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Koos Kombuis

A few reasons to be proudly SA

2011-11-04 13:04
I don't know about you, but after dutifully SMSing the word "table" to 34874, I felt quite elated.

I don't normally do things like that. I have been notoriously lax about voting in general elections. I hated filling in the Census forms. I still think the TV commercial of Bishop Tutu standing on top of table Mountain in his funny robes is a bit corny.

Yet, this is the truth of the matter: I desperately want Table Mountain to win. Table Mountain is one of the things in this country I feel very proud of.

Come to think of it, there are other things I'm proud of, too. I like our national anthem, though if I had to perform it live I'd probably be worse than brother Ard. I'd even be worse than Rob van Vuuren.

I like the Gautrain. I do, I LOVE the Gautrain. I experienced my first ride in this gleaming tube of wonder, when I got on at Sandton last week to get back to the OR Tambo airport after a concert in Springs, and boy, what a jol that was! I felt like I was back in London, only it was even better, because our trains are shiny and new, and almost always on time expect when the cable thieves are on duty. I love the Gautrain so much that, for the life of me, I still can’t comprehend why the ANCYL chose to WALK all the way during that famous Comrades Marathon. Malema certainly had enough money to buy them all tickets to travel in luxury at least part of the way!

We are so used to complaining about South Africa that we tend to forget the good stuff. The beaches. The Kruger National Park. The fact that we have one of the most efficient and accident-free air traffic systems in the world. The fact that we’re not as lazy as those Greeks who almost brought down the entire economy of Europe (well, we ARE pretty lazy, especially me, but not THAT lazy).

Our flag

I also love the flag. It doesn’t mean much to me, I have no idea what every colour strands for, but it's pretty. When my kids celebrated "Children of the World Day" recently at their school, it was pretty exciting to see my daughter painting a picture resembling our flag. It was a good moment, to see here, bent over that piece of paper in rapt concentration, with paint droplets all over her face. It felt good to be a South African at that moment.

Too many of my friends have emigrated, too many of them still live in London and Perth and Toronto. I know it was their choice to emigrate, and I grant them their freedom, but I believe Jonathan Jansen (one of the wisest men I know) said it all on Twitter last week when he wrote down this wonderful nugget of truth in his Twitter page:

"Letter to my children #83: I discovered that it is possible to emigrate without your body leaving the country."

Well, what do you know? A change can be as good as a holiday, even if that change is only in your head.

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