Dumi Magadlela
Dumi Magadlela

More World Cup babalaas

The best way to snap out of a World Cup hangover is to take a good look at the financial ruins visited upon the so-called advanced economies and then take a look at our solid grounding, which has helped us survive the worst of the global financial crisis.

There is much to be happy with beyond the shining success of the World Cup. Though President Blatter and his team are smiling all the way to the Swiss bank, counting their mega-loot, there is sufficient ground for us all across Africa to lay the foundation for a major change in how we regard ourselves, each other and to reshape how the world sees and regards us.

The World Cup flags might still be waving away in the wind along the freeways, bidding our visitors goodbye, but their bright colours are slowly fading away. This is clearly signalling a shift in attention away from the soccer tournament to matters closer home. For major positive changes to stick and for us to see lasting tangible change we must start with taking a good look at who we regard ourselves to be.

A deep and profound sense of self-acceptance and self-love as Africans of all shades is needed before we can move away from the xenophobia and self-loathing that characterises how we view ourselves and our neighbours. Many worldviews about Africa, Africans, and South Africa have long run their course and need and immediate overhaul. They will not change if we continue to prop them up with how we relate to each other.

If the World Cup is to have a lasting impact beyond infrastructure improvements and beautiful stadia, it must result in the eradication of that long-held view that anything which is African is less than … because it certainly isn’t. The tide is turning. Or is it? Did you hear about the latest economic shift? There was another invitation from the Greeks to Libya for investment? I am not an economist, but did any of you smart Thought Leaders ever think that you would see a European country, and a proud one at that, practically begging an African country for foreign direct investment? Now there is a paradigm shift. And who says that that cannot be the norm down the road? I can hear noises about Libya not being an African country … ja, nee. Sure.

And finally, I am collecting World Cup memorabilia for my grandchildren. There were stories about stab-proof vests. Anyone who has come across one please let me know. I’ll pay a good price for it. I know, I know, I must stop flogging a dead horse. The dead horse here is the Afro-pessimism that had dominated (mainly Western) the British, German and some Aussie media. There was a great cartoon by Zapiro in the M&G showing a bunch of English journos eating humble pie.

Not a big enough helping, I would say.