I Salute You, SirMr President
The COVID-19 speech that rallied a divided nation
Amidst the binge buying, can we all take a minute to appreciate, celebrate and if it were possible give a standing ovation to the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa.
Let’s start with his speech.
Us, South Africans, are no different to a bunch of sibling rivals. We fight, bicker, squabble and are just a bunch of selfish and self righteous spoilt children. And yet in a single speech, the manner in which a firm parent lays down the rules and the perimeters of engagement – he united us. He silenced us. He lead us. He informed us. He scolded us. He engaged us. And most of all he rallied us. And OH! DO WE NEED rallying now.
25 year old’s are busy making a ton of mistakes, confidence is a distant cousin and as a result they get involved with the wrong company
The kind of hug that a dad gives to his children when words are not enough.
His words were the soft touch. They reminded us what it means to be a South African. To be a part of this family. That we are fighters. That we have been here before. Maybe this time there are more odds stacked against us. From the 2008 global financial crisis, to the loss of our most beloved Grandfather, Tata Mandela, through the Zuma era, the corruption that has ensued and a self inflicted recession. We triumph. We have what it takes to overcome if we stick together. Remember that we are a family, and family means no one gets left behind. His voice shook at times, so you know he was scared too. But so are all strong parents. They hold it together long enough to make you believe that all will be fine. But there are two moments, where it overwhelms them too and you see them quiver.
For a second. But you see it.
And you realise, shit just got real.
So to my beautiful, loved South African family. Let’s do this. On the brink of this 21 day lockdown, let’s stick together. Let’s rally behind our President and our Government. Let’s support them. Let’s treat them like a 25 year old who has just breathed the air of young adulthood, with maturity. Let’s give them a chance. The benefit of the doubt.
Maybe, let’s not doubt the capacity of our Government at all. Let’s be open-minded first.
Let’s not judge, let’s take a moment to listen, to understand. Let’s trust. And most of all. Let’s be kind, together. As much as we all have opinions about what needs to be done and what can be done and, and, and. Our current Ministers and President are the Commander- in -Chiefs.
And they are sitting in that hot seat while we philosophise about action. They are the ones who will have to deal with the ramifications of their decisions. And that’s serious because the stakes are high this time. People’s lives are at risk. Real risk. So don’t think that you can do better than them. They are on the inside, they are looking at the big picture and taking a number of things into consideration. From the outside we can make silo’d judgements, but from the inside the picture is completely different.
So be a trooper, and rally with them rather than against them. Because we have done everything else. So let’s try a different approach, now.
Mr Ramaphosa, to you I say, I salute you Sir, Mr President.
And today like no other, I am proud to be a South African, again.
About Trusha Govender
Trusha is Founder and CEO of Shy-red Studio’s, a purpose driven agency, that helps people change the world.
She is a social entrepreneur focusing on work that enables human development, creating a more inclusive economy, enabling access to education and encouraging entrepreneurship.