Derek van Dam, eNCA's (DStv 403) weather man who got engaged on Sunday evening to Tara Hossack and who is now leaving eNCA and South Africa after 6 and a half years, today penned a moving open letter, talking about "the start of a fresh adventure" and "the slow closure of my greatest life chapter thus far".
Here is Derek van Dam's open letter he wrote today, to South Africa, in full:
To the People of South Africa,
It is with mixed emotions that I write this letter to you this afternoon. Today is the start of a fresh adventure for my new fiancé and I. Today also marks the slow closure of my greatest life chapter thus far.
You have welcomed me into your homes for nearly 6 ½ years and I will be forever grateful that you entrusted me with that privilege.
I have accepted a position at CNN International based in the United States and, along with my fiancé, will be making the "big move" to the other side of the pond.
It breaks my heart to finally have to say those words to you, but I couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds.
The memories I have made in this country have been endless.
I can't thank you enough for opening your arms and embracing me as one of your own. What an honour!
Most importantly, thank you for blessing me with the finest woman this country has to offer. I am truly lucky to say that I will marry the woman of my dreams. And to think, I only had to travel across the world to find her!
I don't intend to turn this memo into a political message, but since I have your attention I want to say a few things.
I have been in South Africa for 2 general elections. I have seen your democracy flourish and I have witnessed a country bounding with endless opportunities.
Above all, your strength lies in your unity as a nation and I challenge every one of you to maintain this forward momentum; to see past your difficult history and to focus on building a country free from racism, corruption, crime and hatred.
It is so difficult for me to leave this country of which I have grown to love.
But as my mother always taught me, "don't be sad that it's over, be happy that it happened." This is not a "goodbye" South Africa; it's a "see you later.” Oh yeah, and "have a good one!"
Yours in Good Weather and Bad,
Derek Van Dam