Wednesday, 05 November 2008

AN AFRICAN AT THE OVAL OFFICE! VIVA OBAMA!

Ok I feel that coming out of my blogging drought to talk about one of the most historic events of all time was way worth it!!

BARACK OBAMA has been voted president of the United States of America [for those of you that have been asleep today] and as an African I could not be prouder! He just has such class and dignity it is unbelievable….. I mean the guy is one of the true leaders left in politics that actually has that emotional connection with his constituency and beyond! In fact, the beyond part is the most interesting..the world needs him…we all need to believe in that kind of person again. I am sure his apparent integrity [ok I know he is still a politician!] is one of the main reasons for my love of the man. I am unsure in my own mind how much of my joy is because he is African or simply because I now know that the Americas are actually not as narrow minded as I thought they were when it comes to doing the right thing, in this case the broader world will benefit [YAY]. Lets face it the alternative for them was bleak and they could just not afford to elect another Bush and Dick show..

Full marks for the new voters and the ones that believe in change. Making the right decision on this guy who just happens to be half AFRICAN! He is also truly half African not ‘African American’ that is really code for American with a darker skin colour!! Not sure how many “African Americans’ would cope in Africa! Don’t get me started on the ‘African American’ debate….I am more African than most those people and I am white. Being an African is so much more about your soul and culture than your skin colour. This man with a Kenyan dad will understand the African soul.

Africa is rejoicing…I loved the post by Chris Roper
from News 24 where he said “Well, now we can all pull into Barack's place and sleep on the floor next time we visit America” that is just so African and I am sure that is how Obama makes people feel, like they know him….like we are all family …..like the world may begin to heal.

So well done Mr Obama! You really deserve your victory, no pressure BUT the world awaits your brilliance, and I’m so hoping that you will show them what an African can really do.. we need to unite! Viva Africa! Viva Obama!

Sunday, 28 September 2008

FINALLY...A glimse of a Rainbow....?

I have to say I feel a little lighter on the feet since Kgalema Motlanthe was ‘shoved in’ as president. Having heard him speak before his presidency he makes a lot of sense and more importantly he does not seem to be trying to cut a CD with his one hit wonder ‘umshini wami’.

Sure there may be a few leeeettle grey areas, like socialism and communism in his past BUT he seems to bring a much needed calming influence to the ranks of the ANC, which as we know is needed nowadays. It has sadly become a party of self serving twits that are more worried about its ‘leader’s’ trial than leading a country of people in a democratic way.

So a little ray of sunshine appears in what was seeming [to me] to be an endless grey sky… BUT time will tell. A few good moves have been made so far, namely the Minister of Health is now Barbara Hogan and helmet head-Manto has been moved to the presidential office..[think she needs close watching]. Pity she was not fired BUT she aint gonna be a problem in Health anymore. Then someone finally made a decision to fire Robert McBride after 6 months of haggling about his drunk driving charge [costing the tax payers money].. etc etc. It will be interesting to see what happens to Selebi and what will be done about crime…I wait with anticipation!

It will also be interesting to see if our dome headed ‘rock star’ [Zuma that is] does ascend to the highest position in the country in a few months time….Good Lord I hope not, lets have the trial first shall we… Kgalema might start enjoying his new found fame anyway.

So SA politics has suddenly become more interesting and I am 100% sure will hot up as the months roll into election time. For the ANC a new era has arrived..I cant help but wonder if a split in the party is imminent…it would make sense but predictions are not cool nowadays..

Quickly moving to US politics… I think they could have a bigger problem if the Republicans win the election over there. A president that is about to kick the bucket and could end up leaving the rains to his deputy…. Palin. Why is that such a problem you ask…? WELL for one…she has NEVER traveled outside her country! And they worry about Obama’s lack of experience! Palin only got her passport now…in her 40’s! HAVE YOU EVER! How much can she really know about how America fits into the world, what a bad choice! [For her it’s probably more about how the world fits into America..aren't we the world?!....I can hear her asking!] Backwards and Scary. VIVA OBAMA...at least he actually knows where Africa is!

Thursday, 04 September 2008

The Country Life - Week 1

So we have moved and are attempting to settle into the country-side life. Moving from a big city, housing millions of people to a village with a few thousand is a real mind shift. I have to say though we are loving it!

We had snow on the mountains this weekend and it was beautiful, there is just something you cant beat about snow caped mountains, a great [real] fire and a bottle of good red being surrounded by vines. So this is life for me now…I feel privileged.
I think I could even [at a stretch] handle the small town gossip- by ignoring it..[not my best I must say]…I may have to give people something to talk about!

So a quick overview of my first few days:

•The view…unbelievable, from every angle…snow capped mountains with clear crisp air…
•Sleepy countryside speckled with the odd farm house, cow or sheep [complete with smokey chimney – just love that]
•Getting caught behind a tractor on the way to school…
•School here starts later, feels weird only getting up at 7 to get to take my daughter to school by 8. School is very farmy…very different but she settled on the first day.
•Spend my mornings sipping coffee in the sun on the tiny main road through the village. [where I am currently typing this!]
•No Woolies [Woolworths] to be found… [still deciding if that is a good or bad thing]
•Hey! I could wear one of my hats that I have been collecting for the last few years… very cool! Gum boots and hats are the norm here!
•Going to a champagne farm this weekend for a launch and lunch… and last weekend spent time at the wine farms next to fires sipping red…
•Everyone knows each other here and people go out of their way to say hi and have a 15 min conversation…trying to get used to that…. [and the Afrikaans…I nearly failed that at school!]

