There has been a severe drought in SA for what seems like ages now. Some areas have received rain recently but four provinces have been declared disaster sites. The government has made some effort to help but people are still dying in queues while waiting for water and children are competing with cattle for drinking water. Hundreds heads of livestock have been lost and a lot of people are in dire straits.
Thanks to the South African spirit of innovation and generosity thousands of people have come together in order to do what they can to support communities in need. One 1l,2l or 5l at a time ordinary South Africans have been helping in campaigns to bring some relief to those in need.
Individuals and companies alike have used social media to mobilise and the results have already been evident. People are digging deep and networking up a storm to make sure that everything is done to avoid more death. It’s heart warming to see the pictures and read the stories. People are simply helping because they can but they’re making friends along the way and literally savings lives. It’s amazing.
This to me is the value of the South African spirit. We will not let each other suffer despite our difference. It’s amazing how an emergency can bring people together.
I encourage you to get involved. I’ve already rallied my colleagues to donate water and one person alone is bring 55 litres tomorrow which I will take to a drop off point who in turn will take it to a truck depot. Every litre helps and can save a life.
Visit their website for drop off points and their FB page for updates. Please don’t delay to join the cause
The quote in my heading comes from a comment by DA Leader Mmusi Miamane in the Daily Maverik . This column is his response to racism which reared it’s ugly head over the festive season in a way we hadn’t seen for a long time. A spark had taken flame and a lot of people said things they shouldn’t have and either regret because their has been a backlash or regret because they probably said something they shouldn’t have in a way they didn’t exactly mean. But once you say racist things in South Africa it’s very difficult to wash yourself clean again.
Unfortunately, instances like these make all my efforts to highlight how great South Africans are, and how well things are going from a race perspective seem like twaddle. To quote Onkgepotse JJ Tabane in his recent Daily Maverick piece “how could [they]” these people who decided to spew hateful and derogatory things over social media have made South Africans take several steps back and look at each other as “us” and “them” again. The debate carries on and it seems like our legal system has to step in to try and make people behave. I really thought most of us were past this. I know there are still racists but I really hoped they would keep quietly to themselves so that us normal South Africans could carry on without influence.
I suppose the one bitter sweet thing that comes from this is that we clearly have to realise that there are still a lot of conversations which have to happen around this. We may have to re-have some conversations.
As Mmusi alludes to we have to also recognise that the inequality is still rife and that stems from historic racial divides. We have to try and help. So, I will do what I always do. I hereby ask people to please help each other, expect more from your government and frankly, just find your humanity.
Good luck to all true South African citizens
Braais are not unique to South Africa. I know America and the UK have barbeques and cook outs and I’ve had a version of a braai in Germany.
The thing about a South African braai is that it one of the things we can agree on as a nation. Everyone braais. Everyone has their family traditions and everyone has their favourite braai meat. But ultimately it comes down to the most important thing: Spending time under a South African sky enjoying the great weather and the great company of your friends and family. We love it so much we even now celebrate Heritage Day as Braai Day as instigated by Jan Braai
Jan Braai will have you believe you can braai almost anything but I prefer the simple tradition of:
- Fresh Garden Salad
- Garlic Bread
- Pap n Sous
(We’re South African. We can have two to three starches at any meal.)
These are all served as the main meal but at some point during a braai you’ve also snacked on crisps and large slices of watermelon. By the time the meat is served you’ve also had a lot of time to drink some ice cold alcoholic beverages. South African men love their beer, I like G&T though I have also discovered Beergaritas which are the most fun you can have in your own back yard.
If your host is a good one you’re starting your meal at around sunset and so you can all sit quietly and watch the country say goodnight in the most spectacular fashion while feeling blissfully content in that moment.
Braais are not eat an run affairs and so you stick around for more beers and probably ice cream and chocolate sauce for dessert. A few hours later you’re still visiting and by now you’ve relished in more watermelon and the quick guests have made light work of the leftover wors (that’s why you’ve got to have it handy)
Eventually wives drag husbands away and sleeping kids are bundled into the backseat. You’ve had a great time and you’re so pleased that your cousin has invited you around to his place for the same affair next week.