At some point or another, the nation needs to have a conversation with itself on how to address the manner in which debate is structured within our society. We have to seriously engage on the implications of pessimism at good news as well as our events-driven attitude. For strange reasons, we become angry, rightfully so at times, yet our anger is either misguided or tends to lack stamina.
To qualify this, we become vigorously enraged when the residents of Clifton try to block access to the beach such that, to offend them further, we bastardise our own cultural practices and spontaneously sacrifice a sheep. Yet we accept that in our own neighbourhoods it is okay for drugs to be peddled, shootings to occur and other socials ills to be our daily bread.
So, when the EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi forcefully feeds us vitriol with his tweet on the victory of Makazole Mapimpi and Faf de Klerk, we need to tell him to sit down. It is like this: with these young men, apartheid is a legacy that they were born into and which they have been unsuccessfully trying to shake off.
To Siya Kolisi, it is his lived reality that Zwide is where and what it is because of our past. He knows, but tries (pun intended) to do his part in changing things, that Emsengeni and other township schools are deteriorating – not under colonialism, but during democracy.
He must feel bad that it had to take years of hard work on his part for his father to experience jet lag this late in life. Mapimpi knows too well the hardships brought about by growing up in Chalumna (my bad, it is Tsholomnqa). He fully knows the victory was just an event, and within a week or two South Africa will go back to its normal mode.
But what Ndlozi probably missed is that history this time around was not only made. In fact, to say it was written by the victor is an understatement; our team, in unity, reduced the English to what they are, a team that was not fit enough for the Springboks.
When Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am navigated their way towards the touchline, the boys were taking back the indignity suffered by their forebears. They were spitting on the graves of those who classified their parents and grandparents as second-rate people of the world.
But we must equally tread with caution. Those who according to Ndlozi were only deserving of Harry’s handshake never wished for ours to be that which is trapped in a legacy characterised by their skin colour.
The problem with pseudo-revolutionaries like Ndlozi is that they hanker to have been born earlier, to have been part of the ’76 generation, or that which came before it. Their hypocrisy is so obvious it is not even funny: why does he embrace a colonial concept that his PhD is? Why does he converse in the Queen’s English and not his mother tongue? We can go on and ask whose pockets is his data lining, and as for the platform he trends on – what is African about it?
We should be celebrating this victory with clarity. We should be saying that Siya and the rest of the team should not be the exception that will soon fade, only to resurface five years from now. Excellence should be the rule. We must not wait for another boy or girl to be scouted from the dusty streets of our townships to get the best from affluent schools.
This victory should be forcing us to be angry and go to the streets and insist that the departments of Basic Education and Sport should re-open schools that are abandoned in the townships as sport/arts and culture academies.
We should be rallying behind calls that insist that every primary school in the township must have active sport squads competing against each other every weekend.
But most importantly, that SAFA and SARU should exchange notes on the Bafana question. DM
The Queen technically owns all of the swans in the Thames.