Somewhere over the rainbow

The Rainbow Nation does exist.

But it’s only accessible at certain times and exclusively for those without political bias or who’ve got shot of useless baggage.

It’s a place promised by the inimitable Desmond Tutu in which all South Africans share the same dream of living together in harmony despite cultural, religious and traditional diversity.

It is there for the taking, but only for those who pay the price. Makes me think of the Scottish play Brigadoon. In it, two Americans on a hunting trip in Scotland become lost. They encounter a small village called Brigadoon, in which people harbour a mysterious secret.

But it’s only open at certain times and they were lucky to time it just right. It proves a magical place, unfettered with modern-day politics and religious intolerance. One wonders if Tutu had Brigadoon in mind when he envisaged a new South Africa. I’ll never forget, as a youngster, leaving the theatre in high spirits and asking my parents whether there can ever be a place like Brigadoon. They couldn’t give me an answer.

In retrospect, I can see why, given the horrendous history that followed. I found the Rainbow Nation while lying prone in hospital. It suddenly appeared before me. On the television screen. Thousands of people, sitting, standing side by side, shouting, dancing and screaming.

Faces representing every colour of the rainbow, giving each other high fives and joining in the Mexican wave. It became obvious the place was the reserve for happy people. To cut to the chase. Sporting events. They represent the Rainbow Nation.

They are the Brigadoon we all long for. In fact, they are our only outlet away from the sorry state of our nation run by arguably the worst bunch of politicians this country has yet encountered. If ever you feel down, book yourself a seat at a stadium, or settle back and tune in to a sport of your choice.

Like the two Americans in Brigadoon, let’s enjoy the magic moment. There, we are safe from the ugliness surrounding our daily lives. Even the only outsider, the sports minister, is drowned out by the sounds of people who won’t allow political interference in their Brigadoon. And it’s the only place where it makes sense to sing the anthem.

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8 December 2018 THE VAAL

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