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Dear South Africa: An open letter on racism that we all need to read

open letter Stolen Phone Letter racism

Shelley Finch wrote an open letter to a South African who made her see something she hadn’t seen before and even though the letter was meant for someone specific, it is something we all need to read.

 

I had the most beautiful experience last night. My Taxify driver, Zukisani, had his pregnant fiancé in the car with him for his last trip of the night.

On the 5 min drive we talked about their son, who is due to be born in November, and their wedding in the Eastern Cape which they are planning for September next year. Zukisani is working Taxify at night after work to earn some extra cash to prepare for his son’s arrival and their big day.

Here is a young couple embarking on their lives together. Their hopes and dreams are simple and exactly the same as those of every other family in this country: a home, a safe environment to raise their family, a job and money enough to put food on the table, pay for school fees and maybe a short holiday somewhere nice once a year.

Their eyes are were full of excitement as they talked about their future and I felt quite emotional as I listened.

I was emotional for two reasons:

  1. I was happy, joyful and filled with hope for this little family. It was a beautiful thing to witness the love between these two people.
  2. I was saddened to realize that these are the people that Adam, and those who think like him, called THAT AWFUL WORD.

This morning my head is full of so many thoughts. But the ones I most want to share are…

To Zukisani and Fiancé (I’m sorry I didn’t get your name!)

In you I see “my people”. South Africans. People born here and those who made a choice to make this country their home. The people that I am grateful and blessed to share this country with. Today I make a commitment to you and your son, to do whatever I can to ensure that you have every opportunity to turn your hopes and dreams for your family into a reality.

Our country isn’t made up of loud-mouth politicians and extremists with their divisive politics and self-enriching, self-interested promises. It is made up of families like yours.

Those politicians aren’t going to steer our country straight. We are. Our hands are on the wheel together and every time we choose to listen to each other’s dreams and hopes with kindness and empathy we steer ourselves a little straighter.

Every time we are able to hear someone else talk of their needs and desires and think “is this person asking for anything more than I have asked for or wanted for my family?” we steer ourselves a little straighter.

Thank you for the opportunity to share that wonderful 5-minutes with you.

It was such a great gift to meet you last night and I wish you a bright, abundant, prosperous, love-filled future together.


Sources: Shelley Finch – Warrior of Positive Change. Creative Ideator. Ethical Marketer. Purpose More Than Profit. Proud Rotarian. #RacismMustEnd
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and man in charge at Good Things Guy. Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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