The Running Commentary


Why call yourself an ex-South African?

Nothing infuriates me more than when someone specifically makes mention that they are an ex-South African (or any other country for that matter).  I get absolutely the hacked off by this. 

I often get the defence that it is simply stating that they used to live in South Africa. Well for the record, living in a country does not make you a citizen. By making the effort to point out and announce that you are an ex-South African, you are saying that you are no longer a citizen.

This brings me to the point that I wish to make.  If you are an ex-South African, you are de facto another citizen.  Instead of making a note of what you are not, make a point of mentioning what you are. Take pride in this…support the new country you are now a citizen off.

To this I would like to request that you also stop representing South Africa.  As an ex-South African you have no right to do that.  You have given up the right to represent this great country, get on with your life as a citizen of another country and support them.  We have enough active citizens and really no longer require your input.

I had thought though that in giving yourself the ex-South African identity, it is so that you can actually have some sort of identity.  I think the root is that you have not been accepted as a citizen of the country you have chosen, because you have not made an effort.  Your identity ironically is found in this “Ex” status.  You, for whatever reason, have chosen this to be your identity and I would bet, in your new country, you are introduced as the Ex-South African.

You then proceed to berate and malign this great country and the “pre-emminent expert” on the country. After all as the person who has given up on this country, who better qualified to make an opinion.

Well many will see this as a rant, and it is, I will make no apologies for this.  Stop calling yourself an ex-citizen, embrace your new found home and live as the active citizen in that country. After all you demonstrated your commitment already and we are sure that you will do the same in your new country!

citizencountryproudlySouth African

Mike • July 19, 2010

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  2. Larry July 22, 2010 - 12:53 pm

    Amen to that. By claiming you’re an ex-citizen I think they are saying they have left the country without looking and now feel you don’t fit in to your new community. You now have nothing left but to hanker after what you used to have. Well said!

  3. Amanda August 2, 2010 - 10:26 am

    i think you should check your spelling on your title it should be AN ex South African not AND.
    I think you should consider the thousands of Zimbabweans who are no longer allowed to carry the citizenship or passport of the country they were born in because they are no longer residents. They are indeed ex.
    South Africa is following the same track, by failing to fufill the new requirements for passports internationally. A visa is now required to visit UK and other countries. The next move will be to tell all South Africans living abroad they cannot retain their SA passports (now made usless for travel anyway). Thereby making them ex S Africans.
    Think before you get all whipped up.

  4. Mike August 7, 2010 - 8:30 am

    Amanda, thanks for picking up the spelling error. I think you have missed my point completely. It is about people who have their idientity in their “ex” status. I have not mentioned displaced people at all. My post was completely based on people who advertise themselves as Ex Citizens

  5. Meagan August 11, 2010 - 9:07 pm

    I agree! People are so quick to say what a “shit hole” SA is blah blah blah, and then pack their bags and leave, which is TOTALLY their prerogative. If you think your life is going to be so much better in another country, LIVE it there! Stop smashing and lambasting the country you left. I’ve considered leaving SA, hell I’ve gone to Australian seminars to check out immigration. I just want to go and gain experience, live in foreign countries for a while to experience the experience. I will always come back. There’s too much potential here! Life is what you make it, where ever it may be.

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