Despite the crime, corruption and racist incidents and injustices prevailing in South Africa, I refuse to succumb to despondency like so many of my fellow countrymen. We have the people and resources to build South Africa into a country that can hold its own against any First World country today.
In my opinion, our main problem is that we still have a mentality of "them" and "us", based on skin colour and culture. Once we grow a mentality of "us" and "them" based on those who want this country to succeed and work towards it, and those who do not, or are indifferent, we will start seeing safety and prosperity for all the people of SA. To achieve this goal, we will have to get to know one another.
Where I am, it is a situation of "we work together, but we never play together". When we do have social gatherings, alcohol usually plays the major role. People arrive, buy their sixpacks of beer and pair off into little groups of "us" and "them" where they happily proceed to get as intoxicated as possible before going home as early as possible. The very few who dare to step across this invisible but indubitable divide, are met with exasperation and suspicion by both groups.
With all the above in mind, this fool decided to rush in where angels fear to tread when she recieved an invitation to attend the End of Year function of two of our departments. About 50 people attended and amongst them were a large number of young adults who have recently (well over the past year) arrived. For many years I have been involved in teambuilding and motivational actions for young people in the white community and I have always enjoyed this immensely. I asked for and received permission to arrange "entertainment" for the function (yes I know, I know... invited guest taking over and running the show... I already said I am a fool).
Friday dawned a cold, miserable and wet day. The mood of the people matched the weather as they arrived at the resort where they planned to spend the day drinking relaxing out of doors. The "braai" had to be done under the porch and the outdoor relaxation that was originally intended had to be written off. Unfortunate yes, but ideal for getting everybody together under one roof for my "evil" purposes.
With the help of Pastor Frans, our chaplain and a friend of many years, the group was soon blindfolded and divided into dogs and ducks who, amidst much noise and hilarity, had to find their mates by the quacking and barking sounds they were making. By the time the blindfolds came off, everybody was laughing.They were randomly divided into four teams, each team deciding on a name and "war cry" for themselves. We ended up with The Cats, The Lions, The Rainbows and the Takalanis. Team spirit grew quickly and the supporters enjoyed the games almost more than the participants.
I was so excited (and thankful) when the winning team of the day was The Rainbows, the only team that was made up of different races! Now does that prove a point or not. For once the "thems" and "usses" were forced coerced compelled into communicating and interacting and the result is ample prove in my eyes of what this country and nation can be once we get past the "them" and "us" mentality.
I do not have many photos for this post as I were so busy enjoying the "action" that the camera had to take a backseat. However, here are a few for you to enjoy (I hope).
Seriously discussing strategy.
Even the older ones got involved and enjoyed.
While the children played... Ma Nelly was in charge of the traditional "Pap".