Coffee this morning, and white suburban women moaned about the problems with the Gay Pride Parade.  The noise from the car guards directing cars that didn't need directing, the music, the beer bottles, the fact that it went on well into the night, unstructured, unsupervised, very unsuburbanish.

I wasn't overly sympathetic.

'I guarantee you that no-one in Alex is sitting round their coffee tables, moaning about the chaos from the Nike Jozi Run' I said.  'First, I guarantee this because women in Alex don't meet for coffee every morning, but also because they welcomed us with an extraordinary community spirit.

The Gay Pride Parade went through Joburg's Northern Suburbs.  Wide tree lined streets, upmarket shops on either side, enormous homes behind electric fences.  The beautiful Zoo lake nearby.

Jozi Run went through Alexandra Township.  Hawkers, some sewerage, shacks, and thousands of unsupervised children. Dusty soccer fields nearby.

Both were brilliant events, both had supporters and spectators lining the streets.  Amazing vibes.

But the northern suburbs people are up in arms.  Oh gosh golly me the lack of respect and disorganisation, the loud music, the mess oh dear me oh my the mess darling the mess.

Odd hey.  Because in Alex today, while they still pick up the garbage, of which there was tons,  people are smiling.  No-one is calling us a bunch of unruly runners, even though many of us were.

The poorest of the poor, the people with nothing, welcomed us.  And we were disruptive. And chaotic.  We all threw our empty coke cups and water plastic thingies on the road.  We made a noise, we oohed and aahed, we hugged children that we did not know.

I disrupted families in their shacks to take pics, I got in the way of  hawkers, I even ate a banana without paying for it.

There were no issues. People were delighted to have us in their township.

Not so much here, All around the suburbs people  are writing letters to the organisers to say something has to shift.

And I think this is odd.   I'm trying to get my head around it.

The poor, who have nothing, welcome.  The rich, who have everything, do not.

I know that I would do the Alex run again.  Once my legs are not so stiff and I've recovered from the heatstroke.  I will also support the Gay Paraders, and any big event that takes place in my area.  It's all about community.

Now I just gotta find the man I stole the banana from.  But I have a feeling he'll forgive me.

Views: 159

Comment by Taryn Jones on October 9, 2012 at 13:47

I agree.. I ran the Jozi run on Sunday and the warm welcome and greta support we received from the Alex dwellers was truly touching. I was at one point struggling to carry on, when a little boy approached me, gave me a shove and said "Come on, don't give up, keep going" That truly touched me.. Those tea drinking moaners should go spend an afternoon in Alex before moaning about noise and pollution.. Great topic for discussion, thank you.

Comment by Shaamila Cassim on October 9, 2012 at 16:56

If they ever do a Jozi Stroll, Im in!

Comment by sandi caganoff savadier on October 9, 2012 at 17:29

perhaps we can organise a Neofundi Shoe Shop Run...

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