The Tipping Point….

My heart is heavy at the moment. I feel utterly hopeless. I despair. I am sad. I am angry. I am worn down. I feel I am ready to give up.

I’ve read a plethora of positive posts about South Africa in the past few weeks or at least attempts at turning a negative into something positive. Tips on how to cope with load shedding. Posts about why we shouldn’t complain about load shedding. How we should accept it. Posts about what to do to positively influence the scourge of xenophobia in our country. I’ve read a million articles on how to be a part of the solution.

But, I can’t any more. I can’t take anymore. The straw that broke the camels back?

Last week, while flashing through the news channels to watch the news headlines, they showed footage of “the burning man” (I won’t post is here, but if you haven’t seen it, you can view it here – His name was Ernesto Nhamuave ) and Ava saw it. She saw about two seconds of the footage while I yelled at Walter to change the channel and held my hands over her eyes. My 5 year old saw what South African’s are capable of doing to others. It is deeply disturbing. Deeply upsetting. It is barbaric. It disgusts me. I am ashamed of my countrymen.

Then on Friday, Ava must have overheard my conversation with Eva, our nanny, a Zimbabwean national, working legally here. We were discussing a plan for to get home safely, how we would keep in touch with each other over the weekend so I could know she was ok. We spoke about her and her family moving into the spare room in our house till all this Xenophobia crap ends. When Eva tried to leave, Ava had a melt down. She clung to Eva, crying, she was terrified of Eva leaving and never coming back. She spent half the evening asking why anyone would hate Eva. Why they want to hurt Eva. And then …. she asked if they were going to burn Eva like the man she saw on TV.

She is haunted by it. Terrorized by it. Traumatized by it. And I can’t… I just can’t anymore…

Then waking up on Saturday morning to the news of Emmanuel Sithole’s murder…. It has pushed me into a very dark place. It has made me question why we are still here. I’m sorry South Africa, I wanted to be a part of the solution, I really did.

Walter and I thought about emigrating years ago but decided to stay. We believed in the dream of our country, we believed in our democracy. We had faith and hope for all the potential that South Africa had. That’s gone now and it breaks my heart. I am broken, I am angry. I feel we’ve been forced to make a choice, a choice that we don’t want, a choice we hate having to make. But being a part of the solution…. sorry, but my children come first. And for them, we will make this work… for their future… for their peace… My number one priority is my children, my family.

We are leaving.

There are no words to describe the devastation I feel. The anger. The depression. But I can’t anymore… I can’t.

Share on
Previous Post Next Post

You may also like


  • Reply Lisa Randall

    🙁 I’m in the same boat. So many things going through my mind but what future do our children have? I don’t want to leave here – this is my home. I’ve worked hard to get where I am and I don’t want to give it all up but what is it going to be like for my kids when they grow up? I’m torn and confused and saddened by everything.

    April 21, 2015 at 1:03 pm
  • Reply marina1605

    We feel the same Sharon, it is heartbreaking. We also want to make plans to leave for the sake of our children.

    April 21, 2015 at 1:36 pm
  • Reply Heather

    When I saw the title of your post I was optimistic because I think recent events should be a tipping point for positive change in our country. But I’m sad to hear you’ve decided to leave, although I do understand why.

    April 21, 2015 at 1:49 pm
    • Reply Sharon

      It should be a tipping point for positive change, but it’s unlikely it will be. The only positive change I feel I can make is to change my children’s future and I don’t feel that can be done here.

      April 21, 2015 at 2:28 pm
      • Reply CaffeineAndFairydust


        April 21, 2015 at 9:59 pm
      • Reply CaffeineAndFairydust

        I completely agree, unfortunately. We can hope anand dream all we want, I am not sticking arpund to find out what this horribly violebt place has in store for my kids. We are leaving, and it is for the best.

