The Green Green Grass of Home

I was lucky enough recently, thanks to good friends at Everton football club, to experience a world class stadium at its very best. With six others, all of whom had tickets thanks to the good guys at EFC, I sat and wondered just how close our 2010 stadiums will compare to Wembley on a FA Cup Final day, the answer I think is that we will do ourselves proud!

We were constantly asked by Brits on the trip and in one case my good friend Tim Hughes was even grilled at the Football Writers Association Annual Dinner about the same topic, “What’s happening in SA chaps?” Knowing they wanted to hear the doom and gloom spread by many SA expats living in London, often simply justifying their move to sunny London, they were shocked by our united responses!

“All is well boys, our stadiums are ahead of schedule or complete, we are running numerous international events and we cannot wait for you all to arrive in June 2010!”

Yes its time to bury the gloom, time to get on with what we have and who we are and not worry about what we can never have or be. Shame, we cannot be the worlds’ greatest buyer of motor vehicles, so we cannot have the worlds number one bankruptcy, well done GM on that one. Shame, we do not have the oldest and most regulated banking system, so we cannot have the worlds’ largest banking meltdown, well done the UK on that one. Shame, we do have a minister too stupid to realise that taking an S class Merc as a back hander was not really in keeping with his boss’s pledge to be straight and true. Well done, however, to the UK on leading the world on dodgy politicians, be they MP’s or Ministers, strewth even their Chancellor got the public to pay for tax advice on his own position, did he not write those rules? No people, all is “Not Right With The World”, but guess what my friends, it is “Not All Wrong Here Either!”

Despite the general gloom there are many fighting back, this publication is one of them, what a great new format and a brave commitment to the medium and long term. I am also lucky enough to be part of Warwick Private Wealth and they are also fully committed to growth and have continued to grow in this crazy market, how, well simply looking beyond the short term and believing in the long term future of SA and its people.

Failure starts in the mind and whatever you believe will almost certainly become your reality, you must have surely heard the line,

If you believe you are going to fail, you almost certainly will.

The time has come for the doom merchants to take a year or ten off! We must always remain realists and live in the real world, but our outlook for the future must now change. Africa’s only major industrial nation, with the best education policies, finest banking system and largest international investment partners (lets forget the oil companies robbing West Africa, for this discussion) will not go quietly into the night and we should be fighting for it , TEAM SA, every single day, not moaning about greener grass elsewhere!

There will be tears and we will be hurt at times. But come on, since when was Africa ever for sissies (why do so many SA expats become the biggest sissies on the planet as soon as they leave or rather from the moment their tickets are booked?).  Jobs may be lost, as will some homes, people will take strain and there will be some tough decisions to be made. Together though we can pull together as a great team, and find ourselves in 2010, 2015, 2020 and beyond in a solid and sensible state that offers ever more opportunities, even for those running home looking for the greener grass in what is now the old garden they couldn’t leave quickly enough!

Finally, speaking of great teams and stadiums, well played Chelsea, but at least Everton now have the fastest goal in any FA Cup Final. It proved, however, to be like swatting at a large bee, it was always going to come back and bite, or is that sting. Whatever, we lose with dignity and like SA we will be back!

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