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To leave - or to stay - in SA

22 April 2012, 14:49

When to stop complaining

I lived in Namibia for 3 years before returning to South Africa in 2008. I have been in Johannesburg ever since. At first Johannesburg seemed fine, I had all the amenities I wanted, or rather never knew I needed. I was loving life. Yes, I was reading about politics, violence, crime and well -  violent crime. I didn't bother me too much until it actually happened to me.

I went home early one lunch time and found my (then) fiancée in the street crying. We were robbed, she was tied up but nothing was done to her. Before you stop reading because you think that this is a normal sad story of life being unfair - it isn't.

We moved to a secure complex with 24h guards and access control. We were committed that we would still give South Africa a chance. We are still here, 3 years later. We are married, have our first child on the way.

Lately in the afternoons, while driving home I get these day dreams "What if I get home and I find my wife, gone killed?" Yes it is a very real thought. Yes it is a very real chance that this might happen. When do you make a decision, that a lot of people tend to categorize  as "running scared" or "abandoning the fight", to leave South Africa?

Let me tell you when. You make that decision when you start to worry about your loved one's on a daily basis. This unnamed terror that stalks our thoughts and being. This overwhelming feeling that something might be wrong. The conscious decision is one of "I will not let this get to me". The decision that you won't share with your friends "I am terrified and the what if something happened to my family"

I am not saying that we should all pack our things up and go. South Africa has been great to me. It has given me so many memories. The point, I guess, I am trying to make is. Get rid of the facade that all is well and we can fight it. Rather start thinking smaller and think of what is important to you. If you are like me, it is your family and you will do anything to protect them. If it is fighting a corrupt government, then that is good as well. We need both types of people.

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