So far not missing JHB at all. Not even a little…I may at some stage I am sure…this is all still new for me and I love the energy that JHB has. There is petty crime here but NOTHING like the violence of Jozi…I can cope with that. I cannot begin to explain how much this place feels like I live in another country but has a familiarity about it that is SA. It is really weird.

Have a few consulting appointments set up…doesn’t feel like work though…every day here feels like the weekend!

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Opting for a Simpler Life...

It was apt that the last line of my previous post was 'I am speechless', because I have been for a month now...Just had lots going on in my life and needed to take a step away from the technology noose to have a bit of a breather…

So… whilst I've been on my techno-free sabbatical lots has happened. Namely, next month my family [almost in its entirety], are moving to a small farming village outside Cape Town. Can you image that…..? From the hustle and bustle of JHB to a village in the Cape. We decided to ‘check out’ of the rat race to live a simpler, safer, healthier [etc, etc] life.

We are doing it mainly for our kids and in the end, although some think we are mad, we believe it’s the correct thing to do for us. This got me wondering why we all work in the first place….? I’ve asked myself that question over and over recently, only to realize that my main reason [not the only one] is to improve our family standard of living. This move will do that in one swoop but the trade off is having limited, to no access to a higher city income and the 'things' that come with that. I think many of us at some stage make the mistake of thinking that ‘things’ bring us happiness or that we HAVE to work here, or do this, or that to 'pay the bills'. Age brings clarity, and I am grateful that I am still young enough to have realised, that is not necessarily the case. I am simply happiest when I am with my family and when I am mentally simulated. I can do that having the basics, in a smaller house, with a smaller car [or maybe a bicycle] and I really don’t need to fall into the ‘must have things trap’. I can also develop my business differently [technology makes us global..yippee] and look for different avenues that may not be as lucrative but just as satisfying.

This kind of decision is a massive one to make, especially as my husband and I come from many years in the rat race corporate mentality. However, in saying that, once we had made the decision it was easy to do the rest. I am nervous of the small village [its not even a town size] mentality as I am a city gal at heart but I will survive I am sure!!

It may be the right time to also ask yourselves the question, why do you really work... to feed your kids and put a roof over their heads?....Can you not do that on less? Do you really need all the 'things'...why do we all wait till we are nearly dead to try a simpler life!?

Friday, 04 July 2008

If Mugabe was a white man...tra..laa...laa

Two quick thoughts for today:

Mr Mbeki has a short memory. He seems to have forgotten how it feels to be oppressed. For him, it seems keeping in favour with 'The Mug' is more important than millions of starving Zimbos. I am actually in total shock by his 'quiet diplomacy' approach. Africa and the rest of the world were very outspoken about the previous oppression under the apartheid government in SA. That pressure eventually aided the internal change. What has Mugabe got on Mbeki, why is he really supporting a dictor? He is laughable really.

I wonder if Mugabe was white, would his actions to date still be acceptable? Would the AU have been quiet as lenient? During the Xenophobic violence, I heard many comments about how bad 'black on black' violence was, and it needed to be stopped at all costs. Clearly we are not really serious about that, as a country or a continent as The Mug continues to starve and 'rape' his country and its people. All this whilst our government and Africa looks on in quiet diplomacy like a bunch of 'bloody idiots'.

I am speechless really I am...

Tuesday, 01 July 2008

Rewarding INCOMPETENCE - SA POST OFFICE BUSINESS OF 2008!!

We seem to be rewarding incompetence everywhere at the moment..A brilliant point in case is the recent Post Office saga. Firstly let me note that there is no-one I know that has had a pleasent experience at any of our Post Offices. Please let me know if I am wrong here. The staff are rude and never smile [they seem to get trained on how to operate at snail pace]. They are a typical government department as far as I am concerned. We also all know [through experience] that theft is rife...SOOOO when
Amazon issued a statement to say that they would no longer deal with the the SA POST OFFICE [making our country the only African country to have this ban], because of theft noone was really surprised. Embarrased maybe but not surprised!

This week the Post Office was voted Business of the Year 2008. Surprise!! No joke either apparently...the judges must have been stuck on a deserted island for the last few years...or was this a 'political decision' and someone is being paid/bribed. I simply do not understand, when the customer base has the worst view of a business how they can be voted Business of the Year?? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON??!!!

Does this mean that in one week the Post Office has managed to clean up its thieving, bad service act to win an award....COME ON...

Monday, 23 June 2008

SA’s Leadership crisis

I had the misfortune of listening to Julius Malema [ANC Youth League] on Carte Blanche last night and decided that each day is getting just that little bit harder to see the leadership light in this country.

If this guy is the kind of leader that the ANC deems to be the future, then we are doomed to a future of anger, killing and war. Sadly there are many underlying nuisances when these leaderless leaders actually open their mouths lets review…..
Julius as a point in case in the Carte Blanche interview said 2 things [without actually saying them] sending a kind of coded message out. Malema- ‘They try to sabotage our government, they try to use the media to discredit black leaders; project them as racist, as corrupt, as people who need easy money.” For me this begged the question…Why is the word black relevant in this case? It prompted the interviewer to ask if he was in fact referring ‘to whites’, to which Malema responded "No, we are not talking about white people. Even black people there are counter-revolutionary forces which are also black, and very black for that matter." Sorry I may be confused… why mention black then? What was the point other then to send a message that whites are behind the ‘Zuma conspiracy’?

