by oneafrikan on January 7, 2009
This came in via the email pipes today, seems to state the South African mentality pretty well…. cricket players would understand this best ;-)
What a day of contrasts. The early hours saw one previously unpopular South African; walking down the stairs of the SCG, to a standing ovation and bringing even the hardest SA fan close to tears of pride. That’s us isn’t it? That’s you and me, or at least visions of how we’d like to see ourselves, battered and bruised but defiant in the face of improbability.
I have this constant debate with my wife who fails to see the point of sport. We may not have an Obama to give us a speech that invokes in us strength to keep believing in the impossible, but even my wife sat transfixed this morning as a picture of a man striding down 20 steps said, without uttering a single word, to the rest of the world “try tell me that I can’t.”
Later in the same day headlines are made by another ex-South African who quits his role as England cricket captain after just 5 months at the helm. The odds were too tough to make it happen in South Africa, the greener grass of foreign pastures too alluring to resist. Without realising it KP, you represent so many others like you. You are not alone, there are many like you who figure the odds are stacked too high to make it happen here in South Africa and look for the easier option. But you forget one thing; you forget that dealing with adversity in life breeds strength and character. Having the chips stacked against you, only to believe in something enough to defy the odds to come through these things again, and again, and again… that’s something another coloured passport can not offer you.
Thank you Graeme Smith, you gave us the Obama moment that reminded us why we love being South African this much. We are in for one hell of a tough year this year with no promise of what the end result might be. The rest of the world keeps telling us that we are just another part of the crippled body of Africa with no hope and a one way ticket to failure. Seems like a pretty good time to go and bat then.
Hat tip to Dave Terbrugge, author unknown.