Seize ‘Thuma Mina’ moments
oon after he was announced as president, Cyril Ramaphosa uttered his now well-known “Thuma Mina” statement. The statement was derived from Hugh Masekela’s song with the same title, translated to mean “Send Me.”
The message was clear – a call for an active citizenry where people would make positive contributions to the welfare of their country. It is a similar message to that uttered by the late John F Kennedy in his inaugural address as the President of the United States of America in 1960: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Our country is on a tightrope. Crime levels are horrific, unemployment rates are sky-high, the economy is not doing well (to put it mildly) and politics are often downright dirty with much focus on race-baiting and the resultant sowing of the seeds of division.
What we can do is take to social media and moan. Indeed, some of us do this very well, but what does it accomplish? About the same as burning buildings, trucks and equipment. It does not create jobs, it does not bring about development or change, it
Sdoes not resolve issues and it certainly does not build a prosperous country. Both actions might make you feel better for an hour or so, but that’s about it.
We need to find better ways to build – not break down – this country. That includes reaching out to one another and making things work.
There are a myriad of ways we can all make a difference - not littering, not illegally dumping refuse, keeping livestock off the roads (if you have any), keeping your pavement clean, paying your municipal account (and yes, then holding the local authority accountable for how money is spent, but in a legal way), refusing to buy stolen goods and to harbour criminals, joining an organisation or a charity that does good (or starting your own), helping to educate children or helping to start shelters for the homeless. . . There are enough “Thuma Mina” moments out there to keep us all busy for a lifetime.
The result? A country that works together with an end result of success, prosperity and growth.
There should be enough people interested in doing that – possibly more than the ones intent on goals which are not in the best interests of SA.