I often find myself avoiding political debates on social media. I am ill-equipt when it comes to discussing the state of our countrys affairs (and some of those “discussions” are pretty irrational – so thanks, but I’ll pass). To avoid looking like a straight up idiot I rather keep quiet and say a prayer. I pray because I am “made in South Africa” – so yes, I am concerned!
The recent uproar about our weak rugby team and the fact that we “don’t have what it takes” as a country to win the world cup messed me up though. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, South Africa had lost against Japan at a very important 2015 Rugby World Cup match and people were totally disgusted with our national sides performance. Look, let me not sugar coat things: I do not watch rugby, nor do I have an intense desire to. Whaaat? A couple of big looking guys, running around with a ball (and passing it to each other backwards, nogals), just does not make sense to me. And yes, we have bigger fish to fry than whether or not we win a sports game. But when it comes to big sporting events like, for example, the Rugby World Cup, then I am without a shadow of a doubt an extremely big Springbok fan! Whether they win or lose!
“Why?” You ask.
“You dislike rugby!” I hear you say.
“You can’t even name one player from the national rugby team!” You shout out in anguish. Just calm down, Margaret. Yes, these are all true facts. But even though I am not a rugby fan, I am definitely a fan of South Africa. And even though I can’t give you my opinion on the ‘Fees must fall’ debacle or the ‘Give back the land’ situation, it doesn’t change the fact that this is my country too!
I love South Africa. I love it with its over-zealous car guards, power outages, crazy politics and embarrassing politicians. I even love it with its “we’re a rainbow nation but also, we’re not, but also, we are” mentality. I love South Africa because it’s mine. The same like with my children. I mean, my kids sometimes drive me cray cray and Hubstopher and I often look at each other and ask “can we send them back?” but they are mine and I am theirs and so, by default, my heart belongs to them. And it is with this sense of belonging that I love my country. I was born here, my roots are here, it is the place of my heritage and the home of my forefathers.
What is UP with South Africans now a days? We are a bunch of extremely passionate people who either love fiercely or hate even more fiercelier (is that a word?). We shake our heads and post updates about how disappointing South Africa is. We speak DEATH over our country, by moaning and complaining and being negative. We bring up the past and demand everyone to feel the way we do and if you don’t then you’re either delusional or privileged. Well, I’m neither (thanks), but I refuse to speak curses over the land that my children will grow up in.
And then we wonder why things aren’t changing! Life and death is in the power of the tongue. Your words create! We need to start watching what we speak over our country – whether it be dissecting the state of the government or bad mouthing Piet The Coach because our national rugby team lost to a “weaker” team. (Okay, I don’t know what the rugby coach’s name is. Don’t judge me. Let’s move on, shall we?)
Sure, I don’t understand the complexity of the team selections and the politics behind the players or the fact that the government didn’t *insert number of miscellaneous offences here*. At the end of the day, none of the above makes me any less of a South African. South Africa is STILL a part of me, and me of it. And I will always want the best for this country.
So, call it patriotic.
I call it: Home.
I was made here. My label says Proudly South African. And not “Made in China”. En ek se dankie vir dit.