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Author Topic: A Change in Mindset  (Read 20054 times)

Offline ronaldd

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Re: A Change in Mindset
« Reply #105 on: December 04, 2012, 09:42:46 am »
Max, let me first get this out right from the start.  My wife does respond to post like this,  she is the "helpful one" who give information rather than get involved in "nonsense" or "feely touchy" stuff.  She is English too,  I am Afrikaans but not exactly 100% Afrikaans(Dad is dutch).  My dad was an immigrant 60 years ago, just like I am now an immigrant, if he stayed on the boat longer I would have been either Canadian , Australian or New Zealander.  She(wife) actually told me not to comment and just let it go.  Knowing me,here initial actions were not exactly going to facilitate it.  Showing me and then not participating in the discussion when it is something I feel strongly about,  is as likely as wearing pyjamas on one's honeymoon.  So,  let me run down why my response was directed to specific things you said.

Given that my home language is English, ie I didn't have to pass an IELTS test for residency, I thought it would be wise however to double check the meaning of "forum" and yes, I was correct - "an opportunity for an exchange of views where anyone can participate".
I made an assumption you were English.  So My response about English and Afrikaans people not getting along was an assumption at the time.  I am ashamed I based a response on an assumption but feel happy that my hunch was right and my explanation followed on that Afrikaans people did not start the problem , they were the last one there to be blamed for it.  I could delve into historical bits to prove a point but decided just to copy an paste an article from the previous day into the post.  I say again,  using the K word is not right, but not all people are the same, and not all Afrikaans people are the same, and not even those who think they are the same, are the same. Being different is not a flaw, its a strength. Having a different point of view is also not an argument in the sense of fighting but rather an argument in terms of a debate.


I realise too of course that I am by no means a major contributor to this forum (some over 1000) but having an understanding of the meaning of a forum, I do know that I am entitled to MY PERSONAL views!
Absolutely,  actually,  many here know me personally.  I am not such a big [expletive] than I actually come accross in my posts (some might say I am  more :) ) I express my personal views here often too.  My comments were directed to you purely because I felt directly affected by the statements.  I do not disagree about Afrikaans people mentioning things they do not like,  but I do object to it being an exclusively Afrikaner trait.  I believe if someone called the English South Africans a bunch of whiny b...rds who watch cricket and never support the local teams,  those who are man enough might have spoken up and slapped me with their glove and challenged me to a dual at dawn.  Personal views is what it is all about.   As I mentioned, If I WAS to say something like that about English people.. i would have gotten an argument from those pale skinned sissies   >:D  *JOKE*


Living on this site and constantly posting, does not give you the right to supremacy of the forum and the only one with a say. To take a dig at me personally was un-called for.
Firstly,  I do not "live on this site".  Many of us go on about once a week, maybe less after a few years. Not that my visit frequency is important.    As for supremacy,  I am not.  There is no special privileges or access . As a matter of fact,  I suspect more people dislike me for being direct or not mincing words or having zero diplomacy.  My views on not living in a dream is seen often. Yanking people's rose tinted glasses off and making people prepare for real life and not lalla land can be seen often.  So if this was a popularity contest,  you win.  I concede that you are superior on this forum.  This forum is for new people like yourself and those who are "assimilating".  I feel I am as assimilated as i will ever get.  Rather happy just the way i am now actually :)

I do however note that in the past you were unable to sit around a campfire with people from the same provinces within your own country, no wonder then, that you continue to segregate the people within in your new adopted country, Maoris and Kiwis;
Maori I know call themselves Maori,  and Pakeha don't call themselves pakeha,   they call themselves kiwi or new zealanders,  Maori call white folks Pakeha, and white folks don't call themselves Pakeha. There is even a Maori flag,  which you might have seen. Where is the Pakeha flag,  that's the Kiwi flag?.  And if you aren't Maori or Kiwi, you are called what ever nationality you are .  You are blaming ME for being personal?  Yet I feel I am more "with it", but obviously I am not objective about it (by definition). 

