Thursday, September 27, 2012

Flo's Story

September 27, 2012

Hello All,

I just had to pass along an email excerpt from my friend Florence whom I visited in South Africa this past July. In these times of extreme differences, prejudices and religious views, this world has really gotten "out of order". We need to get back on "track" without anymore national tragedies occurring. Thanks Flo, for taking a stand; not for your religious beliefs, not for cultural prejudices but for humanity. We forget sometimes, its importance.

Hello from South Africa,

I am often asked what do you think of South Africa? It is hard to answer and it depends what I have experienced that day...

This country is so diverse, at time you feel like you are in a first class country with amazing architecture, fantastic restaurants and large businesses and at other times you are in the middle of poverty. Every day we hear stories that could be turned to a great movie. I do plan to keep a record of them one day. I think it will be the best way to experience this place, listening to South Africans from all races and social classes telling their stories.

Today I went to the store to add more minutes on my cell phone, next to me was a well dressed white guy about my age pushing a fancy double stroller with 2 beautiful black kids. He noticed my smile, we got in a conversation while waiting for the teller. He has 5 other kids, the 8 month old baby in the stroller was adopted because her mother died when she was 3 months old, no father and nobody to care for. The 18 months old boy was happily sucking on his milk bottle giving me big smiles, he was adopted shortly after birth. His story: he was put in a plastic bag right after birth and disposed in a field, he was found alive 3 days later!! 

I was speechless, after taking a big breath, I told the little boy: "Well done for surviving that experience, you are now care for by someone who is going to keep you." And of course I validate the father for his great contribution and love for humankind.

Fifteen minutes later I am in line at the grocery store call Woolworth still thinking of that father and his 2 kids. In front of me a white women in her sixties behind me a white women about my age. The lady on front of me leaned towards me and said: "did you hear the rumor that Woolworth is only hiring black people now, look at all the cashiers they are all black". The lady behind me heard her too. Well I said " I don't know about the rumor but I can see that all the employees are blacks what about it?" "That's not right she said it should be at least 50% white they need us". Poor lady, she was hoping to find another white supremacist, an allied and she found me, lol:   "Last time I looked at this country and the continent of Africa, the population did not consist of 50% Whites in fact I noticed a LOT more Blacks and Colored folks, isn't about time the table is turned and we see more Blacks employees than Whites? Isn't it a justification that "they need us" so we can continue to use them and pay cheap labor, wasn't it long ago that Woolworth was hiring ONLY Whites?" Rest assure, I did not raise my voice that much, just a little for everyone to hear me! The lady being very "Africans-British" was trying hard to stay calm. I finally turned my head to get some "fresh air" the lady behind me was laughing giving me 2 thumbs up.

With that nice acknowledgement, I asked her, should I add that my husband is BLACK and he is a doctor, I mean an educated black man? At that point we both burst laughing and the racist idiot on front of us was saved by the call of the bell " next customer please isle no. 4" where she was helped by a beautiful black lady dressed in a tribal skirt in honor of Heritage Day in South Africa.

As you can see it's a diverse society but for now most people are embracing the difference, some making a huge contribution to help another human being even from another race and just once in a while an idiot shows up.”

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I.

All the best,



  1. I did!!!hahaha!! I enjoyed even more because of the fact that I do know Florence and I can just see her replying to the comment from that "white" lady, and putting here in her place!!!:)lol. GO FLORENCE!!!

    Marcelo Cardoso

    1. Hello, and thanks for reading! I passed your comments on to Flo who was happy to receive them and hear from you!

  2. I've had the pleasure of meeting Flo and Bruce on several occasions and understand exactly where their viewpoint is coming from - this is the attitude we all expected from Madiba's rainbow nation. Unfortunately, many of His (and our) dreams fell by the wayside and a bitter resentment has been created between the race groups in SA due to bad Government, their policies and inability to bring forth the promise of equitable, non-racial, peaceful co-existence. Factor in cronyism, corruption, mis-management of public funds and the lack of any sort of mentorship programs and you have the harsh reality that Flo experienced - a lasting impression that Black people are out there just to "take" from the white people without having earned the right. This is exacerbated by radical inflamists such as Malema whose very rhetoric is based on communist ideals and ignorance, rather than on real-life experiences of inter-cultural exchanges. I personally wish that everyone had Flo and Bruce's abilities to see beyond colour and to be able to see the real humans behind the pain and suffering they continue to experience in today's rainbow nation.

  3. Flo and Bruce,...I am happy that I have met them and they have definitely touched my life forever! Thanks for your comments and for reading!