I have often heard members of our white minority complaining about crime, expressing the desire to leave a country that is “going backwards”. I have never felt that way.

I grew up in a diverse home where racism was non-existent. I grew up playing in soccer academies in areas where I often saw no other white people.

Never have I experienced a crime in my household nor have I been personally victimised. I lived my life in a free South Africa, unlike those who claimed that, if they lived abroad, their “children could ride their bikes outside and walk to school”. Growing up, I played in my neighbourhood park, in Orange Grove. I walked to school with my helper every day.

“I grew up in a diverse home where racism was non-existent.”

Luca sliceIn my mother’s opinion, it was always about your attitude to crime.

If you wanted to be negative then bad things would happen to you.

However last week Wednesday, while covering a soccer game, I was mugged. I was approached by two men who took my phone and threatened me physically. I was distraught.

When they walked up to me, I had no foresight of what would happen next. I was not scared, I was just ready to get home and finish my work. I did not expect to be mugged.

Friends have since suggested that I take precautionary measures for the future: perhaps buy pepper spray or a knife to protect myself. I thought deeply about this and remembered my mother’s words. I decided not to buy either of these items because, if I do, I fear that I will constantly find reasons to use them.

I made the decision that those two men will not change my attitude towards the country I hold so dear to my heart.

I will not become a racist because of two people who committed a crime.

I will not live in fear in the streets I call my own because of two individuals. I still love my beautiful country, but I will learn to be more cautious, because not everyone is a good person.

I am lucky that I was not physically harmed, and I understand the situation could have been vastly different. But crime happens all over the world.

I still live with hope that one day, my children will have the same childhood that I had and will experience the freedom I experienced and the simple pleasure of being able to walk in their neighbourhood without fear in their hearts.