Our Country

by | Oct 15, 2008 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

One of the Old Boys from my daughter’s school in the Natal Midlands wrote this poem of appreciation of this country we call our home. (It also appears on the site South Africa – The Good News)

Gavin poses a question at the end, which I think anyone who has travelled out of SA for any length of time will identify with.

Towards the end of the 5 weeks we spent away last year, we began thinking of the things we missed about home.
For me it was the colourfulness of our lives here. There is never a dull moment!
When really crazy things happen I maintain my sanity and sense of humour by thinking, “only in Africa”.

Yes, we enjoyed the highly efficient public transport system in Holland and Denmark but it was also very expensive. A bus ride of 13km cost ~R30!
We saw some seriously armed police at all airports except in England and we experienced bureaucracy just as frustrating as here.
The sense of history, the old cities and the beautiful countryside were a lovely experience but I need to live with much more space around me.
And then it’s very difficult to beat our fabulous weather!

South Africa! What a place! A country of spirit, of beauty, of passion and a country of the people!
I long to wake up to the scuttling of guinea-fowl, and I long to go to sleep to the melodious howls of jackals!
I long to walk down a street with faces of all races! I long to sit by a camel thorn camp fire with the smells and aroma’s of traditional South African cuisine!
I long to walk under the sparkling blanket of the African sky!
I long to smell the cool, fresh, clean air after a rain storm!
I long to hear our rich integrated accent!
I long to pay in rand!
I miss the spirit of our sporting fans! I miss Bafana Bafana, the Proteas and the Springboks!
I miss Vodacom, MTN and Cell C!
The Southern tip of Africa is a thriving, modern country, rich in history and alive with possibility!
I long for a braai, I long for a walk down our coastlines or a hike in the beautiful Drakensberg!
I long for a day in the African bush!
I long for Jo-Burg traffic and I long for the ‘Sunlight’ or ‘Kaizer chiefs’ taxi’s thumping away with the base at the pace of Africa!
I long for a Castle, Black Label or Hansa!
I long for Mr Price, Pick n Pay and Woolworths! I long for the service at petrol stops, I long for our music and our Radio stations!
I long for Biltong!
I miss Leon Schuster, 7de Laan, MNet and the SABC!
Why is it all taken for granted when we have it, but missed so much, once it’s not in our grasp anymore?
Proudly South African! ‘Nkosi sikilele iAfrica’ God bless South Africa, because man… what a great place it truly is!!!
Gavin Mathews (working abroad) September 2007


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