A local Facebook group dedicated to women and men of all colours, religions and cultures who remain loyal to South Africa despite recent turmoil, is making waves on social media.
The group, called “#ImStaying”, aims to honour all those who still believe in South Africa and make a positive change to save our country rather than simply leaving it behind.
Started on September 7, 2019 #ImStaying is nearly 600 000 members strong and growing by the day.
Members share encouraging stories from their lives on a daily basis, showing how the beautiful rainbow nation that is South Africa is not a lost cause but rather something extremely precious and worth fighting for.
One member, Esmarie Booysen, shared her story about loving doeks but feeling as though she could never wear one because she was too “white”. Her colleague gifted her a doek and told her to wear it proudly. She shared her picture saying, “Yesterday she gave me this beautiful doek and I am in love!! I am a strong, independent, African woman.”
Stories of love and acceptance across cultures and races are flooding into the group with so many people sharing how much they adore South Africa and all of its people.
#ImStaying member Claudia Dinkelmann shared her inspirational story of her friend Mimie who managed to graduate despite hardships and raising a little girl by herself. Dinkelmann takes inspiration from her friend and thanks so many South Africans out there who donated to Mimie so that her little girl Minathi could have everything she needs.
Each story shows the amazing ability South Africans have to love and support each other, breaking through the scars created by our history and truly appreciating one another.
Charmaine Waller shared the story of her daughter who asked to do a photoshoot with the woman she loves dearly and considers her second mother. The aim of the shoot was to honour her culture and everything she meant to her as a mother. The pictures are truly touching a show a deep connection between the two.
As the movement gains more traction, more South Africans are sharing their stories and opening up about how much their country means to them and how important it is not to give up and to continue working towards a better future for all.
While South Africa struggles through this difficult time, as it has in the past, the silver lining that is all of our beautiful people and the blessings we have as a nation, whether its our cultures, traditions, relationships or memories of those who have touched our lives, should not be forgotten.
Join the movement and share your South African story at #ImStaying.