Johannesburg - Summer seems to have fully abandoned Johannesburg these last few weeks with the Highveld living under the near constant shadow of grey skies; threatening inclement weather and little warmth as sun-shy conditions persist.
One could imagine that in some fantastical fiction where thought constructs reality, this is the general mood of the city become tangible – brooding melancholy with flashes of ill-tempered violent lightning and rolling thunder.
It’s been a long year – a helluva long year, and the “boys are bleak,” to quote a patron of the recently cancelled Rage festival in Plettenberg Bay. South Africa has endured a torrid year of economic woe, political infighting, and social upheaval, so here at the end there is a general malaise that has set in, a fatigue felt in the bones.
And it is for this reason that watching Saru director of rugby Rassie Erasmus living his best life these past few weeks has sparked joy, and dare I say it maybe even a bit of festive season spirit. Posting on social media, SA’s No 1 citizen has been having a jol, enjoying a braai or two; sampling a drink or five; and dancing unabashedly with comical, yet endearing rhythm, to a couple of bangers with friends and family (not that I could do any better).
Okay I agree! Inappropriate? tell me and I take it off (🇿🇦) Time to get back at my twins !! Apparently they can embarrass anytime but parents not! Remember I am white and have no rhythm, but hell I want to make the Gwijo Squad 😂 https://t.co/pzIdpwz4wG pic.twitter.com/5a3EnPvmKx— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) December 17, 2021
It became infinitely better once the interwebs got hold of the clip and started playing their own tjoons over the post, including a sampling of Uptown Funk, A Spaceman Came Travelling and Blue Monday.
Then there is Frank, the Erasmus’ family bulldog, who should be an internet sensation and a viral hit that has warmed the cockles of the heart.
Of course, in such irascible times the initial reaction would be to be judgmental – it was a concern that the former Springbok coach also alluded to in one of his posts, but you know what, screw that!
Day 29 of the 60 Days! Starting to feel really positive that and this was a very good decision ! pic.twitter.com/vXEijmPlAD— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) December 15, 2021
We can all learn a thing or two from Erasmus, and accept to let go of a tough year, consign it to the past and enjoy ourselves in the here and now.
The struggles of next year are just that – a problem that we can individually and collectively tackle in 2022.
It, too, will no doubt be a taxing 12 months as we continue to battle the scourge of Covid-19 and the many socio-economic and political problems that we face.
This will be my final contribution to the written word this year, and hereafter I think I will very much take a leaf out of the Erasmus playbook and sit back and relax, consider the many privileges that I enjoy, while being grateful for the good fortune that my family, friends and I have been blessed with these past two years.
By no means, do I wish to come across as preachy, and admittedly it is weird that an individual that I have only interacted with over a virtual space could have such an impact on my psyche, but then I believe in these unprecedented times you must take whatever positives you can find, hold dearly onto them and run with them responsibly.
Mr Erasmus need not worry about the optics of his joy, or how he goes about celebrating the passing of 2021– you do you boo.
To once again quote the selfsame Rage patron, “the is on.”