Friday, May 28, 2010

Concerning National Pride

The 2010 Soccer World Cup* is mere days away, and the excitement is building. Shops throughout South Africa are slapping vuvuzelas onto display mannequins and Motorists are sticking flags onto their car aerials, in the hopes of showing their patriotism and also disrupt the clarity when Justin Bieber is played. Kick off specials and Free Soccer balls are the result of most marketers uniting against creativity as each outlet tries to cash in, with most hoping that Fifa do not sue them for copyright infringement.

Naivete and cynicism aside, this is Fifa's baby. We can bask in her glory and stand downwind in the hopes of bathing ourselves in her lingering odour as long as we promise not to touch. Staring is however permissible. Sounds like a strip club actually. Lolly Blatter indeed.

Now that my half assed political commentary is done, lets get back to the Goodies (I watched Tropic Thunder again last night)

I love the mirror flags, and I love the Soccer Tops and I especially love our Stadium (singular - Moses Mabhida) but if we want to build on this patriotic fervour it is imperative that we learn the National Anthem. Lets face it, most of us got the first two lines down, and after that we kinda mumble through the next bit until we reach 'South Africa Our Land'. So here are a few resources to help with the National Anthem. If you learn a line a day, you'll be ready for kick-off.

Heres the words

Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,
Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.

Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa la matshwenyeho,
O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,
Setjhaba sa South Afrika – South Afrika.

Uit die blou van onse hemel,
Uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
Waar die kranse antwoord gee,

Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom,
In South Africa our land.

If you are having difficulty with pronunciation, this should help

A pronunciation guide to the South African national anthem

First saw this on Uzayrs facebook - great video by Sabc 2.

According to wikipedia, "It is the only neo-modal national anthem in the world, by virtue of being the only one that does not finish in the home key", and yes I do not know what that means either. The one thing I love about our anthem is how inclusive it is. It makes use of 5 of the most popular languages (Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English) and it combines both the resistance song (nKosi Sikeleli) with the National Anthem used during Apartheid. Syncretism at its best. And the entire thing is about God blessing Africa so suck on that atheists :)


*Trademark of Fifa (please dont sue me. Nobs)


Anonymous said...

I'm not particularly patriotic, but I'd be pleased if the national team did well. It's an interesting time to observe patriotism in the country - with echoes of the mid-90s, when we won the rugby World Cup, and the African Nations Cup (in soccer).

They say that sports can unite a nation; and if that's true - then i do hope that this tournament goes a long way towards curing some of the Apartheid scars that our country still sits with.

I do hope, however, that once the Fifa circus departs, ordinary citizens aren't left with the burden of paying for all the debt that must have come as a result of these multi-million Rand stadiums, transport, and infrastructure upgrades.

Some of those ulama who have been speaking out against the tournament are right in condemning the wasteful expenditure - but it's not only about this tournament. Professional sports, in general, is a huge misuse of financial resources.

Brother Naeem puts it very nicely at

Events like this are hyped up to make money, and get us to consume it no a fanatical level. Obviously, we should know the dangers of it's best to exercise caution and moderation - rather than falling into either extreme.

As for patriotism, it's all good and well - as long as we don't put national pride before our deen and our Islamic pride. And as long as we don't see our country as superior to other countries in an arrogant way.

(Which can't really happen in soccer terms, since i think we're the lowest ranked team in the tournament...but i mean in terms of looking down on other African nations - because they may not be as 'well off' as we are. That Xenophobia thing is still lingering, you know).

茂慧 said...