The thought of leaving South Africa has never really been on my mind before. I have always thought that people who leave my beloved country are either wealth chasers or a bunch of “ou Suid-Africa” racists who are scared of “die nag van die lang messe” (the night of the long knives).
However, this judgemental and very ignorant view of mine has taken a complete 180 degree turn. If given the opportunity, I might actually leave everything behind and get the hell out!
As a journalist, I have had to interview mothers whose sons have been killed for less than a cell phone and adult children, whose parents were hacked to death and they had to clean up the bloodied house.
Through my profession alone, I knew that South Africa is crime invested and the murder capital of the world. Although, it didn’t really sink in until last night.
Just before 23:00 I received a call from my best friend. My partner answered, woke me up and said: “Something happened.”
Sobbing she said: “My dad was attacked on his plot by people with pangas. They don’t think he’s going to make it.”
This person that I have known my entire life – the person I share absolutely everything with – is torn. Both of our parents still live in our home town, Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, so being more than 600-km away from them makes any horrific situation at home even more terrifying.
Her dad is in the ICU in a stable condition. It doesn’t sound like his fiancé is going to make it. If she does, she will have to cope with severe brain damage. And it’s not even as if her dad is rich. He lives in an old mobile home. Not something a thief would see as a jackpot job.
It was so unnecessary. All murders are unnecessary. But what am I going to do about it?
Am I going to stay in South Africa, build high walls and then just wait and see if my partner or even my future children get killed for nothing? Or do I leave my family, friends and people behind with the hope of a safer, more care-free life in someone else’s home?
It’s a difficult one. Either way you lose your loved ones.
“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.” This cute little quote from the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch is basically what I stand for. I have a massive family. No really, my dad is one of six kids and my mom is one of seven … Read more