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Monday, May 31, 2010

3rd essay

A person who is a contemporary witness to this scene would have seen tears in sixty five thousand peoples eyes and would have heard the national anthem of south Africa loud as he ever heard. In this picture I see a man handing a trophy to, what seems like a winner but this isn't just a man handing a trophy to a winner. This is a mulatto coming together and becoming one; to form a new nation. The man on the left Nelson Mandela; who spend twenty nine years of his life in five by seven person cell, for trying to bring blacks and whites to live in peace was now was free and the face of South Africa as the first black president. Mandela ones again was trying to unite blacks and white and got an a opportunity and he took it on a national stage. The man on right Francois Pienaar the caption of the South African rugby team the Springbok; shared Mandela's vision. Both men adapted the notion of “ team one nation...”.
In 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first democratically elected black African president of the Republic of South Africa. A new constitution was instituted. A new country was emerging. None of this was an easy transition, there was resentment, fear, anger, uncertainty, vengeance, forgiveness all wrapped up in confusing welter of emotion but Mandela put all that aside and convinced international powers to let South Africa host the rugby World Cup that year and because of its host status Springbok automatically fielded a team in the competition. Despite long odds, This fragile, new State of South Africa won the rugby World Cup!
Sport, like no other in South African institution, has shown it has the power to heal old wounds. When the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup on home turf in 1995, Nelson Mandela donned the Number six shirt of the team's captain Francois Pienaar and the two embraced in a spontaneous gesture of racial reconciliation that melted hearts around the country. A single moment, and 400 years of colonial strife and bitterness suddenly seemed so petty. Tears in everybody eyes who were in Johannesburg's Ellis park stadium that day; Streaming down their face tears of joy, as the moment was described when Nelson Mandela walked on the field to present the trophy and the national anthem was played. Mandela said to Pienaar "...Francois, thank you very much for what you have done for our country." "No, Mr. President," Pienaar replied. "Thank you for what you have done for our country." Pienaar said in a interview “...Mandela, who could have walked out of jail seeking revenge on the oppressive white minority, instead won them over with his open hearted humility”. He turned to the white dominated sport rugby and made the players and their followers his friends “ when the team saw what Mandela was trying to do ...We adopted a motto, 'One team, one country, because we realized that this competition was for everyone in South Africa and to do well in this competition would make everyone in South Africa proud, We underestimated how proud it could make South Africa...".
What Mandela and Pienaar was trying to do and trying to address through that moment of smiles and hugs was to unit two races to live in peace and this picture symbolizes that. Their relationship to the issue, which is to attain peace they were invested emotionally, personally and the big one equal and human rights. Mandela relationship to this issue was that he was convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment because he was leading the cause of equal rights movement in South Africa. While serving his sentence he was charged, in the Rivonia Trial. Mandela's statements in court during these trials on resistance to apartheid was “...I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die...” Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment. While in prison, Mandela flatly rejected offers made by his jailers for remission of sentence in exchange for accepting the Bantustan policy which is a territory set aside for black inhabitants by recognizing the independence of the Transkei and agreeing to settle there. Mandela 's reputation grew steadily. He was widely accepted as the most significant black leader in South Africa and became a potent symbol of resistance as the anti apartheid movement gathered strength. He consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom. His life was too invested in the cause of equal rights so when he was realized he got a chance to unite his nation and he took it by asking Francois Pienaar to win the 1995 rugby world cup for South Africa and pienaar replied by winning the cup because he was invested as a close friends with Mandela.
The reaction that this picture or moment received in pienaar's word was “... We underestimated how proud it could make South Africa...", by winning the world cup. People described the entire stadium, bars, people on the streets, in homes standing on their feet singing at the top of their lungs the new national anthem. One woman said “...I was jumping up and down on my bed and fell off and I broke my arm”. Everyone stated that this was the moment South Africa became a new nation. Capturing that moment of reconciliation Nelson Mandela handed The William Web Ellis trophy to Springbok captain Francois Pienaar. South Africa had just won the 1995 Rugby World Cup and much more finally, it seemed the country had come together as one. For the disadvantaged people of the old apartheid South Africa, rugby was the white man's game, and even more so the game of the Afrikaner. Traditionally, most communities of colour played soccer while, for white communities, rugby was the winter sport of choice; but not any more.

1 comment:

  1. Great telling of the story - be sure to include the sources that you're drawing on in your account.