When dealing with stereotypes or ignorance about South Africa, I always resort to telling these ten truths about my beautiful country.
Oh, Cape Town how I miss you. There is nothing like a scenic visit to Table Mountain or eating delicious seafood while looking at sweeping views of the city and harbor. The first thing I tell, my curious American friends, is how gorgeous and unmatched Cape Town is.
Side note: I remember going to a quaint café in Cape Town and being served the most scrumptious hot chocolate of my life. The café made the hot chocolate by using a solid ball of chocolate and pouring hot milk over it. I have yet to find such a delight in the USA.
Many Americans still think we have slaves. While most South Africans do have a lot of help around the house, our domestic workers are paid, respected and treated as part of the family.
The hardest part of leaving South Africa, aside from leaving my family, was leaving behind our incredible domestic worker. She was a second mother to me and we were all devastated to part ways.
My friends were always shocked when I would tell them that in South Africa it is extremely common for the waiter to bring a glass of wine for someone underage.
It is an unspoken rule that most parents will give their children a few sips of wine with their dinner. I credit my distaste for binge drinking to my parents for exposing me to alcohol at a young age.
Side Note: The legal drinking age in South Africa is 18.
If you have a hunger for wildlife, South Africa will feed that hunger tenfold. South Africa is home to many national parks and game reserves. Kruger National Park is justifiably the most well-known game reserve in South Africa.
The Big Five are present and aside from the Big Five, you will be treated to spectacular views and other exciting animal sightings.
Recently popular banks in America issued new cards with security chips in them to their customers and stores were forced to put in new card readers.
Americans thought this was so innovative but I remember even as a kid living in South Africa that our bankcards had these chips.
I recently went to a new burger place and as I bit into my burger I made a comment to my mom that although the burger was great, I have yet to eat a better burger than Steers.
I have no idea why their burgers are so delicious but it’s been at least 13 years since I ate there and I can still remember the distinct taste of a Steers burger.
Yes, racial tensions exist but we are called the Rainbow Nation for a reason. When I go on Facebook now and view my friends’ pages I notice that most -if not all- of their pictures show they have a diverse group of friends.
South Africa is truly a melting pot and it’s beautiful to see.
South Africans are not lazy people and we do what it takes to get the job done. We are reliable and respectful. South Africans tend to stay loyal to their employers and do not typically job hop like in America where it is considered very normal to change jobs every couple of years.
Much like in America, Sport is crucial to the culture. The main sports in South Africa are Rugby, Soccer and Cricket. South Africans hold the 1995 Rugby World Cup very close to their hearts not only because of the win but also because this was a game that united a very divided nation.
When I first arrived in America I got asked all kinds of crazy questions and I had no understanding why people would ask these questions until one day I stumbled upon a show about South Africa.
The show skipped over the beautiful Johannesburg buildings that line the sky, the breathtaking beaches of Durban, and the thriving people who inhabit the country.
Instead, the show only focused on a portion of South Africa – the poverty and crime.
At first I took offense to the misrepresentation of my home country but then I thought about it a bit longer. Like any country, South Africa has its problems, but I know the truth about the beauty of South Africa and that’s all that matters.