My sister in LA is coming home in May after being out of the country for 11 years. She recently mailed me that she was afraid of the crime in SA and asked me for my opinion on the topic. What a difficult thing to answer.
Suddenly the ‘South African discussion’ became like discussing religion for me! I am highly passionate about it, but feel it’s a personal journey. I had never really thought of it like that until now! I was really cautious of shoving my view down my sisters’ throat as I want her to make her own decision. I know that when people in SA start the ‘this bloody country....’ discussion, I generally have a tendency to argue a lot, especially when points that are made are shallow and unsubstantiated. (I need to work on ignoring that I think). Many white South Africans have still not ventured into a township (on purpose) but still make all sorts of sweeping statements and claims of understanding.
I try to have a balanced outlook on life and as with everything there are two sides to every story. (I personally still need to educate myself further on other cultures and practices, so I am not perfect I realise that). What you put in ends up being what you get out of life.
I love this country, I read a lot and am aware of the dangers and frustrations of living here, BUT I am also aware of the joys and opportunities. The world is becoming ever more dangerous every day and something bad could happen anywhere. I am not going to spend my life being afraid and would rather deal with things as they happen.
We need more skilled people in SA we need to build this country not run away. I have Africa pumping through my veins and no matter where I run I will yearn to return. So crime is a problem, it is scary, we have to be sensible, BUT we have a country filled with diversity, humour, colour, good weather, beauty and opportunity. It’s SHARP! SHARP!