Monday, March 8, 2010

Football for Hope in the township of Alexandra, South Africa!

I have been reflecting upon the awesome opportunity I have, in being a part of the festival organizing team of the Football for Hope Festival 2010. I work in operations and have the responsibility to manage procurement and services. In and amongst my everyday work there are those most inspiring moments. One needs some inspiration when you see the social realities that exist in and around Alexandra.

I am a patriotic and hopeful African, and one who has chosen to wrestle with social change as a life mission, so I propel the spirit of Ubuntu- a spirit of togetherness. I am a firm believer in Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu (A person is a person through other people). I believe whole heartedly in “I am because you are.” But while I am hopeful, I am also realistic. In Alexandra while there are wonderful narratives and testimonies of people like President Nelson Mandela, who once resided in Alexandra and journeyed from prisoner to president, we cannot ignore the continued struggle of hundreds upon hundreds of people who live on in the tiresome and socially depressing ethos of Alexandra.

In the social realities I see and observe, I wrestle with my own middle class South African Indian existence, and that of my fellow South African brothers and sisters. In my work and core responsibilities I count it great joy to advocate, represent and be a driving agent on the ground for a movement such as Football for Hope. Football for Hope and the ideologies that underpin it, present many inspiring moments as I go about securing service providers and negotiating for spaces and services according to our development budget restrictions.

It has been an awesome experience through meetings and presentations to remind fellow South Africans and others of a social change agenda, which we must propel in our work and delivery through the platform provided by the Football for Hope Festival 2010. It is most inspiring to see people responding positively to a social ethic and concern, which seeks to serve others before serving ones’ self:

A social ethic and concern which seeks to rectify the wrong-A social ethic and concern which seeks to resist being entangled by self interest and greed-A social ethic and concern that serves the agenda of social change in a local and global focus.

I am perplexed at times by the hurdles of our everyday work. I am conflicted at times by the self centred interests that seem to dominate and suppress social change. I am at times furious and angered by the continued injustices I see in my everyday world.

But let me tell you: I am able to keep on keeping on with a fierce urgency when I think of the bigger picture and the amazing work that we collaboratively will achieve when it has all been said and done. When that day arrives I hope that my contribution will be measured by my actions and not just my words, in propelling social change and my operational delivery in the Football for Hope Festival 2010.

Operating in excellence!
development through football
Seth Naicker
Football for Hope - Festival Organising Team
operations coordinator

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