I wanted to write this to you and tell you how thankful I am that I finally met you.
When we first interacted in the middle of this year I didn’t think that we would be chatting daily. After tagging you incorrectly on my natural hair page (AfroHealthSA) you corrected me but then still went on to follow the page. Soon after that you followed my private account and as I usually do, I followed back. A few weeks later you sent me a direct message and asked if you could do a post about me on your website.
As we chatted through emails I found that you were a nice human being. My gut told me that you were genuine and when you mentioned your desire to come to South Africa I gave you my number and told you to send me a message if you didn’t think I was too weird. I kind of expected you to just say thank you and never make use of my number, but I soon found out that you were actually happy to have it.
Two weeks later we were talking every day for most of the day on WhatsApp about our normal lives. Very soon after that came the tagging on Instagram every time we saw a funny picture or a lovely quote. We discovered that we had a similar sense of humor and it became effortless to talk about all things under the sun. We went from being acquaintances on social media to becoming great friends online.
As we continued to talk you would bring up South Africa more and ask about what I thought of certain places. Being that I am a local and you are from Tanzania I was able to recommend you about the logistics visiting certain sites. I must say though, my first and then recurring thought was that you were absolutely crazy. Who visits a country where the only point of reference is a stranger that they met online? What if I was a serial killer who preys on Instagram girls?
After many mails about accommodation and transport details you were booked and ready for your travels. We had arranged that I was to meet you the day after your arrival when you had finished a hot air balloon sunrise experience. I drove to the venue at the approximate time that you had advised me to arrive and waited in my car. I sent up a prayer hoping that this wasn’t an elaborate plan to try and kidnap me and sell me on the black market and then sent you a message that I had arrived.
What followed was a day at the Harties Zoo and then a drive to Sandton to find your accommodation. After a bit of a mishap and location changes we managed to book you in and went for supper and drinks where we met up with a few of my closest friends. You spent a few more days in the area and managed to make friends everywhere that you went with such ease and grace that I was in awe.
To this day I haven’t really told you how that experience changed my life. I doubt that I will be meeting any new friends in the same way but rest assured that I am not completely closed off to the idea. I am so lucky to have made such a good friend and for that I will always thank that you slid into my DM’s.
Written by Hulisani Khorombi, Staff Writer, #mygirlsquad