WATCH: Saffas in Australia dish the dirt on SA... and it's beautiful

2017-04-10 14:00 - Louzel Lombard Steyn and Boipelo Mokgothu
Post a comment 0

Cape Town - You can spot a South African a mile away. If not by the smell of biltong and sunshine that follow us around wherever we go... it's by the unusual phrases and words we like to use.  

It's mos no wonder that the patriotism is prevalent among South Africans, regardless of where in the world they find themselves. Australia, for example, is home to an estimated 150 000 expat South Africans, our second-largest expat community after the UK. 

In a bid to up SA's reputation Down Under, local image experts Brand South Africa recently launched a campaign to boost its international reputation in business, investment and tourism. But the response was underwhelming - no one shared what they disliked or liked about SA... So we did a little digging, asking some of our South Africans friends living in Australia to share their feelings when they think of home. 

The reason for the lack of participation with Brand SA's campaign was soon understood. It turns out South Africans Down Under aren't ashamed or negative about their homeland after all. They miss Mzansi. They miss home and everything about it! 

Even amid all the drama going down in SA, the political tension with the #CabinetReshuffle has amalgamated South Africans from around the globe, instead of stirring a negative connotation of the homeland. In London, South Africans even had their own anti-Zuma march calling for 'Zexit', or Zuma's Exit. 

SEE: #SAUnites: Saffas singing Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika in London will make you weep

Grab the tissues... just listen to what these South Africans in Australia miss most about home. 

Mikayla Dunn, originally from Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal. Currently in Sydney. 

The last South African thing I did was eat some biltong from the local South African shop where I get all the luxuries I'm no longer entitled to... And on my daily commute home, I always pump up the local house music I have.

In a sense I feel that we do carry the flag for Australian South Africans. There is no better way to feel in touch with your roots then to surround yourself with fellow South Africans and feel immersed in the music and food and culture that we have. It allows you to take home to any part of the world.

Simple things like jamming to house music on the way back from work or meeting up with friends who know the same slang and understand things. I think when you move into a culturally diverse society, I think you then most certainly  take on that role unannounced because you constantly share your culture & knowledge around.

Nicole Hindson, originally from Johannesburg. Currently lives in Sydney. 

My accent is pretty strong still so I have a few Australian's have a laugh at my South Africaness. I still say 'tackies' instead of trainers, I say "yoh" a lot and always end my sentence with 'man'...

I miss my friends and family the most. And I miss being able to be loud and not being called aggressive - South Africans have a bad name of being 'aggressive' over here as we are very direct. 

I feel like a South African brand ambassador all the time. I send emails of recommendations to all my work colleagues and friends over here. I'm a Jozi girl through and through so I always send a lot of love back home and also detail Cape Town and Eastern Cape for travellers to visit. There are so many cool places in Africa, so I'm pretty open telling everyone where to go when they go over.

Harriet Claire Worthington, originally from Johannesburg. Currently in Melbourne. 

The last Saffa thing that I did was for my friend's 30th birthday... we had an African-themed braai with the rest of the guests. We made boerie rolls and potato bake (they were obsessed). We played South African tunes and had an all round epic evening. 

I miss how friendly people are to strangers, I miss Ouma rusks and Lions Head. Family and friends too, without a doubt. 

I definitely feel like an "ambassador" for SA and am very proud to call it home - I get loads of questions about SA from colleagues as we have so many stores there. I often think people have a very warped perception of home based on the media and the "horror stories" they've heard. I feel like we give people a more realistic idea of what SA is like.

Morgan Oldridge, originally from Cape Town. Currently in Sydney. 

The last South African thing we did was two weeks ago, when we drove half an hour to our favourite Saffa shop to buy proper boerie for our braai and stock up on ghost pops and cream soda for the hangover the next day... 

I miss Sunday family braais, being able to reference places in South Africa with work friends without having to Google and show them what I mean, saying the word now-now and having someone not think I mean "now", Willoughby's sushi, unique names and affordable houses. 

I completely feel like an ambassador... getting in a Uber to chatting to Aussies I meet randomly, it's awesome painting the picture of a country we want other people to experience and fall in love with. Also to really highlight that every country has its crime, even Australia, so if they haven't been that they think about booking a holiday! 

What to read next on Traveller24

SA's highlights captured through the eyes of tourists will make you want to explore Mzansi

Mzansi QUIZ: 10 Questions every South African must be able to answer

Family holidays: No one does it better than South Africans