What Luke said

Here is the full transcript of the speech Luke Watson made at the Ubumbo rugby festival.

While the word “Dutchmen” does not appear anywhere below, Watson allegedly used the word in a question-and-answer session after making his speech.

The transcript originally appeared on www.sport24.co.za

“…, your aspiration, your attitude, they are characteristics and qualities we have within our … God gave us those to make us who we are – I’m going to take three of those of these many characteristics and how we can transform who we are in person and who we are inside, because true transformation starts with that.

“I want to take attitude: What is your attitude towards others? What is your attitude towards yourself? and what is your attitude towards … Whether we like it or not we have been given an opportunity that our forefathers have not, they took an opportunity that was not theirs to take, they bled and they fought for that on the field, and here we stand today reaping the benefits of the seeds they sowed, here we stand today on the hill, looking back at the victorious battlefield behind us, having shed no blood ourselves. So what is your attitude towards who you are, towards others and towards where you want to go? Your attitude needs to be one of hope, …. an era that had no hope, we have been given hope and we need to recreate and ?? the culture of hope for generations to come, we need to see the bigger picture and realise that the here and now is not just the here and now, but the here and now only exists of those who went before us and because of those who are still to come, there is a bigger picture, whether you like it or not – me having to wear the Springbok jersey, to keep myself from vomiting on it, because there is a bigger picture, because men and women have bled for me to get there – did I ever want to be there? No, it’s never been my dream, but I chose this burden with the greatest of pride and satisfaction, knowing that my father Cheeky Watson laid down his life to get me there, knowing that Zola Yeye laid down his life, Archie Mkele, legends from the Eastern Cape where I grew up, known as my uncles and my fathers, knowing that they fought for me to get here, and that my job is to bear the burden and carry the torch of hope – once you have dealt with the nature of the inner man and once you have gained perspective and realised it is not about you, but it starts with you, you are the one that has to pay the price and the sacrifice so that others may benefit, but don’t think what…. because that has been going on for many years, that true heroes and legends may stand up, so I’m fighting not for myself, but for a greater cause,

“The second part of transformation is a change of form, what is …, your output, your structure, the whole, the nature, the innermost part, form comes down to one thing, that is the truth, truth – ultimate truth is boundaries, is definitions, and limits, ..change..and form ,…., to understand your form and who you are, you have to understand the truth, you see ladies and gentlemen, the beauty about truth is that truth… truth is down to what you want to be. Apartheid, apartheid was the most righteous thing they could have done, that was the truth the white man chose to believe, the Bible, it supports apartheid, it supports the KKK, it supports all these white extremists, because that is the truth they chose to believe, that is the perception they have in the world – I remember growing up in high school saying I want to be a professional rugby player, and even now I’m of small stature compared to the other big boys, back then I was of even smaller stature, my teachers back then, I can even remember them by name, look at me in a way that said: ‘you will not make it’ – because that was their perception, but my truth was different to their truth, my reality was different to their reality, because of my perception, because I looked past and I saw the hope in the future … I went past the here and now and realised that there was a bigger picture,

“Let me talk about truth, we can decide our own truth, we can decide what is wrong or right and what we stand for, the inner man, once we’ve dealt with our nature, once we’ve harnessed the potential, the passion that we have, and instead of having this raging fire, we have a pinpoint laser that gets to the heart of our enemies with one shot, once we’ve harnessed that and used that and our form begins to mould around that, then we get to the purpose and the passion that is within,

“I would like to say about perception and transformation, that’s a very similar thing, I always want to change your perception, and you I want to change the way you think, look at me differently, you might think Luke Watson is arrogant, he’s this, he’s that, he’s controversial, he looks for attention, you might think that, if I spend my life trying to change the way you look at me, I will waste my time in this place and I will achieve nothing, but I tell what, I’m not going look at what you see, I’m not going to try and change your truth, I can’t change the way the world sees me, all I can do is change the way I see the world, I can’t change your perception, what I will do is change my perception and I will believe my truth, and not the truth that you believe, so all of a sudden your reality means nothing to me, the fact that you think I’m a loser, the fact that you think I can’t make it, the fact that you think I’m from a disadvantaged background means nothing to me, my truth tells me that I will make it, my truth says that my father made it, so it is genetically hidden, …..

