Culture on the Run

Voting for the RSA in the USA

I keep a R5 coin in my wallet. I have since I left South Africa 3 years ago to base myself here in New York City. It’s one of those special limited edition ones issued after the presidential election in 1994 – the 20th anniversary of which, our country recently celebrated.

Last Wednesday, as I made my way to the South African Consulate General in Midtown, my fingers brushed past the coin, when I was looking for money to buy yet another umbrella to fight the rainy, blustery weather conditions New York likes to throw at its inhabitants. 

It was really one of those horrid weather days when you’d do anything to stay indoors. Yet, it wasn’t a turn-off for the South Africans who are living in New York, or visiting on holiday, who had come to cast their ballots for the upcoming General Elections. 

Living overseas, it’s easy to feel very far away from home – even in the age of social media – when you stop commemorating Worker’s Day, and start celebrating Cinco De Mayo; when you’re forced to think in Fahrenheit and miles, and not Celsius and kms; when you live in Dollars and not in Rands. The US Consulate General, with its portraits of Jacob Zuma and Protea bouquets, is one of those places where you can go to feel like you’re stepped into a little piece of Pretoria for the day. 

Last Wednesday morning, as various South African accents filled the lift of the business building in which the Consulate General is housed, I felt a little bit closer to home. 

I interviewed voters about their experiences: Did they know about the voting process abroad? Had they filled out the required VEC10 form? Was their decision on who to vote for an easy or difficult one, being overseas? There were some who said the Consulate misinformed them when it came to the VEC10 form, and so they were disappointed they couldn’t vote because they hadn’t filled it out. 

Sadly, one of those who wasn’t able to vote was the legendary playwright Athol Fugard, who has created prize-winning protest theatre that’s as much a valuable contribution to the struggle as any. 

As I was leaving the Consulate General, I barely spotted him, in a nondescript beanie, half wet from the rain. He didn’t have two forms of ID on him – his green ID book was at home in South Africa. “This is a critical election,” he said to me, the disappointment very clear in his voice. “With South Africa on tenterhooks at the moment, every vote counts, and I’m only sorry that I won’t be able to add my voice – even if all it is, is a mark on a piece of paper.”

The 81-year-old writer isn’t certain he’ll be around for the next elections, and while I understand rules are rules, I felt like saying to the presiding officer that they should go and have a look at his picture hanging up in a Broadway theatre if they really wanted double proof of who he is.

For the most part, there were a lot of South Africans who were happy and proud to have voted. A couple, here visiting family, told me: “There are a lot of people who aren’t voting at home, but if we can do it here, then they can.” A man originally from Joburg who’s been living here for 4 years said: “I’m living here for now, yes, but I still feel very invested in South Africa. I’m going to home at some point. And the previous generation fought very hard to give people the right to vote.”

I especially liked what one man, who’d flown in from Boston and made a work trip out of the occasion said: “Moving abroad doesn’t mean you’re not a citizen anymore. It’s like moving out of your parents house – you’re still their kid. I feel it’s important to keep a connection with the home where you grew up and the home you love.” 

For me, his words were a great response to something Simphiwe Dana had tweeted earlier that day: I’m of the mind that if you don’t live in SA you shouldn’t make decisions on how it’s run. #ExpatVote. Just because we’re here, for now, doesn’t mean we’ve abandoned South Africa. I don’t need reminding of this, but that R5 in my wallet is there nonetheless. No matter how many pennies or quarters fill up my wallet, I always know the R5 coin is in there, amongst them.

145 comments

  1. My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress
    on several websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform.
    I have heard good things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

  2. I feel that is among the so much vital info for
    me. And i am happy reading your article. However want to
    statement on few common issues, The website taste is ideal, the articles is
    actually excellent : D. Good activity, cheers

  3. For hottest news you have to visit the web and on internet I found this web site as a
    most excellent web page for most recent updates.

    My blog post :: Kara

  4. Hi to every body, it’s my first pay a quick visit of this web site; this webpage consists of
    remarkable and genuinely good information in favor of visitors.

