The weird and wonderful things I love about South Africa

Leanne Rhodes

Posted on December 07 2017

Written by Nicci Martin

I’ve been living in the UK for almost 7 years now, and am very happy here, but South Africa will always be engrained in my heart. It will always be home to me.  

I often miss so many things about it. There are those one would expect, like the food, the weather and family and friends (of course), but I’ve come to miss some of the more subtle gems that make South Africa so special too. 

Hadidas

I know you didn’t expect this one … but it’s true. 

These noisy birds would wake me up at 4 or 5am every morning while I was at varsity. But funnily enough, I miss them quite a bit. I’m sure if I were to move back home tomorrow, they would almost instantly slip off this list. But as things stand now, it would make my day to hear one. 

The lekker lingo

There’s something so special about hearing ‘your’ accent in a foreign country. You can’t help but smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I often feel as though I have an instant connection with fellow South Africans I meet here, simply because ‘ons praat die selfde taal’. I remember meeting a South African here a few years back. Her accent was quite watered down, so I didn’t instantly recognise it as South African, but oh my goodness…once we realised, there was no stopping us. We could finally use words like ‘kokie’ (however you’re meant to spell that), ‘lekker’ and ‘eish’, and be understood. She is now one of my best friends. Happy days! I’d love to hear it that much more, but I’ll take whatever I can get.

Bakkies everywhere 

I know this might sound strange. But I hardly ever see Bakkies where I live. When I do, I immediately think of home and how we often used to park the bakkie on the side of the road, before going to watch a rugby match at Loftus, having a braai with friends and fellow rugby supporters. Good times.   

The 'gees'

The people, the energy, the friendliness, the dancing, the singing, the hospitality, the generosity, the life. I love how despite difficulties, South Africans never give up. They can’t help but encourage, uplift and inspire each other or find the funny in even the most serious of situations. I can assure you, it doesn’t go unnoticed and it definitely speaks volumes. 

Never a dull moment

Whenever I come home I’m amazed by the variety of art, colour and creativity that’s found everywhere. I always seem to come across something innovative, inspiring and uplifting. I especially love the beautiful patterns and vibrant colours in Shweshwe fabric. Shwezu.co.za stocks all sorts of amazing bags, shoes and accessories created with this fabric. When I see things like these I am always left thinking … I wish there was something like this in the UK.

You’ve got to LOVE-RSA. There’s no place quite like it.