Friday, 10 May 2013

Frivolous Friday: Why I love Africa

Happy Friday to you all.

As you know, for the last couple of Fridays I've been whinging about my house move. Thankfully we are now in our new home. However this upheaval was just an interim shift pending a much bigger migration.

At the end of July, my family and I are leaving the African continent for the UK. For Andrew, it is a return to the land of his nativity. For me? I'm being wrenched up by my roots.

So I thought I'd devote my next few Frivolous Fridays to all the things I love and hate about being an African. (I may not have black skin, but this continent has been the only home I've know since birth) Today I thought I'd start on a positive note.


I love that we live in a world where first world medicine (The first ever heart transplant took place in South Africa) rubs shoulders with tribal medicine, administered by traditional healers - sangomas.

At the risk of sounding gross, I had to have a routine colonoscopy some months ago. (Both my parents died of colon cancer, so every few years I subject myself to that indignity. Happily, I will live to write another day.)

Anyway, the point of this personal disclosure is this . . . After leaving the state-of-the-art medical facility where a doctor shoved a camera up my rear-end to look at my innards, I found this under my car windscreen wiper . . .

There seems to be nothing this man can't do! And all for the princely sum of fifty bucks. (I won't tell you what my surgeon charged. . . )

The amazing thing is that the majority of South Africans would rather visit Dr Tembo than a western doctor. In their minds, their disgruntled ancestors or evil spirits are at the root of all illness or misfortune. Bacteria and viruses just don't feature. As a writer, I get so much inspiration from that.

I know that sounds strange to us Westerners, but it wasn't so long ago that our ancestors would have thought my specialist surgeon was more of a quack than Dr. Tembo. They'd probably have welcomed Dr Tembo with open arms, after burning my guy at the stake for sorcery . . .

I love that there is place for both of these belief systems here. It makes life so interesting and I will definitely miss that.


P.S. Don't forget to check out Elisa's Frivolous Friday at:

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