Happy Birthday South Africa

flying SA flag

Happy Birthday South Africa !

 

Today you are 23 years old.    How you have galloped into the future, creating history at a rapid rate.

If Life is a stage let’s take a front seat together and have a look at the South African play before us.

In 1994, though through a crucible, you were born free from the oppression of your previous history.  A history that for all its intents and purposes nevertheless framed you for a better future for all.  A new day had come, a new government, with new policies waiting on the horizon of the unknown.  But one thing was sure, it was a delightful day of release, an expectation for some, and a dread for others.  Different worlds had to come together, different histories had to fuse, different cultures had to find a way to live side by side.  A tall order indeed ! – an order without a script to follow.

The honourable Nelson Mandela South Africa’s first president, set the vision in place, one South Africa for all, and all for one South Africa.  The dream box was opened, and the dream floated out of injustice and into the potential of a new nation.   Honour and respect were the order of the day.  Even the World at large recognised its significance and regarded its highly prized Constitution.   All was well, and Nelson Mandela graciously stepped aside for the next president to continue the legacy, and forge the future.

The honourable Thabi Mbeki South Africa’s second president was a man of vision too. Perhaps a little short in statue, but certainly long in vision.  He saw the African Renaissance, not only a re-birth of a nation, but also of the African continent.  His vision was the faint rumble of a new African-ism emerging.  Whatever that entails and holds the future, in time, will tell.
Seemingly South Africa was just exiting racism,  was another ism coming ?   And who will be waiting in the wings of the World’s stage to influence, manipulate, access and conquer the people, and the resources,  of this new nation on the southern tip of Africa.

Before the uncertain future cleared there was an interruption, and a new president pushed and jumped onto the stage for a part in the Play, and for a big slice of the wealth cake !

Mr Jacob Zuma the third president of South Africa, was by all accounts not a man of vision.  Although jovial and charming, was for a time  just the face for the ruling party.   Leaders, good or bad, are important.  Ordinary citizens like to look up at their leaders and feel secure, some even idolizing them,  especially so in Africa.  Mr Zuma swayed many with his charm, and then exhibited extreme cunning at staying in the power seat. He may well  have just succumbed, to the irresistible call for greed, always knocking at the door of power.
I suspect, however, that being exposed to the global stage, and the greater forces in the power-play arena Mr Zuma was influenced by the dark agendas and concealed plans and visions of the greedy power mongers in a world of economics, politics and power.

Not only had the dream box released the potential of a new nation, but along with it came out the vile of politics, power-play and corruption.   And although severely distasteful,  I dare say necessary, for we all at some stage, have to have the courage to take a good long look at ourselves – face to face, to see the good and the bad that lingers in all of us, whether on a personal  – or national  level !

I don’t doubt that time will tell Mr Zuma’s story in more detail.   Perhaps his best contribution to the South African story is that, by default, he exposed the resilience of the South Africa society, and its fervent need for true justice, and its ongoing striving for honour and integrity in its leaders, and in its people.
The South African Constitution Court bears clear evidence of this, and has proved to be a strong foundation-stone of this new democracy.

South Africa you have thrived on exciting and exhilarating politics these past 23 years, as the ghosts of the past have come out of your closet., and as new and entertaining players have taken to the stage with their own particular agendas, brands and personalities.

And then there is the unseen , unheralded band of caring prayer warriors who have kept the nation close to the heart of God, and under His wings South Africa has stood the test of fiery trials of corruption… and of state capture!   Keeping vicious wolves at bay !!
So a caring, colourful and vibrant nation indeed you are becoming,  South Africa.

Cape Town flag

But I would go as far as to say that South Africans have,  these past eight years been over politicised, and have overdosed on politics !   Is it because there has been a leadership vacuum ?  And of late just crisis management badly managed, halting economic development and resulting in the prospect of more poverty for the poorest in the nation.
Because of this you certainly have been stunted in your nation building, and the actual release of that people potential waiting to capture a future of progress and prosperity, for all.

For now, you are a nation on hold so to speak !  But time moves on, and the tide of politics will change, then a new day will break.   When you revert to the original plan of one South Africa for all, and all for one South Africa,  then that indeed will be a time to celebrate a true freedom –  and a good future together as one.

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Happy Birthday.  May God continue to bless you as a light to the nations, and in this present world of political, economic and social turmoil.

Happy Freedom Day !

