#We are the World Blogfest

Sing up for We Are The World Blogfest!

It’s the last Friday of the month in which we post good news from around the world as a way of deflecting from negative news that takes too much space.  Our co-hosts for this month are: Shilpa GargDan AntionSimon FalkMichelle Wallace , Mary J. Giese. Thank you.  Do pop by and say hello. Their posts are sure to be inspiring.

                                              The linky link should you wish to join is: 

http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=277138 It’s a matter of adding your name to the list, adding the badge in your side bar, posting some good news, saying why it inspires you, keeping it apolitical and non-religious, and a post that shows brother/sisterhood humanity in action. Do share on social media using #WATWB.

Today 27 April, is the day we voted in our first democratic election 24 years ago when Mr. Nelson Mandela became our president. It’s a public holiday, known as Freedom Day (still a long way to go though). The video below is so well worthwhile with live footage over the years. The 2 min video brought tears to my eyes. There’s even a moment of Mr. Mandela doing the jive! And our new pres Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa at the end –

Hope Joanna #HopeJoanna

When we have hope. We have everything.

To celebrate Freedom Day, GRID Worldwide have started a new social media campaign called #HopeJoanna… an idea to bring back hope and optimism to all South Africans.

“Let’s not forget about what the cost was. We have had so much adversity and many triumphs. Let’s never forget our struggle for freedom. But let’s love our diversity and let’s move ahead with intention. We are a great nation, never allow insecurity to cloud our resolve. Towards greatness. Share with your own love for our country.”

#HopeJoanna is more than just a campaign. It’s a social movement. And they are inviting each and every South African, to embark on this renewed journey of hope and optimism that we are experiencing in our country.

“We’ve all experienced the highs and lows of our beautiful South Africa. Even through the toughest of times, we have come out triumphant because we as a nation are resilient. And one thing always rings true, that when we have hope, we have everything.

We invite you to share your stories of hope with your fellow South Africans using #HopeJoanna. Let’s remind ourselves of all the wonderful, colourful and diverse things that we love about each other. Let’s come together in hope, because there is no better time than now.”

To kick off the campaign, the team have released an inspirational short film. Watch it below:


43 Comments on #WATWB

  1. You did your job, Susan. Thank you. I’m inspired. You make me want to join this group, but I promised myself to resist taking on anything more. I want to focus on my writing projects, raise butterflies, and regather myself.This film gives me hope.

  2. A lovely post, Susan. I remember Give my Hope, Joanna which was very popular in my early twenties even though it was old. Let us hope we have turned a corner away from the overwhelming corruption that permeated everything around us, Susan.

    • Thanks Robbie so much! Glad you remember the song. Catchy isn’t it! If you scroll a way down – if you have the time – 🙂 you’ll see the words. Jo’anna refers to Johannesburg. Yes let’s *hope* that the tide turns away from all that has plagued us for so long ..

  3. This social media campaign #hopejoanna is a fabulous initiative. Thank you for writing about it and making us aware of it. I agree with Jacqui – these posts really are a cuppa sunshine.

    • Thanks Shilpa .. good old South Africa, we would not be where we are without hope. I really love that video – I watched a Bob Marley one of it too!

  4. I love this share Susan – and every single breath, heartbeat, and song of hope deserves to be celebrated, to be fanned as the smallest ember into a brilliant light. If we’re not leaning to how we can make things better; how we can be sources of inspiration and encouragement for each other, whatever are we here for?

    • Thank you Deborah .. We have to do what we can to make things better in whatever way we can – fanning the embers into a brilliant light is a lovely image 🙂

    • Things change so swiftly don’t they Michelle – trying times indeed! Feb 14th (Valentine’s Day) when z..a finally resigned, new hope when Ramaphosa was elected, and we’re in the dwang yet again – but, hope springs eternal 🙂

  5. Susan ~ Since the space to respond to your last reply was a bit narrow, I’m replying here.

    So yes, definitely. Even hope can be branded and exploited. Following the 2008 US election, journalist and author, Chris Hedges addressed this in his May 2009 Truthdig article, “Buying Brand Obama”:

    “Barack Obama is a brand. And the Obama brand is designed to make us feel good about our government while corporate overlords loot the Treasury, our elected officials continue to have their palms greased by armies of corporate lobbyists, our corporate media diverts us with gossip and trivia and our imperial wars expand in the Middle East. Brand Obama is about being happy consumers. We are entertained. We feel hopeful. We like our president. We believe he is like us. But like all branded products spun out from the manipulative world of corporate advertising, we are being duped into doing and supporting a lot of things that are not in our interest.”

    Though some have profited and continue to profit, I don’t think any of us could’ve predicted how much worse life in the US and on planet Earth would get following Obama’s election.

