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Adrian Bean
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I love Cape Town

24 November 2010, 13:00  - Adrian Bean
I see all the letters from people ranting and raving about South Africa and how they’re so glad they moved to another country/continent. Well here’s my point of view from a “foreigner” who moved and stayed in South Africa!

I am a Namibian born South African citizen living in Namibia. Sounds extremely confusing doesn’t it?

I moved to Cape Town in 2002 as a Namibian citizen to experience proper city life. Growing up in very safe small towns and staying in the capital Windhoek (also safe) obviously did not prepare me for the BIG CITY.

Not knowing what to expect and fearing the worst with all the reports of crime and all the other bad stuff in SA I left my safe environment, family and many friends. To give you an idea the whole of Namibia has two million people, Cape Town is estimated to have close to four million people.

I was lucky enough to find work while in Namibia and had a place to stay with a friend. I had the couple of Namibian dollars I saved up to last me through the first month until I could get a salary again.

I arrived in Cape Town with no transport, no bank account, and no SA citizenship and only the one friend I knew from back home.

I managed to get vehicle finance within two days of arrival with the best service I have ever experienced, no questions asked (and remember no SA ID).

My next challenges were to report to work, challenge one was getting from point A (Durbanville) to point B (Cape Town city centre) even though my friend physically showed me the road in my new car probably 10 times I was still scared as hell with all the traffic and off-ramps. I ended up being 1½ hours early for work and only the cleaning lady around on the 15th floor to show me where to wait. I made it in time for work without getting lost, mission accomplished.

Challenge two was to meet my boss and colleges which I have never even spoken to before (I was appointed by someone in Johannesburg). After everybody arrived round about 08:00 (most came after 08:00) I realised it’s true that Cape Town people are laid back. I was welcomed and immediately thrown into the deep side of the swimming pool by a lady boss quickly realising yes, we’re laid back but when we work we work. My style yes!

This was my first week in Cape Town; the next seven years flew by. Yes, seven years although I only planned to stay for one!

Never was I robbed, never was my house broken into, never was I beaten or any of the bad things that were reported so wildly. Maybe I was lucky but I can assure you my name is not lucky, I’ve had my fare share of bad luck in the past.

I visited my family and friends regularly “at home” in Namibia but guess what, I could not wait to get back “home” to Cape Town!

I made awesome friends and to make friends in Cape Town was probably the hardest thing for me, but I managed and our friendships are forever.

My career (and no I don’t have a degree behind my name) flourished with hard work, an awesome boss that gave me opportunity and extremely supportive colleges and clients.

The worst ordeal for me in Cape Town was probably the two long-term relationships I had to get over and that was not so bad.

I am now back in Namibia, DEEP in the bush where I came from and where I belong but I miss Cape Town, I miss so many things but of all I miss South Africa. Yes, there is crime but people must start looking past the bad and live on what South Africa has to offer.

I travelled extensively through a large part of South Africa (including the “dreaded” Joburg) and cherish so many good memories as I had so little bad experiences that they vanished from my memory.

You have the Springboks, you have Bok van Blerk, you have Ryk Neetling, you have Madiba, you have Charlise Theron, you have so many beautiful people and so many beautiful things. How can you not be proud? You can always say “never a dull moment”.

Lots of love from your Namibian-born South African citizen neighbour.

- Are you a South African living abroad interested in sharing your views? What is it like for a South African living in a foreign country or how do you view South Africa from a distance? Send us your columns to and you might get published in our new Beyond Borders section.

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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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