Absa Premiership

Pressing Issues: Some symbols are worth dying for

2017-07-02 06:00
S'Busiso Mseleku.

Johannesburg - There is an interesting and important campaign currently running on news channel eNCA.

It is aimed at making South Africans understand – and I guess love – their country more. In it, South Africans from different walks of life are asked pertinent questions about the country. One of the questions is: What is the South African national flower? A number of individuals shown in the video clips get it wrong, some don’t even know that there is such a thing.

The protea is one of the most important national symbols that I think every South African should be well versed in. It is a disgrace when people know little about their country.

National symbols

I am usually fascinated when watching American movies that have classroom scenes. You will find the American flag displayed prominently at the front of every classroom.

I wonder what percentage of South Africans know that the current Y-shaped national flag was designed by Frederick Gordon Brownell, let alone who the heck he is. While some might tell you with their eyes closed, and without taking a glance at it, how many colours – red, blue, green, black and yellow – are on the flag, many would struggle to say in what order they are or what they mean.

It is high time we start drilling into our kids the meaning and importance of our national symbols alongside the national anthem. We come from a past where people fought for the freedom of this country from the abhorrent apartheid system. Many people died and many more were prepared to die for us to gain our freedom.

Read former president Nelson Mandela’s statement from the dock during the Rivonia Trial and you will understand where I’m coming from: “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realised. But, My Lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die".

I have noticed some national team players – in a number of sports – being indifferent to the national anthem. Some just mumble and you can see they do not know the words, while others just keep quiet. For a long time, it was the Springboks, with that spirit instilled by Madiba before the 1995 Rugby World Cup, who would sing the anthem with proper gusto. Other national teams have slowly stepped up to the plate.

Below the national symbols in importance are the badges of various sporting clubs, but I will limit myself to football.

Proper induction

A number of clubs such as Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs, Moroka Swallows, AmaZulu, African Wanderers, Bush Bucks, Pretoria Bantu Callies and Bloemfontein Celtic, to mention just a few, are so steeped in tradition that their badges are almost as important as national symbols.

It is our duty as a nation to instil in our children the importance of such symbols. In doing so, by the time a player dons the national team jersey – whether it be at Under-17, Under-20, Under-23 or Bafana Bafana level – they know exactly what it means.

When you wear a Bafana jersey, you are no longer representing your club, but the entire nation.

Even with clubs such as Pirates and Chiefs, there are so many great men – administrators and players – who laid their lives down to get these institutions to where they are.

It is imperative for club owners to give players a proper induction so that they know exactly what they are getting themselves into by donning these jerseys.

Given the performances and attitude of a number of current players, it is obvious they do not fathom what the opportunity means and don’t realise that there are many youngsters who would kill for it.

City Press would like to pass condolences to the families of former Chiefs striker Michael “Bizzah” Dlamini and former Pirates and Swallows marksman Jeffrey “Tornado” Ntsibande, who passed away this week.

Follow me on Twitter @Sbu_Mseleku

Read more on:    johannesburg


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 19 January 2019
Chippa United v Maritzburg United, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Black Leopards v Golden Arrows, Thohoyandou Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 20 January 2019
SuperSport United v Bloemfontein Celtic, Lucas Moripe Stadium 15:30
Polokwane City v Wits, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Tuesday, 22 January 2019
Highlands Park v Mamelodi Sundowns, Makhulong Stadium 19:30
Orlando Pirates v Baroka FC, Orlando Stadium 19:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

After slow starts to their respective 2018/19 Absa Premiership campaigns, who will finish the season ranked higher?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.