It is maybe important to make mention of this again.  I am not an English first language person.  I might not have the right word for things but blaming me for dogberryism or malapropism might be a bit of a stretch.(no, didn't Google "big words to impress people on the Internet") .   So if I call a person a Maori or a Kiwi,  it is not intentionally against other opinions, it is purely to differentiate as one would agree ,  in New Zealand , amongst New Zealanders, they make the distinction.

Back to the point,  the "camp fire" comment was not a literal "camp fire",  I was speaking metaphorical(I think you need a permit for a camp fire actually). I was trying to explain that even in South Africa , each province has a sub culture. There is no "one culture" for all South Africans(contrary to what New Zealanders believe). Even if you just take 1 racial grouping, there is not "one culture".  Many of us only share a country of birth and nothing else. Obviously if we were in south africa we would be with people from our community who were have a lot in common with, but here they weren't from our SA neighbourhood.  We often do not have the same values/beliefs.  Actually, to find someone who come from the same area is rather rare. Unless your name is Barry and you meet your granny's brother in The Warehouse :) .  If you had a look at our motley crew of friends it would be quite interesting.  They are awesome people.  Yet,  geographically we all came from different areas and have very little in common except a good sense of humour to laugh at ourselves.

Making a comment about a black person in NZ might seem racist, but depending on your reason for leaving SA,  you might feel that Black people are better off in South Africa after apartheid ended and white people are not better off. I am not justifying people's racist comments of course.  Not all black people are from South Africa. You must however see the possible reason for such a statement . Regardless,  many of our friends are not white South Africans (though Afrikaans usually).  However  we still call them South Africans even after all these years.  Let's be honest please,  they have as much chance of being called "New Zealanders" as white Afrikaans South Africans have . Even as citizens we will still be referred to as "South Africans".  Like one of our friends said, they were confused with a Chinese person.. HUH I say.

I thought they were just all New Zealanders?! As the saying goes, "if the cap fits wear it"!
Yup,  if it has a little propeller on and comes in yellow and blue,  yes i will wear it, but only if you wear yours too.

So.. In closing.  If you feel yourself unfairly targeted please raise it with Nolan or any moderator and have him kick my bum.  If I hurt your feelings,  I am sorry for hurting your feelings. I cannot however just sit by and read how Afrikaans people are the only ones complaining. That generalisation is UNFAIR.  I also accept that it's your personal views and your personal right to make generalisations, but it will be with feedback.  I would counter and say there are English people who do the same, and call them by name here on this forum but fail to see what benefit it would have really.  The only reason they don't gossip in a queue  at supermarkets is that they would do it in English, but they definitely do it in the privacy of other South Africans .  I probably see you guys at the same train station I go to every day.  You can actually not miss me,  the fat guy with the All-blacks top(if it is going to rain) on the 8:30 ish train and a backpack.  I do not hide behind anonymity or anything. If you want to have coffee and discuss your experiences/opinions,  feel free to send me a private message and we can go have a coffee and mend some bridges.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 09:48:12 am by ronaldd »
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Offline Siouxzee

