Living in Africa

Living in Africa is a daily adventure…as wonderful and it can be frustrating. We have corruption and crime and poverty and issues around power and water. We have high unemployment and low standards of education…and I could go on.

But we also have people and places that make our hearts sing. We have icons like Nelson Mandela, whose message of peace and tolerance inspires us daily. We have people like my friend Nonhlanhla, who is supporting 5 nephews and nieces because her siblings died of AIDS. We have African woman who form the backbone of our nations- strong woman whose work ethic is second to none. We have people who dance when they are protesting and laugh all the time.

But most of all, we have this stunning natural beauty that takes our breath away. Wherever we look, it’s all around us. This is the view from a farmhouse 45 minutes from my house where we spent the past weekend.

View from Airely Farmhouse

And these are the jackal puppies that my friend Debbie captured on camera yesterday in the Weenen Game Reserve a 1/2 hour drive from us. Like me, Debbie is an ex-Zimbawean, throughly African baby who loves the wild places of Southern Africa. Take a look at her wildlife photos on: They are amazing!

This photo was taken by my friend Janine of Zulu woman doing a traditional dance. Don’t they look wonderful?

Zulu woman dancing

This poem by Wayne Visser (courtesy of Debbie again- captures the way us African babies feel about our continent.

I Know a Place in Africa- Wayne Visser

I know a place in Africa
Where I can feel the sun on my back
And the sand between my barefoot toes
Where I can hear the gulls on the breeze
And the waves crash on the endless shore

I know a place in Africa
Where the mountains touch the skies of blue
And the valleys shelter vines of green
Where the trees spread out a cloth of mauve
And the bushveld wears a coat of beige

I know a place in Africa
Where I can hear the voice of thunder gods
And watch their lightening spears thrown to earth
Where I can breathe the scent of rain clouds
And taste the sweet dew of dusty drops

This is the place of wildness
Of evolution and dinosaurs
Where life began and mankind first stood
Of living fossils and elephants
Where lions roar and springbok herds leap

This is the place of struggle
Of desert plains and thorn trees
Where pathways end and hunters track game
Of horizons and frontiers
Where journeys start and sunsets bleed red

This is the place of freedom
Of exploration and pioneers
Where darkness loomed and light saw us through
Of living legends and miracles
Where daybreak came and hope now shines bright

My heart is at home in Africa
Where the sound of drums beat in my chest
And the songs of time ring in my ears
Where the rainbow mist glows in my eyes
And the smiles of friends make me welcome

My mind is at ease in Africa
Where the people still live close to the soil
And the seasons mark my changing moods
Where the markets hustle with trading
And creation keeps its own slow time

My soul is at peace in Africa
For her streams bring lifeblood to my veins
And her winds bring healing to my dreams
For when the tale of this land is told
Her destiny and mine are as one

Wayne Visser © 2006

Have a good week.



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3 thoughts on “Living in Africa

  1. margstewart November 11, 2012 at 12:17 am Reply

    Love this poem, Joss. It left a great big lump in my throat and filled my eyes-but I forgive you.
    I was born in SA. My family left (for NZ) when I was young and I’ve never been back…thanks for sharing.
    Congrats! I love all things, Riva! About to go check out your books. x ms

  2. josswoodbooks November 11, 2012 at 5:57 am Reply

    Thanks for your comment Marg, I hope you get back to SA very soon. Best wishes, Joss xxx

  3. Wayne Visser December 19, 2012 at 8:19 pm Reply

    Thanks for posting my poem. I’m glad the words resonate :). FYI, the poem is now part of a collection called “I Am An African” and another photography book called “African Dream”. More info on my website under Books if you’re interested. Hamba kahle!

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