South Africans. We can accuse ourselves of many things. Boring however, is not one of those things.
I was reminded of this when I stopped at my local grocery store the other day.
Bongo Maffin and I where jamming to "Thathi'sgubhu" as I parked my car in the available space next to a silver Audi. The Audi is pumping "Pour Some Sugar on Me" by Def Leppard. The gentleman who gets out of the Audi is a young black man who does not look old enough to even know who Def Leppard is. There we were, in the car park, appreciating each other's music even though neither of us, fits the bill for the type of music we are listening to. To add a cherry right on top of this delicious moment, he leans over the roof of his car as he gets out and yells "Bongo Maffin! Lekker!"
As a nation, we get to belong to everything all at once.
Monday night we're enjoying bunny chow and by Friday, its boerie on the braai. Maybe Wednesday's side-dish (and I'm referring to food here) was marogg. We sing along to songs from many different languages yet, very few of us can get the whole National Anthem out in one go.
We get to live in a country where we can dip in and out of various cultures, food types and music... And all of that, before the traditional 10am tea time at work.
Years ago, while working in Pretoria CBD, tea time consisted of instant coffee from a kettle and those vetkoek things that the lady on the side of the road cooks in oil that's probably never been changed. Add a slice of processed cheese for R2 (those years) and you have the ultimate melty, cheesy, oily, vetkoek snack for your mid-morning nourishment.
We get torn apart by politics, racism, nastiness and hidden agenda's but at our core, we are a young democracy that is busy creating a unified culture that can be found nowhere else in the world.
Irrespective of who we identify with, you would be hard-pressed to find a South African who does not dabble in food and music from various cultures. It's just how we roll. We have the choice to partake in the melting pot that is South Africa and I love every moment of it!
I love it when fellow South Africans surprise me by breaking the rules of who we are supposed to be. The young black man who enjoys Def Leppard*. The millennials who are embracing cultures locally and abroad and incorporating them into their lives. People who can appreciate all the aspects, and respect all of our cultures. People who can make something their own and give other people the space to be who they are.
We get torn apart by politics, racism, nastiness and hidden agenda's but at our core, we are a young democracy that is busy creating a unified culture that can be found nowhere else in the world. We have our challenges, it's true... But I for one, am proud to be a South African who can share moments in car parks with people who surprise me.
Here are a few of the songs that have been on my playlist recently:
Bongo Maffin – Thathi'sgubhu / Shekinah & Kyle Deutsch - Back to the Beach / Miriam Makeba – Pata Pata
Kevin Leo & Jakkie Louw: Voshaarnooi /Bob Mabena – Get Funky / Mango Groove – Special Star /
Papa Jeff – Pinky Pinky
*Def Leppard are an English rock band. The genre was created by black musicians like Sister Rosetta Tharpe (who is widely considered the godmother of rock 'n roll) and Chuck Berry. It's not that weird that black people should love it, is it? - blog editor