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By unknown | Dec 08, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

IF there was one moment in life where I had wished to be at two places at the same time, it was during the first week of December this year.

IF there was one moment in life where I had wished to be at two places at the same time, it was during the first week of December this year.

One place was the country of my birth, Azania, where the World Cup draw took place on Friday last week in Cape Town.

The other was France, where I was honoured with the invitation to help spread the word about the work of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and its plans to build a children's hospital as pioneered by the indefatigable Sibongile Mkhabela.

Pardon the fixation with Azania as that may rank me declared to be as mad as Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who thought otherwise about Rhodesia, and similarly preferred Harare to Salisbury.

If this fixation is cause for sanity to be missed by a mile, then forget not to add Mayor Gwen Ramokgopa to the list for embroiling herself in the recurring match of Pretoria versus Tshwane.

Unable to be at two places at the same time, the assignment to France won the day.

Also on the trip was the effervescent fundraiser, Mpaki Pule, whom the French called poulet, meaning chicken.

Without fail, the aircraft lifted into the sky, France-bound, on November 28, while pictures of movie stars kept flashing in my mind in flashy cars and limousines descending on Cape Town for the soccer World Cup draw.

This is the easy living that forever commands the spotlight, and where even the crooked, shadowy and dicey types appear pleasant because they either have money or credit cards on their side.

Remember the song Summertime: when "daddy is rich" it seems to follow that your "mama is good looking".

This by no means suggests that money is a dirty word.

There is a side of money whose use for good causes helps to make life livable, bearable and worthwhile.

Says singer Barbara Streisand: "Money is like manure and it never does anyone any good unless it is spread around to help little things to grow."

The notion that a society without children has no future was what drove the France Federation of Rugby Committee of Languedoc to dedicate the first week of December this year to direct attention to the growth and wellbeing of children.

From the cities of Narbonne, Montpellier and Toulouse, the message mutually shared was, without a bore: "There is no better future for societies than its children."

Every stop made in each city of France was a stamp of approval by ordinary and extraordinary people to a cause most dear to former President Nelson Mandela's heart - the wellbeing of children.

From the look in their eyes, the men, women and children that I did not come across as obsessed with the urgency of landing the prized opportunity of being in a picture with Madiba, hang it on the wall, to reward their egos, and thereafter forget.

Clearly, the blessing that Mandela represents is also fraught with the curse of people who will stop at nothing to bask in his glory without an inch of pretext to accentuating any of his good causes.

From all the kinds of people that make the world, there will always be the nagging bad ones that make it such a sorry place.

Depressing as this might be, the world never runs dry of the good ones who are capable of lifting it to the higher essence of being human.

I may have missed the crowning moment of my country's World Cup draw, but the French people I met still believe putting a smile on the faces of children is a mission worth pursuing.


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