Of late, South Africa has had some negative publicity. Headline news, but then this is usual. Only it is not the whole story. Whilst the scaremongers paint dark pictures, life in South Africa, for most, is still the beautiful. There are still wonderful people living there. Optimistic, joyful people who go about the day as they do, seeing the best, striving for more and making sure that those who visit her shores, leave their hearts behind.
Africa is one of those inexplicable places. Do not try to fathom, but feel. I truly believe, you will never feel more alive. The sun does that to you, the rising sun that brings the beaches to perfection; that turns the grapes into the best wine in the world. Mountains that speak wisdom. Plains and deserts that make you want to paint, for fear of forgetting the sense of space.
If I say that being there is breathing again, I am being honest. I can see horizons, space so vast that, beauty so sensual, I understand God. I want to swim in the rivers and pick up shells; spend a Sunday afternoon in the shade with friends and watch the sun set over the city. Find myself dancing to the street music, discovering another’s story and really, just driving, for the sake of driving. Open road, open mind. Just Breathing.
The best part of being in South Africa – the colours. Colourful people, colour on the walls of a homestead, colours in the bush. A palette of hues in the vineyards, the farmlands, the coast. Colour in striving, in surviving and the telling of stories. Shades of history, of hope. So vivid at times, so bright, but so lasting.
And the best part of being there, is the sense of strength. When I leave, I am strong, I have been empowered and I am somehow, invincible.
‘I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
I do not try to answer to South Africa. I am better for knowing her.
Like the Nguni thanks to Etienne Oosthuizen, supreme photographer.