Thursday, 18 October 2007

Patriotism Spurred On By World Cup Final

It is interesting to see the incredible effect sport has to unite the nation. With the rugby World Cup final happening on Saturday between South Africa and England there is that euphoric feeling in the country that seems to invade our collective consciousness whenever our national sports team achieve.

I have listened intently as people from all socio-economic and racial groups have called into radio stations pledging support for the Springbok team. One old lady from Soweto called into Talk Radio 702 and spoke of how she has come to love the game during this World Cup and how she would be sitting in front on her television on Saturday evening.

If you would like some ideas of how to give support to the team make sure you stop in at my good friend Eish's blog. He has a post entitled "10 Ways To Show Your Support To The Bokke" - well worth a visit!

What concerns and frustrates me is how all and sundry are so patriotic due to the successes of the national rugby team but when Monday comes and we are faced once more with the stark realities of living in a country with so many challenges, will those who sang "Let us live and strive for freedom" be willing to knuckle down to building the country together?

I remember fondly the incredible sense of nation-building after South Africa won the Rugby World Cup on home soil in 1995. However that was one year into a new democratic dispensation and in a sense, with the eyes of the world focused on the miracle of transformation in our country, it was easier to be totally engaged in the euphoria. 13 years on and we continue to struggle to shake the shackles our past - how easy will it be now to make this World Cup a vehicle of nation-building?

Let's join together and give unequivocal support to our boys for the Final and lets enjoy putting aside the challenges we face daily in our beautiful country. Let's not however forget the fact that there is a reality to face when the final spectator has left the stadium and the final beer is drunk in celebration or disappointment. Each of us has a role to play in nation-building - we cannot expect the success or failure of national sports teams to determine the state of our national psyche over an extended period.


Andre said...

The points you raise are all valid, and patriotism and a feeling of unity is something that needs to be fostered in SA - yet the RWC victory means nothing in the face of the crime crisis facing this country. After we win, people will still be raped and murdered. It is quite likely that people will get murdered, raped or robbed during the game.

In the below post I call on the Bokke to Boycott the game in lieu of Lucky Dube's murder. I would as that you post this link as post's content is important.


Andre said...