Butterfly SA


Change Your Mind, Change Your World.

August 2015

Change will happen, with or without us.

Circumstances can so entrench our thinking into accepting what seems to be the inevitable amid the stark demanding facts of life, that a change of mind is out of the question.   But, I ask, what is the use of having a mind, if you cannot change it ?  And every woman in the room will agree with me !
We can change our minds, our thinking, and so to change our worlds.

Change is inevitable when embarking on a road of new discoveries.
The subtle change may begin to happen when we are disgruntled with the status quo, a sure signpost on the road of change.  But more often than not change will first happen on the inside of us. Then as new challenges are explored more will be revealed of what is on the inside.   If we pay close attention, it will become a duel journey of self-discovery, sometimes surprising, sometimes scary !   Change brings with it a moving of boundaries, and that can be so uncomfortable.

It is quite a struggle to change a mindset, especially in the field of dire poverty, whether you are poor, or are working with the poor and needy people in community.  Many are stuck in the mindset of poverty, but this has to change when we develop the mindset of progress, let alone prosperity – which will require yet another mind leap.
Instead of ‘poverty’ being the dominating  mindset, what will happen if we should replace it  with ‘potential’.   In other words not look at the circumstances but at the people, and what’s in the heart of the people.  That will be a rich treasure-find indeed. And then would we arrange our minds, our perspectives, our lives and our service differently ?

Poverty is often invisible, until you go out and look for it.  I happened to be in the “down-town” of Durban, and saw the derelict neglected condition of the buildings, the scattered refuse, and the sight of a poor humanity etching out a living for itself, amid a scene set for crime, corruption and moral decay.   And yet just three blocks up was the wonderful promenade of palm trees, sunny beach umbrellas, ice cream, and happy kids. Row upon row of posh expensive hotels, that are caught up to form the bubble of excellence to impress the tourists.   But lets not be harsh on Durban,  every town has its “down-town” and its “up-town”.  Poverty is rife, everywhere,  if we look we will see it.
And its a huge global condition !  What are we going to do about it ?
So to change poverty to progress we are going to have to change our minds, our perspectives, our goals and  our actions.

The road marked Entrepreneur, such a trendy word on the lips of government, futurists and the unemployed youth, is a long steep journey out of poverty.   But what does it embrace?  What will it require to make the change from community development (giving to the poor) to entrepreneurial development (helping people on to self-help and own development).  In the end, if progress is the goal, then what will be the result of a nation chasing only after economic development, and leaving behind the “rich” wholeness of community – even if its poor and lacking in consumables.   There needs to be a plan for holistic social development alongside the national economic plan, or else all our futures will be lopsided, out of balance with inequality crime and corruption getting the prize of the century… again!
New thinking is required, a new road needs to be followed to see if there is the better future in “progress”,  for poverty is not an option.  We need to put people first, see their potential, which is the key to unlocking great treasures, and we need to  “nourish hope and enthusiasm for creative expression, or simple entrepreneurship”  – words of the writer James Patterson.

If we can only keep our heads, and our values in tack.  Money isn’t everything!
As we progress we must keep a hold on our “ubuntu”, our humanity, our integrity, our wholeness.  For as we have so vividly seen, money and power bring with it greed and corruption, which sadly is the state of our money gobbling global village as we know it today.

I have found it not any easy road, as I have naively begun my small entrepreneurial journey. Often I feel like just giving up.  Someone once said, – ” since I’ve given up hope, I feel a whole lot better” !!   It would be so much easier to just give up.  Really? – but no not just yet.

So CareSA Designs has produced a few new items for the 2015 season.    They are pretty summer  “infinities” or round scarves. They are done in a thin cotton yarn that produces a soft gentle neckline accessory.  I have created new light “shoulder wraps” done in a loose stitch, that can be  worn as a huge winter scarf too.  So two in one, – summer wrap or winter scarf.   I have  done them in textured yarns that make them snug yet light, unique and interesting.  Making a debut is the Bag Range, for the young and not so young.  Done in bright colours, some a shoulder sling bag, some just a handy purse.  Nice for gifts.
Part of the proceeds from the sales go to a fund for community service, especially those who work with the poor and needy in our society.

The trend is Entrepreneurial,  the theme is the potential of creativity, lets see if it brings us on the road to progress…even prosperity ?

What is the potential that lies dormant in your creativity ?  Explore and start your journey of discovery, and be amazed  – change your mind, change your world !