I am glad to write to you again after our meeting at the BRICS Summit (I was the small guy of the four of us, in case you don't remember me). The reason for this letter is that it pains me to see you struggle lately with your people, especially considering this World Cup you have coming up. We read stories in our newspapers here about your people protesting in the streets and killing the referees who killed the players and things like that.
Very unfortunate news.
With this letter I would like to help you get back on the right path so that you will not miss out on the greatest event of your life. Therefore read it carefully and you may find some kind words of wisdom to consider before it is too late.
You see, back in 2010, I myself had the opportunity to host this marvellous event.
We (my people and I) started some years earlier with all the planning and building and marketing and so on and so forth. It was us and the guys from FIFA, you know mos Sepp and Jerome and all those guys. They came here many times and helped us. Hai, that was a lekker time, I can recall it like it was yesterday (lekker means 'fun', my portuguese comrade!).
We had these football Fridays where my people wore Bafana shirts to work (Bafana Bafana are my boys!), and there was even a pretty girl that made a song for us. It was like organizing a BIIIIG party. Waka Waka was the song. I sometimes still dance to it. Ah, those were the days my friend!
But you see Brazil, it wasn't fun ALL the time. My people, just like your people, have this way of misbehaving sometimes. Sometimes they become angry with each other and then they just cause trouble! Eish, these kids made me grey in that time! The trouble started when some thought they weren't getting paid enough for building my stadiums. And then they started striking.
It got so bad that Jerome and them started saying things like maybe they should start looking at other places because the building of my stadiums weren't progressing according to schedule. And some of my people started saying things like we are just wasting money, and we are going to be left with white elephants afterwards and things like that. And some of the naughty ones even started getting rich unfairly from some of the stadiums that we had to pay so much for to build. And my people are always accused of being criminals, even when they behave themselves.
There were stories spread to our guests in their newspapers about how we are killing each other in the streets with pangas and how they will get robbed sommer by the flight attendant on SAA before they even touch down at O.R. Tambo. So you see, we had our share of problems to deal with.
But somehow we got to that day that the first game kicked off. The night before there were some concerts where my people sang and even that pretty girl sang that song Waka Waka and we had a lot of fun. It was so good, Brazil, so good. And then the day came when my Boys played against the Mexicans. It was the first match. I'll tell you, I am not a softie, but I had a tear in my eye when my boy Siphiwe Tshabalala kicked that first goal. It was a goal we've been waiting for for years! My people rejoiced like you have never seen before. In pubs and taverns and sitting rooms and parks and anywhere where there was a TV. They rejoiced and shouted and hugged each other and blew their vuvuzelas. And that's how the party started, and what a party it was!
But let me tell you about my people. My people like to argue. They argue just like children. And they argue all the time. Most of my people are black, some are white, some are coloured and some of my people are Indian as well. Some of my people are not even originally from my family but they came to visit from my extended family, my cousins Zimbabwe, Malawi, Nigeria and so on, and they decided to stay here with their Uncle. So they stay with me now. It's in our culture you see, we take care of each other. But all of them, they always fight.
The whites fight with the blacks and the blacks with the whites.
And occasionally the coloured ones join in. My Indian people, God bless them, they don't give me so much trouble. These people of mine, they will fight about anything, just like children. And they will always accuse each other of breaking a gate. Always a gate. Guptagate, Nkandlagate and many more gates that they are fighting about. Even if they are the same colour but speak a different language they fight.
To this day they fight. We have a guy here called Zuma, and a woman called Zille and this other guy called Malema, and this other lady called Mazibuko and yet some other guys called COSATU and even more guys called the Communists - so many people here who just don't get along. Even when they are a team like this Zuma guy is a team with the communists and the COSATUS, they still fight. And before they were here there was this Mbeki fella and a Buthelezi guy and also that same Zuma and Melama I wrote about earlier.
There were many before them, and when they leave there will be many after them. My people always fighting, and the their supporters fight along with them, occasionally even using violence. Before that World Cup they fought about salaries, houses, jobs, education, and again about the salaries and they sommer went on strike a couple of times, fighting all the time and about everything. Except when the World Cup came.
You see, when the World Cup came it all changed. For that one month everything changed. For some reason that World Cup brought all my people together. For that month, no one cared about the Zumas and the Zilles and the COSATUS. The white people learned to blow vuvuzelas and the black people cheered them on.
They all sat in those expensive stadiums or pubs or taverns, side by side cheering my Boys and all the other teams that came to visit. It was wonderful. Even the people in streets with the pangas stopped killing, the flight attendants didn't steal anything that we know of and the other naughty ones also behaved (but just for that month). There are some of my people who knew nothing about this football business, but they now know and cherish Siphiwe and that wonderful first goal.
A few may not know much about football but they'll tell you they hate that Suarez fella for what he did to our cousins from Ghana. And let me tell you; even though my people fight again today, they somehow get a twinkle in their eyes when they start talking about our World Cup. Most of them will tell you that those expensive stadiums that your people are rioting about Brazil, those stadiums are still worth the memories. Sometimes the good medicine is expensive, but it's worth it. Even if it just eases the pain for a month, it's worth it.
You know Brazil, since you are mos a Catholic, they say in heaven there is no fighting and no race or politics (but I hear there is also a gate, a pearly one) and people rejoice all the time. I think in heaven there must always be a World
Cup going on then.
May you listen to these words and consider them carefully.
Your comrade, South Africa.
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