Ideas and the End of Monoculture

2016-02-05 12:13

Continuing from last year, the darkness continue to worsen in the country. The bill for our years of national misbehaving has come due. As the world watches, South Africa is spinning and dizzying racing in fast speed to the edge of that jagged precipice of junk statuses.

We, all of us, are implicated—to one degree or another—in this tragedy of a country being driven into deeper hopelessness. Our land risks being embezzled into extinction or thrown into the bowels of history as one of the most tragic of comic disappointments in African political chronicles.

South Africans, including those one expect to know better, are trapped in a conceptual political mindset in which there is a dangerous belief that only one political party, by extension, one path — exist in the South African space. That party being the African National Congress.

You will have a hard time nudging South Africans to release themselves from this monoculture entrapment and enslavement.

What makes our football to be the most competitive and the wealthiest in the continent? The reason why football in this country is healthy, vibrant and sufficiently supported (financially and stadium attendance) is mostly because of Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.  These teams are the essence of South African football, not only football but the way of life to millions and millions of South Africans.

Kaizer Chiefs was formed by Kaizer Motaung at the age of 26. Before then Kaizer Motaung played for Orlando Pirates. He was a dangerous striker at Orlando Pirates, very comfortable at receiving the ball and running past a multiple players, making him very dangerous for a slow defence.

As a powerful striker he won considerable following among Orlando Pirates supporters. With that massive following Kaizer Motaung started to become bigger than Orlando Pirates itself. And people remarks that he soon started to think and act as if he is bigger than Orlando Pirates.

So Kaizer Motaung was expelled from Orlando Pirates (sought of).  He then formed his own political party, sorry, I mean to say football club, and called it Kaizer Chiefs.

The way Orlando Pirates was so big, Kaizer Motaung must have been told that "it is cold outside Orlando Pirates".  Despite early setbacks, personal attacks and personal smears Kaizer Motaung soldiered on and succeeded in  building Kaizer Chiefs, bringing in a high number of young quality players like Elikim Khumalo (Doctor Khumalo's father) into Kaizer Chiefs.

Kaizer Chiefs was actually a club of young people.The old people continued supporting Orlando Pirates but the young people supported the colourful radical Kaizer Chiefs. This was the time when the term  Ezimnyama Ngenkani came into being. It was old people who were saying: As for me I am staying with Orlando Pirates ngenkani, this is the club of my ancestors.

It was good that Kaizer Motaung nurtured Kaizer Chiefs to be on the same level with the giant Mighty Bucs, as Orlando Pirates is known.

Billionaire Patrice Motsepe further taken football in this country to greater heights. Patrice Motsepe adopted Mamelodi Sundowns into a fledging soccer giant - turning it into a vibrant vital third force in the South African soccer.

It was good that Patrice Motsepe rolled out billions of rands in lifting Mamelodi Sundowns to become a giant on the level of Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

When these clubs play each other the results are highly unpredictable. Before the game starts the nation is edgy, tense and anxious - not knowing who is going to win, winning is not a foregone conclusion. (And let me insert this that winning elections should also not be a foregone conclusion). No team among these three soccer giants can claim to be dominant over the others. So they don't take their fans and supporters for granted. And that makes them to work hard in pleasing their supporters by playing great football.

This should be a powerful metaphor to carry into our political sphere. Currently our politics are such that you have one dominating political party that takes its people for granted.

So there you have the ideas; there are three giants of South Africa's football: Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates competing on the same level - making it healthy and good. This should be replicated into our politics.

What am I suggesting? I say let us go beyond this facile notion that we must choose only one political party during elections thus promoting monoculture in this country. Let us make our politics reflect what is great in us, and not what is bad?

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