There are a lot of things happening around us on campus while most of us are trying to get our degrees unscathed. Zolani Mahola from Freshlyground sang the national anthem at Monday night’s Varsity Cup final. Although she sang it beautifully and was an excellent selection to be the person for the job, she was not the initial choice.
Initially SU’s choir was approached to have the honour of singing the anthem. Due to a variety of reasons, which include the choir having a full schedule and a plethora of performances approaching.
However, one of the other reasons that was given to the members of the choir itself, was that the choir director did not want the choir to sing the national anthem because some members of the public sing some parts of the song louder than others, or they don’t sing certain parts at all.
The best choir in the world doesn’t want to sing their own country’s national anthem.
Apart from the first reaction being, “what’s wrong with singing the national anthem?” isn’t it other people’s problem if they are not singing it? A few other thoughts arise from this. Why is it being assumed that the national anthem will be used to make a politcal statement by a crowd of university students? People are being sketched as being a lot more negative towards the national anthem than they might actually be.
Singing the national anthem at the beginning of sports matches creates a feeling of unity among the spectators and players alike. Even if you feel as though some people might not value all parts of the national anthem equally, you should set an example to those around you and sing the anthem with pride. Feeling ashamed or “hurt” to sing the national anthem does nothing to create the sense of unity or pride that you feel is lacking.
Maybe, just maybe, if people were not afraid, ashamed or saddened to sing the national anthem, it would create a ripple effect. Luckily, Maties can walk around with smiles on their faces this week, since we won the Varsity Cup for the first time in eight years on Monday.
Of course, not everyone is that excited about rugby (even though the number of people in the stadium on Monday night might indicate otherwise). While the Maties rugby team was lining up for a kick, other students were going to the theatre to see the shows that residences and PSOs have been working on for weeks. (Toneelfees is still going on, by the way.)
It takes a special kind of student (a very needed kind!) to offer up personal time in between studying to go to rehearsals and put effort into a play that very few people will see.
While you are cheering on your favourite sports teams, just remember to give a bit of acknowledgement to these types of people. After all, just like a rugby team wants a crowd, the arts would appreciate one, too.