News Articles

Post Covid, South Africa is back in business

Source: City Pres, 28/07/2022

There’s an isiZulu idiom that posits, ‘Isisu somhambi singangenso yenyoni.’ Directly translated, it suggests that a visitor’s belly (satiation capacity) is as small as the size of a bird’s kidney. But, this translation belies the profound and instructive meaning.
The true and deeper meaning speaks to the unstoppable spirit of hospitality, generosity and sharing of what little you have. A spirit so innate to African life that extending these courtesies even to a total stranger who just so happens to visit one’s home is considered no burden at all.
In the traditional, rustic village life of old, it was not uncommon for a weary traveler far from home, battered by the day’s travels, troubles and toils to at dusk approach any home on his or her path in this spirit, and be welcomed in that unique ubuntu-inspired hospitality.
Despite the vastly changed social setting in our country, that spirit of ubuntu has never left us as a people. The genuineness of the smiles we give visitors when they come to our shores, going out of our way to assist them where they need directions or recommendations for the best braai spot, the soul and passion we pour into our conversations and the laughter and dance when we entertain are some of the traits that consistently rank highly when tourists from various parts of the world are asked about their experiences in our beautiful country.
To think that we, as Africans in the southern tip of our continent, are an anomaly in this regard would be complete folly. And, I suspect no one knows this better than Boipelo Tladinyane Hlubi, who bears the truly unique honour of having visited 54 of the continent’s 55 countries in an epic backpacking adventure.
See, Boipelo told delegates at the recently concluded Africa’s Travel Indaba about the incredible hospitality of the people she encountered and that hit home powerfully once again. She told of the intrigued-yet-warm African smiles with which she was received into and sheltered overnight in people’s homes, allowed to sleep on a rooftop and at the beach, among many overnight stays.
I also imagine the journey her palate must have also taken, from pap and nyama in the south to sadza ne nyama in Zimbabwe, nshima and kapenta in Zambia, to ugali na nyama choma in Kenya, to yam and egusi in Nigeria, and fufu and njama njama in Cameroon. Notice how many of the above-mentioned dishes refer to meat in some iteration of the word nyama? It and several others are the emphatic etymological proclamation - we are one!
Boipelo no doubt returned with tons of stories from her travels, as her book, A Safari Back to Self, attests. But equally, she undoubtedly imparted her “South African-ness” to those she encountered, as much as those countries all deposited something into the person she is today.
This is what my Ghanaian counterpart Koffi Atta Kakra Kusi had in mind when he told us at Africa’s Travel Indaba that the story of Africa can be told through our heritage, natural resources, culture and traditions, as well as our values and customs as a people.
So, allow me to lay down a challenge for you, my fellow South Africans. This is a challenge that is perhaps aptly captured by the colloquialism: ‘Let’s keep it real’. Let us be true to who we are, as a people. Let us be true to the values of our unimpeachable humanity that has over generations enamoured us with people the world over. Let us not grow weary of extending the kind of ‘give you the shirt off my back’, exuberant hospitality and generosity.
After all, the economic benefits of doing so commend themselves. In the first three months of this year, for example, there were 1 047 558 international tourist arrivals into our country, representing a much-needed 170.7% increase when compared to the same period last year. Of those, a landslide 778 313 were tourists from other countries in our continent, rendering Europe, our second-biggest source market, with a contribution of 192 494 tourists, minuscule by comparison. Importantly, these visitors spent millions of rands staying in our lodges, hotels and B&Bs, eating out at restaurants, hiring vehicles and shuttles, and shopping in our malls and flea markets.
But, beyond the rands and cents sense of it all, our disposition is and should always be of arms wide open and ready to welcome. This is especially true in the year that marks exactly 20 years since the ideal of an African Renaissance was born, with the launch of the African Union in our ever-warm city of Durban.
I can think of no better way to take individual ownership of and give full meaning and content to our former president Thabo Mbeki’s timeless words: “Being part of all these people and in the knowledge that none dare contest that assertion, I shall claim that I am an African” than to be as exuberant as ever in our hospitality.
www.samigration.com


Search

  •    Pretoria - Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Frederick Shava, said the government led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa is ready to welcome back its citizens who have lived in South Africa under the Zimbabwe Exemption Permits (ZEP). “The Zimbabwe Exemption Permit will expire at the end of this year. Its expiry is naturally causing much anxiety to the holders of this permit,” Shava said in his opening remarks while co-chairing the mid-term review of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) with International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor.... Read more...
  •    •The Department of Home Affairs is making changes to passport applications and collections to avoid fraud. • Only the person who applied for a passport can collect it and activate it with fingerprints. • The department has also introduced a transit visa for Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals.... Read more...
  •    •South Africa`s department of home affairs has more than 350 million civic paper records detailing births, marriages, deaths, and amendments dating back to 1895. • Sifting through these paper documents is a major headache for both the department and South Africans.... Read more...
  •    South African Citizenship Citizenship Options • South African Citizen by Descent • South African Citizen by Naturalisation: • Automatic loss of Citizenship • Resumption of South African citizenship • Deprivation of Citizenship • South African Citizen by Naturalisation: • Automatic loss of Citizenship • Resumption of South African citizenship • Acquisition of the citizenship or nationality of another country... Read more...
  •    A Nigerian lady who resides in Canada has advised her countrymen who wish to relocate to be fully prepared for the hustle and bustle that comes with working in the North American country. She documented a day in her life as a factory worker and revealed that as early as 4:50 am she is already on her way to work. The young woman said that waking up that early was a huge struggle for her, so she said that anybody that is making plans to travel there should be ready to put in that level of commitment.... Read more...
  •    South Africa needs to increase the number of researchers and technicians it has at its disposal if it wants to remain globally competitive in innovation.... Read more...
  •    South Africa: Immigration Overview The government of South Africa generally maintains a system of immigration with a focus on recruiting foreign nationals during times of high labour demand. In a whitepaper published in 2017 by the South African Department of Home Affairs (DHA), the country seeks to encourage a heightened interest in business immigration. As a result of this increased focus, the government continues to focus on implementing regulations and procedures related to immigration.... Read more...
  •    Foreign nationals whose applications for asylum in South Africa were rejected do not automatically have the right in law to reapply. If they do, this will allow for a never-ending cycle of asylum applications, according to a judgment by the Western Cape High Court. This followed an application by three Burundian nationals who applied for asylum in South Africa.... Read more...
  •    Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has put specialist nurses, doctors and dentists back on the critical skills list, in a revised version published in the Government Gazette.... Read more...
  •    Ever wondered what the difference between Indefinite Leave to Remain and citizenship is? SA Migration has answers to some of your questions. Indefinite Leave to Remain ` all you need to know: Image: Adobe stock Indefinite Leave to Remain, or ILR in short, is the stepping stone to British citizenship. However, many people get confused between ILR and citizenship.... Read more...

Get the latest Immigration News