The People From Brakpan
The people from Brakpan are quite often ridiculed. How this came about is a mystery to me. I suppose someone started with a joke and others added to his comments and it grew from there. We live in a world where we put people into boxes with labels. Most often it is cruel and incorrect. Fortunately, someone's story comes along that changes our perspective.
Yesterday I accompanied my wife to her uncle's birthday party in Brakpan. The Maps app on my iPhone gave me conflicting information so I had to use intuition to home in on the venue. Luckily my decision was correct and then the voice on my wife's smartphone announced that we were at the right place. Nice! all this technology that we carry with us.
Well, we pulled into the parking area and went to meet the people. First up were some folks standing outside by the braai fires - I was glad that we wouldn't have to wait too long before we could get our meat on.
Her family was very glad to see my wife Maggie since we hadn't visited with them for a long time. They usually only saw us at funerals. Inside the party hall, she was stopped by relatives who wanted to chat. They showered her with compliments saying she was very stylish - we had to dress up in clothes depicting the 1920's fashion.
Every time Maggie wanted to go somewhere she was stopped for a chat. Usually, a family can be quite a challenge with some folks being envious or snobbish. Not those people. No! they were so glad to see her and genuinely showed heaps of love. Now, how can you ridicule or say something bad about lovely folks like that? No way.
All the time we were treated with respect and love. When we went outside to braai our meat the guys there were very friendly and sociable. By the way, a braai is a container with hot coals and a grill on which you place your meat, turning it now and again until it's ready to eat. Very tasty - and popular in South Africa.
I chatted with one of her cousins at the table and Maggie was still all over the place chatting here and there with her relatives - she was just the celebrity. Later on, I collected my camera from the car and took some photos for memories. They were sad to see us go and kept on talking to Maggie all the way to the car.
Maggie and Ron
This morning I decided to share my views about the people from Brakpan with Maggie. Here is my honest appraisal after yesterday's visit. You see, I observed their behaviour while I was standing at the braai or when Maggie was talking to someone else. The people from Brakpan don't wear masks and pretend to be someone else or try to act better when in the company of others. No, they just act like themselves with total freedom. Take it or leave it.
The men are usually a bit rough around the edges and the women like them as they are. The women are also not afraid to be free to be themselves and show it openly. I haven't noticed such openness for a long time. And the women like their men just as they are and show it.
So, it was my pleasure to be in their company and think more highly of that family from Brakpan. They maybe don't have much to offer you but can shower you with truckloads of genuine love and respect that will make you want to keep going back for more. You can spot that kind of love a mile away because it is from their hearts.