In the context of the political climate in South Africa before this past week, the amount of negative news we were faced with daily, it was impossible to stay positive. We have witnessed people lying to us. They have shirked away from their commitments and responsibilities. They tell us things they think we want to hear as opposed to the truth. They abuse their power. They behave badly without provocation? They inflict their negative emotions on us. They have addictions that are destructive. they do the bare minimum in most situations. They are lazy. They are lacking in morals, ethics and consciousness.
This sentiment underpinned the state of our Nation. People have become angry and bitter and who is to blame us given the information that we have, the evidence, the real life experience of what has been happening in our country.
The former president of South Africa has stepped down. Finally! after years of not doing the right thing. When elected 9 years ago, he was called a President for the people. Or so the people thought, he has never lived up to the expectations of the people. He has done the exact opposite by creating a bitter, aggrieved society and after years of blatant corruption, looting of the state institutions and misuse of hard-earned honest taxpayers money, finally he is being held accountable for his actions and his hand in many other actions.
All of this culminated in some action! Some of the accused individuals have been issued with arrest warrants with the National Prosecuting Authority promising more to come. Also, the National Executive Council of the ruling party requesting for the former president to resign or a parliament sitting the following day would have started an impeachment process.
So began this wave of change and the appointment and election of a new President of South Africa. It seemed like we would never be free of the corruption of the previous administration and then all of a sudden it’s all been happening. The parliament sitting and first address of the newly sworn in President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa was emotional for me. I know that he is still apart of the political party that allowed all the corruption we have seen thus far to unfold and seep as deep as it has, but I still felt this unfamiliar feeling returning. This tingle in my heart, this recognition of something I had felt always, the feeling that this was perhaps a beginning of something new, the feeling I soon recognised, was hope.
Hope for a better future the people of this beautiful country I call home. Hope that finally the looters will held to account. Hope that maybe we can start healing as a country after the damage and destruction of the previous administration. Hope that discrimination of all kinds can be abolished. Hope that we can make strides against poverty. Hope that the economy can start its recovery. Hope that we can be the nation we have always had the potential to be. Hope that this new dawn as our President called it, is the sun we seek to bask in, and it is just about to shine on us.
As we listened to his first State of the Nation address, he displayed poise and eloquence, qualities we have not seen in a long time in our leadership. He articulated the things that people needed to hear. Obviously, the execution of his plans will be the ultimate testament of his success, but the mere fact that he is able to provide direction and motivation for his plans, he can answer and quantify his reasoning. He can engage and be charming and we believe him. We believe his intentions are good and that he will try his utmost best to fix the damage that has been done.
So I haven’t really bought into the concept of 20-greateen 🙂 but I have heard the phrase being thrown around this year. Now that I have felt the warmness that hope brings to my heart, the familiar comfort of optimism, I want it to be 20-greateen. That glimmer of hope has sparked a boost of optimism – unrealistic boost – according to my sister :). But it’s still a feeling I cling to, I now want this year to be filled with more hope, more healing, more joy, happiness, prosperity, stability for all. What a relief, at last this year brings something that feels new!
Given how things are progressing in the political arena, how this new era has been received and maybe how much we all needed this glimmer of hope. We the people can finally start to see the change, to be the change that we need. We the people can stop being angry and frustrated and taking this out on each other. We can embrace wanting to make a difference ourselves, hold people accountable when they falter and ensure that we take responsibility for our own actions. As our new President has quoted from the late great Hugh Masekela
‘…I wanna lend a hand. Send me.’
This change has been coming, we felt it coming, we want to action it. Our collective bitterness stemmed from the fact that we love this country so much and to watch it being abused over and over again and the rights of people being disregarded, our anger has bubbled over. The rainbow nation that we were dubbed in the time of Nelson Mandela, we may not ever be, but we can be tolerant and respectful of each other. Let us accept our differences and embrace our similarities. Let us change to really see each other for who we are and lend a hand where we can, let us stop a moment and breath in the new dawn that we seek.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we‘ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama