Today is the launch of my first ever Series on the blog!! It’s something I have been thinking about for the longest time – since the publication of guest post by Julie Williams “Why we are staying in SA for the kids” – and it gives me great excitement to start what I hope will be an insightful conversation with one another.
I have a clear vision for this series – “Do we stay or do we leave our beloved South Africa?” – I want it to be a place where parents can talk openly about their feelings and the struggles we are facing regarding the country we live in. I really want to steer clear of over politicizing it and while some of us may have extreme views, my hope is that we remain respectful and positive no matter where we stand on the subject.
I’m so excited to have Laura le Roux as my first featured parent and here she answers some simple questions about how she and her family are feeling about South Africa and what her hopes are for our nation.
1. Where were you born and have you always lived in South Africa? Or are you living abroad now?
I was born in Pinetown in KwaZulu Natal and have only ever lived in South Africa.
2. How old are your children?
Cameron is 13, Kiara is 11, Jack is 4 and Emma is 2!
3. Were you living here during the apartheid years and the 1994 elections? Were you feeling hopeful for our nation then?
Yes I was . I was in Standard 9. I really was very hopeful. I knew a lot about politics back then and was excited for what Nelson Mandela meant for the country.
4. How are you feeling about our country now? What are some of your very real fears and concerns?
I am not 100%, I think apprehensive is probably the best way to describe how I am feeling. I have always been one of those positive, proudly SA people who would never leave but now I am thinking about it. I am really worried about our leadership at the moment, over the years there have been stupid decisions made but they haven’t really negatively impacted the running of the country in such a negative way as they have over the past few months. Watching our rand tank, the possibility of us being downgraded to junk status, our president not pitching etc . its making me extremely anxious. While it doesn’t affect my children so much because we have decided to go the private route, I do really worry about our education system . as a nation we do not seem to value it like we should and there is not enough anger and outrage when young children are not educated correctly or at all.
5. How do these feelings affect your family and your day-to-day life? Are you anxious about their future?
Honestly? No I am not anxious about their future. Regardless of what happens to SA, I know David and I will make sure that they still have the access to whatever they need to succeed. I also hope I teach them the resilience to be able to fight for what they really want regardless of their circumstance. I think opportunities will always exist for those who really want it. Obviously the current economic status does impact us daily and the kids are aware of it and we all have to watch what we spend and how we spend it.
6. What are some of the things you know you will never be able to find anywhere else in the world, the things that would make it hard to leave?
My family. The weather . I love that we can spend 80% (if not more) of the year outside. The bushveld! The people, I love South Africans, they are friendly, open, welcoming and always, ALWAYS make a plan.
7. Have you ever been a victim of crime?
Yes. I was in a smash and grab once, it wasn’t anything hectic and the guy didn’t really take much. We also had a big shoot out in our complex one night . was very hectic but fortunately no one was harmed.
8. Do you still have faith in South Africa, that with new leaders we could see a drastic change? What other dreams do you have for our country?
YES! I think there are enough people who want the change and believe that we can be better. We need a leader, from whatever party, that believes in South Africa and works to make it better.
9. What are the lessons you want to teach your kids and how do you think staying or leaving will channel those lessons?
I want to teach them that you don’t just run away or give up when the going gets tough, you work through it. I want to teach them resilience, you may get knocked down but you have to get up and carry on. They need to learn life is not always going to be easy but if you work hard for what you believe in, it will be worth it. They also need to learn to stand up for what they believe in, always! I think this may be the most important lesson that they need to make their voice heard and to never settle because someone tells them they should.
10. How do you think we can teach our children to be hopeful and positive while still teaching them to cautious living in a place that isn’t always safe? (Without putting fear in their hearts and minds.)
The crime in SA is not something we focus on. We talk about it now and then if it’s on the news or affects us but it is not something we obsess about. I am always hopeful and positive about SA, so they have learned that by default. We teach them to be safe and aware but we don’t teach them to be fearful.
I love South Africa, I love living here and if we do ever decide to leave (which we haven’t really discussed as a real option) I will fight hard for it to be another African country. There will always be issues wherever you go, I would rather deal with our issues in our awesome weather.
Wow I just love this lady’s insight and positive way of thinking. It is certainly something I can be encouraged by. I hope you can too!
Thank you Laura for being so honest and sharing your heart with us.
If you enjoyed getting a glimpse into what one South African family are feeling, you may enjoy this series going forward, which will be published every Thursday. In that case, stay tuned for next weeks episode!
If you would like to share your thoughts, view and opinions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear from you!!