Archive for May, 2010

SLUGFEST IN SOWETO

May 31, 2010

Rumble in the Jungle, Thriller in Manila and now Slugfest in Soweto!

By now we have all read, spoken and heard about the magic of the Blou Bulle’s victory in Soweto. The fact that the pinnacle of Southern Hemisphere provincial rugby, the final of the Super 14, was contested by two South African teams AND the two best teams in the competition, just added to the excitement of the final. The Bulls, temporarily dubbed the Orlando Bulls, after the legendry Sowetan soccer giants Orlando Pirates who make their home at Orlando Stadium, came, they saw, and they most defiantly conquered the Stormers.

I was fortunate enough to have attended both the Bulls semi’s and finals in Soweto. Even though my wallet was dented in acquiring a much sought after ticket (twice!), both these games were events definitely not to be missed. And just like Haleys Comet, a sporting event contested with this much historical significance and background might only come around again in another 80 odd years, if, at all.

The historical significance of the Bulls, the endearing symbol of Afrikaner culture and strength, playing rugby at the spiritual home of black South African soccer in Soweto, the melting pot of Black African resistance during the Apartheid years, cannot be underestimated. The last time many of the older generation of Bulls supporters were in Soweto could have been in their riot gear when they were police during the infamous and bloody 1976 Soweto uprising. A low point in South African history, yet what could be considered the trigger moment for the end of Apartheid 14 years later. How the winds of change have blown through!! So much for the better. It was besheert, meant to be this way, that the Bulls couldn’t play these games at their usual home, ‘fortress’ Loftus in Pretoria, as a result of FIFA’s world cup requirements. And just as the rugby world cup of 1995 brought South Africans of all colours and cultures a little closer together, so too did the ‘Slugfest in Soweto’. With this momentum building to the world cup soccer, the timing couldn’t have been better…

The goodwill and GEES (pride) was everywhere to be seen. For me none more so than when the South African Anthem was played. For a brief couple of minutes the endless deafening din of the vuvuzelas were brought to a halt as EVERY single person in the stadium belted out ‘Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika’. Yes, even the isiZulu and isiXhosa parts!!! I have been to many, many Springbok rugby games where the majority of the white crowds muttered (see my last post) and mumbled their way through the Zulu/Xhosa parts of the anthem. But this time was different! It was almost as if a certain amount of respect had been shown as one does when visiting someone else’s home. Personally for me, this was the moment of the day, a truly spine-tingling event! And straight after the last words were sang the vuvuzelas were unleashed with such ferocity to a level that probably knocked the Stormers off their game.

At the end of the day, this was a sporting event, and a massive one at that. The rugby was typically hard and intense. In the end, perhaps poetically, the Bulls flexed their muscles and won, to the delight of the majority ‘home’ crowd and to the many, many NEW Bulls fan living on the streets of Soweto.

What a day, and what a fantastic Hors d’œuvre for the WC2010 in two weeks time, when Soweto will once again play host, this time to the largest sporting event known to man.

And I will be back for that!

From the blue for the Bulle to the Green and Gold of Bafana Bafana… Mzanzi Fo Sho!!

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Admit it, you don’t know the SA anthem! Now is the time …

May 28, 2010

Well…at least admit you don’t know the words to the first half of our beloved anthem! Specifically the isiZulu and isiXhosa parts.

With the World Cup opening game exactly 2 weeks away, don’t be one of those newly proud and fanatical Bafana supporters who are going to mime their way through the first half of Nkosi Sikele yet bellow out like a pro the Afrikaans and English parts (like you do when you are at Ellis Park or Loftus when watching the Springboks).

If the foreigners actually do come to SA, and one happens to be sitting next to you at Soccer City, Loftus or Bloem, show him or her that you are a true patriotic Bafana supporter and belt out the Zulu part like a pro!

Watch and learn from this brilliant clip , even enter the competition if you like!

Hey man, its the right thing to do! (well, better than paying your tv licence anyway…)

Now is the time! 2 weeks to go!

Mzanzi fo sho!!


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