Below is an Africa Day poem written by homecomer J van Reenen on his love for South Africa and Africa.
You drew me close then catapulted me away with a broken heart and a free spirit all the way across the ocean to NZ.
I wanted to go to school and see the world!!
And I did.
I travelled the world and graduated university.
So complete yet incomplete at the same time.
And yet, I missed everything I left behind…deeply.
Even though I learned to make NZ feel like home with love from amazing people, amazing experiences and seeing beautiful places.
I learned the meaning of real authentic empowering love and selflessness.
I discovered confidence, courage and tolerance.
Still, I missed you.
You have always had both my heart and soul.
So, you called me back!
With fear, nervousness and gut wrenching sacrifice, I took a deep breath and answered.
Why would you leave NZ to willingly go back to Africa!?
Are you insane! Think twice! Don’t throw away your life!
I came back to you.
You may send me running away faaar from you once again.
Frustrated, angry, feeling you just cannot see my worth and value…sometimes unappreciated.
Or maybe we will continue to find this middle ground we’ve been working tirelessly on building.
Look how much magic we’ve made!
Maybe we’ll navigate the rest of this journey creating new beautiful things during several phases throughout life.
We still have some sunrises and sunsets to share.
Who knows you like I do?
Who knows me like you do?
We’ve had our ups and downs.
You’ve broken me as much as you’ve built me up.
Several times over.
You are my peace as much as you are my pain.
But I am eternally in love with you.
It’s a high. The addiction.
To the freedom, the struggle, the trees, the air, our people, our animals, our food, our knowledge, our fearlessness, our music, our fashions, our charisma, our diversity, our determination, our sunsets, our water, our history, our potential, our quiet moments, our heart racing encounters.
Your ability to suck the life from me only to replace it with fire and soul!
Like any great love story, many on the outside will NEVER understand.
But man, my relationship with you has been my most BEAUTIFUL struggle.
I have never felt a sense of purpose and peace like I feel when I’m with you.
I am so thankful and happy that I answered your call.
This has been the most awake time in my life!
I’ve seen that in building you up in small ways, I build myself up.
This has always been the reward you’ve given to your people.
Many will come and go.
Thinking they know you better.
Trying to change things, Misrepresenting you.
Judging you by your flaws and struggles.
I still see you though.
The core of who you are.
I know you.
I love you AFRICA!!
I really do.
You are the dopest everything ever!
Even though SOME parts of you remain harsh and crushing…
We still believe in your life force.
I am so proud to be a part of you!
Happy Africa Day ya’ll!
I am not African because I was born in Africa. I’m African because Africa is born in me.