I've taken a lot of flak for posting about moving to a first world country, and how much I am enjoying it. I've been accused of being unpatriotic, un South African, and just about everything else anyone can come up with.
I'd like to ask you though - what would make me patriotic in your eyes?
Would ignoring the stinking mess that South Africa is becoming thanks to crime, corruption and mismanagement make me patriotic?
Would denying the fact that we have one of the highest murder rates in the world, and are the rape capital of the world make me okay in your book?
Would denying the fact that we have unacceptable unemployment rates, and that we are a welfare state make it all better by you?
Would glossing over the fact that South Africa is STILL a racist stronghold, both in government and among the general public make me a patriot?
The term proudly South African does not, in my opinion, mean ignoring things that are so obviously wrong with the country. It means taking a stand, and talking about it.
It means making the world aware, as many did during apartheid, that there is an abhorrent evil at work in SA that needs to be rooted out.
It means not excusing the shoddiness we have been subjected to NOW because of the past.
When I talk to people about South Africa, I tell them that it's a beautiful place. I also tell them that if they plan a visit, they should be extra careful, and that they should not treat it as they would a first world destination.
I will not lie about South Africa's failures, but I do not deny that SA has a lot to offer.
Quite frankly, I think the people who have the blinkered approach to South Africa are failing the country by continuing to allow the decline.
If you're not appalled about the failures in South Africa, then you're not proud. You're in denial.
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