Weep South Africa If You Must

Even lights that try to shine bright some times go out.

Yesterday, Friday the 16th of July, my flame was extinguished. I was very emotional and I think that’s totally okay. I was crying because I knew the imminent danger was over. I was crying because I was moving out of survival mode. I was crying for the horrific damage to property and the loss of businesses. I was crying for environmental damage. I was crying for the future ahead that will be characterized by job losses, hunger and a harder life, especially for the poverty stricken. I was crying because I felt God’s goodness like never before. And yes, I was crying for the extraordinary love and courage that I have witnessed this week.

There is a time to be strong and there is also a time to weep so that healing can begin. I know the danger is not over and the instigators are still at large so we must remain vigilant until they have all been brought to book. But yesterday I took time to breath and to vent all the pain and anguish that I had stored inside.

On Thursday the 15th of July I had done my best to get food to my staff who weren’t able to get to work. As I handed over the food parcel to my gardener he gripped my hand, looked firmly into my eyes and said: “Thank you so much. We are starving.” The look in a man’s eyes when he is starving is unlike anything you will ever witness. It’s a look of complete desperation. The protector of the family was exposing vulnerability and fear for not being able to feed his children.

“Oh Lord,” I thought to myself “If we don’t get food to our people this crisis will blow up unlike anything we have yet seen.”

On Friday morning, the 16th of July food trucks started arriving in my city. I wish I had the words to express the joy and relief they represented. They were my symbol of hope. I have never in my life been so happy to see a food truck. Our city erupted in joy. There were tears, laughter, clapping and celebrations like we had won the World Cup Rugby (again – quick brag moment)!

Leaders from Johannesburg, especially my brother, had assured me that they were working around the clock to send food but I didn’t want to place hope in something that hadn’t yet materialized. When I saw those trucks arriving, I knew we had turned a corner and I could breathe more easily as a deeper crisis had been averted, at least for the time being.

Johannesburg and KZN people in the industries of food, fuel, pharmaceutical and other basics –  GOD BLESS YOU! My brother, you are the best leader I know. To all my JHB friends who chartered a plane to send KZN food and to every other person who was willing to the do the same, I will honestly remember your goodness for the rest of my life. Just knowing we had a life line and people who cared brought enormous comfort.

I want to applaud those incredible men and women, including my husband, who has not yet faltered. Unlike me, you are still as strong as a yoke of oxen. Your heads are down and you are ploughing through what needs to be done. You haven’t flinched for a second.

Today I am strong again. My heart is still incredibly sore but I can be productive again. Today I am going to try shine my light again but I want you to know that when it’s your time to weep, that is totally okay. It’s normal. It has to happen. An egg must crack open before new life can begin. When you weep, remember how brave you have been. I am so proud you were fighting alongside me. We totally got this. There is a time for every purpose under heaven so when you are ready, lets hold hands and rebuild together like never before! I frikkin love you South Africa!

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