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We love Africa but it hurts

“But what I do want them to know is that despite how hard it might be to live in South Africa, it’s an even harder thing to leave. Maybe that’s something only South Africans will understand, and something that — to the foreign eye — makes absolutely no sense, whatsoever. But that’s simply how it is. We have come through so much together as a nation, we’re suckers for hardship and we’re not going to give up on our country anytime soon — even if we’re abroad. South Africa is a wondrous f***-up: a country with a big heart and big problems. And we South Africans will always love the country that hurts us.”

The Swedish African

A South African woman came by my brother- and sister-in-law’s bakery in Billeberga, Sweden the other day and mentioned that she’d heard of another South African (me) who was flitting about town.

And as the story goes with most South African expats – she proceeded to make a case for why her and her husband had left their disastrous, God-forsaken country and immigrated to 1,100-strong Billeberga, where it’s safe and clean and where life couldn’t be more perfect. A place where people live equally, work hard and leave their front doors open at night.

“We love Africa but it hurts,” she said

The final straw — she told my brother-in-law — came when their young family fell victim to crime – for a second time.

Ja, ja, it’s the same spiel we hear from South African expats the world over but heck! I don’t want to judge her when…

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5 thoughts on “We love Africa but it hurts

  1. ‘n Ier wat Suid-Afrika toe gekom het en al jare hier bly, merk eendag op toe ons hom vra of hy ooit weer sal teruggaan Ierland toe dat hy min uitlanders ken wat ooit weer oorweeg om terug te gaan Europa (of waar hulle ook al vandaan kom). Hulle het mos besluit om te kom en die lewenskwaliteit in SA is baie beter as waar die meeste van hulle vandaan kom. Natuurlik soos bo gesê, hang dit af van of mens geld het of nie. Maar hy praat toe ‘n baie waar woord en dit is dat hy nog nie ‘n Suid-Afrikaner wat oorsee gaan bly het ontmoet het wat nie (al is dit in sy onderbewuste) ‘n agterdeur oophou terug Suid-Afrika toe nie.

  2. Ek ontmoet ‘n man in Zimbabwe, een van die baie min wie nie sy grond verloor het nie (daar is slegs 3% van hulle). Hy vertel hoe hy omtrent als verloor het, en later Engeland toe moes gaan om te bly lewe. Na 3 of 5 jaar besluit hy: Hy bly eerder met NIKS in Zim, as met als wat hy kan kry in Engeland.
    Wel, elke persoon moet vir homself besluit. Ek weet nie of hy reg besluit het of nie. Maar as Afrika in jou bloed is… is dit.

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