South Africa’s rainbow nation project continues to be under threat, with the likes of Adam Catzavelos, Vicki Momberg and Andile Mngxitama continue to derail all the gains made since the country’s negotiated settlement in 1994.
Race relations in the country take an ugly turn now and then, with few reported incidents of racism that continue to threaten the country’s national project of reconciliation.
This year has seen a few racism incidents, with schools slowing becoming havens of racists.
Former President Nelson Mandela throughout his presidency between 1994 to 1999 used sport as an avenue to drive his rainbow nation project.
However, 25 years later, all of Mandela’s gains seem to be going down the drain.
In Vuvuzela Dawn, two of the most celebrated writers Luke Alfred and Ian Hawkey revisit the 25 sporting moments that helped and played a vital role in supporting Mandela’s rainbow nation project.
The book takes the reader from the first sporting event which announced the country’s presence on the international stage to the current ones.
What the reader will appreciate about what Hawkey and Alfred did in this book is that all the stories were not rehashed from the dustbin of history.
The scribes added flavour in telling these stories by interviewing the sporting heroes themselves or their close associates.
Vuvuzela Dawn is a good reminder of all the good, bad and historic sporting moments that helped foster the rainbow nation in the last 25 years of democracy.
Readers and especially young ones, who were born after 1994 are also introduced to forgotten heroes such as Vuyani Bungu and Josia Thukgwane.
As the country celebrates 25 years of democracy, Vuvuzela Dawn becomes a good point of reference for those 25 years in sports.
Bafana Bafana, Banyana Banyana and the Proteas have previously played a huge role in supporting the rainbow nation project, however, that seems to have changed lately, with their poor showings in the recently concluded competitions they competed in.
The onus now lies with the Springboks to bring South Africans of all races back together and revive the rainbow nation project.
This will be achieved through winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
This book is well packaged, with chapters divided into five parts which build onto each other nicely.
The only bummer about the book is that the scribes decided to focus on a few sporting moments from a few sporting codes.
They expose the fact that not all sporting codes get a fair crack of representation and exposure.
Overall this is a must-read, as we continue to celebrate the country’s 25 years of democracy.