  5. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the
    book in it or something. I think that you can do with
    some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead
    of that, this is fantastic blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

  6. hi!,I like your writing so a lot! share we be in contact more about your post
    on AOL? I require a specialist in this space to resolve my problem.
    May be that is you! Taking a look forward to peer you.

    Here is my website mpc-install.com

  7. Hello everybody, here every one is sharing such experience, therefore it’s pleasant to read this web site, and I used to pay a visit this website every day.

    Also visit my homepage; kebe.top

  8. I loved as much as you will receive performed right here.
    The comic strip is attractive, your authored material stylish.

    however, you command get bought an edginess over that you
    wish be delivering the following. unwell no doubt come more in the past once more since exactly the same just about a lot steadily inside case you defend this
    increase.

    Also visit my blog … http://www.bookclubs.ipt.pw/

  9. After looking into a number of the blog articles on your website, I truly like your way of writing a blog.

    I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future.
    Take a look at my web site too and tell me how you feel.

    Look at my page http://clubfadoqbedford.ca/wp-content/plugins/zingiri-forum/mybb/member.php?action=profile&uid=912536

  10. I simply wanted to thank you so much again. I am not sure the things I would’ve handled without the actual basics discussed by you relating to such
    subject. It became a real frightening matter in my position, but
    witnessing the expert form you handled it made me to weep
    with gladness. Extremely happy for your work and even hope that you realize what a great
    job you are providing training other individuals by way of your blog post.
    I know that you’ve never got to know all of us.

    Also visit my web blog :: http://clubriders.men/viewtopic.php?id=396748

  11. Wonderful article! This is the kind of info that are meant to be shared
    around the net. Disgrace on Google for no longer
    positioning this put up upper! Come on over and consult with my web site .
    Thank you =)

  12. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand your
    stuff previous to and you’re just too magnificent.
    I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you’re saying
    and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining
    and you still care for to keep it wise. I can’t wait to read far more from you.
    This is really a great website.

    Also visit my page … http://www.atomy123.com

  13. Its like you read my thoughts! You appear to understand so much approximately this, such as you wrote the e
    book in it or something. I feel that you could do with a few p.c.
    to force the message house a bit, but other than that, that is fantastic blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

    Also visit my homepage :: kebe.top

  14. I constantly emailed this weblog post page to all my contacts, for
    the reason that if like to read it next my friends will too.

    Here is my website :: Dawna

  15. I wanted to write you a very little remark to thank you very much again relating to the exceptional tactics you’ve shared on this site.

    It is certainly generous of people like you giving without
    restraint just what a few individuals would’ve advertised
    as an e book in order to make some dough on their own,
    notably since you might well have done it if you considered necessary.
    Those solutions also served to become a easy way to be
    certain that other individuals have similar interest
    the same as my own to know more in terms of this condition. I believe
    there are millions of more enjoyable times ahead for
    individuals who view your website.

    Here is my blog post; http://www.hotelforrest.ru

  16. I want to point out my love for your kind-heartedness
    for persons that require assistance with the niche. Your real commitment to passing the solution along came to
    be quite interesting and has continuously made professionals
    like me to get to their dreams. The informative useful information indicates this much to me and still more
    to my office colleagues. Many thanks; from everyone of us.

    Here is my website :: http://bbs.shishiedu.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=136620

  17. This рiece of writing presents clear idea in faνor of the new people of bloցging, thаt truly һow to do blogging and site-building.

  18. I just now wanted to thank you once more for that amazing web
    page you have developed here. It’s full of useful tips for those who are actually interested
    in this subject, especially this very post. You really are all amazingly sweet and also thoughtful of others and also reading the
    blog posts is a great delight to me. And thats a generous surprise!
    Jeff and I really have pleasure making use of your points in what we have to do in the future.
    Our list is a kilometer long which means that your
    tips will definitely be put to fine use.

    Stop by my web blog … mpc-install.com

  19. I like looking through an article that can make men and women think.

    Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!

    Also visit my homepage :: Joie

  20. Simply want to say your article is as surprising.
    The clarity to your post is just nice and i could suppose you’re knowledgeable on this subject.
    Fine together with your permission let me to take hold of your feed to stay up to date with impending post.

