Archive for December, 2009

5 Reasons I hate South Africa & South Africans

December 2, 2009

I initially wrote a quick blog about the many irritations I deal with on a daily basis by simply being a South African living in my “home country”.

As I continued to add more and more content, I found the blog turning out to be something of a labour of love/hate.

I didn’t want to just spew out a few luda-WHAT statements about my annoyances that would garner a knee jerk reaction by those who are proudly South African, an oxymoron in itself I’m sure, but I actually wanted to give factual (if not totally opinionated) examples of day to day living.

This has led me to delay the posting of this blog until I was completely satisfied with it. As each day came and went I felt the need grow to make this blog post something special to me.

I am not a proud South African. I have given my blood sweat and tears to this country, and i have been rewarded with crime, loss, dehumanization and so many more factor which I will address.

Below are the top 5 factors that lead to my absolute hate of the country and its people. In each case, I have no doubt there will be exceptions to my thoughts, but I also don’t care, I’m far too judgmental to be bothered to separate people, so I’ll rather just lump everyone together under one banner and label you all.

So, if you are offended easily then a) stop reading right here b)grow a pair and accept that you are part of the problem c) help contribute to my NYC fund and help get rid of someone who is constantly negative about the country.

You will see many references to words such as “accountability” and “responsibility”, which is expected, since it’s the common thread in this post, and quite possible a reason on its own.

Still here? Ok…well then….let’s begin.

5) The non existence of service delivery

I’ve previously blogged about quality control on products in SA , but my hatred for this runs so much deeper than a simple typo on a DVD cover or incorrect packaging. There is a distinct lack of accountability on products and service & support in this country.

If you’ve ever gone to a customer service section of a chain store, such as a Game, or Pick n Pay or Hyperama, you will immediately have a distinct memory of a frustration (or in fact a belittling attitude) you have had to deal with.

Firstly getting acknowledged by the employee on the other side of the counter is an effort. A simple hello, or smile really does not cost a thing (much like J-lo’s love), and goes a long way to setting the tone for the rest of the complaint/query.

I’m the first one to understand that I am just one of hundreds of customers dealt with on a weekly basis, but quite honestly I don’t give a damn. If you are working in a customer services division, you have a job to do. Love it or Leave it. You should treat each and every customer with personal attention. It’s a simple code your store should live by.

As an English speaking person, I also expect all communications about me or regarding my query to be relayed in English. Side conversations to a supervisor or section manger in an African language I don’t speak are not only disrespectful to me as a client, but also result in a broken telephone translation of what I am actually asking assistance on. – This results in further frustration.

This apathy to doing a job starts at petrol pump attendant level and goes right to the top to government.

Have you ever called a customer service helpline? Has the person on the other end ever actually understood what you are asking?

Trust me, Ive been on the other side too, it takes a certain kind of person to offer support. I did it for 8 years, and I was damn good at it, even though I hated it.

In this day and age, how can so many people be so ungrateful that they have a job to the extent where they couldn’t be bothered if they do it properly?

The country has promised so much job creation to its people, I just never realized that they pick jobs out of hat for each person.

What ever happened to the right person for the right job approach?
What about municipal governments contribution? how many time have you not have water? electricity? not had your garbage collection? This is a weekly concern. I pay rates and taxes on time, and the exact amounts im billed for (well…there was that one time…for a few months)…I dont ask for much…just to be treated like a human being by my own government. we don’t get explanations as to why these things occur…if we lucky, someone catches them out on a lie, THEN we get some sort of explanation.

Next week I’m going to try being a doctor. Hey at least it’s a job….

4) The Youth

You’ve heard your parents say it in some variation or another “kids today!”…well I’m sorry to say …they are right.

The youth of today is nothing short of embarrassing. Perhaps this is more personal one since I lost my childhood through circumstance and never got to experience the “youth gone wild”…But even kids of my age where never this bad.

Now, I understand each generation has their catch phrases and habits…but have you ever had a conversation with anyone below the age of 16? I have… many times (bless those internet chat rooms….I joke I joke). It’s almost impossible to actually have an English conversation with them. Seriously, it’s like trying to decipher the Da Vinci code.

