I wrote this a few weeks back, during the week that broke our hearts and left us feeling like there was little hope. It’s Heritage Day today, and it seemed like a good day to share it with you all. May it inspire you to get your spark back too.
Tonight I watched my daughter’s school concert. It was simply titled Hello and took us around the world to different countries where we learnt how many ways we can say hello and a bit about the different cultures we have on planet Earth. It was only when we arrived on the journey back in South Africa that my heart caught in my throat.
Watching how proudly South African the many different children were, hearing how many ways we can say hello in our country (that’s why we are called the rainbow nation after all), I couldn’t help but feel tears burning my eyes. Amidst the fear, anger and sadness that has gripped South Africa over the past week it felt so good to see our small children, the next generation, embracing all that we truly can be in this country.
As they said how many ways we can say hello…”sawubona, howzit, dumelang, hello”… there was no recognition in their eyes as to colour, religion or race, only excitement at being next to their friends. This is the new generation that has had the privilege to grow up without prejudice clouding their eyes, this is the new generation who will one day change South Africa.
As they sang Everybody loves South African girls, did gumboot dancing to our recently lost treasure Johnny Clegg’s Impi and even invited the audience to stand and sing the national anthem, I couldn’t help but to feel pride for my country despite feeling like I had lost that spark a long time ago.
This is the new generation that will reignite the spark to do better, to be better. This is the new generation who will inspire us to do better, to be better. So while tonight my heart was still so sore about the events taking place in our country, and scared about being a parent raising children among these challenges, it also did make me see the country through my child’s eyes. The fun of our music, the joy of our dancing, the passion of our people. And despite the irony, which I was well aware of, it was a lekker feeling.