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Re: A Change in Mindset
« Reply #106 on: December 04, 2012, 10:42:58 am »
I have chatted to a few of my kiwi friends about some of these posts on the forum and how there is this perception/reality that Kiwi's are not fans of South Africans. In fact some of the Kiwi people I have even worked have said the Saffa's they have met have not been good adverts, one went as far as to say to me I should give some South Africans lessons  :2funny:
I am relatively new to NZ just been here 18mths, I am an english speaking South African and to be honest barely understand Afrikaans, even though my grandfather was Afrikaans etc
@maxnmike I had a slight aversion to what you said as even though it was an opinion or personal experience it gave the impression that you and your Kiwi friends were blanketing expats and saying we don't try to fit in.
As someone who has for 30yrs called it a braai, called them robots and takkies, called them sms's since they came into being and also said I will send an email. It takes alot more than 5mins to change how you speak. It has nothing to do with not wanting or trying to fit in. It is simply years of conditioning and will take years to change which is completely normal. As much as I embrace kiwi culture I am who I am. I am not going to try and pretend to be someone I am not.
Even when I become a citizen (and I to have a child who as per his birth certificate is NZ by birth, I support the All Blacks, love Pavlova) I will still also be a South African and proud of it. In fact a Kiwi friend and I talk about this and she says she completely fails to understand people who emigrate and try to forget what nationality they were originally.
There are things I will always miss in SA (Woolies just happens to be one of them) that does not make me Love NZ any less or mean I don't want to be here. There are things about NZ that if I were to leave I would definitely miss. That does not make me a bad expat, it just means I am a realist who acknowledges there will be pros and cons to every country.
Also to be honest why cant we complain if we are not happy with a law, the ruling party etc. I pay my taxes and contribute. I see this as my home and therefore feel I have right to voice my opinion over something I am not happy with.
I also came with the intention of not creating a mini SA, wanting to integrate only with Kiwi's. The truth is it is not easy and other South Africans are the ones who welcomed us and invited us into their lives and homes first. Yes I have made Kiwi friends now but it did take a lot longer they dont welcome you as quickly. Was chatting to a different Kiwi friend and she said to me as I thought it was because I was South African. She said no that is just Kiwi's she had the same thing moving from Auckland to Wellington. In fact even another Kiwi friend said to me she had a friend who met her partner in London. He was South African. They moved back to SA. Subsequently she has come back to NZ. What she said to her group of friends when she got back was she found South Africans so welcoming and inviting and that his friends in SA made far more of effort to involve and include her, than her friends and Kiwis in general would have done for him if they had come to live here.
At the end of the day it takes time to settle in. But be who you are. Yes don't go in and be openly hostile and put everything down and if you are miserable and hate it then question why you are here. But if you complain about the fact that you miss Woolies, cappucinos with cream, hate cabinet food in coffee shops, think the drivers are the worst (maybe that is just because there are so many Saffa's  :2funny:), the TV adverts are abysmal, sometimes the justice system does not seem to work, things are a little to PC. I think consider yourself normal, you are not bad expat just a real one. I am always grateful that is all I have to complain about :)
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Re: A Change in Mindset
« Reply #106 on: December 04, 2012, 10:42:58 am »

Offline maxnmike

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Re: A Change in Mindset
« Reply #107 on: December 06, 2012, 04:17:22 am »
Thanks Rockhopper, you actually got what I was (trying to say) saying. Sometimes no amount of emoticons or punctuation can put across EXACTLY what you mean. Yes, I meant *&@holes lol. But then, your written English is beautiful and I am in awe  :) (And no, I am not taking a dig or being sarcastic !)
Ronaldd - I actually think that you and I could (perhaps) enjoy a coffee, or a good ol' Kiwi flat white  together, without pouring it over each other. Emotions can run high when dignity and culture are the talking point. I didnt mean to demean all Afrikaners, just as not all Poms are wingers LOL.

Its been an interesting discussion all round.

Offline ronaldd

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Re: A Change in Mindset
« Reply #108 on: December 06, 2012, 08:45:09 am »
Schalk,  in my kop klink my gedagtes soos wat jy ge skryf het.  Jy het presies gese^ wat ek al lank probeer se^ maar dit word altyd verloor tussen hoe dit in my kop klink en hoe dit gelees word.

Max.  We will make a coffee session forsure.
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Offline Savayla

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Re: A Change in Mindset
« Reply #109 on: December 07, 2012, 11:09:20 pm »
Wow, haven't been on in a few days and this was riveting stuff.  I started by reading Maxnmikes post and agreeing with alot of what she said, and disagreeing with some of what she said.  Then I read Ronaldd's and also started shaking my head in agreement, and so it went with all the posts. 

To my mind, every single person who immigrates has done it for a different reason, from a different background, in a different way, some with money, some without, some have breezed in here effortlessly, and some have really struggled.  And how we then assimilate is completely different too.  We have all landed in different areas of NZ, and this too makes a huge difference.  We have all made friends with different types of people in NZ.  We are all on our own journeys .

