The term ‘fan’ is often associated with celebrities. We use it to refer to those who enjoy the work of these celebrities to those who follow every waking and sleeping moment of their favourite artist, those who celebrate their every victory and defend them with the fierceness of a lioness protecting her cubs.
We all have or should have our own perfect fans. By fans, I am not referring to people who worship and follow you as an idol. I am referring to those people who support you and guide you and celebrate you. I guess you could call them cheerleaders.
What’s the big deal with having these cheerleaders? Well, to begin with, this thing called life is rather hard and as Mama Dube (one of my number one cheerleaders) likes to say “No man is an island.” It is in our very nature as human beings to need the support of others to make it through – it’s some other kind of feat to try go it alone.
We need people to strengthen us when we are weak; pray for us when we cannot go down on our knees; laugh with us when we need to release; hold us as we cry for relief; guide us when we’re not sure which way to turn; dance with us through the defining and most random moments of our lives; scold us when we’re losing sight of the bigger picture; and grow with us as we get old.
The purpose of these fans, of these cheerleaders is not to celebrate you even as you head to your doom. They are meant to lift you up when things are gloomy and keep you grounded when things are rosy. They are the people – from mothers to fathers, brothers to sisters, friends to supportive acquaintances, aunts to uncles – who help you grow into the best you that you can be.
This is one for all the perfect fans out there. I celebrate and thank you for all you do.