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Every now and then, it feels like there is a mass emigration of South Africans leaving the country, and our readers keep mentioning that it feels like that now… again. For some reason, July is the month. We decided to ask them to change their own national conversation, to inspire each other and tell us why they choose to stay in South Africa, and the response was incredible!


South Africa (11 July 2022) – Loadshedding, the crime stats, the abject poverty, a terrible government, a lack of leadership and the general state of the nation, it can all feel like too much, and that standard South African conversation starts rearing its ugly head… is it time to go? Should we have a “plan b” in place? Is it time to leave, or are we choosing to stay?

The news is hard, real, and scary and can often make us feel like we’re on the losing side of a long battle, but the truth is that those stories are only one side of the South African coin, and in reality, we have so many things to celebrate. This was the reason that Good Things Guy was launched on the 1st of August 2015… to showcase the good things happening in our beautiful country.

Good Things Guy is dedicated to telling good stories, and we like to share things that inspire. The award-winning platform is one of the leading good news sites in South Africa & has grown from one person with a simple idea to a full team that brings good news to South Africans every day. Our mission has always been to change the national conversation and give South Africans a balance to the news in South Africa.

The publication is 7 years old this year, and every year we have asked the same question, funny enough, around about this time: why do you choose to stay?
Photo Cred: Good Things Guy

Every now and then, it feels like there is a mass emigration of South Africans leaving the country, and our readers keep mentioning that it feels like that now… again. For some reason, July is the month. We decided to ask them to change their own national conversation, to inspire each other and tell us why they choose to stay in South Africa, and the response was incredible!

If you’re feeling negative in any way or just need a little “pick me up”, then read all the amazing comments below from awesome South Africans sharing their good things with each other:

“My blood is green and gold… The people are my people… We laugh, we cry but we keep going. We are a mighty nation. God bless South Africa.” – Desire Britton Minnaar 

“Oneness to beat the odds is our trademark.” – Daluxolo Moloantoa

“Why would we leave? The rest of the world seems equally ‘messed’ up. Running away is never the answer. If you can better your life by all means, go! I am staying.” – Janitha Brown

“This is my place. Ja-Nee, we deal with everything with humour. My people, my place. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.” – Annette Paynter

“That even though there are the poorest of the poor, the street people even have a smile on their faces whilst begging for change. It proves that despite our circumstances South Africans are resilient and don’t let what is their life situation get them down. It’s only those who can’t see the dawning of a new day as an opportunity to get up and make the day positive that want to flee. Like Bette Midler says “Just remember in the winter, Far beneath the bitter snows, Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the spring becomes the rose” So I am choosing to stay because I know our spring is coming and our rose will bloom. For a Rainbow 🌈 always appears only after a storm…. Whether the storm and you will catch the rainbow. There is no other place like South Africa. Finished and klaar! Oh and most importantly least we forget we are the only country and people with Ubuntu. And that my dear friends is why I’m staying.” – John Arvanitakis 

“The people… Ordinary citizens who pull together, when politicians aim to divide.” – Nelie Carter

“SA is our home. A lot needs fixing but we pray for healing for our nation. We stay here because we love our country.” – Jeanette Lees

“The way, when the chips are down, we all pull together – in love and good humour.” – Deb Zed

“The grass is green where you water it! SA is beautiful, the people are awesome, and next weekend I’m going to the Johnny Clegg tribute concert and I know it is going to be so epic jolling with everyone. We are resilient and tenacious, and despite being angry and fearful – we just need a national sports game to unite us again. I love that I can do Christmas shopping on the side of William Nicol and sixty60 is the best delivery service! I can go on… smelling Boerie cooking outside the shops on a weekend, doing the red bus tour of your awesome city, and homegrown wine!” – Lauren Clark

“My people my country, the air is different, the diversity from Limpopo to Capetown. From the wimpy in Margate the boulders in Tieties Baai. So much beauty, so many good people and friendly faces. Awesome food and the best rib eye cuts. Our ability to always find the humor in any situation. Trust me, no where else will you find all of this in one country.” – Liz Lamond 

“I’m Dutch and South African. I was born in SA, almost 40 years ago. The first 8.5 years of my life I spent in George. In 1991 we went back to The Netherlands. As an adult I came back to SA (2011) with my Dutch husband. Almost 11 years now in SA. Our family grew from 2 to 5, with the adoptions of our 3 beautiful daughters. I feel incredibly thankful to be able to let our children grow up in their birth country, surrounded by people from their birth culture and birth language. Our children have a Dutch and South African upbringing. We are surrounded by beauty. Lovely weather. Great people.” – Marli van Schaijk

“The exquisite mountain that makes my heart burst every day I see it together with the magnificent Atlantic Ocean. The beautiful rain, the amazing summers, our sunrises and sunsets,our wildlife, our language, our accents, our fruit, our wine, our biltong, the culture of SA is one of strength and resilience.” – Nikki Peterson 

“There are a lot of people also returning. I belong to a return to SA group and people are desperate to come home! There is just something so incredibly special about South Africa. No other place in the world fills that void. I always say when that dust gets under your fingernails you are hooked for life!
South Africans are resilient. We always make a plan. Opening your own business is easy! No big hoops to jump through. There are so so many helpers when a crisis hits. The food is the best! And the most beautiful places on earth. From bushveld to beaches. But most importantly always the people! The friendliest.” – Tracey Stanton 

“Not the land of my birth, but the love I have for this magnificent country makes me wish I was. To be called a South African is an honour I have strived for…there are no people in the world quite like “us”…I have been taught to be strong, resilient, grateful, proud, helpful, humble and to see beauty around every corner…and boy, this country overflows with beauty. Viva South Africa and thank you for all you have given me, and my family.” – Catherine Golding 

“The grass is not greener on the other side. I came to SA 11 years ago and besides all the downfalls of the government I see opportunities for growth and freedom for all. If you determine your life by politics you might as well become a politician or even worse give up and leave. You are not running away from a corrupt government, you are running away from your ability to take full accountability of your life choices.” – Lasse Presting

And if you’re looking for even more inspiration, watch this advert for South African Tourism letting the world know that we are open for business, while bringing all the feels!

Sources: Brent Lindeque | Good Things Guy 
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Have something to add to this story? Please share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens, or share your good news with us by clicking here or click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes there’s good news around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor 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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