My South Africa is not Shiren Dewani and the men he may or may not have hired. It is not Oscar Pistorius, a temper and a gun. It is not the mall robberies or the torching of train stations. It is not Steve Hofmeyer and his attention seeking tweets, nor is it Busani Ngcaweni and his bigoted generalizations. It is not the death of a soccer player or a granny in Observatory – both to violence.

Yes. That is a facet of South Africa.

But my South Africa is the spirit of Freedom. It is a boy on a train, cradling his brother. It is all the souls that make the trek to work and back on an aging infrastructure every day. It is every charity and charity worker that looks past the filth and pain and sees a person. Past the fear and hurt and sees an animal needing care.

It is every single one of us who love our country. Who want it to be better. It is every person that doesn’t break us down, but rather builds us up.

My South Africa is me. And what I chose to be. Who I chose to be.

It is you. And who you chose to be, in this country of pain and liberty, desolation and beauty.

It is a boy, on a train, cradling his brother in the summer heat. We should all be better, for him and everyone like him.

 

a boy on a train

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