Ed’s Note: This post is a contribution from Carly Ritz.
I am more proudly South African today than I have ever been – perhaps a strange statement to make when the last two weeks have been characterized by a plague of violence, brutality and senseless hatred. I don’t think I need to describe the gruesome images and tragic stories that have already played out in local media all week. I have been sad and angry and afraid, but I have also been so uplifted and inspired by the generosity of the wonderful people of our country.
Today I visited the Red Cross office in Johannesburg. I stood in a storeroom on the 16th floor of The Sable building in Dekorte Street in Braamfontein. It was filled with donations of food items and clothing, tinned food cans and nappies. I was filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude – I was thankful to be part of a nation that opens their hearts and even their homes in this time of crisis.
A colleague of mine has taken 5 Zimbabweans into his own home after they were beaten and chased from their homes. He is trying to keep them safe and offer them refuge from the volatile streets.
YFM’s DJ Sbu led a march for the youth in protest of the violence. Another march has been planned for the weekend. This saturday, people will gather at Marks Park to defend the foreign members of our country. The members of Wits University marched today.
I have had the most wonderful support from friends and colleagues in the office who have contributed so generously for the Red Cross collection. People have even been to load up their cars and help with delivering these loads to the Red Cross office. Another colleague has even offered to accompany me to the various refugee points to help deliver some supplies directly to the people in need
I am so proud of the journalists and photographers with whom I work – who have roamed the streets, day and night to show the country and the world the reality of the humanitarian crisis. I am sure their dreams are haunted by the visuals, the pain and the human suffering they encounter so intimately on a daily basis.
I am not proud of what is happening in our country right now and I desperately want the violence to cease, but I am more proudly South African than ever
- June 9 2010 – VUVUZELA DAY!!!!
- What can you do right now to help foreigners?
- Proud, overwhelming, mixed feelings today – come on the Boks!
- I am still not embarrassed to be South African – this is why
- I am not embarrassed to be South African
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