Khaya Dlanga

The end is nigh

2010-07-06 13:00

We have done in 16 years what no nation in the world has ever done. We hosted the Rugby World Cup, The Cricket World Cup and the Soccer World Cup. Bearing in mind that there are many other events I haven’t included. Somehow, despite the doubters we pulled all three off. If someone ever says that there is something that this country can’t do I’ll show you a liar. This has been unprecedented.

Next stop: the Olympic Games anyone? Soon we will be looking for something else to do to gain our sense of purpose again.

You can almost sense the impending gloom on the streets as the World Cup comes to an end. Occasionally the grey winter skies accompany the looming depression. What shall we do now that what we’ve been looking forward for years has come to pass? The year before it all began we sat around, waiting for it as child does for Christmas day – with restless patience. We believed we could do it but not without lingering doubts at the back of our minds. “What if we don’t do a great job,” we thought. Maybe we were not doubtful at all, maybe we were nervous.

Even days before the 11th day of June, people were still walking around and asking each other, “Are you looking forward to 2010?” as if January 1 didn’t mark the beginning of the year. For many, 2010 was still a pipe dream. Only when crowds poured inside Soccer City and the jets flew over on opening match day, did they know that the year had started.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we start calling the year after the World Cup year 1 AWC (year 1 after the World Cup). Much like the Romans started counting the years after Jesus. This is our AD.

The rest of the world, however, will see the world from a different perspective. For it, the year 2011 will be year 1 AV (year 1 after the Vuvuzela). Yes, the Vuvuzela; South Africa’s greatest made in China export.

But we cannot continue going from one event to another. Our sense of purpose should not be about creating one spectacle after another to prove to it how good we are. One common, clear purpose needs to be realised. We have proved to the world that we can do whatever it is that we set our minds to. If they doubted us then, they do not doubt us now. We are the doubters.

It’s time for us South Africans not to just know it but to believe in ourselves as a nation and a people. Maybe this was the last hurdle we needed to jump over as a nation in order for us to remove all the insecurities that seem to hold us back unnecessarily.

Our soccer team may not have done well, being denied a certain win in the last minute may have disappointed the Black Stars but rules are rules whether we like them or not. At least now we know that African teams can advance far. Even the seemingly indestructible Germans had to fight hard against Ghana, yet they completely humiliated Argentina, the golden child of the World Cup. Our day is coming.

The end is here. Yet is not the end. It is the beginning of the beginning for South Africa. All that needs to happen now is that we have to get rid of thinking small as a nation and as individuals. Let us rid ourselves of small mindedness and bickering and become great. Greatness requires that we become great in our individual areas and small pockets we find ourselves in.

Now we have to know that nothing is unthinkable, and that which is thinkable is doable and that which is doable will be done.

South Africa, the beginning is nigh.

- Follow Khaya on Twitter.

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