Vuvuzelas can break our shackles
THE MANY flags displayed everywhere for the World Cup in South Africa are much more than a simple reference to country of origin, prettying up a place or, in the case of businesses, homage to potential customers. They are also a reminder that the Global Village has a long way to go, and that there is more to life than obeying the latest dictates of the advertising industry.
The change in mood from the beginning of the year, when Malema, the non-presidency, parastatal rubbish and crime and corruption pushed up the tur nover in anti-depressants, antacids and ear muffs to record levels, is astonishing. Except for the occasional die-hard mutterings of “wait until after the World Cup” there is a fabulous vibe of satisfaction and pride at our achievement in making such a successful start to our World Cup.
Stories of happy visitors, reports of fabulous advertising films on international television and an overwhelming media focus on good happenings have put a smile on most faces.
But the most amazing thing for me has been the depth of patriotic sup- port shown by so many young folk. The vuvuzela-harmonised streets, stadiums and Fan Fest venues are full of them. The very people marginalised and disadvantaged by the new dispensations, and I include every population group, have suddenly found a reason to show their true colours. The amount of good will towards South Africa is a revelation.
Because in the Global Village, shopping malls and corner shops it is easy to forget that especially the young peo- ple need more than material things, need more than routines, for contentment. What has become very evident is that our World Cup has become a source of hope and inspiration. We know the world is looking at us, and we like what we are showing them. Our focus has changed from negative to positive.
Is it too much to hope that the mood continues, is nurtured and encouraged, for a lasting benefit for all? That patriotism is given a chance, with less talk and more action in all sorts of high places, with programmes actually benefiting everybody in the second-richest country in the world (by mineral resources), an inspiration for all, especially the young?
That emigration by graduates and the skilled, nearly all patriotic South Africans, is halted through a realistic offering of a less troubled future?
That this wonderful opportunity to break some of our self-imposed chains is taken? Because the flags and vuvuzelas show it is possible.