South Africans are positive.
Look, not Pollyanna-annoying AF positive. We’re fully aware of the issues, like the #AmINext Gender violence movement, ongoing transport strikes or violent xenophobia gripping parts of the country.
Even with the tough 2% economic growth levels we’re facing against mounting state-owned company debt and scary unemployment it would be easy to think South Africans are ready to up and leave.
There is no beating around the bush that emigration queries have spiked, as the experts have shared that some find the American Dream appealing – and equally expensive.
But a good portion of the population remains optimistic about their individual futures, a new survey has shown.
More than 20 000 people across 23 countries were involved in the survey commissioned by Expo 2020 Dubai. Conducted by YouGov, the Global Optimism Outlook Survey tracked people’s priorities for the future, looking at sustainability, economic growth, technology and travel amongst other metrics.
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It shows that some 64 percent of South Africans view themselves as optimists, 8 percent above the global average.
The collective outcome for the three African markets surveyed – South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya – was also 64 percent, a significantly higher average of optimism than any other region and well above the 50 per cent (or less) recorded for North America and Europe. Overall, South America (74 percent) is the most optimistic region, followed by Africa (64 percent), the Middle East (60 percent), Asia (57 per cent), North America (50 per cent) and West/East Europe (50 per cent).
But when it comes to unlocking a better future the themes of collaboration, knowledge sharing and access to education are consistently present according to the data. In face the majority (94 per cent) of South Africans involved in the survey believe these themes along with greater communication between individuals and communities can help shape a better future.
Access to resources (74 per cent) as well as collaboration across national borders and cultures (66 per cent) is also seen as most effective for shaping a better future.
But if you’re still not convinced - the exponential rise in the #IAmStaying Facebook group shows just how resilient South Africans are being in the face everything the country is going through right now. In less than a month the group has powered to over 350k members.
Individuals are sharing personal experiences of goodwill, how they've overcome tragic circumstances themselves and even silly humour, all encouraging them to stay put. Here are a few that caught our eye - click here for more.
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Cameron Scott a wildlife photographer says, "I have been photographing Wildlife in our amazing Country and National parks since I could work a disposable camera! It's scenes like this that make it impossible for me to leave! #ImStaying."
Stephanie Marilyn Zanetti shared the following post say, "I’m a South African of Indian origin. My great grandparents were brought here by the British over 150 yrs ago. This is home. I’ve lived in India a couple yrs as a child but I don’t know fit in their way of life really. I don’t speak an Indian language. I’m married to an Italian and due to family responsibilities we split our lives between there and here.
"But I can’t bear to leave for good. Yes there are challenges, so real, so violent and harsh it takes your breath away. But and it’s a big BUT. It’s home. I’ve tried living in other places but I’m such a Joburg girl I moved back, even from CPT and Miami. This is where my heart is. I love the Highveld thunderstorms. I suffer without Woolies and Dischem in Italy. We need to stand together and encourage each other and push our government to ensure our people are safe and have a hope and a future. My sons are my pride and joy of all that we is right with the world #mixedmasala #southafrican #european #indian"
Cheanine Prins like any concerned parent shared this post saying, "My 11 year old son went to PE to visit his Dad this holiday and had to take the bus back to CPT, needless to say I was stressed out all the way through the 12 hour trip back! I shed a couple of tears on his trip up, but this threw me completely over the edge! This angel walked off the bus with his arm protectively around our boy and kept him company the whole trip up. Thank you for your kind gesture! Forever grateful, God bless...." Click here to see the image.
* Compiled by Selene Brophy
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