Dricus du Plessis: The universal hero

Henry

I like a man who can stand his ground;

i like an arm that can punch

an unblinking eye

who can watch a bar;

and a will that is as firm as a stone!

– Jan FE Cilliers

Jan FE Cilliers would undoubtedly have been a fan of Dricus du Plessis. Not only because Dricus – with his arm that can punch – was crowned the UFC middleweight champion, but also because of his unwavering steadfastness about who he is and what he believes in.

Dricus’ comment in an interview shortly before his victory, that the South African government is a frontrunner in the race to be the world’s worst and most corrupt government, set social media abuzz. Upon his return to South Africa, Dricus confirmed without hesitation that he stood by this comment. A crowd of people expressed their gratitude and appreciation that Dricus was brave enough to use his international platform to voice their frustrations.

Like Jan FE Cilliers, CJ Langenhoven also wrote down some wise words about how an honorable man acts: “Give me a man who says what is true when the devil is there.” Dricus didn’t mince words when he spoke his heart out.

Millions of viewers around the world saw a fantastic aerial shot of the Voortrekker Monument in Dricus’ trailer when he entered the arena. For Afrikaners who hold their heritage close to their hearts, it was incredibly heartwarming to witness. Dricus is a proud ambassador for the Vootrekker Monument and proclaims the importance of nurturing and preserving your cultural heritage, knowing and honoring your history. Dricus does not make a murder pit of his heart about issues that are close to his Afrikaner heart. For example, he regularly and unashamedly raises awareness and raises funds to fight farm murders.

Dricus’ commendable, brave actions elicit – as one might expect – not an exclusively positive response. A handful of experts pointed out that Dricus’ comment about the South African government is not “technically” 100% correct. The author of an opinion piece Citizen suggested that Dricus should instead leave comments on politics to the expert political analysts.

A few fringe figures were also offended because Dricus is unashamed of his heritage and shows a healthy sense of cultural pride. Even Dricus’ comments in 2020 about farm murders were maliciously dug up and displayed as so-called “evidence” of flaws in his character.

All these attempts to grasp at straws of “criticism” of Dricus in his moment of glory, however, serve as clear evidence of his growing reputation as the common man on the street’s hero and mouthpiece. Dricus talks about politics in the public eye like most of us talk about it around the barbecue fire. Jan Alleman, who witnesses first-hand the everyday destruction resulting from the ANC’s corruption, mismanagement and short-sighted policies, honestly experiences the South African government as the worst and most corrupt government in the world.

Just like Dricus, the overwhelming majority of Afrikaners are not ethnomasochists. They share Dricus’ healthy sense of pride in their cultural heritage and culture. Dricus’ achievements and perseverance are deeply rooted in his knowledge of where his cannibalistic power comes from. Dricus expresses himself about it as follows: “Africans are known for their perseverance, their drive and their tenacity and I really find a lot of inspiration in this, especially before a big fight.” Dricus also does not hesitate to publicly proclaim his Christian faith.

As Dirk Hermann has already written, “(Many of) them no longer live on farms, but there is a piece of farm in every Afrikaner.” If you see how passionately Dricus feels about farm murders, and how despite fierce criticism he uses his international platform to raise awareness about this issue, there is clearly a big piece of farm in him too.

Dricus does not fanatically preach to his supporters from an ivory tower. He does not load his interviews with virtue signaling for fear of the poisonous pens of some members of the commentariat. He unambiguously says what he means and he means exactly what he says. Finally, Dricus does not insult and belittle his culture and his heritage, like some other celebrities, in order to appease the prejudices that some hold against Afrikaners. Dricus’ actions, statements, mentality and achievements emphasize one fact loud and clear: he knows what we know.