What does being South African mean to you?
Please take some time to mull over that question and ask yourself if you can truly say that you are a proud son or daughter of this soil.
Allow me to be brave and say I can’t.
See, I was born during the Apartheid years, but never experienced it because I was too young.
I only got my understanding of life at a time when the Rainbow Nation was born.
To me that day was in June 1995 when Nelson Mandela and Francois Pienaar lifted the Bill (the William Webb Ellis trophy) TOGETHER.
As a 11-year-old I could sense it was a big moment.
Now as you read this today, that historical moment took place 24 years ago.
And while I have grown as a person in these 24 years, I simply can’t say the same about my country.
I’m not talking politics, finances or the other material stuff here - I’m talking about the man in the mirror.
I’m talking about people’s hearts here.
Now I’ve heard all the heartbreaking stories of the past and I know a lot of the older generation is still scarred by it, while others are paying the price for it now.
But ladies and gents, we need to give this new South Africa and the new generation the opportunity to grow into something beautiful - a true Rainbow Nation.
Last week, the whole Eben Etzebeth drama gave people the opportunity to once again show this country’s deep-rooted racism on social media platforms.
My Bible says: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”
The irony is that the Springboks jetted off to Japan leaving their fans with the hashtag Stronger Together to egg them on.
In that case, I’m afraid, we are as weak as the Rand against the Pound.
And that’s why we don’t deserve to win Bill.
Now before you throw stones at me, please take to heart this message and dig deep to see if there isn’t something in your approach that you can change.
As for Eben, guilty or not, I would have axed him from my World Cup squad if I was the coach of the national team. But I’m not.
Having seen the video where he repeatedly told one of the patrons at a watering hole to f***off, I decided that I had seen enough of this story.
That’s simply not how a Springbok behaves in public.
As a lifelong fan of the Green and Gold, it was a dream of mine to play for the national team.
It is a dream that would see me as the ultimate professional rugby player in the country - one that is the embodiment of what hard work can achieve.
I see a Springbok as a God-fearing man. A man with great values and generally a man who deserves respect wherever he goes.
He should be a hero to our youngsters and an inspiration to an already-divided nation.
The Springbok symbolises hope.
And being a Springbok means you have the light of the country in your hand.
I understand that there are challenges and I know we will never have one culture.
But our cultures can run parallel with one common goal in mind - making our very young country great. Without the demons of the past.
It’s the same in every sport - once you put on the national team blazer you become a representative of aunty Susan van Bonteheuwel, boeta Jo van die Bo-Kaap, oom Karel van Stellenbosch and sis Buhle from Khayelitsha.
That’s what the Green and Gold represents - our country and the best rugby players we have.
Unfortunately for the players, it means people will feel like you belong to them.
Mense, they don’t - but I catch your drift.
So if you as a representative and an extension of our country’s people and you can’t respect those who adore you or even those who hate you, then you’re in the wrong place.
The verdict is still out on whether Eben is guilty or not of racially abusing the Langebaan accusers.
In my books, though, the line was drawn before then already... by his actions.
If you want to unite the country - and I believe this is what sport is supposed to do - then you need to act like you are one with all.
Many people have told me that the idea of a Rainbow Nation is a pipe dream. And maybe I’m a bit crazy, but I still believe it is possible.
For that reason we have to choose representatives of our country that knows what it means to represent this country.
Hopefully they will be able to flip the switch.
As it stands, we will be sitting with the same problem in about three decades when those that aren’t even born yet are burdened by their parents’ past.
Anyway, sterkte Bokke!