Avatar photo

By Kekeletso Nakeli

Columnist


A nation united through sport, not politics

The Springboks' World Cup win highlights the power of sport to unite a nation.


The Springboks have again won the World Cup and the country celebrated with the Bokke. I will admit that I do not understand the sport but, like most people, it may not be the sport that was being supported but rather the nation being brought together by sport – yet again. It was on the field that South Africans again sang the national anthem with pride. Once again, it was at the end that the political elite rose to the occasion, when the hard work of uniting the country was done outside of political office. If there is anything I…

Subscribe to continue reading this article
and support trusted South African journalism

Access PREMIUM news, competitions
and exclusive benefits

SUBSCRIBE
Already a member? SIGN IN HERE

The Springboks have again won the World Cup and the country celebrated with the Bokke.

I will admit that I do not understand the sport but, like most people, it may not be the sport that was being supported but rather the nation being brought together by sport – yet again. It was on the field that South Africans again sang the national anthem with pride.

Once again, it was at the end that the political elite rose to the occasion, when the hard work of uniting the country was done outside of political office.

If there is anything I can take away from the Rugby World Cup, it is that hard work leads to dreams being fulfilled.

ALSO READ: Springboks’ glory overshadows Ramaphosa’s political maneuvering

It also teaches that the dreams of a child, specifically for my heart, that of a black child, are possible, attainable and what a sight it is when they are met.

Glass ceilings have for years been a barrier for us. We were taught that the immediate goal is to get an education and with that education, we must get a job that is guaranteed to put food on the table.

In the squalor of poverty, we are not encouraged to dream and find callings – we are told to go out there and make ourselves employable.

From the non-black perspective, I can understand how exhausting it is for people to have to keep apologising for a place and time, actions and words spoken that they had no control over and were not active participants in.

ALSO READ: President declares public holiday: Was it worth the 30-minute speech?

Some children, because of their interactions in schools, genuinely do not see colour, but they are constantly reminded of it because they have to defend a piece of history that, by virtue of pigmentation, affects them.

Our country is divided and it is the sportspeople who keep uniting it, almost every time.

On the ground, ordinary men and women seem to be struggling to do so and politicians have clearly failed because they have relied on papers drawn up as laws to do the actual work of building a cohesive country that is not defined by colour; to literally have the men and women see that the common goal should be a working nation for us all.

Once again, the Bokke united the nation. The political elite will once again resurface at another World Cup to remind us of the importance of unity, because, clearly, they depend on sportspeople to do the work that they are paid for.

ALSO READ: Springboks arrive home to heroes’ welcome from thousands of fans

Read more on these topics

boks politics

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits