Jun 14, 2010

A Good Narrative

I absolutely love a good narrative, and the last four days has found me immersed in many. With South Africa hosting the World Cup, the television networks and organisers have worked to provide a narrative about the country, its people, and the tournament. The fan culture in Africa and in this case South Africa is most impressive, and I for one am glad it’s being beamed across the globe.

Most it shouldn’t be new, but it never hurts to be reminded of where this country has come from, where it is now, and where it is headed. Last night I was particularly struck by the story of the young political prisoners housed on Robben Island during the 60s, 70s and 80s who were not only united in their opposition to apartheid, but in their love for the game. They set up their own league of 27 teams with set of rules, a constitution, and an association of leaders. In the words of one, this was preparation for the government they were to set up when they left the Island.

It is humbling to see the faces of those who sacrificed so much not their personal glory but for their fellow man in the hope for better future. I wonder if I would be that brave to fight the things I believe in.

Check out the featured video on the ESPN website – the Robben Island Feature.

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