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Bafana Bafana – Part II

June 14, 2010

Bafana Bafana – Part I

Many South African’s I’ve met have told me that they are very proud to be South African right now, more than they have ever been before, and they feel more united than ever before.  Most white South African’s are into rugby and have not followed football much up until now, and most blacks follow football.  But I think every single South African was a football fan as of the opening game.  Being able to host the world cup with great hospitality is a source of pride and everyone is going out of their way to be friendly and helpful.

The Drakonteur is a small local paper for the Drakensberg area of South Africa.  The cover story in Volume 2.6, June 2010, is about a local band that won the Bafana Song Competition with a song called Kick it Up.  There was a free concert which many people from Underberg attended.  Band leader Don Clarke:

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought it possible for a basically “colonial-type” community like Underberg to be shouting and cheering for “Bafana Bafana”.  It was the MOST incredible thing I have EVER seen.  Half the people in the audience were actually CRYING from the sheer joy of being UNIFIED in this way.  What a glorious moment to actually BELIEVE in our new South Africa and in a new way forward.  People were just coming up to us in tears and saying that, even though they have never followed soccer, they would be doing so from now on.”

It’s very striking to me as an outsider just driving around how un-unified South Africa is in terms of where people live.  The blacks live in townships (from shipped out of town) where they were forcibly relocated to before and during apartheid.  The coloreds live in other townships. I’m told that even different tribes, which I can’t tell apart, live in different townships. The whites live somewhere out of sight, behind gates.   I really do hope that this event will help in some small way to unify the country.  Apartheid, tribal conflicts, and racism in general have left deep scars for all South Africans that will take generations to heal.  That being said, everyone I’ve talked to, no matter the color or tribe, is proud to be a South African right now. 

In the Drakensberg area, near the border with Lesotho, there is township called Qwa Qwa with over 1,000,000 people.

Qwa Qwa Township

Just across the border in Lesotho people live in villages, not townships.  This picture in Lesotho is kids playing football after school.  Check out the kid in orange – he’s a superstar, continuing to play with one shoe.  That’s commitment!

football in Lesotho

village in Lesotho

me in Lesotho with a typical house

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Annette LaBrie permalink
    August 6, 2010 5:58 pm

    OMG Sariah,…..these photos & info about these places you have been are AMAZING! Keep us posted, I’m SOOO looking forward to stealing some of your destination spots! 😀

    • August 9, 2010 3:43 pm

      Thanks! I’m trying to keep posting about once a week, but it hasn’t been possible in China, the internet is TOO SLOW. Will do another one soon though.

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