You will agree with me – the match was unbelievable! The Lions proved that they are a rugby force to be reckoned with and the Springboks – words fail me! The Springboks spectacularly clawed their way back into the match with determined effort from the substitute bench, including Morne Steyn and Heinrich Brassow (while on the subject: why Morne was not included in the starting line up baffles me).
However, more than the match itself – the atmosphere was almost tangible, even from across the globe in Dubai. Predictably, supporters of the Lions team turned out in full force. Nearly half of Loftus Versveld was painted red and the stadium reverberated to the sounds of their cheers and song. The sound of “Lions, Lions,” undoubtedly shook all South Africans, and this got me thinking too.
As South Africans, where are our songs? Why don’t we have common victory anthems and sporting chants? Ok, so some sing “Ole Ole” adopted from the English and some try to sing “Shosholoza”. But is this all we have?
I was at a Bulls game in Loftus in 2007 and I learnt “Leifling” (something not easy for an Indian!) and even if it felt awkard on my English tongue – singing those words felt like I was part of the crowd – part of the unifying spirit of the crowd urging the Bulls forward.
The FIFA World Cup is under a year away and along with other preparations; I think we, as South African supporters, should wake up. The world is coming to our shores and they should not only see our beautiful country but they should hear us from all corners of it as well! Just as most of us learnt Nkosi Sikelele Afrika – we should start learning some national songs and discover our mojo. Let our voices be heard just as we heard the Lions roaring on Saturday!