clock November 25, 2021
author Chris Sopa

Don’t Be Kok, Be Lekker!

Traveling Psychologist Blog
Date: November 23, 2021
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

At the top of Lion’s Head during a morning hike.

Nat, one of the many friends I met here in Cape Town, taught me a phrase used by the locals… “don’t be kok, be lekker!” To translate for the non-Capetonians, “kok” refers to something bad, not good, displeasing. “Lekker” are those things that are good, preferred, and likable.

I have been in Cape Town now for 2 ½ weeks and have experienced SO many amazing things and met some fantastic people. I believe we all need to experience different cultures and people to not only appreciate what we have and how we live, but to open our minds to new ways of being.

Let’s face it, the United States has become a very polarized country in the last couple of years and to say that I am not proud of how Americans have behaved is an understatement.  Does every country have their issues, of course. But as I sit here in Cape Town, I notice young people working behind counters actually doing their job well and not sitting around on their phones; I see people wearing their masks in public and in stores not complaining about it; I see people taking care of each other by offering the homeless their “take away” from the meal they just had at the local restaurant; I witness the people preserving water and electricity by participating in load shedding and being vigilant about their water consumption… I see community and people caring about more than just themselves!

The Scone Shack…a local coffee shop that offers a home to stray farm animals, dogs, cats, etc. Nothing like having coffee with a pig roaming at your feet! 🙂

Cape Town offers amazing views and the best wine I have ever tasted, but beyond that it offers me hope for humanity. Hope that we will one day remember that we are all in this together and that the only way we are all going to make it is if we see beyond our skin color, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and religious views. To truly be “lekker” we need to see the human in each other again and treat each and every person as if they are our brother and sister.

My new friend Nazreen and I after we made 15 dozen chocolate chip cookies (My Mom’s secret recipe!) for the St. Anne’s local orphanage.

How will you be lekker today?

Dr. Chris