Monday, August 31, 2009

The other dimension of the game

I have been thinking much about this slogan or caption “the other dimension of the game”. It is a slick and catchy phrase that I have been exposed to in my work with Streetfootballworld - a strategic partner of FIFA in the 2010 FIFA World cup in South Africa. Streetfootballworld is concerned with development through football. The game of football has another side, another dimension, and it is most exciting being a part of a festival organizing team that delivers the Football for Hope Centre Kick Off -2009 and the Football for Hope Festival- 2010. You can learn more about Streetfootballworld by visiting

In my current work as operations coordinator, and my continued consulting and training and development - this theme “the other dimension of the game” has captured my thoughts and considerations. Our daily life could be considered as a game. A game for some that is filled with adventure, achievement and success. For others a game filled with anxiety, alienation and struggle. It is a most valuable exercise to be reflective and introspective of “the other dimension of the game”, or “the other dimension of life” - for my reality is not the reality of another. In the world that we live in, there is growing need for everyday people to be learned in the practice of considering the other and the dimension of life that one may not be seeing.

In the recent drama surrounding Caster Semenya there are certain realities that prevail in life, concerning ethnic and gender bias. Semenya’s professional athlete record lies in the hands of people and tests that scrutinize her person and her being. Once must wonder what dimension of the game was missing in the happenings surroundings this young, dynamic and triumphant person. Could it be the dimension of one’s human rights was not in focus? Could it be the dimension of caution to protect a person, instead of bringing open rebuke and international destructive propaganda?

It is my hope to go about my work at Streetfootballworld being mindful of “the other dimension of the game.” It is my hope that every facet of my personal and professional life will be concerned with the social, development, justice and human rights dimension of life. May people all over our world be captured by the efforts, programs and causes that focus on “the other dimension of life”. The dimension that is easier left ignored and marginalized. A dimension that falls outside the framework of a globalization -profit making market economy!

The world of football/soccer has in some ways recognised the other dimension. May we live to see a day when politics and economics are engaged with the other dimension of their game! It is possible to go about our lives with a socially astute ethic that seeks to bring about a better world for all humanity!

Consider today your life and the people that are in your ethos, which dimensions of your everyday existence are not apparent to you. Do you see and understand the depth of complexity that your fellow colleague or neighbour exists in? Are you intentionally considering “the other dimension of the game” in the game of life that you play every day?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Alutta continua - the struggle continues

Alutta continua- the struggle continues!

I have been home in South Africa for two months as of the 6th of August, 2009. I am grateful that my family and I are home in the land of our beginnings. But while we celebrate our 15th year of democracy, and the transition of presidency from Mbeki to Motlanthe and now to President Jacob Zuma, I am critical and concerned about the substance of our democracy.

Now more than ever before our democracy is in need of a check up before we wreck up. People who have been left outside the realm of economic blessings are becoming increasingly agitated by the promises that democracy has not provided within the last 15 years. Just two weeks ago South Africans witnessed the voices of frustrated citizens as they took to the streets of Durban- Kwazulu Natal in protest, demanding government to step in with a monthly remuneration for families without income.

I have been in the presence of committed activists for social change, who cannot but shudder at the continual misgivings and shortcomings of a democracy that continues to serve the elite and economically enfranchised of South Africa. Who will answer the cries of help of the poor and marginalized? Who will come to the aid of people who are fighting to survive the strain of chronic ailments without moneys to purchase life line medical supply and assistance!

It is my hope that people of faith will come to the forefront and take a stand of active solidarity. Fore ideological solidarity is just a scapegoat and not good enough, when people are living in desperate times. It is my hope that people, who profess faith in Jesus Christ, will revisit Holy Scriptures and rediscover Jesus’ concern for the sick, the marginalized, the wounded, and demised. It is my hope that Christians who see the injustices of profit making schemes and capitalistic escapades in their every day working environments, will speak out and provide an alternative option. Jobs need not be cut when top bracket earners can take a slight cut in their salaries. People need not go hungry when restaurant meals have left over going to waste.

The struggle continues in South Africa, it is a struggle that is connected to our past, but it is equally a struggle of our present, and if ethics and economic policies refuse to budge, it will be a struggle that we carry into our future.