Africans should unite in adversity and in prosperity

02 February 2010 - 02:00
By unknown

OFTEN when asked about the state of the country's democracy, the expected answers seem to be an automatic supply of diplomatic responses.

OFTEN when asked about the state of the country's democracy, the expected answers seem to be an automatic supply of diplomatic responses.

Diplomatic in the sense that one's pronouncements must, without fail, fall in line with the parroting of 2010 good messages as if facing up to existent bad ones instantly makes one a non-believer of South Africa's ability to host a successful Fifa World Cup.

With this cock-eyed determination, conscientious observers are inexplicably deemed fit to be lumped together with the bad company of imperial wolves dressed in sheep's clothing and vulturing for the country's failure.

In that failure, read in it, Africa's and Africans' inability to be trusted with an event considered to be a natural capability of what is loosely defined as the First World.

But if the sum total of the world is grudgingly made up of its first, second and third, there can be no human justification to limit the life of world football to the borders of the first as if that is where humanity begins and ends, and the rest is barbarism.

The madness that sometimes passes as hooliganism from the royal surrounds of the Queen of England also has its fair share of uncouth occurrence in other parts of the world.

The composition of my message to the sporting community is simply this: winning is not everything. Losing is not the end of the world. And the fair games that people play are a fraternal reminder that the borders that separate nations do not mean the people of the world have no obligation to make every square inch of the globe a safer place.

Sadly, this message was missed in the attack of the Togo national soccer team in Cabinda during the 2010 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola. Instead of standing by its established record of stabilising Africa, the country reacted as though it was a colonial outpost - agonisingly at pains to explain how many miles of safety it is from Angola. Like the irritating lifespan of a fly, South Africa had suddenly forgotten it had billed itself as hosting an African World Cup of which Togo is a part.

In the many miles of safety advanced, the buffoonery of part-time Africans stood revealed for all to see. Why would people claim to be African too within the walls of Parliament, when former President Thabo Mbeki said so in 1996, and soon thereafter forget that they still are African in the adversity of Togo's attack? Pity those who claim to be African in prosperity and deny being one in adversity.

Also pity the nation that loves its visitors but hates itself.

Now that the hosting of the World Cup, in South Africa, explodes the myth that Africa is an exception to common humanity, the country need not engage in the diplomatic claptrap of masquerading all things being bright and beautiful but seize the moment to show demonstrable resolve to end the existent dark and ugly side of things that keep eroding the soul of the nation.

For South Africa, the time to rekindle its soul and regain its heart is as urgent as now, during and beyond the 2010. That, to me, is the state of democracy that the world should embrace as bequeathed to us in the memory of those who bravely fought and died for it.

A successful World Cup should not be left in the hands of doubting Thomasses, who will stop at nothing to put their fingers in their own wounds in order to further hurt themselves and others for their wishes of failure to materialise.