We assimilated very easily, made friends very easily, and have found it easy to fit in and start our new life.  Our immigration was stressful and we still have a lot of other stresses in our life.  We too have not sought out South Africans but do know a few lovely people here, but still call a braai a braai, but if it is done on gas we call it a BBQ, let us not pretend they are one and the same  :)   .  My Kiwi friend fliks me an email, I send an email.  We don't fight about it.  My kids wear takkies, their kids wear sneakers or something like that.  We still have sweets, they eat lollies, although I find myself saying that darn word often !!   :P  We eat supper, they have tea.  They accept us for who we are, as do we.  This is our new country, and we love it, but we still have a good go at Mr. Key.

Yet when others battle to assimilate, and cling to their backgrounds and culture, I don't condemn them.  I feel sorry for them.  It is the same with the Chinese or Indians, who all seem to stick together.  It helps you to assimilate, even though it may take you much longer.  It helps to have someone that understands your culture, when you are trying to fit in with a new one.

We too went to a South African braai where all the Saffers of this area were invited.  We were a bit worried if we would actually fit in.  How funny is that ?  It turned out to be such a lovely group of people, and not once did anyone mention anything disparaging about South Africa (this would have been me a few years ago when I was angry ).  In fact, we had my daughters friend with us, and her Kiwi dad came to pick her up and ended up staying .  And what fun we had ripping the Kiwi's off,  with him enjoying it all.  It was all tongue in cheek . 

I guess what I am trying to say, is that we are all different and so it should be.  Otherwise the world would be a boring place.  There is no place for @#$%holes anywhere. 

Offline Nolan

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Re: A Change in Mindset
« Reply #110 on: December 09, 2012, 08:12:20 pm »
this thread remains a must read for all immigrants / potential immigrants and the last few posts have again proven that we all experience the whole process differently depending on our background, upbringing, reasons for emigrating, etc.

I do think however that whinging is not an English / Afrikaans/ Pommie thing, it's an immigrant thing because it is normal and natural to compare the two countries and there will invariably be things that are better and worse in both countries. I promise you that ALL immigrants, including those from Asia and all the other corners of the earth that have decided to emigrate to a new country do the same, sometimes in public, but mostly when they are with those in the same boat as them.

Offline Heart Artist

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Re: A Change in Mindset
« Reply #111 on: January 21, 2014, 08:54:54 pm »
My husband and I have recently made the decision to emigrate from RSA to NZ.
Reading this post has been rather eye opening!

Our reasons for leaving seem so average - but the biggest reason is that we want to experience the better future we are working towards [constantly] as well as our child [hopefully children soon] TODAY. This appears true for everybody.

Our personal experiences from the [little from my side and LOADS from my hubby's] travelling we've done is how people tend to inflate their justifications for moving. Crime doesn't just become crime, it becomes rape, murderous, savage, brutal, wipe out your heritage crime... with intent! And I'm not saying that is not the case in RSA, sadly it is, but so many have left unaffected personally by it for it to not be the big factor in their lives. Racism is something we are tuned into in RSA and assume is non-existent elsewhere in the world, but when we get there are both shocked to find it's existence and practice, although not quite on the marvelous levels of sunny SA, and even embarrassed that the expats [us] [hopefully  :angel:] are inclined [through years of practice or exposure] to perpetuate. Hygeine, health care, and so on are not that bad, but they are not close to being perfect or awesome either. [Not wanting to start a fight, this is my EXPERIENCE and my point will follow shortly.] Maybe we are so used to being "tolerant" and constantly "discussing our differences and similarities" that we automatically do it regardless of our situation or stance, and regardless of how complaining and comparing are relative terms for the glass half full/empty/what's in it person.

What does astound me, on a personal note, is how many second generation expats are so severely brainwashed with their parents' justifications for leaving. It is something we are frightfully petrified of doing to our daughter. People actively hate a nation they never lived in, or were barely old enough to be conscious of experiencing. It shocks me how bitter people are about a country they, in theory, were never home to...  [my opinion here, before people get upset!]. As a South African [currently... hopefully not for long!] it is something I am deeply offended by, and not because I am the nationality I am but because of the aggression and, yes, arrogance, if not the out right hatred, comments are ignorantly snarled at you by these people.