To add fuel to the fire his second ‘revolutionary code message’ was ‘ “they are serving the 'master'. They have been incorporated into the agenda of the imperialist." So once again a reference to the word ‘master’ [which clearly has apartheid connotations] and another Mugabe-like reference to imperialism…I fail to understand the need to for that comment either and what relevance it has to Mr Zuma’s corruption trial…I may just be missing the boat. Lets not even mention the other ‘k…’ word, kill that is, that just makes me feel ill, I am at a loss for words on that one..

As a white person in this country that has now had a 99.99% black government for 14 years I do not understand the hints of whites as the ‘enemy’…it is all very Zim-like…Mugabe has ruled for 28 years and still blames ‘colonialists’ for what is happening in Zim…its just to easy to put a colour to the problem in an effort to unite people playing on the memories of their pain and anger. Will we ever move on?

The use of words as tools of ‘war’ is nothing new, but is it really necessary in our fledgling democracy… Sadly Malema has been supported by others. Cosatu’s, Zwelinzima Vavi's ‘shoot to kill’ support statement is just one point in case. What are we seeing here and should I even be surprised that Zuma did nothing on the day to rebut the statement made by Malema. I suppose for a man that’s theme song is about a machine gun it makes perfect sense to say nothing against the killing speak..

Sorry I really don’t hold much faith in a majority of our people not buying into these coded messages…we just have to look at the group mentality of the Xenophobic violence to see that a few can lead many to hell with a few simple words [many examples exist worldwide…Hilter is a perfect example]. Timing is all important and it is clear that knowing that Zuma may be found guilty is resulting in some ‘leaders’ in the country resorting to desperate warring tactics that are irresponsible. What is even worse is they are not being condemned by our highest office.

This ‘Zuma strategy’ is clear and dangerous: Threaten and create enough fear and talk of war to ensure that a trial is compromised in the eyes of the public, holding our legal system to ransom. These groups keep questioning a fair trial…this current behaviour is far from fair and their constant undermining of, not only our legal system, but also our constitution is appalling and should be stopped and retracted [its actually too late for that in my view – what has been said can never be undone].Just one problem, with the total lack of leadership who will stop it…..?

I could not help but hear the faint chants/echos of some of the worlds most dangerous dictators….

“The only white man you can trust is a dead white man.” -Robert Mugabe
“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”-Adolf Hilter [Maybe Malema read this one]
“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it” -Adolf Hitler
“All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.” –Adolf Hitler
“We pride ourselves as being top, really, on the African ladder ... We feel that we have actually been advancing rather than going backwards.” – Robert Mugabe.

We need help…and quick…

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

A bit of funny!

This is a very very clever Ad from Vodacom!

Thursday, 05 June 2008

Obama wins! WhooHooo!

Obama is ‘King’ of the Democrats…!!!
There is hope in the world once again! Lets just hope the Americans see that a democratic presidential nomination is the only way forward.

I appreciate that nobody could ever be like Madiba, but is this man not pretty close? He appears to be a mix of Madiba and Martin Luther King! Wow! The best thing is that he is African! What a combo….! He is an inspiration and although I doubt any politician [or person!] is ever 100% authentic in nature, Obama comes across as pretty damn close. He seems to really be for the people!

Sorry Hillary, I like you, but now in order to ensure the democrats win against the Republicans [is McCain not 2 old- seems to shuffle everywhere?] you need to stand by the man!

Check out his acceptance speech...

Monday, 02 June 2008

Can there be any justification for Violence?

Should violence have a ‘good side’?

I have been reading a lot about the recent Xenophobia attacks in SA and as usual I gravitate to the blogosphere to get the general take on the whole sad story. There is a broad condemnation, which is obviously good, BUT there also seems to be to be a growth in the amount of bizarre comments made by some black people that ‘black on black’ violence is ‘unacceptable’ as we are ‘all Africans’. A question to those people....does that mean that black on white/indian/coloured/asian violence would be acceptable in SA or anywhere? It appears the mentality of a few commenting on posts is that ‘whites deserve it’ or simply that no other colour or creed is as relevant in SA other than black people? Is this just because you happen to have a browner skin than mine? I am also African, South Africa is my home. I was born here and my family have been here for many generations.

I just don’t get it. Why do people even make comments like that? Violence is violence; it is unnecessary and will not aid us in building a united ‘Rainbow Nation’. A nation, that was supposed to be built on the fundamental pillars of tolerance and forgiving?

What has become evident in South Africa and in Africa as a whole is how much African on African violence seems to be linked to a lack of self worth. Sure we can blame this on colonialism, as years of oppression and abuse by ‘whites’ will definitely create that problem, but when will that stop…? When will it be appropriate to stop using that as an excuse. We need to stop looking into the rear view mirror. Why is ‘black on black’ oppression [which has been happening in many African countries for decades] not as bad? Is it because its seen as 'more' African because the leader happens to be black? When will the future become more important than the past in Africa? I am not being sarcastic when I ask this question, I am seriously concerned. I still maintain that whlist we all busy fighting amongst ourselves, we have another form of 'colonisalism' or control seeping into Africa. Greedy, African oppressors selling our mineral enriched continent off to the West and China under our noses so eventually we will never really own this land, only 'rent it'. If we dont stop it, corruption and greed will kill our country and our continent. They are the enemy.

A few of the people making comments on blogs used the ‘self worth/ oppressive whites’ argument as a reason for the latest Xenophobia violence. Lack of service delivery by our government to the poorest of the poor over the past decade is not cited in many comments I have read.

