I don’t remember the wizard of Oz, I’m not sure how that idiot woman landed herself in some magical place so far from home, but as the 1930s version played next to me in business class of my Emirates flight back to South Africa I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony.
You see over the last few weeks I’ve been told ive been slightly critical of my home nation. Perhaps it’s a sadness that I’m not there anymore or perhaps I have just started to have a balanced view of place I come from finally?
What I do know is that going home for a week (although 80% of it was spent in conference rooms and preso halls) made me realize why I love this country so much. To be able to have a braai with friends gathered round whether it’s to see what they can steal off the corner as a snack or, probably more realistically this time of year, to feel the warmth of a perfect Charka fire is truly special.
To hear a black person laugh as only a black people can, from their heart and soul with an energy that fills the room (if you take offense to this either grow up or F%$# OFF – I’ve had a few glasses of wine on the trip back already!), to DRIVE a car again (and drive like I come from the south – no offense to Boksburg/Benoni), to watch Super 15, to get on a golf course, to play with my terrorist young nephews and to stand around and talk absolute shit with my friends for hours on end with no fear of judgment – these are a tiny piece of what home really is!
Yes sure arriving on a Sunday to the Times and Independent filled with the stories of corruption in every possible direction gets me a little irritated, in fact it makes me want to go into a few government building and mow down a few rows of people and the fact that government can’t keep its people safe, provide them with schooling, jobs, healthcare and even basic education makes me cringe in shame because I fear we are slowing allowing this place to be destroyed but not even that could dampen my spirits!
The truth is I don’t regret what I’ve done – not for one second (not yet) but home is home and it always will be. We will continue to grow and learn and experience what the world has to offer but as long as I’m on this earth I can say that the feeling I get when I’m home is unmatched. It has become easy to speak to whoever we want whenever we want, we can see them and feel like we are living lives together just in parallel worlds but no matter what they tell you, you cannot get the feeling of being home through a computer screen!
So it turns out whatever that crazy bitch Dorothy was doing with a Lion and a Scarecrow in whatever world she found herself, she did provide me a very valuable piece of insight – there is NO PLACE like home! The one thing I wish she could also give me is the trick of clicking my heels three times because this 30 hour travel every time I want to have a beer with my mates is getting a little silly!
Nkosi sikelel iAfrica – until the next time my beautiful country . . .