On the same hand is how the grass is greener, and I am praying it really is, and how things are also so near perfect, that the question should never have been "should we do this" but rather "why did we not do this sooner" reaction and that too is nothing to be sneezed at. An affirmation of your decision is not a bad thing. It too, however, should come with some censorship, as it too can smack of complaining vs comparing.

I have, however, marveled at how the greatest issue is something I never contemplated in our decision to leave [my point] - another culture's opinion of us.

At the end of the day we have accepted a difficult life [and pray God blesses us with an amazing one], one where money or qualifications [because heaven knows it feels like we don't have enough of either!  :o] plays a major part in our even getting there, lest alone living there, where food, and clothes, and climate and taxes are something we have to learn all over again and where just making friends so if, God forbid, something bad happens we have a support structure of some sort is imperative.

The old adage "be the dumb blonde who gets the job done" is worth remembering. Not being an A-hole [sorry] and being a polite and good person is, STILL, the best and easiest thing to do and yet the most important.

Reading about how some choose to completely assimilate for whatever their reasons are, verses those who insist on keeping with who they think they are or are trying to preserve, has been educational. At the end of the day it is the very thing that is killing our country now. You cannot, especially overnight, tell somebody to stop being a watermelon, and that tomorrow they will be a cappuccino. There are things that need to happen to make you change, and things that will never be possible. It is unfair to ask it of you, and unfair to expect it of you, yet it is imperative that it happen for the VISION [insert fancy music here when reading VISION] to be achieved. Nobody has the recipe for how to achieve it internally, but aesthetically, there are encyclopedias.

The comment that luggage must be checked, your reasons must be positive, your attitude must be friendly and awesome, are relevant!
They are things that a person never thinks about, probably because we're such a "boer maak n' plan" and apologise for being rude with a beer, maybe, people. The comment that how you act paves the path for how we will be perceived and welcomed, is just as true now as it was how ever many years ago. We need to leave here, not want to, need to, and cannot if there is major opposition against the royal US.

Thank you for the posts, and thank you for the relevancy of it all.
It will be interesting to get a response to this reply, if only to hear if peoples' opinions of Kiwi's opinions of us has altered at all.

 ;)


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Re: A Change in Mindset
« Reply #111 on: January 21, 2014, 08:54:54 pm »

Offline ased786

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Re: A Change in Mindset
« Reply #112 on: May 06, 2014, 08:18:43 pm »
 O0 Dear Heart Artist

I applaud you for your openness and honesty, I have to agree with you and especially "As a South African [currently... hopefully not for long!] it is something I am deeply offended by, and not because I am the nationality I am but because of the aggression and, yes, arrogance, if not the out right hatred, comments are ignorantly snarled at you by these people.".

So true, I think based on my own opinion, everyone leaves for a different reason, as I always tell my kids "just because your finger is not broken but your sister's finger is, does not mean that your pain is any less important then hers...it just means you have different injuries"

The grass is not always greener on the other side, and that is my personal opinion, I think the grass is going to be the color you are going to make it.

I have been in so many conversations where people comment about South Africa in particular with regards to crime and the obvious things which seems like a norm to most of us, I have learned that no matter what me or my kids or the next person do or say we will never be able to change their mindsets as that is something that each individual needs to do himself.  We can only set examples to our children and their generations that will follow God Willing.  In our case our kids were present when we were held at gunpoint in our own home, for the things we worked for and belonged to us yet it was taken from us without any consent.

This is our reason that we are moving and we have discussed this will all our kids (2, 10, 12, 16) and yet we remind them all the time you all have South African blood running through your veins, it doesn't matter which country you immigrate to, you will never slander or badmouth the country as being all bad, because you were born and raised here and nothing will ever change that.

Each and every journey comes with it's own positives and negatives, at the end of the day we need to ask ourselves whether the positive outweighs the negative once we have weighed the options then you can determine whether the journey is worth it.

For us who stayed in New Zealand for 3 years, the journey is soooo worth it... and God Willing we are going to succeed as we concluded that the positive in this journey outweighs the negative 10 fold... so this definitely makes the journey worth it.