I am painfully aware that there will be those that will see me as a ‘foreigner' in my own country, [because of my skin colour] and that is sad. I also realise that there will always be people, both black and white, that will not move on. In the end though nothing will change if these views persist, as we will end up with the circle of hate that apartheid brought flying back at us again and we will forever be prisoners of our own mentality. Stop the violence.
Free South Africa. Free Africa.

Monday, 26 May 2008

The SA 'bubble' divide...

The Xenophobia catastrophe has reminded me once again that there is still a large portion of South African’s living in a bubble [surprise, surprise you say]..well yes and no..

After chatting to people I think that bubble has got bigger because certain sections of the population are ‘shutting down’ from communication and what’s happening around them in order ‘to cope’… How much can people take with the constant reports of corrupt officials, lack of leadership, greed, crime, violence, rape [including children] etc etc. it all seems to have just got too much for some to bear.

Giving, caring and humility has been ‘drummed’ into me my whole life, as I result I have a mindset [according to my mom] of trying to save the world. I have an extreme dislike for violence, unfairness and anything that is inhumane and I have admittedly had a few sleepless nights about the Xenophobia massacres. The whole thing has challenged my constant quest for balance. On one side I get involved and feel I need to be informed but I realize that this also makes me sad and depressed, especially when faced with the detail of the crimes. The other side of me wants to make this all go away [push the ‘undo’ button]. Now I have recently had a new thought emerge..… I understand why some chose to hide in the ‘shut down bubble’. I know that kind of thought process will not help matters but I understand it. Its hard to manage when you have been taught to put yourself in another’s shoes and tap into their pain. So, are we building a country a thick skinned, heartless people? I think not, it has alot to do with survival. The bubble = survival, the ostrich syndrome...you will be familiar with that tactic...we have 'leaders' who teach it well.

What has recently happened in our country is a serious blotch on our human rights record. We cannot take back what has been done and I am finding it harder and harder to find hope and faith knowing we have no Leadership. The future is now an uncertain place. A good friend of mine lives and works in Liberia and she recently gave me sound advice to ‘take a conscious decision not to be discouraged’ as 'South Africa has been through a lot worse'. I suppose it has, but the fact that I live amongst those that think burning people in the street is funny, or bashing old people to death is their right ..etc etc just because they are foreign is a frightening thought]. It does make the rest of the world question [and yes we should ‘care’ about the rest of the world, we need investment, skills, tourism, 2010 etc] whether we are what they thought we were…the Rainbow Nation...the shining light of the ‘dark continent’. One other thing differs, we have less skill to lose now then we did in 1994. We simply cannot afford to not be investing in our future.

No matter what anyone says, the recent events have shown that this time, we are very much part of the ‘pity box’ that is seen as Africa and we clearly don’t have the tolerance or control we should have for our African brothers and sisters or their children. Even when our people [in years gone by], have been hosted by other African countries in their time of need. Someone mentioned the government is to blame for allowing poor communities to be burdened with more poverty. I agree with that, but we as South Africans still have a choice, why such violence? Some people do need to wake up and get involved but we are still grappling with the problem of the ‘emerging world’ meets ‘first world’ conflict in our country with the divide being enormous between rich and poor and having a deaf government just adds to that divide. The 'emerging world' needs help, not more pressure....whilst some in the ‘first world’ look on, living in their bubble in order to ‘cope’ and not feel the pain of their brothers and sisters. Sound familiar…? So I am making attempts to not 'be discouraged’ and retreat to the 'safety' of the bubble. I know we need to work hard to fix the pain otherwise very soon we could all be burning in the streets [lets hope that never happens]…So try leave the bubble and help us try save SA from itself, the fight is worth it.

Thanks Zapiro for another 100% interpretation of recent events:

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Cloudy Nation...as it rains on foreigners

I don’t intend to ‘government bash’…but they seem to leave me with little choice nowadays…what the hell are they doing as we watch our country descend into chaos…The xenophobia is out of hand and still I am sure someone would say ‘there is no crisis’. I am ashamed to be a South African today after reading The Star.

Our own people, with persecution still so fresh in their minds, seem to have no issues with beating [in some cases murdering]/raping and taking from foreign nationals. Some of which have been in this country for years. It seems that some people have been waiting to have a ‘shopping spree’ on the back of the hard work of others?!! What kind of person rationalises that in their heads? There are currently over 500 police in Alexandra township [a picture on the front page of The Star shows one shooting a live round!]. Don't we need the the police fighting crime..? It seems like a war zone with armored vehicles being the order of the day?!

Lets assess the root of the problem….the total lack of control and corruption that appears to exist amongst our border patrol [and our police, government and.. and.. and]. Perceptions are a dangerous thing and with the total lack of consistent communication or action from our government, the average South African I am sure formulates their own perceptions regarding what is happening by the very facts presented. Thank God for the media.

Thousands of people are getting through our borders from a desperate situation in a country run into the ground by a mad man. Instead of assisting the crisis by [acknowledging there actually is one] and creating refugee camps for these people [we could then feed people through international aid programmes], we are letting them through to fend for themselves in any way they see fit. It seems that those that are caught and ‘deported’ are back the next day! Most I am sure attempt to find work [and will probably work for less out of total desperation] and others I am sure turn to crime. I the meantime our president makes a statement that there is no crisis in Zimbabwe…wake up Mbeki the crisis has moved right into our country…but hey government doesn’t seem to care….Still no refugee status for Zimbos has been declared…there is almost an ostrich approach to this situation [and many others] that makes me think that our okes are either 2 busy squabbling over how much cash they can get their hands on, how much power they can get or how to dodge convictions by crying conspiracy to even worry about South Africans are taking the law into their own hands.

