Reader’s letter: Small steps towards pride


Benton Nortman, principal of Hoƫrskool Salomon Senekal on Viljoenskroon, writes:

Last year I saw a video of the Republic becoming celebrations of 1966 and squinted at the pride with which the soldiers march and proverbially carry the arms of the Afrikaner.

I see the Impalas and Harvards proudly complete their flybys with painstaking precision at the right time.

Immediately I get sad and realize those days are over. The days when the Afrikaner had pride and respect. When did we lose it? How did we lose it? Has it been taken from us or have we perhaps given it up?

Pride and respect are very important to the Afrikaner. Every year on December 16, I wonder if my children will ever experience what I experienced as a child; the excitement and humiliation surrounding the vow festival. I still remember my grandfather’s face when the national anthem and oath are broadcast on TV.

And then the big moment, when the sun shines exactly on the cenotaph. These were sacred moments that evoked a feeling of unity, trust and calm.

Today I wonder, what is left? What are we leaving for our children? Maybe there remained in me hope and resilience. Maybe it’s just enough to start over. A second chance to regain the glory of Afrikaners. This time it will be more difficult as we now have to do it ourselves and it will certainly take longer.

I hope my children see in me today the will to keep fighting for our faith and culture. Even if my step is small, I will keep walking, because “ahead of the road there is a light”.