South Africa’s national team since last week is the new men’s rugby world champion after beating England (32-12) in the final at Yokohama International Stadium in Japan.
“We remember the people who have a hard time. We play for a whole country, for those who don’t have a home.” That was the message of Siya Kolisi, who when he started playing rugby did so in his underpants because he had no pants, now and forever South Africa’s first black captain, wields the golden cup. Next to him is the country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa. Two black Springboks dresses as Nelson Mandela wanted in his last time.
The South African team arrived in Japan, leaving behind a country saddened by the social and political situation; waves of criticism against South Africa were unleashed in recent weeks from across the continent, especially from countries such as Nigeria. The escalation of xenophobic-tinged violence, however, is a recurring phenomenon in South Africa. Despite the poor performance of the South African economy in recent years and high unemployment, the country is home to many immigrants from the region, arriving in search of a better future in the financial heart of Africa’s most developed nation. Twenty-five years after apartheid ended, South Africa is at a crossroads, both economically and socially, politically and morally. Unemployment figures (29%) are the highest among emerging countries, the economy’s growth is too low. The industry has not experienced real diversification: raw materials remain the most important economic factors. At the same time, companies complain about corruption, lack of skilled labor. The complex problems of apartheid-era redistribution and participation are far from solved. The consequences of racial policy continue to have an effect.
24 years later;; when against all the forecasts the Sringboks won the Rugby World Cup in South African territory, an episode remembered in the film “Invictus”, that moment Mandela noted that reconciliation “does not mean forgetting or suppressing pain for the past”, but assured that a nation cannot be based on revenge, but on “our common humanity, in tolerance”. Today more than ever; South Africa needs reconciliation, coexistence and inspiration; The Springboks took the first step in Japan.