All it takes is one ‘clever’ to see a gap to create a mob mentality that is more frightening than anything because mobs don’t have a brain…What has happened in Alexandra is terrible. The message is clear, people are desperate, both foreigners and South Africans alike and there needs to be action and quickly to resolve the situation…we have a large dark cloud over our nation today...the rainbow has long since gone along with tolerance.

[UPDATE 14 May: Can you imagine being thrown out of your house that you have lived in and paid for for years and come back to find a lazy South African thief in it when you return telling you 'this is no longer your house'. That is happening in Alex at the moment. I cannot believe this kind of 'land repatriation' is happening to foreigners on our soil...next phase Sandton?]

Wednesday, 07 May 2008

SA Criminal's National Anthem..Cry Conspiracy

Have any of you noticed the new trend of crying conspiracy by criminals...This is a worrying trend because it indicates there is a thought process [that seems to be working in some cases] that thinks the law can be manipulated by creating doubt and confusion. If the public had faith in the legal system would this kind of thing happen? Read this story not because the criminals involved have cried conspiracy [like the Knysna DJ that raped and murdered 2 young girls and DNA proved he was the person who committed the crime...but its a conspiracy you see..right!] but because if they were caught they probably would cry conspiracy!

A friend of mine recently went to write her learners at the Auckland Park License Dept. She failed by 1 point so she duly went to the licensing officer and said …'Ahh come on it was just one point’... to which the guy said if you wanted to get that extra point you should have mentioned that before the test.

My friend 'interrogated' a little more on this ‘option’ only to find that the public servants there are… surprise…. surprise, completing the test for you before hand and bringing your paper back saying you forgot to complete your name etc…. Sorry to sound cynical but it is unrealistic to expect the public to have any faith in the government or their departments when there are constant reports of corruption and non delivery, so blatant.

You apparently have to pay the bribe up front to avoid all the anti corruption steps that have been put in place after the test. And the price of the sin… R350.00 per bribe and that is at a discount. Considering that your learners costs you around R110 odd rand [if you do it legally] I would say these guys are making a killing. ‘Great’ business that is slowly choking our country but hey who cares right?! I do, but I am one person with a blog..big deal.

What is scary is that in one sitting my friend saw 3 people 'that forgot to complete information' in other words…bribing rotten stinking corrupt bastards, which in my book makes them just as bad - it happens because it can. Sorry I am so mad I could spit.

What is happening to our country [so tired of that question] that this can happen so blatantly out in the open.. There is no fear of the law anymore as we are slowly becoming a lawless society. We need to fight against this…the problem is when some of our ‘leadership’ have a question mark hanging over their heads the message is clear…its a free for all….'see what you can get because nothing will happen to me approach'. The worst thing that can happen is maybe in 10 years time going to trial and then the case being dismissed because someone 'mislaid the file' or the public simply forgot about it.

I am sure these people have no fear of being caught [no matter how much evidence] the new national anthem for the criminals of this country is ‘its all a conspiracy or a public vendetta’ that ‘has no merit’ and is untrue 'provoked by the press' - of course. So hey create enough mud in the pond to ensure clarity is lost.

The implications of this….we have an entire generation that have illegally got onto the road but have the documents to say they are legal….its no wonder we cant control the death toll on our roads. Let me know what you think about this because I am furious. Cry...our beloved country...

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Glass half full/empty...SA

I have been reading all the inspirational things that have been going around from the likes of iburst etc regarding our beautiful country. I agree with most of them but I noticed that I seem to cling to the words ‘we have been here before’. In reality though, I don’t think we have. At the risk of being labeled a pessimist [more like a realist] I think we have finally crossed over into another place as a country, a place not many of us know or understand. We have gone off track and need some drastic help to come back to a new version of normality.

Lets review our country ‘killers’ at the moment:

-Lack of credible Leadership
-Violent Crime
-Corruption / Greed
-Poverty
-Non-Delivery by Government
-HIV
-High Illiteracy & Low level of Education
-Infrastructure decay
-Uncontrolled entry of Foreigners

Now I would feel optimistic about being able to sort these out if we had some sort of future plan, a strong leader and a credible and effective government channel and legal system. Our people also need to start understanding that for every negative action there is a negative consequence [that is why laws are created].

It is sad for me to sit in discussions when youngsters are discussing the possibility of leaving the country because they don’t see a future. At this point how many people have actually left is pure speculation and no-one in government seems to think this is a big problem. So many families being split out of fear.

All this at a time when we need all hands on deck…I am beginning to feel like I have no voice and the constant state of lawless [a growing number of incidents now involving police] is wearing me down. Too many terrible stories…. its becoming difficult to remain confidently focused on how beautiful our country is....the lack of balance at the moment is awful.

So here’s the thing…I will continue to post my views on these topics as they are close to my heart and if my words contribute even 0.001% to the pressure required for change then its worth it.
We need to stand together sure...but first.....we need to be led.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Bye, Bye Mbeki...

What is our president thinking when he says 'Zimbabwe is not in crisis'..? People are starving, leaving their homes to cross our border… with nothing and in total desperation and yet.....'they are not in crisis'?? Thabo has finally lost the plot…..totally….maybe he has spent 2 much time out of the country and cant remember who he is and that S Africa is an important leader country on this continent… Any leader that treats his people the way Mugabe treats his people should never be tolerated.
In retrospect it is now clear what an ostrich Mr Mbeki has become…..
Supporting people within his team that are non-performers, taking a apparent Marie Antoinette [‘Let them eat cake’ or rather garlic and herb] approach to important problems such as HIV/Aids, Crime and lets not even mention his 'silent leadership' style which has positioned him as a remote leader with limited personality and now sadly a limited credibility.

