What will you tell your kids?

2010-01-19 08:18

BOY sees girl. Boy likes girl. He has

good intentions. Boy courts girl.

His life. His

achievements. His potential. His promise. These are the tools he has at his

disposal. But he is also faced with many unknowns.

Girl comes with

baggage. Girl has met other boys before. They too once promised and never

­delivered. Girl is cautious.

Eventually boy wins

girl over. They hook up and find a way to triumph ­together.

This is a scenario

that plays ­itself out countless times on our streets – though not always with

the same happy ending. This courtship process has some ­relevance but we’ll get

to that just now. Before we get into it, 2010 is finally here. The start of a

new decade.

Only 10 years ago,

we were worried about the Y2K bug and the end of the world.

Thabo Mbeki was the

darling of the nation in his first term as president of the republic.

Interestingly enough, he was voted Newsmaker of the Year by the Pretoria Press

Club that year. He was also awarded the Oliver ­Tambo/Johnny Makatini Freedom


Proteas captain

Hansie Cronje, Herschelle Gibbs, Nicky Boje and a couple of other cricketers

were accused of match fixing. Cronje was banned for life.

The Democratic

Alliance was born following an agreement ­between the Democratic Party and the

New National Party. Bafana Bafana held European Champions France to a 0–0 draw

in the Nelson Mandela Challenge.

The last 10 years

have been ­historic; full of challenges and ­triumphs for South Africa and the

world. The tsunami devastated families worldwide. We all watched stunned as

planes flew into the World Trade Center in New York. Mbeki won a second term as

president and was later “recalled”. President Jacob Zuma was relieved of his

post as deputy president. Tsotsi won an Academy Award. Reality television took


Cronje, Steve

Tshwete, Brenda Fassie, Dullah Omar, Sello Duiker, Tsakani “TK” Mhinga, Lebo

Mathosa, Miriam Makeba, Lucky Dube, Es’kia Mphahlele, and John Matshikiza passed


In July 2000, with

the nation committed, South Africa lost out in its quest to host the first Fifa

Soccer World Cup amid much controversy.

Like boy and girl,

South ­Africa went through a challenging and hard courtship process. Fifa, with

its experience and ­baggage, liked South Africa but wasn’t sure.

The last six years

have been uncertain with the Gautrain and the building of stadiums and ­other

preparations for the World Cup. At some stage, there was talk of Australia being

Plan B.

But now the time is

here. All the theorising, the speculation, the planning shall come to an end and

the real work shall have to be done.

Come July 2010, the

World Cup will come to an end and we will have to figure out what our lives are


Now is probably the

time to plan for your life over the next six months and beyond, taking into

consideration the World Cup. It brings with it excitement and optimism but, at

the same time, we are faced with some ­serious challenges.

While the recession

is supposed to be abating, the gap ­between the rich and the poor continues to

grow while those of us in the middle flap our arms to slow down the sinking.

The beginning of

the year for me is always about planning and building on the foundation I laid

in the year before. I revisit choices and decisions to determine whether I am

still on the right path or whether I need to change direction.

My life at the turn

of the century was very different. I was single, living the life of an artist in

Yeoville, chasing my dreams with my whole being. Today I continue to chase those

dreams but with a family to look after. I need to temper realisable fantasy with


Let us approach

this new year and new decade with open minds and hearts. Let us build lives we

can be proud of. A motto I live by is more a question: what will you tell your

children when they ask you? Will you make excuses for what you didn’t do or tell

them stories of what you did?

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