Several encouraging omens accompanied Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration as president of South Africa this weekend.
It was seven years after Elon Musk changed humanity’s space-faring future by becoming the first person to dock a private space ship at the International Space Station.
It was also 42 years since the release of the first Star Wars movie.
According to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (my favourite book of all time), 42 is also the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything.
Now there’s an omen worth aspiring to.
And if you really want to stretch the numerology imagination, then Ramaphosa takes us into the year 2020, the number is associated with clear and superior vision.
George Benson even sings about it.
And if 2020 is about visual clarity, then Ramaphosa couldn’t have chosen a better time to attempt cleaning out the corruption rot in government and vault us into the rainbow nation miracle we were promised in 1994.
Taking the oath of office on Saturday, our first citizen’s chosen words gave me a lot of hope for the next five years.
His vision for a country free of poverty, joblessness, illiteracy and suffering within a generation, is an ambitious one, but one I reckon is possible.
But first we will have to get rid of the political cynicism that has grown like a cancer inside our collective psyche in the past few years.
Without indicating whether he was referring to apartheid or his predecessor’s tenure (Jacob Zuma was conspicuous in his absence on Saturday), Ramaphosa acknowledged what he called SA’s debilitating legacy.
But then he chose to use positive words which I believe were meant to encourage us all to buy into his vision.
He said to achieve the SA of our dreams, it is going to demand extraordinary human endeavour, courage, wisdom and perseverance.
In other words, we are going to have to work together and we are going to have to do it harder than we’ve ever done it before.
Of all the auspicious omens I chose to see in Saturday’s occasion, probably THE most significant is the fact that it was also Africa Day.
South Africa was not invited to the first meeting of African leaders that launched the beginning of the African Union in 1958.
And once that Organisation of African Unity was eventually founded on 25 May 1963, one of its stated goals was to free South Africa and her neighbours from colonisation.
Here we are, 56 years later, the OAU goal achieved and with our sixth democratically elected president promising us the clean governance we have always deserved.
I have called the 2019 elections a watershed for South Africans in that I believe it was us giving the ANC a last chance at getting it right.
And if it wasn’t for Ramaphosa, we may have chosen differently.
But of all the people who managed to make their voices heard in the last week, it was perhaps Julius Malema who spoke most eloquently about our hopes and dreams when he addressed the first sitting of the new parliament.
And trust me, I never thought that I would be the one to speak so highly of the EFF leader.
But credit must be given when it is due.
Malema is not our saviour and he has a lot to answer for, but he is growing as a politician and deserves respect for that.
So much of his cautions to Ramaphosa in Parliament last week were true reflections of what average South Africans will want to say to him: Be suspicious of praise singers, the old guard and those who seek only positions and who want to remain in your favour.
Ramaphosa is ultimately a businessman and he knows that a prosperous country with a thriving economy and happy citizens is good for business.
Without expecting him to get it 100% right, he deserves our cooperation.