Today (July 18, 2011) is Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday.
Mandela Day – launched in 2009 – to remember Mandela’s contribution to the creation of a democratic South Africa calls on people to donate 67 minutes of their time to help those in need.
In honour of the day, we have put together some reasons to love South Africa. Here they are, in more or less alphabetical order, and in our own, idiomatic words:
Afrikaans – no way your swear words would have the same impact if they were said in English!
Barefoot kids playing rugby as if they were already Springboks
Being able to see the Big 7 – the usual plus great whites and whales – within a few hours of each other in the Eastern Cape
Blue Bulls – What a team man! Okay, okay and the rest of the rugby teams!
Camping at Christmas … or camping in general
Cape Town International jazz festival
Cheap steak and great red wine
Cocktails on Clifton Beach
Curry bunny chow
Durban Poison: world famous
Eastern Cape beaches
Fordsburg and a growing number of China Mall’s – you can get anything “cheap, cheap”
Fresh produce…at Bangladesh market in Chatsworth you can buy a live chicken – and watch them slaughter it…ewwww!
Getting a seat on a crowded Metrorail train
Giraffes – just because they’re so cool
Johannesburg’s purple sunsets (probably because of the pollution)
Jozi’s leafy suburbs… Did you know that Joburg is the city with the most trees in the world?
Kennetjie – the kids’ game
Koeksisters and coffee on a Sunday morning
Light on the mountains in Cape Town.
Marabaraba-is it still played?
Missing front teeth and all the jokes about them
Mrs Balls Chutney
Namaqualand’s flower carpet
Nelson Mandela-who else!
Ouma rusks and Koffiehuis coffee
Our cultural diversity
Our diehard faith in the various national sporting teams
Our eleven official languages
Our good-looking guys!
Our beautiful girls!
Our one-of-a-kind national flag
Our pragmatism as a people
Partying in Melville rocks and the pizza at 6am at Catz Pyjamas is the perfect way to end the evening
Reading the Sunday papers and smelling the neighbourhood braais
Red rocks in the Golden Gate national park at sunset
Riding along the Garden Route
Rollers and overalls in shopping centres.
Shad season: was featured on the Discovery Channel…how awesome is that!?
Shaka Zulu: need we say more?
Shebeens and Zamalek
Shosholoza – the one song almost every South African manages to sing with immense pride… but completely wrong.
Simpiwe Tsabalala’s goal in the World Cup opener – forever and ever amen the best moment in SA sports history.
Singing the national anthem before the games… *proud much?
Slap chips and chip rolls
Stepping off a plane in Pee-Eee and hearing somebody say “yoh! yoh! yoh!”
Summer on the Highveld – just perfect!
Taxis…you’ll hear the bass music coming – and chaotic taxi ranks, but somehow you get where you need to be
The fact that no matter how politically far apart South Africans may be, when the music starts there are always some who’ll start dancing
The fact that our fuel stations are not self service and that the attendants are always so cheerful
The false dusk caused by a looming storm and the smell of the first big drops of rain hitting the pavement
The smell of roasting mielies when you walk down the Joburg CBD’s streets
The view from Northcliff hill – the city looks gorgeous
The view from the Union Buildings in Pretoria
The way we murder our vowels
Those tiny flowers in the Karoo that you don’t see until you really look for them
Walking along Sea Point promenade
Watching the sun set on Chapman’s Peak
WIMPY! – oooooo lekker breakfast
Winter in Durban: board shorts and flip flops… jealous much?