As I see the Football for Hope Centre in Manica realise, I discovered I do not feel proud or excited. I feel more proud of my latest table tennis game or kick of a football.
Yet the Centre is supposed to be the fulfilment of a dream: a massive financial investment, the culmination of lots of initiative and effort, to get our small village chosen as one of 20 in Africa.
Even in terms of utility and local pride, the centre is a monument!
So why am I not that proud and excited personally?
It took me time to explore the issue and with the input of some friends I am starting to identify possible reasons:
– The use of a professional building contractor, led to a much different feeling than when ‘we’ built our other buildings. Even if we made the bricks for this one.
– We went through empty design consultations and in the end foreigners decided what to build and how it should look. Maybe they feel more proud of their creation.
– Considering where they money comes from, the success is a bit bitter-sweet. Since our previous buildings were built with money coming from friends that like us, believe in us and know us.
– Perhaps simply because this time I am in South Africa, while the building was erected in Mozambique
– Now that the building is up, the Governor, Barclays Manager, Mayor and all sorts are visiting and showing interest, catching attention, while in our previous 10 poor years, they were no where to be seen.
list to be continued… still feels weird and ambivalent. clearly I worry more about process than target, being an idealist that believe dominant pragmatism is never a justification for compromise.