I have refrained from commenting or entering the political arena in any country, my own included. I am South African! Trust me I have opinions, but I decided it wouldn't be good for business for me to have a public opinion.
But that ended last night on the 6 pm news. When I saw Donald Trump attack Mrs Khan, a dignified grieving mother, I felt tears running down my face. How low can this man go? I am appalled beyond measure...
I remember back with the Florida debacle of 2000 Thinking to myself "but I thought that the domain of brutal crooked politics was limited to emerging world countries that are classed as barbaric. Those of us as seen as living amongst monkeys, we were the ones that had disorganized, frightening election seasons. " But suddenly a small spark came into my head, if it happens in America? The country of good behavior, political correctness, smiling white teeth, integrated societies and Disney land, what else didn't we know about this huge powerhouse of a continent. It was pushed to the back of my mind and I continued to show up at meetings barefoot and write notes in my A4 scrap book. Trying to solve social inequality and uphold women's rights but on my own continent.
Then in 2013 I was asked by a large corporation to launch my amazing, ingenious portable non electric slow cooker in the USA. NO was my instant response, this was developed for women who cook over fires and need more time to do other chores, and use less firewood. It's working for them and we doing well, why would I want or who would want to buy it in America. I was duly persuaded that 68% of people slow cook in the USA and that pot lucks, portable heat retention cooking could and would be huge here, camping, fishing, RV holidays etc etc.
I took a deep sigh and thought well if I built a business model where for every Wonderbag bought in North America one would be donated to the Wonderbag Foundation and be subsidized to a family who couldn't afford it in Africa would get one. Win win, or so I thought and so did, all my advisors and like minded strategists in New York.
So I begun the BIG TOUR of the USA, from middle America, to Walmart's across the country, to states I had never heard of, we where holding focus groups to understand the consumer, to get a grip on the U.S. Market. Oh BOY.
Let me back up, I grew up in the height of apartheid, I grew up to gunfire, racism, prison time for reading the wrong book, my friends were forbidden to join me at the beach or drive in the car with me, I grew up in a radical country of discrimination and dirty politics. Ruthless and cruel, dehumanizing and immoral. That's what and where I came from. Military conscription for my brothers, and friends, war on the border, murder, alcohol, hidden secrets and horror.
But nothing absolutely nothing prepared me for what I encountered on this "insight gathering marketing trip of the USA". The ignorance, the racism, the small mindless mentality, the cruelty of the way my continent of Africa was referred to. The Inhumane discussions about other communities. I had never encountered ignorance and hideousness on this scale ever.
But like we all know and exactly what we are fighting against, you cannot judge or discredit a whole group or community of people for just a few. Usually they are not all that representative, as we have seen with ISIS, who DO NOT represent the Muslim faith. So with much persuasion and cajoling I launched my beloved Wonderbag in North America on Amazon. And it's been loved and adored by huge parts of the wonderful people I have met, who have written To me, who have embraced individual philanthropy and who have connected with the Wonderbag World, like I cannot believe. Our business has flourished and we encourage you all to become part of this amazing movement which is unifying women across the world.
But back to the point, when I was in New York in middle of last year and Trump was shown from time to time, on what I assumed was comedy hour, and then it became more frequent. I went home, and came back a few months later, I was loving Bernie Sanders' message, Hilary is Hilary and I can't not and will always admire her for who she is, what she has done and how she has played in the tough Arena time after time, she deserves every bit of support she gets.
But the horror was just beginning, Donald Trump was getting to the top, and as the weeks drew on, it became more and more apparent that something horrifying was happening. People started to have shocked looks, comments, fear, anxiety, the world was falling apart, we have to build walls, save America from itself. We have a savior , a cult leader and we all have to follow him into the sea if that's what it takes to save and make America great again.
But hang on everyone, I wasn't surprised at all, Donald Trump epitomizes those people who where so rude about Africans, about me, they couldn't see me as I was behind a focus room glass wall, they assumed I was black and made scathing comments, they insulted me, they ridiculed this heat retention cooker because it was invented in Africa by black people. they where racist, bigots and grim excuses for humanity. I had taken fright and taken the first grey hound bus out of there. But this was supposed to be America not South Africa in the 1980's. This man is a megalomaniac but he is good, he is brilliant, he is creating a cult, a fear based following, he is a madman with no limits. We have seen these before, I was brought up in a county run by these men. How how can we it be happening in America?
I surprised that Donald Trump maybe the next president of the USA, NO. Am I troubled? Horrified. This is going exactly the same way that South Africa was in the 1970/80's. How much fear, how much looting, what about our children, is this the world that we want for them? Should I be speaking out, probably not, But I can't stay silent and ignore one of the biggest catastrophes about to happen to the Western World. No one thought Brexit would happen, except someone with hair that looks just like Donald Trumps!
We have to unite, we need to fight, we need to be heard, we need to ensure that Hilary, for better or worse, is the next President of the United States of America. The consequences of the other could be Barack Obama in prison for 27 years, just like Nelson Mandela, and God forbid we don't have that fight in us.
Please listen to a girl who grew up in apartheid, whose life and those around her where destroyed by it. I don't know how to stop him, but I do know that your voice counts. Mine doesn't here as I don't vote in the USA, so am probably going to be lambasted for poking my nose into other people's problems. But I am a global girl and global girls talk!