21 Reasons to love being South African

Tuesday, 01 March 2022 08:37 AM

  1. We are the friendliest people in the world. Random strangers greet each other heartily and always with a smile. We take this completely for granted and really can’t understand why everyone doesn’t do it.
  2. Our indomitable national spirit is embodied in 'where there’s a will there’s a way’, also commonly referred to as ‘’n boer maak ‘n plan’ … give someone a piece of wood, some wire, a few doohickeys, and they can make anything work.
  3. We say the word ‘sorry’—and mean it. Trip over your feet, cry in public, hobble on crutches, bump into someone, and we will say ‘sorry’. Sometimes the ‘sorry’ is accompanied by a hug or a pat on the arm. Try doing this overseas. See astonishment or alarm with the rejoinder, ‘But you didn’t do anything!’
  4. The next word is ‘shame!’ This multi-purpose word can mean almost anything from ‘Oh, how cute’ to ‘deepest sympathies’ to ‘How could you!’ to ‘Sorry for you, you loser.’ Another multi purpose word is ‘ja-nee’, which can mean ‘You are talking, but I am not listening’ or ‘I don’t agree but I’m not going to argue’ or ‘Life is terrible, hey?’
  5. Diversity is our middle name. What other country in the world has five recognised population groups, 11 official languages, seven official religions, and 14 political parties represented in Parliament. We are so diverse, in fact, that we even have a special public holiday, called Heritage Day, where people wear traditional dress and celebrate what makes them unique.
  6. We have the most complicated accent in the world. We get a thrill and are so proud when we hear foreign actors completely botching the South African accent. We must be special if no one can speak like us!
  7. We are several countries in one. Travel for three hours in any direction and you will feel as if you’re in a different place altogether. Experience different landscapes, fauna and flora, languages, customs, dress and traditions together with a range of religions and beliefs all in one country. Not to mention every type of weather possible – from blizzards of snow to tropical heat.
  8. We currently have the best rugby team in the world. Take that, New Zealand!
  9. Our cuisine takes everyone by surprise. Fantastic fusion food with influences from everywhere— bobotie and bredie, koeksisters and melktert, sadza and couscous. We might not have invented the braai but we certainly perfected it with foods like the ‘braai-broodjie’—cheese, onion, and tomato on white bread wrapped in aluminium foil and toasted. And the street food! The bunny-chow (a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry … dish, utensil, and napkin all in one), the Gatsby (a sub filled with chips, fried egg and polony), walkie-talkies (chicken heads and feet) … and of course … Nando’s!
  10. Méthode Cap Classique … this is not just a sparkling wine but is our version of Champagne.
  11. Our South African sunsets are world-renowned.
  12. Famous South Africans are REALLY famous … think Elon Musk, Charlize Theron, Gary Player, Mahatma Ghandi, Johnny Clegg, Trevor Noah and of course, Mrs Ples!
  13. We have four Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Albert Luthuli, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, and FW de Klerk.
  14. South Africa has gifted the world with a number of inventions including rooibos tea, the CAT scan, the Kreepy Krauly, the dolos, Pratley Putty, Computicket, pre-paid mobile phones, the Linux Ubuntu computer operating system, oil from coal, Q20, veldskoene (vellies), and the Speed Gun to measure the speed of cricket balls.
  15. People from other countries believe that lions roam the streets of our cities and that we all have a pet elephant in our backyard. For some reason, this makes us extremely proud.
  16. We invented the vuvuzela. If you need an instrument that is louder than a chainsaw, this is it!
  17. The Eastern Cape supplies half of the world’s mohair that is used in the making of cashmere sweaters.
  18. We love our flag and display it everywhere—on badges, bedspreads, buildings, sports paraphernalia, street art, even Speedos. The colours of the flag go very well with the bright colours of our indigenous fabric shweshwe.
  19. We have inventive drinks like our Vrystaat champagne (Klippies and coke), our very own liqueur Van der Hum, witblits (peach brandy) ... and of course the famous African beer Umqombothi.
  20. Our puzzling lexicon includes words like ‘now-now’ or ‘just now’, which covers everything between one minute and never; traffic lights called ‘robots’; and the ‘bioscope’ that shows ‘fillums’.
  21. ‘Jerusalema’—the song that captured the world. South Africans can dance!

I love being South African!

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