Writer: Kgomotso H. Tlhapi
As much as it may start from within, what you see on the outside is what really draws attention to yourself. My being South African begins with what the eyes see then what the ears hear when I start speaking. The love and ability to speak many languages to converse with the diverse people of my beautiful country.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela.
As much as I am currently in the USA, I walk proudly as they turn their heads as I walk by, marveled by what they see. They question, I reply- they may not know much about South Africa but as I am my country’s Ambassador, I find myself teaching all the people I come across. We have 11 official languages and traditions which they know nothing of. We have love through everything, we have Ubuntu, which they do not know.
I sleep with a smile on my face every night knowing that I have changed people’s perceptions about my country, my home, my sanctuary. Lest they forget that media and books do not tell the whole truth, us South Africans are walking libraries- we have a lot to share with the rest of the world.
I am proudly South African because I have a soul filled with love and teachings. I am love because of my heritage. I am an achiever because my country is so full of potential, in everything it does!