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February 10, 2007

South Africa, Pride and Thanks

Yesterday afternoon we went to the Newbury Tesco Extra where we met Simon and Rob. Rob is from Namibia and fought in the Angolan war, protecting South Africa. He’s been over here for ten years and has been watching Stormhoek develop. I was very moved by our conversation as he spoke about how the country has changed sinced Mandela's release in 1994 and how proud he is that people like Stormhoek and Hugh & Co are supporting South Africa via “global microbranding”.

sath.jpg

We all agreed that there's no place quite like Africa or South Africa...it's a country that once you visit it, your soul remains behind when you leave...

[UPDATE:] Rob just sent us this very kind mesage:

Hugh, Colin and Cath,

Very much enjoyed meeting you three at Newbury Tesco. Not the best of venues for a first time meet n chat but I guess we could have done worse than the discounted CD/DVD gondola!

I especially enjoyed initially bumping into this trio as Hugh was pushing a trolley through the store with Cath sat in it (and a very tasty ex Durbanite she is too), while Hugh monologued to camera. It was a sight to behold.

For me as an expat Namibian/SAFFER, it is essential that S Africa continues to reach out and reclaim its rightful place within the global community.

The struggle to escape the siege mentality derived of the cultural and economic isolation years during apartheid must continue still. Everyone in South Africa was affected and still are suffering. Innovation was repressed as a result. Secret deals with America and UK were made however we still had to ask relatives in UK to send us videos of Match of the Day!!

But now S Africa has a new breed to lead the way forward. Innovators like Mark Shuttleworth, musicians like David Kramer and Johnny Clegg with businesses like Nando's and Stormhoek together with ordinary people at Jo'burg like Champers who is completely engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS, will see S Africa re-emerge from the years of economic, social and cultural repression. Their determination and dedication will succeed and pull the country and immediate regions to success.

Thanks to people like this business card cartoonist called Hugh Mcleod, more and more South African products will get to be stocked in stores worldwide and will, (not perhaps or maybe) take up more prominent positions on the supermarket gondolas.

SA export revenues will help fund research into AIDS, pay for AIDS prevention programmes, build water wells for the drought stricken areas, build schools to educate the children and create better funded social programmes for all communinities in S Africa.

I tip my hat to you Hugh. May I call you the next time Newbury fete has a supermarket trolley race?!

Kind regards

Robert

Thanks, Rob!

Posted by Cath at February 10, 2007 10:50 AM

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