Saturday, 2 February 2013

When I fell in love with South Africa

A Rainbow Nation?
This country of races sitting there under the southern sun aloof to the ravages of the rest of this dark continent is something of an allure to those who wish to study history through a lens. It is a nation, not thirty years ago, blighted by the worst recesses of human prejudice; an economic repression of an entire race in the favour of another. To quote her greatest writer, J.M. Coetzee, "English is an unfit medium for the truth of South Africa"; for the nuances of this nation of nations cannot be described in any language.

One cannot help but feel that South Africa is knit and kept together by the still overwhelming presence of Nelson Mandela, who through his struggle brought about reconciliation in spite of the retributive nature of some of his party, including the current president. Nevertheless, militant ANC members roost over the legislature and executive reins of governance and do so with disdainful corruption.

South Africa, for those who have lived there, is a land of abundant wealth. She has the culture, sport, and institutions to create a standard of living that is unparalleled in the rest of the continent. It is in cricket, compared to other South African sports, where gentlemen of all faiths and races come to play as equals and comrades from club level to test. It is a demonstration of that status quo that the current South African cricket team is unrivalled in world cricket, led by white Afrikaners, a devout sunni muslim, and mixed race cricketers.