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Celebrating Our Rainbow Nation…Invictus
Celebrating Our Rainbow Nation…Invictus

It’s been almost two decades that the walls of apartheid tumbled down and South Africans came in union at the Rugby world cup 1995 and 1997 and every colour joined in to sing not only a song of victory but freedom too.

In those two years sport proved to be a great unifier of our nation and many friendships and opportunities were built both on and off the field for both the spectators and the players. Those two were greatest triumphs in South Africa’s rich sporting history, and now chalked up to the multiracial democracy of the republic of South Africa and the two World Cups testimony to what the 47 million people of this wonderful country can achieve when they become one.

And now as the country is approaching yet another historic world sporting event, the FIFA 2010 World Cup, one can only hope that the same inspiration, drive and love reigns over South Africans and they come together in support of the national team and the stadiums echo songs of triumph as the boys take on some of the world’s famous soccer giants. If Bafana Bafana could emulate the success of the Springboks in 1995/7 on the field, we may just keep the World Cup longer than 2010.

That is what the new movie “Invictus” (which means ‘unconquered’) resembles, it tells an inspiring story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the then Rugby captain, Francois Pienaar, to help unite the country.

This was at a time when the nation was fragmented and unsure of itself, when Mandela leadership faced its greatest challenge. It is amazing to note that Mandela, with so much on his plate, invested so much, risked so much for something seemingly as unimportant as rugby.


Morgan Freeman who plays the role of Nelson Mandela in the movie calls it a moment when “a nation coalesced so suddenly and so completely”. And it is a story a few people in the world know about, and many South Africans could do well to remember. It also comes at a time when the South Africans must rise to extraordinary new goals and challenges ahead of the 2010 World Cup, when every man, every colour must again search for the best in themselves.

These are some of the comments made by international people about the movie after seeing it:

  • Brandy, The previews for this movie made it seem like it was a MUST see. Morgan Free did a good job of playing Nelson, but all the other actors were just okay. Nothing to make me encourage others to pay a $9.50 ticket price. However, good for a dollar red box rental.
  • Steve, overall this was an enjoyable movie, as I know little about both rugby, and more importantly period of South African history. Not great, but a longish feel good movie about the potential of mending long-harboured racial wounds.
  • 2Know1, the movie moved quickly. I listened intently for quotable phrases- forgiveness, control your soul. It should challenge your own precepts, whether you hold them for a good reason or “hand-me-down” thinking. Another great learning – rise above the fray and your circumstances to do something great… you don’t have to be status quo. I would see it again to hear/ gain inspiration.
  • Shelly, this Eastwood directed motion pictures is what I would call “steady”. This film presents its subject matter in an even fashion. By this I mean it does not foist upon the viewer contrived emotion or over the top dialogue. Instead, it offers the story in an intelligent manner that makes it incumbent upon the movie fan to react, feel, respond and interpret how to process it through his or her own veil of life experience. Certainly, you expect a particular ending from this film. It is the discoveries along the journey that makes this picture poetry in motion.
  • Don, I did not know much about Rugby. However, it is a ruthless game and I’m glad that in my younger years I was not involved. I found the film very informative about South Africa at that time.
  • Ike, it was definitely a feel good movie. I felt there were a few too many sublingual messages about Obama in there for my taste.

One thing is certain though Invictus will be successful here in South Africa as it is a story South Africans understand more than anyone. It will be a massive hit in local cinemas this festive season, as people will be rushing nostalgically relive one of our nation’s great moments of glory. The movie will be released on the 11th of December, go out and see it and tell us your thoughts on it.

Article By: Nokuthula Khanyile




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