They can’t even be bothered to spell correctly anymore. They abbreviate the word “the”!!!!…these are habits that wont get broken. When students inevitably get to write exams via cellphones, I’m sure we will get the following:
Question: What brought on the downfall of Obama’s presidency?
Answer: Pd. Obama, s0ught 2 rule 2 much. Causing cuntries 2 ask “WYD”.

Ok ok, see I can’t do it LOL.

I’m sure this is something that a global problem, especially with things like the internet and mobile phones around to influence them, but my point is there is a distinct dumbing down of the youth, and what’s worse is there is an increase apathy about being a good decent person.

We see kids go to school and kill their schoolmate with knives, guns, samurai swords.
We see kids accused of rape.
We see kids torturing animals.
All on the increase. With no remorse.
And we see these things, because the youth are thoughtful enough to record it on their camera phones and send to us via Bluetooth.

Kids are more interested in going to a friends house when the parents are away and indulging in alcohol, smoking and irresponsible sex. Then of course tagging each other on Facebook.

Didn’t there used to be rules in society that protected families from these sort of influences?

I happen to have the TV on often, and can’t help but watch the train wreck that is Youth TV. South African kids presenters are a ridiculous showcase for the “cool and hip”
White guys try to be gangsta black
Black guys try to be American black.
Girls well…girls will be girls.

The South African youth has lost their identity. They follow US trends and try to duplicate them – to embarrassing proportions. Are you not diverse enough as it is? Can you not find some common ground to be something that is a true representation of South Africa?

We have an ANC “youth leader” that is nothing short of a moron. He is preaching idiotic ways and means that to an easily influenced youth will hold water. So where is the hope for our future? Probably passed out drunk.

Strange that I’m attracted to 17 yr old school girls then? Naaaa…as says…”that’s what I love about these schoolgirls man. I get older…they stay they same age”…”yes they do….”

3) LifeStyles of the Rich and The Famous

That little speech about kids presenters reminds me of a joke I once heard…

A former Miss South Africa, A cricket player, A radio DJ and a Soapie star walk into a room, the next day, a headline reads “The biggest celebrity of the Event”.

Hahaha LOVE that joke…ok sure I just made it up right now, and its not really a joke, it’s a way of thinking here.

You know, its sad that a celebrity starved culture such as South Africa is so eager for someone to put on a pedestal that we don’t acknowledge those hard working actors and musicians that slave away at gigs, auditions and small roles, but instead we will rather show heaps of praise onto our radio DJs, soapie stars, beauty queens and sports stars who just happen to attend the opening of an envelope.

They simply have a good agent who gets them invited to a movie premiere (which is generally attended by Joe Average too).

We try label them as SA’s Posh & Becks or SA’s JayZ & Beyonce…

Our papers, magazines, entertainment shows shove the same faces down our throat and try make us believe they are celebrities. What’s perhaps worse is these individuals try and ACT like celebs too.

Newsflash. You are NOTHING more than a personality who has a fun interesting job. (until you get fired for a) speaking your mind or b) getting too old)

Then as if that weren’t enough, we had a reality show host that ends up host every show on TV, MCing every corporate function in town and trying to release her own single.

Give me a breeeeeeaaaaak.

Then we have to two kinds of celebrity followers. Those who are friends with personalities and try parading their friendships across all means of communications, Twitter, Facebook etc….you can keep your conversations private…why must we all see that you are going out that night to a club? Is it a public announcement? Are we to be impressed? Oooh look they’ve got a pic with themselves with a celeb, man I wish I had the same pic 1 million other fans had.

I’ve worked for a celebrity gossip magazine, so I know how these things work.

Type number 2 is they pseudo celeb. He’s the guy who was featured in a segment on a TV show, or had her name or face in the paper. They of course also try shameless promotion to try convince the rest of us that they are famous. My friends, you have hit the big time!

By the way, my big movie SlamBang comes out on DVD next week…Order yours now here.

You know what’s my favourite thing about SA celebs? When they “fall from grace”
Wow…someone did something wrong…but thankfully we are there to cover it 24/7.
You know what? I just banged your wife and we did coke of a small child’s back while watching illegal DVDs…

*cricket noises*…

mmm… no paparazzi….

Top 2 reasons coming soon