I woke up to the sound of rain yesterday and wondered if it was a promising sign. Perhaps it was a cleansing rain. A rain to wash through the streets, to bring renewed purpose and hope. A rain to clean our minds and purify our thoughts as we prepared to gather at various places around the country and stand together as brothers and sisters, against a man who we’ve come to regard as symbol of corruption, greed and evil. The man we call our president.
I am by no means a political analyst or a scholar, I write this with only the most rudimentary understanding of economics and politics. But what I am, is a South African, more accurately put a troubled South African. And over the past few weeks, after the loss of Uncle Kathy, the cabinet reshuffling, the ratings downgrade/s, I feel compelled, driven, moved to action. I do not want to sit idly by and watch our beautiful country crumble. So yesterday, like thousands of other South Africans, I took to the streets managing to catch the tail end of the People’s March in Pretoria. Standing in the field outside the Union Buildings, grass poking through my sandaled feet, I saw my fellow South Africans wave banners, rise their fists in the air and I saw the clouds part and sun shine through them.
Hearing our national anthem is never just that for me, it is never just something I hear, it is something I feel and as I stood in that field I felt emotions surge and threaten to break free as tears burned my eyes. I felt what my fellow South Africans felt. Through the fear, sadness and anger, I felt hope. Hope in the beauty and diversity of our country, hope in the fact that standing together, we the people of South Africa, will be heard. The audacious hope that change is coming and that I could be a part of shaping that change.
Our president is just one man and I suppose this is what scares me. We see a picture of him and we see a greedy, self-serving man. He has become a symbol of what is wrong with our country and as the ANC scuttles to defend him, publicly toting notions of “political agendas” and threatening violence, I can’t help but wonder if cutting off the beast’s head is enough. It seems to me that the beast grew fat on the rot and propagated it’s cancerous stench, creating more rot, feeding itself of it’s own creation.
It is a start, an important one, that we took to the streets yesterday. That we the people of South Africa, sent an important message to our government. But what is more important now, is that we are relentless in our quest. Relentless in our desire to get rid of not only the beast, but the rot that threatens to destroy us all.