• Joanna

I'm Going to Get Shot

Updated: Oct 16, 2021

This is how most of my conversations go...

I begin by saying, simply, "I'm going to Africa."

In most circumstances, this is followed by a certain degree of metaphorical applause for my bravery and genuine enthusiasm in regards to my upcoming adventure...

...until they discover that I'm going alone.


Then I'm suddenly 'going to die.'

People then tend to cock their heads to one side, a slight perplexed look on their faces... and then they ask me 'where in Africa' I'm going... although I highly doubt that this matters, as I've come to realize that most people just group the entire continent together in to one highly dangerous, unstable, stay-away-able category.

Once I've finished my well oiled spiel of my upcoming endeavours & detailed itinerary, it is normally followed with one of the following.

You're going to get shot.


You're going to get raped. 


You're going to get kidnapped.


And more often than not, it does not end there

Apparently on my rapidly approaching expedition, I should expect to be shot for my shoes. Close range.

They will see that I have rings on and they will stab me. They will kill me for my phone.

No witnesses.


I am a single white female, traveling alone... I will be followed, cased out, beaten up, stripped of everything I own and then left in a back alley for dead.

One customer from my part time job at the pub actually phoned me during my shift to give me the latest report on gender-related killing of women.

Femicide.

The UN agency states that "the conventional understanding conveys the idea that hate crimes against women are perpetrated by men imply because of the gender roles assigned to women."

2,930 adult women were murdered in 2017/18 and I was made acutely aware that a woman was murdered every 4 hours in South Africa.

I have been inundated with newspaper articles warning me of the dangers of South Africa. I have had friends strongly encouraging me to give up this trip.

Reconsider options.

I have had strangers tell me that I am crazy for even considering such an ordeal. High level of crime... violent crime... muggings, rape, murder, armed assult, theft - all frequent in areas that are popular amongst tourists.

I laughed off the cautionary, disregarded the warnings, discredited the facts, brushed off the advisories and remained ever determined in my endeavour.

Ok...

At one point, I have to admit it... I panicked.

Somewhat...


Defeated. I decided to change every single one of my plans. Every. Single. One.

Noting brings down the excitement of ideal holiday preparation like the horror of violent rape.

... and potential murder.


I got home... took a load off... poured myself a glass of wine... sat my fat ass down on the couch... opened up my computer... and readied myself to tackle the hassle of vacation altercations.

Then...

I changed my mind.


Fuck it. I'm going. I'm going exactly how I planned it.

Going. To. Fucking. Africa.

Alone.


I decided to persist with this feast of high risk, violent crime, code red and potentially blood stained lunacy...

Brave?


Am I brave?


Nope. A little dumb, maybe.

So regardless, I’m off to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe and let the chips fall where they may.

If I get shot over my stinky size 10's, well won't that be an interesting story to tell...

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