Is the nation in a STATE?


Today, we remember the release from prison 20 years ago of Madiba, our beloved statesman, inspirational leader and all round good oke. Some remember with joy, others with anger. (Some don’t remember at all.) I recall around the time of his release having many lively arguments with my soon to be father in law. We would sit in front of the TV as the news unfolded, him older angry and fearful, me younger, excited and hopeful. Two white South Africans with completely different expectations of the same event. One optimist and one pessimist, both wanting to be proven right. And we were. I was adamant that Mandela’s release meant the end of apartheid and a vital new beginning for SA. He was just as adamant that his release meant the beginning of the end for all of us.

Well it is now 20 years on, and here we are my boet.

And tonight our president will take a break from impregnating the women of our nation to impregnate us with pride in what we have achieved in 20 years. The king of swing will fill us in on what is happening. Apparently he will speak to us in his capacity as head of state not head of government. Security would be advised to check the podium beforehand in case someone is hiding in there to give him some head. Anyway, let’s move ahead.

In case you are unable to tune in at 7pm, here is a brief summary of the state of the nation:

Dear friends

The nation is in a state. A state of change, a state of confusion, a state of emancipation, a state of anticipation. Our roads are in a hell of a state. Some of the Free State is underwater. Let me state categorically that all of these states are merely pigments of your imagination. Here are the actual facts:

  • Vehicle hijackings have decreased. However, the whole country has been hijacked by FIFA for a good part of 2010.
  • Crime is down but fear of crime has increased thanks to the negative media and UK company Protektorvest offering knife proof vests to soccer tourists.
  • The Garden Route is parched and Gauteng is flooded.
  • The recession is still causing a fair amount of depression.
  • The stock market stinks. The rand is looking pretty grand.
  • The gap between rich and poor has increased, as it has in many other similar countries in the world.
  • Cape Town has just been voted one of the top 6 most beautiful cities in the world by Forbes magazine.
  • We still have some of the bluest skies in the world.
  • The new soccer stadiums are magnificent and reason to be proud
  • Cadbury’s chocolate is still way better than any imported Swiss stuff.
  • Mrs Balls could be the funniest name for a food company in the world.
  • We have not lost our innate ability to laugh at ourselves.

What makes our nation so special is that we live life to the full, every minute, every hour, every day. We suck the marrow from the bones of life and seize the day, (because we never know if we will still be alive tomorrow.) Our lives are rich, complex, challenging and interesting. We speak 11 different languages yet strive to be one nation. Somehow, despite the odds, we manage to unite in crisis and support each other. We also try to help the rest of the world, with organisations such as Gift of the Givers making a major contribution in Haiti.

There is something so special about this country and its people. I cannot articulate what it is because it is ethereal, energetic, emotional and indescribable. But those who live here and those who visit us can sense it, feel it, experience it. It is the combined energy of 358 years of history – turbulent, violent, passionate and pioneering. It is the hopes and dreams born in the dusty townships and corporate boardrooms. It is the tremendous, ground breaking innovations and inventions like Heart Transplants, CAT scan machines, Oil from Coal, 128 bit security encryption, the Kreepy Krauly, Vuvuzela and Vuyo’s Wors. It is our honesty, our creativity, our humility and our tenacity that make me proud to be a citizen of this great nation.

This is the state of the nation. We are not the United States but we stand united.

Now that’s AYOBA!


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