Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

23 January 2014

South Africa: Davos 2014 - Selling South Africa

analysis

Being a South African abroad is a complicated thing. You don't necessarily have the confidence of an upper-class Brit, or the sheer swank that comes from being American. Nor do you have the manners (and the camera) of the Japanese, or the spring in your step that comes from taking over the world that the Chinese sometimes exhibit. Rather, we are a mix of different types of people, from different landscapes within our own country.

That means that when it comes to selling our country, we have both the disadvantages of having a complicated story to sell, and the advantages of being a nation of many people. But for those South Africans in Davos, being there together can in itself be a strange nation-building experience.

Writer's note: I am well aware of part of the controversy around a piece I wrote published on Monday, and Stuart Wilson's response. My twitter timeline literally exploded. Thankfully, I was at 30,000 feet at the time. As I am now in Davos, and am seeing things happening here, I thought I should write about these events, while covered in snow. Once I get back home, I fully intend to respond, in...

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