It would be a lot easier if we had a powerful, credible leader waiting in the wings to lead us to salvation and deliver us from ‘evil’ intentions…
Whatever your intentions are Mr President, it seems you are supporting evil in Mugabe…. if I were you I would make some attempt to salvage the shredded threads of your credibility and do the right thing!
I cannot believe I voted for you.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Unfair Dismissal: David Bullard

It is totally undemocratic and sad for me that David Bullard [who I am personally not a major fan of personality wise] was fired yesterday for his controversial article. I do enjoy reading his column even though I don’t agree all the time.

Assessing the situation there are a few dodgy things with the whole firing episode:
The guy is paid to be controversial. He is paid to piss people off… is he not? I know that I have been mad a few times with what he has written BUT that is his opinion and if you don’t like it don’t read it..The last time I checked we lived in a democracy? I mentioned to someone earlier today that part of a democracy is that you will sadly always have to listen to some siloed arse’s view of life on a topic…tolerance in these situations is key [even with arses]. We seem to have a lot to learn looking at the reader comments made under David's post.
Secondly, it seems he submitted the copy for checking to the Sunday Times 3 days before ??? Who is getting chopped there???
An important point that seems to be missed was his mention of China. I have a strong view that....a new, silent form of colonialism is being driven by greedy African leaders. ‘Selling’ our precious Africa bit by bit to the Chinese for 100 year [concessions] at a time. These guys don’t care, they will be a long time dead when the African people wake up to the fact that they don’t own Africa anymore! Is that not the colonialism we as Africans should all be fighting?? That would be better than fighting each other! I just wish we would stop looking back to the old form of this problem and start seeing the new looming problems so we can deal with them..
It scares me a little that things like this Bullard thing can happen…what does it say about our democracy..? Sure we preach Freedom of Speech but the small print seems to read ‘only if you conform to 'our' view’….We need help. [Sunday Times has lost so much credibility with one stupid political decision which seemed to be based on uncontrolled emotion]

Tuesday, 01 April 2008

The Tale of the Africa Liar..

Being such I lover of this magnificent continent I simply could not avoid the Zim discussion. There is so much to say….

Robert is a very clever man. He has successfully managed to ‘convince’ [force whatever you want to call it] the few that seem to have voted for him that ‘colonialism’ is the real reason his people have no food and are entirely isolated from the ‘West’. What is sad is that some actually believe that story.. and some of those people, [with their anti colonial thoughts] have probably hopped into SA.
So that brings me to my questions/comments….

1. I wonder how some of those Zimbos see the white people in SA? It would be interesting to see if violence against white ‘colonialists’ by foreigners has in fact increased over the last year or so, now that we have millions of illegal desperate people trying to survive in a new country… are whites targets? [I am a white African and proud of that fact]
2. When will Africa move on from the tired ‘colonialist’ speech? I am certainly not saying we should forget the past BUT I really wish that as African’s we would spend more time talking about our independent futures – now that we have had them for years.
3. What is scary is that ‘Mug’ has clung onto power for so long committing horrendous human rights atrocities yet he can still find a ‘home’ for his ‘hard earned African wealth’ in Banks in the west?. How is that possible? How can financial institutions be allowed to harbor this kind of ‘wealth’? Where is George on his ‘white horse’ running in to save the day…..OH YA I forgot…not enough oil there to give a damn. [I don’t believe that would be a solution anyway, real change comes when the people rise up and say enough is enough]
4. When are African people going to reject the rape of their own country by their own leaders? Ahhhh Leadership…..something we in SA once had…Many times I have mentioned that Leadership is a servanthood. Serving ones people not taking from them… novel idea…one that Madiba clearly understood.

So I have heard that a lack of strong opposition Leadership in a policed state is the reason for Mug’s long political ‘career’. That may be very true, lets be honest Tsvangirai is opposition but the simple fact that he is not Mug makes him better. Not sure if he will set the world on fire. As for Makoni…the dude is pretty…Mug hasn’t thumped his face in yet…? I would question that…a puppet maybe?

I hope for the people of Zim that this whole sad tale is sorted soon, and that they finally get their democracy without violence and further pain.

As for Africa, I may well be blogging about my dreams for this continent for many years to come. Lets just hope by then Africans still own it…A different form of ‘colonialism’ approaches… a silent one driven by personal greed has been unleashed by our so called African ‘Leaders’. Land concessions for 100’s of years are being signed and land handed to foreign countries like China without much thought for the future. The people are the only ones that can stop this… Long live Africa for Africans

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

The Pain of Parenting

Being a parent is something that really amazes me everyday. My daughter is growing [thank heavens!] and each day brings a new set of new questions and interesting situations to deal with.

A friend of mine recently had the awful experience of facing the fact that her grandson has a malignant life threatening brain tumor. He is 7, the same age as my daughter. A religious friend of mine made the comment that ‘we all have a path’. As an adult I understand that philosophy but as a parent I don’t. It may just be that I do not have as much faith? The pain of watching my child in pain and being helpless is something I am not sure I could bear as a human being.

Having to face the hard choices when you have a sick child and knowing that either choice involves suffering or even the potential of death. How does a parent explain that to a child, someone you are supposed to protect?

