Nationalism without Patriotism can be useless and directionless

By Tshepo Rakumakoe

Dumelang Readers and everyone. I am back after a long layoff as a results of my examinations and lack of creativity.  After the first weekend of the November 2023 I read and witnessed so many things that were really funny, skeptical, surprising and very sporty. But there is one that has caught my eye and made my creative juice to wake up after going to hibernation like that ant. That is Julius Malema’s statement about the South African National Rugby team that has become the first African national rugby team to lift International Rugby Board (IRB) World Cup four record times than any team in the world.

His exact words as I am quoting the ever complaining Julius Sello Malema, “You cannot say Rhodes must fall and say the Springboks must not fall. The Springboks must fall under that national team; we will give it a new name. And new colours and a new emblem. And it will represent the new democracy”.

“Why are we being forced to salute the emblem that was saluted by Boet and De Klerk? Murderers who were killing our people wearing the same clothes in celebration of butchering black people. That emblem and that jersey represent white supremacists.”

I nearly went into the longest hibernation more than that was taken by my creative juice. My reasoning is that politics aside, and bring the sense of his argument which I doubt it does have one. Our national animal is not a cow as he is normally gifting with cows but a Springbok. Just imagine our rugby team being called the Cows. I think this would not sit well with any citizen of these country, because that is what is being given to a lousy footballer who cannot do great in football or soccer. Excuse, the pan that I am saying such name “The Cows” as I sense that even the name of “The Proteas” he might want to erase. Or is this part of his Nationalism? My question is “Julius, where is patriotism in all these words of yours?”

I do believe that Nationalism cannot exist without Patriotism. I will say this from my philosophical point of view. It is my opinion by the way, readers. In my own view I do think that to be the greatest nationalist you need to be patriotic about your country my reasons come from what I read and will share it here as well. I know someone who reads this will just think that I am being sarcastic. Here are my reasons that actually emphasis the whole surprise I had on Sunday after his Speech. Patriotism is being proud of your country because of what it does, whereas nationalism is proud of your country regardless of what it does. I am not at all costs criticising Malema, but trying to understand his stunt against the greatest national team we have in the country. I would not even try to be political rather question him. The Springboks should be given their flowers without being emotional, because I feel like I am in my deepest sleep and am experiencing the worst nightmare.

This actually reminds me of a piece that I read about the American businessman and property mogul Donald Trump on his speech to announce his president candidacy for the third time now. Trump said something as he was drawing his line as what should Americans expect from him. I think the firebrand EFF leader must learn from the USA’s 45th president by saying something South Africans will cherish than scratching their heads as I am doing as I write these lines. Before I become stuck with Dementia allow me to share the reading from Trump’s speech. Trump on the 28th of June mentioned that we are putting America first, for a change, we are taking care of ourselves, this was stated before declaring, that “I am a nationalist.” While in another address, he confirmed that the United States had incorporated the doctrine of patriotism” under his reign. He further claimed when announcing his candidacy that he “need[s] every patriot on board because this is not just a campaign, this is a quest to save our country.” I am not choosing him at all instead I am just realising that one to get the attention of special citizens like the ones from South Africa and the USA, you have to say things that show that you care by not causing divisions.

I know that Malema claims that he does not mind losing elections because he does not believe that he has to contravene with his principles. But The Springboks are the South African heroes. Can he even be more realistic than dreaming?

Even for the colours to change that will really be absurd for a glorious country like South Africa. My question is “Which colour will he change to?” I may not be aware of his favourite colours but I sense his party’s colours. The EFF colours of Red, Black and Green which will just be very problematic. I will provide a brief history of where did the Green and Gold conundrum came from. This actually traces back to before the Apartheid ideology came into effect in 1948. Here it is as it is provided:

The first Springbok colours were created in 1906 during South Africa’s 1906-07 Northern Hemisphere rugby union tour, as none had been provided for them, and captain Paul Roos decided that the team needed to create their own emblem and nickname to prevent the British press from creating one for them. Using the South African Rugby Board (SARB) director’s guidelines for the playing kit of bottle green jerseys and a gold collar, Roos directed that a green blazer with gold piping and a Springbok emblem on the breast pocket be made for the team in Richmond. Despite this, few colours were produced because they were not standard issue at the time. While the South African national rugby union team’s history dates back to 1891 when the British Lions first visited South Africa and played against South African representative sides.

That happened even before the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, way even before 1948. I do believe that even before a leader of the society and the masses like him come to address people on any issue they have to do a thorough research on that issue. Yes, it might be that the Apartheid regime found comfort to do their atrocities on our people while wearing those colours. But colours cannot be an issue, instead people’s ideologies are the problem. I do believe that this conversation around our national colours and teams’ names should be addressed with a point of thinking about others and the meaning behind such.

Congratulations to the Siyamthanda Kolisi and his army for giving us that pride that we are the World’s best when it comes to rugby. Salute to you, readers and la familiar. 

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