The last couple of days, Oscar Pistorius and the alleged murder of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, has been the topic of almost every tweet, Facebook status and pub conversation in South Africa and it is even making waves abroad. Different angles are being covered by different people – from mistaken identity to domestic problems and a love triangle – but the one thing people seem to be missing is that South Africa has lost a hero, a national symbol.
@GarethRosslee argued here that one should be skeptical about idolizing sport stars as some of them have been known to let us down from time to time – personally, I could not disagree more. Oscar is more than just a Paralympic and Olympic athlete – to many South Africans he is a symbol of hope – here’s a guy that defied the odds and became a national hero. If your parents failed you or if you have whatever type of disability that holds you back, physically or mentally, it’s people like Oscar who inspires you to fight through it and come out the other end successful. I don’t think most of us can fathom the amount of lives his story touched and changed. Worldwide celebrities have taken to Twitter to sing his praises in the past – testament to how much of an impact Oscar has made.
It does not matter if Oscar is guilty of murder – premeditated or not – I feel we should put our opinions and thoughts aside and take some time to mourn the loss of a national hero. We have lost a tragic hero, similar to those Shakespeare used to write about, and who knows when and if South Africa will be able to produce another…
Written for The Pundits by @thatWallace