Full disclosure: I’m in Belgium. That’s right: with two teenagers in tow, I braved COVID tests, quarantines, weird and wacky new airport rules (did you know that they now ask you to take all electronics and all cables out of your bag at security at ORTIA?), and travelled long-haul for the first time in two years. I thought I was pretty badass to travel during a pandemic. Boy, if only I knew what lay ahead.
I cannot even start to describe the feeling of hopelessness when you’re overseas and you see your country, your region, your community unravelling. I live in Ballito. I’ve seen the roadblocks and barbed wire gone up, heard about our own Ballito husbands and fathers patrolling the streets at all times of the day and night, read about the devastation, and received messages of pure and raw fear from friends who didn’t know how to keep their kids safe or fed anymore. My trust in my country faltered.
As one of my friends said: “When you feel you have no control over the safety of your children should your ‘luck’ change, as described by Des Erasmus in the Daily Maverick, then your love for your country no longer has value.”
But then, something truly magical happened. Something you wouldn’t see anywhere else in the world. The South African spirit rose stronger than ever before. Our country came together in the face of true adversity and stood side by side to protect our democracy.
No matter who we were – CEOs, tea ladies, teachers, celebrities, shop assistants, and even taxi drivers – we came together to clean up and rebuild in Mandela spirit. On Facebook, the Rebuild-South Africa Volunteers Group, started by seven administrators on Monday, already had 33,000 members by nightfall the following day. Communities, individuals and businesses distributed over 40 000 loaves of bread. Local airlines came to the party to bring much-needed food supplies. And Table Mountain proudly displayed a message of love and support.
Of course, besides our spirit of community, humour and ingenuity are two of our strongest assets as South Africans. Kudos to the Shoprite staff who decided to pour oil on the floor in front of their store to deter looters. Thank you, Gogo, for disappearing on us on live TV. We needed the laugh. And what would we be without the Ozzies providing some comic interpretation of the looting?
The incredible South African spirit makes it a bit easier for me to get back on a flight home this week. It isn’t an easy decision – somehow, a flight to space seems an exciting alternative. But I’m not about to join the ‘I told you so’ brigade. Instead, I’ll pack my suitcases full of much-needed food supplies and will throw in some pineapples and yeast because, well, you know…. After all: we’ve got this, South Africa
In this week’s Marketing Musings, our very own Babajide Olowookere takes us through clever ways design can transform your content marketing. He explains that the use of visuals like infographics, videos, charts, and other design elements in content marketing cannot be overemphasised.
“If you write a lot of content, start thinking about smart ways to integrate various design elements which can also draw your audience in and improve engagement. See how you can challenge yourself during what’s left of 2021 to find ways of bringing design into your content so that it’s not just ants on a page,” he says.
What the world was musing over this past week
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Feeling some apprehension around the vaccine? In one of the most bizarre videos on the Internet today, a dinosaur showcases the vaccination procedure.
Coffee is important. It gets us up in the morning, it keeps us going, it smells fantastic, and it tastes great. But coffee is more than just a drink.
After a year of sweats and Zoom-ready blouses, it can be challenging to find the perfect office outfit again.
A four-day standoff between Mango staff and the department of public enterprises (DPE) may see employees make an urgent application to place Mango in business rescue tomorrow.