South Africa isn’t a sinking ship – even if you want to leave

I have not posted about this year’s #FeesMustFall protests, as I have been trying to listen and learn as much as possible. I have not felt the authority or entitlement to put my opinion onto a platform.

Until last week, when I saw a post on the Stellies Rage Facebook page. A French exchange student encouraged his fellow students to take their foreign passports (if they have) and move away from South Africa. This person made South Africa out to be a sinking ship that is better off abandoned.

It made me livid. South African society is turbulent at the moment, there is no mistaking it. We have a lot to fix. A lot of old, infected wounds have been reopened and we are now in this purgatory where no-one is really satisfied. Painted rust is still rust, and quick fixes have not been particularly progressive for South Africa. When you expose existing problems for what they are, there is finally hope for fixing them. So, as far as I see it, South Africa is potentially on the brink of becoming great. If we’d let it, of course.

People who sit around and make comments about how shit they think this country are infuriating. Worse, I think they are a part of the problem. Your attitude about something directly correlates with how much care you invest into it. This, of course, impacts the way you nurture it and how much effort to put into to it to making it succeed. So if you think this country is terrible, it is unlikely that you will contribute the necessary effort to take it to its full potential. Anyone whose parents forced them into a degree or a career path will be able to confirm this. Passion produces purpose. The mantra is a cliché for a reason.

It is not the wealth gap that make me afraid for the future of South Africa. Nor the social tension built upon years of racial oppression. It’s not even the corrupt government. It is the people who sit comfortably in their living rooms and make  Facebook statuses about how South Africa is going downhill. They have received the most from what this country has to offer, but they keep what they have for maximum comfort.  If I ever emigrate, it will be because of these people.

If you believe Europe or America to be better, do yourself – and this country – a favour and leave. You are not obligated to stay. This country is dynamic, but it is not for everyone. If you hate this country so much, you are not needed – it does not matter what you can contribute, you will not help this country develop. If you think you deserve to live in a ‘better’ country, carpe diem. Help yourself out. As taxing or expensive as migrating can be, not feeling the need to gripe every day is surely worth the move.

But on your way out, do not spread the propaganda that South Africa is not worth the effort. Do not spread the lies that South Africa has been fine for the past 20 years and that this era is filled with unfair violence. The rest of us love this country; we know that our loyalty need not be a waste of time. The growing pains are so ugly, but we know that we are working towards a South Africa that looks after everyone. If you do not want to be a part of that, that is your choice.

[Featured image source: businesstech.co.za]

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Why I’m disappointed Die Antwoord is not really breaking up

Recently, Die Antwoord has clarified that they are still together as a hip-hop/rap group after rumours of a split erupted last weekend. I have to say, I am very disappointed to hear that it was just a myth.

I get the fuss and I understand why they make headlines. They are strange, they are edgy, they push boundaries. I know that is what modern art does; as Banksy said, “art comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comforted”. I wholly support musicians who make their performances outrageous in order to prove points and make changes. Die Antwoord is not making valuable points; they are problematic.

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It’s anti-feministic to vote Hillary in

I know, I’m not American. In fact, I just recently learnt exactly how American politics work (and I probably should be more embarrassed about this than I am). But when the United States of America has such a dominant influence on the rest of the world, you take notice.

None of the candidates from these elections have looked promising. Even the liberal side doesn’t encompass the forward-thinking notions that America (and the rest of the world) needs. Sure, they may not be vomiting out all the hateful “honesty” that a particular candidate has been spewing. But I have yet to have seen one that talk about the catalogue of issues Americans need to address (and fix). Finally, after all these months, it boils down to Trump versus Clinton.

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No

Yesterday was Freedom Day in South Africa. Ironically, this year has been the first time in my memory when I felt it was celebrated accordingly. We challenged how much freedom actually exists in our society. We challenged the freedom people have over their own bodies.

On the 17th of April, students of Rhodes University stood up and did a courageous and necessary thing. They started actively protesting against the rape culture that thrives on campus.

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Connecting in the 21st century

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Two years ago, a lecturer asked my Journalism class if we felt that social media platforms were a useful tool for people to reach out to each other. Someone contributed to the discussion, saying that he felt it provided a useful space for people across the globe to interact and communicate with each other. I thoroughly disagreed. In theory, that is exactly how social media should benefit us. It should help us understand each other, but interacting with individuals we could not otherwise now have. But I was in the midst of Facebook sabbatical at the time – I needed a break from the experience of seeing thousands of people seemingly shouting at each other in a cyber-void.

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South Africa cannot be better as long he is in charge

Since the end of last year, South Africans began voicing their exasperation with Jacob Zuma, our president who is currently serving his second term as president. South Africans want him out now, and have expressed this through billboards, marches, viral memes and posts across social media platforms. Perhaps this mutual hatred of Zuma has even sparked new friendships, who can say.

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Check yourself(ie)

[May this be the first and last time I talk about Kim Kardashian on this blog.]

Yesterday I saw this response to the recent uprise that ensued after she shared a self-censored nude selfie (nudie?) on Instagram. I laughed – but mostly at the phrase “thick as oatmeal”. I thought that was a beautiful use of the English language.

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Why would Liz Wheeler have the answer for us?

Recently,  I’ve been seeing this video being fervently shared by my peers on Facebook.

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South Africans, stop it. Stop trying to apply this Liz Wheeler’s line of logic to our very specific predicament.

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