    Similar to the neoliberal/neocon Democratic party here in the US, my general understanding is that South Africa’s Democratic Alliance party (a party I believe you support?) also serves the neoliberal gods of capital and profit while claiming to battle government corruption ~ which is why I’m (once again) confused by your latest reply.

    Unless you’re unaware or have been misled about who and what it is you’re supporting. For me (and partly because I was so uninformed and misinformed for so long), that’s always the question and why I sometimes persist.

    • The DA (Democratic Alliance) is a party for the people as they often state. Not for the DA but for the people. Their elected leaders are representative in all demographics of our population. They stick to their principles of rooting out corruption, and if any are found within their own ranks of corruption, they get booted out. They’ve accomplished much already bringing a better world to South Africans, the stories that often don’t get told. I align myself with them. I’m not unaware or misinformed.

      • Apparently not poor or working-class people, Susan. The DA doesn’t even support a minimum wage, calling it impractical.

        Dont know if you were aware or not, but on April 25 (ironically, the day of your Lilith “Voice” post), South Africa’s Federation of Trade Unions was part of a countrywide protest over the issue:



        • All agree that R15 per hour is not a living wage. Including the DA … I wish I knew how to paste links to show that Numsa’s comments do not reflect the whole story. The DA IS for the poor; particularly for the poor who have long been marginalised even by their own ANC party.

          We’ve got ongoing protests here in SA re this issue. People are choosing to protest even though no work no pay means exactly that. They’re sticking to their principles which is admirable. Though some of their demands re minimum wage are too extreme … businesses have and will continue to close down. It’s altogether a very complex issue …

          • Thanks, Susan. I appreciate your response. Considering the theme of this post, the conversation seems relevant.

            My understanding is that the DA has limited their support of a living minimum wage to a theoretical one, saying in practice it’s not feasible or practical ~ not surprising given their pro-capitalist base. What they do support is giving employees the so-called ‘freedom’ to opt out of a national living wage, thus denying workers the right to a descent living wage and standard of living, while also incentivizing employers and members of the capitalist class (including those making HUGE profits) to maintain low or slave wages.

            Here are a few of the links I found stating the DA’s position against a minimum wage:



            In a capitalist system, workers’ only value is in their ability to produce profit for someone other than themselves. Slave wages, low wages and other untenable conditions allow for greater profits for those at the ‘top’, including *investors* and shareholders, whose interests take precedence over all other reasonable concerns ~ things like life, health and safety, as well as the long term well-being of humans, other living creatures, climate and natural resources. Right now earth’s natural resources (minerals, land, water) are being bought up, destroyed and privatized for profit.

            The second link provided in my previous comment (https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/numsa-da-at-loggerheads-over-minimum-wage-14346603)
            makes it clear South Africa’s workers are not pleased with either the ANC or Democratic Alliance party’s positions:

            “The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Tuesday said it was “disgusted by the DA’s [Democratic Alliance] resolution to allow employers to ‘opt out’ of the National Minimum Wage if they wish to do so, in order that they may be paid less”” . . .

            “”What the DA is saying is that it wants to take advantage of the poverty and desperation of unemployed workers by allowing bosses to exploit them with slave wages for a period of two years. It demonstrates what we have always said, which is that the ANC [African National Congress] and the DA are ideologically one and the same,” claimed Numsa in a the statement.

            “The ANC’s current proposal on the National Minimum Wage already allows employers to be exempted from paying the poverty wage of R20 per hour.

            “Clearly the DA believes that the poverty wage of R20 per hour or R3 500 per month is too high and would prefer that workers work for free! The DA has always been unashamedly pro-business and it supports the rampant exploitation of African workers. They know that the poverty wage of R20 per hour will be reserved only for African labour.

            “The employers can continue to earn massive salary packages at an average of R69 000 per day, whilst workers must exist on a measly R20 per hour. They have always defended White Monopoly Capital and it is not surprising that this is their position.””

            Judging by the photos of masses of South African protesters and striking workers on April 25, many poor and working class South Africans seem to agree.

            Again, I appreciate your response and willingness to have this conversation.

              • I was startled to learn the proposed R20 minimum wage works out to be $1.60 in US dollars!

                That the DA supports an opt-out feature making it legal for employers to pay workers already earning a poverty wage even less must feel incredibly dehumanizing. The message this sends to all those on the receiving end seems pretty straightforward.

  6. Great video, Susan. So many problems to solve in our world, but, yes, to Hope, the one thing that keeps us trying to solve them.

    • These are the lyrics, thanks Pam for coming by. The song is 30 years old already!
      Gimme Hope Jo’Anna written and sung in 1988 by Eddy Grant. Jo’anna refers to Johannesburg, the biggest city in SA. Many covers have been made, including Bob Marley ..

