Image credit: Flickr Government ZA
It’s probably the wrong time to admit this, but I’m not that into rugby. I don’t really understand the rules. I cheer at the screen at random times in the hope I get it right, but I’m never quite sure. I’m like this little dude. And, although I’ve been told to just look at the cute guys in shorts, that also doesn’t really do it for me. But once every four years, I still get swept up in rugby fever.
Luckily, this year, TikTok came to the rescue to help explain how things work – toddler style. It explained to me that you can play with the ball and run with the ball, but if you want to share the ball with your friend, you can only share it backwards. Sometimes, all the big guys squish together to enjoy a group hug. Nobody is allowed to hug your head because that’s eina, and you’ll get sent to the naughty chair by the man with the whistle. Hear that, Sam Cane?
But the Rugby World Cup is more than just a game, isn’t it? Jeremy Loops hit the nail on the head when he said: “If you are not South African, you can never understand what “World Cup Springboks” means to this country. It’s bigger than sport. Since 1995, it’s always been bigger than just a sport.”
As much as the victory saw South Africans unite, for me, an incredible moment was that even allegations of racism couldn’t divide us. It’s a touchy subject in our country – but we were having none of it. We even got help from forensics to prove we weren’t cussing at Tom Curry – we were just speaking Afrikaans.
As Heather Robertson said in the Daily Maverick, every South African social media comedian and their cousins twice removed came out of the woodwork to reveal the cornucopia of words in our multilingual country that sound like the “C-word” that rhymes with runt, an English insult to a perfectly innocent part of the female anatomy that England flanker Tom Curry alleged Springbok Bongi Mbonambi called him.
The spirit of camaraderie is exceptional in South Africa. Feeling like he let us down, poor Cheslin Kolbe couldn’t watch the end of the game.
It reminded me of David Beckham, who made a critical mistake by retaliating to a dangerous tackle from an Argentinian opponent in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. (If you haven’t yet – watch the Netflix documentary – it is phenomenal). After the game, his coach, the media, and English fans verbally annihilated him for months on end. If we had lost the game on Saturday, would we have blamed Kolbe and booed him every time he entered a stadium? I sincerely doubt it. South Africa is a family, and we support each other no matter what.
The Rugby World Cup is a time when our nation is united. Forget Eishkom, forget inflation, forget petrol prices, elections, and racial tensions… it’s the time when we remember that we’re ‘stronger together’.
I’ll leave you with the words of Siya Kolisi. “People who are not from South Africa don’t understand what this means for our country. It’s not just about the game on the field. Our country goes through such a lot, and with this win, we can give them hope. As soon as we work together, all is possible.”
What the world was musing over
RIP Matthew Perry
Let’s remember this wonderful actor for the work he did helping others who suffered from addiction, like himself.
No, people aren’t mistakenly flying to Austria instead of Australia
The premise is almost too funny to be true: Somewhere in an airport in Salzburg, Austria, there’s an entire help desk dedicated to people who believed they were travelling to Australia instead. Not true, according to the Washington Post.
What do we really think about the Aussies?
A stamp designed by artificial intelligence has revealed what tourists really think about Australia – and it’s pretty funny.
12-Year-Old South African inspires with ‘Imagine Everything’
Imaan, a 12-year-old South African, is on a mission to inspire and empower teens with her Instagram channel ‘Imagine Everything’ and her affirmations bands, promoting kindness and positivity.