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What would happen if our President lubed up, put some takkies on and went for a run? Kim Nicola Stephens asked the question in an open letter, which quickly went viral.


Western Cape, South Africa (18 January 2016) – Would going for a run and seeing South Africa through the eyes of a South African make a difference to our President? Apparently this is a question many of us would like to know.

Constant propaganda is trying to divide the people of South Africa, but through a common passion and love for our beautiful country, we are uniting and focusing our energy on the good stuff. The most incredible thing is the fact that even through the turbulent start to 2016 and the hardships that the country has seen, we are still standing together, united, as one.

This morning, Kim Nicola Stephens wrote an incredible post that is starting to go viral for all the right reasons.

It’s a piece that shows South Africa… through the eyes of a South African.

Dear Mr President, I think it’s time you go for a run!

I feel like Zuma needs to go for a run. Takkies on, lube up, head out for a trot, sir.

One foot in front of the other, on the pavements of your country. Pass your voters, and non voters. You can’t tell them apart via race, sir.

Foot in an uncovered manhole? Sorry about that. Dodge the human waste of the homeless. Run on. Wide berth around the tik head that might take your emergency R20 Coca-Cola cash.

Run. Run some more.

Pass the businesses advertising closing down sales, the derelict office blocks. Pass the homes with laundry hanging on communal fences. High five the babies playing in dirt. Steer clear of the children that should be in school. The school with the long drop, no text books, and an under-paid teacher.

Run, Zuma.

Greet the doctors and nurses stumbling bleary-eyed on to public transport to return home after a 48-hour shift for pittance. Breathe deeply as you pass the sewerage pumping in to the sea. Smell that?

Nearly half way now, Zuma. Sweating? Run some more.

The committed flower seller, the Big Issue peddler, the beggar. Another beggar. Oh, look sharp Zuma! Stay right! Blue light brigade coming through. Big cars, flashing lights. Someone more important than the man voluntarily patrolling his neighborhood to protect his children and neighbours. More important than the Big Issue salesman, the beggar. VIP in a big ass car. Run on. Pass the men sitting on upturned boxes waiting for manual work. Any work. Around the pothole.

Climb higher. Run that hill, now.

Report the water gushing out of an unkempt pipe, as you run by. Spare a thought for the farmers suffering through the drought, while you do so.

Climb. Push up, past the sprawling informal settlement awaiting housing. You might want to keep your head down here, sir, as you promised them service delivery in return for their votes… Years ago.

Keep going. Now from that summit, as you sweat, look down.

Look at your people, voters and non.

See the big shot business man quietly funding a school project. See the housewife paying school fees for another woman’s children. Look at that beach clean up team, the students volunteering in an orphanage and the food parcels arriving from a leading grocery chain.

You didn’t, so they did.

Observe the community spirit when a fire breaks out and ravages the shacks of an under-resourced community. Or when a fire ravages part of our precious natural heritage. Look far from your vantage point and note the unity, mixed marriages, mixed families, students of all races standing together for a common cause. See the colour blind children of South Africa.

Observe keenly the pain and suffering of the poor, with their lack of role models and inefficient education.

Take note of the growing force that is standing up against you, to uplift the poor and bring about true equality.

See the privileged communities becoming aware of their position, and using it to improve the lives of others.

You didn’t, so they did.

Now run home, Zuma. Back to your 20th child. Back to a life of luxury and total lack of empathy.

Mind you don’t trip on your shoelace as you go.


Kim wrote a follow-up post to thank people for sharing… as she didn’t expect such an amazing reaction.

“I didn’t think that post would gain such momentum. Heading for 600 shares and published on various SA for Change FB groups. I am passionately pro SA and all its beauty, diversity, and complexities.”

“To the few that have messaged me to say that I am posting from a privileged perspective – I am, you’re right. I am very privileged compared to the vast majority of South Africans.”

“That is what moves me to want to see change. I am also passionate about understanding our divides, and finding ways to bring us all closer together. United we thrive. Be cognicent of your past, and positive about your future. Give back, uplift and listen. Mostly, listen.”

Sources: Kim Nicola Stephens 
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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.


  1. I am so saddened by what is happening today. My parents fought so hard for the freedom of our country and l have taken in many extra children of many races for which l am very grateful. We all need to learn to care for each other and not to jump on the gravy train. We are a rainbow nation with so much promise, if only this would happen we would be living in paradise.

  2. Kim should be awarded a special Nobel prize for “Saving a Nation”.

    Through the art of Black Magic, Zuma and ANC politicians have changed what applied to a sector of the population from that worn out cliche of “previously disadvantaged” to that of the “currently disadvantaged” which now encompasses the entire nation.

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