    Thank you one million and please carry on the rewarding work.

    Feel free to visit my blog post – quanfff.com

  21. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site offered us with valuable information to work on. You have done
    an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

    Feel free to surf to my blog kebe.top

  22. I really love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you create
    this web site yourself? Please reply back as I?m wanting to create my own blog
    and would love to know where you got this from or just what the theme
    is called. Thanks!

    My blog post … kebe.top

  23. First off I want to say awesome blog! I had a quick question which
    I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before
    writing. I’ve had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my
    thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing however it just
    seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually
    lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips?
    Appreciate it!

    Also visit my blog post … mpc-install.com

  24. Having reaԁ this I thought it was really enlightening. I appгeciate
    you taкing the time and effort to put this artіcle toɡether.
    Ionce again find mуseⅼf personally spending way too much time both rеading and leaving comments.
    Butt so what, it was still woгthwhile!

  25. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for
    your weblog. You have some really great articles and I think I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love
    to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please blast me an email if interested. Kudos!

    Look into my webpage :: http://haojiafu.net

  26. Great ? I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your
    web site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related information ended up being truly simple
    to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least.

    Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who
    add forums or anything, website theme . a tones way for your
    client to communicate. Nice task.

    Feel free to visit my page :: http://www.atomy123.com

  27. Hi there, this weekend is good in support of me, for the reason that this point in time i am
    reading this impressive informative article here at my
    house.

    my homepage kebe.top

  28. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this web site.
    I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well.
    In fact your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own web
    site now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly.
    Your write up is a good example of it.

    My blog – usedtiresbrowardcounty.com

  29. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website.
    I really hope to see the same high-grade content by you later on as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to
    get my own, personal website now ;)

    Take a look at my website; frun-test.sakura.ne.jp

  30. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the structure of your site?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so
    people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of
    text for only having one or 2 images. Maybe you could space it
    out better?

    Feel free to visit my website :: Luca

  31. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do
    a little research about this. We got a grab a book from
    our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post.
    I am very glad to see such excellent info being shared freely out there.

    Also visit my blog post: mpc-install.com

  32. obviously like your web-site but you have to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts.
    Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to
    tell the reality on the other hand I’ll definitely come again again.

    Also visit my blog post kebe.top

  33. Great site you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics discussed here?
    I’d really like to be a part of community where I
    can get comments from other knowledgeable individuals that
    share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

    Kudos!

    Visit my web-site: mpc-install.com

  34. I have been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or weblog
    posts on this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this web site.

    Studying this information So i’m satisfied to express that I’ve a very just right uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed.
    I such a lot without a doubt will make sure to do not disregard this web site and provides it a glance on a relentless basis.

    Stop by my site :: https://grautocar.com/index.php?action=profile;u=1664860

  35. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you
    could be a great author. I will make certain to bookmark your blog and will come back later on. I want
    to encourage yourself to continue your great writing, have a
    nice holiday weekend!

    My blog post haojiafu.net

  36. Right here is the right webpage for anyone who hopes to
    understand this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that
    I personally would want to…HaHa). You certainly put
    a fresh spin on a topic which has been discussed for years.
    Great stuff, just excellent!

    Look into my blog :: mpc-install.com

  37. The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not
    disappoint me just as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I truly
    believed you would have something useful
    to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you could possibly
    fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

    Here is my webpage; https://everythingarcades.com/index.php?action=profile;u=3563

  38. I was recommended this web site through my cousin. I’m not sure whether or not this post is written by way of
    him as no one else recognize such detailed approximately
    my problem. You are wonderful! Thanks!

    Here is my web site: xajm168.com

  39. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to
    your webpage? My blog site is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my visitors would definitely benefit
    from a lot of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this alright with
    you. Thanks!

    my blog – breath-ro.com

  40. Its like you read my mind! You appear to grasp a lot about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you just can do with some percent to drive the message house a little bit,
    but other than that, that is magnificent blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

    Look at my blog post – http://www.qijiang520.com

  41. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve
    tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.

    Here is my homepage – Brightness CBD Review

  42. Hey there I am so glad I found your site, I really found you by error,
    while I was researching on Google for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a remarkable
    post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to browse it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back
    to read much more, Please do keep up the great job.

