I stand before you today
Fellow country man.
I stand before you today
Citizens and officials.
I stand before you today
Man and women of different backgrounds.

People of eleven languages
People of cultures and histories; 
people of one land,
One nation, one anthem and one flag 

I stand here before you to remind you of a dream.

A dream once cherished, 
Longed for;
A dream that united us under one vision.
One that was a burning desire,
One that drove,
That inspired,
And compelled both men and women to take to action.

A dream nurtured by many; 

An instinct, a passion
That could never be suppressed.
A desire, a fire 
That could never be put out 
no matter the effort.

I stand before you to rekindle that spark.

To revive that vision that once occupied the imagination of plotting men
Conspirators in exile, meeting,
Moving under the cloak of darkness,
Constantly shifting location,
Detailing plots.
Documenting plans.
Establishing communication.
Shaking hands to newly formed alliances.
Seemingly unfamiliar dark figures standing around a table.
Some with glasses in their hands,
Some with marking pens,
Some with one hand in the pockets of their pants.

Conceiving and considering.
These men were to bring it back,
Bring it home.
Bring it home to the loving hands of a women patiently preparing a warm meal.
Making use of inadequate resources to concoct
Nourishment for a spouse bringing his tired body home.
For a young lad still energetic after kicking around a worn out carcase of a soccer ball,
Handled by bare feet in dusty township grounds.

They were to bring it home to their elders
Encircling a clay pot containing African brew.

Some gray heads sitting and leaning forward
With the right arm elbows balancing on their knees.

In the shade with the local chief discussing current affairs
Birds calling out in intervals in the slow atmosphere of the Transkei

They were to bring it home
to their daughters and sons, nieces and nephews,
Relatives, and friends.
They were to bring it home
Where they left their hearts behind.

I stand before you today to remind you of a dream.
A dream not about one
or a handful.
Not one man nor a few tens. 
Not an idol to be praised.
But of millions of souls.

A dream
To find fulfillment
Of mind, 
of body, 
and of the soul.

It was a lever grasped by many hands to help turn.
Turn a mind state. 
One that would not budge. 
A stiff one to turn.
Stubborn and cold.

Forcefully turned by many hands,
Some bleeding in the process
Some dying
Some loosing limbs.

I stand before you today brothers and sisters.
To remind you of those men and women
who fought and died.
Men and women who surrendered their souls to police fire
Captured, detained.
Tortured, maimed.
Blustered, blamed.
Banned, framed
Frightened, ambushed,
Massacred and assaulted.
Terrorized and striped of dignity
Stripped naked and whipped with shamboks
For their actions.

I stand before you to ask you
What have you done with this time afforded to you by blood

Afforded to you through decades of suffering

Afforded to you through self sacrifice
Through agony and demise 

What do you with this time and opportunity?

What do you with these days that were strongly desired?

These freedoms that were purchased with life, sweat and blood.

I ask you sons and daughters of the land

Sons and daughters of defiant chiefs, kings and warriors
Sons of the land,
Sons and daughters of Khoi 
Zulu, Hintsa, Maqoma, Mzilikazi, Mshoeshoe, Cetywayo, Langalibalele, Pixly Kama Isaka Peme, Gumede.

I ask you descendents of Ubuntu
I ask you where has that dream gone ?
Did it die along with the liberation Heroes?
Did Biko take it along with him to the grave?
Did Chris Hani remain with it? 
Is it also where Hintsas’ head was hidden?
Was it deffeated along with Dingane or Cetswayo?

Did it die 69 times in Sharpville?
Did Walter Sisulu take it along with him?
Did Mandela forget it at Robbern Island?
Or did we throw it outside the window along with our books?

Well, that I do not know but 
I stand before you to remind you
a rainbow Nation 
Vibrant and variant.
I stand to remind you of peace and unity
Harmony and Ubuntu

I stand to rekindle the spark that one burned in the hearts of brave men, women and children.

I stand here to reflect upon that dream 

To savour it in my mouth and let it linger on.

To give more color and life to a pale black and white picture.

I stand before you today to share a dream of peace and equality.

I stand before you today to share a dream once had by many.