A child’s sickness or death is something no parent should ever have to endure, yet every day 100’s of children and parents live through that suffering and pain.
As someone sitting on the outside watching the drama and pain unfold, I am reminded of the value of my life and that of my daughter and family. I cannot help feeling guilty that I have options and other families are so focused on living that few options exist other than surviving as people and a family unit.

This post is a tribute to those that have had to endure this kind of suffering, I do not profess to understand what you are feeling, but I can vaguely feel your pain as a parent when I look at my daughters laughing face.

May this be a reminder to those of us that are more fortunate to never take life and people for granted. Live life, Love lots.

Sunday, 09 March 2008

The 'Free' State?


Zaprino captures the essence again...

I am more than horrified at the behavior of the 4 kids at Free State University [the irony in the Free State name has not gone unnoticed for me either]. It is painfully clear that they are bewildered by the attention that they have received following their humiliation of elderly cleaners on their campus. That in itself is scary.

There are 2 points I have noted here:
1.It is clear they come from families that are of the opinion that black people are beneath them because of their skin colour .
2.What is also evident is their lack of respect for elders. Once again something you are taught in your family.

The way we bring our children up will define the very future of this country and it saddens me that there are still those that seem to seek refuge in the wings and hatred of racism. It puzzles me really…… it is something that I simply do not understand, why would you want to burden your children with your own hate? I am not na├»ve and realize that these people both white and black alike, will exist for many years to come [not just in SA], passing on their hate for skin tones and different cultures. What then becomes important is how we as a society/community view and treat the actions of these people. We need to unite against it, not against each other.

Preserving culture is understandable but at the same time it can be dangerous as it sometimes enables judgment and intolerance. Cultures need to adapt and move with the times as much as people do, otherwise they become out of place in the modern world [dangerous topic I know especially since we have many different cultures in SA]. As a white English speaking S African, we probably have a very English [colonial- to some otherwise known as- the enemy] type culture mixed with bits and pieces from other cultures that exist here in SA. I consider myself African and I find Europe a foreign place that I do not feel comfortable in –my family has been in African for 6 generations or more. What does that make me? It seems we as country have not dealt with racial/culture issues that have been festering beneath the service of our Rainbow Nation. I will never understand the Free State kids mentality, as I was brought up to respect people and approach every person as an individual no matter what their skin colour. So I may have white skin, but that is the only thing that I have in common with the hatred those people carry with them. That in itself is a burden, hell on earth.

Monday, 25 February 2008

McCain can...NOT!

I'm not really a republican fan, so this one was very funny...[you have to have watched the Barack Obama one first].



McCain clearly is not striking [excuse the pun] a cord with everyone in the US of A!

Friday, 22 February 2008

COLLECTIONS OF THINGS TO LOVE IN SA




I have to admit I seem to have become a bit of a political analyst! One subject I love besides family and business is politics! So I have re-read [is there such a word?] a few of my recent posts and I thought it would be cool to make a list of what I love about my country. So here goes:

CANDICE & friends COLLECTION OF SA LOVES… [in no order]

The PEOPLE [nowhere in the world have I met people like the S Africans].
The WEATHER [including the late afternoon summer storms]
The FOOD [BRAAIS, BILTONG, WILSONS TOFFEE’S & CHAPPIES]
The SMILES
Our FLAG
Our vast PRECIOUS METALS
The WINE & BEER
Our HUMOUR
The VUVUZELA
Our OPTIMISM [ok, ok, maybe not at the moment but generally]
Our CULTURES and COLOURS [Ndebele colours and patterns]
Our TRADITIONAL DANCE
Our EDUCATION
The fact that we have 11 different LANGUAGES [ok official ones]
The fact you can buy almost anything whilst sitting at a robot
The OPEN SPACES
The ANIMALS
The OCEAN
Our MUSIC
Our SERVICE [not great but fab compared to many places overseas]
The current RUGBY WORLD CHAMPIONS [ama bokka bokka]
The ARTS and CRAFTS
The FLORA and FAUNA
TABLE MOUNTAIN
JOZI Sky line
HUMAN RIGHTS & FREEDOM DAY
Many PUBLIC HOLLIES
The best BEACHES

Last but not least ……WE HAVE MADIBA!

FEEL FREE TO ADD TO THE LIST!!

The 'White Tribe' of SA

Ok..here I go again...
The Black Journalist's Forum has just attempted to justify why white journalists are not invited to the 'open discussion' today with the 100% Zulu- Mr 'JZ.
Sorry dudes, whatever you say to justify, in my books is just not justifiable...How can the exclusion of any segment of the population be justified anymore? There are now less than 4 million whites in this country out of around 48 million, is this the start of kak things to come? Where is democracy?
On 702 I just heard some dude [journo] say the reason whites were excluded was because they were not to be trusted with information that was discussed in a closed forum?

Two things here….. should this be a closed forum in light of the current problem with the lack of communication in the country? Do the people of the country not have the right to know what is happening behind closed doors when their futures' could potentially be impacted by the discussion? Is it not the media's job to do ensure this happens!? Enough is enough with the cloak and dagger.

Secondly, why would there be a mistrust of whites to hold information? Is that not in itself racist and generalist?
Has the dream of building at rainbow [nation] begun to crumble? Leaders advertising tribal preferences and intolerance seems to be on the rise. Sadly it seems that some are happy with the ‘white tribe’ being at the bottom of the pile when it comes to discussions/participating in anything to do with the future. I thought we were on the way to more tolerance and healing…? I will never deny that the past was a horrendous thing for black South Africans. As a white person, I sadly cannot change the past, but I know I can be part of building a better future. People that justify this kind of split are really just perpetuating the past all over again. When are we really going to move on? Maybe JZ will boycott the event [I am an optimist actually!]?? Lets wait and see...

