The 2010 Fifa World Cup ended recently and it appears, much like Germany in 2006, that post-world cup depression has temporarily set in. This depression is a trivial event, given the title owing to how it affects a nation once they no longer have anything to look forward to. The fanfare has passed, day to day life is returning and many people are wondering what next?
I think that this question of what next is one of the most pertinent that we can ask our leaders, our nation and ourselves. If there was one lesson to be learnt from the 2010 Fifa World Cup, it was how we were united through our common purpose.
The World Cup united our nation. Furthermore it galvanised, focused and motivated all of us to rally around a common goal, bond and thread which we could work together as South Africans. The wonderfully positive result from all of this is that we proved to ourselves that we can, in fact, work together and do things successfully.
Whether it was the citizens who worked hand in hand, the press reporting positive stories or the businesses (big and small) rallying up hype; South Africans came together to put our mark on the event and show what we are made of to an otherwise unsure world.
As this fad of post World Cup depressions comes and goes, I think that it is integral to identify and promote the next event, movement, or team on which we can once again find a reason to bond with one another and unite behind a common purpose. It is exciting to hear that Durban is launching a bid for the 2020 Olympic Games, however we as a nation cannot wait that long to unite again. We desperately need more common bonds and objectives to unite us.
This World Cup did not solve many of the pressing issues in this country and I believe that this is where the next place for unity has to lie. We need to take the initiative and ownership of ourselves to each be nation builders. Whether we are encouraging economic development, buying locally or playing our part in progressing education, we must be sure to take care of the momentum we have built up; the opportunities that are being presented and the challenges which we can use to unite one another. If it is done properly, we will continue to shape this nation into something magical. If we ignore this passing chance, then we have no reason not to stay in our slump of petty depression.
The reality is that if we wait for Government to lead it might not happen. So don’t wait for others to lead – let’s get out and make things happen ourselves.