      Well Jo’anna she runs a country
      She runs in Durban and the Transvaal
      She makes a few of her people happy, oh
      She don’t care about the rest at all
      She’s got a system they call apartheid
      It keeps a brother in a subjection
      But maybe pressure can make Jo’anna see
      How everybody could a live as one
      Gimme hope, Jo’anna
      Hope, Jo’anna
      Gimme hope, Jo’anna
      ‘Fore the morning come
      Gimme hope, Jo’anna
      Hope, Jo’anna
      Hope before the morning come
      I hear she make all the golden money
      To buy new weapons, any shape of guns
      While every mother in black Soweto fears
      The killing of another son
      Sneakin’ across all the neighbors’ borders
      Now and again having little fun
      She doesn’t care if the fun and games she play
      Is dang’rous to ev’ryone
      Gimme hope, Jo’anna
      Hope, Jo’anna
      Gimme hope,…

  7. This is a very nice post to share for #WATWB – it is important to remember what was fought for and what work still remains to be done. Hope is a powerful force !

  8. What a POWERFUL video, Susan. Thank you so much for sharing this.
    And double kudos to you for writing two posts today. You are incredible!

  9. Beautifully written, Susan. Hope … such emotional nourishment for the heart. As Emily Dickinson said: Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul ..
    Video still trying to open, will keep trying. Thank you

  10. Hi Susan – that’s a great video … and a very optimistic and uplifting idea … I do wish people could see the good and accept other things without getting into anger or angst.

    Thanks and oddly my post is about Wits and coal – coming up Sunday after Z! It is boiling here now – sudden change … v little Spring and I guess similarly Autumn … but will get hotter … ah well – I live and learn … cheers and thanks for these reminders of the older days … Hilary

      • I’m so unmusical … I don’t! I should remember it … perhaps more receptive now for this sort of music and those lyrics … amazing words though … now I will remember – cheers Hilary

  11. I checked out Grid Worldwide’s website, which states:

    “Branding is not one thing, it’s all-encompassing. It’s the ad you see on TV; the billboard you see on the highway and the conversation people have about you. It’s the perception of a brand that we value.”

    Grid Worldwide is in the advertising business ~ which, as Edward Bernays understood, keeps our attention diverted while exploiting our unconscious desires, using illusion, propaganda, global corporatism (and neoliberalism) to condition us.

    Hope it’s okay that I’ve included a link to a brief video about Edward Bernays, though there are many others, all worth watching:


    It’s been said that Mandela’s time in prison made it difficult for him to fully understand the changes that had taken place, specifically related to the dangers of neoliberalism and how it had infected South Africa, leading him to make concessions as president that would have long-lasting effects.

    • Bernays is the propaganda guy right? I’ll watch it later LB thank you, when time permits. Yes, mess with our emotions in the name of the game with advertising and propaganda … and we collude, believing that ignorance is bliss .. Re Mr. Mandela – yes we’re all taking a good long hard look at his stance. And, propaganda will have its way with that too …

      • Susan ~ If you agree then I’m confused by your promotion of GRID Worldwide in your post.

        And yes, Yes, Edward Bernays (a.k.a. ‘the father of public relations’) is the propaganda guy.

        • Double standards? Good question – a friend of mine is in the branding business, with integrity at the top of her list, whether it’s the economy, ecology and other – I’ll see if I can send you the link. I’m wondering how GRID can damage the #HopeJoanna brand – I’ll have to give this more thought..

          • I think it boils down to how we view the world. You, and I suspect many of your readers, seem to see things through a neoliberal lens, based on the genuine belief that a kinder world ~one in which social, racial, economic and environmental justice (even ‘peace’)~ is possible and achievable within the framework of a capitalist society and system that ‘thinks’ in terms of profit, privatization, global corporatism and expansion.

            To that end, advertising, propaganda and ‘branding’ are the tools of neoliberalism.

            It’s not a belief I share. Not anymore.

            That said, you’ve been kind, Susan, and I’ve appreciated it.

            • I guess even hope can be branded. I don’t think that anything is achievable within the current structures you mention LB – these all have to go. News ways of thinking and feeling have to, and are, I believe, being developed … the centre of how things are cannot hold ..

              • I left a longer response up top, but as I’ve thought about it some more, I’ve realized it doesn’t matter.

                You have the right to believe and support whomever and whatever you choose ~ without having to clarify or defend your positions. So I’m a little confused . . . it isn’t the first time and won’t be the last.

                Thanks again, Susan.:)

  12. In the words of a great man, “May (y)our choices reflect (y)our hopes, not (y)our fears.” Thank you so much Susan for sharing more light, bright words of love and wisdom. I loved watching the #HopeJoanna video and releasing a few hopeful tears myself. Please do enjoy every moment left of your day of Freedom! Warm and wild blessings, Deborah.

  13. I agree with Jacqui’s comment. The world is becoming so frightening, that it is a breath of fresh air when we hear something positive. Thank you!

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