacher who taught black children, who gave them my sandwiches because their mom and did didn’t have the money, who picked them up from the side of the road because they had 15 km to walk…
“You sent us away.”
She says in a few years’ time, if the ANC wonders what has happened to their land – “remember the day that Lorraine Blauw sent you this message from the Netherlands.
“You’re sending your own people away – the ones who cared, because you were scared…”
She says her own forefathers suffered under the English, “but do I hate the English? No! They did nothing to me and my children. I live for the future. I don’t live for a horrible future of apartheid.
“For every person that says it’s the white person’s fault. What did I do to you? I ride here… I don’t come from here… my feet are in the African soil. I don’t look like a Dutch person, I don’t look like a Frenchman or an Englishman. I look like an Afrikaans boeremeisie… who must come and live in a foreign land with my children, because you didn’t like me.
“Every day I listen to Afrikaans because I miss my family, I miss my culture, I miss my language.
“But here, there is no racism. Here, it doesn’t matter about colours… as long as you’re safe.
“I left my cellphone on the train. Nobody stole it. We walk in the evening till 10 pm. Outside. We’re not scared if someone approaches us.
“And don’t tell me what it was like in apartheid. I don’t know what it was like. I wasn’t there.” And nor were her 5-year-old twins, who she points out speak Sotho.
She says while “you say it’s easy to run away. I didn’t run away. I will return anytime. But I am safe here. Every day we have to drive on the wrong side of the road. Eat strange food.
“You’re lucky – you still have your family. You can pick up the phone and tell your mom you’re coming for coffee. I can’t say to my mom I’m coming for coffee. I can’t go to my farm and visit my father because there’s nothing left…
“So wake up South Africa. You’re chasing us away.”
Friends and strangers have responded to Lorraine’s heartfelt outpouring that captures the spirit of a new expat so well. So many have been in her shoes before.
Karla Bergh said: “My liefste Lolla, immigrating sucks, not having your family and friends sucks, leaving everything and the only thing you’ve known all your life sucks! But believe me, you will never look back, you now actually have a life! You have given your kids a future. And that takes guts!!! Hou vas Lolla, it will get better xxx”
Another, Sabine Lloyd, said: “Life in a new country can be very challenging. Because one is away from all familiar friends and places, in a town were no one knows your name, leaves one with a certain lack of identity. You are not quite the person you were at home and haven’t fully changed into the person you are going to be here. A bit like a caterpillar while changing into a butterfly – it first has to exist as a pupa where it redesigns itself before metamorphosing into a beautiful butterfly.”
In an update Lorraine said:
Sjoe this post was not intended to go Viral… but it did.
I don’t know if I must feel blessed or sad… sad that so many people have reached out to me with tears of fear, tears of empathy and tears of also missing their families.
But I will continue lobbying for our people…
My post is like a small spark that can start a veldfire…
Make a stand for what is right where ever you are in the world!!!!
WATCH Lorraine Blauw, South African expat in the Netherlands: “Wake Up South Africa, You’re Chasing Us Away”
My heart will always belong to the African soil…. Our final chapter of our journey to a foreign country.****Update****Sjoe this post was not intended to go Viral… but it did. It was an emotional day that I posted to my facebook for my family and friends… but it reached 10000s of people across the globe.Thank you all for every single message you’ve sent- there is over 300 messages in my inbox from all over the world!! And they keep on streaming in…. I will reply to each of you!!! I don’t know if I must feel blessed or sad… sad that so many people have reached out to me with tears of fear, tears of empathy and tears of also missing their families.But I will continue lobbying for our people… My post is like a small spark that can start a veldfire…Make a stand for what is right where ever you are in the world!!!!
Posted by Lorraine Blauw on Wednesday, August 8, 2018