While our president impresses at lunches with the Queen, and reports are coming in about Soccer City being $133m over budget, it seems South Africa is perpetually straddling celebration and condemnation. The British media has a lot to say about how ridiculously “unready” we are, yet the green light seems to have proved otherwise. But, through all of the drama, the fuss and the crises, we emerge because of something we seem to be unwilling to compromise on; our proudly South African sense of humour.
Fact file: The South African Gold Coin Exchange have released a limited edition World Cup coin collection.
South Africans are brilliant about laughing at ourselves. We’ve come to appreciate what makes Madam & Eve resonate with us, we made Vernon Koekemoer an overnight money mint, and we’re allowed to enjoy a good laugh at the goings-on in parliament where people are either being barred for swearing, or swearing because they’ve been barred. We spend almost as much on our cars as we do on our houses, our car guards have cellphones, and we park 6 seater SUVs at cheap (and greasy) burger bars built on bridges over highways.
We will never tire of teaching people about braai’s, explaining the vuvuzela, succumbing to the sentiment of Madiba’s appearance at sporting events and wondering if the low flying South African Airways will ever make another appearance. When you think about it, these unusual talking-point qualities make us a pretty hot host nation for the mix of visitors already finalizing their online bookings, no doubt. We have much to celebrate because of who we are, where we’ve come from and where we are going. Hell, we’ll even “cheers” each other with a beer we might not even like – just because it’s a great thing to do. So crack open a Bud, cheers to your buddies, and cheers to all of us. What a great time to be South African – and then some. Local really is lekker!
– Muzi Mohale