Postcard from Freetown: “The expose’ – I miss South Africa’!

In couple of days I will officially clock six months in Freetown and I must say I have enjoyed and am still enjoying every bit of the experience. It is true when they say: “there is no place like home” – I guess we all can identify and somehow testify to this sentiment and the miracle and recharge that come from it when we retrieve back home from the city life whether in Johannesburg, Freetown or anywhere else you might be – Home is indeed a place of recourse.

Last week I had the opportunity of chatting with a good friend of mine about my recent ordeal and all the vices involved, and at the end of the chat I realised that Karma has been a blessing to me. God has released me from some issues I have kept for so long in my heart and in all my relentless effort in trying to solve them, it never work out until the season of life broke in and it all went smoothly. A price had to be paid because of the seed sown and I humbly obliged and I am paying for it and coming home was the final price to pay.

I must say I miss South Africa. It aches my heart sometimes when I reflect at all that I have build up for the past 6 plus years, the relationships with friends, colleagues at work, at church and just the general vibe and ambience that South Africa embodied and released upon me. Sometimes in my sacred space I sulk about it, even I tend to sway to the path of self pity and it thus bellows upon me that “everything happens for a reason” – but in counting my blessings, all I can do is to be grateful.

I have kept my network alive back in South Africa because it is something I have build up relatively from scratch, even though I have lost some friends along the way and most recently one of the men I hold dearly in my heart also parted ways with me for what I can’t fathom but I rather not to dwell on trying to understand the dynamics of the why involved. The tenacity to embrace things without wailing on trying to find answers but wait for the answers to come to me has been profitable in my stead and I am embarking on the path – “why fix what is not broken?” – People make choices; we live by them, move on and allow life to happen to us.

People have asked about the reasons why I left South Africa. Speculations here and there, rumours and judgemental sentiments corroding the spaces of my network and all but my true friends have stood by me and I am indeed grateful.

Sometimes I wish people could realize we are not saints and we all make mistakes, by commission or omission and we learn, we crawl and we move on. My youthfulness and its antics has cost and cut me deep in some certain areas of my life. Nevertheless, it is a path destined for me to walk on and I am forever cremating these moments as footprints and writing each experience on the tablet of my heart as text for my son Malakai to learn from one day when he is old enough to understand some of these complexities of life.

I have been asked over and over why I love South Africa or want my remains to be buried in South Africa someday when I die. My love for South Africa is unexplainable; sometimes I believe words are not enough for me to express this love that started when I was fourteen years old. The South African history echoes streams of emotions in my heart when I get to talk about or share with it friends. To the best of my knowledge, I have followed the story since the late eighties till this present day. The apartheid era, the post apartheid era and the new dawn of the rainbow nation that is envisioned.

When I made up my mind to move to South Africa in 2005, it was a decision that came out of love and faith. Whenever South Africa is mentioned my eyes lit up, I come alive, I resonate because there is so much to talk about, so much is happening and I can find with these realities. Personally I believe if Afrika is going to be able to compete with the rest of the world, South Africa should be on pole position in leading that revolution. The issue here is “South Africans need to start embracing Afrika and its people. It is believed in some quarters that South Africans detached themselves too often from Africa and see other Africans as less their class.” This is a topic I will one day write about but for now I leave it like that.

In retrospection, I hope that I will return someday soon and continue from where I left off. The wealth of knowledge acquired in the past plus six years I spent in South Africa I cannot trade for anything. I hope I find forgiveness in her eyes and recourse to give me another chance to reignite this love affair between us. I hope she accepts me like the prodigal son and welcome me home once again, if not for anything for my son Malakai who is a South African and whom I intend to be part of his life as his father and teach him the tenets of manhood.

For now, Freetown is my abode and every day I look at the Atlantic Ocean overseeing the distant sea counting the days of when I will return back to South Africa. Sometimes the pain is hard to bear, because I left my whole life behind but like my friend Sindi said: “God has a reason why you are in Sierra Leone, let Him deal with you and show you the purpose why you are home.” For now I seat on the threshing floor, between the porch and the altar, waiting for a new dawn in this life full of vanity to unfold.

@DanteBello on Twitter.

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One Response to “Postcard from Freetown: “The expose’ – I miss South Africa’!”

  1. I missed your writing. Like you said everything happens for a reason. God brought u back to Freetown for a reason which you might have realised already. You touched many lives in SA and we are glad that we have kept in contact thru social media and some in other ways. You will be back sooner than you think. In the moment do what you do best (write) and take care. Let the family enjoy having you around. Keep well!

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