This week saw the Steyn City School Oval transformed as the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day organization created the ‘Stronger Together’ flag on the field. We are privileged to have been a part of this initiative and we salute those who made it possible. We were deeply honoured to welcome so may icons of the South African political, cultural, and sporting landscape to Steyn City School. Their contribution as a school to this was close to insignificant when compared to the efforts of thousands of South Africans who have embraced what has become a movement in our country that brings optimism and possibility to our discourse. Carolyn Steyn spoke of ‘knitting South Africa together’ and that image captures the work of the ‘KnitWits’ perfectly: it is about blankets but it is also about so much more. President Mbeki quoted from Maxim Gorky when he spoke of cities as ‘a prayer to the future’ and made direct reference to Steyn City as being one of those prayers in our country’s future. Amidst the optimism implicit in every speech and every performance, there was the very stark message that we all are called to action and to speak truth to power if we are to prosper as a nation. This was borne out particularly in the words of the young people who spoke so articulately for hope and for action.
With a rugby clinic being run by the South African Rugby Legends Association (dare we single out the presence of ‘Beast’ Mtawarira and John Smit?), helicopters landing on our field throughout the morning, and a display by the aerobatic team from Hired Gun Aviation, it was almost impossible for our students to keep focused and it was sad but necessary that the number of spectators had to be limited so severely for this celebration. A moment of true joy came as our musicians were able to perform in front of a live audience after so many months of recordings and they did so with a vibrant artistry that made us all very proud.
Carolyn Steyn and her team inspire in every way and the global streaming of the event means that the impact of the work and commitment that led up to this extraordinary event has been felt way beyond our community. It was a very special day in the life of a very special community. We were deeply grateful to be a part of it.