Imagine taking the leaders of this week’s top 8 National political parties (Cyril Ramaphosa, John Steenhuizen, Jacob Zuma, Julius Malema, Velenkosini Hlabisa, Gayton McKenzie, Pieter Groenewald and Herman Mashaba) and dropping them into a sandpit for an hour, requiring that they play together?

I know, it’ll never happen. Hold on though. Imagine for a while. What might really happen?

We all know that huge conversations are ahead of all of them. Not just huge, but important. Really important to everyone who calls South Africa their home. Whatever the conversations are, they shouldn’t be about ego, bullshit or power plays. The next few days of conversations are about the 60 million people who call South Africa home.

This whole post was triggered by one of my favourite authors, of one of my favourite books, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. Here’s an excerpt:

ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don’t hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.


Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

Wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup—they all die. So do we.

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned—the biggest word of all—LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all—the whole world—had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are—when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

You don’t learn those things in politics, and definitely not in Parliament. These are the things that you learn in ‘the sandpit’ when you’re Playing together.

Ask any South African what they really want, and it’s mentioned above. Somewhere in there, every South African is in agreement. We want to:

  • get on with our lives
  • improve who we are
  • build a larger house
  • become more educated
  • be friends with our neighbours
  • make sure our children have better opportunities than we had
  • feel safe and secure
  • enjoy our beautiful country
  • invite friends for a meal
  • be as generous as we can

It’s not rocket science. It’s really quite simple.

No matter how you slice it, it all starts in the sandpit. Working together towards a common goal:

  • Being kind
  • Sharing
  • Helping
  • Laughing
  • Cooperating
  • Encouraging
  • Inspiring

Being proud of what we’ve created together!!