This is where I belong..

Following the inauguration of President Cyril Ramaphosa and the establishment of the government of national unity , I realise our country stands poised in a seminal moment in our history, 30 years after 1994. 

Last month I spoke at a Global Writers Summit in Las Vegas about the pivotal moments in my life that led me to become a political activist for almost twenty years. 

I was 19 years old when I attended an Anglican Students Conference in Lesotho during the height of Apartheid under a then very little known man. His name was Desmond Tutu. He went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize. 

That two week immersion was to forever change the trajectory of my life.

From the uprising of 1976, to the 1980s and 1990s, so many of us who were political activists at the time, had bold dreams for this country.

Now in 2024, this country is being forged afresh in the fire of change. Never has my book Belonging been more relevant. It is a love letter to my country. It is a plea for reconciliation and understanding as we stand on the crossroads of a government of national unity, against a sea of challenges.

I choose every day to live in a world of hope and possibility, to live in a frequency of love.

That is what guides my walk in faith. 

I am not interested in identity politics, in party politics, only in the politics of making a difference, the voice of unity, the values of Madiba that guided our transition into democracy.  

And the more I travel internationally, the more I appreciate this great country. The warmth of its people, the incredible nature, our heart and our soul, the journey we have walked to become a rainbow nation despite the challenges we face. The complex journey we have walked since 1976 and the journey we are still walking. 

Today I celebrate the country that shaped me, that moulded me, the leaders that mentored me, the teams that got me here, the tribes that have supported me and curated the courage to tell my story. 

This is the country where I found my Belonging. A country where you can start a business from a shack or a garage or a shed on a field as we did 25 years ago.

This is the country Friedel and I choose to live in. It is where we feel we can make our greatest contribution, where we have built lifelong friendships, where we will live out our legacy and where our ashes will be scattered. 

This is where I belong.

It is my fervent prayer that as we move forward in 2024, we can move forward in the spirit of Madiba, in the spirit of unity and reconciliation, in the spirit of delivery and growth, to rise as a nation, to be proud to call this great country our home, to celebrate a South Africa in which we all find our Belonging. 

💛

Alison Weihe

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