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Barack for President

I have mentioned in previous posts that Barak Obama could teach our Government a thing or 2 about inspirational leadership. The best SA can do at the moment is Zuma and his 'inspirational' song about violent machinery and sadly some call that inspiration [because of its history]. A reminder... we are now in the present, not the past and we need to find a different song that brings us all together to build a better SA for all....

Check out this video as an example [made in support of Barack Obama]. It seems to be made for SA!



PS: I am now an offical Barack fan...sorry Hillary

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Living in the NEW NEW SA

I admit I have been scarce...lackluster is the word I would use to describe my mood. I am ashamed to say that I have been caught up in the constant bad news that seems to have become South Africa [over the past few months] - it seems to be everywhere you turn.
I am not going to reiterate what you all already know, but have finally realized that my mood was not going to help things. So I am back, albeit in pause mode for a while, waiting to see if any leadership emerges for the institution we call government.

Revolutions can be started by a handful of people [we have a history of that in this country] but there is something in the South African psyche [not only white South Africans] that tends to jump instantly to running away [to another country]. This at a time when we all need to stay and make a difference – the crime is a large factor in those decisions and I understand that fear [especially as a mother]. With the latest highlight of infrastructure decay a few just do not see hope, but rather decline.

A new thing has entered my mind this year with the emergence of Zuma and his 100% Zulu boy T-Shirt. [Something like that from a ‘leader’ encourages polarization not tolerance]. The question for me arose…where does this leave the white South African voice? An example of this is a sudden defensiveness I have picked up with any comments lodged by whites regarding Governmental inefficiencies. Are we racist, and the same comments made by a black person are realist? I am a little over that view. The government is simply not delivering and they need to bring the country back on track in a hurry, to deliver on the very basic fundamentals of our constitution.

I had begun to allow myself [my own fault] to think that as a white South African I had begun to lose my voice… [shock horror I know]. Then, I remembered choice and democracy and *‘that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our Diversity’.. I am African. I do not have or want a ‘get out of jail free card’ [in the form of a foreign passport]. This is my country, and I am white. We as a people talk of integration and tolerance and in the end we are all in this together. We ALL need to do what we can to fix the country and avoid the issues that face Kenya. The fundamental starting point however is to be heard as a united voice as the people of this country, all singing the same tune.
God forbid that I ever have to leave the land of my birth. I dread the day that I would have to consider that [which I would do if the risk for my family got to great].

So a prediction…this year and possibly the next 5 to follow will be a watershed for SA. People will come and go and we are in for a bumpy road, but we must do our best to work together and *‘Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law; Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and build a united and democratic South Africa’.

PEACE to the PEOPLE!

*Quoted from the South African Constitution

Monday, 28 January 2008

TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT 'EISH'COM

I will keep this one short...with the weird weather, constant darkness [thanks to Eskom] and uncertain leadership prospect for the country, does anyone else feel like we have been living in a big toilet [for the last 2 weeks] with Eskom peeing on our head.....? Sounds a bit drab sure... but things are turning. Today it is sunny [like it should be in Gauteng this time of year], and for the first time in 2 weeks my small business had no power interruptions. Now all we need to do is work on the leadership part....

Sunday, 06 January 2008

Bring 'Barack' moral leadership

As I am sure you have noticed, I like Politics. Following on from my previous post, I have a question: Could Barack Obama be a great moral leader?....[I can already see some of you questioning the use of the words 'moral leader' and 'politician' in one sentence!]

He seems to be different from the rest. It will be interesting to watch what happens over the coming months in the US especially knowing how the rest of the world will be impacted by the result. Whilst most the others [mostly Republicans of course] talk of war and isolating America in a quest to protect it, he talks of integration and change…. I like.

I have always been a Clinton fan [still am] but there seems to be something less rehearsed about Barack Obama... I look forward to watching..maybe if he doesn’t get in he could pop on over the head up the ANC?!?

Friday, 04 January 2008

and they'rrrre off...Media Prostitutes 2008













and its only January!

I,mmmm baaaaacccck.... Went to Durbs on holiday [was a great break]. Tried my best not to touch my computer...YA RIGHT..I didn't do all that well BUT managed to stay away from it for long periods of time [hence the lack of blogs!].

So it’s the new year…I always feel a sense of excitement in the air around this time…a fresh start… so great…..!

Sadly this year certain media stories have been dragged into the ‘2008 fresh start’, locally Zuma is the nemesis and internationally Britney Spears [/Paris Hilton] is a topic I would rather avoid.

We can, of course, look at this differently....So here we go.....a ‘toast’ to the new year Media prostitutes…:

Here’s to you Mr Zuma….. hoping you do not become the next president of our country...[not sure who has the worse problem at this stage...The US has someone called Huckabee with Chuck Norris as his sidekick wanting to be the next president]?? *Ching Ching*
...and here’s to you Ms Spears…..hoping that you wake up from your selfish slumber and remember that you actually did give birth to 2 children, that need you to be sober and drug free...oh ya and actually around… sadly the world is not tiring of your trashy antics. *Ching ching*

Actually, I hear Zuma is to marry again...maybe Brits is available once she is out of hospital…? Not sure how many wives/mistresses or showers one man can legally have? Can you imagine that one….Eish.

It’s going to be one interesting media year! Lets hope in the midst of the trash some good moral leadership emerges...