    Feel free to surf to my blog; Boltz Pro

  43. You can definitely see your enthusiasm within the paintings you write.
    The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe.
    All the time follow your heart.

    My website: Santiago

  44. Hi I am so excited I found your blog page, I really found
    you by error, while I was researching on Google for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to
    say kudos for a marvelous post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the
    theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have
    time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the
    awesome work.

    My web site: frun-test.sakura.ne.jp

  45. I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic.

    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this
    info for my mission.

    My web-site … Luiresse Skin

  46. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or
    something. I think that you can do with some
    pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog.
    An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

    Feel free to surf to my web blog … Pure Kana CBD Gummies Reviews

  47. I must express my thanks to the writer just for bailing
    me out of this particular situation. After researching through the world
    wide web and finding ways that were not productive, I believed my life was done.
    Being alive without the presence of answers to the
    issues you have solved by means of your guide is a critical case, and ones that would have in a negative way damaged my entire career if I
    had not discovered the website. Your primary mastery and kindness
    in dealing with a lot of stuff was invaluable. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t come upon such a
    thing like this. I’m able to at this time look forward to
    my future. Thanks for your time so much for your high quality and sensible guide.
    I won’t be reluctant to suggest your web blog to anybody who requires
    counselling on this subject matter.

    Feel free to visit my blog post; Rapid Fire Keto Reviews

  48. Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest
    writing a blog article or vice-versa? My website discusses
    a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit
    from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to
    send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Great blog by the way!

    Here is my website; Androrexin Reviews

  49. Thanks for all your valuable effort on this website.
    Debby really likes engaging in investigations and it’s obvious why.
    A number of us hear all relating to the compelling mode you
    present simple strategies via the blog and therefore boost
    participation from the others on this theme plus our own simple princess is in fact becoming educated a lot of things.
    Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year.
    You’re the one carrying out a first class job.

    Here is my web-site :: ketosis diet

  50. Hi there! Quick question that’s entirely off topic.

    Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog
    looks weird when browsing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that
    might be able to correct this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share.
    Appreciate it!

    Feel free to surf to my blog – daily acne skin care routine

  51. Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google,
    and found that it’s really informative. I’m going to watch out
    for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future.
    A lot of people will be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

    Check out my web page healthy weight loss

  52. What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively helpful and it has aided me out
    loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & aid different users like its helped
    me. Good job.

    Also visit my webpage – MegaXL Review

  53. Thank you for all your efforts on this blog.
    My daughter delights in going through investigations and it’s really simple to
    grasp why. All of us hear all about the lively means you deliver invaluable things via the web site and as well
    encourage participation from website visitors about this article then our
    own daughter is undoubtedly understanding a lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the year.

    You are always carrying out a fantastic job.[X-N-E-W-L-I-N-S-P-I-N-X]I am extremely
    impressed with your writing abilities as smartly as with the structure on your blog.
    Is that this a paid topic or did you customize it your self?
    Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is uncommon how to make love to a man see a nice
    blog like this one today.

  54. Terrific paintings! This is the kind of info that should be shared around the internet.
    Shame on the seek engines for no longer positioning
    this publish higher! Come on over and consult with
    my website . Thanks =)

    Feel free to visit my webpage … eradicates eczema

  55. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your post seem
    to be running off the screen in Internet explorer.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I
    figured I’d post to let you know. The design and
    style look great though! Hope you get the issue
    resolved soon. Thanks

    Review my page; houston getting treatment

  56. Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice whilst you amend
    your website, how can i subscribe for a blog website?

    The account aided me a appropriate deal. I have been tiny bit familiar of this your
    broadcast provided vivid clear concept.

    Here is my homepage :: healthy diets

  57. We still can’t quite believe that I could possibly be one of those studying the important tips found on your website.
    My family and I are sincerely thankful for your generosity and for
    providing me the opportunity to pursue our chosen profession path.
    Many thanks for the important information I acquired from your web
    site.

    my web page … Adrianne

  58. Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube
    sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    my blog post; growing weed indoors

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.