Jason and "HER" Cape Town - on the road in Cape Town with local girls

Overnight flight to Cape Town. I strike up a conversation with a young woman (the lady on the left with curly hair). She has just finished a month-long trip across Germany and is completely enthusiastic about the culture, the history, especially Berlin!

Before we say goodbye at the airport, I ask her if she would like to show me HER Cape Town. She’s thrilled!

Just a few days later, I am sitting between her and her friends in a gospel service. Man, it’s really like in “Sister Act”! Sorry, no pictures – but you can’t capture such a mood anyway. No one sits still, everyone is smiling, dancing together – white, dark, young, old, very old … Everything is there. After the service, there is tea and biscuits, and everyone talks to everyone.

The new South Africa? I’m curious.

Of course, it’s not quite that simple. I ended up here in a community in the middle of South Africa’s burgeoning middle class. The speech is very much about how to cope with the harshness of the country without becoming bitter. Of course, the locals are also affected by the high level of crime. A few women stand up and talk about what happened to them and how they managed to stay positive with the help of their faith.

I’m somewhere between trepidation and respect. Anxiety because I have the privilege of being able to live such a “safe” life and not having to share their experiences. And sincere respect for how people deal with their everyday challenges. I can literally feel how important their faith and community is to them for survival. What support it gives them to just keep going undaunted. Nowhere is faith, hope and peacefulness more important than in these times and places. And there are more than enough of them worldwide.

Respect prevails!

After the service, I go to have breakfast with Jason and her friends. They really came up with something for me. They show me THEIR Cape Town – as I would never get to know it otherwise. The university, her ice cream parlour – her home.

We meet at eye level and talk a lot about values, wishes and dreams, opportunities and challenges. They are as curious about me as I am about them and want to know exactly what I am doing and what I intend to do. They give me insights, tips and recommendations.

They are at peace with themselves. They laugh and rejoice. They have each other and support each other. They don’t whine, they do. Children? No, none of them want that. Don’t get married either. I don’t ask any further. I’m not allowed to invite them either.

They are modern women. They have their pride, their dreams, and their hopes – and they have the determination to see it through.

They are the future of the country.


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This post is also available in: German