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Ruby world cup, a sparkling moment for South Africa

Ruby world cup, a sparkling moment for South Africa

The win in the recent rugby world cup is certainly something to be proud of. Some say that it is a more significant win than in 1995. But South Africa, how to create a winning brand?

It is refreshing experience to have the world take notice of South Africa with a positive story but we shouldn’t drop the ball now. What is meaningful about this event is what it represents. It represents a South Africa that is alive with possibility, a team where its team members come from such diverse backgrounds and yet draw together for the win.

In a pastoral narrative approach (in our context, to ‘counselling, but personally also coaching and some others), we typically believe that problems are never hundred percent successful. There will always be experiences that undermine the problem stories that draw people, families, businesses, and ultimately nations (and sports teams) down. And as for the world cup it is a sparkling moment that says that the blood of hope still pumps in our veins.

Some will say, yes but that is only a moment and soon South Africa will fall back into its problem saturated story. Narrative work is not about being positive as such, it’s about identity/ies. We live in and expand the stories of how we understand ourselves in the moment that it matters, where you get the ball. In that moment the past and expectations about the future lapse into the present and determine your next step.

What needs to follow now is we must start connecting the dots of the alternative understanding of South Africa, of the specific experiences we can remember for as far back as we can remember. The world cup win and what it represents is one of them. These are moments in narrative practice (or the original context ‘narrative therapy) that we call unique outcomes or sparkling moments. When we connect these moments, the alternative story starts to come alive. It makes us aware of, not what South Africa can be, but what it also is. And yes, sure, ‘can be.’ But that happens as we invite each other to live the alternative story which becomes the preferred story, our identity.

The strategy for the game that we now must play is to pass on the ball of the unique outcomes in our country wherever we notice them from ordinary South Africans like you and me but also where we see good happening on an institutional level. Keep the ball in play, don’t just ‘sommer’ kick it away. Keep it in play until the small unique outcomes build to a try, and then another and another.

We thank the world cup for one of the clearest examples of South Africa as a winning team. That is the brand story of South Africa that is more than just being positive, the preferred story is already there, let’s keep building it.

By
Elmo Pienaar

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Accredited by the University of Pretoria, we offer specialised training in a narrative approach that is generally described as pastoral but non-doctrinal in nature. A narrative approach also has application in coaching, mentoring, facilitation, mediation and organisational development.

We’ve offered pastoral and narrative therapy training for the past two decades.

Most programmes are accredited by the University of Pretoria.
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About

Welcome to an embracing fellowship that offers hope.

Situated in Waterkloof Glen, Pretoria, South Africa, Coram Deo offers training in pastoral narrative therapy and professional counselling services made cost effective by the generosity of our donors and partner therapists and other professionals.

 

Coram Deo Pastoral Centre (NPC)
Registration no. 2003/007191/08

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