But in essence I thank you for reminding me and me in turn reminding my family to do the right and most important things, with regards to Kiwi's  opinions of us, we have never for the time that we spend in New Zealand ever heard any Kiwi making a comment or throwing their negative opinions with regards to our country or our people, I have to admit and PLEASE with NO INTENTION TO OFFEND ANYONE, surprisingly a few ex South African's have visited old Cape Town and I was amazed how the moaning and complaining never stopped and how the comments went around stating "how do you guys live with all this violence and crime"? funny part though is they were born and raised here, just a thought....

Thnx once again for the reminder.. and I wish you and your family all the best with your mindset I pray that the Almighty makes things easy for you guys and that you succeed in everything you do.

Offline kaitangsou

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Re: A Change in Mindset
« Reply #113 on: February 02, 2015, 08:21:04 pm »
Now for a touching story of reverse migration...from Homecoming website...

I fell in love at the age of 43. Not that responsible love which I know, or that infatuated love which I also know. But I fell in love in that real love way. When you can see someone for who they are – flaws and virtues – and love them anyway. Real love is irrational. My best friend for whom life is a rough road, whimsically says to me, “Tell me about love…” I say, “It is crazy. It doesn’t make sense at all. But it feels so good.”

I have just spoken to my dad’s cardiologist. Dad is 86 and his time is short. He was admitted into hospital yesterday for further tests. I lived in Sydney for 15 years, and I would pray that I’d somehow be able to spend significant time with my parents before they died. I moved back to South Africa two years ago in January 2013.

I think I was tricked.

My life in Sydney was established. Although divorced from my Australian husband, relationships were good. My two Australian children -15 and 13 – were in good private schools, and I had a supportive network of friends. I was in my last year formation as a Minister of the Word in the Uniting Church in Australia. My vocation was planned and I loved congregational ministry. But increasingly a pull to Africa and globalised Africans was forming part of my vision. What is our African identity? Who are we in the world born at this time? And what can we uniquely contribute – both to Africa and the new countries we found ourselves in.

Part of our nuclear family plan was that both children – in Year 10 – would attend a South African school for a year so that they could connect with their South African heritage and family. And so it was that my son and I arrived in Pietermaritzburg for a year in 2013. My son attended St Charles College, and I connected in with the Methodist Church of Southern Africa seminary.

And then the plan went pear-shaped!

At Easter, my ex-husband and my 13 year old daughter visited us from Sydney. On her return she decided that she wanted to come to study in South Africa too. The decision was not easy – but we managed to get her a place in Grade 8 at Epworth high school and she started in July 2013. The focus then turned to my son at the end of the year. Now that his sister was here until the end of 2014 (parental decision) should he stay in South Africa for matric, or return to his Sydney school as was the initial plan? Being a boy prone to taking commitments seriously, he decided to return to Sydney and his school friends.

And then at Easter 2014, my ex-husband, my 16 year old son, and my mother-in-law visited us from Australia. The day before they were to leave, my son announced that he wanted to reverse his decision and complete his schooling in South Africa. Again the decision was not easy – but we managed to negotiate between his Sydney school and St Charles and he returned two weeks later to Pietermaritzburg, to pick up the life here he left 3 months before.

My children are very happy, and they are thriving. The schools have engaged them in ways their private schools in Sydney did not. And assured of both parents’ support and love, both children (who only knew Australia) have chosen South Africa. And now, in matric, my son is thinking of TUKS or Stellies for varsity next year. My son says there is a freedom here that wasn’t there in Australia.

And South Africans are fun. They are full of character. Belonging to a wider family is good. And it is real here. You can feel life.

Would I have rationally chosen this for my children? Probably not. South Africa is challenging! But as I said, real love is crazy.

Yes… back to the love story. I am in love with South Africa – but in a real way. It is not a responsible love or an infatuated love. I can see South Africa’s flaws and its virtues. It is a crazy place. It makes no sense to live here. It is completely irrational. But it feels so good.

And just when you think that there is no special someone in this love story, I was surprised last year to fall in love with an old boyfriend I hadn’t been in contact with for 25 years. In fact, he was the boy I took to my matric dance. After living in the UK for 10 years, he also chose to return home four years ago.

Coming home. Here’s an African love story.