OPINION: Siya needs a history lesson

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi must be congratulated. In December, while many were on holiday, he won the “respect and support” of a certain section in the country.

Did I hear clearly that this trusted man does not like the quota system in sport?

The young man has truly made a bold statement in that controversial interview last month with Kyodo News in Tokyo, which raised the ire of many black people, me included. I am still in a state of confusion over that statement.

By today’s standards, Siya has clocked life. He went to an English school, Grey High School in Port Elizabeth and is currently a Springbok captain and married to a good wife.

Before I delve in deep, let me say his utterances were unfortunate and should not be taken lightly. He made a disgrace of the transformation we are trying to bring about.

Siya reminds me of someone who puts up a ladder to climb up the house but then kicks it away after that. Had we not had quotas, he probably would not have been where he is today.

The mentioning of Rholihlahla Mandela in that interview was also uncalled for. Madiba supported quotas, In fact I can safely say he was part of the gang that formulated the quotas.

Our players who have made it to the national teams need to be educated on transformation. This should not only apply to rugby players but all the sporting codes.

Currently the country is dealing with schools that are refusing the inclusion of black children. These are things that young people like our Siya need to be aware of. They need to be aware that colour still matters in this democratic country of ours.

I have followed varied opinions on the matter. Screaming, singing and ululating, the columnists took turns to discuss the issue. Obviously there were different views.

The views also differed from colour perspectives. But we all know that skill only is not enough in SA, especially in previously whites-only sports.

I am also opposed to quota system, but what choice do we have in a country where certain people own everything and refuse to share?

Some white people need to know that we aspire to live a better life.

And sometimes we have
to force matters. Our kids need to know that it is their right – not a privilege – to sit with white kids.

Our kids should know that by taking them to previously whites-only schools, we are not trying to change them to be white but to get education and know that white people are people just like them.

For some of them, marrying
a white woman is too progressive but it should not be an
oddity.

Maybe that is how this country is going to change for good, and not in the constitution.

In the end, maybe Siya needs to be applauded for telling us his honest opinion on the quota issue, but, then then again, he needs to visit our history books.