What you need to know:
- Tranquil. The peaceful beach side, therapeutic sea, alluring nature and fast cars made the adventure surreal. Edgar R. Batte writes about his experience in Port Elizabeth South Africa.
I woke up to Jessie, Joshua Kardison’s 1993 classic song on my mind on Monday morning as my eyes opened to picturesque and gushy Indian Ocean waves.
The winds were so strong that the palm tree branches seemed to be at their weakest. Somewhere on the green stretch, stood a dry and bent tree looking almost extinct.
Just like the wind, the vehicles plying the road next to Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth, South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province, were speeding. From my camera viewpoint, the cars were easy targets for photography punning.
I cannot forget to emphasise that waking up by the seaside is therapeutic. I could only distract myself by occasionally blinking, momentarily letting the mind partake in the visualisation of peace in its actuality.
When I opened my eyes, I could not miss a man and his dog friends crossing the road from The Marine Hotel, Southern Sun onto the beach stretch on an early morning exercise session.
Excitedly wagging their tails and looking back at their owner, the two domesticated animals seemed in high spirits.
It was a good day to be alive and be guided by their amiable owner who, as I looked and zoomed through a 500-millimetre lens, seemed warm-hearted. He shared his smile with others that were either walking or jogging along Pollock.
In that smile, he connected with strangers whose curiosity and attention had been drawn to the inaudible friendliness of the dogs through their animated reaction every time their master slowed down to say a quick hello. They continued with their exercise.
Indeed, there was an unspoken fact, one that fostered the unbound connection that is Ubuntu, which goes beyond religion, race, and defined boundaries. Funny how the mind can see through and beyond moments.
Cruising the good roads
And by the way, Jessie’s request to Kardison, in the song, was to get his stuff together, take Moses, the cat, and drive real fast. Speaking of speed, South Africans are fast drivers which by the look of their state of roads, is a temptation fed by their cars which are new and averagely big brands, at least from the many I saw in Sandton, Gauteng, and Eastern Cape.
The penalties for driving an old car must be heavy in the rainbow nation because they are a rare sighting. Traffic jam did not seem an inconvenience to your writer because he has enough time to admire (read do maalo) and gape at sleek machines of models, as latest as 2022.
The perks of a third world citizen having an experience in a first world country. To add butter to bread, Mercedes Benz were flagship sponsors of the annual two-day DStv Delicious Food and Music Festival at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. Here, they provided one of their latest releases, the Mercedes C-Class to chauffeur guests. Well, comfort must be the default language and expertise of their anchoring major because sitting in their cars made me wish the driver did not step on the brake pedal and shift into the parking gear.
The stability and the interior were generously portioned. Anyway, like Biggie Smalls would have it, it seemed like all a dream- short and sweet but only that one was worth holding onto.
But, it was no dream when I walked to the beach in the afternoon for an up-close marvel at the surf riders, an adrenaline rush that looks sporty and worthwhile as those with a knack for adventure go all out on an enjoyment spree riding heavy waves like they were skating on tarmac.
And that hour, I could do with Billy Ocean’s Suddenly because life made meaning to me. There was beauty our daily life never lets us take notice of. And next morning, I woke up suddenly, and I was in love with nature’s splendour, again!
Mother of two boys, Kitaka is a nurse working in the UK.
Kitaka is the winner of African Women in Europe Humanitarian Achievers’ Award.
She is a registered member of Amnesty International, health activists, an independent community worker, TV, radio and events host.