National Inclusion Week: A Saffa in London

Yesterday (24th of September) marked the South African public holiday known as Heritage Day, or as the South Africans like to call it – Braai Day. You may be wondering what a braai is? Well, let me tell you – It is only the best BBQ you could ever have. The meat cooked over a wood fire, under the African sun, spent with family and friends – there is nothing better in my opinion.

But Braai Day isn’t just about the food and the company (and the weather). We celebrate this day to remember, embrace and be thankful for the heritage of the many vibrant cultures that make up our incredible nation. There are multiple vibrant cultures that make up the rainbow nation including English, Zulu, Afrikaans, Cape Malay and the Xhosa. Heritage Day was first celebrated 27 years ago, a year after the first elections, when the late Nelson Mandela was elected president to the newly democratic country.

With the turmoil we have faced and an uncertain future which lays ahead, we have this day to be thankful. It allows us to come together and be proud of who we are, what we have achieved, and the things we can do when we are united.
Since moving to the UK 2 years ago, I do sometimes get homesick. There are days where I miss the sun (February, I’m looking at you), my family and of course, the biltong. The country of my birth will always be part of me, no matter where I live, or what I do. I think every South African who has ever moved to another country feels the same. Moving overseas, especially when it is a permanent move is not easy. It takes people a few years to fully adjust to their new life and having a day like this to celebrate helps solidify the old and the new.

However, London is my new home now. The UK is where I am putting down roots and I am very happy here. Yes, I am proud of being South African, but I am just as proud of my English heritage and feel blessed to have an opportunity to be part of this culture as well.

Fun facts about South Africa:
1. SAFFA means: South African Far Far Away.
2. The variety of flower species found on Table Mountain number more than those found in the entire United Kingdom.
3. The first successful heart transplant took place in Cape Town back in 1967.
4. The Route 62 in the Western Cape is the longest wine route in the world (850km long).
5. South Africa has 11 official languages.
6. It is the only country in the world to have three capital cities – Cape Town, Pretoria and Bloemfontein.
7. The city of Johannesburg is home to the world’s largest man-made forest, boasting over 6 million trees.
8. South Africa is the second largest producer of fruit on the planet.
9. In 1882, Kimberley became the first town in the southern hemisphere to install electric streetlights.
10. South Africa is one of only two countries in the world to have hosted the soccer, cricket, and rugby world cups. The first was England.

Sarah works within our Strategy, Change and Operations team where she runs the desk for Business Support within the NHS and Central Government, successfully placing interim and permanent roles from assistant to manager. If you think she can help you, get in touch with her.