Monthly Archives: October 2015

How Nelson Mandela’s Dream Lives On

nelson-mandelaSome people say that Nelson Mandela single-handedly changed the course of history.  Others refuse to think of him as anything less than a saint – a revolutionary man who led a group of desperately oppressed people through numerous bouts of civil turmoil. Either way you look at it, Nelson Mandela is an impressive human being whose dream still lives on in the minds and hearts of those who agree with his enlightened views.

Who Was Nelson Mandela?

For starters, the man was a philanthropist and a genius.  After all, his political positions on controversial civil rights issues lead him to become a beacon of hope for an entire nation of people.  Although he was threatened by numerous sources and ultimately jailed for 27 years, his legendary commitment to the fundamental rights of man ultimately made him a modern day martyr.

Mandela was eventually elected as the first black president of South Africa.  Although he passed away at the age of 95, his name is synonymous with undying courage today.  In fact, Nelson Mandela is recorded as saying, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”  Indeed, it was encouraging words like those which ultimately made Mandela’s dream of racial equality an international concern.

How Mandela Made the Impossible a Reality

In a time when establishing racial equality seemed like an impossible task, there was Mandela.  His inspirational words still ring true to this day, resonating in the consciousness of the entire planet.  “It always seems impossible until it’s done,” he would say.  While the nay-sayers and skeptics were constantly waiting for him to fail at his mission to free his people from the chains of apartheid, Nelson Mandela achieved what so many before him had said could never be accomplished.

How Nelson Mandela’s Dream Lives On

Nelson Mandela was such a successful world leader because he believed in the power of the educated and enlightened mind, and because he made sure to share that opinion with the world.  Despite the fact that he was imprisoned and persecuted for his views, he never gave up on his mission.  He never stopped believing that he had the power to change the world, and so he did.  It is that steadfast attitude which allowed him to not only make drastic positive changes but to also inspire future generations to do the same when the time came.  Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  He was right on such a fundamental level, as can be seen in the modern world today.  It is obvious that his dream lives on through those words alone, especially when one considers how successful non-violent, well-organized movements have been in recent years.  Nelson Mandela may no longer be alive, but in the right hands his dreams will most likely live on for eternity.

How Coffee Culture Took Over South Africa

coffee-cultureSouth Africans love coffee and they now drink more of it than they ever have before. Coffee culture started to boom in the nation quite recently, in 2012, and it continues to be a significant trend.

Today, South Africans love visiting coffee shops, although Starbucks aren’t found on every block like they are in North America! They also love preparing coffee at home.

Now, let’s talk in greater depth about how coffee culture took over South Africa…

What Caused the Coffee “Boom”

It’s believed that the rise of South African coffee culture is linked with the emergence of boutique roasting companies. Since coffee being produced in the country and imported from other nations is of a higher caliber than in years past, it is perhaps more enticing to South African clients.

As well, more choices are out there in terms of coffee machines, coffee grinders, coffee pods, coffee beans and ground coffee. This opens up a world of choices for even the pickiest South African coffee drinkers. Basically, global trends in artisan coffee production hit South Africa before 2012 and coffee shops started opening up in order to meet increased customer demand.

Statistics show that four times as many coffee shops existed in 2012 in South Africa than were present in 2007. This is a huge change. Most South Africans prefer independently-owned coffee shops with character and uniqueness and this is why Starbucks hasn’t made an aggressive foray into the country.

While Starbucks coffees are available for home usage, Starbucks coffee shops are in short supply and there’s no reason to anticipate any change in the future. VIPs at Starbucks understand that South African coffee fans want to support local coffee shops as a rule, so they hold back from building their coffee shops in the country.

The desire of South Africans to support independent coffee shops is admirable. It’s all about supporting local entrepreneurs. This aspect of South African coffee culture is an important one, as citizens of many other countries tend to go for convenience and low price, rather than paying a bit more for artisan coffee from independent coffee shops.

Coffee shops of all types are found in South Africa, including the popular Bean There coffeehouse, which features minimalist décor and tasty brews, as well as the fun and unique Shift Espresso coffeehouse, which allows visitors to dream up their own specialty coffees, by offering an array of ingredient choices, from Oreo cookies to condensed milk and beyond.

If you’re planning a trip to South Africa, be sure to enjoy many cups of coffee from independent coffee shops while you’re there. When you do so, you’ll love the taste and you’ll also be exploring one of the nation’s hottest trends.