“The final point, we’ve spoken about transformation, this term that we throw around, transformation in South African rugby, the final point about transformation, you need to change your nature, you need to change your form and now you need to change your appearance – your nature is that inner man, your form is the outer man and your appearance is beyond that, it is the beyond, because your appearance now is what they see when they look at you – appearance by definition: the way that something looks or seem, the way he appears, they way others see it, you say now because you’ve transformed your inner man, you’ve transformed who you are, now all of a sudden appearance becomes the ???? of your transformation, appearance becomes when you put that transformation into action, when you step out your boat and begin to walk on the water, when you look at the … and say that the waves have got nothing on me, because I believe that God has me here for a purpose, that there is a bigger picture and there is a plan, so your appearance, once you’ve dealt with the inner man, once you’ve dealt with your form, the third aspect of transformation is the way you walk and the way you talk, is the way you seize this opportunity, is the way you grab it with both hands and you say: ‘This is my day, this is my hour, this is my war and my battle, and no one is going to take this from me, transformation is the vehicle to your destiny, I’m not throwing some political twist to this transformation, I’m not saying transformation of South African rugby, I’m not saying transformation of the man next to me, on my left or on my right, I’m saying transformation of Luke Watson, because when I’ve transformed, when I’ve pushed on, when I’m alive, when I’m reaching for my destiny, the man next to me he will automatically get upset, the man next to me automatically gets uncomfortable, he looks at me and say: ‘There is something different about this man, there is something different about Luke Watson, he cant be bought – I can’t throw the Springbok jersey at him and expect him to beg for it, to catch on his knees, because it is not going to happen’ – because my heart, my soul, my very being, was stolen many years ago, by a cause far greater than my own

“When my father came home one day and said: ‘Luke, I want you to know, that where I’m going, I risk it all, I might lose you, I might lose your sister, I might lose your mother, you might lose me, I’m risking it all’ – I said: ‘Dad why?’ – he said: ‘Because I can, because I have the potential, because I have the ability, but in spite of everything, I have the vision’ – that was a man with a purpose, it was one of the most defining moments of my life,

“I’m sitting in Wellington last year, Super 14, a reporter comes up to me, he says: ‘Luke I interview your father Cheeky Watson about 20 years ago and I asked him: ‘Cheeky, why are you doing this? And Cheeky looked at me, and this is the defining moment in my life, when I got respect for him. he said: ‘Luke you father looked at me and said: ‘the reason I am doing this, is so I can look my son in he eye one day and say I made a difference, I stood up when others ran away, I faced the enemy when cowards fled, so I can look in the eye of my son one day and say: ‘I’ve made a difference.’

“Destiny is on your doorstep, I don’t care who you are or where you come from, tonight is an opportunity to grab hold of this message of transformation, to go forward – because we are so quick and easy to point at others and say why are you not transforming, have you transformed within yourself, are you creating hope, are you creating opportunities, are you creating a world for others that they can live, that they can be great in their own names and their own sake … are you creating that world and opportunities

“I stand before you as a man, that I can honestly say I’m transformed, it has taken many, many valleys, many, many mountains to get there – but before you transform, realise there is a bigger picture – I sat with my father, last year in the Springbok camp, I was in the hotel, I said: ‘Dad, I’m leaving. This place is despicable, it’s disgusting. The men won’t talk to me, they won’t greet me, the very coach won’t greet me, they walk past me, I sat at a table by myself, they wouldn’t eat with me, because I was a political pawn’ -

“But yet, Danie Craven has stadiums named after him, Danie Crave, the very man that said a black man will never play for the Springboks, he’s got stadiums named after him, he’s got traditions [tournaments] in honour of his name, statutes erected, but yet I’m a political pawn, the little white boy in the corner, that sits with his mouth shut eating by himself.’

“My father said: ‘Luke, unpack your bag.’ – I said:’Why?’ – He said: ‘Too many people, Luke, have bled, so that you can be here, whether you play or not, your very presence symbolises victory, symbolises a step forward, symbolises us coming up against South African rugby, an institution that is rotten to the very core

“Tonight I say to you in closing, you get two types of men in this world, men that when they are confronted by a mountain that their god would move the mountain on their path through, men of great faith, but then you get the second man, who .looks at that mountain and says ‘God give me the strength to climb to the top so that I may see but you,.’

“What type of man are you? Are you a man that’s hungry for greatness, hungry to confront that giant of the mountain today or the man that is looking for the easy route?

“I stand before you, I’m looking for giants…”