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November 2014

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Proudly South African

After reading or hearing the daily news, I’m sure the majority of us experience some of the same mixed emotions:

Disgust and anger about the rising crime rates, the increase of brutal killings and the apathetic attitudes of criminals when “embarking” on their reckless mall or house robberies. Then we wonder if our law enforcement personnel have the capabilities to deal with crime on this level.

Resentment (and more anger) when we ask ourselves when the CEO of our beautiful country, Jacob Zuma will start being accountable for the irresponsible management, financial mismanagement and general corruption that he condones (or is sometimes a key participant ).. After all, this is our country and we all own a share in this company whose shares are declining daily.

Fear about the future and opportunities for us and our families when we read the IMF projected growth at only 1,4% (lowered from 2,4% in April). Then you start to wonder … is it time to pack my bags?

But then you read about young people making a difference, you read the stories of our Top 35-under-35 finalists and you start hoping … You listen to how someone like Thomas Kgokolo gives back to his community and aims to change and improve their lives by teaching and offering free seminars and you feel a sense of pride. How passionate Shiluba Mawela is about improving the community around her. How she gives advice and mentorship to young people in order to help them realise their dreams through education and you feel excited. You feel wonder when you hear about how Gareth Olivier co-founded a company that offers contact education to students who are not able to study full time. And you feel the passion of our winner, Gavin Lucas when he gets tears in his eyes as he shares the journey of the company he started with his family and the passion they have to improve the lives of people around them. The list go on and on …

These under 35’s make me hopeful for the future, because you feel reassured that they are the future leaders of our country, but it also makes you proud to be associated with them and to know that amongst all the negativity and crime and despair there are even more people working hard to change lives, to improve communities and trying to create a better tomorrow (and a better country) . We just have to look for it and hold on to that, because in the end, it’s what makes us Proudly South African.

Author: Gerinda Jooste

 

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