The last Friday of the month has come around again. It’s the day on which bloggers around the world post a good news story as a foil to the dark and disturbing news that permeates our everyday world. Damyanti Biswas and Belinda McGrath Witzenhausen started this a few years back.

Here in South Africa, we have many positive groups who say no to racism. Move One Million (M1M) and #I’m staying are two examples. Both groups have had enormous success in highlighting unity vs division. M1M have held peaceful protests around the country and have been represented in many different parts of the world when, at a particular time, they held up their flags standing in unity for South Africa. It has gained much traction globally. The last one was on 5th September. Another one coming up in October.

I’ve chosen one from #I’m Staying. It’s a public group in which people of all shades and stripes proudly tell stories of why they’re staying in SA.

SA Flag

I like this story because this woman named a white Afrikaner who was of great assistance to her and in my view shows that race need not be a factor in thought, word and deed as many would have us believe.

Constance Gololo Montja #I’m staying.

‘I want to share a story of how the action of one man changed my life. I was a Candidate Attorney and could barely afford anything and I needed a flat to stay. He let me stay at his flat that he was letting for R1500 for the duration of my articles and beyond at that time rental for a place like that was around R3500 – 4000. He was Mr SP Van Zyl. He could not speak a single English word, saw him once on the day that I met with him to sign my lease agreement  at Absa Bank at Queenswood.

What brought tears to my eyes and completely broke my heart and fill it with gratitude was that after his passing his kids came to the flat and told me that their father told them that whatever they did with his properties they must never kick me out and increase my rent. To think that someone who did not know me, was a white Afrikaner gave me so much than anyone had ever given me showed me that humanity triumphs above everything else .

I moved on and have a house of my own but he has taught me to lend a helping hand where I can to those less fortunate than I am.

God bless his soul and may he rest in eternal peace . He made such a difference in my life’.

Eric Lahti, Roshan Radhakrishnan , Shilpa GargPeter Nena and Sylvia Stein are our hosts for this month. Thank you! Do pop by and say hello and read their posts, they’re sure to be uplifting and a reminder of how much good there is in the world.

To learn more about #WATWB or to join us click here!

Thank you for reading. May the Force be with you and have a great weekend.

53 Comments on #WATWB no to racism

  1. Somehow I missed this post, Susan. And it’s a powerful one. We have similar issues here in the US. Somehow, race is a hot button which I–who barely notices race–am confused by. Good to hear these positive stories.

  2. So inspiring Susan, its heartening to read both the stories “I am here to stay “.. and that one man can make a huge difference,. I am happy to connect with you from my office computer. Its a pleasure to read your post, and I enjoy also the comments on your posts, thanks for sharing:)

    • Thanks for coming by Genevive. I agree about the comments, they enlarge the post so much! I’m glad you found the post heartening πŸ™‚ Be well, take care and stay safe ..

  3. Hi Susan, These positive groups are very inspirational. Especially the ripple effect from their actions. Tears brimming reading the story about β€œthe action of one man.” I appreciate the concept of passing it on. β€œHe made a difference in my life.” Thank you for sharing this story. You, too, make a difference.πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Erica for your lovely comment. I was also filled with emotion, imagining her gratitude and the after effect /affect of ‘passing it on’. There is so much good will in my country, often drowned in hate speech and the like. We each make a difference when we recognise the humanity in others, as you do too. Have a lovely week πŸ™‚

  4. Thank you for this, Susan. In a time when the bottom line is all many in power care about, it’s good to know there are some who put others first. Happy end of September! xo

  5. Thank you, Susan. What a great story. Sometimes I feel clueless about helping anyone other than my sons in a meaningful way. Yes, I donate to the food pantry and to organizations to support children and indigenous people and more, but something that really makes a difference in the life of one person. In the last year, a woman I’ve known for years but didn’t know well needed assistance. Although I’m not wealthy, I could offer housing and later help her make a deposit on her own place. It will all be paid back, but that doesn’t have to happen quickly. It feels right to share my relative bounty with someone who has struggled and is now landing on her feet. Small generosities help, especially in these ungenerous and selfish times in my country.

    • Thanks Elaine for your lovely comment – Mr van Zyl’s deed was so generous and it is special also because she, a black woman, acknowledged her ‘debt’ to a white Afrikaner. The whites in SA whether English or Afrikaans are continually slated by non-whites. It’s all over by factions, kill the boer (farmer), kill the whites, drive them into the sea, burn their homes and so on … By no means all non-whites state this and don’t believe this; they know they have been failed by the govt they voted in. Many of them decry their own spouting such hateful speech. But there is a strong anti-white sentiment in our country … their voices increase minute by minute …

      How lovely you could offer her housing! And help her land back on her feet! – and of course that you were in a position to do so. It’s the right thing to do when one can. Not that all of us do – but I think a great many do. Putting groceries into a trolley for the needy, dog food into a special trolley, blankets etc etc etc …