        April 21, 2015 at 10:00 pm
  • Reply Lilo

    I left 9 months ago with a 1yo and 3yo, because I couldn’t bare raising my kids without freedom and in constant fear for their safety. Best decision ever.

    April 21, 2015 at 1:53 pm
  • Reply A Love Beyond Measure

    We are feeling the same way…..I am very angry and sad.

    April 21, 2015 at 2:41 pm
  • Reply ailsaloudon

    Best decision for people with children!

    April 21, 2015 at 2:44 pm
  • Reply Noelene

    I know what you are feeling as I feel the same anger, sadness and despair. I, too live in South Africa, and am horrified at the brutality of some of our people to others and the fact that our children have to live behind locked gates and have no freedom.
    I also know, however, that there are some amazing people living in South Africa and that they are in the majority. My South Africa is the South Africa that Professor Jonathan Jansen wrote about

    In saying that, however, I do understand why you feel you can’t live here anymore and I pray that wherever you and your family go you will find peace.

    April 21, 2015 at 3:31 pm
  • Reply wobbly02

    Good luck with your decision I’m sure you will all be very happy. When the move happens dont forget to keep the blog going and continue to inspire the people with your #fatgirlslim journey!

    April 21, 2015 at 4:14 pm
  • Reply dummymommy

    Sharon, I am so so sad to read this as I’m one of those “ostriches” that does believe that things will get better. But have even found myself very discouraged lately 🙂 I fear for Thando’s life, she is luckily moving in with us this weekend. I can’t believe that this is happening to my beloved country- HOW CAN IT BE?
    How easy is it for South Africans to get into a NZ for example?

    I’m just so so sad too.

    May you and your family be so blessed in NZ and I think you are making the right decision.

    April 22, 2015 at 9:46 am
    • Reply Sharon

      It’s not easy to go anywhere. For NZ, to apply for residency, they work on a point system and we qualify because Walter is under 40, has a masters degree in engineering & 15+ years experience in a field that is considered a skill set shortage there.So for us the process should take about 6 – 9 months as we’ve just started it now.

      April 22, 2015 at 10:08 am
  • Reply Lea White

    I absolutely hate what is going on there. We also left years ago for the sake of our kids. New Zealand has been home to us the past 10 years. Let me know if you have any questions.

    April 22, 2015 at 10:21 am
  • Reply Corrina

    Sharon, I know this decision must have been a very difficult one to make. I know of the sacrifices one makes for a better future for the sake of our children. I have lived abroad for 14 years now, both in London and now in Germany. In the almost 6 years I have lived in Germany we have not had a power outage once! The worst thing I have had to be confronted with is people leaving behind braai grills in the park next to my house – not any despicable violence or fear for ones life or those of my kids. Of course having lived in South Africa for most of my life I still lock my doors …. We visit SA every year and it is now our holiday destination. I was once told that SA is the most beautiful prison in the world and those words always ring true. Not saying things don’t happen elsewhere because they do, but New Zealand will give you hope and restore your faith in humanity. You will see that when a country is united and there is a fair democracy that everyone can live in harmony. You deserve that – your children deserve that – actually all civilization deserves that! Good luck with the process and even though getting your head and heart around things will be tough, you will manage. You will manage because YOU are strong! Big hugs xx

    April 22, 2015 at 10:43 am
    • Reply Sharon

      “South Africa is the most beautiful prison”I so relate to this.

      April 22, 2015 at 10:52 am
  • Reply Sally-Jane

    Everything you have said. I understand totally. We are looking and devastated too.
    I had to talk to my Malawian gardener and his wife about coming here as soon as they feel unsafe and we will help them leave if needed.
    I am heart broken

    April 23, 2015 at 11:03 am
  • Reply April Roundup and Linky | South African Mom Blogs

    […] Sharon: The Tipping Point: these events have brought on a decision to […]

    May 1, 2015 at 10:18 pm
  • I LOVE comments, leave yours here:

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    %d bloggers like this: