Jen Thorpe
Jen Thorpe

Feel it, it is here

People are walking with a spring in their steps. They tread as though the ground is bouncing them to higher goals, higher dreams, higher hopes. People crowd the streets, mingling their colours, their genders, their sexualities all united towards a single goal — to be South Africa. Stony stalwarts of anti-South Africanism have had to knock down their poorly crafted guises and admit that it is Ayoba to be one of us. The vuvuzelas chant our pride, and it has so little to do with a game of soccer.

There is much to complain about in South Africa. But there is much that we must not forget. That we survived a harrowing and brutal past. That we continue to grow every day. That there are reasons to smile every day. That you can get directions from anyone in a street even if neither you nor they know where you are going. That people will blow a vuvuzela to the point where their cheeks hurt before they give up, out of breath and spent, glowing with the warmth that comes from camaraderie even when they don’t know a single soccer player’s name.

Let us remember this bliss, this happiness, this hope. Let us not grumble that it will all be over soon. Let us not scorn those who only recently bought into being a South African. Let us welcome the world and each other with open arms and shout from the rooftops “I am proudly South African”.