  6. Hi Susan – not being on social media … I hadn’t come across the two groups you mention – yet I see they’ve gone world-wide. Thank goodness for the Mr and Mrs van Zyl’s of the world that you mention … and delightful that his children accorded his wishes … Constance has done her bit too and is now out helping others. So glad you posted this and let us know the good that’s happening South Africa – it’s there all the time … let us have peace and hope in this world. All the best … stay safe and sane – Hilary

    • Thanks for coming by Hilary. I agree re his children carrying out their father’s wishes, it’s really special. And what goes around comes around … even if the wheels turn slowly! It’s these sorts of stories that give hope, for peace. You too stay safe and sane and have a lovely weekend πŸ™‚ Susan

  7. A really touching hearts story dear Susan, thank you so much for sharing it with us; having a helping hand is the most fulfilment act as we need all. Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe. πŸ™πŸ’–

  8. Hi, Susan – I always look forward to your #WATWB posts, and this one was no exception. This story is such a great reminder of how each of us has the power to positively impact others without needing anything in return!

    • Thanks Donna, yes, giving with no expectation of anything in return … Mr. van Zyl definitely made an impact even if he was no longer around. A wonderful example to his children – and to all of us πŸ™‚

  9. Unity vs separation seems to me to be the core essential issue we need to get a handle on in our world today. It’s key to everything. Thanks for sharing info about both organizations. Ms. Montja’s story is heart-warming. May we all take inspiration from kindness offered to others in need.

    • Thanks Deborah, you say it well that unity vs separation is the core issue that could change things for the better. Will we ever get a handle on that? Power is never easy to relinquish this we know. Especially when it’s politics .. but inspiration is always there when needed just to remind us what IS possible … πŸ™‚

  10. What a beautiful story. So emotional it gave me shivers. And seeing that you’re surviving and people are still being so kind and loving to each other despite the protests and rioting and politicians ramming racism down your throats is so affirming. The USA is moving in the same direction now and we’re all reeling from it. Most of us have seen nothing like this from our leaders in our lifetime. Thank you.

    • I’m glad you found it affirming Jeanie. It is for me too to see people being publicly acknowledged and we’re well reminded of the goodness that abounds in spite of division tactics. Sadly, our current ‘leaders’, who are chosen to be servants of the people, are much lacking in this area and use divide and rule ALL THE TIME. You would not believe the damage that is caused…or perhaps you would. It’s very scary … Thank you for coming by and have a lovely weekend πŸ™‚

  11. It’s such a long, long walk to freedom in this life but β€œprevail” we must! Thank you Susan for shining your #WATWB light on both those positive, unifying groups today. And I love your comment about β€œpeople of all shades and stripes” which reminds me of your country’s stunning flag.

    Constance’s story was a joy to read in this week of (spring / autumn) equinox tilts and turns. Humanity triumphs indeed! What a fantastic landlord, this story creates such a wonderful inner smile. I look forward to reading more stories over the weekend. Love and light, Deborah.

    • I also had an inner smile Deborah! We have many Mr. (and Mrs) van Zyl’s in this country. Many stories are told on those groups of white helping black, and black helping whites.. and helping their own. Many stories of eg accidents or wallets being lost and ordinary people of all shades and stripes helping out. People paying for the food or medicine for the person in front of them when it is seen that they have very little money. That’s what I love about my country. Thank you for your lovely comment. Light and love to you too, Susan.

  12. Wonderful story! We need more of those in the U.S. I have been so saddened that there are still those who think skin color makes for a lesser human being when it actually makes them the lesser person. Kudos to the landlord who felt compassion and acceptance rather than racial bigotry.

    • You hit the nail of the head re the individual who believes skin colour makes a difference, is the lesser one.Thank you for your comment Mary, and have a lovely weekend πŸ™‚

  13. The story you shared #I’m staying is very moving. Thanks also for posting the flag of South Africa. It’s very distinctive and now I will recognize it.

    Thanks for always sharing the good here, Susan!

    • Thanks Debby, the groups are growing and seeing this for what it is. The opposition party the DA, is working so hard and hopefully gaining ground. Their efforts at actually DOING things on the ground speak for themselves. It’s hard work though going against the tide of racism ..

  14. It is SO WONDERFUL to hear of loving, thoughtful people who help others. Plus, it would be really wonderful if your anti-racism groups would come to the U.S. There is so much hate and friction happening here our country is falling apart. We need the glue to put us back together. Thanks for your lovely stories!

    • Many of us are working hard at disempowering the racist rants Gwynn. I reckon that the majority of people really want a united SA but various factions do not seem to want this. Believe me we have protests galore and much rioting and looting thrown into the mix. The people at the top of the tree (politicians) are ramming racism down our throats as a device to deflect from all their dreadful deeds. We will prevail and I’m sure the US will too …

      • Yes, wouldn’t it be SO LOVELY to find honest, caring, hard-working politicians who HONESTLY cared about the people instead of just themselves! I look forward to the day when both our countries prevail!

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