There are some moments in history that are so odd, so surreal, that they sound entirely made up. Omicron will be one of those moments – mark my words!
What happened in the past week and a half defies all logic. I’m not sure how historians will manage to capture the events. Maybe something along the lines of:
South Africa’s scientific community showed leadership, courage, exceptional knowledge and integrity. The world’s reaction was not quite as evolved. November 2021 was the month the ‘third’ world showed it had the moral high ground over the ‘first’ world.
Utterly absurd, but also utterly tragic. In just 48 hours, South Africa’s tourism and hospitality sector lost over R1bn in travel bookings. Add to that our load-shedding troubles, petrol price hikes and Shell fracking issues; anyone would agree that the chips seem truly down.
But here’s the thing: when the chips are down, South Africans have a secret weapon. They stand together in the spirit of Ubuntu: “I am because you are.” Ubuntu speaks of our humanity and connectedness and recognises that our own wellbeing is deeply tied to the wellbeing of others. Would you like us to repeat that, Boris?
As the Daily Maverick pointed out this week, South Africa has a lot to be proud of:
- South African scientists and doctors are renowned for being among the very best in the world;
- Our film industry is widely recognised as global leaders in their craft, welcoming foreign film crews who come to work with our talent and our landscapes;
- Our culinary expertise and restaurants feature in the top lists around the world;
- We breed innovation – Elon Musk and Mark Shuttleworth have changed the world of tech and are just two examples of what South Africa can produce;
- Artists and writers like Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Damon Galgut, Nadine Gordimer and Trevor Noah are South African names held on high around the world;
- We gave the world Jerusalema!;
- And then there’s the Springboks. Let’s not ever forget that we’re THREE-time world champs. Take that, England.
When the going gets tough, South Africans revert to humour. And boy, they didn’t disappoint this week. When the Texas governor suggested illegal border-crossing South Africans were becoming a concern, the ensuing tweets were nothing short of hilarious.
We might be on our own for now as the world has shut us out. But, we couldn’t be in better company. #proudlysouthafrican
Pictures are almost always better than words to tell a story …
What the world was musing over this past week
Christmas pictures with a twist
They’re back!!! A South African couple have been posting their annual Christmas photo for six years now, and every year, they get better… and funnier.
Movies in the bush anyone?
Imagine watching the Tiger King in the African bush! The innovative KRUGER 360 Cinema will provide guests with an immersive movie experience in the middle of the Kruger National Park.
Do you have another word for ‘exhausted?
We’re all so exhausted, The Guardian has decided we need another word to describe how exhausted we feel.
A dog on a balcony
Gdansk has a lot of attractions. Who could have imagined that a cute dog on a random balcony would become their most highly rated ‘experience’.
Turn it upside down
If you think visiting Poland to see a dog was off the wall – South Africa now has a new attraction as well: the Upside Down House.
These airlines deserve a Bells!
In a quiet act of rebellion, United and Delta have not altered their flight schedules to South Africa despite the decision by President Biden to restrict travel from our country.