By Byron John

I love my country because of the people. Sure, the weather is awesome, the beauty is unparalleled, but it is the people that make this country what it is. Unfortunately you will not see them making headlines in the media, or taking up space in the columns of the newspapers. They are the people I meet every day at work, at the shops or at a braai, at social events, at the sports stadium or through friends of friends or through family friends. These encounters happen daily. They are pockets of people of all different colours and race who are not ruled by the limitations of their exterior or cultural differences. This is the South Africa I know. I need only surf online through the photo gallery of all my Facebook friends to see what a richly diverse and amazing country I live in and what the world might never see. My family and I – yes too many South Africans – have been sadly affected by crime…but I am truly lucky to be living in South Africa. Despite the daily dose of pessimism…I am honoured to be living with such resilient and amazing people. We are a tough nation, and because of adversity, we really know how to enjoy ourselves. This World Cup is somewhat clouded across the media spectrum by a dark sense of fear and insecurity painted by foreign prophets of doom, and, worse still, by too many South Africans. Yes, the mood is a bit “tense” here in South Africa, but it is only part of what is actually happening on the ground. Everyone is getting excited and I have a good feeling the success of this next awesome chapter in our history, will exceed many expectations. My message to South Africans: Be positive. Be “Champions” for our country. We have faced adversity. ALL of us. No country has gone through or is going through what we are enduring as a country right now. “Show dem!” that we are amazing people…not because we want to be, but because we are. Our foreign friends from all over the world are coming soon, not only to encounter our celebrities and politicians, our flag, or our Table Mountain…but they are coming to meet us! We must ‘WOW!’ each person that comes here. It is a history making opportunity that we can all affect. My message to Tourists: When I went to visit London, Ireland and Italy some time back, the advice I got was simple: “Stay together in groups, never go off on your own or go looking for trouble either. Be careful when people offer you things. Get information from the proper ‘officials’ before accepting anything from anybody. Don’t trust too quickly. Watch your money and never leave your belongings lying around for people to be tempted.” This is the exact same advice I’m giving you when you come to South Africa. I will hopefully show you through my song and music video what an awesome country this place is because of its people. My hope is that when you come here, you will encounter a taste of the hospitality and friendship that makes this country so awesome. Enjoy…and go Bafana Bafana!!!! Regards, Byron John arwick Buttress 26 April at 14:04

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